“Suspended” Coffee from Tonino Guerra

“Suspended” Coffee from Tonino Guerra Tonino Guerra (1920 -2012) — an Italian poet, writer and screenwriter. The author of more than a hundred of movies, many of which belong to the golden fund of the world cinema: Marriage Italian-Style, Blow-Up, Zabriskie Point, Amarcord, And the Ship Sails On, Ginger and Fred and others. The winner of two Oscars and three Golden Lions, the holder of six nominations at the Cannes Film Festival and two Donatello awards.

Being twenty-year-old, he got to the German concentration camp, where, despite everything, on the verge of life and death he wrote verses and remembered them by heart, since he had neither paper, nor a pencil. These verses brought Guerra to the cinema years later. The troubles of life did not break this bright person; he has lived a long and interesting life, creating a sunny world around himself.

At one of his last visits to Moscow, giving the interview for a radio station, the film writer told the following story:

"When I was writing the script of the Marriage Italian-Style for De Sica, I came to Naples and he invited me to the café. An ordinary café, near the train station; the doors were opened as it was hot summer. And here two men came in and said, “Five coffees: two for us now and three suspended in the air.” They went paying, paid for five coffees, drank two of them and walked away. I asked De Sica, what the suspended coffee was. He told me, “Wait.” Then other people came in: girls drank their coffee and paid regularly, three lawyers came in and ordered seven coffees, “Three for us and four suspended.” They paid for seven, drank and went away, when a young man ordered two coffees, drank one, paid for two and walked away. Thus, De Sica and I sat speaking until the noon, and the doors were opened, so I looked at that square lit by the sun, when I suddenly saw some dark shadow approaching the door. By the very door of the bar I saw that it was a poor man, he peeped in the café and asked, “Do you have some suspended coffee?”

This strange custom came from Naples; there the visitors of cafés leave for the poor not only coffee, but also food. Such charity not in the least depreciates but, quite the contrary, stresses the importance of little but good daily actions.

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