Academy presents Divas of Italian Silent Cinema

Nov 28, 2000 by Ian Evans

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present classic Italian silent films starring two of the period’s divas on Tuesday, December 12, at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

Assunta Spina and Malombra will be screened with live musical accompaniment and live translation of the original Italian inter-titles. The program, Dive e Divine: Silent Divas of the Italian Cinema, is presented in association with the Italian Cultural Institute and the Italian Heritage Culture Foundation.

Assunta Spina (1915) stars diva Francesca Bertini as Assunta, a lower class, poorly-educated Neopolitan woman. After arousing the insane jealousy of her fiancé Michele, causing him to murder a man, Assunta prostitutes herself to save him from a life in prison.

Malombra (1917) stars diva Lyda Borelli as a woman who uncovers a family secret about her mother’s death, falls in love with a writer and rebels against the suitors approved by her uncle. Haunted by her past and anxious about her present, Marina di Malombra kills her uncle and the writer.

Tickets for Dive e Divine: Silent Divas of the Italian Cinema are $5 for the general public, $3 for Academy members and students with valid identification. They may be purchased in advance at the Academy during regular business hours, by mail, or on the night of the event when the doors open at 6:30 p.m. The Academy is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. For more information, call 310-247-3600.