The Venus of Ille
Italia – 1978 – 16mm – color – 60’
Direction: Mario Bava, Lamberto Bava
Screenplay: Lamberto Bava, Cesare Garboli, based on the story by Prosper Mérimée
Photography: Nino Celeste
Editing: Fernanda Papa
Set design: Alessandro Dell’Orco
Music: Ubaldo Continiello
Costumes: Sandro Bellomia
Cast: Daria Nicolodi, Marc Porel, Fausto Di Bella, Mario Maranzana, Adriana Innocenti, Diana De Curtis
Producers: Franca Franco, Carlo Tuzii
Production: Pont Royal Film TV, Rai TV
In Roussillon, in the early nineteenth century, the discovery on the estate of Mr. De Perolade of a Greek statue of the first century BC depicting Venus coincides with the arrival of the art expert Mathieux, coming from Paris. Mathieux, both attracted by the statue and by the very rich Clara, betrothed to Alfonso, Mr. De Perolade’s son, spends his days drawing the statue and trying to paint a picture of the girl. After the wedding between Alfonso and Clara, the statue fallen in love with the young bridegroom, will end up however killing him.
Medium-length film for the TV mini-series I giochi del diavolo, The Venus is an operation of good workmanship, sober at the right level in order to let his author to develop a quick summary performance of his idiosyncrasies in a medium-length film which has different limits compared to the big screen, “prosaic” limits, within which he doesn稚 struggle to stick to them. (…) The actors are at the service of the idol, who finally becomes the protagonist of the work from all points of view, after having formally been it for a while in the whole Bava痴 films. The idolatry, furthermore, worries us with a heavily guarded economy of means and without the aid of special effects which, in the case of a self-propelled statue, would if anything have made laugh and ridiculed the film.
(Gianfranco Galliano, Genealogia del delitto, Nocturno-Cinemabis, Milano 2004)