Il Cinema Ritrovato Kids

Schermi e Lavagne, Cineteca’s Education Department, has organized a special programme for little film-lovers: each afternoon children can discover big and small masterpieces of film history. The main focus this year is a tribute to Osvaldo Cavandoli, maestro of Italian animation and the creator of the unforgettable cartoon La Linea. Many other films are on the programme: the first shorts by Aardman, the animation studio that produced Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep, beautiful animated Polish movies of the ’50s and ’60s, early films with live music and the most recent CGI animated shorts made by young animators at the CSC of Turin. After each screening, kids can participate in a workshop or games inspired by the afternoon’s selected movies.

Cine-concerts in Piazza Maggiore and in Piazzetta Pasolini

Sunday 24 June the giant screen of Piazza Maggiore will light up with Rosita, the magic and stormy encounter between Mary Pickford, the brilliant young star who could already see her career slowly fading, and Ernst Lubitsch, making the debut of his legendary American career. This extraordinary film will be accompanied by music performed live by the Mitteleuropa Orchestra,  conducted by Gillian Anderson, who reconstructed the film’s original score from music sheets at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
Wednesday 27 June is the evening dedicated to Frank Borzage’s 7th Heaven, a melodrama in the shadow of the war, a masterpiece of narrative power and scenic beauty, which will be amplified by the original score composed by Timothy Brock commissioned by the Orchestre Philarmonique de Radio France and performed by the Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna.
Four films projected with carbon arc lamp projector in Piazzetta Pasolini bring back to life the flickering, moody atmosphere of old cinemas. Three evenings are part of the section Song of Naples and will be accompanied by three musical groups: Guido Sodo and François Laurent, Antonella Monetti and Michele Signore, and E Zézi Gruppo Operaio.

Cine-concerts in Piazza Maggiore and in Piazzetta Pasolini

Recovered & Restored 2018

The best 35mm and digital restorations from around the world. From Nerone (1909) to Central do Brasil(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. .

Marcello Come Here: Mastroianni Rediscovered (1954-1974)

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.

William Fox Presents: Rediscoveries from The Fox Film Corporation

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.

Luciano Emmer 100: The Art of Gazing

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…

Immortal Imitations: The Cinema of John M. Stahl

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

The Woman with The Kinamo: Ella Bergmann-Michel

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.

In Search of Color: Technicolor & Co.

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, 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.

Documents and Documentaries 2018

This section has some real gems: Mi ricordo, sì, io mi ricordo, a documentary film about Marcello Mastroianni directed by Anna Maria Tatò in 1997, and Carosello che passione, in which Luciano Emmer reconstructs the dawn of Italian TV advertising (and the history of one of the TV shows that shaped the collective imagination of the Italian baby boomer generation) with the precision and vitality of a great documentary filmmmaker. And that is not all: The Legend of the Ugly King, a compelling portrait, exploring the life and works of Yilmaz Güney; Ma vie en Allemagne au temps de Hitler, a montage of striking found footage showing Germany under the dark, towering shadow of swastika, with the voice of Ute Lemper; a fascinating and hypnotic Voyage au Congo by André Gide and Marc Allegret; and a few episodes of Chris Marker’s extraordinary documentary L’Heritage de la Chouette (1989) in which by ‘stripping’ twelve words of Greek origin and interviewing intellectuals and politicians, Marker explores the cultural legacy of Ancient Greece and how it has shaped our minds.

One Hundred Years Ago: 1918

Film production of 1918 is marked by the last year of the Great War and the apogee of the Italian Diva film. Admire Francesca Bertini, Pina Menichelli and Lyda Borelli at their best. Wonder why avantgarde poet Vladimir Mayakovsky in Bolshevist Russia adapted a novel by Edmondo De Amicis and get to know counter-revolutionary cinema activities in Europe. Rediscover the immensely popular Hedda Vernon and the Czech filmmaker and actress Olga Rautenkranzová, and be happy that fragments of Âmes de fous by Germaine Dulac, Der Fall Rosentopf by Ernst Lubitsch and of films with Bela Lugosi and Douglas Fairbanks have been found and restored. A treat for the eyes will be the art direction of Ben Carré and the exotic studio settings in adventure films, the genre on the rise.

1898: Year Three of Cinema

Science and fiction, religion, news and music hall sketches: film production in 1898 presents an highly entertaining diversity. A key figure of that year was William Kennedy Dickson who shot many films for the British Mutoscope and Biograph Syndicate, established studios and branch companies in France, Holland and Germany and filmed, in wonderful 68mm, beaches, boats, queens and even the real Pope blessing the camera. The Lumière Brothers’ The Life and Passion of Jesus Christ in thirteen scenes began the journey towards features films; while Geoges Méliès, juggling with his four laughing heads, saved the business of itinerant cinemas. And from Prague, ‘in new restorations, the first Czech movies filmed in 1898 by Jan Krizenecky.

1898: Year Three of Cinema

Song of Naples. Tribute to Elvira Notari and Vittorio Martinelli

This small section is as a tribute to two important figures of Neapolitan cinema. Ten years after his death, we remember Vittorio Martinelli with great affection and esteem; he passionately studied the cinema of Naples, writing one of its most compelling histories. Elvira Notari is an icon of Neapolitan films of the 1910s and ’20s, and her pictures are extraordinary examples of how cinema grabbed hold of Neapolitan popular culture, of which singing is the most emblematic expression. So it is music that guides this programme offering significant silent movies set in Naples with film concerts and the brand new – supported by The Film Foundation – restoration of Carosello napoletano, a unique Italian musical movie with, not surprisingly, Naples as its star (and an impassioned young Sophia Loren).

Arrigo Frusta and The Writing Workshop

In the effervescent Turin of the 1910s, Arrigo Frusta (1875-1965), born Augusto Sebastiano Ferraris, was the director of Ambrosio’s “Screenplay Office”. An eclectic figure, Frusta was an intellectual, a bon vivant, a would-be notary and a journalist by vocation. The nascent film industry won him over with its new technology and the monthly salary of 300 lire that working for a movie company could guarantee him. Schiller, Virgil, Balzac, D’Annunzio and Shakespeare, no adaptation was too mighty for Frusta’s pen. With over 250 screenplays and scenarios, he made a decisive contribution to establishing the practice of writing for cinema. This year Il Cinema Ritrovato is offering a sneak peek into the world of stories that this prolific screenwriter created, starting with a restored version of Nerone (1909). Peopled by emperors and Risorgimento martyrs, romantic heroines and amazons, psychopathic killers and depressed fairy-tale princes, Frusta’s universe provides a kaleidoscopic view of Italian silent film.

The Keaton Project

“Keaton did cooperate with the universe, a trait that continues to distinguish him from his fellow comedians – wrote Pulizer prize Walter Kerr – most clowns regarded the physical world as an obstacle to be overcome or evaded, by ingenuity or by grit. Keaton felt otherwise. He knew all about obstacles, of course. But treacherous as the universe might be, Keaton trusted it.” Whether in the middle-of-nowhere-Alaska fishing with Eskimos, in a cattle ranch or in a deep-sea diving suit among cannibals and submarines, it’s precisely the encounter between Keaton’s characters and the physical world that produces, at best, a masterpiece, at worst, endless, hilarious gags. The Keaton Project, launched in 2015, is jointly promoted by Cineteca di Bologna and Cohen Film Collection.

The Keaton Project

Second Utopia: 1934 – the Golden Age of Soviet Sound Film

1934 was the first year of relative political freedom in the USSR and, consequently, a year of perfect harmony in Soviet film history. After a series of crises filmmakers seemed to have finally obtained a balance between high artistic standards, the box office and the authorities’ demands. The year was marked by an remarkable success of Chapayev – praised by Eisenstein, watched by Stalin 38 times, and still loved in Russia today. Filmmakers, from veteran Yakov Protazanov to the relatively unknown Mark Donskoi, got a second wind – experimenting with sound effects and music (among those who wrote for cinema in 1934 were Prokofiev and Shostakovich), exploring new genres, such as political satire and stylized historical comedy, setting new standards in camerawork. Even silent cinema gained a new life, enriched by the acting and editing techniques of the sound film. Decades later Grigori Kozintsev, who, together with Leonid Trauberg, directed one of his best pictures that year, The Youth of Maxim, would call this period “Second Utopia” (the first one being the post-revolutionary decade). This time the hopes were shortlived: The Great Terror started in 1936.

 

Second Utopia: 1934 – the Golden Age of Soviet Sound Film

The Rebirth of Chinese Cinema (1941-1951)

At the end of the Pacific War, cinema returns to life in mainland China and Hong Kong. We see the return of quality films comparable with those made by progressive film makers in the 1930s. Like ten years before, these films focus mainly on contemporary subjects and develop a sort of neorealism (much like the Italians after the war) which denounces the most crying injustices of the time and criticizes the darker aspects of society. At the same time, they never try to give lessons and excel at comedy, with sometimes a bitter undertone, as it is the case in Phoney Phoenixes starring Li Lihua and Shi Hui, probably the most successful film of this selection and Spoiling the Wedding Day. The other films offer a diversified panorama of the period: Along the Sungari River gives a unique and beautiful glimpse of the happiness of ordinary people in a small village before the Japanese invasion of Manchuria. The other films come from two companies of Shanghai: the Kunlun of Xia Yunhu and the Wenhua of Wu Xingzai which produced great classics like Spring in a Small Town, Lights of Ten Thousand Homes, The Winter of Three Hairs and This Whole Life of Mine. Princess Iron Fan, the first feature-length animation film of China (and Asia), is a film rarely seen. It was made after the Japanese occupation of Shanghai in 1937, at the time of the “Orphan Island”, when Chinese cinema could still survive freely and make valuable films in the haven of the French and English concessions.

Cinemalibero

For eleven consecutive editions, this programme has attempted to present films that were, in different degrees, at the margins of the mainstream market; filmmakers who have expressed a unique point of view and found a personal language, relevant to their latitudes of the world. Several films supported and restored by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project will premiere at Il Cinema Ritrovato this year, along with restorations from several other institutions who are joining forces to make sure that these masterpieces find their way back to the big screen. Although geographically distant, the regions explored this year have been cinematographically and ideologically close from the late 1960s onwards, when filmmakers in Africa began to make their voices heard and auteurs in Latin America started to theorize a militant cinema of decolonization. Many films from these vast regions were able to turn intimate stories and individual memory into loud collective statements (“the people of my arteries, the arteries of the people to which I belong” said Egyptian master Youssef Chahine). We will walk the streets of Colobane in Senegal, Burkina Faso, among Mexican and Algerian revolutionaries, streets boys from São Paulo, Guaraní Indians in the yerba mate plantations.

Yilmaz Güney, Despair of Hope

Yılmaz Güney first established a strong relationship with his audience as an actor in the 1960s, after appearing in around 100 films. He was adored by millions who lovingly called him “the Ugly King,” shattering the prevailing image of the pretty faced star. He moved on to write and direct his own films that reflected the realities of his people. This was no easy feat, as he would spend most of his productive years behind bars. Nevertheless, Güney managed to put his signature on world cinema with the films he directed from his prison cell by sending out instructions to his collaborators. Defying the established conventions of popular cinema that had made him a star, Güney’s own films focused on the common man’s struggles for existence in an unjust world. Under the double pressures of morality and poverty, his anti-heroes would often cling to deceiving hopes before slowly sliding into despair. The result was a powerful portrait of the developing world.

Marcello Pagliero, the Italian of Saint-Germain-des-Prés

A pioneering filmmaker who worked between Italy and France as well as in Egypt, New Guinea and Russia, Marcello Pagliero and his films were open to multiple influences. He belonged to a network of intellectuals and artists in Italy and in France, and was very close with Roberto Rossellini, who directed him in Roma città aperta, De Sica, Flaiano, Amidei, Levi, Sartre, Queneau, Genet, Astruc, Doniol-Valcroze… Pagliero was an unpredictable director and created singular films in Italy such as Roma città libera and Vestire gli ignudi as well as giving French cinema two movies with an approach combining neorealism, poetic realism and existentialism: Un homme marche dans la ville and Les Amants de Brasmort. Praised by André Bazin, these two works alone justify his reputation, but Pagliero’s filmography also includes other hidden gems made in both Italy and France.

Cécile Decugis, editor and filmmaker

Cécile Decugis (1930 – 2017) worked in film for nearly sixty years. She started out as an editing intern for Max Ophuls, beginning a career that spanned from the era of 35 mm with optical sound and splicing with film cement to the digital age. She was one of the original editors of Nouvelle Vague cinema: A bout de souffle, Tirez sur le pianiste – a project interrupted by her arrest in connection with the Algerian FLN, for which she spent two years in prison –, nine films for Rohmer between 1969 and 1984. She was also an instructor at Femis, where she taught students how to break the rules. Her work as a director, however, is hardly known, and two programmes will focus on her films with widely varying shorts – starting with La Distribution de pain (Réfugiés algériens en Tunisie), brutal testimony of life on the border between Algeria and Tunisia in 1957 – along with moral tales from a feminine perspective, stories and film essays.
Programme curated by Garance Decugis and Bernard Eisenschitz

Censored, Recovered, Restored

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.

Evenings events in Piazza Maggiore

Never shown before on a screen of this size, Bicycle Thieves, perhaps ‘the’ masterpiece of neorealism, will reverberate with new emotional power as we watch the adventure of a poor father in post-war Italy, his wanderings captured by the camera of De Sica, whose work with Zavattini reaches its artistic peak in this film. We can also expect a new experience and sensations from the screening of The Seventh Seal, Ingmar Bergman’s great medieval fable, a danse macabre brilliantly lit by one of the greatest photographers of all time, Gunnar Fischer. The film overflows with visual imagery that is literary, popular, tragic, farcical, horrid and carnal. And that is not all: Marcello Mastroianni in the unforgettable role of Baron Cefalù in Pietro Germi’s Divorce Italian Style, one of the films that exported an idea of Italy (part critical observation and part stereotype); The Deer Hunter, the most unforgiving and allegorical film of post-Vietnam American cinema; the rediscovery of the Mexican movie Rosauro Castro.

Evenings events in Piazza Maggiore