Milano films

   Production company. Formed in 1908 as a further transformation of the SAFFI-Comerio (see COMERIO, LUCA), Milano Films quickly developed into one of the principal Italian production companies of the silent era. Run largely by a board of aristocrats with high moral principles and pedagogic ideals, Milano pursued a declared policy of making films of high cultural and aesthetic value. Its first major production, three years in the making, was the first full-length (1,000 meters) adaptation of the most revered of all Italian literary works, Dante's Inferno. Closely based on the well-known illustrated edition of the poem by Gustave Dore, the film was hailed both at home and abroad as a landmark achievement of cinematic art. Writer and theorist Ricciotto Canudo delivered a public lecture on the film at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes directly after its first public screening in Paris to underscore his thesis that cinema was, in fact, the seventh art.
   Employing many of the major directors of the period, among them Baldassare Negroni and Augusto Genina, and the attraction of divas such as Pina Menichelli, Mercedes Brignone, and Lina Millefleurs, the company continued its prolific production of relatively high-quality films until the early 1920s, when it too succumbed to the general crisis that engulfed the Italian film industry. One of the few companies not to join the Unione Cinematografica Italiana in 1919, it chose to reduce its production of films in favor of providing printing and postproduction services to other companies until it closed at the end of the 1920s. A shadow of its former self, it was apparently the best in Europe when set up originally by Luca Comerio in 1909. Milano's studios at the Bovisa were used sporadically during the 1930s, and again in the late 1950s, by other companies.
   Historical Dictionary of Italian Cinema by Alberto Mira

Guide to cinema. . 2011.

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