Cinema found again in Bologna

Cinéma retrouvé à Bologne

At the XXXIII edition of the cinema ritrovato, cinema found again (Bologna, June 22-30), more than 400 films of 250 directors were presented in 6 rooms and, in the evening, in Piazza maggiore.
Hence an embarrassment and frustration at the moment of choice when we can only see a few tens …

These films were made between 1896 and 2018: short films of a few seconds from the beginning of the cinema (including 41 of the year 1919, centenary obliges), first hand-colored films, films in technicolor, recent feature films, sometimes more three hours on widescreen.  All presented in a catalog of 400 pages.

The films were grouped according to different criteria: ritrovati e restaurati (found again and restored), actors (Jean Gabin), directors (Henry King, Filippo Edouardo, Youssef Chahine, Keaton Buster, Felix E.Feist, George Franju, Musidora), country (USSR, South Korea, West Germany), years (1899, 1919), types of films (documentaries, cinemalibero) …

Some films were presented in Italian or English with translation, sometimes in French, before the screening. In addition, eleven lezioni di cinema (masterclass) including Bertand Tavernier on the great composers, especially French, of music of film and Thierry Frémaux …††

Cinéma retrouvé à Bologne

Bertrand Tavernier and Gian Luca Farinelli, director of Cineteca di Bologna and Cinema ritrovato

In this film abundance, some remarks, arbitrary. Two Italian films, Napolitani a Milano by Eduardo de Filippo (98mn, 1953) were presented in theaters and, in Piazza Maggiore, Miraculo a Milano by Vittorio de Sica (100mn, 1951). Which relate to similar situations: confrontation of badly housed people and speculators real estate. But while Napolitano a Milano deals with the question in the classic Italian neo-realistic style, with Miraculo a Milano, Vittorio de Sica and Cesare Zavattini (scriptwriter), continue this vein and go beyond it, by a wonderful tale with a great imagination at the level of the scenario that announces the Italian comedy. Imagination served by technical feats. All this justifies the thousands of spectators who came to the Piazza Maggiore to cheer a film, in black and white, made 56 years ago !!!

From the same period, in Technicolor, Moulin Rouge (120mn, 1952) by John Houston and Gigi (115mn, 1958) by Vincente Minelli, films by American directors about the Belle Epoque in Paris. Moulin Rouge whose central character is the painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, the drama of his life and those he paints, who live around him. Gigi presents only the superficial aspect of this era with the help of a Maurice Chevalier, equal to himself, the French seducer with a queasy and satisfied smile …  Two films that on the same Belle Epoque, one above ground, the other still more beautiful with the description of this same society but which does not forget the social reality on which it rests. †

Cinéma retrouvé à Bologne
Cinéma retrouvé à Bologne
Cinéma retrouvé à Bologne

Exhibition of paintings by Silvano Campeggi at the Bologna Library

Several films for a tribute to Jean Gabin including a biography (Un Français), nommé Gabin (104mn, 2017) by Yves Jeuland, illustrated with extracts from 50 of his 95 films, remarkable for the fans of Jean Gabin. But also 8 films, with Jean Gabin actor. From Pepe the Moko by Julien Duvivier (94mn, France, 1936), En cas de malheur by Claude Autant-Lara (121mn, France, 1957) that allow to see Jean Gabin before he becomes the caricature of himself. In these films, if Jean Gabin has the leading role, he does not always have the best: Pépé le Moko, a caïd locked up in the Kasbah of Algiers comes out, by love, only to get caught; En cas de malheur, respectable lawyer, he is dragged into his fall by a Brigitte Bardot who is the pawn; Coeur de lilas by Anatol Litvak (90mn, France, 1931), little caïd, he pushes the ditty and receives a good correction (Fernandel, as a singer) … Au delà des grilles by René Clément (104mn, France- Italy, 1948), he arrives in Genoa, at the end of the race, without being able to rebuild his life …

The plot of these films describes the atmosphere of a small French town or district of Paris, Du haut en bas by GW Pabst (80mn, France, 1933), and the films often inspired by novels by Georges Simenon : La Marie du port by Marcel Carné port (97mn, France, 1949), Maigret tend un piège by Jean Delanoy (119mn, France, 1957), Le Chat by Pierre Granier-Deferre (86mn, France-Italy, 1970).  With Le Chat, the death of a couple and a neighborhood: in a dead end of the suburbs in the middle of the urban reorganization, Gabin has affection only for his cat and no longer corresponds with his wife (Simone Signoret) that by small papers … Le Chat is the first victim but the couple goes out in a neighborhood that disappears … ††††††

Cinéma retrouvé à Bologne

Apart from Jean Gabin, several tributes were paid to women.  Musidora, la dixième muse by Patrick Cazals (65mn, France, 2013) with an exhibition on Musidora, she was producer, war godmother of French aviation soldiers, essayist, novelist, actress, singer, variety artist, archivist of the Cinémathèque française, actress for Germaine Dulac, Louis Feuillade, Jacques Feyder, George Franju and director (Pour Don Carlos with Lasseyne, 1921, Soleil et ombre by Lasseyne, 1922, La Tierra de los Torros, 1924).

La passione di Ana Magnani by Enrico Cerasiolo (60mn, Italie, 2019).

Essere Done by Cécilia Mangini (28mn, Italie, 1964), documentary on the status of women

Segretarie, una Vita per il cinema by Raffaele Rago et Daniela Masciale (64 mn, Italie, 2017),
series of interviews with secretaries of great masters of Italian cinema.

The restored films, Bologna is an important world center of film restoration, some presented in Piazza Maggiore, allow to browse the cinema and its history, masterpieces of cinema and less known films: Charlie Chaplin’s Circus (71mn, United States, 1928) where Charlot is pursued by a policeman in a mirrors galerie, a sequence often taken up in the cinema, especially by Orson Welles in the Lady of Shanghai; The Cameraman by Buster Keaton (69mn, United States, 1928); Toni by Jean Renoir, first passion of an immigrant on the French screens (91mn, France, 1935); Under capricorn by Alfred Hitchcock (117 mn, United States, 1949); Los olvidados by Luis Bunuel (81 minutes, Mexico, 1950); L’eau à la bouche by Jacques Doniol-Valcroze with the couple Bernadette Lafont and Michel Galabru, music Serge Gainsbourg (95mn, France, 1950); Les Bicots-Nègres, Vos voisins of Med Hondo despite a somewhat dated speech (100mn, Mauritania-France, 1974); Jane Campion’s Piano (121mn, New Zealand-Australia-France, 1993) …

In Piazza Maggiore, Apocalypse Now, with a presentation by Francis Ford Coppola, had a triumph: the film had to be screened at the same time in two cinemas in the city! This film was too long according to Coppola, initially 4 hours, was reduced to 3 hours, for its release in room, at the request of producers. This is the last version (final cut), 183 minutes that was presented in Bologna.

Apocalypse Now, with multiple awards, won the Palme d’Or in Cannes, in 1979. Designed during the Vietnam War, on and against the war. Where the heroes, fascination by the war, complex, confusion in the war, remain American individuals, against the anonymous Vietnamese people …

As Gian Luca Farinelli, director of the Cinetca di Bologna and the Cinema Ritrovato festival and Thierry Frémaux did during a lezione di cinema, in his speech, Francis Ford Coppola took a clear position in favor of cinema facing platforms. : true, Apocalypse Now seen on a phone must lose some of its wings …

But the battle continues. Netflix covets the Egyptian Theater, on Hollywood Boulevard, a prestigious cinema built in 1922, to be able to easily fill the conditions of candidacy to the Oscars: broadcast 7 consecutive days the film in a cinema of Los Angeles ..

For Winding Refn (in Bologna for its cult film Drive), digitization is a way to promote the conservation of films: by creating a film museum for future generations … The digital revolution is the third Brother Lumière … with new attention on classical cinema, rather to the detriment of television than cinema.

Cinéma retrouvé à Bologne
Cinéma retrouvé à Bologne
Cinéma retrouvé à Bologne
Cinéma retrouvé à Bologne

Piazza Maggiore, Francis Ford Coppola, program of films screened on Piazza Maggiore from 17 June to 14 August


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