Giovanni Pastrone (Piero Fosco)

Scen.: Giovanni Pastrone, Febo Mari. F.: Segundo de Chomón. Int.: Pina Menichelli (la poetessa), Febo Mari (il pittore Mario Alberti), Felice Minotti. Prod.: Itala Film, Torino · 35mm. L.: 1038 m. (incompleto, l. orig.: 1100 m.). D.: 51’ a 18 f/s. From original tinted and toned.


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

A luxury car stops on a country road. The chauffeur rushes to open the door. She, the poetess whose name remains a mystery for the viewer, leans out and casts a predatory look. And she is a diva, from that first moment. Pina Menichelli was not yet famous when Il fuoco was released, but when her owl-woman face first appears on the screen, it is immediately clear that before us is not only the charisma of a new actress but also a new kind of dark lady who is both detached and fatal. With a woman like that sparks fly immediately, and the flames of passion burn quickly leaving only ashes in their wake. She herself forewarns the naive painter played by Febo Mari of the risk to come, breaking the oil lamp on the table and giving Segundo de Chomón the chance to show off with a splendid and deservedly famous luministic effect. Too late, the man is already hooked: ecstasy and artistic inspiration turn into insanity and obsession as dictated by the rules of melodrama, of which among Italian silent films Il fuoco is probably the finest example.
Having recently recovered from the glories of Cabiria, Giovanni Pastrone worked on this film under the pseudonym Piero Fosco. In Il fuoco he focused, instead, on just two characters, cooling extreme emotions with a measured mise-en-scène in which the arrangement of elements is governed by the rules of compositional balance but also the symbolic value of the characters and objects.
The Museo Nazionale del Cinema restored Il fuoco in 1991 at the Favro lab in Turin using a 1960s duplicate negative from an uncut nitrate negative that no longer exists. The restoration of the editing, colors and period intertitles was based on original production materials kept at the Museo.

Stella Dagna, Claudia Gianetto

Copy From

Restored in 1991 by the Museo Nazionale del Cinema at the Bruno Favro Laboratory from a safety internegative. Tinting and toning effects were recreated through the same coloration techniques used when the film was originally made.