Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Titanus (1904-2014)

The Retrospective for the 67th edition of the Festival del film Locarno (6–16 August 2014) will be dedicated to the Italian production studio Titanus. Numerous European and American institutions will repeat the program: the Cineteca di Bologna, the Cineteca Nazionale (National Film Archive) in Rome, the National Cinema Museum in Turin, the Cinémathèque suisse, the Cinémas du Grütli in Geneva, the Filmpodium in Zurich, the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York, the American Cinematheque and the USC School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles. The retrospective will be accompanied by an English-friendly book, on which I am currently working.
Official press release:

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Inferno (1911)

Directors: Francesco Bertolini, Adolfo Padovan, Giuseppe De Liguoro
Starring: Salvatore Papa, Arturo Pirovano, Giuseppe De Liguoro
Label:  Cineteca di Bologna (2011)
Format: DVD / PAL / Region 2
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Subtitles: English, Italian

* 1909 short, Il diavolo zoppo (15 minutes, with English subtitles)
* 1910 short, Come fu che l'ingordigia rovinò il Natale a Cretinetti (13 minutes, with English subtitles)
* Excerpt from 1926 Maciste all'inferno (8 minutes, with English subtitles)
* Comparison between the film and Gustave Doré's engravings
* Photogallery

Available on Amazon.it

What's the film about?
Often cited as the first feature-lenght film ever, this version of Dante's Inferno also marked a milestone in Italian early cinema. Entirely framed in Full or Long Shot, the film is pre-Griffithian in pacing and editing, with storytelling heavily relying on titles. Still, composition and lighting are often quite enchanting, clearly indebted to Gustave Doré's works, but also to the visionary cinema of Georges Méliès. The DVD features two different soundtrack: I couldn't stand the modernist "dubbing" by Edison Studio, but the piano score by Marco Dalpane was fine.

Essential for anyone interested in early development of film style.