Film ID: YFA 1956 Video of YFA 1956 Grand Prix di Pozzo GRAND PRIX DI POZZO 1929 Visitor TabsDescription Made by Alan H Pickard, this amateur film uses animation as well as other filmmaking techniques to depict a motor racing Grand Prix. The film uses a number of intertitles to narrate the story. Title – Grand Prix Di Pozzo The race, the racers and their cars are the creation of “The Blower” of “The Light Car” – Now “Grande Vitesse” of “The Motor.” Story and Production by Alan H. Pickard. The film opens with a calendar displaying the date – Thursday, 12th September. Title – Oh, to be in Pozzo now the Grand Prix’s there! - for there is gathered the cream of the Speed Kings. There is a list of the entrants and the cars which they are registered to drive, all of which have comical names. Title – Rumour has it that Ternthe Petroloff, that greasy Pole, will ask the Marchessa della Lubrificazione for her hand in marriage before tomorrow’s race. Ternthe Petroloff approaches the Marchessa’s door. He has with him a large bouquet of flowers and a ring. He knocks and enters to propose to her. She refuses when Mr. Petroloff shows her the ring he’s brought with him. He tries for his kiss, but the Marchessa yells and attempts to fend him off. Another driver, Odol Paraffini, overhears her screams, enters, and throws Mr. Petrolff out of the room. She thanks the driver. They both shake hands before Odol leaves to return to his room. Intertitles displaying the dialogue are used during this scene. It is now the day of the race, and Petroloff sneaks into the pit to sabotage the other drivers’ cars. Title – Persistent trouble with the Formagio Magnifico lengthened the odds on a victory for Zuppo Minestrone. Title – Madam Ammonia Pergola (Peste) another danger. Odds on her completing the course before night-fall have never been laid! The drivers prepare for the start of the race when Marchessa notices her steering wheel has come loose. Before she has time to fix it, the race is off. Following is a mixture of intertitles, live action, and animation with model cars racing around a track, all of which make up the race. Petroloff is determined not to let Parafinni win. Unable to participate in the race, Marchessa returns to her room. She changes from her racing suit and goes to climb to the top of some rocks to watch the race. She uses binoculars in order to see the cars in the distance. The race continues through a clever mixture of live action and annimation. During one of the final laps, Petroloff throws a can of oil on the track causing Parafinni’s care to slip on the track. Laps behind, another driver is unaware of the oil spill and also slips on the bridge causing an accident forcing Petroloff off the bridge and into the ravine. Just in front, Parafinni wins the race. There is a large crowd at the finish line cheering, and the Marchessa runs off the rocks to congratulate him with a kiss. The film closes with Petroloff slowly making his way out of the river at the bottom of the ravine. Context This film was made by Alan Pickard, a filmmaker from Leeds, who made a number of interesting films, some of which are held with the YFA. The Grand Prix Di Pozzo is clearly a real labour of love: an impressive film to be made by an amateur, with hardly any resources, just for fun. There is very little information available on this film as all those involved in it are no longer alive (as far as we know), and there is no record of how the film came to be made. What we do know is that Alan Pickard made the film with friends and family acting in it, and that they would show it for themselves, just as entertainment. Alan used a rotating painted drum to create the moving background; and magnets to move the model cars, although exactly how this was done is unclear as the film shows many cars moving together in some scenes. Alan Pickard’s father was a photographer and some of his know-how was clearly passed on to his son. Alan himself worked for Waddington Games, the Leeds based manufacturer of many games such as Monopoly, Cluedo and Subbuteo. Here he edited the works journal, and also filmed the process of making the games. This enabled Alan to indulge his love of games as evidenced in this film. The term ‘Grand Prix’ was first used in connection with motor racing in 1901, and by 1928 was firmly established, having been run in several countries. The names of the drivers and cars in this film are comic, and mimic some of the Italian and other international drivers of the time, without any real references. The names were inspired by a comic editorial from the journal ‘The Light Car’ which came out at the time. Although the name ‘Pozzo’ sounds Italian, there are no towns in Italy with that name. Monza, where the Italian Grand Prix is held, is just outside of Milan (there is a small place also near Milan, called Pozzo d'Adda): in line with its comic names and puns, the place is called “Czecho Sciantica”. The film is also ahead of its time in its content: it is reminiscent of the film The Great Race, and the cartoon inspired by this, Wacky Races – although these didn’t come out until much much later, 1966 and 1968-70 respectively. Among other films made by Pickard’s held with the YFA are While Germany Waits (1945), Those Who Are Old (2nd World War) and The Mount School (1939). During the war Pickard, as an active Quaker and pacifist, was a conscientious objector, and just after the war he filmed While Germany Waits showing the devastation in Germany in 1945. This was under the auspices of the Quaker Friends Relief Society – of which Pickard was a member – who raised money to help in relief projects. The value of this lay in the fact that it was a subject little covered by the mainstream media. Those Who Are Old is a Friends Relief Service film that looks at the long term care of the aged population after evacuations during World War II. The last film is of the school where Alan Pickard’s second wife, Joyce Pickard, was head teacher. Joyce Pickard, peace activist and campaigner for euthanasia, was awarded the title of Honorary Freeman of the City of York in 2007.