Friday, July 02, 2010

Cento anni fà: Programme 7: The Italian Cinema in 1910: Stage Actors, Serial Comedians

10.00 Cinema Lumière - Sala Officinema/Mastroianni, Bologna, 2 July 2010
Cento anni fà, Programma 7: Il cinema italiano nel 1910: Attori teatrali, comici seriali
Programma e note di Giovanni Lasi e Luigi Virgolin

The year 1910 in the development of the Italian cinema (following Lasi and Virgolin):
- consolidation of fundamental changes
- the constitution of Milano Films
- dignifying the cinema spectacle as a worthy alternative to the theatre for the bourgeoisie
- other production companies followed he example of Film d'Arte Italiana - bringing to the screen the greatest and literary subjects
- the effort to compete with the theatre also extended to a major concern with the mise-en-scène and the participation of the greatest stage actors
- for the first time, prestige directors (Caserini, Maggi, Guazzoni, De Liguoro, Falena) start to be identified
- and naturally the famous stage actors (Amleto Novelli, Franco Liberati, Ferruccio Garavaglia, Ermete Novelli), as well
- not only limiting itself to imitating the theatre the cinema exploited its own particular qualities: the possibility of filming on location - in medieval castles, renaissance cities, and 19th century palaces - "today everything is reproduction from life" (Luigi Marone)
- but if fiction aspired to realism, the non-fiction paradoxically evolved towards the picturesque and the narrative - colour and composition grew in importance - accounts of customs and everyday life acquired a more complex structure
- along film d'arte and non-fiction the third fundamental pole was the comedy series, inaugurated in 1909 by Itala Film and André Deed as Cretinetti
- in 1910 all the major production companies had their own comedy series: Cines (Pacifico Aquilanti and Lorenzo Soderini as Cocò - and Ferdinand Guillaume as Tontolini), Ambrosio (Ernesto Vaser as Fricot and Marcel Fabre as Robinet), and Aquila Films (Armando Gelsomini as Jolicoeur)
- at the same caricatures, maschere (in the old commedia sense of the word), and acrobats became firm favourites of the public

L'attore e la regia / Acting and Directing
SALOMÈ (Italia/1910) PC: Film d'Arte Italiana. R.: Ugo Falena. Based on the play by Oscar Wilde. Starring Vittoria Lepanto (Salomè). 220 m /16 fps/ 12 min. Pochoir. From: DIF. English intertitles. - Unconvincing histrionic tableaux. The stencil colour is refined and impressive.
LA MORTE CIVILE / Dead in the Eyes of the Law (Italia/1910) PC: Film d'Arte Italiana. R.: Gerolamo Lo Savio. Based on the play (1861) by Paolo Giacometti. With Ermete Novelli, Olga Giannini. 223 m /16 fps/ 12 min. From: BFINA, La Cinémathèque francaise. English intertitles. Histrionic tableaux. Imprisoned for life, Corrado manages to escape, mistakes the motives of Dr. Palmieri who has taken care of his wife and daughter, in the eyes of the law he is dead, and his paternal rights are forfeited, excess of emotion causes a seizure.

L'Italia dal vero / Italy in Actuality Films
L'ERUZIONE DELL' ETNA (Italia/1910) Prod. : Ambrosio. 121 m /16 fps/ 7 min. Tinted. From: AFF / CNC. Titres francais. Impressive red tint in this non-fiction film.
Cines. 128 m /16 fps/ 7 min. From: BFINA. Deutsche Zwischentitel. - A giant pageant of boys.
* GRADO E LA LAGUNA DI AQUILEIA (Italia/1910) Prod.: Cines. 113 m /16 fps/ 6 min. - Wonderful definition of light, grandeur of landscape, art of composition, dignity of cinematography. The best film of this programme.

I comici seriali / Actors in Comedy Series
CRETINETTI VUOL SPOSARE LA FIGLIA DEL PADRONE (Italia/1910) Prod.: Itala Films. With André Deed as Cretinetti. 95 m /16 fps/ 5 min. From: Cinematek (Brussels). With Flemish intertitles. - Ok print. Cretinetti as a salesperson in a textile store (qf. Lubitsch), fine slapstick, good tempo, tornado-like escalation.
TONTOLINI SPOSO (Italia/1910) Prod.: Cines. With Ferdinand Guillaume (Tontolini). 120 m /16 fps/ 6 min. From: BFINA. Print: in the beginning ok lowish contrast, then loss of detail. Slapstick wedding, wonderful wedding night shot from the ceiling, spooky farce with spilled flour.
IL DUELLO DI ROBINET (Italia/1910) Prod.: Ambrosio. With Marcel Fabre. 110 m /16 fps/ 6 min. From: Cineteca Nazionale, Museo Nazionale del Cienema. Restored: L'Immagine Ritrovata (2010). Qf. Mark Twain's story of the great French duel. They start with giant pistols as weapons and end up with shooting each other with bottles of sparkling wine.

Presentano Giovanni Lasi e Luigi Virgolin
Accompagnamento al piano di Alain Baents

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