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29 November 2017: Ma l’amore mio non muore!


Ma l’amore mio non muore!
Mario Caserini
1913 | 80 min | B/W | DCP

Recorded music made with a selection of Opera tunes recorded between 1913 and 1961.

“In 1913, Lyda Borelli had reached the apex of her theatrical career. Performing in Italy’s most famous theatres, she appeared in plays by Victorien Sardou, Henry Bataille, Georges Ohnet, the very repertory that would soon become the backbone of diva cinema. Borelli’s most acclaimed performance was in Oscar Wilde’s Salome, which had its Italian premiere at the Teatro Valle on 10 March 1909. In her Salome costume, Borelli was portrayed by painter Cesare Tallone and in a photographic series by Emilio Sommariva: popularized by postcards, these representations of Borelli’s theatrical career fueled the public imagination and showed decisive for the construction of her iconic image in her first feature, Ma l’amor mio non muore!. Produced by the Turin-based company Gloria Film and directed by Mario Caserini, the film was specifically written for her. While the plot deals with espionage and love, the second part is set in a world very close to Borelli – the stage. Her two successful performances, Zaza and Salome, reappear here. In a scene set on stage, Borelli acts as though she is dying, but this, in effect, is a doubling since her character has actually poisoned herself. Her princely lover is her political rival, so she cannot have him. The prince runs on stage when he notices that this is no mere performance. She dies in his hands like Violetta dying in the hands of Alfredo in La Traviata or, more broadly, repeating the “inimitable life and death” promoted by D’Annunzio. Ma l’amor mio non muore! was an international success and turned Borelli into a film star. It also started a new phenomenon: the Italian diva-film. But this phenomenon didn’t come out of the blue; it incorporates the legacy of the pictorial, photographic and theatrical culture of the Italian early twentieth century.” – Ivo Blom

Restored by Cineteca di Bologna in 2013:

Part of our Il Cinema Ritrovato programme. With thanks to Ehsan Khoshbakht, Guy Borlée (Il Cinema Ritrovato), Carmen Accaputo (Cineteca di Bologna) and L'Immagine Ritrovata for making this programme possible.