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DISTINGUISHED STRANGERS

FILIBUS

Mario Roncoroni

Live score by Gonçalo Simões with Josefina Alcaide and Pedro Carvalho

16.10 | 9:30 pm | Fórum Municipal Luísa Todi

Filibus is a mysterious sky pirate and a master of disguise who flights high above the clouds in her dirigible.

Who is Filibus?

In 1915, ads for the film’s release posed this intriguing question, hinting at the mysterious multiple personas of the main character. But interestingly, the identity of the superb Italian actress who portrayed Filibus was never revealed. Her performances as Filibus, the Baroness Troixmond, and the cross-dressing Count de la Brive were subtle, graceful, brilliant, and decades ahead of her time. For the past half-century, the starring role in Filibus has always been credited to the actress Cristina Ruspoli; her remarkably modern performance has been extolled in books and articles.

 

Contemporary viewers might also wonder how this cross-dressing antiheroine, heralded by some as cinema’s first lesbian, managed to emerge from an Italian cinema dominated by swooning divas and historical epics.

 

The film is also a precursor to today’s gadget-driven techno-thrillers: in her various schemes Filibus employs not only her zeppelin but something called a heliograph, a tiny camera, a miniature gun, lots of soporific drugs, and a fake handprint.  Previously seen in lower-resolution, badly-subtitled, imperfect versions, the EYE Filmmuseum has brilliantly restored Filibus getting full use of the amazing range of Desmet Method (method for restoring the colours of early silent films) from the original nitrate material held at their archive.

DETAILS

Original Title"Filibus" Director Mario Roncoroni Country Itália Year 1915 Duration 79’ Cast Valeria Creti, Giovanni Spano, Mario Mariani e Filippo Vallino Production Corona Film Live score by Gonçalo Simões

 
 
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