Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Maciste all'inferno

Maciste helvetissä / Den ondes besegrare. IT 1925. PC: Fert-Pittaluga (Torino). D: Guido Brignone. SF: Segundo de Chomón. Starring Bartolomeo Pagano (Maciste). The restored edition with Desmet colour by The Lumière Project (1993): Cineteca del Comune di Bologna / Det Danske Filmmuseum with materials from Cinemateca Brasileira. 2450 m /20 fps/ 107 min. A DFI print with e-subtitles in Finnish by Lena Talvio viewed at Cinema Orion, Helsinki, 2 Dec 2008. - A great print and a great job of restoration with apparently very challenging materials, but it looks consistent. The Desmet method makes the tinting look too heavy and overbearing to my taste. The speed could at least here and there be even slower than 20 fps, probably sometimes 16 fps. But for the total rhythm and duration 20 fps might be best. - Not one of the best Maciste films, this looks older (even 15 years older) than it is with its exaggerated gestures. - Maciste is a farmer who defends his neighbour, the single mother Graziella, from the attack of the devils. The devils suggest a pact with Maciste. But his curse banishes him to Hell. There the kiss of a woman turns a man into a devil, himself. Maciste becomes a devil in chains, but the Christmas prayer of Graziella's son releases him back to Earth. - Fellini's early favourite enchants with its childish naivety and grandiose visions of spectacle.

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