SENZA LIMITI, OLTRE I CONFINI
A cinematographic excursion in which visitors can walk among the posters and images of the films that have marked the history of mountain cinema, from its beginnings to the present day, projected all around them, or concentrate on the monitors, where in-depth reports and interviews with experts and protagonists are shown.
The exhibition is curated by Marco Ribetti, deputy director of Museomontagna, and Enrico Verra, documentary filmmaker and coordinator of AIACE – Associazione Italiana Amici del Cinema d’Essai, Turin. The multimedia exhibition – designed and realized by auroraMeccanica – deals with eight themes in dialogue with each other: pioneers, ascents and descents, dreams and nightmares, speed and slowness, boundaries.
The selection includes both films and documentaries conserved in the Historical Film Library and Video Library of the Mountain Museum and is limited to the area ranging from the Maritime Alps to Monte Rosa, thus including the epic of mountaineering on Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn. It includes Mario Piacenza’s daring shots of the Dente del Gigante at the beginning of the twentieth century, documentaries starring Lionel Terray and Gaston Rébuffat, and films from the eighties showing the speedy ascents of the first great free-climbers. There are also tragedies, such as the story of the 1961 accident on the Central Pylon of Freney.
However, it is not only about extreme mountains and the overcoming of sporting limits, but also about life at high altitudes or about those who, in order to escape the difficulties or to chase a dream, cross the borders on the ridges. From the French films that recount the life of mountain dwellers in Alta Savoia, to the true story of Il vento fa il suo giro (The Wind Blows Round) of 2005, a cinematic success that narrates the vicissitudes of a French shepherd who tries to integrate himself into a village in the Italian Maritime Alps. A new life on the other side of the border is what a group of Sicilian miners are looking for, whose epic journey culminates with the crossing of the Monginevro Pass in Il cammino della speranza. And then there is the cinema of the great actors: Spencer Tracy among the glaciers of Chamonix in La Montagna, or Walter Chiari in pursuit of Lucia Bosè on the snows of Sestriere in È l’amor che mi rovina, or the exhilarating Fernadel and Totò in La legge è legge.
“Instead of limiting ourselves to a chronological itinerary, we wanted to create focuses in which the films are compared according to the eight main themes,” says Ribetti, “so that visitors can grasp some of the many meanings that the mountain has taken on in the history of cinema.”
Finally, a small section is dedicated to the International Alliance for Mountain Film – founded in 2000 in the halls of Monte dei Cappuccini – which unites 26 festivals in the sector and the Museum, which is its headquarters and coordinator. Many directors tell in a video what their favorite films about limits and boundaries are: European, Asian, American in this case they don’t only talk about the Alps, but about mountains all over the world, adding an international perspective.
The materials on display are part of the collections of the Museo Nazionale della Montagna – CAI Torino and the Musée Alpin of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, united in the European project Interreg Alcotra iAlp. Interactive Alpine Museums, whose core is the cataloguing and digitalization of a significant part of their respective archives, which will be made available on a web platform, useful to scholars and to all those who wish to access the collections.