The best 35mm and digital restorations from around the world. From Nerone (1909) to Totò che visse due volte (1998), eighty-nine years of cinema with films to be discovered (De Toth, Clair, Joseph Kane) and ones we will never get tired of seeing, especially in the versions presented here (Mizoguchi, Aldrich, Nicholas Ray). With three films produced by Republic personally chosen by Martin Scorsese, a tribute to the boundless wealth of B films from cinema’s golden age: That Brennan Girl, a 1940s woman’s drama by Alfred Santell, Joseph Kane’s The Plunderers, a western-crime movie, and Herbert Wilcox’s exotic melodrama Laughing Anne. We will also commemorate the protests of 1968 with a selection of Cinétracts by Marker, Godard, Gorin and the Dziga Vertov Group.
There are actors who, throughout their careers and their roles, shape for themselves a multi-faceted, indefinable personality, while others are faithful to their character from their first to their last film. And then, there’s Marcello Mastroianni. A one-of-a-kind performer, who was able to display a wealth of qualities and features that are hard to combine: a great actor and an icon, embodying at once elegance, empathy, sensitivity and light-hearted disenchantment. In line with the festival’s tradition, this programme will present nine titles from across Mastroianni’s extraordinary career: from Giuseppe De Santis’ Giorni d’amore, which won him his career launching Best Actor award; to his great success with Alessandro Blasetti’s popular comedy La fortuna di essere donna, and his life-changing encounter with Federico Fellini and the international sets who allowed him to leave Rome behind and become unreachable.
Founded in 1915 by the self-educated entrepreneur William Fox, the Fox Film Corporation became home to the most dazzling line-up of directorial talent in the studio era. As silent film transitioned into sound – the period that is the focus of this programme – the Fox directors included Frank Borzage, Allan Dwan, John Ford, Howard Hawks, William K. Howard, Henry King, William Cameron Menzies, F. W. Murnau, Alfred Santell, Raoul Walsh and many other important filmmakers. Yet this legacy was almost lost when a 1937 vault fire at Fox’s New Jersey storage facility destroyed all of the Fox Film negatives and most of the positive prints. That any of the Fox Film inventory survives today is largely thanks to Eileen Bowser of the Museum of Modern Art, who worked with producer Alex Gordon to rescue the nitrate work prints and reference copies stored at the studio in Los Angeles. This programme presents recent restorations from the Fox Film collection by the Museum of Modern Art and the UCLA Film and Television Archive.
Labelled a ‘pink neorealist’ along with other filmmakers of the 1950s, Luciano Emmer made several inventive and original movies that helped redefine the aesthetic tenets of Italian cinema. Placed chronologically after Neorealism and before commedia all’italiana, Emmer’s works occupy a space of their own and possess great attention to detail and ambience. He was the voice of young characters and social groups in transition at the threshold of modernity, often setting his stories in Rome, which he captured in a lively perspective. Emmer, however, is perhaps best known as an important figure in documentary film history and the inventor of art documentaries. Through expert use of sound and image, he created films that transformed works by great artists into stories, from Giotto to Goya. We will also present a selection of Caroselli and some episodes of the popular Rai television programme Io e…
Concealed identities, troubled yet enduring love affairs, tragic destinies assuaged by altruism and sacrifice… The films of John M. Stahl treat familiar subjects and themes with a striking sense of fluency and directness. Favouring a certain bareness and modernity in both feeling and style, Stahl’s work has proved to have a lasting emotional power despite earlier critical neglect. In collaboration with the Pordenone Silent Film Festival, Il Cinema Ritrovato revisits the work of this master of melodrama, and one of American cinema’s unsung auteurs. The silent The Woman Under Oath will be screened in Bologna as a preview for the large retrospective in Pordenone, which will include the majority of Stahl’s surviving silents (1917-27). Our overview of Stahl’s career during the sound years, noted for its ‘audacity’ by critic Andrew Sarris, covers both his features made for Universal Pictures, as well as lesser known but equally captivating films made for 20th Century Fox. In both cases one discovers many shades in the work of a single artist, from bright and comic to dark and fatalistic.
Programme curated by Ehsan Khoshbakht
Ella Bergmann-Michel (1895-1971), a German pre-Bauhaus visual artist who mainly worked with collage and photography, has also made several films, precious elements of a career marked by innovations and progressive ideas. Conceptually linked to the Film League and New Architecture, Bergmann-Michel defined the genre of the advertisement film with Wo wohnen alte Leute (Where Old People Live), she enhanced the crowdfunding campaign for unemployment kitchens with her film Erwerbslose kochen für Erwerbslose (Unemployed Are Cooking for the Unemployed) while the fragments of her last work, Wahlkampf 1932 (Letzte Wahl), gives us a striking observation of the election campaign on the streets of Frankfurt.
Thanks to careful research at archives around the world, this year some Technicolor prints will again light up the screen of the Arlecchino cinema. These vintage prints revitalize the original deep saturated colours of some of the most extraordinary films: the impressionist softness of early twentieth-century America (Meet Me in Saint Louis), red and shimmering gold on the most beautiful female figures of the 1950s (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), the blue sky of Bodega Bay darkened by the attack of The Birds, the colours of a hostile nature in Deliverance, and the new chromatic textures of New Hollywood films, from The Getaway to The Godfather. This year also marks the Kinemacolor programme’s third year; and the Academy Film Archive will present a new selection of ‘reference reels’ of early 1970s films, which were used for printing copies with the colours chosen by directors.
This year a special segment of our section will feature films that have come back to life after being hindered or banned from screens. The self-censorship of Ingmar Bergman, who shunned his own This Can’t Happen Here and shrouded it in mystery, a cold war apologue in Stockholm, embarrassingly ideological and of disturbing visual ambiguity; French censors disapproved of the enlightened ‘immorality’ of Jacques Rivette’s La Religieuse, sparking such a resounding protest at Cahiers du cinéma that the film became a historic case; the market’s own power of censorship by making films disappear from distribution like The Last Movie and eliminating dissonant voices from Hollywood like Dennis Hopper; and then there’s Ciprì and Maresco’s Totò che visse due volte, the last film to be banned in Italy – the reason: blasphemy and being offensive to religion.