Piazzetta Pier Paolo Pasolini > 22:15

‘A SANTANOTTE – Proiezione con lanterna a carbone

Elvira Notari

Accompagnamento dal vivo ispirato alla tradizione napoleta­na eseguito da E Zézi Gruppo Operaio

Free entry. 


051 2195333 (from 23 June)

(In case of rain, the screening will be moved to the Sala Mastroianni) 


Friday 29/06/2018


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

Based on a popular Neapolitan song, ‘A santanotte is one of the few films directed by Elvira Notari at Dora Film that can be seen today. It is also an illustrative example of her work. The print of the film we will be screening is a colour print made in 2008 from two separate elements, a black and white duplicate preserved at Cineteca Nazionale and a nitrate print indicating the colour processes used, found in the archives of George Eastman House. Rosé Angione, one of the actresses who studied at Elvira Notari’s acting school, plays the part of Nanninella, a young girl exploited and abused by her father, whom she maintains with her waitress salary. Forced to marry a man she does not love in a desperate attempt to save her beloved from being accused of murder, Nanninella is destined to a tragic end, and the film’s moving tone is brought to a violent climax: stabbed on her wedding day in her bridal gown in the finest tradition of Neapolitan melodramas.

This “popular drama of passion” (as the intertitle describes it) was one of Dora Film’s biggest hits. Elvira and Nicola Notari’s son also starred in this film as Gennariello. He would become a fixed feature of almost all their films, a kind of Notari melodrama stock character. The external shots are of great interest with their quasi-documentary qualities, grounding the ill-fated story of Nanninella in working class Naples of that time. What it is particularly striking about the film is its unusual perspective on the life of women belonging to the poorest classes and its criticism of the violence of a patriarchal culture.

The restoration was part of the project Non solo dive. Pioniere del cinema italiano (2008), dedicated to the rediscovery of women’s contributions to the national cinema industry during the silent film era.

Monica Dall’Asta

Cast and Credits

Sog.: dalla canzone omonima di Eduardo Scala e Francesco Buongiovanni. Scen.: Elvira Notari. F.: Nicola Notari. Int.: Eduardo Notari (Gennariello), Rosé Angione (Nanninella), Alberto Danza (Tore Spina), Carluccio (studente della scuola di recitazione), Elisa Cava (madre di Tore). Prod.: Dora Film (serie Grandilavoripopolari)
35mm. L.: 1257 m. D.: 61’ a 18 f/s. Col.


Director: Elvira Notari
Year: 1929
Country: Italia
Film Version

Italian intertitles