Il Cinema Ritrovato 2024 | First Preview

Dear Friends,

We’re delighted to share with you some of the main strands of the forthcoming 38th edition of Il Cinema Ritrovato.

This year, with a programme splendidly rich and diverse, we both revisit the work of some of the most renowned stars and directors in the history of cinema (including Marlene Dietrich and Pietro Germi) and delve into the world of lesser-known and underappreciated masters such as Anatole Litvak, Kozaburo Yoshimura and Gustaf Molander. As usual, the festival will premiere a great wealth of dazzling digital restorations but also screen many films in 35 and 16mm prints from archives and rights holders who keep safeguarding and preserving our common film heritage.
Attending Il Cinema Ritrovato is possible by acquiring a pass in advance. This pass and the unique user code that comes with it will allow you to book your screenings of choice before the festival kicks off. The booking system and the schedule go live two weeks before the festival.
We will soon provide further updates on the other strands that are in the works (including Recovered & RestoredDocuments and Documentaries, Cinemalibero and Il Cinema Ritrovato Kids & Young), in addition to the full line-up of films, guests, and masterclasses.

To many of you, Il Cinema Ritrovato means six screens showing films around the clock, in addition to two outdoor venues – the magnificent Piazza Maggiore with one of the largest screens in the world, and Piazzetta Pasolini’s magic spells with its carbon arc light projections – brightening up your evenings. This year, we are extremely happy to have a new iconic space added to the festival venues: following years of meticulous restoration, the glorious Cinema Modernissimo has finally reopened its doors that started swinging first in 1915. The combination of its architectural splendour, convenient location (right next to the Piazza Maggiore), and the state-of-the-art projection would make this dream underground cinema the new soul of Il Cinema Ritrovato. Come and see!



Marlene Dietrich: Cinema Disrupted

Marlene Dietrich has been celebrated, debated, photographed and, of course, shown on film to such an extent over the last century that, for many European and North American audiences, her first name suffices to introduce her. Notwithstanding all the angles history and cameras have taken on her, a thread runs through her work and life: Marlene Dietrich did not shy away from disrupting film and society – from challenging norms to her show-stopping presence on-screen that interrupts classical narratives to focus all eyes on her and her staging. Precisely these diverse challenges with which Marlene has confronted her audiences have let her be perceived as a role model to this day by different communities: Marlene was provocative as a working mother, as a bisexual star who practiced cross-dressing, as a fashion and style icon who created her own image, as an actress who intervened politically and took a clear stand for freedom, tolerance and democracy. In a selection of major films, this retrospective therefore explores Marlene as a disruptive force in cinema history.
Curated by Deutsche Kinemathek

Photo: Shanghai Express (1932) by Josef von Sternberg



Pietro Germi: A Troublesome Witness

An internationally successful director who played a crucial role in key periods of Italian cinema history (neorealism, commedia all’italiana) and is beloved of filmmakers around the world (including those you would least expect, like Wes Anderson), Pietro Germi nonetheless came across as a surly, aloof filmmaker, whose vision of gender relations was considered to be politically incorrect and who was viewed with deep suspicion by the left-wing cultural establishment. It was only decades after his death that Germi was finally and rightly recognised as one of Italian cinema’s greats. His pessimistic vision of human relations took shape through a highly original reworking of genres: from the western (In nome della legge, the first film ever made about the mafia), to melodrama (Il ferroviere), noir (La città si difende), detective story (Un maledetto imbroglio) and a uniquely personal style of black comedy characterised by explicit and savage social critique (Divorzio all’italianaSedotta e abbandonataSignore e signori). Unlike many filmmakers of his generation, Germi never claimed to be an auteur and remained faithful to a vocation as a popular filmmaker. However, he is one of the directors who most consistently placed emphasis not only on a perfectly written screenplay, but on the mise-en-scène, the composition of the image, and the film’s rhythm.
Curated by Emiliano Morreale

Photo: Pietro Germi in his film Il ferroviere (1956)


Journeys into Night: The World of Anatole Litvak

An unjustly overlooked master with an international career spanning six decades, Anatole Litvak made some of the most riveting and innovative films in the history of cinema that, save for a few titles, are hardly seen or discussed today. The Kyiv-born director of masterpieces such as L’Équipage and City for Conquest made films in Germany, France, UK and eventually Hollywood. This first-time overview of his dazzling career features films from all these bases of production, works that are ripe for rediscovery with their sweeping camera movements, long takes, ironic cutting, and splendid use of décor. Litvak’s films dive into a nocturnal world of flawed and unstable men and women whose identity crisis for Litvak reflects the crisis of the world between the Russian Revolution and the Second World War – a time of awakening and political turmoil that Litvak experienced first-hand.
Curated by Ehsan Khoshbakht

Photo: Sorry, Wrong Number (1948) by Anatole Litvak


Kozaburo Yoshimura: Undercurrents of Modernity

Kozaburo Yoshimura (1911-2000) is one of the neglected masters of classical Japanese film. He was responsible for some of the postwar Japanese cinema’s most compelling dramas, which bear eloquent witness to social change in a rapidly modernising and Westernising country. He began his directorial career at Shochiku in the 1930s and worked until the 1970s, but this programme will concentrate on his career in the 1950s, when his art was at its height. Working mostly at Daiei in fruitful collaboration with screenwriter Kaneto Shindo (himself also a distinguished director), he realised a sequence of gems such as Clothes of Deception (1951) and Undercurrent (1956) (the latter scripted by Japan’s leading woman screenwriter, Sumie Tanaka). These films earned him comparison with Mizoguchi for his sensitive exploration of female experience. Facilitated by the support of Kadokawa, Shochiku, The Japan Foundation and the National Film Archive of Japan, and featuring a new 4K digital restoration as well as vintage 35mm prints, this retrospective will highlight the beauty, power and relevance of Yoshimura’s cinema.
Curated by Alexander Jacoby e Johan Nordström

Photo: Itsuwareru Seisou (Clothes of Deception, 1951) by Kozaburo Yoshimura © Kadokawa


One Hundred Years Ago: 1924

Looking back at the cinema of 100 years past with a selection of canonical classics and lesser-known rarities from 1924 culled from the archives, including seminal films from France’s burgeoning avant-garde scene, Swedish master Victor Sjöström’s majestic Hollywood feature, He Who Gets Slapped, Karl Freund’s “unchained camera” at work in F.W. Murnau’s The Last Laugh, Gabriellino d’Annunzio and Georg Jacoby’s lavish adaptation of Quo vadis? that almost single-handedly bankrupted Italy’s film industry, plus a brand new digitization of Aleksandr Ivanovskij’s Dvorec i krepost’ (The Palace and the Fortress) offering a rare example of colour tinting in Soviet cinema, and a spotlight on the talented female filmmakers Nell Shipman and Lydia Hayward. As ever, the feature films are supplemented by weird and wonderful fiction and non-fiction short subjects as well as newsreel items that highlight some of the major events and key political and cultural figures of the year. And, of course, no One Hundred Years Ago programme would be complete without another thrilling multi-part serial.
Curated by Oliver Hanley

Photo: Der letzte Mann (The Last Laugh, 1924) by Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau


Century of Cinema: 1904

A Fabulous Year! While an impressive number of long and well structured documentaries were being produced by Pathé or Urban, technically open-minded clergymen were filming extensively in Egypt, Turkey and Palestine. Early industrial films show spectacular images of the Westinghouse Company in Pittsburgh/USA and the coal mines in Shirebrook/England; elsewhere, on the big screen, crude humour and frivolous eroticism remind us that in 1904 cinema was an integral part of popular culture. The Latest News! Current events such as theatres destroyed by fires, bomb attacks and the Russo-Japanese war, were being re-enacted. At that same time, cinema allowed audiences all over the world to enjoy the captivating performances of stars performing on the Parisian or Berlin stages, such as Mistinguett, Henry Bender and Les Omers. The ‘director of the year’ is Gaston Velle, a former magician who evolved into a most sophisticated filmmaker.
Curated by Mariann Lewinsky and Karl Wratschko

Photo: Événements russo-japonais: Combat naval russo-japonais (1904) by Lucien Nonguet. Affiche Candido de Faria © Collection Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé


Dark Heimat

The late 1940s and very early 1950s saw a scattered production of films in which the worries of today and the pain and shameful memories of the recent past got discussed in stories set at the edges of Germany and Austria – in the rural far-away of the Alpine regions. In terms of genre, they’re rooted in what soon would be called Heimatfilm: movies set in specific landscapes whose people are seen as paragons of traditions needed to face the challenges of modern (city) life. But in contrast to the official Heimatfilm classics, these gems had more to do with film noir (Die Alm an der Grenze, 1951) or horror (Die seltsame Geschichte des Brandner Kaspar, 1949, by Josef von Báky); experimented with expressionism (Die Sonnhofbäuerin, 1948) and neorealism (Bergkristall, 1949) alike, and offered political opinions not at all in line with the official narratives of the day. Little known and shown even in their countries of origin, these films offer unexpected insights into a transitional period of Germany and Austria, their cinemas alike.
Curated by Olaf Möller

Photo: Geheimnisvolle Tiefe (Mysterious Shadows, 1949) by Georg W. Pabst


Gustaf Molander, the Actresses’ Director

In a career lasting half a century, director Gustaf Molander made more than 70 films in a variety of genres and styles and left a lasting imprint on Swedish film history. While Ingmarsarvet (1925) is the epilogue to the Golden Age of Swedish silent cinema and on par with some of the more famous films from the era, the programme also includes examples of his brilliance in drama, film noir and comedy from the sound era in films such as En natt (1931), Woman Without a Face (1947) and Fiancée for Hire (1950). Not just a versatile director excelling in different genres, Molander also had an extraordinary ability to bring forth the true potential in actors – in particular actresses. His films with the young Ingrid Bergman in the 1930s launched her to international stardom, but the tribute also provides a rare opportunity to see Harriet Andersson, Eva Dahlbeck, Inga Landgré and Gunn Wållgren in the early stages of their respective careers.
Curated by Jon Wengström

Photo: En Kvinnas Ansikte (A Woman’s Face, 1938) by Gustaf Molander

The Colours of Small Gauge Cinema

This year we present a rough guide through the developments and usages of colours in small-gauge filmmaking. The journey starts with tinted 16mm vintage prints from the 1920s and continues in the 1930s with amateur films. Thanks to lenticular colour motion picture processes like Kodacolor and monopack multilayer films like Kodachrome, colour became surprisingly more common in small-gauge cinema compared to commercial films made in 35mm. After the Second World War, colour film stock became also very popular in promotional and industrial films. From the 1970s onwards, colour in film had become an everyday phenomenon and no longer grabbed the attention of spectators like before. This might be an explanation why more and more innovative filmmakers like Bill Brand, Arthur and Corinne Cantrill and Christian Lebrant started to experiment with the possibilities of film colour to make them visible again.
Curated by Karl Wratschko in collaboration with Cinémathèque16, INEDITS & Lichtspiel/Kinemathek Bern

Photo: Puce Moment (1949) by Kenneth Anger

Not Only Films

Il Cinema Ritrovato – Blu-ray & DVD Awards 
The international jury will pick the best home-video releases of the year.

Book Fair
The most tempting collection of film books, DVDs, Blu-rays and posters offered inside the Renzo Renzi Library. Leave some empty room in your luggage!

2024 FIAF Film Restoration Summer School
The 10th FIAF Film Restoration Summer School will take place in Bologna during summer 2024. To learn more visit


Il Cinema Ritrovato Board 2024

Directors: Cecilia Cenciarelli, Gian Luca Farinelli, Ehsan Khoshbakht, Mariann Lewinsky

Artistic Committee: Richard Abel, Peter Bagrov, Peter Becker, Janet Bergstrom, Kevin Brownlow, Gian Piero Brunetta, Ian Christie, Lorenzo Codelli, Eric de Kuyper, Bryony Dixon, Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, Bernard Eisenschitz, Alexander Horwath, Aki Kaurismäki, Dave Kehr, Martin Koerber, Hiroshi Komatsu, Miguel Marías, Nicola Mazzanti, Mark McElhatten, Olaf Möller, Alexander Payne, Chema Prado, Elif Rongen-Kaynakçi, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Thelma Schoonmaker, Martin Scorsese, Jon Wengström, Karl Wratschko

Programming Committee: Guy Borlée, Roberto Chiesi, Anna Fiaccarini, Goffredo Fofi, Andrea Meneghelli, Paolo Mereghetti, Emiliano Morreale, Davide Pozzi, Elena Tammaccaro

Coordinator: Guy Borlée
Promoted by: Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna
Supporters: Gaumont, The Film Foundation, Pathé
With the support of: Comune di Bologna, Ministero della Cultura – Direzione generale Cinema e audiovisivo, Regione Emilia-Romagna – Assessorato alla Cultura, Creative Europa Media
Main Sponsor:  Gruppo Hera


Buy your pass online


Bologna Welcome will provide festivalgoers with complete information about accommodation in Bologna, as well as travelling tips. Early birds will have better opportunities and benefit from special rates. Click here to discover more.

Info and contacts
Cineteca di Bologna
Via Riva di Reno, 72 – 40122 Bologna – Italia
Tel +39 0512194814/4211