Short Circuit/Cortocircuito (1943)

Plot: Following the suspicious death of a doctor in a clinic, a publishing editor decides to visit the scene of the crime and prove the victim was poisoned. More deaths follow in the same clinic and an over-worked giallo author and his wife also become embroiled in the proceedings until the real culprit is brought to justice.

Another giallo-rosa with moments of comedy interspersed with the more traditional elements of a whodunit, Short Circuit was shot and released during the fascist regime in Italy and, as such, had its entire narrative relocated to a fictional clinic in Hungary in order to avoid any trouble with the film censor board. Much of the cast and crew were reunited previously in Giacomo Gentilomo’s Brivido, released in 1941.

Although he could also be dubbed one of the early pioneers of the Italian giallo, director Giacomo Gentilomo is best known in Italy for his neorealism feature O Sole Mio – which featured in the 1946 Locarno Film Festival. Having previously worked as an assistant to both Mario Mattoli and Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia he went on to become one of regular veterans of the burgeoning Italian film industry throughout the 1950s until he took an early retirement in 1965 to dedicate himself to surrealist painting. He was never one to bask in the glory and rarely attended premieres and festivals  – he also rarely gave interviews, feeling wholly disillusioned with the industry not unlike a contemporary, Riccardo Freda, during his later years.

Both Brivido and Cortocircuito were screened at the Cinema Trevi (Rome) – September 2017

cortocircuito05 on the set

Publicity Photo

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