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An elegant version of the "Lady of the Camelias"

8/10
Author: mcongedi from Adelaide, Australia
2 April 2011

This is one of two versions of the Alexandre Dumas novel filmed in Italy in 1915, the two versions are often confused as being the same. The other version was directed by actor/director Baldassarre Negroni and starred Hesperia. This version directed by the talented actor/director Gustavo Serena stars himself with the incomparable Francesca Bertini.

In 1915, "La Bertini" and Serena were setting standards in cinema world-wide with their subtle and realistic acting. This acting brilliance was most notable in their collaboration on the silent masterpiece "Assunta Spina" filmed in the same year, arguably the finest film made that year, anywhere.

Compared to other major titles of the same period, this film lacks some of the technical brilliance that was developing in cinema at the time (e.g. camera movement, facial close-ups), but the film makes up for this lack in other ways. The compositions are elegant, the way scenes are lit are well thought out (note the light and darkness on Bertini's face in certain scenes), the acting subtle (for its time), the crowd scenes are so well-handled.

As a final note, Ennio Morricone wrote a score for this in 1992, which is musically very apt and complements the film.

Bravo Serena and Bertini

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