Friday, August 17, 2012
|7:00 p.m.||Old-Fashioned World|
Mario Soldati (Italy, 1941)
(Piccolo mondo antico). Set, like The Leopard and Vanina Vanini, during the Risorgimento (but, because of its release during World War II, much less widely known abroad than those two films), Old-Fashioned World elegantly recreates a world of gracious manners and bitter conflicts, both political and personal. In Austrian-occupied Lombardy in 1850, young aristocrat Franco (Massimo Serato) marries the humble Luisa (Alida Valli), incurring the wrath of his grandmother, a marchioness (Ada Dondini). As the nation of Italy begins to come together, a family is forced apart by contradictory definitions of propriety, honor, and justice. This was the role that established Valli as a serious actress; like Lake Como, beside which parts of the film are set, she presents a surface of luminous tranquility giving way to unpredictable depths. Dondini, meanwhile, is a force of nature as the mountainous marchesa.
• Written by Mario Bonfantini, Emilio Cecchi, Alberto Lattuada, Soldati, based on a novel by Antonio Fogazzaro. Photographed by Arturo Gallea, Carlo Montuori. With Alida Valli, Massimo Serato, Ada Dondini, Annibale Betrone. (106 mins, In Italian with English subtitles, B&W, 35mm, From Cinecittà Luce S.p.A.)