Monday, October 27, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Marisa Mell was born on February 24th, 1939 in Graz, Province of Styria, Austria. She lived with her family for a certain time in a street called "Trondheimgasse" at n° 12. At the age of 18, after graduation, she went to Vienna to study theatre and drama at the Max Reinhardt Seminar. Graz became in 2003 "Cultural Capital of Europe" for that year and the women of the "WOMENT" organisation in that city decided to honor some women from Graz who had some kind of historical importancy for Graz and her history. In honor of these women, the organisation decided to dedicate 23 plates to these women in a project called "20+03". On march 8th 2003, on International Women's Day, these plates were revealed and during April 2003 they were put on the walls at their distinctive places. Each plate of the 23 plates has a different look and color scheme but they all share the same concept so that they have a common feeling and look about them. The graphic design is by an artist called Sabine Hörtner, selected after a competition to create the best design for this project. The texts are by writer Eva Rossmann. The text on the plate for Marisa Mell goes as follows:
Monday, October 20, 2008
Women on the other hand had their romantic novels and instead of fumetti, being drawn comics, they had their photo novella's with romantic themes. The first photo novella was published in Italy on May 8th 1947 and was called "Il mio sogno" or "My dream". The first issue was an adaption of a novel and due to the success of the photo novella it became quickly a weekly series with in the beginning also adaptations of succesfull movies like "Sissi" with Romy Schneider and later specially written scenario's. The big boom in the photo novella genre came in the sixties with the rise of publisher "Lancio".
Lancio was founded in 1936 in Rome as a publicity company but it's fame started in 1960 when they decided to also publish photo novella's. What was new about them was that they told their stories in a dynamic way, that they used very beautiful men and women as actors and actresses and that the themes of their stories were very modern and nothing was sacred to them. The success was huge and there was no stopping them. Due to the success of their publications with names like Charme, Marina, Letizia... they even went to Paris or New York to shoot their stories and did not stayed in Rome all the time.
At the hight of the photo novella in 1976 all the publishers in Italy sold more than 8 million copies a month and Lancio sold more than 5 million of that number. Another aspect of the succes of the photo novella was the fact that they were the breeding ground for new actors and actresses, often on the brink of breaking in in the movie or television business. A lot of famous actors and actresses today started in the photo novella in Italy like Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida and later Ornella Mutti and even genre stars like Franco Gasparri (Mark Il poliziotto), Laura Antonelli, Luc Merenda, Kirk Morris, Ivan Rassimov... and many others made their first steps in showbizz on the stage of the photo novella.
Today the photo novella is still alive in Italy and around the world, especially in the Latino countries. There are now only a few publishers and they are struggling to keep their print run to a profitable level. Thanks to their loyal followers, especially women, the publications are still a steady seller but not anymore the hugh numbers from the 70's. What still is a fact is that they are a stepping stone to a movie and television career. And even the opposite is happening: due to the big succes of reality shows some of their participants like Gilles Rocca were able to cross over into the photo novella and will ultimately thanks to his acting talent and charisma make it to movies and television and so the circle closes for him.
Other photo novella actors and actresses will stay as long as they are wanted by the publishers in the phantasy realm of the photo novella like Francesca R. Filone with occasionally trips to other mass media but she will always come back to her first job! Others will leave forever and start a job outside the mass media.
To close, Marisa Mell by my knowledge, never acted in a photo novella. She knew probably a lot of beginning photo novella stars because they were all living in Rome and some of them worked with her in her movies like Marina Giordana in "La belva col mitra". What did happen is that some of her movies like "Danger: Diabolik!" were made into a photo novella but that is another story.
Friday, October 17, 2008
But that is not all. There are a lot of bonusses that makes every "Danger: Diabolik!"-fan's heart go faster: all the Italian and international promotional material starting with the Italian locadina, Belgian posters, international posters, all the Italian and international lobby cards, press books, all the movie versions, all the soundtrack versions... and finally a list of bloopers in the movie that you problably didn't know existed. What is also great about the book is the number of photo's that have not been seen during almost 40 years unless you are in the possession of the original articles from the Italian magazines or newspaper clippings. But that is not all, you even get the complete fotoromanzo of the movie and finally an interview from 2001 with John Phillip Law. If you are fan of the movie and would not like to cash out a lot of money for all the clippings and magazine articles regarding the movie "Danger: Diabolik!" then this book is a very cheap alternative! Highly recommended!
Monday, October 13, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Director: Mario Bava
(This is a photo of Marisa Mell from a Japanese magazine. The photo was shot during the filming of Danger: Diabolik! during her time off of shooting her scenes.)
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
The movie was a big succes in Europe, even in not German speaking countries. Marisa Mell, fresh from drama school and with a few movies under her belt, was cast in this movie as Erika Meuring, one of the loyal women ready to participate in the programme for the glory of Nazi-Germany and especially Hitler. Her part is still a minor one but bigger than her previous roles. With years gone by the movie got lost in the trenches of film history and the subject was forgotten although the book was kept in print for decades. Then in the mid 70's a little exploitation film from Canada made headlines all over Europe! Like the book and film a decade earlier it shook Europe on its foundation. The movie: "Ilsa, she-wolf of the SS". The movie and especially the movie poster triggered the fantasy and often fetish desires of an audience ready to see this kind of movie. It made the principle actress Dyanne Thorne a star untill this day and ruined at the same time her career.