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28-06-2009
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roses,loveliness and a bump...

jane cowl

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ebay:
mollie king



madge kennedy

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28-06-2009
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Thanks somnambule!

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08-07-2009
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the great italian divas...quite different from her american counterparts..ruining men like vamps...yet driven by desperation rather than relentlessness...and not triumphing like a theda bara,but suffering....i wish i had the chance to see more of their films...the few i saw seemed like visualizied poems-morbid and decadent like the poetry of gabriele d´annunzio,who also wrote plots and intertitles for some of them...i´m really fascinated by these actresses.they had such a strong presence

lyda borelli



pina menichelli



francesca bertini

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09-07-2009
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^ I've never watched any of their films. Which have you watched and recommend? I just might have to make a few requests/suggestions for Turner Classic Movies to air.

I searched Netflix to see if they had any of their films, and of the three actresses, they only have two (three if you count the tribute) of Francesca's films: 1900 (made in 1976) and Assunta Spina/The Last Diva (a double feature).
Assunta Spina is silent, and was made in 1915; And The Last Diva is a tribute to Francesca.

Amazon has Cabiria with Pina and Francesca, and Lyrical Nitrate with Lyda.
Amazon also has Diva Dolorosa, which features all three actresses. Here's the description:
Quote:
In this mesmerizing collage of silent Italian melodrama, found-footage filmmaker Peter Delpeut (Lyrical Nitrate) affectionately captures the spirit of the World War One-era opera-cum-cinema diva. In all-but-lost gems such as La donna nuda (1914), and Tigre reale (1916), superstars such as Lyda Borelli and Pina Menichelli portrayed heroines teetering dangerously between defiant indulgence in sexual passion and hysterical remorse at their own cruelties. Delpeut's inventive celebration of Black Romanticism is both striking and heartbreaking in its composition--a beautifully woven narrative of tempted fate and self-torment, elegantly guided by Loek Dikker's original score. Zeitgeist Films is proud to present Delpeut's stunningly experimental work in all its heaving bosomed, luridly tinted glory.
Source: amazon.com


A small clip of Francesca:

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10-07-2009
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thanks for the clip (it´s a scene from assunta spina) and for giving further information,flyme2themoon!!

you have already listed almost all of the films/compilations that are still available .assunta spina shows a passionate,earthy, very italian francesca bertini in a tale of love and sacrifice.unfortunately my print doesn´t include the documentary.you can also get glimpses of francesa bertini in 2 non-diva films :the british dvd "silent shakespeare" does include an early, short italian version of "king lear" with her playing cordelia and also another short version of "the merchant of venice" in which she plays jessica.both are from 1910.

i watched "rapsodia satanica" (1917) with lyda borelli on tv.it is a variation on the faust-theme with lyda borelli as the female faust.i first had to get used to her acting style.out of the three divas lyda borelli is probably the most extreme example for diva -acting.her performance is very excessive with gestures and expressions that are larger than life.... at first i found it terribly exaggerated and simply overacted (reminding me a bit of theda bara in a fool there was).but the italian divas used a different "acting-vocabulary" relieing heavily on their bodies as a means of expression,almost like dancers-choreographing emotions.

i saw that imdb (like amazon)lists pina menichelli and francesca bertini as part of the cast in "cabiria".
the weird thing is that i cannot remember that i actually saw them in the film .but there´s another famous italian diva who plays a smaller part in cabiria-italia manzini.cabiria is an interesting mixture of monumental epic and lyricism...probably the most impressive intertitles i´ve ever read.

there´s a great book about the italian diva-films you might find interesting..i found it quite difficult to read but it´s worth it since it gives vast background information -diva by angela dalle vacche.the book comes together with the dvd you´ve already mentioned:diva dolorosa.it´s an archival compilation film.it contains footage from different diva-films showing bertini,menichelli,borelli and also other actresses like helena makowska and soava gallone.i found it a bit disturbing at first because it jumps wildly from one film to another without giving further details, but a great chance nevertheless to see these actresses on the screen.
i havent´seen lyrical nitrate unfortunately...
i´ll scan more pics later..

btw,i love your new avatar...beautiful miss swanson

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Last edited by somnambule; 10-07-2009 at 02:27 PM.
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11-07-2009
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^ Thank you for the book recommendation, and the information regarding Cabiria, Silent Shakespeare and Rapsodia Satanica!


I just searched Netflix again, and noticed that I made a mistake in listing the films that are available.
As I mentioned before, I searched under the actresses' names at Netflix and Amazon. Netflix only pulled up a few films, while Amazon pulled up more. Today, I searched by the film titles (that appeared on Amazon), and they are available! The reason why all of the titles didn't appear is because not all of the actors & actresses are listed in these film's cast credits on Netflix.
Francesca, Pina, and Lyda are not listed in the cast description credits for Cabiria, Lyrical Nitrate, and Diva Dolorosa. (Although Francesca & Pina not be credited for Cabiria seems reasonable since you don't recall them being in the film.)

So for clarification, Netflix does have: Cabiria, Lyrical Nitrate, Diva Dolorosa, Assunta Spina/The Last Diva, 1900, and as well as Silent Shakespeare.
Unfortunately, they do not have Rapsodia Satanica.


You must forgive me for all of the Netflix talk if you are outside of the US, or don't use Netflix. Because unless I buy them all, or TCM miraculously decides to air them soon, they are my main resource for watching these documentaries & Italian silent films.


Last edited by flyme2themoon; 11-07-2009 at 07:16 AM.
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11-07-2009
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A lovely portrait of Pina Menichelli:



Source: art.com

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14-07-2009
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that´s a beautiful picture,flyme2themoon !!!i like the mystery that is surrounding these women .i hope you´ll enjoy watching the films and let me know your impressions!!!!

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16-07-2009
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yesterday i watched cabiria again spying on pina menichelli and francesca bertini and couldn´t find them not even in the darkest corners of the screen...so they´re definitely definitely not in the film...

pina menichelli

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16-07-2009
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Francesca Bertini was such a beauty

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16-07-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somnambule View Post
yesterday i watched cabiria again spying on pina menichelli and francesca bertini and couldn´t find them not even in the darkest corners of the screen...so they´re definitely definitely not in the film...
Thank you for the clarification!

(And that's a wonderful photo of Pina. )

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17-07-2009
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i wasn´t sure where i should post her,here or in the 20 s actresses thread.her career started in the teens but wikipedia wrote that she had her greatest successes between 1919-1925...
from what i´ve read she must have been a real beauty icon at her time,the personification of elegance and luxury.primarily she was a varieté star but had parts in some films too...it seems as if she had the talent to create the greatest effect out of nothing-she bought 2 hare stomachs for 2 lire and wore them as if they were fox fur and sewed strass stones on her shoes.
http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Fougez
http://italian.imdb.com/name/nm2313315/








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17-07-2009
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more pics of the great 3...
ebay:
lyda borelli


pina menichelli



francesca bertini



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21-07-2009
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and..


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23-07-2009
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Francesca Bertini
I watched Assunta Spina and The Last Diva, with Francesca Bertini. She was a wonderful actress in Assunta Spina, and a very witty & fascinating woman in her elderly years.

Facts on Francesca Bertini that I gathered from The Last Diva:
  • Bertini was the first among the "star cult" of Italian silent actresses... the first diva (and I suppose the last diva, since she had a very successful and long career ).
  • She was literally a natural beauty. Unlike her American counterparts, Bertini wore no makeup in most of her silent films. She said that the only thing she used on her face was soap and water.
  • The majority of her films were destroyed in a fire. Only a few full films, and surviving clips, remain.
  • She directed Assunta Spina, and played a huge part into bringing Assunta Spina from theater/play to film.
  • Bertini never rehearsed her role for Assunta Spina. She was already familiar with the story line, and dialogue, since she was in the play before the film. (Although, she wasn't cast as Assunta in the play).
  • She was offered a 1 million dollar deal with an American film company. She didn't accept it.
  • She took a break from silent films for a while, than came back with a "talkie".
  • She stared in two versions of Odette. The Last Diva shows clips from both versions: one silent & the other a talkie.
  • She starred in 100+ films.
  • Bertini had a successful career because she was very versatile, and natural, in her acting. She could play a variety of roles, where as some of the other actresses, such as Lyda Borelli, mainly portrayed a certain role. (Lyda Borelli was her major competition during Borelli's 5 year film career).


Last edited by flyme2themoon; 23-07-2009 at 07:26 PM.
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