Friday 16 October 2015

Pordenone Silent Film Festival - A Postcard from Barrie Pattison

So I arrived at Pordenone after a battle with  Ryanair who bring a full force to the term cattle class. It's really no faster than  the train or bus, with all the traveling to their chicken wire depots and waiting time, to be followed by another struggle with Trenitalia who specialise in making it not work. The flat share I was booked into proved to be a mile out of town and when I got there (after the taxi had left) there was no one home. That meant I was stranded somewhere I didn't know in a country where I didn't speak the language with a pile of luggage and rain looming. I thought things couldn't get worse and then I dropped my glasses and the lens fell out.

I guess I rose to the occasion because I got it all sorted out and am now half way through the festival which is proving one of the great experiences of my life. Yesterday I sat through the six hour tinted silent 1925 LES MISERABLES in the row behind the director of WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT.  Whether or not it's a great film it is certainly a great show. I was one of thousand people who leapt to their feet to give Neil Brand a standing ovation for the live piano accompaniment. After the show I discussed it with the deposed head of the Russian archive.

.....Alessandro Blasetti's life's work was spread out on the dealer table on DVD at fifteen bucks a time. Being in terror of running out of cash I only bought one and the next day they were all gone - just like the Ethnic Video store whose Blasetti's all got stolen hey?

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