An excerpt from a film by Anna M. Franceschini, Diego Marcon, Federico Chiari.
Duration: 4'38"
Format: Minidv-Found Footage
COLOR-SOUND
Original duration:37'
Produced by: P.A.D. / PICCOLO ARTIGIANATO DIGITALE,
FILMMAKER, SCUOLE CIVICHE DI MILANO.
ITALY 2007-08

Pattini d’argento (“Silver Skates”) is a video diary on a white background.
A journey through the immaculate world of the synchronized figure skating with the Hot Shivers, the Precision Skating Society - Milan’s official women’s team, whose seat is in Sesto San Giovanni’s Ice Rink.

Pure desire hovering in a separate and almost magic place, the Ice Rink, where even air temperature seems to preserve the freshness of the dreams.

Strength, force, and grace at work on a hard and crystalline surface.

The ice, the silent and dazzling protagonist of our video diary, and its chemical-physical characteristics influence these girls' life and their psychological, relational and physical growth.
We have often wondered about the aim of this uneven struggle between some teenagers armed only with their white skating boots and the fearsome water's solid state.
After we spent with them the whole summer training camp period and we observed the metamorphosis produced by agonistic sports on young bodies, we understood that this question concerns also many other sports.

What is the ultimate meaning of an athletic gesture?

During one of the last shooting days we observed the girls watching on TV their previous competitions and becoming spectators of their own life.
They were at the same time on the screen (during a world competition) and in the room in front of us, with their half-open lips and swollen feet, their tension, their exhausted tendons and ligaments.
Relieved of their body mass, they seemed to have at last become an image, pure light on a white background, and to embody perfectly their own desire.
And since then ours too.
We tried to put in our work the same dialectic between muscular effort and choreographic transfiguration, between a group of common teenagers and the demigoddesses they become on the skating rink.
The skaters are also observed by an emotional "third eye" represented by the home movies that have always accompanied and protected the work of the team.

{…} The result is a liminal “form of cinema” in which the visual and narrative matter is always contaminated by the many elements shown in the film.
{…} Pattini d’argento, which focuses on a group of young ice skaters (the Precision Skating Society - Milan’s official team), is a visual experimentation about movement.
Though there are no interviews, the girls' questioning looks are sometimes shown, like in a home movie, while they are having a rest or cleaning their skates.
On the screen the skaters represent their incessant effort and the exhausting training hiding behind their light gliding, an almost hypnotic flowing that becomes an image.
The girls are often shown through long shots; in the foreground there are no faces: only feet, skates and acrobatics.
Exactly like the essence of the cinema, the skaters are above all “elements in motion” chasing each other and creating colours, lights and sounds: the elements shown on the screen are always connected with the medium and with the spectator's perception.

Cristina Piccino – il manifesto

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