After the experience linked to Battello ebbro, in 1977 Mario Martone founded, together with Andrea Renzi, Francesca La Rocca, Augusto Melisurgo and Federica della Gatta-Rinaldi, the group known as Nobili di Rosa, which, with the addition of Angelo Curti and Pasquale Mari in February 1979, became Falso Movimento, alluding to the movie (Wrong Move in English) by Wim Wenders. That same month, as part of the Rassegna della Nuova Creatività nel Mezzogiorno, the young Neopolitan theatrical avant-garde group debuted at the gallery of Lucio Amelio with Segni di vita (“Signs of Life”), a work in which the acting of Renzi and Ratta-Rinaldi is combined and blends in with the film sequences and the light and sound effects. By alluding, in this case, to the title of Werner Herzog’s 1968 movie, Falso Movimento offers a performance that paves the way for accentuated experimentation that goes in the direction of a new synesthetic proposal between the movement of the actors and the sound transmitted by a Neapolitan radio broadcaster in which the sounds captured outside overlap.
The search for multiple interactions between the sensory and motor input and for those stemming from the relationship between the actor and the spectator can also be found in later works: Deserti, translated directly into a Super 8 movie made by Pasquale Mari, and Verso il nulla performed at the Goethe Institut in Naples. This phase, which is linked more to the “analytical-conceptual” dimension of the experimentation, is followed by the definite phase of Nuova Spettacolarità, which includes the works Theatre Functions Critica and Theatre Functions Terminated, which are again seen as being event-installations. The new and decisive turnaround instead passes through a more evident relationship between cinema and theater, a phase that Riccardo Mele describes as “media-theater” and continues until 1982.
One of the recurring themes in Falso Movimento’s research is America, with its mythology linked to scenarios and metropolitan ideas, and which also determines a great visual stimulus for the construction of the set (slides, images from comics), as well as a strong audio (rock) and lighting (neon). The rhythm is enhanced, and becomes syncopated and automatized in the movement of the actors too. Among these works – which include Dallas, 1983, Falso Movimento Live!, 1979, Rosso Texaco, 1980, Controllo totale, 1981 – it is with Tango Glaciale, 1982, co-produced by the Mickery Theatre of Amsterdam, that Falso Movimento becomes international. In the following years a new aesthetic style is affirmed; without abandoning the group’s kinetic-visual experimentation, the work involves a more close-knit way of dealing with the texts (Ritorno ad Alphaville, 1986). In 1987, by combining the respective groups (Falso Movimento, Teatro dei Mutamenti, Teatro Studio di Caserta), Mario Martone, Antonio Neiwiller and Toni Servillo founded Teatri Uniti, continuing to organize workshops aimed at research and experimental theater.