Recovered and Restored

The section devoted to recovered and restored films is the oldest at Il Cinema Ritrovato. It was originally created in 1986 as an occasion of exchange and discussion for film archives all over the world. Year after year, the section has expanded with an increasing number of films and lenders. In the 1990s the FIAF archives were joined by rightsholders, Cinémathèque Gaumont, the work of The Film Foundation, Murnau Stiftung, the American majors, StudioCanal and Pathé. The introduction of Cannes Classics, Venice Classics and Berlinale Classics all broadened awareness about film restoration and gave new impetus to the campaign to save our global cinema heritage. This year too, our selection was done in collaboration with Cannes Classics, and I want to thank Thierry Frémaux whose care and enthusiasm for working with film history has not diminished in such a dramatic year. Many films that we would have liked to have presented are not ready, and many restorations have been postponed to 2021. In a way it is for the better, because our recovered and restored section has never been so rich. 67 titles, from 19 lenders, from 11 different countries; the oldest film is from 1897, and the most recent is Gomorra from 2008. One of the last great Italian movies made on film, Matteo Garrone oversaw its transfer to digital and its new edition. Those who follow the whole section will enjoy a doubly immersive course in the history of film styles and techniques. From the 68mm of the late 19th century, to what is probably the most ‘poetic’ system for reproducing the colours of reality, Chronochrome Gaumont (1912); from Tap Roots, a sumptuous postwar Technicolor movie, to the invention of a new colour with Strategia del ragno, Bertolucci and Storaro’s first encounter; from the hand-painted colours of Méliès’ La Fée carabosse, to the masterpieces of black and white, Ekstase, L’étrange Monsieur Victor, La Traversée de Paris, High Noon, À bout de souffle, Accattone, The Misfits… Despite Covid-19, the largest institutions dedicated to film heritage preservation will once again be present with their most recent restorations, made in the best laboratories, with highly advanced digital technologies or reusing older artisanal methods. This section tries to represent the complexity and wealth of approaches, as we have always tried to show all kinds of films, from established masterpieces to those that we hope will have a new life after being presented in Bologna.
Happy viewing!

Gian Luca Farinelli