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Sunday, 24 June 2018

Bologna Diary - Standing Room Only for and in Scorsese

Martin Scorsese, Gianluca Farinelli 
Martin Scorsese drew more to Bologna's Piazza Maggiore than the average Rugby League crowd in Sydney. There were maybe 12,000+ lining every vantage point when the great man introduced Enamorada (Emilio Fernandez, Mexico 1947) to a very supportive crowd. The restoration, done by Bologna's own L'Imagine Ritrovato laboratory was a splendid piece mixing action movie, melodrama, social realism, romance and knockabout comedy.
Then  there was an ending to make feminists hair stand on end as the heroine Beatriz (Maria Felix) abandoned her rich American fiancee in order to trail along on foot holding the saddle of her object of desire, Mexican revolutionary general Jose Juan Reyes (Pedro Armendariz) as he departs the village in order not to hurl himself into battle with the advancing and government forces. At least she had influenced him that much...

There was standing room only as well in the much smaller Sala Scorsese for one of those movies subject to increasing interest as the days go by. The work of the Nazi Germans in France has only continued to gain attention and the output of the infamous Continental Films 

The notes told us this was a ferocious story of the aristocracy rejecting an interloper they first welcomed - a mere nightclub owner (Albert Prejean) who sweeps one of their gorgeous daughters (Claude Genia) off her feet. It's told in long flashbacks from the present day of the divorce court where the family is lined up to get rid of this parvenu. No such luck. (Oops, should have been a spoiler alert there). Did you see that coming...

Jiafeng Xuhuang
...and there was Lubitsch everywhere. In the Piazza Maggiore, a smaller crowd than for Scorsese relished the beautiful MoMA restoration of Rosita with a superb live orchestra accompaniment conducted by composer Gillian Anderson. ....in the newly-aircqonditioned Jolly Cinema a Chinese variation on the master's more playful later work Jiafeng Xuhuang  ((Huang Zuolin, China 1947) made much fun of pretensions to upward mobility among the sophisticated middle class that either cuts hair and  manicures nails or has their hair cut and nails manicured but yearns for more and goes to elaborate lengths to plot to gain undeserved riches. 

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