Minerva Film

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Minerva Film was an Italian movie production and distribution company prominently active from 1912 up to 1956, and one of the major companies during the later fascist period, along with Lux Film, Titanus and Scalera Film. It was founded during the Silent Era initially as a distribution company named after Minerva, the Roman Goddess of war, handling major foreign productions for release in Italy during the time. In 1946, the company was involved in a legal dispute with American producer and screenwriter David Selznick over the contract of Alida Valli. Eventually, in 1956, the company ceased its operations due to liquidation.

1st Logo (September 21, 1940)

Visuals: The logo starts with a sketch of Minerva's head statue on top of a pedestal on a moving sunburst background. A thick black ring fades in behind it with the bottom ends connecting with Minerva's neck. As it is fading in, the text "MINERVA FILM PRESENTA" scrolls within the ring from right to left. The ring eventually fades out once the scrolling text is gone.

Technique: Traditional animation.

Audio: The opening theme of the film.

Availability: Only seen on Dopo Divorzieremo.

2nd Logo (October 2, 1941)

Visuals: On a cloudy sky background, there is a silhouette of the same Minerva head statue sitting on top of a pedestal. A light eventually illuminates from above to reveal more of Minerva and the pedestal, which appears to be in a Roman-like style with "MINERVA FILM" carved within it. It stays static for a few seconds until it crossfades to a black background with "PRESENTA" flipping to the center of the screen.

Technique: Practical effects.

Audio: A snare drum roll followed by a trumpet fanfare.

Availability: Only seen on Scampolo.

3rd Logo (September 16, 1942-September 29, 1950)

Visuals: On a zooming starfield backdrop, a white, 5-pointed star zooms toward the camera and dissolves into the same head of Minerva. Then, a white sunburst shape fades in behind the bust, and the words "MINERVA FILM", in a white, art-decó-esque font, appear zooming in, letter-by-letter, above the bust. After a few seconds, the smaller word "PRESENTA", also in white wipes in below Minerva's head. Lastly, after a few seconds, the screen fades out.

Technique: Motion-controlled animation.

Audio: See the previous logo.

Audio Variant: I cadetti di Guascogna uses the opening theme of the film.

Availability: Some earlier films they have distributed either have been lost or don't use a logo at all. Its notable appearances were in La Bisbetica Domata, La vita ricomincia, Avanti a lui tremava tutta Roma, Roma città aperta, Il sole di Montecassino, Natale al campo 119 and I cadetti di Guascogna.

4th Logo (January 24, 1951-December 23, 1954)

Visuals: Over a cloudy setting, there is a different statue of Minerva's head facing towards the right side with "MINERVA" at the bottom. The head then rotates 45 degrees clockwise to face the viewer. When it stops, said "MINERVA" rises to the center of the screen which also reveals "FILM" in the same format and "presenta" in a handwritten style. A light then shines on the text at the moment it stops, blocking Minerva's head. jj Variants:

  • There exists an alternate version where the setting is less cloudy and the text is not fully illuminated.
    • A B&W exists on a 1954 re-release of I due orfanelli.
  • From Parigi è sempre Parigi up until Gelosia, the setting is more dark and cloudy and the camera angle is below the Minerva statue. The text is fully white when the light illuminates it.
  • A colorized variant exists on Amori di mezzo secolo.

Technique: Live-action and chroma-key animation.

Audio: A rising bombastic orchestral suite with harp glissandos at the start, possibly based on the previous logo.

Audio Variants:

  • Parigi è Sempre Parigi as well as other films uses an alternate version of the rising theme.
  • Anema e core and Miseria e nobiltà use the opening theme of the film.

Availability: It mainly appeared in several Italian films.

  • The normal logo made its appearance on its films during the early 50s, which does include Parigi è sempre Parigi, Amor non ho! Però, però.., Domani è un altro giorno and Gelosia.
  • The 1954 variant was seen on La Romana, Cronache di Poveri Amanti, Un giorno in pretura, Amori di mezzo secolo, Miseria e nobiltà, and Il cardinale Lambertini.
  • The alternate variant was seen on a re-release of I due orfanelli and Giorni d'amore.
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