Cinema Lumiere - Sala Officinema/Mastroianni > 16:30


Introduced by

Michela Zegna and Anna Masecchia


Friday 28/08/2020


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

With L’ora a cavallo, shown at Il Cinema Ritrovato in 2016, we began a lengthy project of research amongst the thousands of photographs in Blasetti’s archives. These images reveal the innovative and technically daring soul of this director, who was capable of taking on any challenge, from realistic historical films to costume dramas, and from epics to comedies. Ritratto di Mara Blasetti continues this journey – from Nessuno torna indietro (1943) to what Blasetti himself defined as his last engaged film, Io, io, io… e gli altri (1966) – and, unexpectedly, becomes a lesson in cinema as duet. Gradually, alongside the monumental director who had a talent for selecting and directing actors, shooting scenes in long takes and avoiding easy close-ups or reverse shots, Mara emerges out of his shadow. She appears more frequently in the photos shot on the sets from Altri tempi (1952) to Io amo tu ami (1962). She recounts stories of her father at work with great love, but cannot help also talking of herself and her own professional growth: from runner to script supervisor, then assistant director and, finally, with Europa di notte (1959), production supervisor. In the 50s and 60s, Italian society could not imagine that a woman could direct a film (the exceptions prove the rule), and much less that she would be able to manage the economics and logistics of a large film production. Mara Blasetti became one of the first Italian women to take on the role of production supervisor. In 2012, almost by chance, evidence of her exceptional career begin to emerge. It began on her father’s sets and, from 1961, continued for another 20 years on international productions with 20th Century Fox, Paramount, United Artists and Carlo Ponti. Mara died on July 5 last year; she was 96. She taught us much, perhaps everything: the passion, discipline, humility, perseverance and optimism of someone who lived a full life. The next chapter will be dedicated entirely to the story of her extraordinary professional career.

Michela Zegna

Cast and Credits

Scen.: Michela Zegna. M.: Elia Andreotti. Riprese audio: Davide Ricchiuti, Manuel Cumani (Pianosequenza). Ricerche fotografiche: Alfredo Baldi, Michela Zegna. Prod.: Cineteca di Bologna. DCP. 


Film Notes

Giuditta Rissone was on the stage since she was a child. The history of ‘Italian-style’ theatre is characterised by families that, across the generations, brought to life characters and situations from the folk tradition and beyond. A versatile acting talent, appreciated by critics and public alike, Rissone became the first young actress to join Dario Niccodemi’s company, at the beginning of the 1920s. She later worked alongside Luigi Almirante, Sergio Tofano and finally Vittorio De Sica, who learned much from her about being on stage. From theatre to the Za-Bum variety show, she gave her voice to both dramatic and comic characters, but she didn’t sing. Singing terrified her, and it was Vittorio who encouraged her, who literally set the right tone so they could duet together on the final song of the show, Teddy e il suo partner, which we can hear again after almost 70 years thanks to a 78rpm record preserved in the family archives. Vittorio, the love of her life, the father of Emi, their beloved daughter, who today talks about the actress and mother Titta, taking a walk down memory lane. Photographs, rare posters and artefacts, but also home movies that give a never-before-seen view of an atypical family group. On one side, the Rissones, theatrical, but from the Piedmont and stalwart, and, on the other, the De Sicas, petit-bourgeois, but with a strongly anarchic Neapolitan spirit. The documentary shows the stages of the actress’s career, but also those of her life as a woman. Her adventurous childhood on stage with the Rissones, the set designer father and dressmaker mother; acting alongside her talented brother Checco, whom Emi affectionately recalls. Then meeting Vittorio and the story of a woman who, having grown up in an artistic environment and at a time of great female emancipation, chose to dedicate herself to family. 

Anna Masecchia, Michela Zegna

Cast and Credits

Scen. e ricerche: Anna Masecchia, Michela Zegna. F.: Margherita Caprilli, Elia Andreotti. M.: Elia Andreotti. Prod.: Cineteca di Bologna. DCP.