Italian Comedy 2: ERNESTO VASER

After more than one year, the NSFF presents a program with live audience again on friday June 18th 2021 20:30 CEST in Pand P Eindhoven.
In this second part of our Italian Comedy series, we present ERNESTO VASER (1876-1934), one of the greatest and influential comedy stars of the Italian silent period. Enjoy seven of Vaser’s most distinguished films, coming from the Desmet collection from the Eye Filmmuseum.
With introductions and live musical accompaniments by Daan van den Hurk

Order your tickets here. There is limited seeting, so book soon.

Or join us via the livestream on our YouTube channel

The show will remain online for 7 days.




Al cinematografo guardate – ma non toccate (IT, Unknown, 1912) 6’

Buon anno! (IT, Unknown, 1909) 5’

Vendetta d’amico (IT, Unknown, 1911) 9’

Il moscone (IT, Unknown, 1911) 3’

Non è sempre facile rincasare (IT, Unknown, 1912) 12’

La moda vuole l’ala larga (IT, Unknown, 1912) 5’

Attenti alla vernice (IT, Ernesto Vaser, 1913) 7’


During the last edition of the Nederlands Silent Film Festival, we already presented a short history of the little-known but brilliant school of comedy created in Italy in the last years before the First World War.

The newly expanding Italian film industry looked enviously at the international success and sales of the French cinema – mainly achieved by comedies, starring instantly recognisable comic stars.

The Itala company’s strategy was simply and ruthlessly to buy France’s biggest comic star, André Deed*, and give him a new Italian name Cretinetti.

This was in 1909.  The Cretinetti films were a huge success.  Now every company scoured the theatres, music halls and circuses for its own new comic stars.

And in 1910 the Ambrosio Company stole from Pathé in Paris a young comic genius called Marcel Fabre. Fabre was to create his own brilliant comic character, Robinet, but his first work was as a director.  He instantly spotted the comic appearance and skills of an actor who had, for several years already had been playing all kinds of secondary roles for Ambrosio.

This was ERNESTO VASER, who is the star of our programme tonight.

He came from a theatrical family, who worked in the Piedmontese dialect theatre and had also made use of his funny face and figure in caff-concerti. 

Marcel Fabre spotted him, and between them they devised the character of FRICOT – overweight but agile, severely accident prone, enthusiastically but ineffectively lecherous, and with a richly expressive clown face.  He was an instant success. 

When he deserted Ambrosio for Itala films he changed his character name to FRINGUELLI.



All films belong to the Eye collection, and all Dutch title cards will be subtitled in English.

The livestream is free. Click the link and you have a front row seat. Anyone who wants to support us financially, there’s the possibility to do that via and it’s much appreciated.


* We are currently preparing a separate program on Deed.