Auditorium - DAMSLab > 18:00

Dossier Blasetti: L’ORA A CAVALLO


Sog.: Michela Zegna. Op.: Manuel Cumani, Pianosequenza. M.: Davide Ricchiuti. Ricerche fotografiche: Alfredo Baldi. Archivio e digitalizzazione: Archivio fotografico Cineteca di Bologna. Post- produzione: L’Immagine Ritrovata. Prod.: Cineteca di Bologna. D.: 15’. DCP. Versione italiana / Italian version

Introducono Mara Blasetti, figlia del regista, e Michela Zegna

Alessandro Blasetti’s archive is a source of unending discovery. Cataloguing its over ninety thousand pictures we came across hundreds of photos documenting his film production from 1929 to 1966. As a child, his daughter Mara hung out on the sets of his movies and later became his script supervisor and assistant director on eight of his films. Her loving memories has helped re-create the atmosphere of how films were made once upon a time. Extras, actors, production designers, costume designers, make-up artists, directors of photography, assistant directors, screenwriters and producers, immortalized by the camera lens, come back to life through Mara’s words. Blasetti’s sets were the scene of extraordinary experimentation of filming techniques applied to different film genres: from the creation of a zoom effect – which the motion picture camera could not do yet – in the theater reconstructed in its entirety for Nerone (1930) with Petrolini, to building the Mancini cart, the first one with pneumatic tires, presumably while working on 1860 (1933). Blasetti viewed each new film as a challenge for finding the best way to render a story visually, breaking the limits set by technology. In Il cinema che ho vissuto, ‘Il matto con gli stivali’ (‘crazy guy with boots’), as he was affectionately dubbed by Steno in the satirical magazine “Marc’Aurelio”, gives a firsthand account of some of these episodes, including the invention of the ‘ora a cavallo’ or ‘in between hour’: “I was in Naples towards the end of 1932 for La tavola dei poveri. Shooting at night, in the middle of the night with only artificial light, too much illumination and darkness, had been bothering me for some time, partially because of its inauthenticity and the sharp color contrast and partially because it was the easy solution and mean settling for less. I asked Montuori to film as soon as the sun set to take advantage of the fifteen minutes of the surviving, still perceptible diffuse light. And he was the one who named this technique of filming exterior shots at night. Thus was born the ‘in between hour’ system between day and night. An expensive and risky system: in fifteen minutes you had to retrieve the work of one day, which had to have been already set, prepared and rehearsed. In order to make it on time, you really had to speed through the hours preceding it”.
Michela Zegna



Monday 27/06/2016