In the beginning was the word … No, in the beginning was sex.
Go attend a performance by [Lyda] Borelli. Your ears will still be ringing with the praise for Borelli, by the criticisms of Borelli’s audacious elegance, for Borelli’s incredible dramatic effectiveness.(...)
Guy de Maupassant wrote a short poem in which a woman, ‘sex’, attracts lively creatures, which follow her unconsciously, as if they are following a saint or an apostle who knew how to shake the soul to its core with the simplest word.
With the necessary limitations, this is what happens with the actress Lyda Borelli. This woman is an example of prehistoric, primordial humanity. It is said that she is admired for her art. It is not true. No one knows how to explain what Borelli’s art is because it does not exist. Borelli does not know how to interpret any character but herself. She speaks the lines, but she does not act. For this reason, she selects works inverse, and preferably those of Sem Benelli, who writes words for the music, more than for the represented meaning. So, Borelli is a film artist par excellence, in which the only language is the human body in all its modernizing fluidity.
Antonio Gramsci, Avanti!, 16.2.1917 (Translated by Courtney Ritter)
Wir zeigen den Film im Rahmen unseres Divafilm-Doppelprogramms. #1 ist Seine gelehrte Frau/Frauen die nicht heiraten sollen.