R: Gerolamo Lo Savio. On the base of the tragedy “King Lear” by William Shakespeare. D: Ermete Novelli, Francesca Bertini, Olga Giannini Novelli. P: Film d’Arte Italiana. It 1910
“What’s really noteworthy about this little film, though, is the color. For large stretches of the movie, the characters’ costumes and a few other details were given color, using the old method of frame-by-frame hand tinting. Some of the resulting scenes look very nice, and it is especially effective with Lear’s costumes as his fortunes change.
The first film of King Lear was a five-minute German version made around 1905, which has not survived. The oldest extant version is a ten-minute studio-based version from 1909 by Vitagraph, which made (in Luke McKernan’s words) the ‘ill-advised’ decision to attempt to cram in as much of the plot as possible. Two silent versions, both titled “Re Lear”, were made in Italy in 1910. Of these, the version by director Gerolamo Lo Savio was filmed on location, and it dropped the Edgar sub-plot and used frequent intertitling to make the plot easier to follow than its Vitagraph predecessor. A contemporary setting was used for Louis Feuillade’s 1911 French adaptation Le Roi Lear Au Village, and in 1914 in America, Ernest Warde expanded the story to an hour, including spectacles such as a final battle scene.”
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Il mercante di Venezia
R: Gerolamo Lo Savio. On the base of the drama “The Merchant of Venice” by William Shakespeare. D: Ermete Novelli, Francesca Bertini, Olga Giannini Novelli. P: Film d’Arte Italiana. It 1911