Giovanni Pastrone and Pina Menichelli: The Italian Femme Fatale
Introduced by Alberto Barbera
Saturday, November 3, 2012, 5:00 p.m.
Theater 1 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 1), T1
Includes the following films:
The Red Spectre
1907. France. Directed by Segundo de Chomón, Ferdinand Zecca. A mad scientist with a skeletal face, horns, and a cape performs demonic experiments on young women in an underground lair. One of the first horror films and still one of the creepiest, Le Spectre rouge is a triumph of early special effects by Segundo de Chomón, hired by Pathé Frères to compete with the highly innovative films being made by Georges Méliès at Star Film. Preserved by the National Museum of Cinema, Turin. Approx. 9 min.
1916. Italy. Directed by Giovanni Pastrone (under the pseudonym Piero Fosco). Screenplay by Giovanni Verga, based on his novel. Cinematography by Segundo de Chomón, Giovanni Tomatis. With Pina Menichelli, Alberto Nepoti, Febo Mari. A diva in the Art Nouveau mode of Sarah Bernhardt, Pina Menichelli was to Italy what Musidora was to France in Feuillade’s Les Vampires: a ferocious seductress capable of bringing headstrong men to their knees. Menichelli achieved instant fame in the two features directed by her soon-to-be husband Pastrone following his wildly popular Cabiria (1914)—Il Fuoco (1915, screening later this evening) and Tigre Reale, adapted by the great Sicilian realist Giovanni Verga from his 1875 novel, in which a sly Russian countess cuckolds her husband by carrying on a torrid affair with an Italian diplomat. Preserved by the National Museum of Cinema, Turin. Silent, with piano accompaniment by Philip Carli. Italian intertitles; simultaneous English accompaniment. Approx. 79 min.
In the Film exhibition To Save and Project: The 10th MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation
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