by Francesco Frangipane
Country: Italy
Year: 2023
Duration: 70'

An incredible journey through time from the Cafè Chantants of the thirties to the present-day cabarets, retracing the history of popular theater and variety shows. This is portrayed through the stories of those who were involved, those lucky enough to have seen it live, and those who have simply come to know it through the memories of their families and the wonderful tributes presented to us by cinema and television.


film director

Francesco Frangipane

(Motta di Livenza, Italy, 1977) obtained his diploma in acting and directing from the Academy of Dramatic Art in Calabria in 1998 and then attended a workshop at the Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw. In 2001, he began collaborating with theatre directors such as Mariano Rigillo and Roberto Guicciardini. Simultaneously, he started staging his own productions. He made his debut at the Argot Studio Theatre (of which he is the artistic director) in April 2008 with La guerra spiegata ai poveri. In 2011, he brought the show Prima di andar via, written by Filippo Gili, to the Teatro Argot Studio – a production that attracted the attention of Michele Placido, leading to an experimental film presented in Turin. In the fall of 2015, he directed a reworking of Molière’s The Misanthrope and oversaw the radio direction of Lars Norén’s text Autumn and Winter. In January 2016, he directed the show Leo at the Teatro Argentina. In the realm of cinema, he directed the documentary C’era una volta...Romeo e Giulietta in 2009. In 2012, he was the author of the television program Tutto in 48 ore. In 2013, he wrote the film Tre tocchi directed by Marco Risi. In 2016, he was involved in the production of the TV series L’Aquila - Grandi speranze. In 2022, he directed his debut feature Dall’alto di una fredda torre, presented in Rome.


C’era una volta...Romeo e Giulietta (doc., 2009), Dall’alto di una fredda torre (2022), Luci dell’avanspettacolo (doc., 2023).


film director

“As in a scene from an old black and white film, a mysterious man walks at night through a deserted Rome of the late Thirties. He slips through a doorway. It’s a small Cafè Chantant packed with people sitting at tables. There’s smoking and drinking. On stage, in front of a closed curtain illuminated by a bull’s eye, an artist is performing. The audience applauds. The curtain opens. The show begins. That mysterious man is Steve Della Casa, our "Virgil," who will guide us, alongside actors, directors, authors, experts, historians, critics, all spectators of this timeless evening, to discover the Avanspettacolo, that wonderful theatrical genre now forgotten, which has its roots in Commedia dell’arte and is still found today in Cabaret and Stand-up Comedy.”


& Credits

DIRECTOR: Francesco Frangipane. SCREENPLAY: Steve Della Casa, Antonio Ferraro, Francesco Frangipane. CINEMATOGRAPHY: Alessandro Galluzzi. EDITING: Annalisa Schillaci. COSTUME DESIGN: Maria Fernanda de Freitas. SOUND: Daniele Ingrati. CAST: Massimiliano Bruno, Antonio Calenda, Vittorio Cecchi Gori, Nicola Fano, Antonio Ferraro, Margherita Fumero, Gino e Michele, G-Ma, Greg, Giampiero Ingrassia, Marco Leandris, Lillo, Marco Marzocca, Neri ParentI, David Riondino, Marco Risi, Enrico Vanzina. PRODUCERS: Carlo Macchitella, Pier Giorgio Bellocchio, Manetti bros. PRODUCTION: Mompracem, Daitona.

CONTACT: Mompracem segreteria@mompracemsrl.com