The Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia is taking part in Archivissima #6, the first festival dedicated to the promotion and appreciation of historical archives and their holdings to take place in Turin 8th through 11th June, 2023.
Among other things, on June 9 the Archivissima Festival will host the sixth run of Archives Night in conjunction with the International Archives Day. This year, Archivissima revolves around the theme of travel journals and travelogues: both physical and symbolic objects, at once diaries and stories, drawing and image, cut-up, sketch, to collect notes on the meaning of a journey and unravel the thread connecting the places visited by way of coordinates and destination, roads to tread and horizons, landing and drifting, mirages and returns.
The Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia participates with a variety of initiatives, including a Virtual Tour which allows a virtual journey throughout the National Film Archive/CSC – Cineteca Nazionale and its work of preservation, restoration, and dissemination.
Cinema depicts who we are and were. By way of images, it triggers emotions, elicits dreams, and creates hopes and illusions. Everyone of us cherishes some sequence or scene that evokes an experience, the memory of watching a film, alone or in company – a budding love, a relationship becoming real, a rejection, or laughing out loud. The National Film Archive holds all the film frames that have enriched our lives and the audio-visual heritage of our Country, from the earliest prints to the latest digital files. There isn’t a movie without some image to represent it – a playbill, a poster – and we preserve all this material as well. We will walk you through a virtual tour of the archives, describing our work of preservation, restoration, and dissemination. We are so proud of giving public access to this amazing marvel, and we wish that experiencing the National Film Archive through a monitor feels like a great discovery.
The CSC Library – Biblioteca Luigi Chiarini will also participate in the Festival with the video presentation of a different account of a journey, the one made by Alberto Verso, a costume designer and art director who worked in theatre, cinema, and TV in Italy and abroad. This collection is made of over 1800 between costume sketches and set design models from his early studies executed in the 1960’s up to his premature death in 2007, linked to the relevant film or stage play, and 31 photo albums. The video goes online from June 9, 2023 (see link below).
The video presentation of the Alberto Verso Collection gives a summary of the materials held in the designer’s archive, a source of inspiration for the young who wish to embrace these professions as well as the lovers of film- and theatre-related arts. In his fashion sketches, clothing feels concrete, true to reality; some of the costumes look almost three-dimensional owing to his skilful chiaroscuro lighting, which fleshes out drapery that eventually takes life as soft fabrics. On the other hand, the set design models besides the painstaking care for the detail show a quest after perfect lighting and rendering of perspective that contribute to making them as tangible and plausible as to let the viewer emotionally into the imagined play or film and context. Browsing the precious albums, the viewer will find handwritten notes; invitations to shows; postcards; telegrams; personal photographs; family and travel pictures; stills; photos of sketches and sets; playbills; posters; theatre programmes; reviews; various tickets; maps; tourist guides which take on the value of historical mementos of the 1990’s; and accounts of his experiences, the places visited, his works, his collaborations, the people he met, and the friends he made. With his private archive, Verso handed down not only his creativity but also the flavour of an era by means of photographs of the main characters that belonged to it, immortalized in the snapshots taken during breaks, dress and accessory rehearsals, that he collected in his albums and supplemented with documents that describe them.
On top of this, CSC - Archivio Nazionale Cinema Ivrea contributes to the Archivissima Festival with the film “Viaggio in terra di missione. Prima parte” (directed by Alfredo Deagostini, Italy, 15’, 1941, 9.5mm, DCP), from the film collection of the Istituto Missioni Consolata. Religious missionary film is a still little explored genre that has documented the development of congregations and missions since the early decades of the 20th century. This genre is not easily demarcated, but CSC Ivrea is one of the main institutional collectors in Italy of this kind of footage. The Consolata Missionaries have recorded the world around them with great technical skills, easily switching from photo- to film camera. Strong-built, small-size camera were particularly appealing for the missionaries as they could endure extreme weather and remain intact throughout savannahs and deserts; therefore, also small-gauge formats, 9.5mm and then 16mm, were preferably adopted. Guided less by art than pragmatism, the Consolata Missionaries recorded their activities in the 1930’s and 1940’s on 9.5mm film. Recurring subjects were the preparation of the missionaries, which included studies of medicine and entomology; domestic life, including children schooling and training as well as open-air recreational good practices; the missionaries’ departures for mission lands; and the first encounters with populations very far from their countries of origin. The IMC travelogues manage to epitomize the contradictions of their times, in which there was a thin line between promotion and propaganda as well as evangelisation and civilisation. Therefore, they constitute invaluable historical sources to study the 20th century.
The video contents are available online from June 9, 6.30pm for the Archive Night on the Archivissima website https://www.archivissima.it/ and the channels of the Fondazione Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia.
Click here to visit the CSC section on the Archivissima website
Click here for the CSC virtual tour
The following contents are available from June 9 18.30pm:
Click here for the Virtual Tour trailer
Click here for the video presentation of the Alberto Verso Collection
Click here for the film presented by CSC - Archivio Nazionale Cinema Ivrea