THE EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES OF SATURNINO FARANDOLA
The Extraordinary Adventures of Saturnino Farandola
(Le avventure straordinarisime di Saturnino Farandola) (Ambrosio Film, Italy, 1913)
dir.: Marcel Fabre; script: Guido Volante based on the novel The Adventures of Saturnin Farandoul by Albert Robida; photog.: Ottavio De Matteis
cast: Marcel Fabre (Saturnino Farandola), Nilde Baracchi (Misora), Filippo Costamagna, Oreste Grandi, Felice Minotti, Armando Pilotti
DCP, 78’; tinted; intertitles: IT, subtitles: PL, EN; source: Fondazione Cineteca Italiana
Saturnino Farandola – who as an infant was saved from a sinking ship and taken in and raised by apes before being found by sailors many years later – is a traveller and explorer. Rescuing his wife after she had been swallowed by a whale and then turned into an attraction in a Melbourne aquarium, saving the queens of the Makalolos tribe at the source of the Nile, and thwarting plans to steal the Niagara Falls are just some of his extraordinary adventures.
The director Marcel Perez (Marcel Fabre was his stage name), who also played the title role, was a circus clown in his youth. During the years 1910–1915, he starred in a series of over one hundred and thirty short comedies made by the Ambrosio studio in Italy, in which he created the character of the comical loser Robinet. These films brought him great popularity among Italian audiences, and soon European ones as well. In 1913, he decided to try his hand at a different role by making a feature film. The result was The Extraordinary Adventures of Saturnino Farandola – one of the craziest adventure films from that time and a film adaptation of a French adventure novel written by Albert Robida in 1879.
The somewhat theatrical costumes and set design can seem slightly self-indulgent today, but they undoubtedly have a lot of charm and transport us not only to far-flung corners of the world but also back to the dawn of cinema. The film was made with incredible panache, with the use of real monkeys, lions and an elephant on the set, a journey around the world, adventures on land, at sea, in the air and under water – an impressive series of film events which was only matched by the adventures of Indiana Jones a few decades later. Although more than a hundred years have passed since its premiere, the film still amazes audiences with the pace of the action and the ingenuity of some of the technical solutions. (MP)
introduction to the movie: Michał Pieńkowski
section: LOST WORLDS
music by: JAAA! feat. Irek Wojtczak
SATURDAY | October 23
21:00 | screening room: STOLICA