Luca Maria Baldini scores The Mechanical Man, a silent film produced in Italy in 1921, interpreted and directed by André Deed, and restored by the Cineteca of Bologna.
It is the first film in the history of cinema showing a conflict between two robots, one of which is “evil” – since he has fallen in the wrong hands.
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in lingua italiana / in Italian Language
If the mechanical man of the past was a tool in the hands of a few aiming to control and exercise power, the one from this century, re-imagined and given sound to by Luca Maria Baldini, is the constant technological surveillance we are under, the addiction to smartphones and social platforms.
Musically, the sounds of today are fighting against the (restored) images from the last century: a match being lit snaps like a lighter, the sound of a street crowd is replaced by the typical buzz of voices in a supermarket… The entire rythmic structure comes from samplings from mobile phones and other devices, overthrowing the listener with a series of shortcircuits of sound from the very start of the film: a background noise which is nothing else but the processed vibration of a phone. Whereas the challenge in films since the arrival of talkies was to recreate plausible ambient noises, this work starts from the (forged) research of real sounds, recorded and played back on delay, from another era, from the wrong century, a kind of tribute to the breaking point between silent film and everything that followed.
The project was born from the Soundtracks 2018 residencies at the Modena Music Centre, curated by Corrado Nuccini in collaboration with the Bologna Film Archive.