Friday, May 29, 2009


Vittorio Cottafavi: MESSALINA, VENERE IMPERATRICE (MESSALINA) was a film that I didn't like very much. It was too ornate. The familiar story of Messalina didn't seem to me too interesting. I didn't see how I could change her into a character that had life and variable moods. In her, everything was too deliberate. What interested me instead was the experience that I could have with the Technirama system. The character of Messalina is curious, because we are dealing here with a pathological case, a woman deprived of humanity. She was an abandoned woman from the beginning, who looked inside herself and not out at the World, incapable of love and of hate but doing these two things at the same time. What I did like in this film are a few small scenes that observe the daily life of the Romans with great detail. The sequence of the games in the square, where two actors recite the Miles Gloriosus: people sat on benches or on the ground, and two poor actors without even a theatrical backdrop who recite in front of the houses, as a show for the poor people, for those who could not afford the ticket to the arena.

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