Cinecitta Luce and Google to Bring Italy’s Largest Film Archive to YouTube

Italy’s Cinecit­ta Luce pos­sess­es more than 100,000 films dat­ing back to 1927. Any­one with an inter­est in Ital­ian cul­ture, his­to­ry, or cin­e­ma will sure­ly want to take a look at them, and now, thanks to a part­ner­ship between Cinecit­ta Luce and Google, they can. As those 100,000 films under­go dig­i­ti­za­tion, they’ll make their way to Cinecit­ta Luce’s offi­cial Youtube chan­nel, which offers, to rough­ly trans­late the Ital­ian on the page, “sev­en­ty years of Ital­ian his­to­ry and social life from the twen­ties to the nineties,” the “price­less pat­ri­mo­ny of our visu­al mem­o­ry.” So far, the chan­nel has bro­ken the films into sev­en cat­e­gories: art, sci­ence and lit­er­a­ture; the Sec­ond World War; movie stars and the cat­walk; pro­tag­o­nists of the twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry; the “dust archive” (which seems mis­cel­la­neous); mate­r­i­al relat­ed to Cinecit­ta Luce’s cur­rent film fes­ti­vals; and la dolce vita (a phrase, I would argue, bet­ter pre­sent­ed in the orig­i­nal).

At the top of this post, you’ll find a two-and-a-half-minute sequence show­cas­ing the kind of his­to­ry in motion to be found in Cinecit­ta Luce’s archive: musi­cal per­for­mances, beau­ty pageants, culi­nary fes­ti­vals, sport­ing events, movie pre­mieres, impor­tant moments in pol­i­tics and indus­try, and — for what­ev­er rea­son — all sorts of march­es. Just above this para­graph, we’ve embed­ded some news­reel footage of Fed­eri­co Felli­ni fresh off his Best For­eign-Lan­guage Film Acad­e­my Award win for 8½. But the hours of mate­r­i­al now on Cinecit­ta Luce’s Youtube chan­nel rep­re­sent only the tip of the ice­berg. We hard­ly need tell Italophiles that they’ll want to con­sid­er sub­scrib­ing, so as not to miss more from an archive the Hol­ly­wood Reporter describes as “rich in videos from the Vat­i­can, the 1960 Olymics in Rome, and sceners from gen­er­a­tions of every-day life in Rome.” And giv­en that Ben­i­to Mus­soli­ni orig­i­nal­ly cre­at­ed the Cinecit­ta film stu­dios and the Luce archives as engines of pro­pa­gan­da, they still retain the world’s largest col­lec­tion of Mus­soli­ni-relat­ed film. Schol­ars of dic­ta­tor­ships, take spe­cial note!

Relat­ed con­tent:

Mus­soli­ni Sends a Hap­py Mes­sage to Amer­i­ca, Helps Change Cin­e­ma His­to­ry (1927)

Fellini’s Fan­tas­tic TV Com­mer­cials

Learn Ital­ian for Free

Col­in Mar­shall hosts and pro­duces Note­book on Cities and Cul­ture. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall.

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