Headlights in the Fog/Fari nella Nebbia (1941)

Shot in 1941, Headlights in the Fog is considered one of the precursors of the Neorealism movement. The story revolves around a truck driver as he battles with the pressures of work and a failing marriage:

Critical reception: (Irene Brn, “Cine Illustrato”, 15, 12 aprile 1942)

The young director Gianni Franciolini has given all of himself to the production, helped also by four extremely popular actors: this deployment of forces seems absolutely justified to us, not least by the results which, one would assume, faced great difficulty in trying to recreate such a gritty atmosphere while remaining popular at the same time, which they pull off so successfully.

The rules of literature and film insisted that the seven authors and Franciolini show us the harsh realities of the garages with their cracked sinks, modest housing, muddied fenders and nervous brides, challenging, or rather, looking for every moment of danger in their monotonous lives in order give meaning to their dangerous and seemingly unexciting existence.

fari nella nebbia - promo sheet-cropped

Magazine Advert, 1942

“[…] Il giovane regista Gianni Franciolini ha dedicato tutto il suo impegno alla realizzazione, aiutato anche da quattro attori estremamente popolari: questo spiegamento di forze ci sembra assolutamente giustificato, se non, forse, dal risultato almeno dall’assunto, e difatti la difficoltà di ricomporre con semplicità ed aderenza un’atmosfera tanto ruvida e popolare ci appare assolutamente eccezionale. […] le leggi della letteratura e del cinema imponevano ai sette autori e a Franciolini di presentarci dei ‘carnera’ e delle rimesse, dei lavandini sbrecciati, delle case modeste, dei parafanghi scrostati e delle spose innervosite, sfidando, anzi, ricercando, ogni pericolo di monotonia, che doveva valera a dar l’esatta sensazione di un’esistenza rischiosa ed apparentemente monotona”.

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