La Cintura Elettrica

T. Or.: La Ceinture Magnetique; Prod.: Pathé; 35mm. L.: 142 M. D.: 8′ A 16 F/S. Bn

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

Cinema in Bologna in 1907

In April 1907 the correspondent of the new Milanese newspaper “Rivista fono-cinematografica” complained about the scarcity of cinemas in Bologna, his only Bolognese consolation in the sector being the excellent company Rocca, which produced pianos destined to gladden foreign cinema audiences. This was soon followed by a litany of responses from cinematographers that appeared in the theater section of “Bologna d’oggi”, a humoristic newspaper: “Ideal, Marconi, Radium, Sempione. They’re always full because one can spend an entertaining evening and run the risk of… a pinch… Lovely pictures, new, steady, clear”. There is a certain old fashioned licentious air in these words that can also be found in the legendary Bolognese-dialect singer-songwriter Carlo Musi’s notes. With the inauguration of the Radium, the Centrale and the Cinematografo della Borsa, cinema was consecrated as a popular and well-established cultural practice, and in fact the most important international and Italian films of the year 1907 were indeed shown in Bologna. The frequent and punctual press releases given by cinema owners, the advertisements printed in newspapers and the innovative publicity graphics were signs of the rapidly changing structural and operational panorama, of the growing need for visibility within a competitive market, and of closer attention to the media-communications aspect of the phenomenon. All of this was quite positive for the quality of the films shown, the way in which films were circulated, and the ingenious decision to create partnerships with other cinemas on the national level. Cinema’s modernity brought with it the success of other related types of consumerism, from café-concerts to theatres, from seasonal to travelling shows. The same goes for the terminology surrounding film – from “melocine­phonos” shows, accompanied by a “taumatophone”, to “cosmographic” numbers, to “cine-parlante” – which add a varied and colourful spectrum to the world of cinema.


Luigi Virgolin

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