il regista Romano Scavolini, Enrico Ghezzi, Donatello Fumarola e Daniela Currò (Conservatrice Cineteca Nazionale)
Debut feature film of one of the most difficult to classify Italian directors, Romano Scavolini (born in Fiume in 1940), creator of, among other things, Nightmare (1981), which inspired Wes Craven’s famous horror saga some years later. There’s something paradoxical about the fortunes of this unidentified object of Italian cinema, which the Censorship Commission rejected three times for “pornography” and forcing it to an underground life for fifty years until the 16mm negative of the first version was recently unearthed (and digitally restored); this version was the director’s cut before the editing and additions requested by Moravia (who as a member of the Commission suggested adding certain dialogue to ‘explain’ Carlo Cecchi’s inexplicable act of killing, the foundation of the film stated very openly by its title – ‘blind man’s bluff’ in English). It is literally a film that has never been seen: the copy that occasionally resurfaced is in fact the one definitively rejected by Italy’s Council of State, rather distant from the original (reworked three times so as not to be banned), which half a century on has come back to life with all its bold radicalism. There was no room in the Italy of 1966 for a film like this: amoral, blatantly unregulated, ‘stolen’ from the suffocating economy of the film industry, and way beyond the rules of New Wave cinema imported by a young Bertolucci. However, there was no lack of famous supporters who defended it. A very early version of the film, six hours long, encouraged Ungaretti to convince Enzo Nasso to distribute it (provided that – at the request of Nasso – it was cut back to a ‘normal’ running time). For Elsa Morante A mosca cieca was the film that finally swept aside neorealism.
In the end, invisibility played in the favor of this great ghost-film, giving it posthumous fame, in its absence, so to speak. Now that it’s back to where it never was, we can take off the blindfold and see it move forward, guided only by its blinding freedom.
Cast and Credits
Scen.: Romano Scavolini. F.: Mario Masini, Cesare Ferzi, Roberto Nasso, Romano Scavolini. M.: Mauro Contini. Mus.: Vittorio Gelmetti. Int.: Carlo Cecchi, Laura Troschel, Emiliano Tolve, Remo Remotti, Joseph Valdambrini, Ciro Moglioni, Cleto Ceracchini, Paola Proctor, Pippo Franco. Prod.: Enzo Nasso. DCP. D.: 79’. Bn e Col.
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