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Alexander Blassetti

Rome, 3 July 1900 – 1 February 1987



Caesar's son, Professor of oboe and English horn at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, and Augusta Lulani, Alessandro Blasetti studies somaschi fathers at the College at Raina of Spello, attends high school at the military college in Rome and fulfills my university studies in law at the Sapienza University of Rome, following the tradition of the mother's family. Married in 1923, he worked as a bank clerk and graduated in 1924, but meanwhile the journalist and film critic. Since 1923 he writes for the Empire, on which in 1925 in hopes the first film in a newspaper column entitled the screenAt the beginning of 1926 he founded with Renzo Cesana worldwide and shield, "illustrated weekly of cinema", became a few months later the screen, of which are published in all 22 numbers. In March 1927 he founded cinema ( with an initial lowercase letter), published until 1931. Out of the cinema, which collects the personalities involved in the revival of Italian cinema, including intellectuals such as Anton Giulio Bragaglia and Massimo Bontempelli, cinema is considered in all respects (financial, industrial, technical, political, critical, aesthetic), a comprehensive project that wants to blend theory and practice. In this context, to Bal is inevitable transition to film practice. At the end of 1928, he founded the cooperative Augustus, which produces his debut film, Sun on the subject of agricultural reclamation, in line with the rural policy of the fascist regime, which reveals a commercial failure and marks the early failure of this independent production experience, Bal accepts then the call by Stephen Pittalunga the refounded Cinesalthough in the recent past have heavily criticized Pittalunga on the pages of cinema, ripped it off as a failure both in terms of artistic, political and commercial, must now recognize instead that his is the only productive project with the potential to revive the Italian cinema. The first film produced by the new Cines, written and directed by Bala, is the pioneering, Resurrectio, the first Italian sound film, although distributed after the next The Song of Love by Gennaro Righelli for commercial considerations. 

This is a new failure, but the Director is above all an opportunity of experimental sound capabilities in all its forms (music, noises, dialogue). You put then in the service of Ettore Petrolini for movie Nero, entirely focused on the protagonist, also writer, performing in its most popular masks. This is not pure Theater movie, because Blasetti, while calling themselves only technical coordinator, makes its presence felt, staging the theater itself, including the audience, and leaving its mark in the choice of camera angles and movements machine, including the elaborate initial cart, from technically very demanding for the era. The next Mother Earth, addresses the issue of the return to Earth, suggesting a history built on the opposition between city life and rural life healthy and functional corrupt political regime, so as to enjoy the agrarian manifesto governmental support. Despite the non-positive critical reception, the film has a broad public success. Of a similar setting strongly populist is Palio, which recreates the opposition of the previous film with the contrast between aristocrats and commoners, a movie from weak narrative structure, which stands out for the figurative aspects and formal with which presents the environment. Pittalunga died in 1931 DG production Cines is taken by writer Emilio Cecchi, with whom Blasetti establishes a relationship very profitable. During his tenure he directed the short film Assisi, on the homonymous play by Raffaele Viviani, remakes of foreign hits the Case HallerThe Clerk father, pure professional jobs turned in a few days and above all that is that almost unanimously considered his masterpiece, 1860 a film on commemoration of the expedition of the thousand. The film, later recognized among the precursors of neorealism, is welcomed by critics, snubbed by the public, little interested in the topic of the Risorgimento, and not much loved by the regime, because little celebrating, though, while not crudely propagandistic, both in several respects in perfect consonance with official policy. Also in 1934, fateful year for Italian cinema, for the fortunate situation of many important titles and for the establishment of the General Directorate of cinematography, Bala reached the height of his political and his involvement with the regime Fascist Italy's fascism, celebrations with two movie old guard and the play 18 BL. The first one to much in common with the former 1860, including failure by the public, despite the appreciation of Mussolini, the second is represented only once in Florence. Hereafter the Director embarks on a smitten of progressive social and political times, rated by large your cinema. After a couple of minor works, AldebaranContessa di Parma, it turns the film historian Ettore Fieramosca, based on the novel by Massimo d'Azeglio, in which the quest put scene spectacular tile ideological nationalists and intents that represents the transition to the next costume drama of pure escapism, an adventure of Salvador Rosathe Iron Crown and Mother Earth, New, gathering broad support of public criticism. Compared to these films, four steps in the clouds a fictitious rural Idyll and sombre tones resigned pessimism, marks a radical departure that is not de freely sought by Blasetti, which accepts this direction only after the failure of some projects consistent with his earlier works (out of Francesca da Rimini, on the Sicilian Vespers, the daughter of Iorio by Gabriele D'Annunzio, Harlem, on Italian emigration, then directed by gallon) but it reflects the spirit of the times. Along with Obsession of Luchino Visconti, and the children are watching us by Vittorio De Sica, this movie is not so much an anticipation of neo-realism, as a break with the Italian cinema of the last decade. The last work of Blasetti before being released is the female psychological drama No one goes back, the novel by Alba de Cèspdes, which brings together the leading actresses of the era. Filmed in 1943, in the midst of conflict (bombings hit Rome not far from settlements they are going shooting), is distributed only in 1945, without success. Blasetti after the fall of fascism does not adhere to the Republic of Salò and the war ended, prevailed the line of general amnesty on the purge, it can not only resume work as almost all the directors more or less compressed with the fascist regime, But even sum up a leading role within the aesthetic, political and economic debate on Italian cinema, presenting himself as a man of mediation and collaboration and intervening especially in defense of domestic production against the invasion of American cinema. In the second half of the forties he collaborated, via Salvo D'Angelo with two Catholic houses, Orbis, which produces a giorno nella vita 1945, and Universitalia, which produces the novel Fabiola, Fabiola, or the Church of Catacombs of Nicholas Wiseman, is the first major production of the post-war period and gets a large success, but is rejected by critics and elicits hostility in Catholic environment, for certain sexually transgressive. In the 1950s, back at Cines, Blasetti demonstrates that he still wants and ability to experiment, opening with the diptych Yesteryearmodern times, the tendency of the episodic film, which will reach the every success in the 1960s, when virtually every Italian Director will compete. Also contributes substantially to the birth of the national divinismo: in the final episode of another era, the process of Phryne, which coined the term, indicating the image of woman will impose on the screen over the Decade, constitutes the couple Vittorio De Sica-Gina Lollobrigida, then consecrated by Luigi Comencini in bread, love and dreamsin successful comedies, too bad it's a rogue like ina, and lucky to be a woman, creates and launches a memorable pair, destined to recompose cyclically over the next decades, Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni. In recent years, precisely in 54, receives a gold medal. 

With Europe by night (1958), documentary anthology on nightly shows of major European cities, Bal is the precursor of a new genre of great popular success, sexy, reportage of eroticism, that starting from Dog world will also take the form of the violent world movies.

Since 1962, Bal is among the first Italian filmmakers to experiment with television. Due to its conception of cinema as spectacle intended to mass, it's inevitable passing to a communications medium that offers him turn to audiences even more spacious. Unlike Roberto Rossellini, is devoted almost exclusively to documentaries and film editing.





1929/ Sun

1930/ Resurrectio

1930/ Black

1931/ Mother Earth

1931/ Palio

1932/ The Table of the Poor

1933/ The case Haller

1934/ 1860

1934/ The Clerk dad

1934/ Old guard

1935/ Aldebaran

1937/ Countess di Parma

1938/ Ettore Fieramosca

1939/ Backstory

1939/ An adventure of Salvator Rosa

1941/ The horns of iron

1941/ Dinner of mockery 

1942/ 4 steps in the clouds

1943/ No one goes back

1945/ A day in the life

1949/ Fabiola

1950/ First communion

1952/ Yesteryear (Zibaldone n 1)

1952/ The blaze

1954/ Our Times

1954/ Too bad it's a rogue

1955/ The luck of being a woman

1957/ Love and chatter

1958/ Europe at night

1961/ I love, you love

1962/ The four truths

1963/ Liolà

1966/ Io, Io, Io and other

1967/ The Target's Girl

1969/ Simon Bolivar


Film directing


1932/ Assisi

1938/ Foxhunting in the Roman countryside

1940/ Napoli e overseas lands

1945/ On St Peter's dome

1947/ Eastern gem of the Popes

1947/ The duomo of Milan

1947/ Castel Sant'Angelo

1950/ Racecourses at dawn

1951/ 8 Those who suffer for you

1953/ Miracle in Ferrara




1962/ The long road back

1964/ The Italians of Italian cinema

1970/ Naples 1860-the end of the Bourbons

1970/ 10 June 1940

1970/ 60 Years: a night in Europe

1972/ Stories of migration

1973/ The Pope's Wednesdays

1974/ The art of clowning

1978/ Science fiction stories

1980/ My friend Pietro Germi

1981/ Venice: an exhibition for cinema






Bellissima, directed by Luchino Visconti

A difficult life

The mystery of Cinecittà, directed by Mario Ferrero