Sunday, August 17, 2008

Bene vs. Bargeld

I'm back on a Italian Futurism research kick, and came across this wonderful clip of Italian theatre's enfant terrible Carmelo Bene reading from [as best I can decipher is] Marinetti's Futurist Manifesto. I readily admit that I don't speak Italian and was not aware of Bene until tonight. Nonetheless, this is a wonderful clip and I've added yet another hero to my ever-growing list of iconoclastic artists.

Eccentric and gifted, Bene was undoubtedly the greatest guitto (barnstormer) of the contemporary Italian stage - a term that he relished. He succeeded in parodying the Italian histrionic acting tradition, as well as being its apotheosis. In the theatre his model was Artaud's Theatre of Cruelty, while the moderns he respected most in literature and painting were Joyce and Francis Bacon. In the cinema he had little sympathy for film-making after Buster Keaton and Eisenstein, though he once confessed to liking Godard's Pierrot Le Fou.

update: Jessica informs us in the comments that this is actually Marinetti's Contro Venezia Passatista, a manifesto which was thrown from the bell tower in Piazza San Marco in 1910 on leaflets. A rough translation here.

Carmelo Bene - Futurismo

There's something about Bene's delivery here that reminds me strongly of Blixa Bargeld. I have to imagine that Bargeld [being the cultured gent he is, and being a scholar of Futurism,] is very familiar with the previous performance. I thought it would be interesting to compare Bene's monolgue with one of Bargled's Hornbach ads [and of course - we've probably posted this here a half dozen times already, and it's just another excuse to post again about one of the greatest iconoclasts of our time and one of my biggest personal artistic influences.]


Jessica said...

These clips are wonderful - the first one is of Bene reading "Contro Venezia Passatista [Against Passeist Venice]" (1910), a manifesto which originally was thrown from the bell tower in Piazza San Marco.

Michael Doyle said...

Thanks for the info! it has been duly noted.