DCP. D.: 5’. Tinted and toned
A short documentary produced by Comerio in 1910 and considered lost until now. It is fascinating today to see picturesque footage of Milan shot from the roof of its cathedral, but the main point of interest of the ‘rediscovery’ is the nitrate print’s format: the 35mm film was split in two, and the frames were printed horizontally so that they could be read in one direction and, at the end of the reel, again in the opposite direction (like a kind of U-turn). This format was called duplex, an experimental format patented in 1910 by Carlo Rossi, founder of the production company that would later become Itala Film. Little is known about the story of this mysterious patent: it apparently was not widely used, but in 1912 an industry magazine mentions negotiations between Rossi and the French Ministry of Education for using the system for educational purposes north of the Alps. Nothing probably happened, but the duplex’s life wasn’t over yet. The Italian patent was almost certainly the basis for a similar system that was distributed in America after 1915 by a company called nothing other than Duplex Corporation.