Thursday 29 June 2023

A Diary (6) - The Road to Bologna and IL CINEMA RITROVATO - Artefacts and queues.

Avocado, Black Rice, Smoked salmon and 
sun-dried tomatoes from Gamberini

Il Cinema Ritrovato has proved surprisingly easy to negotiate though I have to confess having paid the premium on the ticket to become a Sostenitore really helps. As late as last night when I changed my mind about an afternoon movie my favourite seat on the aisle in the crossover row was still available, notwithstanding a likely full house, it being reserved for the premium ticket holders and the Artistic Committee. Occasionally an occupant has to be asked to vacate the seat but no dramas least yet....

Some films brought back seen to be more like artefacts or signposts to distant history than works of art. The American film Bushman (David Schickele)was made between 1968 and 1971, a problem caused by the lead actor being summarily and suddenly deported back to Nigeria, being its biggest impediment. After forty minutes or so of narrative featuring a black university teacher and his white and black girl friends, the film stops and we move to another story, that of what happened and how it happened to the actor. 

Niki de Saint Phalle's Un reve plus long que la nuit/A Dream Longer than Night is another such, a film by a woman who devoted most of her life to monumental sculpture but between 1973 and 1976 made two films. Dream is the second of them. It's a delirious Alice in Wonderland meets Jean Cocteau tale ending in battle scenes between actors equipped with giant paper mache exploding penises (above). The audience didn't find it funny and one of the best-known international film critics who sat next to me snoozed and occasionally snored throughout.

Finally an unseen Rouben Mamoulian gave you an insight into his better work, some of his least appealing films occupying other slots. Rings on Her Fingers (USA1942) with Henry Fonda and Gene Tierney may not be as good as The Lady Eve  but it's a very funny story about social climbing and true  love which to my mind featured more kisses (like above almost) between its two principals than I think I've ever seen before in a Hollywood movie, even in Hitchcock's pictures.

Finally another quick update. Cinema Reborn Organising Committee Member Simon Taaffe's progress report nominates as his best so far  IL GRIDO (Michelangelo Antonioni, Italy, 1957), FACE TO FACE (Roviros Manthoulis, Greece, 1967), THE SUSPECT (Robert Siodmak, USA, 1945) and THE PLOT AGAINST HARRY (Michael Roemer, USA, 1971).

...and after another unknown Michael Powell at 6.45 pm it will be off to Da Lucia once more...a creature of habit...Bologna's RK San

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