Posts Tagged ‘cinebox’

THE VERY FIRST MUSIC VIDEO IN COLOR

This is the true godfather of all music videos. It is the first music video of short footage color film that was produced specifically to promote a song: the very first made for the public presentation of the Cinebox, that was a video juke-box built by Ottico Meccanica Italiana (Italian Optical Mechanics) in Rome. The song is entitled Altagracia, and the artist was Don Marino Barreto Junior (Matanzas 1925/Milano 1971), a Cuban singer who was very popular in Italy during the middle nineteen fifties.

Altagracia Cinebox Don Marino Barreto Jr

Altagracia is the name of his daughter, who we can see in the video while she is playing with puppets representing Bibì and Bibò, Captain Cocoricò, the Tordella who were cartoon characters who were loved by at least three generations of young children passionate readers of the illustrated weekly magazine called the Corriere dei piccoli.

Una striscia del Corriere dei Piccoli

The song Altagracia, was first found on an Extended Play 45rpm’s published by Philips Records in 1958 and later inspired the title of Don Barreto Junior’s first Italian LP that was released in two distinct versions: the first came out in 1959 and the second one in 1960 which included a few selected songs from the 1960 Sanremo Italian Song Festival and they were sung by Baretto.

Don Marino Barreto Junior EP, 1958

Don Marino Barreto Junior "Pasito de merengue", "Altagracia", "Octaviano", "Mi tajo" ( EP, 1958).

Don Marino Barreto Junior "Altagracia" (LP, 1959)

Don Marino Barreto Junior "Altagracia" (LP, 1959).

The video was filmed and assembled in November of 1958 in the studios of the Istituto Luce di Roma and was directed by Domenico Paolella (Foggia, 1915/Roma, 2002) who was the director of successful films like “Canzoni di mezzo secolo” (Half a Century of Songs) in 1952, “Canzoni, Canzoni, Canzoni” (Songs, Songs, Songs) in 1953, “Gran Varietà” (Grand Variety) in 1955, “Sanremo Canta” (Sanremo Sings) in 1956, “Non sono più guaglione” (I’m not a young kid anymore) in 1958. The film was developed in the Rome laboratories La Microstampa owned by Franco Iasiello.

Cinebox, The First News (published in the magazine Sorrisi e Canzoni, february 1959)

Cinebox, la prima notizia

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One of the very first articles about the Cinebox (published in the magazine La settimana Incom Illustrata, April 18, 1959)

article about the Cinebox in the magazine La settimana Incom Illustrata

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Nilla Pizzi madrina alla presentazione ufficiale del Cinebox, aprile 1959, Circolo della Stampa Romana

On 11th of April 1959, Circolo della Stampa Romana (The Press Club of Rome). Nilla Pizzi, was the Godmother at the official presentation to the public of the Cinebox. Next to her are the brothers Raffaello and Paolo Emilio Nistri, directors of the Ottico Meccanica Italiana (Italian Optical Mechanics). On the right (with glasses) Pietro Granelli, the inventor of the Cinebox. Granelli was born in Rome the on the 29th of June 1918. To his credentials, he has a series of inspired ideas and patents: he created a new type of illustrated sketched sequences with texts somewhat like a comic strip that told stories based upon contemporary current affairs. These became peek-out inserts in specialized periodicals. He also invented the Redi-Box, that in the edition of the 3rd of April 1960, of the weekly music magazine Sorrisi e Canzoni was described as a machine that is like a juke-box that allows you to listen to the latest hits and that actually sells and delivers a packaged record when coins were inserted into the appropriate slot on the juke-box. Fundamentally, he invented the Self Service Juke-Box. Pietro Granelli died in an automobile accident in the vicinity of Piacenza, Italy in 1975.

THE CINEBOX & ITALIAN CENSORSHIP

Renato Carosone with his sextet “’O Mafiuso” (The Mafia man) (Cinebox, 1958).

“’O Mafiuso” was one of the three music videos (the other two were “Atene” and “Torero”) that Carosone made for the Cinebox in December of 1958, just before he withdrew from the music scene on the 7th of September in 1960. The films appeared on the prototype of the Cinebox that was inaugurated at the Press Club in Rome, Italy and at the exposition stands of the SIF company (The International Company of Audiovisuals) at the fair in Milan, Italy respectively April and May of 1959.
The obligatory preceding official censure announcement by the Board of Censors of the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment was a huge hindrance to the development of the Cinebox enterprise. Censorship was the main culprit that delayed the commercialization of the Cinebox. The first No objections certifications, became effective only on the 15th of March 1961. In other words, when the Cinebox was finally allowed to go onto the market, the music video entitled “’O Mafiuso” (The Mafia man) was already three years old and the singer, Renato Carosone had already retired from the music business six months earlier.
Paolo Emilio Nistri, the managing director of the Ottica Meccanica Italiana (Italian Optical Mechanics) in Rome, recalls that his good friend Renato Carosone had stated that he would like to enter into a partnership of the OMI company.

THE GREAT GRAND-FATHER OF THE MV

“BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY” BY QUEEN IS NOT THE FIRST MUSIC VIDEO IN RECENT HISTORY AS WE HAVE BEEN MADE TO BELIEVE. THE VERY FIRST SHORT FOOTAGE FILM CONCEIVED TO PROMOTE SONGS WAS PRODUCED IN ITALY IN 1959 FOR THE CINEBOX WHICH WAS A REVOLUTIONARY OVERSIZED ‘VIDEO-JUKE-BOX’, THAT FOR THE FIRST TIME ALLOWED US TO LISTEN TO AND TO ACTUALLY SEE THE SINGERS OF THE SONGS.

Renato Carosone, Don Marino Barreto Junior, Peppino Di Capri and Nilla Pizzi, paved the way to the music videos of the nineteen sixties that subsequently aroused the interest and opened the doors to Italian film directors like Vito Molinari, and Enzo Trapani and up and coming new-comers such as Claude Lelouch, Francis Ford Coppola and Robert Altman. For the first time the story is narrated in the Italian Television Documentary ‘Tg2 Dossier’ that follows the thread of the new-born concept of music videos that intertwined through a background of commercial rivalry that flared up between Italy, France and the United States, and which subsequently aroused the interests of the mafia in New York and the suppression by the forceful crackdown of Robert Kennedy’s G-Men.

“The Great-grandfather of the Music Videos” by Michele Bovi, Tg2 Dossier RAI, 16th April 2006. [SUBTITLES IN ENGLISH]


INTERVIEWS AND VIDEOS THAT APPEAR IN THE PROGRAM

Interviews
– Paolo Emilio Nistri, manager Ottico Meccanica Italiana (Rome)
– Andrée Davis-Boyer, producer and film director Scopitone (Paris)
– Bob Orlowsky, lawyer and historian of the music video (San Francisco)
– Frank Rose, journalist (New York)
– Roberto Marai, entrepreneur (Salò, Brescia)
– Ermanno Caselli, technical director of Società Internazionale di Fonovisione (Milan)
– Alberto Moro, editor (Milan)
– Roby Matano, singer (Milan)
– Clem Sacco, singer (Tenerife, Canary Islands)

Videos
– Gianni Morandi e Mary Di Pietro
– Neil Sedaka
– The Queen
– The Delta Rhythm Boys
– Paul Anka
– Brigitte Bardot
– Don Marino Barreto Junior
– I Brutos
– I Divini
– Wera Nepi
– Iva Zanicchi
– Rika Zarai
– Betty Claire
– Henry Salvador
– Gastone Parigi
– Gegè Di Giacomo
– I Campioni
– Fausto Leali
– Lilli Bonato
– Edoardo Vianello
– Pino Donaggio
– Ornella Vanoni
– Nico Fidenco
– Sergio Endrigo
– Ricky Gianco
– John Foster
– Dalida
– Rita Pavone
– Gino Paoli
– Juliette Greco
– Alice e Ellen Kessler
– Peppino Di Capri e i suoi Rockers
– Marino Marini e il suo quartetto
– Adriano Celentano
– Clem Sacco
– Johnny Hallyday
– Sylvie Vartan
– Tony Renis
– Vince Taylor
– Francoise Hardy
– The Touchdown Girls of Crazy Horse
– De Giafferi
– Marian Montgomery
– Debbie Reynolds
– Joi Lansing
– Sandy Shaw
– Miguel Cordoba
– The Procol Harum
– Nancy Sinatra
– Frank Sinatra Junior
– Skin

Giorgio Gaber testimonial of the Cinebox

Giorgio Gaber testimonial of the Cinebox at the Sanremo Festival 1964.

I Divini “La Canzone del Cinebox” (Cinebox, 1962).

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SONGS TO SEE

The italians, pioners of Music Videos

WHO MADE THE FIRST SHORT-FOOTAGE FILM SPECIFICALLY REDARDING A SONG? MARIO ALMIRANTE IN 1930 FOR ‘NINNA NANNA DELLE DODICI MAMME’ (THE LULLABYE OF TWELVE MOTHERS) BY ODOARDO SPADARO. WHO ACTUALLY FILMED THE FIRST SHORT FOOTAGE PROMOTIONAL COLOR FILM? DOMENICO PAOLELLA FOR ALTAGRACIA’ BY DON MARINO BARRETO JUNIOR, A MUSIC VIDEO MADE FOR THE CINEBOX WHICH WAS A JUKE-BOX WITH A SCREEN FOR PROJECTING VIDEOS INVENTED IN ITALY AND PRESENTED TO THE PUBLIC IN APRIL 1959 BY VITTORIO DE SICA. WHO WAS THE AUTHOR OF THE FIRST NEW GENERATION MUSIC VIDEO? RUGGERO MITI WHO IMMORTALIZED LUCIO BATTISTI IN THE WOODS OF THE BRIANZA, A DISTRICT IN ITALY SINGING THE SONG ‘ANCORA TU’ (YOU AGAIN). WHO WAS THE FIRST TO FILM AN ENTIRE ALBUM OF SONGS? POMPEO DE ANGELIS IN 1973 WITH ‘GIRA CHE TI RIGIRA AMORE BELLO’ (TURN AND BE TURNED MY HANDSOME LOVE) DI CLAUDIO BAGLIONI.

A televised documentary that researched and documented the firstborn of the various music videos, was Tg2 Dossier entitled ‘Generazione De Sica, canzoni da guardare’ (The De Sica generation, songs to see)) by Michele Bovi. It was a journey through a century of popular light hearted melodic or light-music films often with popular singers, as the main protagonist. only to find that many prestigious names of the world of culture and cinema had worked in this genre of ‘Musicarelli’ films (popular light hearted melodic or light-music films often with popular singers, as main protagonist). from Ettore Scola to Nanni Loy, from Ennio Flaiano to Antonio Ghirelli, from Ugo Pirro to Cesare Zavattini. With testimonials of Italian and International artists and film directors plus an interview with Francis Ford Coppola who, when young, was involved in the production of the Scopitone, the French competitor of the Italian Cinebox: in this venture the future director of ‘The Godfather’ lost quite a large sum of money.

“The De Sica Generation: Songs to See” by Michele Bovi, Tg2 Dossier RAI, 9 March 2008. [SUBTITLES IN ENGLISH]


INTERVIEWS AND VIDEOS THAT APPEAR IN THE PROGRAM

Interviews
– Vito Molinari, film director (Milan)
– Piero Pompili, producer and film director (Milan)
– Andrée Davis-Boyer, producer and film director (Paris)
– Francis Ford Coppola, film director (New York)
– Ruggero Miti, film director (Rome)
– Pompeo De Angelis, film director (Rome)
– Bob Orlowsky, lawyer and historian of the music video (San Francisco)
– Edoardo Vianello, singer (Rome)
– Clem Sacco, singer (Tenerife, Canary Islands)
– Fausto Leali, singer (Milan)
– Roberto Marai, entrepreneur (Salò, Brescia)
– Massimo Celeghin, collector (Jesolo, Venice)

Videos
– Vittorio De Sica
– Bessie Smith
– Odoardo Spadaro
– Adriano Celentano con Don Backy, Guidone, Ricky Gianco, Miki Del Prete
– Domenico Paolella
– Silvana Pampanini
– Don Marino Barreto Junior
– Gino Paoli
– Milva
– Giorgio Gaber
– Enzo Jannacci
– Remo Germani
– Gianni Pucci
– Gegè Di Giacomo e il suo complesso
– Antonio Basurto
– Ricky Gianco
– Gino Corcelli
– Adriano Celentano
– Babette
– Germana Caroli
– Sergio Endrigo
– Bobby Rydell
– Neil Sedaka
– Dalida
– Miguel Cordoba
– Line Renaud
– Alice e Ellen Kessler
– Johnny Hallyday
– I Brutos
– Richard Anthony
– The Back Porch Majority
– Dominique & Georges Jouvin
– Los Marcellos Ferial
– The Queen
– Lucio Battisti
– Claudio Baglioni
– Robertina e Gattociliegia
– I Nobili

Luigi Tenco, Ricky Gianco, Joe Sentieri, Sergio Endrigo and Cinebox

Four artists that appeared in the music videos of the Cinebox. From left to right: Luigi Tenco, Ricky Gianco, Joe Sentieri, Sergio Endrigo (Milan. Italy 1962).

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THE AMERICANS IN THE CINEBOX

Frankie Avalon testimonial del Cinebox al Festival di Sanremo del 1964

Frankie Avalon testimonial of the Cinebox at the Sanremo Festival 1964.

Frankie Avalon with the dancer Marisa Ancelli, “Tornerai” (Cinebox, 1962). [From the collection of Andrea Ambrosini].

Between 1962 and 1964, SIF had completely renewed its film repertoire, offering opportunities to the new heartthrobs of the younger generation such as American popstars like Paul Anka, Neil Sedaka, Frankie Avalon and Bobby Rydell who were asked to sing in Italian, which was very fashionable at the time.

Paul Anka “Ogni volta” (Cinebox, 1964).
Paul Anka Tuttamusica

Paul Anka.

Paul Anka “Estate senza te” (Cinebox, 1964). [From the collection of Andrea Ambrosini].
Paul Anka “Domani prendo il primo treno” (Cinebox, 1964).

I tuoi capricci, Neil Sedaka

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A music video created in Italian for the Italian Cinebox in 1963 entitled: “I tuoi capricci” (Look inside your heart) by Neil Sedaka with Mary Di Pietro.
Neil Sedaka Cinebox

The SIF magazine.

Bobby Rydell sul set di Sway

Bobby Rydell on the set of "Sway" (Cinebox, 1963).

Bobby Rydell “Un bacio piccolissimo” (Cinebox, 1964). [From the collection of Pietro Bologna].
Il regista Vito Molinari con Bobby Rydell sul set di Sway

The director Vito Molinari (on the left) with Bobby Rydell on the set of "Sway" (Cinebox, 1963).

UN-PUBLISHED SONGS ON THE CINEBOX

The Cinebox played music videos of un-released original songs that were cut only as demo records that never went to press and were never put on the market. The record companies used the Cinebox circuit as a market survey to test consumer reactions and presumably the luke-warm reception determined the shelving of the song.Below, for the very first time, I show three music videos in black and white that were produced in 1964 by the SIPEC company that was the main supplier of the films for Cinebox. The managing director of the SIPEC Company Piero Pompili was also the director of the music video.

Fausto Leali & Laura Casati

The first Music Video is entitled Mi sei piacuta subito (I liked you straightaway): sung and performed by the duo Fausto Leali with Laura Casati, both of whom were separate single artists in other music videos of the Cinebox collection. The song is lively and catchy but apparently it did not convince the record company so it was not produced or put onto the market. A long time ago Laura Casati withdrew from the world of music and lives in the town of Pavia Italy with her family. Fausto Leali had completely forgotten that he had ever recorded this song and music video. In fact he adamantly refused to acknowledge its existence and he proffered a bet upon it. As we can see below, he lost the bet!

Remo Germani

The second music video is entitled Modestamente (In all modesty): sung by Remo Germani (Milano Italy 31 May 1938-Vigevano Italy 18 October 2010). Remo Germani also had other music videos in the Cinebox collection one of which was the highly successful song Non Andare col Tamburo (Don’t go with your drum).
Just like Fausto Leali, this song and music video had completely faded from Remo Germani’s memory. There is no trace or listing of this song or music video in his official song lists.

Jerry Puyell

The third Music Video is entitled Non ho il Clan (loosely translated: I do not belong to a clan) sung by Jerry Puyell (Mario Puglielli) from Milano Italy, son of a military hero, who was a forerunner of the Italian rock singers. He was the son of an agent of the Italian Military secret service and he was one of the so called ‘Wild ravers’ who went down in the history of Italian music, known as the Clan (Adriano Celentano, Clem Sacco, Ghigo, Jack la Cayenne, Guidone). In the late fifties the Milan civil authorities and the religious order of the Ambrosiani were scandalized by their rebellious wild raving antics during a concert at the Ice Rink Palace and at the Teatro Smeralda. They were decrying and instigating ‘Rebel Music’ as an offshoot of what was happening with Rock ‘n’ Roll in America and the rest of the world. Jerry Puyell, like Adriano Celentano, in an outrageous parody imitated in a ridiculously comical springy, shaking manner Jerry Lewis and Elvis Presley and he could seem to be the twin brother of Celentano who in Italian is appropriately nicknamed “The springer” (Il molleggiato). In the end Jerry Puyell never became one of ‘The Clan’ of Celentano. Obviously, this is where the title Non ho il Clan (I do not belong to a clan) originated from. Today, Jerry Puyell lives in Madrid, Spain and runs his own business.