02 March 1963

Dock

Claudio Benini
8mm
04'47''
Music by Guglielmo Pagnozzi

Claudio Benini dedicates the first film he shot in his life to an exceptional snowfall for Ravenna and, in particular, the first images at the port of the Romagnola city. Claudio is on the left side of the Canale Candiano, where the ships moor and where the loading and unloading of goods takes place, with his girlfriend Adriana, some friends and his dog. The canal is actually called Corsini, in honour of Pope Clement XII, Lorenzo Corsini, who had it built in 1737, but the people of Ravenna continued and still continue to call it by the ancient name of the river port. Here is moored the Samareitis, an old glory of the British merchant navy built in 1939 that now flies the Greek flag. These are the last years of this iron giant, now close to being scrapped (1967), weighing almost 7,000 tonnes and measuring 138 metres in length, so imposing that it does not fit in the frame. The Fiat Cinquecento, on the other hand, fits perfectly into the later shots, weighing 10,000 times less and being 1/45th the length of the cargo. The small group of friends do their best to free it from the snow under the 8mm cineocchio. Benini recounts that the one he had just bought was his first film camera: "it was a Kodak 'pure plastic' camera, the cheapest on the market: it cost about 13,000 lire (my net monthly salary was 50,000 lire a month; the camera cost a quarter of that)". He adds: "This is the first film I shot, you can tell by the unconscious movement of the camera." Yet so much beauty captured on the snowy dock.

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