Being at the Pordenone Silent Film Festival (Le Giornate del Cinema Muto) to me is nothing short than a dream come true. Therefore, it is only fair that I pay tribute to the experience by compiling a diary in which I will chronicle the cinematic discoveries that I will make during my permanence at the festival. I remember reading about this festival years ago.
I used to fantasize about eventually attending this festival in complete silence, without uttering a word, and by keeping any type of communication with the outside world to an absolute minimum. To anyone who knows me, this will not sound so unusual. My relationship to film is very passionate and organic.
I always, for instance, encourage people to get out of their comfort zone and use the cinema as a place to hide away. For example, before you go to the cinema, steal a candy bar or finally send that girl or guy you like a message. Or, you could do what Truffaut used to do and sneak into the screening for free (or cut class, if you’re still in school.) Of course, these are silly provocations. Everyday life is, more often than not, a struggle and whatever we experience during the day may allow us to immerge in the cinematic experience anyways. Yet, sometimes, I still get a kick out of doing silly things to encourage a type of metaphysical bond with the spectacle.
Jay Weissberg, the new artistic director of the festival, in his speech at the opening screening this year pointed out that the program of the Giornate’s 2016 edition is possibly richer and bigger than any of the previous one. He jokingly referred to the time for lunch break will therefore be smaller, remarking: “we can have lunch every other day of the year.” The concept of fasting before a screening is something I also encourage. It’s an almost religious concept. I think that the cinema-going experience in much better on an empty stomach (never mind people munching on popcorn!).