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Medium limelight bologna project

Limelight - Documents and essays

The original archive material, only available to a few film historians up to now, published and reproduced for the first time in a series of monographic volumes.

The critical comments by film critics and historians of the unpublished papers, allow us to trace the crucial stages around the origins of the films, their creation, the unused versions, the censorship and distribution issues.

“That little man we see is the same one who, minutes before, wanted to kill all women in the world. It’s really him. And now he’s doing all he can, and he despairs, hoping that one of them may come back to life. Limelight” is powerful, geometric, troubled and deceitful, in which beauty, like sun upon mirrors, goes glittering away. There is Buster Keaton. A sphinx-like appearence just a few seconds long, wherefore the heart almost loses itself in fear. Together. As if Michelango, when sculpting his David, had asked Leonardo to do the left ear. Limelight is a film that scourges and thereupon aggrandizes. It seizes the audience’s attention. It is Chaplin’s most successful “ideological” film because it keeps the force of emotion intact, which is the only, true revolutionary force. But this is all talk. The fact is when you come home at night, after having seen a film like this, and, looking at the starry sky, you feel like whispering: “I’ve already seen it”.”

Text by Roberto Benigni

Documents and essays compiled by Anna Fiaccarini, Peter von Bagh and Cecilia Cenciarelli from the Cineteca di Bologna.

Published by Le Mani Editore