Mario Bonnard

Sog.: Mario Bonnard; Scen.: Anton Giulio Majano, Aldo De Benedetti, Federico Fellini, Mario Bonnard; F.: Tonino Delli Colli; Mo.: Giulia Fontana; Scgf.: Mario Rappini; Cost.: Mario Rappini; Mu.: Giulio Bonnard; Int.: Luigi Tosi (Berto), Barbara Costanova (Silvana), Gianni Rizzo (Sergio), Elio Steiner (Martini), Gustavo Serena (frate francescano), Rai- mondo Van Riel (Don Felice), Milly Vitale (Maria), Constance Dowling (Lubiza); Prod.: Istria-Scalera Films Beta. D.: 101’. 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

This moment in the evolution of Scalera, while representing the emphasis on the microcosm-studio (prolonged from the experience of Salò), also represents a time of expansion of the Roman

centrality of the cinema in Adriatic geography: take the fundamental example of De Robertis. This Scalera, in search of post- war Neo-realist regeneration, had as its final phase the episode of Istria-Scalera, which produced a single film, La città dolente, directed by one of the Italian film veterans most deserving of rediscovery, Mario Bonnard. Bonnard availed himself of a script by the master of melodrama, Aldo De Benedetti; by his heir – already Alessandrinian and later to be telenovellette-ish – Anton Giulio Majano; and by a straying Fellini. With a grafting of unique documentary images of the Istrian exodus, the film is quite other than passively propagandist, and its representation of the Yugoslav universe is rich with softening political fiction. This could compete on a Hollywood symbolic level, because the protagonists are dubbed with two of Italy’s best-known voices, Emilio Cigoli e Tina Lattanzi. The Pavesian Constance Dowling is also a great presence. Her character’s seduction absorbs the same ideological discourse: with her irruption the film takes a mortal leap, and does not turn back, upset by the highly erotic sequence of the intercourse originated by the Balkan dance, which only the political character of the film saved from censorship. The film survives today thanks to the distribution company Sampaolo, who have deposited with Luce a luminous 35mm print.

Sergio Grmek Germani


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