Elvira Notari (Maria Elvira Giuseppa Coda)

Salerno, 10 February 1875 – Cava Dè Tirreni, 17 December 1946)

 

 

Elvira Notari was the daughter of Diego Coda and Agnes Vignes. In the native Salerno he attended the School normal (the current magistral) and then also taught for some time before moving, with his family, in 1902, in Naples where he began to work as a milk, a job that continued to practice for delight even during the Director's next activity. In Naples He met the photographer Nicola Notari, a former painter specializing in the coloring of photographic films with Aniline, who married on August 25, 1902, assuming his surname. The couple together founded the Film production company Dora, producing documentaries of topical and short films. Later, with the new name of Dora Film, the house began to produce also feature films, often taken from popular novels, from real events in the Neapolitan city or from Neapolitan songs of success. The production took place with pioneering technique: Often the frames were hand-coloured, singularly, in a rainbow of shades, other times by machine, with uniform hues, varying from scene to scene in functions of the expressed sentiments, blue for the Melanconia, red for rage, etc... the images were synchronized with music played live, so that you can talk about a form of multimedia show. The Dora Movie became one of the most important Italian film studios of the time, although opposed to his homeland, he was denied a national circulation and had much of its success to the American market, where products of Dora Movies landed and began being distributed since the 1920s.

The Dora Film became one of the most important production houses of Italian cinema of the time, although, opposed at home, was denied a national spread and had much of its success in the American market, where the products of Dora Film landed and began to be distributed from the Twenties. The Dora Film also had an Office In New York, in the very Populous, Mulberry Street, in Manhattan, Directed By Gennaro Capuano, where the films had a notable continuation with the population of Italian origin. It Was the cinematographic work of Notari, even more than the significant great productions (such as Quo Vadis? and The Last days of Pompeii), to contribute to nourish the sphere of the imaginary of the immigrants, and to outline a certain idea of Italy, alternative to the official public. The Notari and the husband on payment made documentaries about the countries of origin commissioned by migrant communities over-ocean. The Naidu became the directing with precision and rigor, choosing as a privileged set of his stories the Naples popular and engaging, in acting and producing, friends and family, his son Eduardo (lo scugnizzo Gennarino, in fiction one of the first film Italian film actors), and sometimes even herself, giving rise to typical Neapolitan characters of unforgettable emotional impact, providing excellent examples of cinema are denoted by an inadequate capacity in addressing social issues such as talented Director, confirming the originality of cinema of the Neapolitan school. The Naidu opened a school Film Festival where she taught a naturalistic acting, without excessive pathos, that were adapted to the taste of the public and a method to express emotions based instead, more modernly, the size psychological characters. Some anecdotes about his methods to get spontaneity in acting recall and seem to anticipate those that later will circulate on the means used by Vittorio De Sica against Enzo Staiola in the bicycle thief.Pioneering was also the marketing activity that preceded and followed the filmmaking: Notari made sure in advance the rights on the songs to be presented at the Festival of Piedigrotta, sometimes going for intuition and trusting only title, without even know yet the subject from which he later made into a film. All this happened at a time when, in Italy, the spreading discs still struggled to take off this collaboration marked a quantum leap for music editions and anticipated the pomp that the recording industry would have known only in Italian Since the 1930s. Also in post production, the Notaries took care personally of press relations, for advertising and reviews in newspapers, and supervised the making of posters and concert programs. The Naidu directed more than sixty films, of which he also wrote topics and screenplays, often inspired by Neapolitan songs or tragic events that really happened in Naples at that time. The world portrayed in his films was to Neapolitan bass, fishermen, guappi, of street urchins, a world where poverty reigns, crossed by a strong social hardship, injustice and dramas ended with a triumphant love. His works were made by appealing to the feelings and emotions so compelling that it became proverbial the episode of a spectator than in a Neapolitan cinema fired a few shots on the screen, to kill the bad guy. The commercial success of his films was enormous, even overseas. For example, the Nfama film, screened at cinema Vittoria di Napoli, via Toledo, ben had a theatrical run 32 days with about 6,000 people. The movie "at law" of 1921, comes from "San Francisco", theatrical act only by Salvatore di Giacomo, was scheduled for 36 days: the crowd of people who swarmed to the cinema Vittoria forced organizers to anticipate the projections at the 10 morning. Despite the great success, the cinema of Notari collided, however, with a combination of adverse factors strongly: the environments in the slums and the way of representing reality made indeed invisa the nascent fascist regime. The strange shapes of her heroines of the slums are the protagonists of works from time to time crazy, violent, visceral and erotic: strongly intolerant social rules that were supposed to comply with, the female character of the films of Elvira Notari you locked horns with a sexist and patriarchal vision print film critics society, dominated by masculine personality. In addition, the interest of fascism cinematic tool led to a centralisation of production in Rome which marginalise the southern film industry and also the North. Very often his films despite the barbs of film censorship, some of his films were considered anti-nationalist and were to deny the possibility of exporting them in the United States, although sometimes they circulate clandestinely in New York's Little Italy émigré communities. In the last two years of his career, Elvira Notari, under the influence of u.s. film products, undertook to realize two products (Napoli terra d'amore of 1928, and 1929 siren song of Naples), set in an upper-class social frame, aliens from any form of legalism and rich in linguistic innovations. The Dora Film closed its production activities in 1930, because of the inability to sustain higher and higher financing costs for film production due to the advent of sound film. Was transformed into a House of destruction. The couple's son, Eduardo Notari, tried their luck as an actor in England but failed to succeed and shortly after he returned to Italy.

In 1940, the Notari, together with her husband Nicholas, retired to Cava de ' Tirreni, where he died on 17 December 1946.

 

 

Filmography

 

1906 / Goodbye 

1909/ the dog-catcher

1909/ The Cuocolo Process

1910/ Maria Rosa Of Santa Flavia

1910/ Cat Escape

1911/ Blizzard of Souls

1912/ the daughter Of Vesuvius

1912/ The Nomads

1912/ Italian-Turkish war between Scugnizzi Neapolitan

1912/ the heroism of an aviator In Tripoli

1912/ Carmela the Mad 

1913/ Poor Tisa, poor mother

1913/ Miscarriage

1913/ Tricolor

1914/ back to the wave

1914/ To Marechiare ' nce is na fenesta

1915/ goodbye my good Bye.... The army is leaving...

1915/ son of the regiment

1915/ always ahead, Savoy

1916/ Carmela, the Little dressmaker of Montesanto

1916/ Dude, the Pizzaiuolo Del Carmine

1916/ Glory to the fallen

1917/ Barcaiuolo D'amalfi

1917/ the mask of Vice

1917/ Mandolinate at Sea

1917/ the Red Dwarf – based on the Novel By Carolina Invernizio

1918/ Gnesella

1918/ Green

1918/ Medea Di Porta Medina, from the Homonino Novel By Francesco Mastriani

1919/ The Little

1919/ Gabriele the Lamplighters

1920/ To Law 

1920/ In Piedigrotta

1920/ in Mala Nova

1920/ Gennariello the policeman

1921 / Luciella 

1921/ the son of The convict

1922/ To tonight

1922/ Piccerella

1922/ Heavenly Sky

1922/ Heaven ' And Napule

1922/ The miracle of Our Lady Of Pompeii

1923/ Pupatella

1923/ Cor is friar

1923/ O cuppè e d'a morte

1923/ Under San Francisco

1924/ Nfama!

1924/ so Mourns Pierrot

1924/ You Lie to the lawyer

1925/ Christian Triumph

1926/ Fenesta CA lucive 

1928/ The Legend of Naples

1928/ Naples Terra d'amore 

 1929/ Naples Siren Song 

1921 / Luciella

1921/ Il figlio del Galeotto

1922/ A Stanotte

1922/ Piccerella

1922/ Cielo celeste

1922/ Cielo ‘e Napule

1922/ Il miracolo della Madonna di Pompei

1923/ Pupatella

1923/ Cor è frate

1923/ O cuppè e d’a morte

1923/ Sotto San Francisco

1924/ Nfama !

1924/ So cries Pierrot

1924/ Lie the lawyer

1925/ Christian Triumph

1926/ Fenesta ca lucive

1928/ The legend of Naples

1928/ Napoli Terra d'amore

 1929/ Naples ringtone siren