Past Advertisements in the Eyes of the Present

Films sleep silently in a store. Hundreds of films that, for years, stayed away from the world until one day someone awakens them. That someone is Raúl Manrupe who, in the framework of the activity "Recovered Advertising Cinema 1966-1986”, presented a first selection of commercials rescued from the claws of time. In Room 6 of Paseo Aldrey, 28 films "with an image and sound quality they didn’t have when they were released”, were screened.

Fernando Martín Peña opened the activity telling about the beginning of this investigation and recovery effort. In 2002, Peña offered Raúl a 250-seat movie theater where he watched all the footage. Self-baptized as "the urban archeologist”, Manrupe divided the material by subjects, though the project could not be materialized then, due to lack of support to make free screenings. This 30° edition of the Festival made up for that injustice, allowing the huge number of people that attended the event to re-experience memories of a not so distant past.

The activity, sponsored by the Pablo Ducrós Hicken Museum –inheritor of Alex Estudios’ hundreds of footage-, was received with great enthusiasm. The reaction of the audience when seeing Luis Sandrini, Chunchuna Villafañe, Agustina Elizalde, Victor Hugo Vieyra and many other celebrities of the time on the screen reconfirmed the certainty that recovering our historical material is a crucial effort to know ourselves, remember how we were and rethink ourselves.

Fernando Martín Peña stressed: "It’s strange to become aware that advertising cinema also has a history”. According to Manrupe, advertising is "the reflection of society, since it refers to something already existing; otherwise, it cannot cling to anything”.

The historian also stated that "in a time when only 10 feature films could be made per year”, the cinematographic industry fed off this market. Both renowned and novel directors, technicians from all the areas and actors were able to make a living by the nearly 2000 commercials made in 1966 and the 3000 made in 1969. In this context, the research and recovery efforts undertaken not only allow us to experience again, in an excellent quality, these pearls of advertising cinema, but also to understand their influence on our history.

From those little handmade drawings, as explained by Ricardo Colombo –director of one of the commercials screened-, to the present digitalization with technologies undreamed-of at the time, advertisements have identifiable features. Thanks to the impulse given by this Edition of the Festival, the films exhibited are the first ones of many, so that we can enjoy these products that sometimes are imposed on us but that always speak about the reality in which they are born. 

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