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The Diva in Italian Cinema

by Kate Fortmueller

Francesca Bertini is well-known as one of the diva's of Italian silent film. As Lea Jacobs argues in her blog posting, "Naturalism and the Diva: Francesca Bertini in Assunta Spina," Bertini's acting, which conveys a number of different emotions that coincide with the trajectory in the intertitles. In this sequence, note how Assunta's gestures and emotions change as she tries (at least initially) fend off Federico's advances and figure out how to see her lover Michele when he is sent off to prison.

For more discussion of Bertini and Assunta Spina, see Lea Jacobs, "Naturalism and the Diva: Francesca Bertini in Assunta Spina,"

Assunta Spina (1914) - Federico propositions Assunta

After Assunta's (Francesca Bertini) lover Michele (Gustavo Serena) is sentenced to prison, Federico (Carlo Benetti) offers to keep him in Naples if Assunta becomes his mistress.

from Assunta Spina (1914)
Creator: Francesca Bertini and Gustavo Serena
Distributor: Kino Video
Posted by Kate Fortmueller