Nicole Vedrès: When the Century Took Shape

In 1947, thanks to legendary producer Pierre Braunberger, Vedrès, assisted by Alain Resnais, made one of the first found footage films, Paris 1900. The reason why Il Cinema Ritrovato is the perfect festival for Nicole Vedrès, filmmaker, writer and television pioneer, is explained by what Bazin wrote about her first film: “Nicole Vedrès and her small crew created something of monstrous beauty, and its appearance on the screen upset cinema’s aesthetic standards with the same radicalism that Proust had upset those of the novel. […] Proust’s reward with In Search of Lost Time was the ineffable joy of sinking into the depths of memory. Instead here, the aesthetic joy stems from a rift because those memories are not our own. […] Paris 1900 marks the birth of cinema-specific Tragedy, the tragedy of Time”.

Programme curated by Émilie Cauquy e Bernard Eisenschitz

Watchful Dreamer: The Subversive Melancholia of Helmut Käutner

During the 1950s, Helmut Käutner (1908-1980) was the internationally most widely admired director working in postwar Germany: starting with Unter den Brücken, his films often screened at international film festivals, winning awards, garnering considerable critical acclaim, and getting sold abroad. That said: few ever truly knew what to really make of him – no political spectrum, no aesthetic tendency or group ever felt represented by a humanism that defied taking any of the sides officially on offer, as witnessed by Himmel ohne Sterne or Schwarzer Kies; also, the fact that Käutner’s career started during the Nazi dictatorship made many feel uneasy about him – even if the first to have serious problems with masterpieces like Große Freiheit Nr. 7 had been the German fascists. Käutner is a radical of modesty and moderation, an ironic modernist of melancholia, an inventor of cinematic forms, an avant-gardist of the popular.

Programme curated by Olaf Möller

In Search of Color: Kinemacolor and Technicolor

One of the most anticipated events and a haven for those looking for wonder and visual adventure on the screen. Sought out and found in archives around the world, the precious vintage Technicolor films this year will bring pure and fearless melodrama (three magnificent Sirk films) to the screen at the Arlecchino cinema, the sunset colors of a fantastic Dietrich mastered by Lang (Rancho Notorious), and the colors of the dawn of the American nation in Drums Along the Mohawk, the greatest film on the American war of independence and one of the least watched of John Ford’s films. The section started last year on Kinemacolor shorts continues. The two-filter system produced a series of wonderful films between 1908 and 1914 that can now be seen thanks to digital restoration. The Academy Film Archive will present a new selection of reference reels, the reels used to print copies according to the original colors chosen by the directors.

Programme curated by Gian Luca Farinelli


Two Faces of Robert Mitchum

It took his formative years in America working as a drifting laborer, prison and a nose broken in the ring, but also a poet’s sensitivity, to give him that air of sublime indifference, worldly-wise, and the ability to wear madness like the cynical elegance of failure. Described by the directors he worked with as one of the best movie actors in the world, Robert Mitchum, was the most charismatic loser in American cinema, and one of its greatest natural actors, he carefully hid his talent behind a couldn’t-care-less attitude and a display of self-deprecatory humor. Our selection, covering over three decades of his heyday, will show the actor behind the masks, the characters behind the star, ranging from the nonchalant adventurer to the grassroots American pursuing a quest he cannot define. Mitchum’s two faces will be illustrated by two almost simultaneous films: Richard Fleischer’s Bandido! and Robert Parrish’s The Wonderful Country, probably his most revealing incarnation, as well as films by Wellman, Tourneur, Wise, Preminger,  Minnelli, Pollack, Yates.

Programme curated by Bernard Eisenschitz and Philippe Garnier


Jean Vigo Recovered

Two years ago we celebrated 120 years of Gaumont. This year Gaumont Film Company brings to Bologna the restoration that we’ve all been waiting for: the work of Jean Vigo. Curated by Bernard Eisenschitz using a philologist’s approach, we will be able to read much more accurately into what Vigo wanted to say. Starting from the new restored version of the original print of L’Atalante, which offers viewers a chance to rediscover its stark clarity and truly as an ode to sexual desire. Other recent discoveries include a first cut of Zéro de conduite that is longer and more ‘censurable’ than the version most are familiar with as well as dailies of the film; or all the out-takes and dailies from L’Atalante, about which Henri Langlois said, “I saw such beautiful things that Vigo eliminated in his pursuit of pure simplicity.”

Programme curated by Bernard Eisenschitz, thanks to Gaumont


Recovered & Restored

The more traditional section of Il Cinema Ritrovato brings to Bologna the best restored films from around the world, in 35mm and digital. From the 1917 of Caligula to the 1977 of Annie Hall, this year’s selection spans sixty years of cinema, through classic films impossible to resist (Lubitsch and Truffaut, Ray and Laurel&Hardy…) and rarities not to be missed (one for everyone Secrets, by Frank Borzage).


Evening events in Piazza Maggiore

Once again, evening after evening, newly restored films, new and unforgettable film experiences. Saturday 24th will kick off with the most famous dive into a river, and the most famous pillow fight in the history of cinema: L’Atalante and Zéro de conduite by Jean Vigo, two unmissable films on the eternal youth of amour fou and the irrepressible anarchy of childhood. On Friday 23rd, there will be an exclusive screening of the most cutting and romantic coming-of-age story of New American Cinema, The Graduate; and during the week the Californian summer of love in the memorable documentary by Pennebaker Monterey Pop; then on Sunday 2nd July, the legendary photographer Bruce Weber will present Let’s Get Lost, the poignant ‘portrait’ of jazz musician Chet Baker.


Evening events in Piazza Maggiore

Cine-concerts in Piazza Maggiore and in Piazzetta Pasolini

On Monday, June 26th, on the ‘most beautiful cinema screen in the world’, Bologna’s Piazza Maggiore, the most enthralling visual symphony on the concept of revolution will shine once again: Battleship Potëmkin by Sergej Ejzenštejn, with Edmund Meisel’s original score performed by the Filarmonica del Teatro Comunale di Bologna, conducted by Helmut Imig.

On Wednesday, June 28th, King Vidor’s The Patsy will also be screened. A sensation among the last of the American silent comedies and a compelling testing ground for the talent of Marion Davies, it will be accompanied by Maud Nelissen’s score performed by The Sprockets.

A rousing evening on Friday June 30th with the master of deadpan comedy Buster Keaton in Steamboat Bill, Jr. The masterpiece was restored as part of the Keaton Project and features a score written and conducted by Timothy Brock and performed by the Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna.

The search for lost time, which captivated audiences in recent editions, continues in Piazzetta Pasolini. Three screenings using carbon projectors: Nikolaus Wostry of the Austrian Film Archive will present a program of films screened using a vintage hand crank projector; the Austrian guitarist Florian Kmet will accompany Die kleine Veronika by Robert Land; and finally, Addio giovinezza by Augusto Genina, accompanied by Daniele Furlati on the piano and Franck Bockius on drums.


Cine-concerts in Piazza Maggiore and in Piazzetta Pasolini

Universal Pictures: the Laemmle Junior years (Part two)

Following last year’s revelatory Universal Pictures programme, here is another selection of newly restored or rediscovered films released during the tenure of Carl Laemmle Junior as the studio’s head of production. New restorations from Universal include Tod Browning’s scathing crime film Outside the Law, featuring Edward G. Robinson, and Sensation Seekers, a “flaming youth” melodrama directed and written by the premiere female filmmaker of the silent era, Lois Weber. And also the long unavailable original release version of James Whale’s The Road Back, Universal’s sequel to All Quiet on the Western Front. To be presented in 35mm prints newly struck by Universal from the original camera negatives are five more rarely seen films, including Tay Garnett’s Destination Unknown and E.A. Dupont’s Ladies Must Love.

Programme curated by Dave Kehr, in collaboration with The MoMA, New York and Universal Pictures


William K. Howard: Rediscovering a Master Stylist

Because of a career cut short by struggles with alcohol and authority, William K. Howard is barely remembered today. But for the legendary cinematographer James Wong Howe, Howard was “the most creative director I ever worked with”, a judgment borne out by the technologically advanced, feverishly innovative films that Howard directed in the late 20s and early 30s for the Fox Film Corporation. The centerpiece of this mini-retrospective is Howard’s elusive early sound masterpiece Transatlantic, now restored by the Museum of Modern Art to reveal the full power of Howard and Howe’s groundbreaking deep focus work. Among the other titles to be screened, The Trial of Vivienne Ware is a breathtakingly fast courtroom drama, with an inventive use of flashbacks that leads to the complex structure of Howard’s The Power and the Glory, an epic tale of a railroad magnate that had a clear influence on Citizen Kane.

Programme curated by Dave Kehr, in collaboration with The Museum of Modern Art, New York


Augusto Genina: an Italian in Europe

Augusto Genina (1892-1957) is one of the most cosmopolitan directors of Italian film history. His work in cinema began in the early 1910s, and he worked in both France and Germany. Often creating portraits of mischievous women, Genina directed a landmark film in the transition from silent to sound (Prix de beauté, with Louise Brooks). In the 1930s he made fascist war films that combined exoticism and abstraction (Lo squadrone bianco). During the post-war period, Genina’s cinema reflects two sides of his personality: on the one hand, experiments with Catholic variants of Neorealism (Cielo sulla palude, which Bazin loved) and melodrama (Maddalena), and, on the other, the libertine spirit of the belle époque (Frou-Frou). A European director of myriad guises and seasons.

Programme curated by Emiliano Morreale


A Sunday in Bologna

Most Cinema Ritrovato patrons are already acquainted with People on Sunday, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. All the films in this series take place on Sunday. The program includes Gustav Machatý’s first talky Ze soboty na neděli (From Saturday to Sunday) an avant-garde masterpiece of inventive early sound; Robert Hamer’s bleak, post-war British thriller It Always Rains on Sunday; and Luciano Emmer’s utterly enchanting post-war document Domenica d’agosto. There is also a sprinkling of shorts featuring Jacques Tati’s 1935 Gai dimanche. The entire series will be shown on – when else? – Sunday!

Programme curated by Neil McGlone and Alexander Payne