By Alfonso ARAU

INTRAMOVIES - as SALES All rights, World

Comedy - Completed 2009

1905, cinema seems a mysterious and devilish trick.
When Federico films unaware and unknowing Marianna in the
nude, it will be Federico’s success and Marianna’s plunge into
incredulity and desperation.
Adapted from Francesco Costa’s homonymous novel.

    • Year of production
    • 2009
    • Genres
    • Comedy, Romance, Drama
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Duration
    • 100 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Alfonso ARAU
    • Writer(s)
    • Giovanna CUCINOTTA, Chiara CLINI, Romina NARDOZI
    • Producer(s)
    • Synopsis
    • 1905 the cinematograph, still a mysterious invention, has reached Palermo, bringing confusion to the common people to whom it seems some devilish trick. They call it “u’mbrogghiu nt’o linzolu” (the trick in the sheet, as sheets were used for screening).
      Federico is studying medicine quite unsuccessfully because of his continuous fainting at the very vision of blood. When he attends for the first time a screening, he discovers that the cinematograph has a magic power beyond human medicine: it can bring immortality and defeat death, since even dead people can be seen day after day on the screen. Meeting Don Gennarino Pecoraro, owner of the theatre where the films are screened, is the opportunity to change his life.
      Against the will of his mother, Federico quite University and searches for the idea to make his first film. It has to be a story fitting both Pecoraro, who would like to see a naked beauty, and his sister Elena, an old maid who wants to see an edifying story. Federico finds the solution: … “the biblical story of Chaste Suzanna, who was spied by three wicked men while bathing”. On one hand a naked beauty, and on the other, outraged innocence.
      Close to the city, in the surroundings of a small volcano lake, lives in a kind of primitive and absolute freedom, Marianna, a young woman of amazing beauty, poor and illiterate, but full of life. She earns her living and cares after her younger sister, Celestina, cursing away the evil eye and curing the villagers with herbs and potions. When Beatrice Sismondi, a journalist and writer from Turin, comes to live in the villa by the lake to write a novel, Marianna manages to become her washerwoman.
      Beatrice is beautiful, refined, rich and unmarried. She has two daughters from two different men, whom she never thought of marrying with. One afternoon, to placate her restless daughters who cannot bear living in such a remote place, Beatrice decides to bring them to screening.
      Federico, charmed by her beauty, asks her to become the actress of his movie: “I want you to be immortal”! Beatrice is seduced by the idea to remain young forever, and accepts. But she is quite different from the Susanna Federico is dreaming of: she dresses up with diadems and tuniques, acting with languor. The enthusiasm of Federico fades away: her Susanna has to be a pure and genuine beauty.
      One morning, while Beatrice is still asleep, Federico leans outside the window and cannot believe what he is actually seeing: her Susanna, just like he had dreamed her… Marianna, unaware of being spied, is undressing by the shore, and is about to throw herself into the water. Federico is petrified: this unknown and fascinating woman is no other than Beatrice’s washerwoman.
      Federico tries to come close to her, but she cannot understand his talking about the cinematograph and misjudges him, thinking that he wants to abuse her. So Federico decides to hide and film her. Marianna does not know she has become “Chaste Susanna”!
      While Federico is a big success, the life of Marianna is upset, as she has to cope with troubles larger than herself.
    • Beginning of shooting
    • Jan 01, 2008