The Italian silent film industry was highly praised and acclaimed during the early days of silent pictures throughout the world. This was primarily in two film different film genres in which the Italians achieved great artistic supremacy and merits: epic historical silent films and melodrama.
Although "L'Innamorata" (1920) has nothing in common with these two classic film genres, what makes this early Italian silent picture special is precisely its modernity.
The film was directed by Herr Gennaro Righelli who has a prolific silent career working in many Italian film companies and even he had a successful career in Germany where silent elders said that Herr Righelli made his best silent pictures.
Consequently, "L'Innamorata" does not have spectacular scenes of masses set in the old Roman Empire nor Herr Caesar or other such prominent figures. On the contrary, "L'Innamorata" is set in contemporaneous Italy by changing the Coliseum for the big city and crowds for modern masses. It deals with idle and decadent bourgeoisies; in particular Caesarine, Frau Mara Flores, a man eater without morals likes to toy with men.
During the first part of the film we see the dissipated life of Frau Mara and her particular relationship with men. There are no attachments and she has a fondness for partying every night in elegant clubs. In one of these she will get to know an electrical engineer, Herr Carlo, who desperately falls in love with her but will have a tragic ending because Frau Mara uses him for her own interests. Namely she meets Herr Carlo's future brother-in-law, Herr Franco Arnaldi, who as Carlo's works in the same and modern power plant.
But, unlike Carlo, Herr Franco Arnaldi is a dutiful and responsible man who only lives for his work and the care of his mother and sister. So, Frau Mara will have a taste of her own medicine.
Now, for the first time in her life, frivolous and nonchalant Frau Mara is deeply in love. After much insistence, Frau Mara will light the sparks between them (an easy subject this due to the fact that Herr Franco works in a power plant
!) And then modern melodrama appears, especially at the end of the film. However, with the picture, everything is settled in an actual context. It's a contemporary drama than only shares with the early Italian classic film classics on thing: the affected performance of Frau Italia Almirante Manzini.
"L'Innamorata" is an impressive technical accomplishment and visual and narrative innovation for these early silent days. It includes medium shots, close-ups and sequences in movement, besides many outdoor scenes in the country and in the city thus achieving a remarkable paced visual film narrative.
Due to its bold and decadent story, the film was censored in Italy. However, this Herr Graf thinks that this was due to the fact that Frau Mara hadn't yet learned the habit of removing the hair of her underarms in the picture, and certainly that was a very good excuse for the censors, ja wohl!.
"L'Innamorata" script was written by Herr Augusto Genina, who is well-known in silent circles for have been directed our beloved Frau Louise Brooks in one of her last films, "Prix De Beauté" (1930).
Summing up, "L'Innamorata" is an innovative early Italian silent film in comparison with the other more classical pictures produced at that time in that European country. It achieves for Herr Righelli a contemporary film that wisely updates classic melodrama elements in a modern context.
And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must ask to one of his rich Teutonic heiresses to pay the Schloss electric bill.
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