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Auction History Result

4j096 FILIBUS Italian 78x109 1915 incredible sci-fi art of lesbian master thief w/flying machine!

Date Sold 3/5/2019
Sold For: Login or Register to see sold price.

An Original Vintage Theatrical Folded Italian Movie Poster (measures 77 3/4" x 108 1/2" [197 x 276 cm]) (Learn More)

Filibus, the 1915 Mario Roncoroni Italian silent science fiction (sci-fi) pirate fantasy crime detective adventure thriller (about a mysterious female sky pirate who makes daring heists using her airship; the screenplay was written by Giovanni Bertinetti, a member of the Italian "Futurist Movement", which was popular at this time; he wrote science fiction stories and children's books, and the Futurists believed in women's equality and gender fluidity long before it began to enter the mainstream, and he wrote those themes into this movie as well!; see below for more on this; the movie was intended to be the first of a series of movies with this female master criminal, but the poor reception the movie received on its first showing, and the start of World War I combined to stop any sequels being made) starring Valeria Creti (the title role as Filibus), Cristina Ruspoli, Mario Mariani, Giovanni Spano, and Filippo Vallino. Note that we have only ever auctioned two sizes of poster from this extremely early science fiction/fantasy movie. One is a large Italian four-panel that has an incredible image of a flying airship lowering the female sky pirate to the ground in a bucket that is suspended from the airship. What is fascinating about that four-panel poster is that the airship appears to be made entirely of metal, whereas planes of this time were made entirely of wood, because aviation at that point had no ability to make a metal plane fly, due to its great weight. Yet somehow, the author of the movie and the source story was able to predict the future and see a time when flying metal planes would have solved the difficulty of making metal aircraft fly! The other poster is an Italian two-panel poster, which shows the female master thief about to rob jewels from a giant cat statue on display in the Museo Egizio in Turin, Italy. As stated above, this was written by Giovanni Bertinetti, who not only had a wonderful imagination, but was very daring. He had his female master criminal (who was also a countess) perform amazing crimes that involved James Bond-like gadgets, but perhaps most interesting of all, the female criminal was a master of disguise who impersonated men as well as women, and there are scenes of the criminal seducing women while in disguise as a man, thus adding a lesbian/bi-sexual component to the movie! As with other films that were far ahead of their time, the movie was not well received at first, and the filmmakers were criticized because the lead character was a female version of Fantomas, and they even stole one of Fantomas' trademark aspects. The movie was forgotten for many decades until it was screened in 1997 at an Italian festival, and then it was picked up by other festivals, including one in 2013, where the lead character was described as one of the first lesbian characters in the history of film, and others said that she was "the cinema's first lesbian bad girl". When Wonder Woman was a giant hit in 2017, people who were aware of this movie have sarcastically wondered if movies are finally catching up to where they were a century ago! Interestingly, since we first auctioned a first release poster from this movie, in 2017, the movie was finally completely restored and given a major worldwide release in 2019. The distributors of the movie used the airship poster image to promote that 2019 re-release!
NOTE: Click on linked names to see a biography.
If you know who did the art (if any), please let us know.
Important Added Info: Note that we auctioned a different example of this poster, which is a "country of origin" poster for this Italian movie, in 2017, and it sold for $5,800. Now we have been consigned a second example of this poster, which is the second poster of any kind from this movie we have ever auctioned (and this example is in better condition than the one we auctioned in 2017). People use the term "museum quality" lightly, but this poster absolutely deserves that title! Also note that this Italian poster was printed in 4 sections designed to overlap.

Condition: good to very good. Each of the four sections has some small tears and tiny bits of paper loss on some parts of the edges and some have some tiny stains or darkening in parts of the edges. There are some smudges and scuffs scattered in the image, and there are some marks on the back that slightly show through to the front. There are a very few faint stains scattered in the light colored areas and near the title. There are some small tears on small parts of some folds, but the above defects are truly not major at all in any way, and the poster has survived remarkably, given that it is over 100 years old! It should be linenbacked by a top professional, because of its value and historical significance, but it will not be difficult to linenback, and afterwards, it will display magnificently on the new owner's wall!
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