A Tribute to Her Creativity: Maria Gasparini in The Stage

Dagna, Stella (2013) A Tribute to Her Creativity: Maria Gasparini in The Stage. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsacta/3818. In: Researching Women in Silent Cinema: New Findings and Perspectives. A cura di: Dall'Asta, Monica ; Duckett, Victoria ; Tralli, Lucia. Bologna: Dipartimento delle Arti - DAR, Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna, pp. 353-361. ISBN 9788898010103. In: Women and Screen Cultures, (1). A cura di: Dall'Asta, Monica ; Duckett, Victoria. ISSN 2283-6462.
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If we accept that the practice of filmmaking is based on the pleasure and desire to appropriate and control an image, it seems hardly surprising that film directors can fall in love with film stars, and vice versa. In the collective imagination, the actress is malleable material in the hands of her male partner-creator. This rigid definition of gender roles within the creative process has been surprisingly challenged and explored in an Italian melodrama of 1912, The Stage (La Ribalta). In it, a noblewoman who has been prompted by an actor (her lover) to step on the stage for fun reveals an uncanny talent for acting. Unable to deal with the humiliation of coming second to this talent, her mentor becomes envious and causes a tragedy. The leading role was played by Maria Gasparini, one of the most appreciated intellectual actresses of Italian early cinema. More interestingly, the film was directed by Gasparini’s own husband, Mario Caserini, who treated the subject as a delicate, sincere homage to his partner, focusing on her character as the true creative genius within the fictional couple.

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Dagna, Stella
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28 Sep 2013 15:03
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13 Mar 2015 14:22

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