As the title of this film implies, "Le Avventure Straordinarissime Di Saturnino Farandola" or "The Very Extraordinary Adventures of Saturnin Farandoul" is an extraordinarily astonishing not to mention surprising silent Italian film.
It has nothing in common with the well-known and highly reputed Italian film productions of the early years, that is to say, melodramas or costume epic films. On the contrary, "Le Avventure " has evident influences from Herr Mélies or Herr Chomón in its characteristics in that it is an absurd, witty and funny fantastic film.
The film is based on a novel written by Herr Albert Robida with a long title that reads: "Voyage Très Extraordinaires De Saturnin Farandoul Dans Les 5 ou 6 Parties Du Monde Et Dans Tous Les Pays Connus Et Même Inconnus De M. Jules Verne" (it seems that once you have read such a long title, you have already read half the novel ). It was directed and starred by the unknown Herr Marcel Fabre, whose real name was Herr Marcel Fernández Pérez.
The film tells the adventures of Saturnino Farandola, the only surviving of a shipwreck when he was a baby (his father and mother saving him at the cost of their lives). He arrives to a strange island inhabited exclusively by monkeys. Those animals raise him for years but when they see that as time goes by the infant doesn't have a tail, they decide to ignore him. Humiliated, Saturnino leaves the island in a raft and is rescued by a boat. There he will learn to speak and to behave properly, becoming an officer. The boat will be attacked by pirates and from then Saturnino will live one strange adventure after another (his fiancée will be eaten by a whale, he will have to search for a white elephant, he will join the North America Milligan army against those South Milligan forces or he will experience air balloon battle, etc ) Along the way he will visit many countries (Oceania, Siam, Amerika) and finally to return to the place of his origins, the monkey island.
As this German Count said before, the film it is surprisingly enjoyable, and even funny for a Teutonic aristocrat. Thanks to the imagination and inventiveness displayed on the screen, an incessant show of the most bizarre adventures and situations that are filmed with a static camera but that by no means cause the film to lack rhythm because of its narrative vitality.
Remarkable are the balloon battle and the aquatic scenes, plainly influenced by Mélies, in where Herr Fabre displays his ingenious and imagination at his best. Wonderful and fantastic images are included in an excellent film that deserve to being known and enjoyed by silent film connoisseurs.
And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must live strange adventures in the soirée of tonight.
Herr Graf Ferdinand Von Galitzien http://ferdinandvongalitzien.blogspot.com/
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