Aida, featuring the actress Sophia Loren, is a film adaptation of a theatre performance written by Verdi. The plot revolves around the character Radames who falls in love with what he ...
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Sophia Loren plays a dual role, as both the sultry Queen of the Nile with a "man-a-night" appetite and a beautiful slave girl who takes her place and is wooed by a bodyguard who thinks she's the real monarch.
While not completly stage-bound, this film of Donizetti's opera doesn't stray far from such an impression. The story of a tragic love affair involving commoners and royality in 1340 Spain ... See full summary »
E' domenica e a Roma c'è la partita di calcio Roma-Napoli. Attorno allo stadio e alla partita ruotano varie storie: quella di Sandra e Giulio fidanzati, ma sempre occupati a litigare; ... See full summary »
Anton Giulio Majano
Ignazio Panizza in arte Gardenio gira in provincia con uno spettacolo di varietà con poco successo. In un paese insistono per far cantare la cassiera della farmacia, Caterina Lari, che ha ... See full summary »
Fernando, owner of a large chain store, suffers from worrying dreams: he seems to successfully court saucy women, but just as he is about to win them over, a youngster comes on the scene ... See full summary »
Attila, the leader of the barbarian Huns and called by the Romans "The Scourge of God", sweeps onto the Italian peninsula, defeating all of the armies of Rome, until he and his men reach the gates of the city itself.
When peasant girl Nives is deserted by smuggler Gino Lodi, she betrays him to the police. Police officer Enzo Cinti, who loves Nives, traces her to the Po River cane-fields, where she is ... See full summary »
Alla fine del '600 nel napoletano sotto la dominazione spagnola, il mugnaio Luca cerca di arrabattarsi per non pagare le gabelle che impone Don Teofilo, il governatore, con il consiglio di ... See full summary »
Vittorio De Sica,
Napoli, anni cinquanta. Un cantastorie, che abita con la numerosa famiglia in una misera catapecchia, viene sfrattato e se ne va coi suoi familiari per le strade, spingendo il pianino di ... See full summary »
Aida, featuring the actress Sophia Loren, is a film adaptation of a theatre performance written by Verdi. The plot revolves around the character Radames who falls in love with what he thinks is a slave in a country his armies has conquered. The young woman is actually the daughter of the leader he ousted.Written by
Opera is a different stage art from spoken theatre, let alone theatrical films or television. Opera succeeds on its own terms or it doesn't signify at all. The "problem" with opera is not that opera singers are not as bodacious as film stars; the principal requirement in opera is that the musical drama be conveyed in musical as well as visual terms in a manner all its own, a stage mystery that is easier to experience than to analyse.
Non-musicians seldom understand this. They seek to graft on whatever expressive values they trade in within the medium they are familiar with, without understanding why and how opera works on its own, without their alien help.
Thus the woman who sings Amneris in the soundtrack of this film, Ebe Stignani (1903-1974) may have been, at 50, wider than she was tall and not Hollywood's idea of an appropriate screen figure, yet she was, even in 1953, an amazing Amneris, successful throughout the world in this, her greatest role, consistently making dramatic contact with her audiences through the musico-dramatic medium of Verdi's music. And she had been doing so since her debut (as Amneris), in 1925.
Lois Maxwell, who lip-syncs to Stignani's singing here, simply makes no impact, dramatic, filmic, musical or even sex-appealing. We KNOW that Stignani was a hugely successful Amneris without Maxwell. What does Maxwell add to Signani's Amneris through the medium of this film? Nothing at all.
A film that brought us, even at once removed, the greatness of a Stignani or a Renata Tebaldi, might have had some filmic justification. But this film, which adds nothing at all to what the singers had to contribute and rather detracts from it, is of no value.
What the film does underline is the limitations, cultural, visual, technological, of a merely mechanical medium. Everything about this film is ludicrously dated, except the singing of the great singers whom it pretended to "improve" all those long years ago.
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