2007 Navelli AQImmagine_Testo_Commedia

“Commedia and its descendants”
Italian theatre, cinema, Commedia dell’Arte masks and costumes between tradition and innovation.

The project results from an inter-disciplinary work on Italian theatre and Commedia dell’Arte masks and costumes, between a retrieval of their traditional forms and their revival with innovative features.
The project, including cinema too, displays a varied cultural offer for visitors and, at the same time, gives national and international public the opportunity of learning about our theatre tradition – a basic element in modern theatre culture.
The title Commedia dell’Arte and its descendants underlines the possibility of recalling Italian historical and social memory through different art languages and images, as well as through live shows such as Arlecchino… e Madre Fame (Harlequin and Mother Hunger) and Pinocchio naïf.

The film exhibition moves through the history of Italian comic genre, which developed from the comedy theatre models and whose most eminent predecessor is Commedia dell’Arte. The first structured example of film comedy appears in the 30ies’ brilliant cinema, then in the so called  “pink neorealism”.
But it’s after neorealism that comedy will fully establish itself.
Many of the postwar great comedians worked their way up on variété show stages, then they were performers in the great cinema successes of the 50ies. Their expressiveness and gesture – just one perfect example: Totò – hark back to Commedia dell’Arte characters. Just as theatre before, now cinema looks at reality and laughs at it, even if often with a bitter laugh.
In the meantime Italy is changing, with the economic boom coming up in the 60ies, and comedy becomes all’italiana, more and more grotesque. From humour it becomes satire and drama, looking closer and closer at reality.