Designed by Fulvio Ronchi
Commissioned by Comitato d'Orientamento per il Centenario del Cinema, Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri - Roma

In the beginning was the film
There are many ways to "say" (graphically) 100, the prophetic number of Pythagorean significance, corresponding to monetary and to age-old units, to ambitions of fable and longevity, to weights and measures, to fatal and proverbial lore.

The ways to make 100 be the subject of marking a particular centenary are more limited and restrictive, if there is no desire to add graphically to the number itself some further indication of the specific phenomenon whose hundred years are to be thus celebrated, but rather an intent to include this in the figure alone, without contaminating, distorting or lessening its centenary value.

The dual graphic invention of our logo serves this need with functional elegance. What was required was to join to the (numerical) idea "one hundred" the (conceptual) idea of "cinema". Which presented a difficult choice: cinema-projection? cinema-theatre? cinema-audience? cinema-screen?cinema-light/shade?cinema-print? Every option had its own rationale and meaning. But all, except one, seemed incomplete: the cinema is projection, but this is only the last moment; the cinema-theater is important but a film can also be viewed in the cutting-room; the cinema-audience is fundamental but a film can exist in its own right, without an audience; the screen is a useful but not a requisite item, for a film can also be shown on a sheet or a wall; the film is of light and shade, but this is no more than the product of technology. The print itself, however, is the very "body" of the film: on that continuous strip of printed frames everything depends: projection, theatre, screen, audience, the shadows and the lights. As also both the optical illusion ant the artistic effect.

The number 100, then, but formed from three strips of film. With an unintentional, but pleasantly surprising side-effect (the suggestion of the sub-conscious as always): the two zeros, closed and ovoid, underscore two equally closed and finished epochs, the "silent cinema" (from 1895 to the end of the 1920's) and the "modern talking pictures" (from the end of the 1920's to 1995). On the other hand the epoch to come, in the cinema (but not only) is "open". Just like the 1. Which as from December 1995, will begin to turn gradually into a 2. See you in 2095, when the world will be celebrating the bicentenary of the Seventh Muse. Cheers!

( Lino Micciché )

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