Archive for June 21, 2017

Cities of the Night

Posted in FILM with tags , , , on June 21, 2017 by dcairns

I’m doing something very un-Scottish — skipping out on a film festival I don’t have to pay for (Edinburgh) to attend a festival I do have to pay for (Cinema Ritrovato, Bologna). Though the latter is astonishingly good value. And I’m addicted to it. Means I have to somehow earn enough to attend it annually for the rest of my life. I wish there was any remote prospect of doing the same for Telluride.

I don’t even have a program for Bologna, but it’s sure to be good. Not that Edinburgh isn’t, with some juicy retrospectives and masterclasses, my favourite stuff since I’m less besotted with new movies than old (there, I finally admitted it! Feels good… feels CLEAN.)

Cannes was late this year, it’s just been explained to me by fest director Mark Adams, which has pushed a lot of fests back, including Edinburgh, resulting in a big overlap with Bologna, which has stayed put. Although, if they were to move it to a slightly less sizzling time of year, I wouldn’t be against that. The air conditioning in those cinemas really can’t cope with a standing-room-only audience, so you get people falling asleep, numbed by the heat, during movies they’ve waited all their lives to see. And since I never sleep very well away from home, that’s likely to be my fate. During my first visit to Cinema Ritrovato, I sat down to enjoy an early Japanese talkie, blinked, and when my eyes opened, it was the end credits.

Last year, the heat was so intense Fiona literally melted into a puddle on arrival, and was only reconstituted by the hotel air conditioning. This year my hotel doesn’t even have air con, as I’m saving money, and Fiona’s not coming. Last year I got something resembling trench foot, brought on by the sweltering conditions. My foot looked like Baron Harkonnen. And not the TV version.

So Fiona’s getting left behind. Keep an eye on her, and if she’s lonely, take her to a movie, you and Barbara.


The deal was, she gets a tablet and a new cat (Momo, pictured) and I get to go to Bologna. Not sure what’ll happen next year.

So… the original, silent version of PRIX DE BEAUTE, in an Augusto Gennino retrospective. RIVER OF NO RETURN on the big screen ought to be pretty overwhelming. STEAMBOAT BILL JNR (co-starring Edinburgh man Ernest Torrence). Marion Davies in THE PATSY, which I missed this year at Bo’ness. JOHNNY GUITAR. More treasures from the Universal vaults (the Laemmle years). Sjostrom, Stiller, Borzage, Gance, Protazanov, Wiene, all from 100 years ago.

Update! The program is OUT!

And I had totally forgotten that heartbreaking feeling of two screenings being on opposite each other…