Cinema of Italy: Avant-garde (1911-1919)

Between 1911 and 1919, Italy was the first country to start a new Avant-garde movement in the cinema production, thanks to Futurism.

The Manifesto of Futuristic Cinematography dates back to 1916 (some sources say those experiments started earlier) and it was signed also by Filippo Marinetti, Armando Ginna, Bruno Corra, Giacomo Balla, etc.

To the futurists, the cinema was an ideal form of art for their “wonderful plays”, being a young medium, with no past and able to be manipulated by speed, special effects and editing, who became a new creative and subversive language (not only to show simple attractions).

Many of the already scarce movies of the futuristic period have been lost.

But we must remember the most important ones like “Thais” by Anton Giulio Bragaglia (1916) were the hypnotic and symbolic settings by Enrico Prampolini were the inspirational source for the upcoming German Expressionist cinema.

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