Sunday, 1 July 2018

Bologna Diary (6) - IN A LONELY PLACE plus lists of the best and the runners up

Gloria Grahame, Humphrey Bogart, In a Lonely Place
Grover Crisp of Columbia Pictures told how the company had gone back to the damaged original camera negative for its latest restoration of Nicholas Ray's In a Lonely Place and started the whole process from scratch, first by repairing the negative. Then it was on, at no doubt great expense, all the way to the brilliant copy on show to a standing room only house in the Arlecchino. Grover had every right to be a proud father....A fitting final moment to savour. Dinner at the new "Da Lucia" which has sprouted on the former premises of the beloved "Prima della Pioggia" was nice, even as too much Limoncello was downed, in good company...

At a screening of the recently discovered fragment  of Ernst  Lubitsch’s 1918 Der Fall Rosentopf/The Rosentopf Case, Mariann Lewinsky announced that a record number of ACTUAL admissions, bums on seats, had been achieved the day before when there were over 8,800 entries. 

Janet Gaynor, Charles Farrell 7th Heaven)
That would have been boosted by the thousand or so who packed into the Teatro Communale for the spectacular presentation of a new MoMA restoration, on behalf of 20th Century Fox,  of Frank Borzage’s 7thHeaven which had people still clapping conductor Timothy Brock some five minutes after the film finished and I had exited the theatre. They may still be clapping as far as I know.

So a Top Five (in no particular order) from Bologna 2018. Selected from the several dozen films seen (and sometimes dozed through) at this remarkable event.

Seed (John Stahl, 1931)
San Mao Liulang Ji/The Winter of Three Hairs (Zhao Ming, Yang Gong, China, 1949)
Detour (Edgar G. Ulmer, 1945)
In a Lonely Place (Nicholas Ray, 1950)

A big year for the American cinema but which leaves out

Dainah La Metisse (Jean Gremillon, 1931)
Prisonieros de la Tierra (Mario Soffici, Argentina, 1939)
Jiafeng Xuhuang (Huang Zuolin, China, 1947)
Rosita (Ernst Lubitsch, 1923)
When Tomorrow Comes (John M. Stahl, 1939)
This Cant Happen Here (Ingmar Bergman, 1950)
Now I’ll Tell (Edwin J. Burke, USA, 1934) which had the best single line of the Festival …

Spencer Tracy: Are you a native of New York?
Alice Faye: No. I come from the Virgin Islands.
Tracy: You must have left there at an early age.

...the joys of pre-Code cinema...also on remarkable display in Raoul Walsh's 1931 Women of All Nations...

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