Creative Titles

Alessandro Cecchi
  • Music Sound and the Moving Image, October 2014, Liverpool University Press
  • DOI: 10.3828/msmi.2014.11

Avant-garde music and audiovisual experimentation in Italian industrial films of the 1960s

What is it about?

Opening titles are generally the most compelling musical moment in documentary films. This is particularly the case of Italian industrial films produced or commissioned around the 1960s by such corporations as Eni, Fiat, Innocenti, Italsider and Olivetti among others. The article explores the contribution of Italian avant-garde composers to this specific non-fiction genre. In particular, it discusses the use of electronic and instrumental music by Luciano Berio, Egisto Macchi and Franco Potenza in the head titles of Olivetti, Fiat and Italsider films.

Why is it important?

The article represents the first thorough investigation of the role of avant-garde music in Italian industrial films of the 1960s with a focus on the opening titles. Besides discussing the definition of the latter as "paratext", it sheds light on self-reflexivity as audiovisual and rhetoric strategy of the film-makers within a context of negotiation with the spectators and listeners.


Dr Alessandro Cecchi (Author)
Universita degli Studi di Pisa

I hope this article encourages a reconsideration of the role of music in such a neglected research area as corporate industrial film. I also aim at spreading knowledge and triggering interest in Italian documentary films of the economic miracle (1958–1963) and of the subsequent decade.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Alessandro Cecchi