Turin and the cinema
We are in via Po, at number 1.
Auguste and Louis Lumière project images on a sheet barely shaken by the wind that passes through the windows, bringing cinema to Turin. A poster recently found, seems to show that right under the Mole took place the first screening of a film in Italy, in March of the same year.
The official one dates back to the following November, when the first official was held at the Hospice of Charity in via Po 33. It was the Lumière company that made the first films in Turin, but soon the Italian entrepreneurs showed that they could do the same. The first to try his hand in the field was Vittorio Calcina, agent of the famous French brothers, who directed the beginnings of Turin in the world of celluloid.
Since then, the old station of Porta Susa and the factories of Itala Film were the stages of the kolossal Cabiria, a film directed by Giovanni Pastrone on the subject and screenplay by Gabriele D’Annunzio. This is the most famous Italian silent film: after the premiere at the Teatro Vittorio Emanuele, now Auditorium Rai, it remained on the program for six months in Paris and even a year in New York. That year he challenged Quo Vadis? at the box office.
Turin was one of the world capitals of silent cinema par excellence until the birth of Cinecittà, in Rome, in the 1930s, when major productions moved to the capital. Nevertheless, the city has been able to enhance itself as a set, becoming the setting for many important films.
After the two wars, in 1956, Castello del Valentino and Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi saw the filming of War and Peace, played by international stars such as Audrey Hepburn and Henry Fonda. The assistant director Mario Soldati recalled how in these locations it was possible to rebuild in the most faithful way Russia of the early nineteenth century.
In 1975 Luigi Comencini directed The Sunday Woman, based on the masterpiece by Carlo Fruttero and Franco Lucentini, starring the great Marcello Mastroianni in the role of Commissioner Santamaria.
Two years later, Dario Argento, master of horror, shot his undisputed masterpiece in Turin: Deep Red. The magical city par excellence has entered the collective world imagination with the twin fountains of CLN square and the liberty buildings of the hill, which have been able to be inhabited by the mystery of blood at the center of the film.
A new boost to the presence of cinema in the city came from the Torino Film Commission, founded in September 2000 and since then an attractive force of new productions in the city. It aims to promote the Piedmont Region and its capital as a location and workplace of excellence for film, television and audiovisual production, supporting the local industry and multiplying the effects throughout the territory.
Among the most famous productions of the 2000s in Piedmont, in addition to numerous television fiction, we find Santa Maradona and After Midnight, two real cult of contemporary Italian cinema.
It is impossible not to mention the Cinema Museum, a must-see city, home to an extraordinary narration of the history of national and international cinema, housed in a unique context: the Mole Antonelliana..
Film lovers can only book a weekend in Turin, but that’s not a problem: we’ll take care of it.