21 February 1976

Screen Test

Mauro Mingardi
Music by Guglielmo Pagnozzi & Marco Motta

Amateur cinema is a serious business, through which one can perhaps begin a path to success and a career. And you wouldn't think so, but even in amateur cinema there are 'auditions'. The girl, an aspiring actress, whom we see in this audition from 21 February 1976 is asked, from the moment she enters filmmaker Mauro Mingardi's studio, to rehearse various facial and body expressions, to assume particular attitudes, to gesture and pose. And so in front of the camera, laughing loudly, being afraid and terrified, crying, showing pleasure. These images must be framed in the historical and cultural context we have inherited, where the gaze is almost always of the man on the woman, leading us to reflect on gender roles. On the other hand, it can be observed that in that same context we witness the affirmation of female subjectivity and individuality, of which the camera can also be an instrument. But these images also express much more, the value of the screen test as a portrait of the person and performance in itself (which Andy Warhol had the intuition to affirm) and what it arouses: emotion and expression, lightness and freshness, eroticism and irony. And the beauty of a 8mm film aware of being what it is, a small film reflection and homage of a face and a body, as it appears on 21 February 1976.