Filmmaker Yuri Ancarani spent almost a year filming in a marble quarry in the Carrara region of Italy's Apuan Alps to gather footage for his short film "Il Capo (The Chief)," which focuses on the quarry master responsible for orchestrating the extraction of massive, perfectly hewn blocks.

It's a surreal landscape that seems more movie set than working quarry. I could watch Il Capo at work all day long.

Marble quarry from the distance

Photo: NH53/flickr

The region has had marble quarries in continuous operation since ancient Roman times and it produces a stone that is renown around the world for its bright whiteness. Rome's Pantheon was built with Carrara marble, as was Michelangelo's "David." Here in the United States, you can find Carrara marble at the Harvard Medical School in Boston; Washington, D.C.'s Peace Monument, and the Devon Tower in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

While obviously the techniques used to marble Carrara marble have changed over the years, I imagine that today's Il Capo wouldn't be too out of place were he transported back in time 100 years. Even as he directs two backhoes, there's something timeless about his work.

Michaelangelo's David

Michelangelo's "David" (Photo: Bengamin Vander Steen/flickr)

Washington DC's Peace Monument

Peace Monument. (Photo: Tim Evanson/flickr)

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Shea Gunther is a podcaster, writer, and entrepreneur living in Portland, Maine. He hosts the popular podcast "Marijuana Today Daily" and was a founder of Renewable Choice Energy, the country's leading provider of wind credits and Green Options. He plays a lot of ultimate frisbee and loves bad jokes.

Watch Il Capo, the master of marble, orchestrate the extraction of massive stone blocks
With just a few flicks of the wrist, the quarry chief directs the mining of blocks of Italian marble in a feat of industrial artistry.