Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Italian Republic

10/22/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/22/2019 06:10

Italian Language Week: silent movie classic 'Cabiria' screened in Skopje

The Italian Language Week in Skopje opened with the screening of the restored version of the famous silent movie 'Cabiria', accompanied by live music. The performance was actually a 'première' as the 1914 blockbuster by Giovanni Pastrone, with the screenplay by Gabriele D'Annunzio and music by Ildebrando Pizzetti, has not yet been screened in its restored version and with the accompaniment of live music. 'Cabiria' is a landmark in the history of cinema: the first real blockbuster (which, at the time, cost two million gold liras, an astronomical figure if you consider that a film cost an average of 50,000 liras) and features extraordinary special effects like the eruption of Etna and Hannibal's crossing of the Alps, with thousands of extras and technical and direction innovations such as moving camera shots that later became general practice in cinema productions.

The film launched the character of 'Maciste', played by a Genoese docker called Bartolomeo Pagano, who subsequently became part of the Italian collective imagination and jargon. The screening was made possible through the cooperation of the National Museum of the Cinema of Turin, which provided a restored digital copy of the film. Maestro Mario Mariani performed the live music accompaniment at the screening and also authored the arrangement for orchestra, adapting the score for a solo piano for the whole length of the film of 2 hours and 50 minutes.