Celluloide is a 1996 Italian film directed by Carlo Lizzani, which tells the story of the making of a film called Cabiria in 1913. The movie focuses on the production of Cabiria, the first peplum film, and the rise of the Italian film industry during the silent era. The story opens with the arrival of Giovanni Pastrone (Giancarlo Giannini), the director of Cabiria, in Turin. He looks for locations, hires actors, and builds sets in preparation for filming. During the shoot, disagreements between the director and his producer Italo Terzani (Massimo Ghini) arise, who is reluctant to invest more money in the production. To make matters worse, the lead actress, Lidia (Anna Falchi), is not experienced enough and has trouble reading her lines.
Celluloide intertwines the making of Cabiria with historical events, such as the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and Italyâs involvement in the Libyan War, which added to the appeal of the film. Additionally, the movie explores the political and cultural context of the time, depicting the social situation in Italy and the country's the imminent entry into World War I.
The film's cinematography is stunning, with a recreation of the sets of Cabiria and historical events with great attention to detail. The dialogue is authentic, and the acting is impressive, with excellent performances from the three main actors.
The director, Carlo Lizzani, portrays the difficulties and challenges faced by filmmakers in the early days of cinema, capturing the essence of the birth of Italian cinema. The costume and set design are spectacular and evoke the atmosphere of the era. The exoticism of the setting and costumes contrast with the humble realities of the lead actors, creating a dramatic tension that is a testament to the quality of the film.
In conclusion, Celluloide is a beautiful film that stands as a tribute to the pioneers of Italian cinema. The historical background and intricate attention to detail make it a must-see for anyone interested in the history of filmmaking.