Tag Archives: cinema of 1918

Diva December: Helena Makowska in Caino (IT 1918)

The holy trinity of Lyda Borelli, Francesca Bertini, and Pina Menichelli are generally considered the crème de la crème of diva film actresses. Yet, of course, there were many others working in this loosely-defined genre: prominent names include Hesperia, Leda … Continue reading

Posted in Films | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

1918: Fragments of Menichelli. On the trail of “Gemma di Sant’Eremo” and “La passeggiera”

Recently, I was reading Italo Calvino’s wonderful book If on a winter’s night a traveller (1979), and the following line stuck in my mind: The dimension of time has been shattered, we cannot love or think except in fragments of … Continue reading

Posted in Films | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Film advertising: Italian question marks

Looking through the Italian 1910s periodical Film, I regularly noticed adverts for coming attractions/productions that prominently use question marks. Tactic to heighten suspense, lack of concrete planning on the part of that theatre/production company, stylistic quirk of this journal—whatever the reason, … Continue reading

Posted in Films | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Japanese man in America: Sessue Hayakawa reclaims … His Birthright (US 1918)

Japanese-born actor Sessue Hayakawa was one of the biggest talents of his era. In a time of intense anti-Asian sentiment (and, indeed, legally enshrined discrimination against Japanese people in America), he became one of Hollywood’s biggest names and richest stars. … Continue reading

Posted in Films | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Feminine threat! Menichelli in La moglie di Claudio | The Wife of Claudius (IT 1918)

In 1918, Itala-Film released a film adaptation of Alexandre Dumas fils’ La Femme de Claude (1873), a play which updated the Messalina myth to 19th century France. The wife of Claudius, the legendary monstrous feminine – just what kind of woman is she, here in 1910s … Continue reading

Posted in Films | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments