Genio e genius loci. Il Caso Carmelo Bene 0-17= Genius and genius loci. The Carmelo Bene 0-17 case


Abstract


This video-essay, based on a text by Stefano Cristante and the direction of Emiliano Carico, explores the childhood and early youth of Carmelo Bene, the theatre genius born in Campi Salentina (in the province of Lecce) on the 1st of December 1937. The underlying hypothesis is that the birth place has significantly influenced Bene’s cultural and artistic growth. Campi Salentina was not only an important rural centre of Salento, but also a remarkable cultural and educational place, especially for the presence of Calasanzio Institute, founded in XVII century by the Piarist Fathers. It was the school attended by Camelo Bene from elementary to high school. During the first years of school he suffered from various health problems. Since he was four, his fervent religious mother urged him to precociously serve Mass as an altar boy. This condition immersed the child in a visionary and surreal atmosphere. Later, the boy became passionate about poetry and music. His personality turned out to be strange and superb, facilitated by the socio-economic position of the family. Carmelo Bene recited the classics of literature and theater at his disposal in front of a small group of school friends. When his family moved to Lecce, he attended the last year of high school at the Argento College, where he could organize his first show. Immediately after the graduation exam he moved to Rome, where his life was finally consecrated to the theater

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