Arlecchino Cinema > 11:30


Introduced by

Caterina d’Amico


Tuesday 27/06/2023


Original version with subtitles

ANNA - Episodio di Siamo donne

Film Notes

The episode was completely true. We knew Anna, and there was no shortage of choice. So we chose an anecdote out of the thousands that we knew about her.

Suso Cecchi d’Amico in Scrivere il cinema, edited by Orio Caldiron and Matilde Hochkofler, Edizioni Dedalo, Bari 1988


Zavattini had conceived the film as a series of portraits of famous women seen from outside the confines of myth; or better still, of self-portraits realised with a cinematic technique which would have anticipated so-called ciné-verité. However, nothing could be further removed from this intention than Visconti’s episode, which used Magnani to create a short, fictionalised exercise in performance. The starting point was a banal episode, an anecdote, from Magnani’s life – an altercation with a taxi driver that unleashed a series of impulsive and aggressive reactions characteristic of a woman with a strong character, such as the Roman actress seemed to be. The story itself was of little interest, as was the behaviour of the autobiographical character. The crux of the story, which ignited Visconti’s interest and eventually that of the spectator, was the idea of Magnani not as a woman but as an actress: it was, in other words, to see Magnani on the big screen, in a sort of cinematic happening, which was nonetheless guided, imperceptibly but rigorously, by a master of direction such as Visconti.

Gianni Rondolino, Luchino Visconti, Utet, Turin 1981

Cast and Credits

Sog.: Cesare Zavattini. Scen.: Suso Cecchi d’Amico, Cesare Zavattini. F.: Gábor Pogány. M.: Mario Serandrei. Scgf.: Ugo Boettler. Mus.: Alessandro Cicognini. Int.: Anna Magnani (se stessa). Prod.: Alfredo Guarini per Titanus-Film Costellazione. 35mm. D.: 17’. Bn.

I VINTI (episodio inglese)

Film Notes

From the film which broke the co-production agreement with France (where they were offended by an all too faithful reconstruction of Affaire des J 3, and where it would be banned until 1963) and which, according to the Catholic producers’ intentions (Film Costellazione) was supposed to show the problems of post-war wasted youth, Antonioni distances himself from the more expressly neo-realistic elements of the project (the Zavattini-style inquest, the reconstruction of the actual facts, the sociological and ideological reading of the facts) to reaffirm the superiority of the director’s vision and the strength of the image itself. Reconstructing a Raskolnikov-esque crime in the post-war London of an aspiring poet looking for fame, the director “works with the unresolved detective story of the conscience rather than on the resolved detective story of the facts, stopping to contemplate their mystery instead of their reasons” (Stefania Parigi).

                                                                                                                                                              Paolo Mereghetti

Cast and Credits

T. int.: The Vanquished. Sog.: Michelangelo Antonioni, Suso Cecchi D’Amico, Diego Fabbri, Turi Vasile. Scen.: Suso Cecchi D’Amico, Michelangelo Antonioni, Giorgio Bassani. F.: Enzo Serafin. M.: Eraldo Da Roma. Scgf.: Gianni Polidori, Roland Berthon. Mus.: Giovanni Fusco. Int.: Peter Reynolds (Aubrey Allan), Patrick Barr (Ken Watton), Fay Compton (Mrs. Pinkerton), Eileen Moore (Sally). Prod.: Film Costellazione, S.G.C., Parigi 35mm. D.: 36′. Bn.

IL LAVORO - Episode of Boccaccio ’70

Film Notes

I really like the Il lavoro episode in Boccaccio ’70. I think of it as a sketch of the character of a modern woman, like many that I know, above all in Milanese society: a modern woman who places great importance on money, luxury, cars, a box at the Scala, and all these kinds of things, and does not really care about the truly important things in life. I have been admonished for the emotional moment that she goes through at the end. I think it is consistent with the character. The moment in which she feels almost offended by the fact that her husband pays her is like a moment of pity for herself, and not for the more general situation, which she doesn’t understand at all. It’s like the characters in Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard; they allow the garden and the cherry trees to be sold without realising that the sale represents ruin – the ruin of a milieu and a society, and not simply of one character. In short, it is the playful moral vendetta of a loving young wife betrayed by her husband’s costly expenditure on ‘shares on the sexual stock exchange’. The rooms, the grey velvet couches, the authentic 18th-century French library in oak, the abstract paintings by Domietta Hercolani, everything that Rotunno’s camera captures represents the world in which the characters live. It is a cold and precious world, lacking the soul that Tomas Milian and Romy Schneider search for but never manage to obtain.

Luchino Visconti, “Filmcritica”, n. 159-160, August-September 1965

Cast and Credits

Sog.: based on the novel Au bord du lit (1883) by Guy de Maupassant. Scen.: Suso Cecchi D’Amico, Luchino Visconti. F.: Giuseppe Rotunno. M.: Mario Serandrei. Scgf.: Mario Garbuglia. Mus.: Nino Rota. Int.: Romy Schneider (Pupe), Tomas Milian (conte Ottavio), Romolo Valli (avvocato Zacchi), Paolo Stoppa (avvocato Alcamo). Prod.: Carlo Ponti, Tonino Cervi per Cineriz, Concordia Compagnia Cinematografica, Francinex, Gray-Film. DCP. Col.