If you’ve been keeping up with cars on the silver screen, the last few years have been something of a revival. I’m not going to say Rush was better than Le Mans, but there was a period of decades between the two that didn’t offer much in terms of serious stories centered on racing – not car chases, not protagonists joy-riding Ferraris, not cross-country Cannonballs or Gumballs – but movies where motorsport is both the stage and story.
In the past few years though, we’ve had films either already released or announced on Senna, Williams, McLaren, Lamborghini, and Ferrari, and there are many more being put together with lower budgets and media attention than those. So, the pickings, while still slim, are definitely expanding as of late. However, there haven’t been many films dedicated to the racing cars themselves. There are some, sure, but rarely has there been a film with as much focus on a single machine as 312B: Where the Revolution Begins.
The feature-length story is the project of Andrea Marini and ex-Formula 1 driver Paolo Barilla (also an heir to a certain pasta fortune) to chronicle the development and racing evolution of the car that brought Ferrari into a new era of success in Formula 1 in the modern context of the restoration of Barilla’s original 1970 312B. The cinematography of Emanuele Zarlenga captures the beauty and mechanical intricacies of the process of getting the car ready to be debuted at the 2016 Monaco Historic Grand Prix, while period footage of the cars in their heyday provides the historical background, the genesis story – as well as the general gravitas that comes along with any grainy film of flat-12 Ferraris at racing pace!
Throughout the modern build process, there is the interwoven chronicle of the inaugural 1970 season and what would follow in its many derivations. It was a car experiencing growing pains at the outset, but it saw early success and promise, and the chassis and motor matured under the direction of Mauro Forghieri, the man responsible designing and engineering the 312 range of Formula and prototype race cars. He adds his insights to the film, and these stories of its evolution are recounted as well by an extremely well-qualified cast of people that includes Niki Lauda, Jacky Ickx, Jackie Stewart, Damon Hill, and Gerhard Berger. To hear them talking about what it was like to be there for it all, be in the pits, in the car, in the discussions, that alone is worth the price of admission as they say.
The film was screened earlier this Fall and though its official US release is tomorrow, November 17th, a quick search shows it popping up in select theaters as of this moment. So check out the trailer above if you need any more convincing, as well as a longer trailer from the original Italian release.