Cinema Lumiere - Sala Officinema/Mastroianni > 19:00

Secrets of a World Industry/SALOMÉ

Introduced by

Andrea Peraro and Karl Wratschko

Drums accompaniment by Valetina Magaletti


Tuesday 28/06/2022


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

This educational film starts with the following intertitles: “To the general public the Cinematographer’s art is a mystery, and suggests magic yet it is a scientific process involving wide knowledge and hard work. Incidentally it is one of the first industries in the world.” Films about the ‘hidden process’ of filmmaking are fascinating and even today an eye-opener. The Austrian animation Ideale Filmerzeugung (c. 1913), screened at Il Cinema Ritrovato 2013, is a cinematic treasure, followed by last year’s A Movie Trip Through Filmland (a film about the production of film material at Kodak). This year we expand our portfolio and head into a British film lab. Secrets of a World Industry – The Making of Cinematograph Film shows the manufacture of film, including perforating, developing, drying, printing, grading, cutting and packing. It is a very rare look inside a film laboratory of the 1920s giving us a glimpse of the machines, people and processes that went into making and delivering the film prints to the film companies.

Bryony Dixon and Karl Wratschko


Cast and Credits

Prod.: Walturdaw Company. 35mm. L.: 147 m. Bn


Film Notes

The post-naturalistic, consciously chosen artificial mode of performance reached its zenith with Alla Nazimova’s lead performance in Salomé. She also produced the film, which was directed by her longtime artistic partner Charles Bryant. He staged the Oscar Wilde play with lots of symbolist mannerisms, while Natacha Rambova’s décor and costumes were inspired by Aubrey Beardsley’s illustrations for the play. The acting is very physical, almost dance-like: gesture and posture are more important than mime. Louis Delluc noted in his review of the film (“Cinéa”, 18 May 1923): “We hardly have time to isolate individual gestures or poses. We can only fleetingly perceive that these gestures and poses are beautiful, intentional and normal, vivid and stylised, the one being complementary to the other. Everything is conceived toward a whole.” The unaccustomed aesthetic radicalism displeased most of the contemporary press and audience. The artistic and commercial failure of “this original and too intellectual work, ahead of its time” (Vittorio Martinelli, Le dive del silenzio) prompted Nazimova to turn her back on Hollywood and return to her stage career, which was never completely interrupted.

Because of their decidedly artificial style, diametrically opposed to later Hollywood conventions, Nazimova’s films were long considered outdated and were largely forgotten; in many film history books she is not even mentioned. In recent years, however, Salomé has been unearthed and celebrated as a queer cult film. Still to be discovered more widely is the extraordinary quality of Nazimova’s performance.

Martin Girod

Cast and Credits

Sog.: dalla pièce omonima (1893) di Oscar Wilde. Scen.: Alla Nazimova, Peter M. Winters [Natacha Rambova]. F.: Charles Van Enger, Paul Ivano. Scgf.: Natacha Rambova. Int.: Alla Nazimova (Salomé), Nigel De Brulier (Jokaanan), Mitchell Lewis (Erode), Rose Dione (Erodiade), Earl Schenck (Narraboth), Frederick Peters (Naaman), Louis Dumar (Tigellinus). Prod.: Nazimova Productions. 35mm. L.: 1528 m. 24 f/s. Col. (da una copia nitrato imbibita / from a tinted nitrate print)