La carriera degli attori italiani di prosa dalla scena allo schermo (1909-1916)

Gherardi, Davide (2009) La carriera degli attori italiani di prosa dalla scena allo schermo (1909-1916), [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Studi teatrali e cinematografici, 21 Ciclo.
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Most actors of the Italian silent cinema in the early 1910s have a theatrical training. Some of them are already asserted or famous actors (like Cesare Dondini, Ermete Novelli, Ermete Zacconi, Giovanni Grasso) who are invited “to pose” for the cinema following their reputation, according to a strategy of an aesthetic and cultural legitimacy launched in 1909 by film d'art of the Pathé Consortium. I think it is the proverbial readiness and strength of the stage Italian actors that create a decisive contribution to the rapid development of the national cinema industry, despite its serious structural deficiencies, from the protoindustrialized phase (1909) to the golden age of divismo (starting in 1913), until the first signs of decadence (1919), and the so-called “fall” of the UCI production and distribution system. This is the main topic of the thesis: an investigation on the Italian stage actors engaged in the film industry (“from stage to screen” as the Italian title says, but in a “post-Vardac” approach) through many different sources: periodicals, memories, personal and business letters, and also contracts, found in several archive funds. A specific chapter is dedicated to the artistic career of Febo Mari (1881-1939), real name Alfredo Rodriguez, witch is a time-sample symptomatic of deep ties established between the growing film publishing and the Italian theatrical production system in the 1910s. The Mari debut in cinema and his ascent toward screen “divo” status coincides with the parable that leads from emergence to decadence of divismo in Italy.


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