Tag Archives: Pina Menichelli

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

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Oxilia, Menichelli, 1915: two short films

    Via the excellent Sempre in Penombra blog; via FilmoTeca de Catalunya’s digitized collections Until his career was cut short by World War I, Nino Oxilia was one of the most promising Italian directors of the teens. Formerly a playwright, he entered … Continue reading

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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

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Il Fuoco | The Fire (IT 1915)

Il fuoco: la favilla, la vampa, la cenere. The fire: the spark, the flame, the ashes. Menichelli! Il fuoco was the film that established her as a major film diva, in which she plays the femme fatale par excellence. Like Rapsodia Satanica, Il … Continue reading

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Fatal passions: an overview of the Italian divas

Decadence, outrageous emotion, an extravaganze of costume and gesture … the inimitable screen presence of the Italian divas is one of my favourite facets of the silent era. In the 1910s, actresses like Lyda Borelli, Francesca Bertini, and Pina Menichelli swept … Continue reading

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