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Vincent Cassel says Italian dubbers have a ‘mafia-like’ hold on film industry

The French actor Vincent Cassel has labelled the powerful Italian voiceover industry a “mafia”, claiming it is impossible to see foreign films in their original language in Italy.

Cassel, whose new movie Un moment d’égarement (One Wild Moment) debuts in Italian cinemas on 24 March, is upset that the local dub of the Jean-François Richet-directed comedy loses nuances in the Parisian and Corsican accents spoken by its French characters.

“In Italy it is difficult to see a film in the original language, because the voice actors here are a mafia,” he told the Independent. “There’s film dubbing in France, too, but the dubbers don’t have so much power that they run the show. There are the creators and the dubbers. The dubbers stick to the voiceovers. When there’s a dubbers’ strike, the cinemas don’t close.”

Cassel’s comments have caused a storm in Italy, which has long preferred dubbed versions of foreign movies, resulting in an entire industry of voiceover artists. Many have become stars in their own right: when Claudio Capone, the man who was the Italian voice of John Travolta, died in 2008, tributes poured in.

In 2014, a 15-day strike by the country’s dubbers meant several US TV shows were broadcast in their original language with Italian subtitles, drawing complaints. In 1998, dozens of Hollywood films had their Italian releases delayed due to industrial action.

Roberto Pedicini, a famous Italian voiceover artist, who has dubbed Cassel in the past, said the practice improved the popularity of foreign films. “It would be nice to see every film in its original language. The problem is that we’d have to learn really diverse languages, given that the most awarded films at festivals are Asian or from the Middle East,” he told the Adnkronos news agency. “And subtitles are often misleading or compromised.”

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Italian mafia earnings from drugs rival Fiat with cars

Report: Accusations of Trump’s Ties to Mafia Associate Gain Steam as Candidate Withholds Taxes

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has downplayed his connection to a reputed mob figure, whose daughter said gambled millions at Trump’s casino, partied on the billionaire mogul’s yacht and flew in his helicopter, Yahoo News reported.

However, Trump’s casino was fined $200,000 by the state of New Jersey Casino Control Commission after an investigation by the state attorney general’s office found that Trump Plaza in Atlantic City violated anti-discrimination laws to please high roller Robert LiButti — who was reported to have close ties to mafia boss John Gotti.

After the incident in 1991, Trump told the media he didn’t really know LiButti. However, LiButti’s daughter, Edith Creamer, told Yahoo News reporter Michael Isikoff that was not the case.

“He’s a liar,” Creamer told Yahoo. “Of course he knew him. I flew in the [Trump] helicopter with [Trump’s then wife] Ivana and the kids. My dad flew it up and down [to Atlantic City]. My 35th birthday party was at the Plaza and Donald was there. After the party, we went on his boat, his big yacht. I like Trump, but it pisses me off that he denies knowing my father. That hurts me.”

Trump told Yahoo News in a written response, “During the years I very successfully ran the casino business, I knew many high rollers. I assume Mr. LiButti was one of them, but I don’t recognize the name.”

The report comes as Trump is fending off calls to release his tax returns. Trump’s leading GOP opponent, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, said Trump might be trying to hide evidence of mafia connections in the tax returns.

Trump was not held personally liable for the discrimination charges against his casino, nor did state officials ever question him personally about the matter.

Yahoo News describes the casino investigation:

At the time, New Jersey state regulators had launched an investigation into allegations by nine employees of one of Trump’s Atlantic City casinos, the Trump Plaza, that the hotel had repeatedly removed African-Americans and women from craps tables after LiButti, one of the highest-rolling gamblers in the city’s history, loudly complained about their presence when he was playing.

The probe resulted in a $200,000 fine against the Trump Plaza by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission for violating state anti-discrimination laws. Investigators found that LiButti had, on multiple occasions, berated blacks and women using what one state official described as the “vilest” language — including racist slurs and references to women in obscene terms — and that the Trump Plaza, in order not to lose his substantial business, sought to accommodate him by keeping the employees away from his betting tables, according to commission documents recently obtained by Yahoo News under the New Jersey Open Public Records Act.

Cramer’s account of direct dealings between her father and Trump corroborate a 1991 book, “Trumped: The Inside Story of the Real Donald Trump, His Cunning Rise and Spectacular Fall,” written by John R. Donnell, former president of the Trump Plaza casino. The book also talks about a meeting between Trump and LiButti aboard Trump’s helicopter and claims Trump agreed to pay $500,000 for a racehorse named Alibi from LiButti, a horse breeder.

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Mafia planned to kill Mario Cuomo during Italy trip as New York governor

  • Hitman says mob planned ambush with men who had rifles and explosives
  • Cosa Nostra called off attack when scale of his security detail became apparent

Mario Cuomo, the former governor of New York, was targeted for assassination by the Sicilian mafia during a trip to Italy in 1992, according to an imprisoned Cosa Nostra hitman.

Maurizio Avola, 54 – who is currently serving a life sentence for his part in 43 murders and 40 armed robberies – told the Guardian that mobster bosses planned an ambush involving about a dozen gunmen armed with assault rifles and explosives.

The attack was only called off when the scale of Cuomo’s security detail became apparent, he said.

Avola said that after the assassinations of prominent anti-mafia judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino in 1992, Cosa Nostra bosses decided to escalate their war against the Italian state and its allies.

“The aim was to target politicians or members of institutions in order to send out a clear message,” he said, in an interview via messages carried by his lawyer.

When Cuomo’s visit to Italy was announced, Avola’s godfather, Aldo Ercolano, told him that the New York governor would be an “excellent target”.

Targeting a prominent American would also send a warning to the law enforcement agencies who had allowed several prominent mafia turncoats to start new lives in the US under assumed identities, Avola said.

“Cuomo was a symbol of America which during those years hosted collaborators who wanted out of Cosa Nostra and then got their bosses arrested. His death would have sent a strong signal to New York. It would have made them understand what happens to those who stand in the Mafia’s way,” he said.

Cuomo arrived in Rome on 19 November 1992 for a week of meetings. Soon after his arrival, a journalist from Corriere della Sera asked whether having an Italian surname was damaging for an American politician.

Cuomo replied: “Of course, any Italian American politician risks being associated with the mafia, not least because the media continuously plays on this image.”

Meanwhile, according to Avola a much more immediate risk was taking shape in the city of Messina, where a mafia hit squad was planning a daylight attack on Cuomo in the main square.

Around a dozen gunmen armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles and explosives were to carry out the ambush, while accomplices were ready to block potential escape routes, said Avola.

But just a few days before Cuomo was due in Messina, Ercolano called off the attack.

“The American politician arrived with extremely tight surveillance, lots of bodyguards and a bulletproof car. It made the execution impossible,” Avola said. “Reluctantly, Aldo Ercolano ordered the ‘men of honour’ to withdraw.’’

Born in Catania in 1962, Avola is believed to have killed about 80 people, including journalists, lawyers, politicians and mobsters, before becoming apentito, or informer.

Known as “Occhi di Ghiaccio” or Ice Eyes because of his cold-blooded blue gaze, he was recruited as a hitman by the Santapaola family, one of the most feared and powerful in the Sicilian criminal underworld.

He was arrested on a tip-off in 1993, the day after killing a former friend and fellow mafioso. Avola concluded that he had been betrayed by his boss, and a year later, he decided to cooperate with police, revealing details that led to the opening of new investigations and the arrest of more than 100 ‘men of honour’.

Just a few days before Cuomo was due in Messina, the attack was called off.
Just a few days before Cuomo was due in Messina, the attack was called off.

He is currently serving a life sentence for his murders and 40 armed robberies in a special prison for mafia informers in northern Italy – but will be freed in 2019 because of his cooperation with authorities. For security reasons, the Guardian is not naming the prison where he is being held.

A senior source at Palermo magistrate’s court confirmed that an investigation into Avola’s allegations of a plot to kill Cuomo was still open, but said that details of the case were confidential.

Avola’s lawyer, Ugo Colonna, said that his client’s allegations may help shed some light on the history of that period of Cosa Nostra.

“Understanding why the mafia wanted to eliminate the governor of New York, in 1992, could also help us to understand the violence of the bosses who, in those years, were waging a real war against the state,” he said.

Ignazio De Francisci, a Palermo prosecutor who worked alongside Falcone and Borsellino, said that in the early 1990s, mafia bosses had already spread their actions beyond Sicily.

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