Cinema Ritrovato 2015

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Sotto il sole di Rome. Left Liliana Mancini (Iris).

Coming up is the 2015 Cinema Ritrovato festival in Bologna. For years it is no news that the programme gets fuller and fuller, just like the Sala Mastroianni. Also the dilemmas get bigger and bigger: what to drop? is there a second screening? when to sleep or eat? This year several retrospectives in which I am interested. Of Renato Castellani I only saw Due soldi di speranza and Un colpo di pistola, but not a film like Sotto il sole di Roma (1948) with e.g. a young Alberto Sordi and the girl Iris (Liliana Mancini). She would return in a small part in Visconti’s Bellissima, basically playing herself: a pretty face, but no steady career, so ending up in the editing room in Cinecittà. Cinema Ritrovato also contains a retrospective on Ingrid Bergman‘s early Swedish films which I never saw. Her daughter Isabella Rossellini will introduce the films. I met her other daughter Ingrid at a Fellini conference some years ago in Jerusalem. There are the Leo McCarey films of which I also missed many. There is a lot of buzz around the recently found second reel of his film The Battle of the Century (1927), the famous pie fight comedy with Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy. Will we see it in Bologna? Special screenings in the night time such as the restored version of Rocco and His Brothers (1960) by Visconti, with some reinserted censored scenes (recently premiered in Cannes).

Sotto il sole di Roma. Piazza S. Giovanni in Laterano.

Of course I am looking forward at the 1915 programme, including Assunta Spina (which will also be released on DVD!), Rapsodia satanica (at the Teatro Comunale, with Mascagni’s music played by the orchestra of Timothy Brock) and Il fuoco. So the Italian divas Francesca Bertini, Lyda Borelli and Pina Menichelli all in one festival. EYE will be present with various attractive titbits, including a film with Maria Jacobini, and a fragment of one of the few lost Lyda Borelli films, Dramma di una notte/Una notte a Calcutta (Mario Caserini 1918). I saw the nitrate which even if damaged and short looks very nice. Attached a postcard for the film. The story deals with Guido, a navy officer (Alberto Capozzi), who, returned to Italy to assist to his brother Riccardo’s (Livio Pavanelli) wedding, recognizes Nelly, the future spouse (Borelli), as a former adventuress he has met before in a den of iniquity in Calcutta.  Nelly, though, had worked in the brothel just to gain money for her mother and little sister and had stopped her job after her mother died. Returned to Italy she met and fell in love with Riccardo. Guido feels obliged to warn his brother. Nelly implores him not to do this, even tries to kill him, then surrenders and leaves on condition he won’t tell his brother.  But once alone, she scratches herself with her nails dripped in a deadly Indian poison she always carried around.

Lyda Borelli in Il dramma di una notte. Spanish postcard.

~ by Ivo Blom on June 15, 2015.

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