ANNA – Episodio di Siamo donne

Luchino Visconti

Sog.: Cesare Zavattini. Scen.: Suso Cecchi d’Amico, Cesare Zavattini. F.: Gábor Pogány. M.: Mario Serandrei. Scgf.: Ugo Boettler. Mus.: Alessandro Cicognini. Int.: Anna Magnani (se stessa). Prod.: Alfredo Guarini per Titanus-Film Costellazione. 35mm. D.: 17’. Bn.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

The episode was completely true. We knew Anna, and there was no shortage of choice. So we chose an anecdote out of the thousands that we knew about her.

Suso Cecchi d’Amico in Scrivere il cinema, edited by Orio Caldiron and Matilde Hochkofler, Edizioni Dedalo, Bari 1988


Zavattini had conceived the film as a series of portraits of famous women seen from outside the confines of myth; or better still, of self-portraits realised with a cinematic technique which would have anticipated so-called ciné-verité. However, nothing could be further removed from this intention than Visconti’s episode, which used Magnani to create a short, fictionalised exercise in performance. The starting point was a banal episode, an anecdote, from Magnani’s life – an altercation with a taxi driver that unleashed a series of impulsive and aggressive reactions characteristic of a woman with a strong character, such as the Roman actress seemed to be. The story itself was of little interest, as was the behaviour of the autobiographical character. The crux of the story, which ignited Visconti’s interest and eventually that of the spectator, was the idea of Magnani not as a woman but as an actress: it was, in other words, to see Magnani on the big screen, in a sort of cinematic happening, which was nonetheless guided, imperceptibly but rigorously, by a master of direction such as Visconti.

Gianni Rondolino, Luchino Visconti, Utet, Turin 1981

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