A special program by Massimiliano Maltoni
In collaboration with Cinémathèque Suisse and the Swiss Consulate in Venice, Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival presents Once Upon a Time… Switzerland, a special programme organised by Massimiliano Maltoni to discover the origins of Swiss cinema.
Once Upon a Time… Switzerland shows the everyday routine of cities like Geneva, Lausanne and Zürich, along with great events such as the 1896 National Exposition. Not only did cameras record big cities, but also natural wonders, such as the Rhine Falls and folkloristic festivals which counterbalance the equally magnificent images of Frauenfeld’s metallurgic factories. The Hollywood stars Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks‘ visit to Geneva provides the glamour of the roaring twenties. It is a dreamy portrayal of the world of Hollywood, so far from the reality of a country like Switzerland, where the cinema industry struggled to arise. William Tell, the Swiss hero par excellence, is the protagonist of a curious “cinematographic riddle” of the beginning of last century, while another film shows a fashion show. It is hand-painted with soft colours and tries to make the public forget the atrocities of the Great War that devastated Europe during the spring of 1918. Finally, an original cartoon of an advertisement shows the secret to happiness.
A SELECTION FROM THE SCREENING PROGRAM:
Les bains de la Jetée Des Pâquis, Casimir Sivan, 1896, 1’, Switzerland
Excerpt for Geneve National Exposition, Alexander Promio, 1896, 3’, France
Excerpt, Losanna, Fall 1896, 1896, 1’, Switzerland
View from the Bridge over the Rhine in Basel, 1896, 1’, Switzerland
Grape harvest Festival in Vevey, 1905, 2’, Switzerland
Wilhelm Tell, 1910, 2’, Switzerland
Excerpt, Rhine Falls, 1912, 2’, Switzerland
Excerpt, Metallurgic Factory in Frauenfeld, 1912, 7’, Switzerland
La Suisse inconnue. La Vallé de Loetschenthal, Frederick Burlingham, 1916, 7’, Switzerland
Excerpt, Spring Fashion Show, unknown, 1918, 1’, Switzerland
Un repos mérité. Mary Pickford et Douglas Fairbanks sont venue en Suisse, 1924, 2’, Switzerland
Let room for progress – The last mail car of Kiental, 1925, 3’, Switzerland
The cameraman of the Swiss newsreel in action, 1925, 2’, Switzerland
Pour Être Heureux, 1928, 5’, Switzerland
Eisenstein en Suisse, 1929, 1’, Switzerland
Special thanks to:Swiss Consulate in Venice and Cinémathèque Suisse.