Inizio contenuto


The Italian Independent Cinema Cooperative

During the sixties, many artists felt the need to approach the culture of the mass media overcoming the borderline between painting and cinema. It is in this way that cult films originated, different forms and different content, ready to violate all the rules of the universe of mass society marketing, as it does not absolutely cater for the approval of most of the public.

While some film-makers use 35mm film and have a real troupe available (this is the case of Mario Schifano and Romano Scavolini) most of them, on the other hand, use semi-professional 16mm film. Many of them again approach the cinema at a dilettante level using 8mm and super 8 film. Using film with a narrower width or even expired resulted in the fact that most of the cinematographic works were not well known because of the real difficulty in finding copies that were damaged before the time or even actually lost.

Cult cinema was therefore born outside the standard distribution production circuits and had no common programme or cultural reference points as a support. Nevertheless, apart from the Avant garde cinema of the early twentieth century, the earliest references went back to the New American Cinema. The N.A.C. review presented by Jonas Mekas in Turin in 1967, almost immediately produced the birth of the Independent Cinema Cooperative in Italy.

Encouraged by the low cost of auto-production and our film makers being aware of the lack of a real market they got together for the purpose of creating new distribution channels, attempting to institutionalize works that would otherwise be lost and forgotten. Although the language they used in their filming was different, they had in common the sense of experimentalism that totally permeated their cinematographic works. Furthermore, there was throughout the whole cult cinema a militant outlook, in tune with the 1968 events, in other words using the camera to record facts immediately and delivering different information to what is broadcast by the political powers.