Ugo Falena: Salomé, 1910

Salomé
R: Ugo Falena. D: Vittoria Lepanto, Laura Orette, Ciro Galvani, Achille Vitti, Francesca Bertini. P: Film d’Arte Italiana. It 1910
Engl. titles

“Incredibly, even before 1910 there had already been seven silent film adaptations of the story of Herodias’ daughter including four release in 1908 alone. The oldest of these seven, the German film Tanz der Salome dates all the way back to 1902, three years’ before Strauss’ famous opera was first performed. Given the opera’s popularity, it’s not entirely surprising that so many films about the subject were released, nor that Blackton, Capellani and Feuillade were among those to give it a go. Nevertheless, 1910 saw the release of two more films about Salome: Herodiade a French effort by Alice Guy’s former assistant, Victorin Jasset; and this Italian-based film by Ugo Falena. At the time Falena was working for Film d’Arte Italiana, which as a studio was very much back in third place behind Italy’s biggest two largest film producers Cines and Ambrosio. (…) The film broadly follows Wilde/Strauss’ variation on the New Testament tale. Certain details such as the Baptist being held in a cistern are drawn straight from the play, but it’s interesting that in contrast to the play opera the cistern is a subterranean pit opposed to an above ground structure. (…) Two elements of the plot are also added. The first is the visit of Vitellius (presumably the future emperor, though of where he is meant to be proconsul at the time of the story is anyone’s guess). The other is a moment where a serving girl spills wine on Herod and is instantly dragged off, tied to stake and stabbed to death by a group of female revellers. Salome’s dance occurs immediately after this incident such that the unfortunate woman’s corpse is visible throughout Salomé’s dance.”
Matt Page
Bible Films Blog

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