Category Archives: Film

The fallibility of film history: Valeria Creti unmasked as Filibus

I wrote about the delightful 1915 action caper Filibus a few years ago: a wonderful gender-bending tale of intrigue and adventure, one of my favourite silents. In particular, I praised the performance of Cristina Ruspoli as the title character Filibus, … Continue reading

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The perilous camera-eye: El sexto sentido | The Sixth Sense (ES 1929)

The camera never lies. This cliché is now so discredited that even its antithesis is something of a truism: images are almost infinitely manipulable, via both technology, context, and human interpretation. Ultimately, El sexto sentido puts stock in both the idea of … Continue reading

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Coda to Valentine’s Day: silent film postcards

Flowers and chocolates and clichés, I don’t care, but I really like the idea of reclaiming Valentine’s Day as a time to express your feelings for the important people in your life. I have so many amazing friends, they mean … Continue reading

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Power couples of Italian silent film

It may not be a surprise that the Italian silent film industry was chock-full of couples. Today, for the Feast of Saint Valentine, let’s take a look at these duos with lives spent in film as well as love—sometimes both … Continue reading

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Pride and passion: Pina Menichelli in Il padrone delle ferriere (1919)

Aristocracy, hubris, and hauteur: these are the main ingredients in Itala-Film’s Il padrone delle ferriere | The Master of the Ironworks (1919), starring the majestic Pina Menichelli. I’d intended to cover another 1917 film in this Diva December entry, but when the Museo … Continue reading

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The dream and the myth: Il fauno | The Faun (IT 1917)

Do not flee from me, for I am love. In his character’s introduction, Febo Mari sets the tone for this phantasmic film in which desire and mythology intertwine. In a reverse Pygmalion scenario, an artist’s model, her sculptor-love unfaithful to … Continue reading

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Diva December begins with a rainbow

It’s that time of year again! In Diva December, now in its fourth edition, I look at examples of the ‘diva film’, or the genre of decadent female-led melodramas that were a mainstay of Italian cinema of the 1910s. I’ve outlined … Continue reading

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