Recovered and Restored

Perhaps more so than in any other edition, the Recovered & Restored selection this year will comprise acclaimed masterpieces along with the forgotten, sublime and must-see films. From Night Games (Nattlek, 1966) by Swedish actress and director Mai Zetterling to Nightmare Alley (1947) by Edmund Goulding, a tumultuous tableau of ruin and defeat, which will soon be remade by Guillermo del Toro; from Frenchman’s Creek (1944) by Mitchell Leisen, a pirate film with a female lead and all the vibrancy of Technicolor, to the silent serial Belphégor (1927) by Henri Desfontaines; and the brilliant Watermelon Man (1970) by Melvin Van Peebles, in which a racist white insurance broker discovers one morning that his skin colour has changed. If you are looking for masterpieces by the greatest of masters now finally restored, there is no question that you need to be in Bologna this year for screenings of The Flowers of St. Francis (Francesco giullare di Dio, 1950) by Roberto Rossellini, The Lower Depths (Les Bas-fonds, 1936) by Jean Renoir and Vampyr (1932) by Carl Theodor Dreyer. And, how could we forget, a marvellous silent comedy with live music: Erotikon (Mauritz Stiller, 1920).
Curated by Gian Luca Farinelli

Recovered and Restored

Romy, Life Lived and Fiction

She made her debut in the tender colours of Austrian fairytales, alongside her mother Magda who had starred in Max Ophuls’s Liebelei and was a well-known mistress of Nazi officials. For several years she was Sissi, loved by audiences around the world and enjoying a resounding success that seemed to promise a future in purely commercial cinema. Instead, Romy Schneider left it all behind – Germany and her sweet youth – and emerged in international cinema with clarity, depth and substance. A new beauty and new talent began to bloom. Welles wanted her immediately for The Trial, and in Deray’s The Swimming Pool her allure contrasts with Jane Birkin’s adolescent fluttering (and between them Alain Delon – a trio you’ll lose your mind over). They say that she never recovered from Delon abandoning her, but life had other terrible wounds in store for her. She was directed by Losey, Visconti, Tavernier, Costa-Gavras and Sautet, who was especially able to capture her most authentic aura: transparent and mysterious at the same time. She passed away too soon and was caught on film just in her prime.
Curated by Volker Schlöndorff
In collaboration with Cinémathèque française

Romy, Life Lived and Fiction

Something to Live For: The Cinema of George Stevens

No other director has been credited for filming such disparate situations and figures, of such cultural and historical importance: from Laurel & Hardy’s cake-throwing parties to the Crucifixion; the unique elegance of Astaire/Rogers’s dance numbers and the liberation of Dachau, the latter a real-life document. This year’s American master and the man behind such classics as A Place in the Sun and Shane is George Stevens, who rose from the rank of camera-cranker at Hal Roach Studios to become a filmmaking ace and comedy specialist in the 30s. However, after participating in active combat and filming some of the major atrocities of WWII, something changed in this romantic adventurer. The newly gained intellectual maturity, combined with Stevens’s characteristic fluency and brio, proved fertile ground for directing an array of masterpieces which, along with a survey of his late 30s and early 40s masterpieces, are the main focus of this retrospective.
Curated by Ehsan Khoshbakht

Something to Live For: The Cinema of George Stevens

Aldo Fabrizi: "Taken from the World too al dente"

Known to international audiences as the Catholic priest in Rome, Open City and to Italians as the embodiment of a happy and working-class Rome, Aldo Fabrizi was a great comic actor but also something more. He was often a sort of co-writer of the films he starred in, collaborating on the screenplay or rewriting his own characters. Fabrizi was also a director, a role that has recently been rediscovered: he made eccentric comedies such as The Passaguai Family and comedy-meets-drama like Emigrantes and Una di quelle. With an uncommon flair for writing and staging, Fabrizi’s career marks a transition in Italian cinema, between neorealism and modern cinema. Il Cinema Ritrovato pays homage to him with a selection of his most significant performances and directorial work, up to his unforgettable appearance in Ettore Scola’s We All Loved Each Other So Much.
Curated by Emiliano Morreale

Aldo Fabrizi: “Taken from the World too al dente”

Herman Mankiewicz: A Scattered Talent

The stale Citizen Kane authorship saga (or even Mank) to the contrary, Herman Mankiewicz was not some unrecognized or persecuted genius. His personal demons and his successive functions in the picture business were too many for him to have left a solid body of work behind. He also disdained movie writing too much to apply himself at more than rewriting or touching up. As a title writer at Paramount, he could be brilliant. As story editor at Paramount his impact is harder to define. Surely he was at bat for the early Marx Brothers pictures, whom he had produced in New York, and we’ll see him coach for Klopstokia in the Million Dollar Legs, a ‘brotherless’ version of Duck Soup. But this irreverent wit also had a serious side with an interest in politics: in 1933 he penned a notorious script called The Mad Dog of Europe, which featured a housepainter named Adolph Mitler that went unproduced throughout the 1930s. His work at MGM is better known, as a polisher of plays like Dinner at Eight, or his entertaining take on Mata Hari, Stamboul Quest. It is as difficult to define his movie contributions and his talent as it is to do it in a 4-film tip of the hat, but we’ll try. Without Citizen Kane.
Curated by Philippe Garnier

Herman Mankiewicz: A Scattered Talent

Super8 & 16mm – Great Small Gauges

After two years of presenting exclusively short 16mm films, we are about to expand the view on small gauge filmmaking. An important part of this year’s selection is formed by long-form work, where small-gauge film stock has been used extensively. Moreover, Super8mm, a format which rarely finds its way into a movie theatre, is also included. The section presents pure cinematic miniatures of Helga Fanderl in a programme curated by the Super8mm artist herself, lyrical documentary landscapes and cityscapes by Annik Leroy and an anti-ethnographic essay by Trinh T. Minh-ha. As an extra, the session with the wondrous Archeoscope, an ‘all gauges’ machine built and operated by Jan Kulka, will allow you to experience the magic of analogue projection, not of a film strip, but of salt, lace, dust and more.
Curated by Karl Wratschko and Mariann Lewinsky

Super8 & 16mm – Great Small Gauges

Il Cinema Ritrovato Kids & Young 2021

As usual, Schermi e Lavagne, the education department of the Cineteca di Bologna, offers a section for our youngest cinephiles. This year we are happy to offer children the experience of a return to the cinema auditorium: for seven days, younger audiences can discover films from all eras and travel through time and space in the company of cinema from around the world. Alongside the Cinema Lumière screenings there will be workshops, meetings with industry professionals, and live shows.

Il Cinema Ritrovato Kids & Young 2021