Between 1903 and 1908 the film industry in Italy really began to form. The three major organizations that led the film industry during this time were; Itala film, the Roman Cines and the Ambrosio of Turin (other companies based in Milan and Naples soon followed). These companies attained a high status for their production quality in a short period of time and were soon selling films abroad as well as in Italy.
Historical films were the first trend in the italian film industry; Filoteo Alberini’s “La presa di Roma, 20 settembre 1870” (“The Capture of Rome, September 20, 1870”), was filmed in 1905. Soon after, more films were made portraying historical figures such as; Nero, Messalina, Spartacus, Julius Caesar and Cleopatra. Arturo Ambrosio’s Gli ultimi giorni di Pompei (1908, “The Last Days of Pompeii”) quickly became famous and was remade in 1913 by Mario Caserini, in this same year, Enrico Guazzoni directed “Mark Antony and Cleopatra.
The actress Francesca Bertini was the first “star” of cinema, but other ‘”divas” at this time were the actresses; Lyda Borelli and Pina Menichelli who all specialised in passionate tragedies.
Over the years, Italy has become a popular film location. The following films have all been filmed (or have had parts of the film) on Lake Como or in the lakes region;
- Casino Royale (Gardens of Villa Balbianello on Lake Como, Venice)
- Quantum of Solace (parts filmed on Lake Garda and Sienna)
- Oceans Twelve (Lake Como)
- Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (Lake Como, famous Villa Balbianello)
- A Month by the Lake (Lake Como)
- The Complete Churchill Series (parts filmed on Lake Como)
- Man on Fire (1987 version, Lake Como)
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