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2015 | 2008

1 item from 2015

The Forgotten: "Rapsodia Satanica" (1917)

8 July 2015 6:20 PM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

Rapsodia Satanica belongs foursquare to the "diva dolorosa" school of Italian silent cinema, movies of and for and about their vampish leading ladies, in which melodramatic narratives might at any moment be entirely subsumed in welters of veiled languishing. Even by these delirious standards, Nino Oxililia's penultimate feature (before his death in Wwi) is heady stuff.The femme fatale in this case is Lyda Borelli, one of the top stars of the era. When we meet her in the prologue: she's a hunched, huddled crone, wrapping her natural exuberance within layers of black, hobbling around her "Castle of Illusions" shooting longing looks at the young people in love.Then, Mephistopheles appears, emerging from a painting in a marvelous bit of trompe l'oeil. Since the movie is hand-tinted, this red devil's transition from two to three dimensions is all the more compelling: the shimmering panels of color both augment and erase »

- David Cairns

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2015 | 2008

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