RECOVERED AND RESTORED

Curated by Gian Luca Farinelli

Ever since its first instalment, Il Cinema Ritrovato has been the festival in which the principal international centres of film restoration and conservation showcase the best of their work. This year we received more interesting proposals than ever before, resulting in a programme that is more like a celebration, which takes us on a journey through the 20th century, from 1902 to 1992, in the company of some of the most significant artists of the century, from Méliès to Lynch: 73 films, 32 of which silent and 41 sound, including shorts and features. It is a festival within the festival.
To exhibit this bounty, in addition to the usual venues, we have added one new screen, Cinema Europa, where Il Cinema Ritrovto was born 36 years ago and where, in the evenings, we will host the programme of Pratello Pop, a sub-section of Recovered and Restored focusing on the new pleasures of cinephila through seven anti-classical, passionate and visionary films by Cameron Menzies, Russell, Argento, Waters, Damiano, Cronenberg and Lynch.
For those who love the classics, the menu is just as succulent, with essential works and restorations by Renoir, Buñuel, De Sica, Ophuls, Sirk, Stevens, Visconti, Melville, Rosi, Tarkovsky, Eustache, Bertolucci, Carax and Bogdanovich. If we venture forth from the territories of sound cinema into the silent era, where it all begun, we will find Murnau, two works by the most censored filmmaker in Hollywood, Eric von Stroheim, and one of the first film series, Les Misérables, a four-episode adaptation of Victor Hugo’s tale in which Capellani opts for realism, using the actual cobbled streets and real suburbs of Paris. Meanwhile, the restoration of La Terre by André Antoine takes us back to the origins of auteur cinema and a deliberate use of location shooting.
From the very earliest days, the backbone of film production was comedy, and so our recent restorations could not fail to include comedies by Kri Kri, Cunégonde, Buster Keaton and a delightful comedy based on a big Broadway hit, starring the unique duo of Eddie Cantor and Clara Bow. A real cinematic rediscovery is the comedy Crazy to Marry, ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle’s final film, which was never released because it was blocked after the scandal that befell him – an accusation of rape and murder from which he was completely exonerated without, however, ever being able to return to the screen.
It is impossible to talk about all the films on offer and so I will only mention three non-digital screenings – two vintage 35mm prints and one well-deserved film restoration. Smog, 1962, by Franco Rossi is the first Italian film shot in Los Angeles, and it summarises the view that Italy had of America, an incomprehensible land, and which today constitutes an exceptional document on LA of the period. Arby Ovanessian’s Arby Ovanessian’s Cheshmeh is a previously invisible work of Iranian nouvelle vague of the 60s and 70s. We end with Topkapi, a film that left an indelible mark on my childhood thanks to its creativity and lightness of touch, brought to us in 35mm by the Film Foundation in a splendid new restoration curated by Christopher Nolan.

Gian Luca Farinelli

PRATELLO POP
To show the full beauty of this edition’s restorations, we have added one new screen to our usual venues: Cinema Europa, where Il Cinema Ritrovato was born 36 years ago and where, in the evenings, we will host the programme of Pratello Pop, a sub-section of Recovered and Restored focusing on the new pleasures of cinephila through seven eccentric, passionate and visionary films by William Cameron Menzies (Invaders from Mars), Ken Russell (Tommy), Dario Argento (Tenebre), John Waters (Pink Flamingos), Gerard Damiano (Deep Throat), David Cronenberg (Videodrome) and David Lynch (Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me).

Program