Edna Purviance's bio

June 6, 2018 - Re-editing Edna Purviance's family biography 2nd Draft. Photo: Leading Ladies © used by ednapurviance.org

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

26th edition of Cineteca di Bologna

Cineteca di Bologna
Bologna, Italy
June, Saturday 23 through Saturday 30 2012
26th edition of Il Cinema Ritrovato

(Re)discovering Cinephilia
For several editions Il Cinema Ritrovato has managed to gather the finest cinephiles from around the world. This year we would like to discuss, listen and share opinions on the current status of cinephilia, or what can be defined as such. We feel that the present fragility of cinema – at least cinema as we known it - makes this discussion even more urgent.

Photo: Louise Brooks in Prix de Beauté by Augusto Genina (1930)

Piazza Maggiore will host two of many unmissable events for all cinephiles: the Orchestra of Teatro Comunale di Bologna will accompany Timothy Brock’s new score to Augusto Genina’s Prix de Beauté (Louise Brooks last European role) commissioned by the Orchestre National de Lyon in cooperation with the Institut Lumière; and a brand new restoration of La grande illusion - by Studio Canal and the Cinémathèque de Toulouse.

After the Great Crash. Cinema and the 1929 Crisis
As the Wall Street Crash of 1929 changed the world, cinema registered the earthquake that followed in different ways, some of the most immediate and ‘literal’ examples were not always the most interesting ones. The aftermath of the Great Depression translated into financial crisis, unemployment, the gap between the poor and the rich growing obscenely wider and people still ‘dancing on the edge of the volcano’ as World War II was approaching.

This atmosphere produced films like Seifenblasen (Dudow), New Earth (Ivens), Man's Castle (Borzage), Hard to Handle (LeRoy), Sonnenstrahl (Fejos), Darò un millione (Camerini) and Komödie om Geld (Ophuls), as well as the Swedish Petterson och Bendel by Per-Axel Brenner, probably the first European anti-Semitic film. Julien Duvivier’s 1933 masterpiece D avid Golder - adapted by Irène Némirowsky’s novel and with the great Harry Baur – will open the series.

Photo: Man’s Castle by Frank Borzage (1933)

Ivan Pyr’ev, Mosfilm’s Enigma
Following last year’s discovery of Boris Barnet’s delightful works, we are now paying a tribute to another Soviet master of musical films, comedy and drama. Undoubtedly, some of Pyr’ev’s films, such as The Party Card or Kuban Cossacks, a colourful celebration of Kolhoz happiness, are historically ambiguous to say the least, but how can we but admire an artist who was able to represent a gigantic fraud with such a vision, musicality and humour? Mostly known for his musicals, starring his wife Marina Ladynina, Pyr’ev made several films which are in no way inferior to the more popular production by Grigorj Alexandrov (and his wife Ljubov Orlova) and reached its peak with At Six o'clock after the War (1944), one of the most extraordinary films on the Second World War. Pyr’ev certainly worked for the regime but he certainly was no second rate director.

He was genuinely interested in the national folklore and in the ‘classics’ and had an eye for entertainment. At his best, like in the colour film Song of Siberia, Pyr’ev was a true poet. This programme is curated by Olaf Möller.

Photo: Kuban Cossaks by Ivan Pyr’ev (1950) (Austria Film Museum Collections)

Mrs Hitchcock a.k.a Alma Reville
Alma Reville, wife of Alfred Hitchcock, was a major influence on his work but she also had a filmmaking career of her own, both before and after their marriage in 1926. She started as editor's assistant and continuity girl and was senior to her future husband when they met at the Famous-Players-Lasky studio in Islington in the early 1920s. Alma was Assistant Director on Hitch’s first solo film, The Pleasure Garden, and he proposed on the boat home from Germany. Alma worked on nearly all of her husband’s films, either credited or more informally - they were famously spent their evenings discussing the day’s filming and refining their work.

Alma had a particular talent for continuity, editing and story structure and this is evident in the films she made with her husband like Murder! (1930) and those she made independently of her husband such as The Consta nt Nymph (1928),The First Born (1928 ), After the Verdict (1929). This programme is curated by Bryony Dixon (British Film Institute National Archive).

Photo: Alma Reville and Alfred Hitchock (BFI Stills Posters and Designs Collection)

Japan Speaks Out! The First Talkies from the Rising Sun
In the United States and Western Europe, the transition to sound was rapid and practically complete by around 1930. In Japan, the process was slower and more gradual. Japan’s silent films were routinely accompanied by speech from a live narrator, the benshi, and early experiments with direct sound, were in progress as early as the mid-1920s. But sound films did not form the majority until 1936, and silents continued to be made until the outbreak of World War II. This retrospective, showing over two years, will explore the rich cinema of the transitional era, with a particular focus on the creative uses to which Japanese filmmakers put the emerging sound technology. 

From acknowledged masters such as Kenji Mizoguchi to neglected artists like Yasujiro Shimazu and Sotoji Kimura, filmmakers responded creatively to the challenges and opportunities of sound, producing a rich mixture of part-talkies, documentaries, musicals, and dramas united by their determination to exploit the new possibilities of sound cinema. This programme is curated by Alexander Jacoby and Johan Nordström, in collaboration with the National Film Center of Tokyo.

Photo: Namiko by Eizo Tanaka (1932) (From the National Film Centre of Tokyo)
(Latest Press Release from II Cinema Ritrovato)

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