Archive for Bologna

Inn Sight

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , on October 20, 2015 by dcairns

DSC_0207

I have contributed a video essay to the Eureka! Masters of Cinema dual-format Blu-ray/DVD of King Hu’s DRAGON INN. Working with editor Stephen Horne we hacked this thing together in record time to fill a gap left by another contributor who had to drop out. This leaves me looking a bit opportunistic since I wrote about seeing this film for the first time at Bologna last year, and I was a complete newbie to wuxia at the time, by my own admission, so when did I find time to become an expert?

Well, I didn’t, but you can learn the basic info quickly enough, and then I relied on what I could say with confidence simply from looking at the film itself, close analysis, stylistic observation, funny comments. Hopefully it works, and I know it’s very snappily cut together by Mr. Horne. And MoC were pleased enough to give me the job of doing another piece for A TOUCH OF ZEN, coming soon.

I have another commission from them also but I won’t tell you about that yet…

You can buy the discs from the evil organisation below and thereby help support Shadowplay — and also get yourself some marvelous swordfighting high-leaping entertainment.

Dragon Inn (1967) [Masters of Cinema] Dual Format (Blu-ray & DVD)

Advertisements

The Sunday Intertitle: Missing Bologna

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 5, 2015 by dcairns

vlcsnap-2015-07-04-13h17m46s26

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 —

vlcsnap-2015-07-04-13h19m08s82

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 ~

vlcsnap-2015-07-04-13h22m40s168