Cinema Series Lyda Borelli: Film Diva

Venice, Island of San Giorgio Maggiore

As part of the events focused on reviving interest in Lyda Borelli, the Institute of Theatre and Opera has organised a series of films entitled Lyda Borelli: Film Diva. The movies in the series document the influence of the great star – at her cinema debut she was already an internationally renowned stage actress – on early 20th-century cinema.

On 4 September at the Sale Apollinee in the Teatro La Fenice, there will be a showing of Satanic Rhapsody (Nino Oxilia, 1917), in a version restored by the Fondazione Cineteca Italiana; the film will be introduced by Matteo Pavesi and accompanied by a trio, which will perform music by Pietro Mascagni.

The next films, to be shown in collaboration with La Casa del Cinema – Videoteca Pasinetti, document the rise of Lyda Borelli to the height of her career as stage actress and film diva. The series begins on 19 September with Ma l’amor mio non muore! (Everlasting Love), Borelli’s first film role, directed by Mario Caserini (1913); the presentation will be by Maria Ida Biggi and Carlo Montanaro.

On 21 September, Malombra, directed by Carmine Gallone (1917), will be presented by Cristina Jandelli.

The third film will be shown on 22 September: Carnevalesca (1918) directed by Amleto Palermi and made using the classic formula of a “diva film”; the introductory talk will be given by Denis Lotti.

The series ends on Wednesday, 8 November, in the Sala Carnelutti at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, with a showing of the film La memoria dell’altro (Memory of Another), directed by Alberto Degli Abbati in 1913. Rich in stunning outdoor shots of Venice, the film also owed its great success to the character played by Lyda Borelli: an emancipated woman, keen on flying and fast cars, but also a seductive dancer and femme fatale.