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Before Neo-Realism: Italian Cinema 1929-1944

Before Neo-Realism: Italian Cinema 1929-1944

Thursday, February 15, 1979
7:30 p.m. The Sinner Woman (La Peccatrice)
Amleto Palemi (Italy,1940)

According to film historian Ettore M. Margadonna, Amleto Palermi (1890-1941) “began in the sentimental comedy, but gradually deepened the tone of his pictures until we find him doing La Peccatrice in which new roots of Italian realism are detectable.” The story concerns a young woman who has suffered years of meaningless jobs and exploitation because she was abandoned by a former lover. In 1940, a young film critic named Michelangelo Antonioni wrote that “for the first time in Italian Cinema an attempt is made to give clear cinematic completeness to a character and consequently to a film, with a fusion that is reciprocally functional of phonic vision and rhythmic values, of a penetrating expressivity.”

• Directed by Amleto Palermi. Screenplay by Palermi, Luigi Chiarini, Umberto Barbaro, Francesco Pasinetti. Photographed by Vaclav Vich. With Paolo Barbara, Gino Cervi, Vittorio De Sica. (1940, 92 mins, 35mm, In German (dubbed) with English synopsis provided, Print Courtesy of the State Film Archive of the German Democratic Republic)