Cinema Lumiere - Sala Officinema/Mastroianni > 14:30


Buster Keaton, Eddie Cline
Introduced by

Cecilia Cenciarelli

Piano accompaniment by

Antonio Coppola


Saturday 02/07/2016


Original version with simultaneous translation through headphones


Film Notes

The premise is quite straightforward: what happens when a butterfly hunter arrives gaily at an Indian camp that is just on the brink of war? This isn’t the first time (and it won’t be the last), that Keaton explores the satirical side of the western genre: here, despite a few inevitable racist clichés, the parody makes no distinction between Native Americans and the White Man. With ten short comedies already completed and a creative energy that begins to suffer the limitations imposed by two reelers, with The Paleface Keaton gives the impression of having made his way out of the city in order to use a larger canvas, to ‘play’ with bridges, cliffs and infinitely tall trees. Keaton’s acrobatic boldness appears limitless: “already he had understood the special potency of these perilous gags – wrote David Robinson – performed as easily as breathing, it seemed, and filmed without fakery, in all-revealing, long-take long-shots as frank in their gaze as Keaton himself.

For the restoration of The Paleface we have inspected, analysed, digitised and compared 19 elements coming from the Cohen Film Collection, the Cinémathèque de Toulouse, CNC – Archives françaises du film, the Deutsche Kinemathek and the Filmoteca de Catalunya.
Film reconstruction used four elements: two different second generation duplicate negatives (RR646 and RRP1519), a duplicate positive (RR5019) containing only the intertitles – all from the Cohen Film Collection – and a first generation positive nitrate preserved at the Cinémathèque de Toulouse. All the elements were scanned at 4K resolution.
Despite its higher photographic quality, the nitrate positive coming from Toulouse showed a considerable number of missing frames in almost every shot and it was therefore used only when possible. That left little choice but to use elements of a lesser photographic quality, such as dupe negative RRP1519 for the reconstruction of reel one and dupe negative RR646, which also included original intertitles, for the second reel. The typeface of the opening title and all the intertitles in reel one have been reconstructed digitally using dupe positive RR5019 as a reference. The textframe from Cops was used for the opening card.
Both dupe negatives and the dupe positive exhibit a print defect which results in a slight anamorphic distortion of the image. Using the nitrate print as a reference it was possible to digitally correct this problem and restore the image to its original aspect.

Cast and Credits

Scen.: Buster Keaton, Eddie Cline. F.: Elgin Lessley. Int.: Buster Keaton, Virginia Fox, Joe Roberts. Prod.: Joseph M. Schenck per Comique Film Corporation. DCP. D.: 20’. Bn.


Film Notes

From the 8th to the 11th August 1916, Pallanza (now Verbania), a small town on the Piedmontese side of Lake Maggiore, hosted a meeting between representatives of the Italian and English governments to discuss the cost of importing coal from the other side of the Channel. Italy, as a matter of fact, intended to break off all relations with Germany, until then its traditional coal supplier. Having reached an agreement with the English, on the 27th August Italy then declared war on the German Empire. The Italian delegation was made up of the Minister for Transport, Enrico Arlotta, and the Minister for Industry, Giuseppe De Nava, while the English side was led by the Foreign Minister, Walter Runciman, and the Ambassador, Rennel Rodd. The English representatives arrived in Pallanza by train and were hosted at the Villa Della Quercia by Edward Capel Cure, commercial attaché to the UK Embassy in Rome. The Italian delegation travelled to Arona by train and from there took the steamship Francia to Pallanza, where they were welcomed by local officials and a cheering crowd. About half of the film is made up of shots of the Pallanza main square; the later sequences, on the other hand, focus on the Cadorna family, who originally come from the town. There are shots of the house in which General Luigi was born, the ‘history room’ dedicated to his father Raffaele, who had conquered Rome at the head of the Bersaglieri, and of the monument to his uncle Carlo, who had been Minister to the Kingdom of Italy several times. The film was donated by General Cadorna to the Museo del Paesaggio of Verbania, where it was later rediscovered.

Gianni Pozzi and Leonardo Parachini

Cast and Credits

DCP. Bn.


Film Notes

This two-reel comedy in which Stan Laurel plays Rhubarb Vaselino is a parody of the 1924 film Monsieur Beaucaire, starring Rudolph Valentino. Here Laurel finds himself at the court of Louis XV and, having offended the King’s favourite, is forced to flee to Great Britain disguised as a barber. The film was considered lost, but about seven minutes of the Italian version were discovered and identified in the Cineteca Nazionale archive. The tinted print was digitally restored at 4K and then printed back onto 35mm stock. The original colours were reproduced using the Desmet method.

Cast and Credits

Sog., Scen.: Monte Brice, Lew Lipton. F.: Reginald Lyons. Int.: Stan Laurel (Rhubarb Vaselino), Melba Brownrigg. Prod.: Stan Laurel Productions, Standard Cinema Corporation. 35mm. L.: 137 m. (l. orig.: 477 m.). D.: 7’ a 18 f/s. Tinted


Film Notes

Laurel and Hardy: given that we are used to considering them the most famous comic double act in the history of the cinema, thinking of them individually produces a strange effect. Nevertheless, before sharing a set (Duck Soup, their first film together, came out in 1927), both Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy had lengthy solo careers encompassing eighty and nearly two hundred films respectively, many of which are considered lost. This was the case of Maids and Muslin in which Hardy plays the role of Mr. Yards (Grasselli in the Italian version) who competes with his business partner Mr. Bolts (Fridolen) for the attentions of the cashier in their textile shop. It is a role in which some of the clumsy romantic gestures that will later be part of Hardy’s repertoire are already recognisable. The film was distributed in Italy under the title Fridolen direttore dei grandi magazzini, achieving great success between 1923 and 1924. A worn out copy about half its original length (the opening and closing credits are missing along with numerous fragments in between) entitled Comica di Fridolen arrived in the Cineteca Nazionale, where it was identified in 2013. Although incomplete, this version is the only one known to exist in the world: a fact which makes its restoration even more significant. In order to fill the inevitable gaps in continuity, new intertitles were inserted and one fragment which was out of place was restored to its original position. The tinted print was digitally restored at 4K and then printed back onto 35mm stock. The original colours were reproduced using the Desmet method.

Cast and Credits

Sog.: Anthony W. Coldeway. Int.: Jimmy Aubrey (Fridolen / Mr. Bolts), Oliver Hardy (Mr. Yard). Prod.: Albert E. Smith per Vitagraph Company of America
35mm. L.: 317 m. (l. orig.: 611 m.). D.: 16’ a 18f/s. Tinted