Luigi Maggi, Arturo Ambrosio

Sog., Scen.: Arrigo Frusta. F.: Giovanni Vitrotti. Int.: Umberto Mozzato (Galileo Galilei). Prod.: S.A. Ambrosio 35mm. L.: 192 m. D.: 12’ a 16 f/s. Tinted.

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

At the time, a fussy reviewer noted that the film did not stick to the historical facts. Today, we care less, although we cannot criticize him for it. Galileo ends up before the Holy Office due to a vengeful servant who wanted to win the good Galileo Galilei (Coll. Museo Nazionale del Cinema, Torino) graces of his daughter. And that is not the only flight of fancy. Here’s another example: while at church and on his knees on a kneeler, the genius sees a swinging lamp and is struck by an insight that reveals to him the motion of pendulums (an irresistible visual ploy that joins fervent Catholicism and scientific method sui generis). His theory on planetary motion is a forbidden shape: when church representatives circle around the parchment containing Galileo’s discoveries, they react with disdain and gesticulate as if indicating the shape of woman’s body. When the scientist is forced to burn his own work, he holds it to his chest as if it were a lover about to be taken from him. As the paper burns, a curtain opens in the background and behind a grate we see his daughter who has literally been imprisoned by nuns, opening abysses ofsuffering we cannot see.

Andrea Meneghelli