Carmine Gallone

Sog.: from pièceLa Marche nuptiale (1905) by Henri Bataille. Scen.: Carmine Gallone. F.: Domenico Grimaldi. Int.: Lyda Borelli (Grazia di Plessans), Amleto Novelli (Claudio Morillot), Leda Gys (Susanna Lechatelier), Francesco Cacace (Ruggero Lechatelier), Angelo Gallina. Prod.: Cines. DCP. D.: 10’ (fragment). Col. (from tinted and toned nitrate).

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

Grazia (who in this print goes by the name of Marija) falls into the arms of Claudio, her piano teacher, while they play Mendelssohn’s Wedding March. The girl’s family opposes the match, and the lovers run away together. Susanna, Grazia’s friend from their time together in a convent, gets Claudio a job working for her husband Lechatelier, a banker. Claudio robs the banker to get his hands on the money he needs to buy the piano that his beloved wants. Disappointed by his shameful act, Grazia stays for a few days in Susanna’s country villa where she becomes the object of Lechatelier’s unwavering attention.
We wanted to share some of the plot, because much is missing from the surviving copy. All we have are the film’s final minutes, and they are phenomenal. Lyda Borelli, here in one of her greatest successes, is an unending symphony of outbursts, torn by the eternal struggle between mysticism and lust. What is incredible is her ability to be so convincing when she flies into the otherworld (and, conversely, unconvincing when she sets the table for dinner, for example). All the reasons why she became a model diva that the world bowed to are bright as day here. The use of lights for dramatic purposes is the best Italian cinema can offer us from those years. Fireworks and colours in silent films are always a thrilling combination. There is a shot of Borelli at the window of ineffable beauty. A kiss, a gun and a bouquet of flowers.

Andrea Meneghelli

Copy From

Restored by the Cineteca di Bologna at L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, from a 35mm positive nitrate element donated by Slovenska Kinoteka