MISS CINEMA - ARCHIVIO MOSSINA
colour & b/w
A catalog of 16mm screen tests (1942-1952) from the Home Movie Archive (Mossina Fund). Portraits of girls, aspiring movie stars, for the most part unknown and anonymous, as they participate in beauty contests and castings for unidentified movies. They repeat a few poses, small pretenses, games in front of the movie camera. Some read a magazine, others pretend to be secretaries. Like a children’s game: I’m this, you pretend to be that. Sometimes their embarrassment is eloquent. The game is revealed right from the start. The screen tests oscillate between affectation and splendid nonchalance. And this tightened or loosened cord between the lens and the model says more than any treatise about the actor. Or maybe the movie camera simply loves certain faces and rejects others. The image wavers, it is eaten by sudden flashes, it goes out of focus, it shows the traces of the beginning or the end of a reel. We thought we’d leave everything in (the beauty of error: some films were re-shot, the images thus seem superimposed). In other words, we consider this material just like documents (for future studies). But, besides this, we like to think of them as “found material” (a small archeological bazaar); we’re exaggerating, a sort of ready-made film. It is unusual and unreleased filmic material, which bears witness to a crucial era: the passage from the time of war to the republic of Miss Italia.