Il Cinema Ritrovato DVD Awards 2018 XV edition – The winners

Jury: Lorenzo Codelli, Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, Philippe Garnier, Pamela Hutchinson, Miguel Marías

Jury President: Paolo Mereghetti


Best Special Features

GERMAN CONCENTRATION CAMPS FACTUAL SURVEY (GB, 1945) di Sidney Bernstein – BFI, Imperial War Museum (Blu-ray + Dvd)
This definitive restoration of Sidney Bernstein’s unreleased propaganda film is fundamentally hugely impressive, which would make this a remarkable release in itself. However, the film requires more than a few notes for context and this package rises to the challenge with considerable sensitivity. Archive interviews, audio commentary and the booklet provide the necessary historical context, but the decision to frame the film with an explanatory intro and a conversational outro makes it possible to watch what might otherwise be unwatchable. The film is also subtitled in 10 languages. (Pamela Hutchinson)


Best Box Set

100 YEARS OF OLYMPIC FILMS: 1912–2012 (autori vari, 1912-2012) – The Criterion Collection (Blu-ray + Dvd)
53 films for 42 editions of the Olympic Games: a triumphal marathon through a number of sport reports, authorial and anonymous, produced in one hundred years of the Olympic Committee. All of them lovingly restored, inserted in their respective historical contexts and published with the brightness worthy of ancient Greece. (Lorenzo Codelli)

ANDREI TARKOVSKI, L’INTÉGRALE (URSS, 1962-1986) – Potemkine Films (Blu-ray + Dvd)
Being a filmmaker, I was so impressed with the Potemkine box set with the restored Tarkovsky films. For the first time I could see that anyone who wants to learn about or study the work of this great master could get a complete perspective of his work. This is perhaps the most comprehensive presentation of the master’s work encompassing his early films, his landmark works, that are further contextualized by his writings and reflections, his polaroids and films by other directors like Chris Marker. For me, it was truly a beautiful presentation. (Shivendra Singh Dungarpur)


Best Rediscovery of a Forgotten Film

MARQUIS DE WAVRIN (Belgio, 1924-1937) di Marquis Robert de Wavrin – CINEMATEK (Dvd)
The marquis Robert de Wavrin had conquered an important place in the history of anthropology for his journey in South America in the Twenties and Thirties. Nobody knew that during those journeys de Wavrin had filmed a number of excellent documentaries at least not until the footage, «forgotten» at the Cinémathèque royale de Belgique, was studied, restored and made available on a double dvd, accompanied by a rich volume elaborately illustrated and documented. Definitely, a discovery for anthropology, but particularly for the cinema – considering the extraordinary quality of the works that unite the attention of the researcher with the quality of a big filmmaker. (Paolo Mereghetti)


Best Single Release

VAMPIR CUADECUC (Spagna, 1970) di Pere Portabella – Second Run (Dvd + Blu-ray)
A rare, silent, black and white vampirisation filmed during the shooting of Jess Franco’s color version with Christopher Lee, based on Bram Stoker’s Dracula. (Miguel Marías)

BEHIND THE DOOR (USA, 1919) di Irvin H. Willat – Flicker Alley (Blu-ray + Dvd)
This is an excellent restoration of a notorious, but long incomplete war film by the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, reincorporating the original tints and supported by a specially commissioned and very distinguished multi-instrumental score by Stephen Horne. This gruesome revenge story from 1919, directed by Irvin Willat, stars Hobart Bosworth and Wallace Beery and opens with some eerily topical scenes of xenophobic patriotism. A thoughtful set of supplements includes the Russian release of the movie, outtakes, essays and an illuminating interview with Kevin Brownlow on Willat’s career. (Pamela Hutchinson)


Peter von Bagh Award

ARNE SUCKSDORFF: SAMLADE VERK (Svezia, 1940-1972) – Studio S Entertainment
More than half a century after the wide commercial success of The Great Adventure (1954), what amazes and delights you even more than this giant of Swedish documentary’s patience and extraordinary camera work is his talent as an editor. No mere image catcher, he always tells a story and never shows nature very far away from man and his dwellings. All these films share one precious thing: intimacy. Stephen Jarl introduces them and offers a moving portrait of Sucksdorff filmed a year before his death in 2001. (Philippe Garnier)


Personal Choices

Lorenzo Codelli:
LISBOA, CRÓNICA ANEDÓTICA (Portogallo, 1930) di Leitão de Barros – Cinemateca Portuguesa – Museu do Cinema (Dvd)
A wonderful portrait of a city and the civilisation at the apogee.

Shivendra Singh Dungarpur:
JEAN-PIERRE MELVILLE COLLECTION (Francia, 1946-1972) – Studiocanal (Dvd)
Here is my personal choice. It’s the Jean-Pierre Melville Collection by Studio Canal. Melville is one of my favourite directors who has influenced my work deeply. I was delighted to see this impressive compilation of six well-known films of his. I look forward to seeing his entire works in a box set at this level of production in the near future.

Philippe Garnier:
MARQUIS DE WAVRIN (Belgio, 1924-1937) di Marquis Robert de Wavrin – CINEMATEK (Dvd)
The editors of this wonderful box start by showing us a son of privilege having to leave Belgium in a hurry because he shot two children who were poaching hazelnuts on the family property. Then we follow this man and his pipe and his 35mm Gaumont crank camera all over South America. The raw footage is often more captivating than the edited feature films, as Wavrin always shoots his native hosts at fraternal distance and heights, with respect and warmth rare in ethnography cinema.

Pamela Hutchinson:
SHOES (USA, 1915) di Lois Weber / THE DUMB GIRL OF PORTICI (USA, 1915) di Lois Weber – Milestone Film & Video (Blu-ray + Dvd)
Two of Lois Weber’s 1916 films, a lavish epic starring Anna Pavlova and a crisp social drama with Mary McLaren, arrive in well-appointed and very welcome Blu-ray releases.

Miguel Marías:
COFFRET LINO BROCKA (Filippine, 1975-1976) – Carlotta Films (Blu-ray + Dvd)
Two of Brocka’s best films in very good copies and with short, to the point, presentations by Pierre Rissient.

Paolo Mereghetti:
LA FÊTE À HENRIETTE (Francia, 1952) di Julien Duvivier – Pathé Films (Blu-ray + Dvd) A film outside of the box, which reflects upon the intersection of the journeys with which the cinema can narrate the same story, through the misadventures of two scriptwriters of opposite tastes. Pathé has rescued the film from oblivion and restored it in a superb edition.