Theme Month! June 2021: Pre-1920 Film, Italian-Style

There have been quite a few movie history prompts on social media lately and that’s a wonderful thing. However, I noticed that quite a few of them used 1920 as the oldest option. (Something like “Favorite movie made between 1920 and 1970.”) Not so fast, that cuts off the first three decades of cinema! So, I was inspired to bring older fare to to forefront and maybe inspire some love for the very oldest motion pictures.

And then there’s Eurovision. I look forward to it every year (it’s the only sporting event I follow) and thought that 2021 was particularly strong, so I decided that I would review a silent movie made in whichever country won the contest. (It was an easy promise to make, the frontrunners were France and Italy with silent-rich countries like Finland, Russia, Ukraine and Switzerland filling out the top ten.) Well, Italy won and so I started looking at the potential selection and, well, I got greedy. There were so many pre-1920 Italian films that I decided I would take ALL of my top choices. And here we are.

I haven’t reviewed too many Italian films on my site yet, so this will also be filling in some gaps in coverage. I won’t be tackling any of the really famous enormous Italian super-epics this month but I will not be neglecting the genre entirely. And I am planning to review some films from popular, lesser-known genres beloved to Italians of the period. (Circus movies. They loved circus movies.)

I’ve already reviewed Nero (1909), which can be seen as a kind of mini epic, a dry run for the ginormous feature-length films that would follow in the 1910s. I hope you’ll enjoy the other film reviews I have planned and if you decide to watch along or seek out your own pre-1920 fare, please use the hashtag #EarlyFilmJune on Twitter, if you use that hellsite too.

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