Saturday, March 06, 2010

Catarella highlight reels

Here's a special treat for lovers of Andrea Camilleri's Montalbano novels and stories and the Italian television series based on them: a series of Catarella highlight reels. Pay special attention to video 5, in which the soft-hearted, language-mangling Catarella turns hero.

© Peter Rozovsky 2010

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14 Comments:

Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Fantastico! Viva Catarella!

March 07, 2010  
Anonymous solo said...

I love Camilleri's ability to combine slapstick with seriousness. Writers who leave out the humour in life are liars.

March 07, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Uriah, the more I watch of the television series, the more I appreciate Caratella as a character. The shows do a good job of transcribing his quirks from the book, chiefly his mangling of language and his slamming of doors. And in the six episodes I've seen, Angelo Russo has gradually added a repertoire of physical comedy that flesh out the character nicely. That's evidence of intelligent (and enjoyable) adaptation of source material.

March 07, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Solo, that's a nice way of putting it, about liars, I mean. The most recent Camilleri episode that I watched, based on a short story or stories not tranlated into English, does an especially deft job of weaving two comic subplots into the story.

March 07, 2010  
Blogger Simona said...

Nice, Peter. Catarella's role in that film (video 5) is beautiful. Don't take Catarella for granted, Camilleri says, as he can surprise you.

March 08, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

He's surprising me. Not only does Angelo Russo as Catarella spread his winds (or flap his arms) more as the television series goes on, but a friend who reads Italian tells me that the character occasionally takes a more active role in some of the stories not yet translated.

I have two friends here who run Italian restaurants. I want them to cook some arancini for me in honor of the television production of Gli arancini di Montalbano, which I liked so much. One of them says he has supli on the menu, so we'll what we can do. (Oddly enough, I never liked the sound of the word "supli," though I love the sound of "arancini." My apartment in Rome had an orange tree in the courtyard, so maybe that's why I have a fondness for "little oranges.")

March 08, 2010  
Blogger Simona said...

I have to warn you, Peter (in a friendly way of course): I am a big lover of suppli'. Like everything that is deep fried, they must be prepared properly. Here I have to introduce my mother: her suppli' are stellar. First you bite into the crispy shell, then you get into the soft rice (which is basically risotto with a tomato and meat sauce), then you get to the mozzarella in the center, warm and softened. Then you think you have a bite of the suppli' all in your mouth, but when the hand with the remaining portion moves away from your mouth, threads of mozzarella keep the bite of suppli' in your mouth connected to the piece that is in your hand. Then you need to decide how to break the connection. There you have it: suppli' al telefono in a nutshell. On this post you can see two nice photos. According to my Italian dictionary, the word has its roots in the French for "surprise."

March 08, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Wow, you make the eating of suppli' sound like something between a sacrament and a performance. "Al telefono" is a wonderful, picturesque name.

Thanks for the eymology. I had wondered where the word supplì came from. I knew it did not sound Italian.

March 08, 2010  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

Simona, per "the word has its roots in the French for 'surprise.'" I recall seeing an interesting poster on the wall of a Sicilian restaurant that listed a number of Sicilian dishes with their French word-origins. Perhaps supplì was on that list.

With Sicily enduring a double-whammy of French Provençal in the Middle Ages and more French during Bourbon rule in the 18th c. I guess it was to be expected. From Wikipedia's "Sicilian language" entry: The strong French influence on Sicilian (elaborated below) raises the prospect that it may be better classified as a Southern Romance rather than Italo-Western language.

After reading about the perfection of your mother's heavenly supplì I feel too timid to try making them myself.

March 08, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

With Sicily enduring a double-whammy of French Provençal in the Middle Ages and more French during Bourbon rule in the 18th c. I guess it was to be expected. From Wikipedia's "Sicilian language" entry: The strong French influence on Sicilian (elaborated below) raises the prospect that it may be better classified as a Southern Romance rather than Italo-Western language.

A triple whammy: Don't forget the Normans.

March 08, 2010  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

Mea culpa! The most obvious (and earliest) of the 3, too. I just started reading a book on the Sicilian Vespers so I will blame my leaving out the seminal French-language influence of my own Norman ancestors on the intriguing story of this 13th century mass murder (no mystery).

March 08, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Is that book in an old Penguin Classics? I may have a copy lying around somewhere.

March 09, 2010  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

It is, indeed, an old Pelican Book, by Steven Runciman, 1960, first published in 1958. Decided to read it now because the Sicilian Vespers took place on my birthday in 1282. Well, not that I was born in 1282...

March 09, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Yep, I have it one of those old editions from before Penguin started going with colorful covers.

March 09, 2010  

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