Giulio Antamoro

Scen.: Giulio Antamoro, Diana Karenne. F.: Cesare Cavagna. Int.: Diana Karenne (Maria Grieg), Alfredo Bertone (Sergey Koshuch), Romano Calò (Carl Carelli), Dana Marigia, Gaetano Nobile, Franco Piersanti. Prod.: Nova Film. DCP. D.: 48’. Bn (from a dupe negative print).

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

Towards the end of her film career in Italy, and after her experiences as an independent producer, Karenne made some films for the Roman production companies Tespi Film and Nova Film – the latter run by the well-known director Giulio Antamoro (who made, among others, the 1911 version of Pinocchio and Christus in 1916) –, including Miss Dorothy.
Apparently based on a short story by Russian exile Ossip Felyne (according to Bernardini and Martinelli’s filmography), Smarrita! survives today as an incomplete copy. In fact, Gosfilmofond preserves only one element of this film, a dupe negative print of reels 1, 4, 5 and 6, stored under the distribution title for the Soviet Union, Maria Grieg.
However, despite the narrative gaps, the surviving footage has significant elements of interest. First, it shows a cross-section of Italy as it just emerged from the so-called “biennio rosso” (“two red years”), a period full of social tensions, workers’ struggles and strikes. Second, Antamoro’s generous use of closeups releases the full photogenic power of Karenne, and allows the audience to savour every moment of lacerating passion but also the actress’ small gestures of anger, coquetry and vanity.
The identification of Smarrita! was definitely puzzling. The almost total lack of references for this film in contemporary Italian and Russian magazines did not give any hints to the plot or the characters’ names. However, known actors Romano Calò and Alfredo Bertone appear and this, together with the character of a “governor” (a role mistakenly attributed by Bernardini and Martinelli to Bertone himself), led to a final confirmation.

Tamara Shvediuk

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