Thursday 11 May 2017

Digitisations, Restorations and Revivals (25) - KING OF JAZZ, Marcello Mastroianni, Andre de Toth, ALGOL

Associate Editor (Restorations and Revivals) Simon Taaffe has come across the following screenings and other information. Click on the links for times, more detail etc where indicated.

There occasionally occurs a moment when cinephiles are forced to ponder their little obsessions. One such matter arises when advice is received that the Cremorne Orpheum proposes to have a screening of King  of Jazz. Click on the title for details.

This is a film with a reputation though not necessarily one that makes you leap about. For some it is one of the glimpses into the kingdom of heaven. But then for others its different. Hit this link for my reaction at Bologna last year. I was not alone in feeling disappointment.

One of the very greatest actors of the 20th century, Mastroianni gets the treatment via a 28 film selection. The website says “We have joined forces with Istituto Luce Cinecittà to announce Il Bello Marcello, a 28-film retrospective honoring one of the 20th century’s greatest movie stars, Marcello Mastroianni, May 17-31.

The Latin lover, the quintessential continental, the world weary Don Giovanni: for over five decades Marcello Mastroianni epitomized and complicated onscreen masculinity, and remains a key symbol of postwar Italian cinema. Propelled to worldwide stardom with his star turn in Fellini’s La Dolce vita, Mastroianni allured audiences with the diverse roles he embodied throughout his career―an impotent ladies’ man in Il bell’ Antonio, a scheming cuckold in Divorce Italian Style, a gay man living in Mussolini’s Italy in A Special Day. Mastroianni’s magnetism made him a Fellini regular, but he also gave singular performances for international auteurs like Michelangelo Antonioni, Marco Bellocchio, Vittorio De Sica, Luchino Visconti, Jacques Demy, Raúl Ruiz, and Robert Altman.”

Among the highlights in the series are rare screenings of Mauro Bolognini’s Il bell’Antonio and Visconti’s Camus adaptation The Stranger, as well as new restorations of such late-career films as Ruiz’s Three Lives and Only One Death and Nikita Mikhalkov’s Dark Eyes, for which the actor earned his final Oscar nomination

The choice of course wasn’t necessarily easy once the curators got past the handful of films for which MM is best known. IMDB lists 144 titles between 1939 and 1997!

One of de Toth’s best known titles Pitfall (USA, 1948) is presented in a double bill with a rarity from the director’s pre-Hollywood career, Two Girls on the Street (Hungary, 1939). The latter is described as a “Hungarian delight starring Bella Bordy and Mária Tasnádi Fekete as the titular young women. Upper-class Gyöngyi and impoverished Vica are both on the outs with their families and head to Budapest, where they meet and move in together as they try to turn their lives around.” Screening details for those in the neighbourhood click here.

The American Cinematheque is presenting a new restoration by the Munich Film Museum of ALGOL. EINE TRAGÖDIE DER MACHT  (Hans Werckmeister, Germany, 1920). The website  note says A coal miner (Emil Jannings) encounters the demonic Algol, who divulges the secret of harnessing the rays of the star Algol as a source of energy; the miner becomes the most powerful man in the world, with every country dependent on his energy supply. A sci-fi morality tale with inventive art direction by Walter Reimann, this tinted and toned restoration features a recorded score by Stephen Horne.

Screens in a double bill with The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (Robert Weine, Germany, 1919)

Emil Jannings, Algol

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