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Theater into Film

Presented in collaboration with the American Repertory Theater, this ongoing series celebrates the rich history of intersection between cinema and theater by complementing the A.R.T.’s current season with screenings of significant film adaptations of related theatrical works.


January 13 (Sunday) 7 pm

Henry IV (Enrico IV)

Directed by Marco Bellocchio
Italy 1984, 35mm, color, 95 min.
With Marcello Mastroianni, Claudia Cardinale, Leopoldo Trieste
Italian with English subtitles

Marco Bellocchio’s Henry IV succeeds in capturing the essence of Luigi Pirandello’s brilliant 1922 satire about a businessman who, following a riding accident at a masquerade party, imagines himself to be the eleventh-century Holy Roman Emperor. The businessman, portrayed with élan by Marcello Mastroianni, has maintained the role of Henry for some twenty years, long after the veil of amnesia has lifted, to avoid the hypocritical society that has played along with his delusion. Bellocchio focuses on Pirandello’s tragicomic exploration of the nature of madness and illusion, asking who is the greater fool: the madman who knows he is mad or the sane man who doesn’t? The original score is by renowned tango musician Astor Piazzolla.

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