Thaïs (1917 Italian film)

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Thais Bragaglia 1917 04.jpg
A Scene from the Movie
Directed by Anton Giulio Bragaglia
Written by Riccardo Cassano
Starring Thaïs Galitzky: Vera Preobrajenska
Release date
Running time
35 minutes
Country Italy
Language Italian, French

Thaïs is a 1917 silent film directed by Anton Giulio Bragaglia. The movie is the only surviving Italian futurist film and currently kept at the Cinémathèque Française. It is not based on the novel of the same name by Anatole France.


The plot is fairly conventional and refers to the love stories of turbid "diva-film" typical of the period.

The beautiful Slavic countess Vera Preobrajenska (played by Thaïs Galitzy) is a seductress of married men, who drags them to the brink of ruin. When Thaïs seduces Count San Remo, the lover of her best friend, the Countess Bianca Stagno-Bellincioni (played by Ileana Leonidoff), Bianca dies from falling off her horse. Thaïs commits suicide because of regret.[1][2]


The film sets are characteristic of the Futurist movement. They were designed by Enrico Prampolini who used geometric shapes based on a strong black / white contrast: spiral, diamond, chess, symbolic figures (cats, masks spewing smoke). Painted scenes often interact with the characters, creating a world of illusions where it is difficult to distinguish fact from fiction. As the film progresses, it becomes more and more abstract to reflect Vera's increasing confusion.

The oppressive and anti naturalistic visions can be seen as a preamble to the German expressionist cinema, which was notably inspired by the style of Prampolini.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Review, synopsis and link to watch the film "A cinema history". Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Paulicelli, Eugenia (2016). Italian Style: Fashion & Film from Early Cinema to the Digital Age. New York, New York: Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 23. ISBN 978-1-62356-661-6. 



  • Sandro Bernardi, L'avventura del cinematografo, Marsilio Editori, Venezia 2007. ISBN 978-88-317-9297-4
  • G. Aristarco, Teoria futurista e film d'avanguardia, ne «La Biennale di Venezia» n. 36/37 Luglio- Dicembre, Venezia, 1959
  • A. Bernardini, Cinema muto italiano, 3 vol., Laterza, Bari-Roma, 1980/81
  • R. Campari, Il fantasma del bello: iconologia del cinema italiano, Marsilio, Venezia, 1994
  • G. Lista, Cinema e fotografia futurista, Skira, Milano, 2001
  • M. Macola, Prima mostra di scenotecnica futurista, in «Il Secolo XIX», Genova, 11 febbraio 1933
  • F. T. Marinetti, Anton Giulio Bragaglia, in «Futurismo», n. 9, 6 novembre 1931
  • C. Tisdall e A. Bozzolla, Futurismo, Skira, Milano, 2003
  • M. Verdone e AAVV, La casa d’arte Bragaglia, Bulzoni, Roma, 1992
  • M. Verdone, Cinema e letteratura del futurismo, Manfrini, Calliano, Trento, 1990

External links[edit]