Category Archives: Il Cinema Ritrovato

CINEMA RITROVATO 2017: Focus On Buster Keaton – The Neighbors

Posted by Larry Gleeson

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In late 1920, after The fool (the first film that sees Keaton separate from the vulgar humor of Roscoe Fatty Artbuckle) and a series of fortunate and renowned short films, Neighbors is the latest in which Buster Keaton is a writer, director and star – called at the time (in Italy) “Saltarello.” In this short film resurface some of his characteristic elements resurfaces “the articulation narrative based sull’equivoco” in a series of highly dynamic and homogeneous chases and somersaults.

 

Keaton is in love with his neighbor and wants to marry her, but their families hate each other. So they are constantly separated by a fence between their respective yards and that is exploited (with the clothesline) for creating an overwhelming rhythm that binds the story, its misunderstandings, and perpetuates the continuous gag. The “if” in this film is sovereign and becomes an integral part of the narrative that brings the story to its random, happy ending.

 

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“For the restoration of The neighbors nine prints were inspected and analyzed, seven of which […] were scanned and compared. Two items were finally selected for the reconstruction […] “, projected after the digital restoration with an accompaniment by Gabriel Thibaudeau piano.

Later the scapegoat was shown – the restoration of which were “inspected and analyzed twelve components […]. For its reconstruction we have been used two negative dupes, both second-generation, […] “. A more mature film, of 1921, shows the creation of a more elaborate and homogeneous gag, bound together by a plot more articulated: “a cascade of authentic gag linked to each other without any gratuity.” (Marcel WHO)

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Keaton, this time, was targeted because he was accidentally photographed instead of a dangerous inmate, who seizes the opportunity and evades. Keaton’s face appears on all the newspapers of two neighboring countries and he becomes the target of the police (who so resemble those of policemen of 1922) who want the bounty placed on his head. The whole film is of the protagonist in a constant pursuit, and, of course characterized by the inevitable happy ending.

Very famous is the sequence in which Keaton flees on a train, after removing all the cars that made it up, from a distance, approaching a gate to stop. Buster, the only passenger, appears sly and intent, sitting comfortably on the locomotive’s handrail (front) lighting a cigarette before resuming his race.

“The interpretation is not the only problem of the comic, there is also that of creation and staging. The comedian goes racing: how to achieve the effect in due time, then allow the audience enough time to recover, and then push hard or continue progressing as appropriate. […] This rhythm is a science […] “(Buster Keaton in Anthologie du cinéma ).

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—– Carolina Caterina Minguzzi

(Source: ilcinemaritrovato.it)

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“Blow Up” at Cinema Ritrovato 2017

Posted by Larry Gleeson

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Restored by the Cineteca di Bologna, Istituto Luce Cinecittà and Criterion, in collaboration with Warner Bros. Circus Park and at the Criterion and The Picture Ritrovata laboratories, under the supervision of cinematographer Luca Bigazzi, presented at the seventieth edition of the Cannes Festival on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the victory of the Palme d’Or, Blow Up by Michelangelo Antonioni is also one of the appointments which concludes the Cinema Ritrovato Festival.

Inspired by the short story The burrs of the devil Argentine Julio Cortázar, Blow Up arises at a great distance from the narrative – understood as interweaving, in order to exclusively communicate a sense of mystery and ambiguity. The poetry that “tends to promote the interpreter acts of conscious freedom”, drawn up by Umberto Eco in The Open Work (1962), found with the Antonioni film a true cinematic demonstration: determining an emotional and mental disorientation. Blow Up forces the viewer to question the meaning of the vision through aesthetic and philosophical questions put in the form of allegories.

The story takes place in London in the sixties, the “swinging London,” symbol of a new modernity in which the opposition between conservation and rebellion is in continuous turmoil and the image is the main communication vehicle through mass media, magazines , billboards, shows, models, abstract art. Thomas, the photographer, takes some pictures in a park of a couple in love and, while developing them notices he may have photographed a murder. While trying to uncover the truth, it turns away from him enough to make him believe he had imagined it all. “The crisis of the character in the film was a bit “of me” said Antonioni, who made the protagonist of Blow Up an alter ego of himself and part of his aesthetic research. Though the eyes of Thomas, almost never taken subjectively, comes a way for the director to investigate empirical reality with the meticulousness of an explorer. In contrast, however, the film’s images show that every search for meaning is bound to get lost in the multiplicity of meanings and interpretations.

The sensory experience is inevitably a source of deception. Thomas thinks that he, through the magnification, blow up, can overcome the limitations of his eyes and lens but what we get is a blur: the successive enlargements show only, gigantic, whites and blacks grains of the film. The maximum objectivity, namely the photographic reproduction of the real, therefore, coincides with the indecipherable. The “yellow” to Blow Up does not lead to unravel a murder and unmask a murderess since the mystery around the whole story only intends to prove that the truth does not exist.

They have the art insights, subjective interpretations, aesthetic sublimation but the objective reality to which they refer is substantially undefined and elusive. The tennis match of the final allegory expresses this concept – that what is at stake, in addition to the eye, and, even the imagination of the observer is just an interpretation. Art must surrender to fiction. The mimes play without the ball or racket while Thomas now convinced he had imagined it all, hears the noise of the ball from the nonexistent rackets. As correctly pointed out. Roland Barthes talks about Antonioni: “He, the artist, knows the meaning of a thing is not the truth.”

Thanks to theoretical contents capable of dialogue with the modern society of images, where reality always eats more virtual content, Blow Up, makes it incredibly fascinating to present a meditation on the impossibility of tracing a line between reality and fiction.

—-Gisella Rotiroti

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(Source: ilcinemaritrovato.it)

Park Circus in Bologna’s cinephile heaven

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Bologna once again transforms into cinephile heaven from 24 June – 2 July as the city hosts the 31st edition of Il Cinema Ritrovato; the world’s premiere event celebrating classic film both in its original format and in newly restored versions.

Park Circus is pleased to continue its fruitful collaboration with the festival and will be presenting a variety of titles in the ever-inspiring programme – we’ve picked out some highlights below.

River of No ReturnThis year’s festival poster boy is Robert Mitchum; an unconventional and unforgettable leading man whose centenary we are celebrating in Bologna and beyond in 2017. Il Cinema Ritrovato pays tribute to the actor with a section dedicated to his work, focusing on his effortless range and diverse catalogue of character-types. Selections highlight his work as a rugged Western star in River of No Return and his late-career return to the noir genre in films such as The Yakuza.

Mildred PierceJoan Crawford is another actor whose chameleonic qualities are on show in this year’s line-up. Two choice titles – Mildred Pierce and Johnny Guitar – chart her career evolution from the matriarch of melodrama to a performer in camp, self-conscious genre fare. Both screen from 4K DCPs – the new digital print of Mildred Pierce receives its international premiere at the festival.

Saturday Night FeverHighlights from recent festivals also make a welcome reappearance at Il Cinema Ritrovato, with the new restorations of Saturday Night Fever and Blow-Up screening fresh after their success in Cannes. Both offer audiences a unique opportunity to experience these classics anew: Saturday Night Fever screens as a newly compiled director’s cut featuring previously omitted footage, while Blow-Up is presented from a new print out of Bologna’s own leading restoration lab, L’immagine ritrovata.

(Source: ilcinemaritovato.it)

CINEMA RITROVATO 2017: FOCUS ON SHERLOCK HOLMES

Posted by Larry Gleeson

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Every year, the magazine of the Bologna Cinematheque closely – and with a critical eye – reviews the most salient events scheduled. Here’s one of my favorites from this year:

Cinema Ritrovato 2017: Sherlock Holmes, our contemporary

“Elementary Watson!”. It seems that it was Clive Brooke the first actor to recite on the big screen, in  The Return of Sherlock Holmes  (1929), the famous exclamation, apocryphal Holmesian ever uttered by a detective in fifty short stories and four novels that make up the “canon” of the adventures of a renowned “consulting detective”. A phrase that already sets the tone at the Holmes Brooke: pedantic and self-confident, elegant, ironic arrogance to the limit. This is a must see film!

 

 

—-Excerpt from Gianluca De Santis article

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(Sourced from ilcinemaritrovato.it)

CINEMA RITROVATO 2017: FOCUS ON ‘BELLE DE JOUR’

Posted by Larry Gleeson

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Severine / Catherine Deneuve embodies the frigidity of a woman altered and ethereal, distinguished and aristocratic, giving vent to her alienation in a distorted and neurotic eroticism. Two years before Belle de Jour, in 1965, Roman Polanski had evoked in Repulsion,  the double life of eroticism in Carol – interpreted, not surprisingly, by the same Deneuve – in an echo and parallel to the game, where Buñuel touches the most ambiguous feminine chords. Moving from its most sublime, almost beatific event to the more sordid and low,  Belle de Jour cages the viewer initially in ecstatic pleasure and dream of the stars and then the brutality of an eros that borders on the grotesque. But what makes it as real and close, is the experience of Severine: the eradication of the drives, the contrast between the ephemeral and the eternal, the soul and the flesh, with the latter always alive and well in the imagination of the director.

Tied to Breton and its manifesto, Buñuel adheres unreservedly to psychic quell’automatismo with which we used to define Surrealism, expressing the reality of thought “outside of all aesthetic and moral concern.” Severine is wealthy, middle-class with a life that slips between normal and depressing folds of everyday life and a husband tormented by the elusiveness of the feminine psyche, incompatible with the ordinary. From subtle analyst of oxymorons, Severine dissonant  and cryptic ‘interpretations reside in the reality beyond the form of reality circumscribed in space-categories, namely in the dream.

Beautiful day moves between the different lovers without distinction in actual reality and the sense of guilt towards the consumatosi husband in a translucent appearing dream: Severine is aware of his abnormality, of his being other than the moral and cognition that takes shape in humiliation and self-pity. The reality and the proliferate dream, are juxtaposed and contrasted without the viewer grasping the steps, elliptical as much as the banter the actors (as stated by the same Macha Méril) were allowed to grasp. The whole affair is shrouded in an aura of timelessness left, like one of the dreams where Severine is chained to a tree, penitent and with a dreamy gaze, taken by an incomprehensible rapture.

—– Elvira Del Guercio

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(Source: IlCinemaRitrovato.it)

NANNI MORETTI: “MY FILM MIRROR OF A GENERATION”

Posted by Larry Gleeson

The director at the 31st edition of the festival has gone through his career: “the thing, the film on the PCI crisis, was the testimony of a debate unimaginable.”

“When they told me that my films were a reflection of a generation  I felt a certain impatience. Today I see with different eyes. Those first few films I say that if you really, through the story of my personal life, have been able to tell those of an entire generation, I can not ignore this thing as a great privilege. ”

It’s a Nanni Moretti that runs through all his long career that spoke today in Bologna at the 31st edition of the festival Il Cinema Ritrovato, promoted by the Bologna Cinematheque. The festival runs until July 2. The presentation of the book-length interview, The autobiographie dilatée, Entretiens avec Nanni Moretti, curated by critic Jean Gili, was recently published in France by Broché.

They revisited the early moments of his formation and his first film loves: “I used to love the cinema of the Taviani brothers, whose stylistic simplicity I tried to inspire in my early works. I was then a supporter of the film Carmelo Bene and I wonder how I could still reconcile my two passions of aesthetic film as that of Good and the Taviani. Our Lady of the Turks  is one of the movies I’ve seen several times, along with the sweet life and eight and a half  by Federico Fellini. ”

And the memories of Nanni Moretti could not not cross 1989, the year of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the crisis of the Italian Communist Party and Palombella rossa , followed a few months later by The thing, a documentary depicting the debate within the PCI Achilles Occhetto: “I was fascinated by the scope of that debate, that involves not only the leftists, but all Italians. Today such a thing would be unthinkable.”

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(Source: ilcinemaritrovato.it)

 

Cinema Ritrovato 2017: “Mildred Pierce” between literature, film and television

Posted by Larry Gleeson

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A shot, a man who falls to the ground and a car fleeing into the night. And then the dock where she enters the scene, the diva Joan Crawford. In his first plan ‘s novel Mildred Pierce (1945) by Michael Curtiz, one of many, shines all the weight of the film, the pain and the guilt of an impossible love: that of Mildred for her daughter Veda. Based on the novel by James M. Cain, Mildred Pierce (1941), the film marked a Crawford career that earned her her first, and only, Academy Award for Best Actress.

“From this moment on, Joan Crawford will play only roles of strong women, very successful, but with a weak heart and proves of how this talented actress had no weaknesses. There was absolutely vulnerability.” Made possible by the Criterion Collection in collaboration with Warner Bros. the restored version of the film was presented at the Cinema Ritrovato by Park Circus Words, Eddie Muller (founder and president of the Film Noir Foundation). Seemingly, a very lucky role as Kate Winslet won the Golden Globe for her performance in a modern adaptation, Mildred Pierce (2011), the miniseries produced by HBO and directed by Todd Haynes.

In the book, the character of Mildred represented un’atipicità for her time: a housewife divorced with two daughters struggling to establish herself in the midst of the Great Depression. A strong, confident woman who is able to build an empire from nothing, from a waitress in a diner to a businesswoman with a chain of restaurants. Alongside this professional success, we are intertwined in her personal relationships: first of all with the complicated Vedas, the favorite daughter.

These two trends, the social climbing of Mildred and the dramatic relationship between mother and daughter, were dealt with differently in the film and TV series. In the first, an added frame noir (the opening scene of the crime), to suppress the roughness of the book that did not fail to censor, the transposition of HBO is totally faithful to the paper counterpart. In the novel, as in the series, Mildred was obsessed with the social sphere: her first refusals to the menial jobs that are offered, and even when she gets the job as a waitress living in a deep inner conflict, culminating in keeping it hidden from her daughter.

In contrast, the Curtiz film does not dwell much on Mildred as a self-made woman: the sequences that speak to the social climb up the social ladder are put together with quick assembly (the succession of signs of its restaurants), all told with flashbacks from the voice-over narration of Crawford. The Hollywood diva never has a hair out of place, her clothes are always clean, even after cooking, and when we see her dressed in her waitress uniform it is only for a few minutes. Unlike Crawford’s Mildred, Winslet gets dirty. It is her suffering and  consequent cleansing that makes a radical change of look as her business grows.

The movements of the fluidity of Curtiz film takes up the writing style of Cain, linear and structured. As well as the full and conscious sensuality of the protagonist in the novel, the echoes of stealth are visualized on the big screen: the details of the lean and curvy legs (of which more times the literary Mildred welcomes proudly) peeking out from behind a ladder or a swimsuit. Joan Crawford filled the character with eros, by dosing balancing the erotic with the numerous close-ups that literally dazzle the screen. Curtiz delves, but does not say anything openly as did Cain in the book. During the first night of love between Mildred, spoiled heiress, and Monty, unscrupulous lover, the camera moves away, pauses for a few seconds on the lovers’ reflection in the mirror, slipping into the minds of the spectators the carnal act that will be consumed shortly thereafter.

The key to the book, both in shooting films in the series, was not so much a history lesson, as the morbid and destructive relationship between Mildred and Veda. She lives for her daughter: her decision to find a job, even medium-low level is not only dictated by the need to support the family, but especially by the uncontrollable desire to give to her daughter, capricious and insatiable. As Mildred efforts to please her daughter (who is given elegant clothes, piano lessons, evenings in high class dining rooms), Veda is closed inside this world of deception and treachery. She’s a girl-woman unable to see beyond herself that, unlike the mother, aspires to a higher social level without having to dirty her hands.

In the final moments, the emotional charge of the action is still committed to the diva: Crawford’s face is bathed in light in a now infamous frame. The terrible nature of her daughter, a true femme fatale, comes out as well. A play of light and shadow that recants a broken American dream not because of the money, but for love – visceral and unobtainable.

—- Emanuela Vignudelli

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(Source: ilcinemaritrovato.it)