Prod.: Pathé. 35mm. L.: 150 m. D.: 7′ a 18 f/s. Pochoir.
“Tivoli Cinema, 19 Faubourg du Temple, Friday 17 to Thursday 23 October 1913, matinée at 14.30, evening show at 20.30” announces a programme sheet from the M. Gianati collection (reprinted in “1895”, L’Année 1913 en France, hors série 1993, p. 174). The programme, in three parts with two intervals and accompanied by a symphony orchestra, consisted of eight films: four non-fiction, two comedies, a medium-length drama by Jean Durand and an epic set in antiquity. The running time of the films, which we have ascertained to be a total of 3700 m. in length, would have been three hours. Add in the six musical turns and the intervals and it would have been a minimum of three and a half hours. We have reconstructed the programme precisely, using different films, as glamorous setting for two diva pictures of 1913, Amor di regina and Ma l’amor mio non muore!. Mary Cléo Tarlarini (1878-1954) made her film debut in 1909 and appeared in over sixty films for Ambrosio up to and including 1913. Volante’s Amor di regina is not just a star vehicle for this great diva: it is exemplary in its genre. Its essence is distilled from the play of light and shadow, the refined décor, the richness of the images and the length of time that we are given to contemplate them. The power of these films rests on the foundation, beneath the shimmering surface, of a restrained rhythm, drawing the audience into a long-lost mood of aesthetic perception. The stage actress Lyda Borelli (18841959) worked for six years (1913-1918) in the medium of film, appearing in a total of fifteen films. The cinema offers great careers to beautiful women and good actresses: Borelli was both and her rise was meteoric. Today we can see at a glance that she was not just one of many, just another beautiful actress. She was unique in her experimental approach to expressivity.