Piazzetta Pier Paolo Pasolini > 22:15

Napoli che canta – Proiezione con lanterna a carbone

Elvira Notari

Live accompaniment by Antonella Monetti (voice and accordion) and Michele Signore (violin, mandolin and mandocello)

051 2195333 (from 23 June)
(In case of rain, the screening will be moved to Sala Mastroianni) 


Monday 25/06/2018


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

A charming flower seller offers men “the flowers of her garden and her passion”. Giggi allows himself to be seduced, but then suddenly “someone steals his love”. Giggi lives with his mother and brother and is employed with the latter in a workshop. He falls in love again, this time with Rosa, an experienced women with a rather loose lifestyle. She also turns to another lover. Giggi, who had stolen money from his mother – which had been hard earned by his brother – along with gold jewellery, is overwhelmed by shame and despair and commits suicide. He leaves behind a letter for his loved one asking her to give back the enclosed jewellery to his mother. But Rosa withholds the letter and accuses Gennariello of fratricide, supposedly out of revenge for having been rejected by the family. The police take him off to jail, “the grave of so many lives”. To escape that grave, Gennariello volunteers to serve at the front. The scene in which the camping soldiers, accompanied by their comrades on guitars and mandolins, start to sing songs from their respective homelands is impressively worked out in the film. Gennariello is wounded. Back home Rosa feels a sense of remorse and pity for the old mother; she gives her the letter she had concealed and admits the deception to the police. In the end, Gennariello is rehabilitated. Rosa, the mother and Gennariello are united around Giggi’s grave.

Karola Gramann and Heide Schlüpmann

Cast and Credits

Sog.: dal monologo Er fattaccio di Amerigo Giuliani e dalla canzone Fantasia ’e surdato di Beniamino V. Canetti e Nicola Valente. Scen.: Elvira Notari. F: Nicola Notari. M.: Elvira Notari, Nicola Notari. Int.: Edoardo Notari (Gennariello), Geppino Iovine (Giggi), Oreste Tesorone, Lina Cipriani. Prod.: Dora Film
35mm L.: 625 m (incompleto, l. orig.: 1067 m). D.: 28’. Bn.


Film Notes

For Neapolitan theatrical actors, Viviani is a master – in prose, music, poetry, irony, but above all in the social criticism expressed by his theatre. For those of my generation, it is the seed of our torment: the language is impenetrable; the choral scenes have too many characters for our means. Luckily, there are the songs, and like Luisella Viviani, our forebearer, I too can be a singer-actress. Un amore selvaggio is my third work on Viviani. The first, E’ ffeste ammare the title of the last scene in Napoli in Frack –, was an excerpt of works dedicated to the city’s neighbourhoods and the changes they were undergoing; it depicts a maritime festival, with singers on decorated boats, the audience sitting on the beach, and a panel of judges, tasked with awarding a prize to the best singer on the most beautiful boat, watching from the loggia. In my show, staged on the waterfront, with singers on fishing boats and actors on the pier, the festival winner is a character the author calls ‘la posteggiatrice’ (in Naples, almost a synonym of seduction, and in the case of itinerant musicians the art lay in understanding at a glance which was the most generous table and what songs would satisfy it), whom we took the liberty of calling Dolores Melodia. Resuscitated from pages written in 1927, this character has since become my musical alter ego. When I answer the phone they’re looking for Dolores; some friends even call me ‘Dolly’. I’m telling you this to show just how much the master’s energy and success still permeates our gestures; we are his grandchildren. My second creation, the small urban musical group Devoti a Viviani is even more street-based, as we bring the musicians from the stage to the street itself, ten of them performing on the back of a Piaggio Ape. Dolores leads them, like the beggars of Madonna dell’Arco.

Now you understand how exciting it can be watching this 1912 film, with a very young Raffaele Viviani and an extraordinary Luisella. A countryside adventure: two siblings, ill at ease in a subordinate social position, challenge the owner Alessandro; Giuseppe doesn’t want to work for him, while Carmela wants to force him to love her. However, class conflict isn’t hidden by emotions and characters. Viviani remains always Viviani.

Antonella Monetti

Antonella Monetti is a Neapolitan actress, director and musician. Together with the violinist Michele Signore she was responsible for the arrangement and performance of the music for Un amore selvaggio.

Cast and Credits

Int.: Raffaele Viviani (Giuseppe), Luisella Viviani (Carmela), Giovanni Grasso (Alessandro). Prod.: Cines
35mm. L.: 445 m. D.: 21’ a 18 f/s. Tinted


Film Notes

Both L’Italia s’è desta and Napoli sirena della canzone are compilations of fragments of several unidentified films by Elvira Notari. A diligent comparison with film stills from lost works by Notari would without any doubt allow us to identify a good part of the source films of these fragments; but do we want or need to know? Their secondary life as found footage collages suits them so well. No longer embedded in a coherent narrative they appear even more suggestive and intense, like the texts of the songs they used to accompany as visuals in the late 1920s.

Incidentally, of the hand coloured films so often mentioned in the Notari lore, nothing has survived except several scenes contained in these two compilations.

Mariann Lewinsky

Cast and Credits

Scen.: Elvira Notari. F.: Nicola Notari. Int.: Eduardo Notari (Gennariello), Gennaro Santoro, Clara Boni, Eduardo Pensa, Oreste Tesorone. Prod.: Dora Film
35mm. L.: 175 m (l. orig.: 1820 m). D.: 9’ a 18 f/s. Col