Giancarlo Stucky, 1900, 15mm

Giancarlo Stucky

Film Notes

Giancarlo Stucky (1881-1941) was the son of the richest man in Venice, Giovanni Stucky, the ‘mill king’ (the extraordinary saga of the Stucky family, ‘the last doges of Venice’, is the subject of a recent documentary by Emiland Guillerme and François Rabaté , which we are presenting in the Documents and Documentaries section), and close friend of his neighbour Mariano Fortuny. In 1900, Giancarlo visited the Universal Exhibition in Paris where he purchased the first amateur film camera: the Chrono de poche Gaumont-Demenÿ which uses a 15mm format with central perforations. With this device the twenty-year-old Stucky filmed his family, his cousins, the games they played together, and the world surrounding them. In Venice he filmed the Festival of the Redeemer, fishing boats, the Rialto market, children washing clothes in alleyways, people coming out of Mass in St Mark’s Square, youngsters diving into the canals, and walks along the beach of the Lido. Giancarlo’s curious gaze took in everything he saw and narrated – before professional cinema – the teeming life of Venice, including both the leisure class and the working people. Giancarlo Stucky’s home movies still belong to his family (Alvise Chiggiato’s estate) and it was his descendants who wanted and initiated the restoration process. The complicated transfer from the rare Chrono de poche Gaumont format – in 15mm with central perforations, patented in 1900 – took place in 2017 at the Immagine Ritrovata laboratories. The collection contains 73 untitled element, each 5 meters long (500 images). 23 have been restored so far and we present 10 of these in our programme.

Antonio Bigini