The Sunday Intertitle: Missing Bologna


I have to get organized and raise some cash so I can go to Bologna next year. Cinema Ritrovato is an annual event and I need to be present at it annually. At least.

This year, there was no A HARD DAY’S NIGHT to lure me — that seemed an unmissable way of closing the book on my Richard Lester piece, PICTUREWISE. But there are a lot of things on which are pretty unrepeatable. Today, on Facebook, accompanist Neil Brand posted that RAPSODICA SATANICA, which has had its original score by Mascagni carefully reconstructed by Timothy Brock, only works with this music. Above is a fab intertitle plucked from my un-scored disc. And here is an image —


AAARGH! It’s another of those creepy portraits that come to life! I love/hate those things. Here, the use of tinting is fantastic — it both accentuates and erases the difference between the three-dimensional, physical world and the flat world of the portrait. See also THIS.

They are also showing KISS ME KATE in 3D — there’s some hope that such an event will be repeated nearer me, but you never know. The only place likely to screen it would be Filmhouse, which bought expensive 3D apparatus and then decided “Our audience doesn’t like 3D.” Which is true for a lot of people who go to Filmhouse, I guess, particularly the retirees. But they have never shown PINA and CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS in 3D, so do they really know?

Meredith Brody informs me that Renato Castellani is one of the great discoveries this year. I can do a bit of armchair discovering of his oeuvre, I guess.

I would certainly be checking out some of the rare Leo McCareys.

Have I ever seen ANY Jacques Tourneur on the big screen? GREAT DAY IN THE MORNING would be a wonderful start.

At long last — Julien Duvivier’s submerged cinema starts to resurface. During the Great Duvivier Giveaway I allowed more than a hundred readers to experience LA FIN DU JOUR in a scrappy off-air recording from the eighties. Now it can be seen projected in pristine-o-scope. And they say there’s no such thing as progress.

Quite a few filmmakers of particular importance to Shadowplay are featured — Duvivier, Anthony Mann, Joseph Losey. MON GOSSE DE PERE is a 1931 film from Pathe-Natan — I own a fuzzy off-air recording, but it’s unsubtitled so I haven’t explored it in any depth.

Buster Keaton! SHERLOCK JNR and ONE WEEK on the vast open-air screen of the Piazza Maggiore!

Oddly enough, I feel OK about missing 2001 because I don’t know that the occasional distractions of police sirens and barking dogs you hear in the open-air environment would enhance Kubrick’s vision. They don’t seem to matter in silents or in chatty films.

There’s a surprise movie! Surprise movies often don’t work — Edinburgh abandoned the practice as the majority of punters always seemed discontented with what they got. I think typically the film would be a last-minute offering grabbed opportunistically after the programme went to press. But since EVERYTHING IS AWESOME IN BOLOGNA, and all the films are rediscoveries, restorations and possible classics deserving further study, it can be guaranteed that whatever the surprise was, it was a good ‘un.

Now I’m starting to feel melancholic. Apart from anything else, Bologna is a fantastic PLACE…

Still, next year I think I can get some cash from my place of work under the heading of “research”. So that will be just ~


10 Responses to “The Sunday Intertitle: Missing Bologna”

  1. Not wanting to depress you further, David, but the surprise was an original, uncut, Spanish 1968 print of Fantasia in extraordinarily good condition with awesome sound…

  2. 3-D is rarely used with any degree of interest anymore. Marty Scorsese’s Hugo is one of the few REAL 3-D films of recent years.

    Sondheim is a huge Duvivier fan. At the moment however he’s adapting Bunuel — making a musical out of a mash-up The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie and The Exterminating Angel

  3. Wow — that seems like an interesting project… if he can preserve the high-concept purity of each idea while combining them…

    There hasn’t been anything to tempt me to shell out extra for a 3D ticket since Gravity…

  4. Excellent post. I would also like to invite you to participate in my upcoming blogathon. The link is below with more details

  5. Thanks, I’ll think it over! Am sure to come up with something I’d like to talk about.

  6. No problems. Let me know when you decide, and I’ll add you to the roster.

  7. It’s fairly simple. Act One: Dinner keeps getting frustrated/ postponed/ interrupted. Finally it’s served. Curtain. Act Two: Dinner is over and no one can leave.

  8. henryholland666 Says:

    Six Degrees of Separation Time:

    Me > my Dad > Edward Sedgwick > Buster Keaton

    Edward Sedgwick directed a number of Keaton films (not the two you list, unfortunately), including the fantastic “The Cameraman”. My dad’s alcoholic father was a “Doctor to the Stars” so that’s how dad knew him. During high school, my grandfather was more of a nightmare than usual and Mr. Sedgwick befriended my dad, helped him graduate and go to college. Dad says he was a really nice man and is still grateful for his kindness and help.

    Per dad, one day he, Lucille Ball, Buster Keaton and Sedgwick were goofing around. Sedgwick got an 8mm camera and filmed dad, who was about 15 at the time, Lucy and Buster mugging for the camera on a sled. Unfortunately, the camera didn’t work properly so that potential masterpiece is lost to history. Damn.

    Mr. Sedgwick was one of those that had a rough time after the transition to sound, but “The Cameraman” and the William Haines/Joan Crawford movie “West Point” are wonderful movies with some really imaginative directorial touches.

  9. Makes sense — in a Bunuelian way.

  10. DBenson Says:

    “Kiss Me Kate” was an oddball choice for 3D. To offer more depth opportunities the stage of a legit theatre magically takes on soundstage dimensions — not unheard of, but odd for a story that emphatically about being real time in a real space (the film adds an opening scene in an apartment, for no good reason). Early on we have sexy Ann Miller jabbing a fan at the camera in a suggestive way, but the real crowd-pleaser when I saw it was Howard Keel playfully brandishing a banana. It wasn’t so much a phallic symbol as an overt “You paid for 3D, so HERE’S A BANANA!”

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