Discoveries from around the world and the best of new digital and analogue restorations; the results of years of hard work by film archives and restoration facilities. This year, aside from definitive restorations of masterpieces such as L’Étrange monsieur Victor, Luci del varietà, À bout de souffle and The Misfits, we celebrate The Film Foundation’s 30th anniversary by showing some of their offerings from both American and Italian cinema including Force of Evil, I cento cavalieri, Tap Roots, Accattone, and the pre-Code comedy I’m No Angel. Richer and more diverse that you could imagine (with additional titles from Germany, Czechoslovakia and Switzerland), get ready to revisit some modern classics such as Robert Altman’s tale of compulsive gambling buddies, California Split, and David Lynch’s compassionate portrayal of a total outsider, The Elephant Man.
In this highly contested year of 2020, Il Cinema Ritrovato proposes a very special candidate to the electorate: Henry Fonda. His iconic status and the wide respect he commands among American actors makes him an obvious candidate. But Fonda’s role in the dream life of the cinema republic reaches far beyond the ‘integrity’ and ‘simplicity’ which have often been ascribed to him and his craft. His persona, as indicated by this film programme, is a polyphonic product of three historical moments – and of the ways in which he embraced these moments. He rose to stardom as a Midwestern contribution to the Popular Front of the late 1930s, haunted by the contradictions between capitalism and democracy. He acquired additional qualities of self-doubt and a somewhat traumatic streak during World War II and its aftermath. And he went on to express the hopes and fears that accompanied the ‘lap dissolve’ from the McCarthy era into the JFK Sixties. To a ‘politique des acteurs’, Fonda appears as the ‘Best Man’, the ‘Wrong Man’, and the ‘Man with no name’, all at the same time.
Curated by Alexander Horwath
The first “comparative” retrospective of Il Cinema Ritrovato – considering the works of two directors in tandem – is all about brilliance outside the pantheon: Frank Tuttle (1892-1963) and Stuart Heisler (1896-1979), each responsible for directing some acclaimed and some neglected gems of American cinema, are the two figures this programme aims to reclaim as masters in their own right. Their films, with detectable distinction, are splendidly paced and unpredictable in the ways they alter the cinematic vocabulary of popular genres. This special pairing is inspired by the philosophical and political visions they shared, which led to them tackling the same subjects (fascism, duality, redemption) in two vividly contrasting styles – often mirroring the work of the fellow director.
Curated by Ehsan Khoshbakht
A journey into the irreverent and cruel cinema of the most unyielding Italian director, Marco Ferreri, with recently found rarities and the latest restorations: His first venture into film in the early 1950s as a producer (and occasionally actor), with the short Colpa del sole, the only film directed by Alberto Moravia, and the anthology film L’amore in città; his Spanish films with a twisted neorealism imbued with absurdist venom; vivid and brutal apologues about the institution of marriage, from the episode L’infedeltà coniugale to Marcia nuziale; from the most extreme and ‘unbearable’ film of his, La Grande bouffe to the masterpiece of the Milanese yet stateless director (moving between Spain, Rome, Naples, France), La donna scimmia, which we will present with its three different endings. A director who suffered significantly from censorship, we’ll also present Ferreri’s Break Up – L’uomo dei cinque palloni, an emblematic film of the interference of censorship, law and production, which will be screened in its entirety with the original colour sequence intact.
Curated by Emiliano Morreale
Vivid colours, the poetry of the grain and the freedom of independent filmmaking in a section which invites you once again to listen to the rattling sound of film projectors inside the cinema and to discover the works of three major visual artists who worked on small gauge film. One focus will be on small-gauge filmmaking from the Netherlands, which gives us the chance to screen films by the surprisingly little-known visual artist and film poet Henri Plaat, and mind-expanding works by one of the pivotal figures of Dutch independent cinema, Barbara Meter. The work of the other artist in this programme, Peter Hutton, is characterized by his exquisite use of the cinematic eye to capture images of an incredible clearness and purity.
Curated by Karl Wratschko and Mariann Lewinsky
Schermi e Lavagne, the educational department of Cineteca di Bologna, dedicates a special programme to young cinephiles: every afternoon boys and girls will be guided through film history, to discover big and small masterpieces. In the mood for Federico Fellini’s centenary, the program is mainly inspired by the circus-like and dream-like atmosphere of his films. We also bring, for the first time, a show by Circo Sotto Sopra, Il grande viaggio di Augusto. Other programs include a tribute to Gianni Rodari; a journey into Eastern European animations; an encounter with surrealist and abstract cinema with live music performance by the So Beast duo; and a special tribute to the recently deceased writer Luis Sepúlveda. Following our tradition, after each screening, young spectators will be able to participate in workshops and games inspired by the movies they have seen. Additionally, a group of young film-lovers, aged 14 to 18 , will host the online clips from the festival for young film lovers, aimed at their peers, where a selection of films will be presented daily.