Sunday, February 13, 2011
Rapsodia Satanica, a masterpiece of Italian silent cinema, features film diva Lyda Borelli. She stars as the narcissistic Alba d’Oltrevita, a woman who makes a Faustian pact with the devil in exchange for the promise of eternal youth and the worldly pleasures it unlocks. The most persistent themes punctuating the film are Alba’s narcissism and her sensual manipulation of a thin, diaphanous veil in scenes of seduction, reflection and melancholy. Alba’s hands it is more introspective and eerie than seductive. It evokes the craze for exotic dances (inspired by Isadora Duncan) that swept the stage and screen at the turn of the Century.