Vacanze al mare
Vincenzo Vasi, Giorgio Casadei
Super 8mm/HD - colour & b/w
festivals & awards:
This exuberant history of the Italians’ summer holidays springs from the encounter between the photos from the National Archive of Family Films – Home Movies and the words of writer Ermanno Cavazzoni. Playing on misunderstandings, errors and trivia, Cavazzoni examines a century of seaside holidays through the eccentric lens of real footage, coming up with an irresistibly comical portrait of summer holiday-goers.
Vacanze al mare is the first episode of a (hypothetical) series using home movies to document the clichés of everyday life, ordinary people with all their daily rituals, all so taken for granted that they’re almost invisible. The film reassembles an enormous amount of film clips of summer holidays and turns them into a sort of collective ritual consisting of behaviours, beach scenery and typical characters that all seem the same, or most likely will to future generations. It’s the first chapter of an anthropology of the 20th century, when humanity flocked to the water’s edge (they’ll say) in mystifying migrations. Which people might not even do, in the future, and it will all seem mad, a cleansing of sins, or a complex procreation strategy. I use images as if they were the last remaining traces of the human race (so like a race of insects): here he digs holes in the sand with a shovel; here he enacts a stereotypical courtship; now he stands there like a seagull in the surf, etc. And those summer nights on the sand, with their dance rituals and beauty pageants until dawn, with its stillness and dream-like twists.