Storia vera —arguably the first Italian vampire novel—came into being only in , i. Set in in Monte Carlo, just outside Italian borders, the story adopts the first-person perspective of a detective-character and revolves around Polish-Russian-French count Alfredo Kostia. A moody thirty-year-old man, the aristocrat loves to read Romantic poetry and ends up falling in love with Metella, a mysterious woman who looks exactly like his former lover, the departed countess Pia Ludowiskoi.
Yet, the supernatural soon gives way to the rational. Rather, we believe in the miraculous power of imagination and love, which makes men stronger and pushes them to achieve what seems impossible. The same argument, based on the authority of Leopardi, Manzoni and Croce, returns over and over in Italian film criticism too, every time an Italian director would try to unsettle the audience by pushing the boundaries of verisimilitude.
For example, a review of Il suicida n. I had the idea [of crediting myself as Robert Hampton] while I was in the foyer of a cinema in Italy. Gianna Maria Canale? If it came from the US, it would be worth seeing! As a matter of fact, Italy had been a strong importation market for Hollywood fantastic cinema ever since the silent era. Although occasionally beset by censorship problems, pictures such as Dr.
Jekyll and Mr. Footnote With regard to the extemporaneous genesis of I vampiri , in Freda stated that he started making horror movies. I was talking with two producers one day, [Ermanno] Donati and [Luigi] Carpentieri. I said that a film could be made in 2 weeks, and they replied that it was impossible. I insisted, so they phoned [Goffredo] Lombardo, [owner of production and distribution company Titanus]: they explained to Lombardo my proposal and asked if he wanted to distribute the film once it was finished.
He accepted without much enthusiasm and I very quickly wrote a screenplay for I vampiri , which was shot in 12 days. Then I quit the job because I had an argument with the producers, and they completed the rest of the picture in 2 days. The movie was set in Paris but, thanks to the miniatures and tricks I created with cinematographer Mario Bava, we shot it in the courtyard of Titanus studio, in Rome quoted in Cozzi, , p 27— In the early s, Freda repeated the anecdote almost word by word, insisting on the low-budget nature of the project:. I have always liked to be the first in filmmaking.
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I vampiri was born in quite curious a way. They asked me if I had some ideas ready to pitch. So I brought them a story on the next day. I also made all the sound effects myself, the creaking doors and so on. It was very funny. Donati and Carpentieri phoned Lombardo, who accepted my pitch right away. What Freda perfected through countless interviews between the early s and the late s is the typical retrospective tale about post-war Italian genre cinema, in which skilled artisans do battle with the lack of money and time to break new ground for the generations of filmmakers to come Faldini and Fofi, ; Faldini and Fofi, And of course, as in the American Western epics Freda had loved ever since his childhood Freda et al.
According to the documents submitted by Donati and Carpentieri to the government-run Italian State Cinema Bureau, the production of I vampiri started in November with a day shooting schedule.
The final budget was million lira— million for the shooting and 22 million for post-production and publicity. Additional money came from a million state loan, on which the producers asked an extra During its — exhibition tour around Italy—the second biggest market in the world for number of tickets sold and active movie theatres throughout most of the s and s Quaglietti, — I vampiri collected only ,, lira Rondolino and Levi, , p , while the top-grossing Italian movies first released in were totalling between and million over the same period. Footnote 13 As for foreign distribution, between and the mids I vampiri circulated under various titles and in different cuts in France, West Germany and the United States, but neither foreign box-office receipts nor documents relating to international distribution deals are currently in the public domain.
But in order to understand why Donati, Carpentieri and Lombardo poured 32 million cash into a Gothic potboiler whose only box-office appeal was the presence of Canale, and why they ended up laughing about its mediocre revenues, it is necessary to describe the birth of the post-war Italian film industry as a state-subsidised, distribution-driven, rampantly speculative business. Preoccupied with declining audience figures in the US film market, since the end of World War Two Hollywood studios had started dumping hundreds of films from their — backlist catalogues on the newly-deregulated Italian market, Footnote 16 with the effect of precluding Italian films from any chance of wide domestic release.
Hollywood studios were not impressed by Italo-French co-production agreements, or by similar business partnerships subsequently signed between Italy and West Germany, Austria and Spain: American companies simply kept flooding the European market with their movies, effectively maintaining a hegemonic position. This situation was harshly denounced in a manifesto written by Italian film workers and critics. Catching two birds with one stone, Andreotti managed to impose a restriction on Hollywood monopoly Footnote 17 and find the resources to provide the bank credit that Italian film workers were asking for.
We can now begin to understand why Donati and Carpentieri, the owners of a tiny production company, were so easily convinced by Freda to back up an unprecedented experiment in terror such as I vampiri. For the loan to be granted, however, the State required a garanzia an assurance to recoup at least part of the investment , and it is here that the role of Titanus becomes important. The equation is simple: striking a distribution deal before production even starts means having a fair chance to recoup the production costs via box-office gross and pay back the state loan necessary to make the movie.
What Athena Cinematografica was looking for, though, was not an affidavit. More concretely, Donati and Carpentieri wanted an advanced payment from the future distributor of their film, under the form of minimo garantito , i. After the film was greenlit read: financed by the State , shot, edited, dubbed and had obtained from the government-run Italian Censorship Office the permission to be publicly screened visto di censura , the final step for Donati and Carpentieri to take was merely bureaucratic, namely submitting to the Italian State Cinema Bureau the cost statement for I vampiri , the visto di censura and proof of first public screening in Italy via the designed distributor.
This is not surprising. Once a picture had been sold in advance to a distributor, it was relatively easy for its producer to access the governmental loan fund. Then, as a rule, the producer actually made the movie using about half of the original estimated budget, keeping the rest as his wages; the distributor was left to face the uncertainties of the market Baschiera and Di Chiara, , p Basically, […] a production company was born for each new film to be made.
In the — and — seasons, companies produced only one film not one film in each season, but one film during the two seasons Bizzarri, , p — In case of financial problems for instance due to the utter commercial failure of a movie , these speculators would simply go bankrupt to avoid paying creditors and immediately try to go back in business under a different name, which is what Donati and Carpentieri apparently did in the late s, when Athena Cinematografica, active since the early s and with a dozen genre films under its belt, suddenly became Panda Cinematografica.
The reasons behind this cinematic phenomenon are once again economic. For instance, showbiz monthly Sipario featured an article about youth gangs inspired by vampire movies and horror comics Magli, , while in medical magazine Progressi di terapia there was an article about physician Polidori, author of The Vampyre Anonymous, d. Secondly, as noted by Pezzotta , in and Italian publishers flooded the market with horror literature and especially with vampire stories.
Such pulp novels—whose manuscripts were sold to publishers for around 50,—60, lira each—were penned by Italian writers under English, German or French pseudonyms and tended to cannibalise the works of the renowned, foreign authors translated and published by Milanese colossuses Mondadori, Rizzoli, Longanesi and Bompiani. Besides allowing Donati, Carpentieri and Lombardo to enact a small-scale financial speculation and suggesting some thematic and visual motives to be exploited by later Italian ventures into the macabre e. Publisher's note: Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
But the basket containing his head is purloined by the doctor-character, the scientist. The doctor takes the head into his laboratory and, just like Frankenstein, sews it to the headless corpse of another man, bringing the creature back to life. According to the personnel of the Italian Censorship Office interviewed in November , some files relating to foreign films imported during the Fascist ventennio might have been lost or destroyed in —, so it is not certain that the above vampire classics were never imported.
Direzione Generale Spettacolo. It is more probable that, sometime in , the filmmakers got news that an American novel called I vampiri was to be published by Longanesi and decided to beat the editorial colossus on time. The import of American films in Italy had ceased on January 1st , after a dispute between the Italian Fascist government and Hollywood majors over State monopoly Quaglietti, ; Corsi, As noted by Lo Foco and Venturini , producers could enact minimo-garantito -like credit or deferred payment mechanisms also in relation to studio facilities, film labs and suppliers.
The Italian Censorship Office required two very brief shots featuring skulls and skeletons to be removed from the trailer only Ufficio di Revisione Cinematografica, For an in-depth thematic analysis of Tempi duri per i vampiri see Guarneri The first Italian edition of the novel Dracula —printed by Milanese publishing house Sonzogno in under the title Dracula.
AAVV 98 Protagonisti si raccontano. Il Castoro, Firenze, p 37— Agazzi R Il mito del vampiro in Europa. Lalli, Poggibonsi. Anonymous Il segno del vampiro. Cinema Illustrazione 16 4. Murnau: Proiezione: domenica 2 maggio Circolo Romano del Cinema, Roma. Gazzetta del Popolo, unnumbered page. Il Giorno, unnumbered page.
La Notte , unnumbered page. Il Tempo , unnumbered page. Mixed media - Hand signed - More. Sericollage handmade - Signed - edition of copies More. Tempera - Hand signed - single piece - More. Acrylic on canvas - Signed - Unique piece with archive - More. Digital photomosaic - More. Thick tempera and oil on board - Hand signed - More. All auctions. How it works. Sell at auction. Complete your details. Sign in. Il vedete? Il vedo.
Il Dottore si avvicina ad esse; il Marchese si trattiene a parte col Barone; Gastone taglia, Alfredo ed altri puntano, altri passeggiano. Flora e Violetta parlano fra loro. He places his bet and wins again. ALL He wins every time! And with the gold I shall return happily to the country. Punta e vince. I accept your challenge. I shall die! Take pity, dear God, take pity on me! La disfida accetto.
Morir mi sento! Really, luck is on Alfredo's side! I shall die? CORO Bravo davver! CORO Tutti partono. All go out through the centre door; for a moment the scene is deserted.
Then Violetta returns, distressed. Will he come? Will he listen to me? He will come, for his bitter hatred will bring him, if not my voice. What do you want? Enough - do you think I am such a coward? Escono tutti dalla porta centrale; per un momento la scena rimane deserta. Poi Violetta rientra affannata. Che bramate? Basta, basta. Would such a misfortune frighten you? That is the only misfortune which I fear - for it would kill me too! What do you care? Forget a name which is dishonoured. V'atterrisce tal sciagura? Ecco l'unica sventura - ch'io pavento a me fatale!
Che ven cale? Go - leave me this instant - I took a sacred oath to leave you. Everyone - come here! All the guests, bewildered, return to the salon. ALL You called us? ALL Who? Va' - mi lascia sul momento - di fuggirti un giuramento sacro io feci. Tutti gli invitati, perplessi, ritornano nel salone. Che volete? ALL No. But there is still time! I wish to cleanse myself of such a stain. I have called you here as witnesses that I have paid her all I owe. With furious contempt, he throws a purse down at Violetta's feet. Violetta faints in the arms of Flora. As Alfredo is speaking the last few words, his father enters.
ALL Oh, what a terrible thing you have done! You have killed a sensitive heart! Ignoble man, to insult a woman so, leave this house at once, you fill us with horror! Go, go, you fill us with horror! Ignoble man, to insult a woman, etc. Io cieco, vile, misero, tutto accettar potea. Tergermi da tanta macchia bramo. Qui testimon vi chiamo che qui pagato io l'ho.
Con furioso disprezzo, getta il borsellino ai piedi di Violetta. Violetta sviene nelle braccia di Flora. Mentre Alfredo proferisce le ultime parole, entra suo padre. Di donne ignobile insultatore, di qui allontanati, ne desti orror! Va', va', ne desti orror! Di donne ignobile insultator, ecc. Where is my son?
I cannot find him, for in you I no longer see Alfredo. I am horrified. Maddening jealousy, disillusioned love torture my heart - I have lost my reason. She can never forgive me now, I tried to flee from her - I couldn't! I came here, spurred on by anger! Now that I have vented my fury, I am sick with remorse - oh, wretched man! ALL to Violetta Ah, how you suffer! But take heart, here, each of us suffers for your sorrow; you are here among dear friends; dry the tears which bathe your face.
I know she loves him, is faithful to him, and yet I must keep a pitiless silence! BARON in a low voice, to Alfredo The atrocious insult to this woman has shocked us all, but such an outrage shall not go unavenged. I will show you that I am well able to break your pride. I am horrified she can never forgive me now. Ne sento orrore. Volea fuggirla - non ho potuto! Dall'ira spinto son qui venuto! Or che lo sdegno ho disfogato, me sciagurato! Ma pur fa cor. Ne sento orrore, ecc. ALL to Violetta How you suffer! But take heart! I am horrified! May God save you, then, from remorse, I shall be dead, but I shall love you still.
ALL How you suffer! Take heart! Germont leads his son away with him; the Baron follows him. Flora and the Doctor accompany Violetta to her room. The others go out. Ne sento orror! Dio dai rimorsi ti salvi allora, ah! Germont trae seco il figlio: il Barone lo segue.
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Upstage, a bed with half-drawn curtains; a window with inside shutters; next to the bed a low table with a water-bottle, a glass, various medicines. Downstage, a dressing-table; nearby a sofa; another table with a night-lamp; several chairs and other pieces. The door is to the left; opposite, a fireplace, with a low fire. Violetta is in bed, asleep. Annina, sitting in a chair near the fireplace, has dozed off.
Forgive me. Annina does so. Look outside and tell me - is it still day? Annina eseguisce. Annina opens the blinds and looks out into the street. I want to get up. Help me. She gets up then falls back on the bed. Finally, supported by Annina, she gets up and walks slowly to the sofa. The doctor enters in time to help her get comfortable. Annina brings cushions and puts them behind her. How do you feel?
Last evening a priest came to comfort me. Religion is a great consolation to the suffering. Annina apre le imposte e guarda fuori nella strada. Alzar mi vo' - m'aita. Il Dottore arriva in tempo a sostenerla. Annina porta dei cuscini e glieli mette dietro la testa. Ma tranquilla ho l'alma. Your convalescence is not far off. How much is there in that drawer? Then bring in my letters. The duel has taken place!
The Baron was wounded, but is recovering. Alfredo has gone abroad; I myself revealed your sacrifice to him; he will return to ask your pardon; I too shall come. Take care of yourself. You deserve a happier future. Giorgio Germont". Quale somma v'ha in quello stipo? Venti luigi. Cerca poscia mie lettere. Curatevi - mertate un avvenir migliore. Giorgio Germont. I wait, I wait - they never come to me! She looks at herself in the mirror. Ah, how I have changed! But the doctor still gives me hope!
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Ah, with this disease every hope is dead. Adieu, sweet, happy dreams of the past, the roses of my cheeks are already fading. I miss so much Alfredo's love, which once solaced my weary soul - Solaced and comforted - Ah, smile upon the woman who has strayed; forgive her, oh God, grant she may come to thee! Now all is finished, all is over.
Make way for the tamest of all who wear horns, greet him with music of horn and flute. People of Paris, open the path to the triumphant Fattened Ox. Neither Asia nor Africa has ever seen better, this pride and joy of the butcher's trade. Light-hearted maidens, and frolicking lads, pay him due honour of music and song! Make way for the quadruped King of the festival wearing his crown of flowers and vine leaves. Si guarda nello specchio. Oh, come son mutata! Ma il dottore a sperar pure m'esorta! Parigini, date passo, al trionfo del Bue grasso.
Allegre maschere, pazzi garzoni, tutti plauditelo con canti e suoni! Largo al quadrupede sir della festa, di fiori e pampini cinta la testa. Annina returns, hastily. What do you want to tell me? Ah, you saw him? He is coming! Oh, quickly! Annina nods her head, then goes to open the door. Annina rientra in fretta. Ah, tu il vedesti? Ei vien! Annina afferma col capo, poi va ad aprire la porta. Alfredo enters, pale with emotion.
They are in each other's arms as they exclaim: Beloved Alfredo! Oh joy! Oh, joy! The fault is mine - I know everything now, dear. I cannot live without you. The guilty one is me; but it was love alone which made me so. Alfredo entra pallido dall'emozione e si gettano le braccia al collo. Amato Alfredo! Oh gioia! Colpevol sono - so tutto, o cara. You will be the light of my life, the future will smile upon us.
We shall make up for all our heartache. My health will come back again. You will be the light of my life, etc. She sways, as if to fall. Such sudden joy cannot come to a sorrowing heart without disturbing it. She throws herself down, upon a chair; her head falls back. Sospiro e luce tu mi sarai, ecc. Vacilla, come se per svenire. Gioia improvvisa non entra mai, senza turbarlo, in mesto core. Violetta si abbandona sfinita sopra una sedia con la testa all'indietro. Now I am strong. I am smiling. Annina, bring me my dress. I want to go out. Annina gives her a dress which she tries to put on.
Too weak to succeed, she exclaims: Dear God! I cannot! Tell him I want to live again. Then, to Alfredo: If in returning you have not saved my life, then nothing on earth can save me. Dear God! To die so young. Ora son forte. Annina, dammi a vestire. Annina presenta a Violetta una veste che ella fa per indossare, ed impeditane dalla debolezza la getta a terra ed esclama con disperazione: Gran Dio! Non posso! Che vedo! To die, when now, at last, I might have ceased my weeping! Ah, it was but a dream, my credulous hope; to sheathe my heart in constancy was all in vain.
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My tears must flow together with yours. But more than ever, ah, believe me, we have need of constancy. Do not close your heart to hope. Ah, my Violetta, be calm, you grief is killing me, be calm! Violetta sinks down upon the sofa. Germont enters, followed after a moment by Dr. Ah, tutto alla speranza non chiudere il tuo cor.