Curated by Gian Luca Farinelli

It is the oldest section of our festival, which represents both the world of conservation and restoration, and the cinephilic desire to watch or rewatch beloved films and rediscover them anew. Thus, we will screen recent restorations but also invaluable, rare, vintage prints that are rarely let out of the archives. This year’s selection is huge, virtually a festival within the festival. The works selected span silent and sound films, both features and shorts, totalling 122 films made between 1905 and 2009, from Albert Samama Chickli’s works to the very first films by Luca Guadagnino, Yorgos Lanthimos, Guillermo del Toro.
The restoration of the year, in terms of both ambition and scope (seven hours, of which we will show the first part, lasting ‘only’ three hours 40 minutes) is THE Napoléon – the premiere of a new edition of what was, thanks to Kevin Brownlow and Francis Ford Coppola, already the most famous, prestigious and difficult restoration ever undertaken. The Cinémathèque française has worked for 14 years, gathering all the filmic and non-filmic elements available to restore Abel Gance’s work as he originally conceived it, as proof of the potential of cinema in the future. We are moved by how much its director, who constantly stretched himself to challenge the future, was also immersed in the culture of the 19th century, of which the film provides a prodigious synthesis.
Thanks to the Film Foundation, we bring to Bologna and the screen in Piazza Maggiore two of the cornerstones of classical cinema as they have never been seen before – projected in their original Vistavision format and in 70mm: The Searchers and North by Northwest. It will be like entering a monument we already know intimately for the very first time. On the subject of monuments, I would like to mention the new restorations of Shichinin no samurai, Amadeus, The Conversation, and Paris, Texas, works that shaped the cinephile gaze in the 20th century and have now been given a new lease of life in the cinemas of today. We will also celebrate the centenary of Sony Columbia, which for the 30 thirty years has been bringing to Bologna works that have left their mark on the history of film restoration.
In this selection, you will not only find established masterpieces, but also debut films. For example, the dazzling debut of Carlo Saura, who told of the lost youth of the urban periphery a year before Pasolini; or that of the legendary theatre director Peter Zadek who, in Ich bin ein Elefant, Madame told the story of ’68 with gentle irony; or that of the Hungarian costume designer and screenwriter Ester Krumbachová in Vražda ing. čerta, a film that was so beautiful, original and surprising that its author found it impossible to direct a second film. The same fate befell the Georgian Kote Mikaberidze, who was never again allowed behind a film camera as a result of the rousing sense of freedom that emanates from his sole feature Chemi bebia.
There is no way I can mention every film here. I will merely point to the silent shorts of the most beloved male duo in the history of cinema (Laurel and Hardy), restored at last, and four legendary films that, thanks to the Academy Archive, we can finally screen in original Technicolor prints.

Gian Luca Farinelli