Saturday, February 18, 2012

L'Odissea - 1911

Country: Italy
Language: Italian
Directors: Francesco Bertolini, Giuseppe de Liguoro, Adolfo Padovan
Writer: Homer
Stars: Giuseppe de Liguoro, Ubaldo Maria Del Colle and Eugenia Tettoni Fior
Release Date: February 1912 (USA)
Also known as: De dwaalwegen van Odysseus (Netherlands - informal literal title); Die Irrfahrten des Odysseus (Germany); Homer's Odyssey (USA); L'odissea di Omero (Italy - alternative title); L'odyssée (Switzerland - French title); L'odyssée d'Homère (France);
Odisea de Homero (Spain); Odyssee (Austria); Odysseian harharetket (Finland)
Production Co: Milano Film
Sound Mix: Silent
Taglines: Homer's Odissey appeals to every one. It's a story of love, death, passion and destruction. The greatest epic poem the world has ever had. It has lived for centuries, the film will too.
Color: Black and White
Genres: Drama | Adventure | Fantasy
One of hundreds of movies produced by Milano films, L'Odissea is good enough to let us know why Italy was one of the world's top film producers before WWI. At a time in which most films ran for about 10-12 minutes, this half an hour film (part of it is said to be missing, so its length could be even longer) is quite an accomplishment.
The Oddysey is told to every last detail: from the departure from Ithaca to the adventures involving the cyclops Polyphemus, the sirens, the monster Scylla, the nymph Calypso, Nausicaa and her father Alcinous, the return of Ulysses and his fight against the suitors disguised as a beggar. The style is a little old-fashioned (anything prior to The Birth of a Nation could be considered as such) but the intertitles guide us very well throughout the entire movie (contrary to others in which we can easily get lost, take L'assommoir (1909) as an example). The special effects are good enough: Polyphemus is huge compared to Ulysses and his crew, and Scylla is quite impressive for a 1910 monster. 

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