Homage to Cannes Lions
Bill Hicks, one of the most brilliant American actors ever, hated publicists. He hated them. During one of the most famous moments of his mordacious routine Revelations, he nicknamed them as “the little assistants of Satan” and openly invited them to self-destruction. In the ‘90s, Hicks’s invective stood as an antidote towards TV consumerism more and more present in American society. Indeed, this satiric approach is sharable from a rational perspective — besides being amusing. But at the same time, how can we deny that some commercials have a great appeal, from both an aesthetic and a narrative point of view?
There are advertisements which attract us, which we love being attracted by. There was a time when, to discuss about commercials in the framework of studies on cinema,, people often turned to some of the most famous filmakers, such as Woody Allen and Federico Fellini, who were asked to direct the production of an advertisement. This may have been a way to dignify this sector, usually considered as being“low” because linked to business and commercial objectives. However, today these objections prove all their weakness: among the most interesting contemporary filmakers, some come from advertising. It is also undeniable that the elaborate aesthetic technique used in making commercials has had a strong influence on cinema — a role which the world of advetisement has carried out also with the help of some other formerly “disregarded” fields of the cinema industry, i.e. videogames.
As a matter of fact, advertising claims a right to its own artistic dignity at least from 1954, when the Cannes Lions International Creativity Festival was first founded, the most important film event in the world dedicated to advertising communication. A festival different even in its title, inspired by both the Cannes Film Festival and the Lion Award of Venice, the city where its first edition was presented, and many others in the following years as well. . It represents “the other Lions” of “the other Cannes”, and every year it attracts thousands of visitors and professionals in the field of design, marketing and advertising, who compete by presenting their original works..
Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival wishes to pay a special homage to these creative people by presenting aselection of some of the most interesting commercials of the last years, an initiative which has been possible thanks to the Italian Advertising Company Sipra, long-time Italian representatives of the Cannes Lions. These commercials can be considered as short films, as only very few other artistic expressions are able to embody so well the concept of short. In a few seconds each element, each idea has to be expressed-, stretched and captivating. This not only to attract the audience’s attention on the product — the plots of many successful commercials do not even relate with the company product itself — but rather to present in a very short lapse of time a dimension and a story of which the product becomes the inevitable solution, even if only metaphorically, the final and decisive gag, the moment we surrender to the flattery of this alluring seduction.