Archive of films Fine Art of Love / The Fine Art of Love

Italy / United Kingdom / Czech Republic
2005, 107 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2006

The protagonists of this adaptation of the novel by the German writer Frank Wedekind, set at the end of the 19th century, are girls at a boarding school. They are subject to strict rules and a relentless teaching programme, but at sixteen the girls have other dreams than becoming members of a famous ballet company – and also other fears and terrors...


The protagonists of this story set in Thuringia in Germany at the end of the 19th century are a group of young girls at a boarding school. The orphaned Hidalla and her friends are growing up in a world isolated from reality, and their life behind the school walls is governed by strict rules. Under the supervision of strict teachers and the stern headmistress, they learn classical dance, music and etiquette, and are forbidden to have any contact with the outside world. At sixteen, however, the girls have dreams other than becoming members of a famous ballet company – and other desires, fears and terrors... The classic of Italian cinematography, director and screenwriter Alberto Lattuada, dreamed for years of adapting the symbolist novel by German writer Frank Wedekind. After Lattuada’s death last July, the project was taken up by British director John Irvin. The film is a British, Italian and Czech co-production and was shot in Liberec and Mariánské lázně.

About the director

John Irvin

John Irvin (b. 1940, Newcastle-upon-Tyne) started out in the 1960s making television documentaries with his own company Mikras Films. A number of his films during this period received awards, notably the documentary Mafia No! (a Silver Lion at the Venice Festival in 1967). In the 1970s he worked for the ITV television company and the BBC – for example on the series The Nearly Man (1974), Hard Times (1977), and the series Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1979), based on the novel by John Le Carré. For cinema his work includes the Vietnam drama Hamburger Hill (1987), the black comedy Widow’s Peak, (1994), the love story A Month by the Lake (1995) and the boxing drama Shiner (2000). His film The Boys from County Clare (2003) was screened at the 2004 Karlovy Vary Festival. He is currently finishing the film The Moon and the Stars (2006) with Jonathan Pryce and Catherine McCormack in the leading roles.


Adriana Chiesa Enterprises
Via Barnaba Oriani 24A, 00197, Rome
Tel: +39 06 808 6052
Fax: +39 06 806 878 55
E-mail: [email protected]

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Horizons
Director: John Irvin
Screenplay: Alberto Lattuada, Ottavio Jemma, podle románu / based on the novel by Frank Wedekind
Dir. of Photography: Fabio Zamarion
Music: Paul Grabowsky
Editor: Roberto Perpignani
Producer: Mario Cotone
Production: Titania, Creative Partners International
Cast: Jacqueline Bisset, Mary Nighy, Hannah Taylor Gordon, Anna Magueire, Emily Pimm
Contact: Adriana Chiesa Enterprises


John Irvin

Jacqueline Bisset


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