Bracknell Film Society Selection
First of two shows this month

Life Through a Lens Third of four shows of documentary films

(Il Gesto Delle Mani)

To book a ticket for this and forthcoming BFS screenings please contact the SHP Box Office on 01344 484123 or click the logo below to book via the SHP website.
Tickets £8.60, SHP members £7.00.
BFS members (BFS shows only) £6.60. You may have to show a BFS membership card. Concessions £7.60. SHP make an additional £0.70 charge when paying by credit card. Reserving a ticket by phone, expect to pay by cash at the box office 30 minutes prior to show time.

Tuesday 13th September. 7.45pm



"We see, hear, follow and feel a symphony: editing and sound form a unique flow, imitating a unique
work-process. Black and white images from long ago blend in and out with terracotta, among fifty shades
of red and brown, all to end up immortalised as bronze. Taking us into the heart and soul
of an historic foundry in Milan...
The Prize for the best film in Forum goes to 'Il gesto delle mani' (Hand Gestures) by Francesco Clerici."


Berlin International Film Festival
Francesco Clerici

T-Mobile New Horizons International Film Festival, Poland
Grand Prix
Films on Art International Competition
Francesco Clerici

Director: Francesco Clerici, Italy, 2015, 77 minutes, Italian with subtitles
Featuring: Velasco Vitali, Lino De Ponti, Luigi Contino

Taking you inside the heart of an historic bronze foundry in Milan that still uses
lost-wax casting, a technique that dates back to the 4th-century BC, this
visually poetic film shows how integral both artist and artisan are to the act of creation.

Plus short film
Winner at DepicT! 2015

'Hand Maid'
Directors: Karim Souissi/Robin Wijnhold/Reda Zniber, Morocco, 2012, 2 mins
A day in the life of a Moroccan maid told through her hands.


Francesco Clerici, Hand Gestures

This documentary film follows the process of creating one of Velasco Vitali’s famous dog sculptures, from wax to glazed bronze, at Fonderia Artistica Battaglia (Battaglia Artistic Foundry), in Milan. The film observes the work of a group of skilled artisans in this 100-year-old foundry and reveals the ancient traditions of bronze sculpture-making, unchanged since the sixth century BC.

Over the centuries, many technological innovations have come about in art. Yet, even today, in order to create a sculpture in bronze, it is necessary to take the same steps taken in the sixth century BC for the Riace bronzes. These steps are not taught in school, but are passed on in the ancient oral tradition and through apprenticeships from artisans. This documentary observes and feels the work of Fonderia Artistica Battaglia: a place where the past and present share the same gestures and where each gesture is a sculpture itself. The story of the process follows the birth of a dog sculpture made by the Italian artist Velasco Vitali. The story of a dog transforming from wax into glazed bronze will show, with the use of archival footage, the historical process of a bronze foundry yesterday and today.

Historic Italian sculptor Giacomo Manzù used to say that the sculpture is a hand gesture, a gesture of love.

According to Larry Shiner, Professor of Philosophy, History and Visual Arts at the University of Illinois:

"Art, as we understand it normally, is a European invention of just two centuries ago. Involving many hands and many minds, art, however, has always been a matter of collaboration."

These are the two ideas at the core of this film, which follows the production of a Velasco Vitali sculpture inside the Fonderia Artistica Battaglia, in Milan. Ancient Greeks did not distinguish between art and craft. Techné covered both. This is the starting point from which the project was developed, and we take the point of view of the camera which observes and reveals the process. An artist who sculpts, who works the waxes, is treated in the same way as a craftsman who turns that wax into bronze, building and destroying other ephemeral sculptures: they have been making the same gestures for centuries, and by showing this to the camera they reveal historical “jumps” in time.