Sunday, December 31, 2006

2006

Checklist: some of the films I saw theatrically in 2006

20.12.2006 17.00 Kolmastoista koputus, Orion
16.12.2006 11.15 Sano että rakastat mua, Tennispalatsi 4
16.12.2006 16.15 Little Miss Sunshine, Tennispalatsi 8
15.12.2006 18.15 Virran viemää (orig.), Tennispalatsi 5
15.12.2006 15.30 Suden arvoitus, Tennispalatsi 2
13.12.2006 17.00 Kartanon naiset, Orion
12.12.2006 17.00 Nordisk 100 v: Idän houkutus, Orion
9.12.2006 11.15 Tenacious D, Tennispalatsi 6
9.12.2006 13.45 Happy Feet (orig.), Tennispalatsi 7
6.12.2006 20.15 Nordisk 100 v: Holger-Madsen, Orion
3.12.2006 20.00 Nordisk 100 v: Eroottinen melodraama, Orion
2.12.2006 15.15 Pianistin sivunkääntäjä, Maxim 1
2.12.2006 11.45 Isiemme liput, Kinopalatsi 10
1.12.2006 Grizzly Man, Engel

30.11.2006 Mun mot mun, Engel
28.11.2006 16.30 Nordisk 100 v: Lyhyttä fiktiota
25.11.2006 16.30 Colour Me Kubrick, Kinopalatsi 10
25.11.2006 12.30 Casino Royale (2006), Kinopalatsi 2
24.11.2006 17.15 Valkoinen kaupunki, Kinopalatsi 8
23.11.2006 19.00 Maailman murjoma, Orion
22.11.2006 17.00 Kirkastettu sydän, Orion
22.11.2006 13.00 Kätketty, Maxim 2
21.11.2006 18.30 Avaruuslaiva, Orion
18.11.2006 19.00 Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis, Orion
18.11.2006 17.00 Tony Conrad, Orion
17.11.2006 21.00 Sähkömetsä 2, Orion
17.11.2006 19.00 Avanto: Tony Conrad (live), Kiasma-Teatteri
17.11.2006 17.00 Sähkömetsä 1, Orion
Avanto Festival
10.11.2006 17.30 The Departed, Kinopalatsi 5
10.11.2006 12.00 Marie Antoinette, Tennispalatsi 9
9.11.2006 14.15 Hämärän vartija, Tennispalatsi 8
7.11.2006 19.00 Kiinalaisen kiristäjän murha, Orion
2.11.2006 17.00 Toni, Orion

31.10.2006 17.00 Lumièren veljekset, Orion
28.10.2006 11.15 Naapurini Totoro (orig.), Tennispalatsi 5
27.10.2006 20.30 Muiden elämä, Kinopalatsi 9
27.10.2006 18.30 Ruokala Lokki, Kinopalatsi 4
27.10.2006 16.15 Tristram Shandy, Kinopalatsi 3
26.10.2006 16.45 Rouva Bovary, Orion
25.10.2006 19.00 Chotard et cie, Orion
25.10.2006 17.00 Neljä naista, Orion
22.10.2006 21.00 Le Bled, Orion
21.10.2006 15.45 Jadesoturi, Kinopalatsi 7
20.10.2006 16.30 Kalteva torni, Tennispalatsi 2
19.10.2006 18.45 Yol, Orion
18.10.2006 Poretta eli keisarin uudet pisteet, Orion
17.10.2006 18.45 Sürü / The Herd, Orion
14.10.2006 20.30 Die Austernprinzessin, Zancanaro
7.10.2006 20.30 True Heart Susie, Zancanaro
Le Giornate del Cinema Muto (Sacile)
6.10.2006 12.30 Paholainen pukeutuu Pradaan, Tennispalatsi 1
5.10.2006 21.30 Charles & Ray Eamesin elokuvia, Orion
5.10.2006 19.30 Umut / Hope, Orion
4.10.2006 19.00 Renoir X 3, Orion
1.10.2006 18.00 Piano, Orion

28.9.2006 17.00 Bandit Queen, Orion
23.9.2006 18.00 Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man, Kinopalatsi 4
23.9.2006 13.30 Epämiellyttävä totuus, Kinopalatsi 9
22.9.2006 14.30 Miami Vice, Tennispalatsi 11
22.9.2006 17.45 Pariisi, rakkaudella, Maxim 2
20.9.2006 21.00 Maîtresse, Orion
20.9.2006 18.30 Aan / Salaperäinen Intia, Orion
19.9.2006 17.00 Paluu rakastetun luo, Orion
13.9.2006 17.00 Dokumentin ytimessä 30: Svengiä ja so, Orion
11.9.2006 15.45 Thank You for Smoking, Tennispalatsi 3
9.9.2006 14.15 Keisarin salaisuus, Kinopalatsi 2
8.9.2006 18.45 Kolme kuningasta, Orion
7.9.2006 18.45 Länsirintamalta ei mitään uutta, Orion
7.9.2006 13.30 Onni von Sopanen, Kinopalatsi 9
6.9.2006 17.00 Poikani pääkonsuli, Orion
4.9.2006 14.45 9. komppania, Tennispalatsi 3
3.9.2006 12.30 Nalle Puhin seikkailuja, Orion
1.9.2006 19.00 Porvariston hillitty charmi, Orion

31.8.2006 16.45 Faces, Orion
30.8.2006 17.00 Kersantilleko Emma nauroi?, Orion
29.8.2006 16.15 Goto, île d'amour, Orion
26.8.2006 17.00 Robinson Crusoe (Buñuel), Orion
19.8.2006 19.00 Maailmankaikkeus & Mars, Orion
18.8.2006 18.15 United 93, Bristol 1, parveke
17.8.2006 21.00 Tuntematon koodi, Orion
16.8.2006 17.00 Perhosen uni, Orion
15.8.2006 19.00 71 katkelmaa, Orion
11.8.2006 19.00 Seitsemäs manner, Orion
10.8.2006 19.00 Rakkauden kieli (restauroitu), Orion
8.8.2006 16.45 Punaisen lipun alla, Orion
2.8.2006 18.00 Menestyksen maku, Orion

21.6.2006 17.00 Kielletty kirja, Orion
XX.6.2006 Lapinsuu
XX.6.2006 Lapinsuu
XX.6.2006 Lapinsuu
XX.6.2006 Lapinsuu
XX.6.2006 Lapinsuu
XX.6.2006 Lapinsuu
XX.6.2006 Lapinsuu
XX.6.2006 Lapinsuu
XX.6.2006 Lapinsuu
XX.6.2006 Lapinsuu
XX.6.2006 Lapinsuu
XX.6.2006 Lapinsuu
Midnight Sun Film Festival
13.6.2006 Ivan, Orion
10.6.2006 12.45 Da Vinci -koodi, Kinopalatsi 7
8.6.2006 16.15 Fort Saganne, Orion
7.6.2006 17.00 Raportti eli balladi laivatytöistä, Orion
6.6.2006 19.00 Maa, Orion
6.6.2006 17.00 Arsenal, Orion
1.6.2006 17.00 Kuin surmaisi satakielen, Orion

31.5.2006 Silmukka kiristyy, Orion
30.5.2006 Zvenigora, Orion
24.5.2006 Elokuun rapsodia, Orion
24.5.2006 17.00 Naiset, Orion
23.5.2006 17.00 Elin päivästä päivään, Orion
17.5.2006 Porgy ja Bess, Orion17.5.2006 16.30 Lauantaileikit, Orion
13.5.2006 17.00 Miljardin dollarin aivot, Orion
10.5.2006 17.00 Autotytöt, Orion
9.5.2006 21.15 Angel Face, Orion
9.5.2006 19.00 I Live in Fear, Orion
6.5.2006 19.30 Punaiset, Orion
6.5.2006 17.00 Aina vain Amber, Orion
2.5.2006 18.45 Missä jalkakäytävä loppuu, Orion
2.5.2006 17.00 Hirsipuunkatu, Orion

20.4.2006 Daisy Kenyon, Orion
20.4.2006 19.00 Langennut enkeli, Orion
19.4.2006 19.00 Hääpuku, Orion
18.4.2006 19.15 Goupi Mains-Rouges, Orion
14.4.2006 18.00 Melinda ja Melinda, Orion
12.4.2006 17.00 Kansakunnan kaapin päällä, Orion
9.4.2006 16.00 Väiski ja kumppanit 5, Orion
8.4.2006 13.15 Basic Instinct 2, Tennispalatsi 2
6.4.2006 17.00 Ceddo, Orion
5.4.2006 17.00 Kansakunnan raiviolla, Orion
4.4.2006 19.00 Hollywood Ending, Orion
4.4.2006 Sinua parempaa, Orion
1.4.2006 17.00 Emitai, Orion

31.3.2006 17.00 Mandabi, Orion
26.3.2006 Kenen joukoissa seisot
12.3.2006 14.00 Päättäjäiset: Palkitut elokuvat, Plevna 1
12.3.2006 12.00 Robert Drew 4: Crisis, Faces of November, Plevna 5
11.3.2006 20.00 You're Gonna Miss Me, Tullikamarin Pakkahuone
11.3.2006 18.00 Ginga, the Soul of Brazilian Football
11.3.2006 16.00 Robert Drew 3: Primary, Tullikamarin Pakkahuone
11.3.2006 14.00 Arkiston aarteet: Teollinen Tampere 2, Hällä
10.3.2006 20.00 Suomalaiset musiikkivideot, Hällä
10.3.2006 18.00 Arkiston aarteet: Teollinen Tampere 1, Hällä
10.3.2006 16.00 Kotimainen kilpailu 7, Plevna 2
10.3.2006 12.00 Kotimainen kilpailu 6, Plevna 2
9.3.2006 20.00 Robert Drew 1: From Two Men and a War, Plevna 5
9.3.2006 18.00 São Paulo - suurkaupungin sinfonia, Tullikamarin Pakkahuone
9.3.2006 16.00 Arkiston aarteet: vuosi 1956, Hällä
9.3.2006 14.00 Kotimainen kilpailu 9, Plevna 5
Tampere Film Festival
4.3.2006 11.45 Rent, Tennispalatsi 10
4.3.2006 17.45 Tiikeri ja lumi, Maxim 2
4.3.2006 20.30 Säämies, Forum 3
1.3.2006 20.30 Zozo, Bio City 7
1.3.2006 18.15 Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Bio City 2
1.3.2006 17.50 Manderlay, Bio City 4
 25.2.2006 15.15 Capote, Kinopalatsi 8
24.2.2006 20.30 The New World, Kinopalatsi 9
24.2.2006 18.15 Mrs. Henderson esittää, Kinopalatsi 4
24.2.2006 15.15 Maailman nopein intiaani, Kinopalatsi 6
22.2.2006 16.30 Yö meren rannalla, Orion
21.2.2006 21.00 Le grand ceremonial, Orion
21.2.2006 Lemmenloukku, Orion
18.2.2006 17.45 Transamerica, Tennispalatsi 7
18.2.2006 13.30 Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei, Bio City 4
17.2.2006 18.30 Kummelin Jackpot, Kinopalatsi 1
17.2.2006 21.00 Good Night, and Good Luck, Forum 1 parveke
17.2.2006 15.00 Bambi 2 (dub), Tennispalatsi 1
17.2.2006 16.30 Oikeanlaista kemiaa, Kinopalatsi 9
15.2.2006 21.00 The Holy Mountain, Orion
15.2.2006 17.00 Laukaus tehtaalla, Orion
14.2.2006 21.00 Tulen kuin hullu hevonen, Orion
10.2.2006 21.00 Saippuaprinssi, Kinopalatsi 2
10.2.2006 17.30 München, Bristol 1 parvi
8.2.2006 17.00 Kesyttömät veljekset, Orion
7.2.2006 21.00 Viva la muerte, Orion
7.2.2006 Sopraluoghi in Palestina, Orion
3.2.2006 17.45 Walk the Line, Kinopalatsi 2
3.2.2006 14.30 Laitakaupungin valot, Kinopalatsi 7
1.2.2006 17.00 Kuuma kissa?, Orion

30.1.2006 16.45 Taalat taskuun, Dick & Jane, Tennispalatsi 3
29.1.2006 20.00 Anna Magdalena Bachin kronikka, Orion
29.1.2006 16.00 Väiski ja kumppanit 4, Orion
29.1.2006 13.00 Pikku Kananen (puhumme suomea), Kinopalatsi 2
28.1.2006 16.30 Viikset, Kinopalatsi 8
27.1.2006 17.30 Brokeback Mountain, Tennispalatsi 9
27.1.2006 20.45 Rize, Chapelle, Forum 1
26.1.2006 20.45 Enron, Alex Gibney, Forum 1
26.1.2006 19.00 Pavlovin koirat, Arto Halonen, Bio Rex
DocPoint
26.1.2006 Unseen Cinema, Orion
25.1.2006 17.00 Käyntikorttini, Orion
XX.XX.2006 13.30 Moolaade, Bio City 3
24.1.2006 14.30 Merijalkaväen mies, Tennispalatsi 8
23.1.2006 14.15 Unna ja Nuuk, Kinopalatsi 2
23.1.2006 11.45 Match Point, Tennispalatsi 12
22.1.2006 15.15 Huhupuhetta, Kinopalatsi 4
14.1.2006 14.45 Tuntematon sotilas 50 v, Tennispalatsi 5
14.1.2006 12.00 Matti, Kinopalatsi 1
13.1.2006 18.00 Päivä ilman sotaa, Maxim 2
12.1.2006 21.00 Mehiläispesän henki, Orion
12.1.2006 19.00 Atelier Apollo, Orion
11.1.2006 17.00 Seitsemän veljestä III & XI, Orion
7.1.2006 11.45 Narnian tarinat: Velho ja leijona, Kinopalatsi 1
7.1.2006 17.00 Kotiinpaluu, Orion
6.1.2006 20.30 Houkutus, Kinopalatsi 9
6.1.2006 18.15 Iberia, Bio City 1
2.1.2006 18.30 FC Venus, Kinopalatsi 7
1.1.2006 18.00 Ylpeys & ennakkoluulo, Maxim 2
XX.XX.2006 Orion
XX.XX.2006 Orion
XX.XX.2006 Orion
XX.XX.2006 Orion
XX.XX.2006 Orion
XX.XX.2006 Orion

Sunday, October 08, 2006

LE GIORNATE DEL CINEMA MUTO, 7-14 OCTOBER, 2006

A solid edition of Le Giornate del Cinema Muto, with a landmark Nordisk retrospective, discoveries of Ince and Griffith, a close to definitive Cabiria experience, "Magic and Cinema" illuminating a profound source of cinema's attraction, and "Incunabula" bringing together discoveries of early cinema. Also a seminal showcase of preservation and restoration, with surprises such as The Bargain, rescued on film from the paper print source. The wise scheduling left sufficient breaks for meetings in the cordial and hospitable atmosphere of Sacile.

THE RETURN OF THOMAS H. INCE

"The third Giornate, in 1984, claimed its place in history by presenting the first-ever retrospective of this great but hitherto overlooked early master of American film. Two decades later we are able to supplement the original retrospective with a dozen films rediscovered or restored in the last two decades, along with Ince's most famous production, Civilization" (Livio Jacob).

Thomas H. Ince (1880–1924) came to the movies in 1910 and was soon a pioneering producer, "the most visibly successful practitioner of 'scientific management' in the early film industry. At the same time, Ince films retained their crisp, uncluttered visual style, as well as their lean narratives" (Steven Higgins). Via Imp, New York Motion Picture Corp., and Triangle he progressed to head Thomas H. Ince Studios in 1917. "With success came reliance upon formula. The irony of Ince's career is that, with the achievement of complete independence, his bold and innovative style showed signs of strain" (Higgins).

Programme 1

The Lighthouse Keeper (Imp, US 1911), D+SC: Thomas H. Ince; based on the play Shore Acres by James A. Herne; cast: Mary Pickford (Polly Berry), 890 ft /18 fps/ 13’, LoC. ♪ Phil Carli. – Mary Pickford is subtle in a film that is modest, print has scratches.
The Coward (Triangle/Kay-Bee, US 1915), P+SC: Thomas H. Ince; D: Reginald Barker; cast: Frank Keenan (Colonel Jefferson Beverly Winslow), Charles Ray (Frank Winslow), Gertrude Claire (Mrs. Winslow), 5077 ft /18 fps/ 75’ MoMA, restored. ♪ Phil Carli. – Civil War drama, not of the DWG calibre, print has a pleasant definition of light, Civil War anthems I missed from the music.

Programme 2
The Lieutenant's Last Fight (New York Motion Picture Corp. / 101 Bison, US 1912) D: Thomas H. Ince; cast: Francis Ford, Ethel Grandin, 1700 ft /18 fps/ 25’ Preserved by NFM, Dutch intertitles. ♪ Neil Brand. – Francis Ford portrays Big Bear in a tragic story of the man torn between the Indians and the whites, an early entry in the same tradition as Flaming Star.

Branding Broadway / Broadwayn kivet polttivat (William S. Hart Productions / Artcraft, US 1918) D: William S. Hart; SC: C. Gardner Sullivan; DP: Joseph August; pres. & supv: Thomas H. Ince; cast: William S. Hart (cowboy Robert Sands), Seena Owen (waitress Mary Lee), 4374 ft /22 fps/ 53’, MoMA, restored. ♪ Neil Brand. – Perhaps a riposte to Bucking Broadway, the Harry Carey / John Ford film of 1917. The all too wild Hart is driven out of the West to New York, where he becomes the guardian of the spoilt, violent son of a millionaire. He grows up taming the son and finds a woman to take with him to his ranch back West.

Programme 5

The Dream (Imp, US 1911), D: Thomas H. Ince; SC: Mary Pickford; DP: Tony Gaudio?; cast: Mary Pickford, Owen Moore, William Robert Daley, Lottie Pickford; 735 ft /18 fps/ 11’, MoMA. ♪ Stephen Horne. Fine print, Mary Pickford good in a double role as the drunkard's long-suffering wife, who, in the drunkard's nightmare, becomes a drunkard, herself.

Civilization (Thomas H. Ince / Harper Film Co., US 1916; 1931 reissue), D: Raymond B.West, Irvin Willat; SC: C. Gardner Sullivan; DP: Irvin Willat, Joseph August, Clyde de Vinna, Robert S. Newhard, Dal Clawson; cast: Herschel Mayall (The King of Wredpryd), Lola May (Queen Eugenie), Howard Hickman (Count Ferdinand); 5796 ft /18 fps/ 86’ MoMA. ♪ Victor Schertzinger, original music arranged for the piano by Stephen Horne. – Maybe the most famous film of Thomas Ince, but not the best. The lofty pacifistic film is clearly inspired by Griffith, but isn't on the same level. The allegoric film suffers from the fact that it is set in imaginary lands. Its naivism becomes unintentionally parodic. Yet it is a memorable contribution to the contemporary pacifistic superproductions, to be compared with Griffith, Gance, and Nordisk.

Programme 6

War on the Plains (New York Motion Picture Corp. / 101 Bison, US 1912), D: Thomas H. Ince; DP: Ray Smallwood; cast: Francis Ford, Ethel Grandin; 1286 ft /18 fps/ 19’, UCLA, Preserved & LoC. ♪ Neil Brand. A brutal account of the war between the settlers and the Indians, worth re-seeing. From a partially deteriorating master.
The Bargain (New York Motion Picture Corp., US 1914), P: Thomas H. Ince; D: Reginald Barker; cast: William S. Hart (Jim Stokes, The Two-Gun Man), J. Frank Burke (Bud Walsh), Clara Williams (Nell Brent); 4649 ft / 18 fps/ 69’, LoC, Restored from Paper Print Collection. ♪ Neil Brand. – The exhausted bandit (Hart) meets a goldminer's daughter and decides to change, but just when he is about to return the hold-up money he is caught by sheriff Walsh. Walsh loses the money on the (spiked) gambling table, and Hart makes a bargain: he steals the money back and can escape with his bride to Mexico. – El Tempo: a place called Time. – Some clumsy touches in Hart's acting here, some fine realistic expressions on the goldminer's face as he learns that Hart "had to leave in a hurry". – Print quality surprisingly good, I have never seen such a good print from a paper print source!

EVENTO MUSICALE

El húsar de la muerte (Andes Film, CL 1925), D: Pedro Sienna; cast: Pedro Sienna, Clara Werther, Dolores Anziani; 1564 m, 63´ (22 fps), Universidad de Chile. Restored in 1941, 1962, and 1995. ♪ score for orchestra: Horacio Salinas; chamber version: Katia Chornik, live performance: VIVA6: Katia Chornik (violin, direction, production), Julia Rogers (violin), Anna Davies (violoncello), Tanya Ursova (piano), Cameron Todd (trumpet), Dan Gresson (percussion). – Summarizing from the programme note by Katia Chornik: the colourful exploits of Manuel Rodríguez (1785–1818), patriot and popular hero of the Chilean War of Independence in the early 1800s. This is generally considered the best Chilean silent film, a tremendous popular success. Rodríguez was a romantic folk hero, a genius of disguise, elusive as a ghost. Despite the quality of the available material, the film's qualities remain evident: it is still surprising for its blend of humour, directness, and historical daring, as well as its artful editing. A milestone in Latin American filmmaking, it was declared a National Historic Monument in Chile in 1998. The music is specially composed by Horacio Salinas, director of the legendary group Inti-Illimani, and performed by the ensemble VIVA6. – An interesting political swashbuckler, has brio, titles printed on the image, music ok.

Battle of the Somme (British Topical Committee for War Films, GB 1916), P: William Jury; ED: Charles A. Urban, Geoffrey H. Malins; DP: Geoffrey H. Malins, J.B. McDowell; 4694 ft., announced: 79’ (18 fps) actually: 73', IWM, preserved by IWM in 1931. ♪ original Morton Hutcheson cue sheet score adapted and played by Stephen Horne (music director, piano, and flute), Günter A. Buchwald (violin), Neil Brand (percussion). – A legendary work from the beginnings of the documentary war feature. At first, it looks like a newsreel compilation, but there is a strong human quality in the photography. Slowly the complexity of the reality behind the images starts to seep forth. There are the many faces of soldiers, of whom we learn that 20 minutes later they "got under heavy bombardment". Epic views of the battlefield, stretcher cases, nerve-shattered German prisoners, lunar landscapes after the battle, ruins, the dead, the booty. – The strategic vision of the battle is missing until the very end of the film. – I am grateful for the original music compilation, which is touching and vital (but not magisterial). There is even an effective counterpoint, as Schubert's love serenade accompanies the view of the wounded and the shell-shattered. – A fine companion to Léon Poirier's Verdun, visions d'histoire (1928.) – Summarizing from the programme note by Toby Haggith (with Roger Smither): the main purpose of the battle of the Somme was to help the French Army locked in the terrors of Verdun. The first 24 hours of the battle are notorious for being the bloodiest in British military history. It was filmed under extremely difficult conditions by the two cameramen. The film was hugely popular (20 million admissions in 6 weeks), the press coverage was remarkable, sequences from the film, usually unacknowledged, have been used in countless films, some scenes since then even bordering on the cliché. UNESCO took the film in its Memory of the World register in 2005. Despite the familiarity of certain scenes, few have had the opportunity to see the complete film. The Morton Hutcheson compilation score is a medley of light classics, folk songs and tunes, military band music, and pop songs, notably by Ivor Novello. Summarizing Stephen Horne: Hutcheson's "musical choices vary from the genuinely moving to the wildly inappropriate". "I now find poignancy in the contrast between the music's strident optimism and images that have acquired such terrible meaning." "I think that his selection forms a strangely effective score, partly because it displays the same tension that Toby Haggith has found in the film itself: between a senes of propagandist duty and a desire to bear horrified witness."

SILLY SYMPHONIES

Walt Disney Productions

Birds of a Feather (US 1931)
The Ugly Duckling (US 1931)
Flowers and Trees (US 1932)
Birds in the Spring (US 1933)

Water Babies (US 1935)

Music Land (US 1935)

The Old Mill (US 1937)

Merbabies (US 1938)

The Ugly Duckling (US 1939)

Wordless films in brilliant prints from Walt Disney Company. Cineteca del Friuli published a magnificent book by Russell Merritt and J.B. Kaufman: Walt Disney' Silly Symphonies: A Companion to the Classic Cartoon Series.

EVENTI SPECIALI

The Big Parade / Suuri paraati (US 1925), D: King Vidor, 11232 ft /20 fps/ 143', b&w, Desmet colour duplicating original tinted sequences, GEH, restored in 2004 from the original and duplicate 35mm nitrate negatives by Warner Bros. and GEH under the direction of Richard P. May and Edward E. Stratmann. ♪ Neil Brand (solo piano). – I checked just the ending of this brilliant print, clearly the definitive edition of this great film. Neil Brand's heroic music got a standing ovation, but I would like to experience this version with the original score by William Axt and Daniel Mendoza, one of the greatest scores of film history, not forgetting Carl Davis's magnificent 1985 version, with the bass drums providing the accompaniment to the Belleau Wood sequence.

NORDISK 100 YEARS

A magnificent centenary tribute curated by Thomas Christensen and Casper Tybjerg, with Lisbeth Richter Larsen and Dan Nissen. Det Danske Filminstitut published a fine book to the festival, 100 Years of Nordisk Film, edited by Lisbeth Richter Larsen and Dan Nissen.

World War I marked the end of the golden era of Nordisk, and some key Nordisk films such as Atlantis, Verdens Undergang, and Himmelskibet, are allegorical visions of the war that started the age of disenchantment. In the centenary book, it was interesting to read that Ole Olsen predicted the domination of Hollywood already during the war.

Prog. 2 Le schiave bianche / White Slavery ♪ John Sweeney
Den Hvide Slavinde (DK 1907), D: Viggo Larsen; cast: Gerda Jensen (the young woman), Viggo Larsen (her fiancé)150 m, 8’ (16 fps), DFI. Print from 1957.

Den Hvide Slavehandel / Den Hvide Slavehandel I (DK 1910), D: August Blom; cast: Ellen Diedrich (Anna), Lauritz Olsen (Georg), Ella la Cour (madam), 586 m, 32’ (16 fps), DFI. Print from 1958.

Den Hvide Slavehandels sidste Offer (DK 1911), D: August Blom; cast: Clara Wieth (Edith von Felsen), Lauritz Olsen (Engineer Faith); 868 m, 47’ (16 fps), tinted, DFI. Restored 1995. Danish & English intertitles.

Shanghai'et! (DK 1912), D: Eduard Schnedler-Sørensen; cast: Clara Wieth (Lilly), Cajus Bruun (Clausen; Consul Hansen), Carlo Wieth (Willy); 780 m, 42’ (16 fps), DFI. Print from 1957.

The first three films offer an intriguing chance to follow the development of a popular theme of early Danish cinema. Sadly the theme of international traffic in human beings for prostitution is now much more topical today than then; Lukas Moodysson's Lilja 4-Ever is a contemporary sequel. Elegant surface covers the sordid truth in these early films. A three-split telephone shot seems obligatory. The third film is the most thrilling and brutal. The fourth film offers a reversal: a man is shanghaied on the orders of his rival, and the woman (Clara Wieth, the victim in the third film) is the saviour.

Prog. 3 Melodramma / Melodrama

Rivalinder (DK 1906), D: Viggo Larsen?; 98 m, 5’ (18 fps), NFI. Preserved 1999. Deutsche Titel.

After Fiskerliv i Norden, the earliest extant Nordisk Film. Female rivals settle their affairs with guns.

Prog. 5 Evento musicale / Musical Event

Klovnen / Ilveilijä (DK 1926), D: A.W. Sandberg; DP: Chresten Jørgensen, Einar Olsen; cast: Gösta Ekman (Joe Higgins), Karina Bell (Daisy), Maurice de Féraudy (James Bunding); 2700 m, 128’ (20 fps), DFI. Digitally restored in 2006 from a 35mm preservation master. Danish & English intertitles. ♪ Ronen Thalmay (piano), Romano Todesco (accordeon). – A high profile example of the obsession with circus in the films of Sandberg, in Nordisk, and in silent cinema. The basic formula is always triangle drama. In this film, the erring woman fares worst. A polished example of the "high silent era", it is not one of my favourite Sandbergs, and of the contemporary circus/clown cycle I prefer Varieté, He Who Gets Slapped, The Circus, Looping the Loop and Der blaue Engel. The music would have benefitted from more variable themes and a sense of structure. The print is brilliant.

Prog. 6 Fantascienza / Science-Fiction

Himmelskibet (DK 1918), D: Holger-Madsen; SC: Sophus Michaëlis, Ole Olsen, DP: Louis Larsen; AD: Carlo Jacobsen; cast: Nicolai Neiiendam (Prof. Planetaros), Gunnar Tolnæs (Avanti Planetaros), Zanny Petersen (Corona Planetaros), Svend Kornbeck (David Dane), Alf Blütecher (Dr. Krafft), Frederik Jacobsen (Prof. Dubius), Lilly Jacobsson (Marya), Philip Bech (Martian Prince of Wisdom), Nils Asther (a Martian); 1700 m, 83’ (18 fps), DFI. Digitally restored in 2006 from a 35mm preservation master and the original negative. Danish & English intertitles. ♪ Gabriel Thibaudeau. – The first feature-length space odyssey in the history of the cinema, an interesting film to compare with Aelita (1924). In this Utopian film, mankind finds in Mars a better race than us, certainly a valid Pacifist statement during WWI. A delicious discovery for a fan of science fiction, a film consistent in its naivism, beautiful cinematography, brilliant print.

Prog. 7 Catastrofi / Catastrophe – ♪ John Sweeney

Krigsbilleder (DK 1914), 700 m, 38’ (16 fps), DFI. No titles. – Newsreel footage from the German front: smoking ruins, sad children, evacuated people with cattle, prisoners, wounded, military soup kitchens, graveyards, marching troops, barbed wire, landscapes after the battle, blacksmiths, a barber. Interesting in its non-heroism. Good visual quality.

Verdens Undergang (DK 1916), D: August Blom; cast: Olaf Fønss (Frank Stoll), Carl Lauritzen (West), Ebba Thomsen (Dina West); 1525 m, 74’ (18 fps), DFI. Digitally restored in 2005 from a preservation master positive. Danish & English intertitles. – Inspired by Halley's Comet (and by the world war), the first Danish feature-length science fiction film, an early example of the "end of the world" catastrophe film, and of what André Bazin called the film audience's Nero complex. As the comet approaches, there is extreme financial speculation at the stock market and a wild banquet to celebrate the last days of mankind. Interesting to see once. Print has high contrast.

Prog. 9 Il richiamo dell’Oriente / The Lure of the Orient – ♪ John Sweeney

Flugten fra Seraillet (The Caliph's Wife, DK 1907), D: Viggo Larsen; cast: Viggo Larsen, Clara Nebelong, 182 m, 9’ (16 fps), DFI. English intertitles. – A companion genre to the white slavery films was the harem films. Englishman abducts the caliph's favourite wife, Suleima, from the harem at great peril.

Bedraget i Døden / Dr. Gar El Hama I (DK 1911), D: Eduard Schnedler-Sørensen; cast: Aage Hertel (Dr. Gar el Hama), 858 m, 41’ (16 fps), DFI. Print from 1957. Danish intertitles. – Following Éclair's Zigomar but before Fantomas, there was Nordisk's master criminal Dr. Gar El Hama. Among the ingredients: a fatal inheritance, secret passages, a poisoned rose, fake death in the crypt, abduction to Constantinople, a chase sequence on a train. There is visual excitement in the film. Good definition of light in the print.

Maharadjahens Yndlingshustru (DK 1917), D: Robert Dinesen; SC: Svend Gade; cast: Gunnar Tolnæs (The Maharajah), Lilly Jacobsson (Elly von Langen), Carlo Wieth (Lt. Kuno Falkenberg); 1475 m, 72’ (18 fps), DFI. Danish intertitles. – I saw but the start, print looks ok.

Prog. 10 Il lato brillante / The Lighter Side – ♪ Günter A. Buchwald (piano, violin)

Nedbrudte Nerver (The Hill Park Mystery) (DK 1923), D: A.W. Sandberg; cast: Gorm Schmidt (reporter Erik Brandt), Olga d’Org (Grethe Sparre); 1700 m, 74’ (20 fps), tinted, DFI. Digitally restored in 2001 from the original nitrate negative. Danish & English intertitles. – A light comedy of misunderstanding which resembles the Swedish comedies of Stiller, interesting puppet sequence.

Don Juans Overmand (DK 1916), D: Lau Lauritzen Sr.; cast: Oscar Stribolt (Colonel Sejsberg), Rasmus Christiansen (Peter Pille); [announced: 362 m, 20’ (16 fps)], actual duration 16', tinted, DFI. Preserved from an original nitrate print in Filmarchiv Austria, 2001. Deutsche Titel. – Lau Lauritzen at the start of his remarkable career as a leading comedy director of the Danish cinema. This comedy is about a love potion and an anti-love potion.

Prog. 11 Adattamenti letterari / Literary Adaptation

Præsten i Vejlby (DK 1922), D: August Blom; based on the short story “Praesten i Vejlbye. En Criminalhistorie” (1829) by Steen Steensen Blicher; cast: Gunnar Tolnæs (Erik Sørensen), P: 1920; première: 1922; 1525 m, 67’ (20 fps), tinted. DFI Preserved from an original nitrate print in 2006. ♪ Neil Brand. – A period drama from early 17th century, the kind of story that could work strongly with Dreyer, but August Blom's touch is not exciting enough. I saw but the beginning.

THE GRIFFITH PROJECT, 10: FILMS PRODUCED 1919-1920

"The last golden era in Griffith's career begins with the years following World War I, a period of great change in American society, mores, fashion, and entertainment" (Paolo Cherchi Usai). I didn't see the greatest ones True Heart Susie and Way Down East (DWG's last huge financial success film) this time. Instead I saw some of the worst of DWG and was pleasantly surprised to discover The Greatest Question.

The companion book to the retrospective, The Griffith Project Vol 10 (BFI Publishing, Le Giornate del Cinema Muto, 2006), edited by Paolo Cherchi Usai, offers some of the finest writing on the cinema, especially in the profound essays of Tom Gunning, to be recommended to anyone who loves cinema. The book already covers the rest of the entire career of DWG, but there are more volumes forthcoming in the series.

There are racist and anti-racist forces in DWG, and unfortunately, the racist ones were evident in several of these films (The Greatest Question, The Love Flower, The Idol Dancer).

[Signing of United Artists Contract of Incorporation] (US 1919) 283 ft., 4’ (20 fps), Association Chaplin / Photoplay Productions. – DWG in front of the camera with Pickford, Chaplin, Fairbanks. Much more extra Chaplin footage (flying, tennis) was screened, as well.

The Girl Who Stayed at Home [not released in Finland] (D.W. Griffith, US 1919), D: D.W. Griffith; cast: Adolphe Lestina, Carol Dempster; [6202 ft., 92’ (18 fps)], actually 88', NFTVA 1965. – A late DWG world war film, starring (alas!) Carol Dempster. The funny framing story is about "the last Confederate", "the sole citizen of the Confederate States of America" in his castle in France. There is the "killing slouch" of Robert Harron, some other funny intertitles, and a lively performance by Clarine Seymour. There are some trench warfare scenes worth comparing with The Big Parade and All Quiet on the Western Front. A minor film, modest duped quality in the print.

The Greatest Question [not released in Finland] (D.W. Griffith, US 1919), D: D.W. Griffith; cast: Lillian Gish, George Fawcett, Eugenie Besserer, Robert Harron, Ralph Graves, George Nicholls, Josephine Crowell, Tom Wilson; 5449 ft., 81’ (18 fps), MoMA. ♪ Gabriel Thibaudeau. – I agree with Tom Gunning that this neglected DWG feature is worth re-discovering. It's not a masterpiece, but it has fine pastoral cinematography, composition, rhythm, and definition of light. In the prologue, the child is witness to capital crime. Much later, the orphan girl (Lillian Gish in good form) returns to the same grounds. Sadism (literally) and child abuse are among the themes. The ghostly apparitions (the greatest question = death) can be compared with Körkarlen, which was being produced at the same time. The farcical ending with the poor family hitting oil is compared by Tom Gunning with the Beverly Hillbillies.

Scarlet Days [not released in Finland] (D.W. Griffith, US 1919), D: D.W. Griffith; cast: Richard Barthelmess, Clarine Seymour, Eugenie Besserer, Carol Dempster, Ralph Graves, Walter Long, George Fawcett, Kate Bruce, Rhea Haines, Adolphe Lestina, Herbert Sutch, J. Wesley Warner; 5708 ft., 85’ (18 fps), MoMA. Reconstructed English intertitles. ♪ Phil Carli. – A confused story about "the most famous desperado and gunman" in old California, Joaquin Murieta, Barthelmess miscast in the role. Clarine Seymour funny as the Mexican lady "Spasm Sal".

The Love Flower / Meren vankeina (D.W. Griffith, US 1920), D: D.W. Griffith; cast: Richard Barthelmess, Carol Dempster, George MacQuarrie, Anders Randolf, Florence Short, Crauford Kent, Adolphe Lestina, William James, Jack Manning; 7022 ft., 94' (20 fps), Patrick Stanbury Collection. – Filmed in the Bahamas, a South Sea story of a hunted man (RB), his loyal daughter (CD), and the Javert-like detective (GM). Love conquers all, hyacinth is the love flower. Fine print, could be screened slower than 20 fps.

The Idol Dancer [not released in Finland] (D.W. Griffith, US 1920), D: D.W. Griffith; cast: Clarine Seymour, Richard Barthelmess, George MacQuarrie, Creighton Hale, Kate Bruce, Thomas Carr, Anders Randolf, Porter Strong, Herbert Sutch, Walter James, Adolphe Lestina, Florence Short, Ben Graver, Walter Kolomoku; 6818 ft., 91' (20 fps), Patrick Stanbury Collection. ♪ Günter A. Buchwald. – A romantic South Sea adventure, "perhaps the only really bad film D.W. made" (William K. Everson), his racism at its worst.

ITALIA PRIMA E DOPO CABIRIA

CABIRIA: SONORIZED REISSUE VERSION
Cabiria (Itala Film, IT 1914; 1931 sonorized reissue), D+story+SC: Giovanni Pastrone; intertitles and names of characters: Gabriele D’Annunzio; DP: Augusto Battagliotti, Natale Chiusano, Segundo de Chomón,Vincent C. Dénizot, Carlo Franzeri, (?)
Gatti, Giovanni Tomatis; AD: Romano Luigi Borgnetto, Camillo Innocenti; FX: Segundo de Chomón; cast: Lydia Quaranta (Cabiria, più tarlater called Elissa), Marcellina Bianco? (Cabiria bambina), Teresa Marangoni (Croessa, the nurse), Dante Testa (Karthalo, High Priest of Moloch), Umberto Mozzato (Fulvio Axilla), Bartolomeo Pagano (Maciste), Raffaele Di Napoli (Bodastoret), Edouard Davesnes (Hasdrubal & Hannibal), Italia Almirante Manzini (Sophonisba), Vitale De Stefano (Massinissa), Alexandre Bernard (Syphax), Enrico Gemelli (Archimedes), Didaco Chellini (Scipio); M: Luigi Avitabile, José Ribas; 3132 m, 136’ (20 fps), Museo Nazionale del Cinema, Torino. Reconstructed and printed 2006. English intertitles. Paolo Cherchi Usai: "The reissue of Cabiria with sound, made by Pastrone in 1931, is the real surprise of the restoration project undertaken by the Museo del Cinema di Torino. The motives of spectacle and of scientific rigour here combine in a happy synthesis and with exciting features. If the new 1914 version of Cabiria is a fine example of supplementary restoration, that of 1931 can be defined as a triumph of conservative restoration. Sensitive to the difference between an image filmed at 16 frames a second and its reincarination at 24 frames, Pastrone had rejected the idea of a sound track on the film in favour of synchronization with gramophone discs. The original projection speed was increased to 20 frames per second and the discs were recorded to be played with a turntable whose speed had been modified from 33 1/3 revolutions a minute to 27 1/2. The 1931 version survives practically without defects apart from three splices. The discs also survive, the grooves very worn but otherwise intact. João Socrates de Oliveira has transcribed them and digitally cleaned the sound, and has inserted blank film to cover the brief splice-cuts, so achieving perfect synchronization, which finally does justice to the lengthy holding-forth of the high priest in the scene of the sacritice to Moloch, to the point of a virtuoso matching of the recorded voice and the lip movements of the soloist. No-one has heard these discs for three quarters of a century. The score by Luigi Avitabile and José Ribas includes female voices, and I am certain that some of the singers who surround the high priest are women with false whiskers." – Having seen the film several times, my basic reference having been the beautiful preserved vintage Swedish version of Svenska Filminstitutet, for the first time Cabiria felt compelling to watch all through. The Luigi Avitabile and José Ribas 1931 music makes all the difference, and in the vintage recorded performance there is a joy of playing in a fine Italian operatic tradition. I'm looking forward to experiencing the film with the 1914 Manlio Mazza and Ildebrando Pizzetti score.

Maciste innamorato (Itala Film, IT 1919), D: Luigi Romano Borgnetto; cast: Bartolomeo Pagano (Maciste), Linda Moglia (Ada Thompson), 2000 m, 98’ (18 fps), tinted & toned, Cineteca del Comune di Bologna, Museo Nazionale del Cinema, Torino. – I checked just the beginning of this contemporary sequel to Cabiria in the battlefield of capital and labour. The appearance of Bartolomeo Pagano among the rebellious workers is enough for them to re-consider. This brings to mind the facial resemblance of Mussolini and Maciste.

MAGIC AND CINEMA

Curated by Matthew Solomon. I regret having missed programme 1 with the earliest films.

Prog. 2 HARRY HOUDINI – ♪ Günter A. Buchwald
Houdini, de Boeienkoning (NL, c.1920), (Dutch trailer for The Master Mystery, US 1919)
35 mm, 577 ft., 8’33” (18 fps), NFM. Dutch intertitles.

[Houdini Stunts] (?, c.1909-1923?), cast: Harry Houdini; 2135 ft., 30’ (20fps), b&w, Desmet colour duplicating original tinted sequences, GEH. – Newsreel footage about the escape artist's feats above the milling crowds of big cities, high in airplanes, and deep in Hudson river.

Terror Island / Vaarojen saari (Famous Players-Lasky, US 1920), D: James Cruze; cast: Harry Houdini (Harry Harper), Jack Brammall (Starkey), Lila Lee (Beverly West), original length 5813 ft.; 3804 ft., 51’ (20 fps), LoC. Preserved in black & white from a 35mm tinted nitrate positive. – Houdini stunts and high tech submarine science fiction elements in a South Sea adventure thriller. Good print.

Prog. 3 – ♪ Gabriel Thibaudeau
Les Dés magiques (Pathé-Frères, FR 1908), D: Segundo de Chomón; 445 ft., 7’30” (16 fps), stencil colour, NFTVA. No intertitles.

Métamorphoses du papillon (Pathé-Frères, FR 1904), D: Gaston Velle; 106 ft., 2’45” (16 fps), colorazione a mano/hand-coloured, NFTVA. No intertitles.

You Never Know Women / Venäläistä verta (Famous Players-Lasky, US 1926), D: William A.Wellman; cast: Florence Vidor (Vera Norova), Lowell Sherman (Eugene Foster), Clive Brook (Ivan Norodin); 5893 ft., 71’ (22 fps), LoC. Preserved from a 35mm black & white nitrate positive. – I saw the start: good fast entertainment, charming magic scenes.

Prog. 4 – ♪ Phil Carli

L'Homme mystérieux (Pathé-Frères, FR 1910), D: ?; 35mm; 320 ft., 5’20” (16 fps), NFTVA. No intertitles.

The Medium Exposed? Or a Modern Spiritualistic Séance (Paul’s Animatograph Works, GB 1906), D: J.H. Martin; 363 ft., 6’ (16 fps), NFTVA. No intertitles.

The Show / Varieteehurmaaja (MGM, US 1927), D: Tod Browning; COST: Lucia Coulter; cast: John Gilbert (Cock Robin), Renée Adorée (Salomé); 6227 ft., 68’ (24 fps), GEH. Preserved in 1982. – I saw the start of the good-looking film with a full show sequence including the scene with Renée Adorée as Salome and John Gilbert as John the Baptist.

Prog. 5 – ♪ John Sweeney

The Cabby's Dream (Warwick Trading Company, GB 1906), D: Charles Raymond?; original length 320 ft.; 135 ft., 2’15” (16 fps), NFTVA. No intertitles.

Les Glaces merveilleuses (Zauberspiegel) (Pathé-Frères, FR 1907), D: Segundo de Chomón; cast: Julienne Mathieu; 446 ft., 7’30” (16 fps), stencil colour, preserved on colour internegative, NFM. German main title; no intertitles.

Magie moderne (Pathé-Frères, FR 1908), D: ?; 35 mm, 387 ft., 6’30” (16 fps), Cinémathèque française. No intertitles.

The Last Performance (Poslední predstavení) [not released in Finland] (Universal, US 1929), D: Paul Fejos; DP: Hal Mohr; cast: Conrad Veidt (Erik the Great), Mary Philbin (Julie), 1578 m, 57’ (24 fps), Národní Filmovy´ Archiv. Czech intertitles. – A fast, moving camera, hypnotic presence of Veidt, the standard formula triangle story now interpreted with sword tricks and some real knives. A duped look to the print with varying definition of light.

INCUNABULA – ♪ Neil Brand

A treasure show of earliest cinema based on the George Williams Family Collection donated to the National Fairground Archive, Sheffield. Curated by Vanessa Toulmin and Charles Musser.

Great Britain

[The] Arrest of a Pickpocket (Paul/Acres, GB, April 1895), 29 ft., 29”-33” (14-16 fps), National Fairground Archive, Sheffield. No intertitles.

Boxing Kangaroo (Paul/Acres, GB, May/June 1895), 35 ft., 35”-40” (14-16 fps), National Fairground Archive, Sheffield. No intertitles.

[Performing Animals] / [Skipping Dogs (?)] (Paul/Acres, GB, May/June 1895)
37 ft., 37”-42” (14-16 fps), National Fairground Archive, Sheffield. No intertitles.

[Family Group] (Birt Acres, GB, July 1895?), 5 ft., 5”-6” (14-16 fps), National Fairground Archive, Sheffield. No intertitles.

[Boxing Match] (Birt Acres, GB, 1895/96?), 58 ft., 31” (30 fps), National Fairground Archive, Sheffield. No intertitles. Possibly Acres’ Boxing Match (August 1896) or Boxing Match/Boxing
Contest (1895).

[Landing at Low Tide] (Birt Acres, GB, August 1896?) / [The Lady and the Boat] (Haydon & Urry, GB 1899?), 69 ft., 1’09” (16 fps), National Fairground Archive, Sheffield. No intertitles. Identification to be confirmed.

The Launch of the HMS Albion, at Blackwell (Robert Paul, GB, 21 July 1898) 5 ft., 5”-6” (14-16 fps), National Fairground Archive, Sheffield. No intertitles.

United States

Sandow [No. 2] (Edison, US 1894) [EMP 26.1], P:W.K.L. Dickson; DP: William Heise; cast: Eugen Sandow; shot 6 March 1894; 39 ft., 20” (30 fps), National Fairground Archive, Sheffield. No intertitles.

Carmencita [No. 2] (Edison, US 1894) [EMP 28.1], P:W.K.L. Dickson; DP: William Heise; cast: Carmencita; shot 10-16 March 1894; 33 ft., 17.5” (30 fps), National Fairground Archive, Sheffield. No intertitles.

Annabelle Butterfly Dance (Edison, US 1894) [EMP 48], P: W.K.L. Dickson; DP: William Heise; cast: Annabelle Whitford; shot August 1894; 37 ft., 19” (30 fps), National Fairground Archive, Sheffield. No intertitles.

Hornbacker-Murphy Fight (Edison, US 1894) [EMP 68], P: W.K.L. Dickson; DP: William Heise; cast: Eugene Hornbacker, [Dan?] Murphy; shot August 1894; 35 ft., 19” (30 fps), National Fairground Archive, Sheffield. No intertitles.

Annie Oakley (Edison, US 1894) [EMP 86], P: W.K.L. Dickson; DP: William Heise; cast: Annie Oakley; shot 1 November 1894; 37 ft., 19” (30 fps), National Fairground Archive, Sheffield.
No intertitles.

New Bar Room [Scene] (Edison, US 1895) [EMP 110], P:W.K.L. Dickson; DP: William Heise; shot 17 January 1895;39 ft., 20” (30 fps), National Fairground Archive, Sheffield. No intertitles.

ADDITIONAL RECENT EDISON DISCOVERIES
Ruth Dennis (Edison, US 1894) [EMP 43], P:W.K.L. Dickson; DP: William Heise; cast: Ruth Dennis [Ruth St. Denis]; shot mid-July 1894; 42 ft., 22.5” (30 fps), NFTVA. No intertitles.

Battle of San Juan / Battle of San Juan Hill (Edison, US 1899) [EMP 652] P: James H.White; shot c. January 1899; 100 ft., c.1’30” (20 fps),Yale Film Study Center, New Haven, CT. No intertitles.

[How the Professor Fooled the Burglars] (Vitagraph?, US 1899?/1900?) [EMP 883], P, DP: J. Stuart Blackton, Albert E. Smith; 115 ft., 2’ (12 fps), Newsfilm Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC. No intertitles.

Circular Panoramic View of Niagara Falls (Edison, US 1900) [EMP 901] P: James H. White; shot [August-early September 1900]; 26 ft., 23” (18 fps), NFTVA. No intertitles.
Circular Panorama of the American Falls (Edison, US 1900) [EMP 902] P: James H.White; shot [August-early September 1900]; 26ft., 23” (18 fps), NFTVA. No intertitles. – Beautiful colour

THE MARCELINE FRAGMENT

Marceline, the World-Renowned Clown of the N.Y. Hippodrome (Winthrop Moving Picture Company, US 1907), cast: Marceline; 78 ft., 1’18” (16 fps), LoC. No intertitles. – The sole footage on the great inspiration to Chaplin. A short close-up, screened five times.

DISCOVERIES FROM FRANCE

La Belle et la bête (Pathé, FR 1908), D: Albert Capellani?; 80 m, 4’ (18 fps), stencil colour, Lobster Films. – Quite a monster.

Figaro et l'auvergnat (Star Films, FR 1897), D: Georges Méliès; 20 m, 1’ (16 fps), Lobster Films. No intertitles. – "A big shave", even more extreme than Scorsese's.

LON CHANEY

Poor Jake's Demise (Imp, US 1913), D: Allen Curtis; cast: Max Asher, Daisy Small, Lon Chaney (The Dude), Louise Fazenda; 150 m, 7’ (18 fps), Lobster Films, Paris. – The earliest surviving Lon Chaney film. Modest.

Mockery / Luokkasota (MGM, US 1927), D., SC: Benjamin Christensen; cast: Lon Chaney (Sergei), Ricardo Cortez (Dmitri), Barbara Bedford (Tatiana), Mack Swain (Mr. Gaidaroff), 5828 ft., 74’ (21 fps), GEH. Restored in 2004. ♪ Antonio Coppola. – In Siberia, a simple peasant (LC) rescues a noble lady (BB) during the Russian Revolution. Heavy emphasis in acting, charming scenes of foot fetishism, brilliant print (with some damage in source).

FUORI QUADRO

Die Biene Maja und ihre Abenteuer / Maija Mehiläisen ihmeelliset seikkailut (Kultur-Film AG, Berlin, DE 1926), D:Wolfram Junghans [with the special participation of Waldemar Bonsels]; P+SC: Curt Thomalla, based on the children’s book by Waldemar Bonsels (1912); SEA, restored by the Bundesarchiv Filmarchiv, Berlin, 2004, supported by the Waldemar Bonsels-Stiftung. German intertitles reconstructed from the censorship cards. – Juha Kindberg says that a much better print could be produced from our source, but even this print looks good. A one-of-a-kind fairytale film with live insects. The English lady reader of the translation was good, and – ♪ Günter A. Buchwald's musical contribution was a pleasure.

Broncho Billy's Adventure (Essanay, US 1911), D: Gilbert M. “Broncho Billy” Anderson; cast: Gilbert M. “ Broncho Billy” Anderson, Edna Fisher, Fred Church; 961ft., 16’ (16 fps), GEH. Preserved and printed 2006. – A solid Broncho Billy Western, where he is caught between two evils: the madly violent father of a girl who loves the wrong guy in the father's opinion, and the even more violent avengers. Nice print.

[The Bottom of the Sea] (Lubin, US 1914), 36 ft., 1’30” (16 fps), GEH. Preserved and printed 2006. – Interesting animation with white on black.

FUORI QUADRO

Lost and Found on a South Sea Island [not released in Finland] (Goldwyn Pictures, US 1923), D: Raoul Walsh; cast: House Peters (Captain Blackbird), Pauline Starke (Lorna) fragment, 145 m, 6’ (22 fps), Cineteca del Friuli. preserved and printed 2006, L’Immagine Ritrovata, Bologna. Didascalie in italiano. – Hard to make sense of the tinted fragment.

A Movie Trip Through Filmland (DeFrenes & Co.,US 1921), D+AN: Paul Felton; P: C.R. Bosworth; DP: Joseph DeFrenes; 1914 ft., 23’ (22 fps), Desmet colour duplicating original tinting, GEH. Restored in 2005 with funding from the Eastman Kodak Company. English intertitles. – Brilliant and witty, print excellent.

GOODNIGHT SILENTS

Les Fleurs animées (Lebende Blumen) (Pathé, FR 1906), 99 m, 5’ (18 fps), hand-coloured, Filmarchiv Austria. No intertitles.

Lèvres collées (Verbundene Lippen) (Pathé, FR 1906), cast: Max Linder; 46 m, 2’ (18 fps), Filmarchiv Austria. No intertitles.

EXHIBITION

Chaplin’s Shadow: The Memories of Toraichi Kono – Exhibition curated by Hiroyuki Ono – A charming inside look in Chaplin's world.


Sunday, July 02, 2006

IL CINEMA RITROVATO, BOLOGNA, 1-8 JULY 2006

Il Cinema Ritrovato in Bologna 2006 offered triple programming in the cinemas Lumière 1, Lumière 2, and Arlecchino, with Peter von Bagh as artistic director. All programmes were significant, but as it was impossible to cover but a third, I parked at Lumière 1, tightly scheduled with ambitious short film programmes and expert introductions. The actual schedule was often ultra-tight non-stop for 4-5 hours, with coffee breaks erased because of swelling in actual programme durations, but common lunch and dinner breaks gave ample opportunities for meetings.

The silent film crop was excellent. We are experiencing the harvest time of the silent film revival, which started in the 1970s. Still in the 1980s one often had to endure poor presentations of silent films even when superior elements existed. Now as a rule what we see is "as good as it gets" from the elements that survive. The archival standards are higher, the filmographic knowledge is on a new level, and there is a wide range of professional research into silent cinema, which helps make better sense of the films. The result is a new profundity in the silent cinema experience.

The Festival celebrated its 20th anniversary with a discussion over the the fate of the cinema experience and the photochemical film in the digital era. David Robinson made the best statement saying that in presentation, if digital can achieve the level of film, there is no problem with digital; the ethical criterion for restoration and reconstruction is: would the film artist thank you; in preservation, forget digital.

RITROVATI I RESTAURATI

Maciste (IT 1915), PC: Itala, D: Luigi Romano Borgnetto, Vincenzo Denizot, starring Bartolomeo Pagano. Restored (2006) by Cineteca di Bologna and Museo Nazionale del Cinema di Torino, based on a nitrate positive at Nederlands Filmmuseum, tinted and toned, presenta Alberto Barbera, Davide Pozzi, ♪ Antonio Coppola, 1350 m /18 fps/ 65'. A meta-film, a playful sequel to Cabiria, a modern story, where a heiress in distress sees Maciste on screen in a cinema screening Cabiria, and goes to Itala studios to get the strongman for rescue. It's light entertainment, but there are witty ideas there. The concept resembles Sherlock, Jr. and The Purple Rose of Cairo, with the difference that the lady does not enter the screen illusion but finds the "real" hero in the film studio.

Les Gaz mortels (FR 1916), PC: Le Film d'Art, D+SC: Abel Gance, DP: Léonce-Henri Burel. Restored (2006) from an incomplete original negative by Cinémathèque française with help from Gance's screenplay in Cinémathèque de Toulouse, presenta Claudine Kauffmann, ♪ Alain Baents, 1449 m /18 fps/ 70'. For the first time since the first run the film makes sense in this reconstruction, stated CK. It is an interesting work in the history of the catastrophe film. Sabotage at an American factory unleashes a poisonous gas cloud which threatens a whole city. The use of gas masks and the horrendous impact of gas poisoning were topical matters during the Great War. Penny-dreadful elements in the storytelling; fascinating images of snake-hunting in Mexico and poison being elicited from snakes in Texas. Many instances of Gance and Burel's striking visual sense.

Hearts are Trumps (US 1920), PC: Metro Pictures, D: Rex Ingram, SC: June Mathis, DP: John Seitz, ED: Grant Whytock, starring Alice Terry. Restored (2005) by Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique from a nitrate positive, sous-titres français, tinted, ♪ Alain Baents, 1841 m /18 fps/ 90'. I left after the first boring 15 minutes of the film the print of which suffered from heavy tinting and high contrast. The dream team got their act together next year in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Store forventninger / Great Expectations (DK 1922), PC: Nordisk, D: A.W. Sandberg, based on the novel by Dickens, a short version, sous-titres français, preserved by Cinémathèque française, ♪ Antonio Coppola, 1701 m /20 fps/ 74'. Sandberg, probably the finest Danish film director of his time, was a Dickens expert, and there is a strong feeling for the eccentric characters here, expressively visualized. Although David Lean directed the best film adaptation of the novel, this one holds its own in comparison, and maybe influenced Lean. The original long version exists at DFI; this short French print was beautifully toned.

The Open Road (GB 1924-1926), P+D: Claude Friese-Greene, reconstructed (2006) from nitrate original negatives by NFTVA / BFI, via digital intermediates, presenta Kieron Webb, ♪ Neil Brand, /24 fps/ 65'. A pioneer of colour cinematography, Claude Friese-Greene shot 26 travelogue episodes in Great Britain in 1924-1926 in his own special two-colour process. The original exhibition technique caused heavy flicker in the presentation. NFTVA has now reconstructed the films in flickerless two-colour, which looks better than the original, in the sense of realizing the full potential of the original. The colour reconstruction is very successful, but there is a lifeless quality in the image due to the digital processing. Claude Friese-Greene takes us from Land's End to John O'Groats on the British west coast by car. The original episodes have been judiciously edited by NFTVA. However, the film never rises above the basic travelogue.

Verdun, visions d'histoire (FR 1928), D: Léon Poirier, restoration carried out by L'Immagine Ritrovata (2006) from an interpositive printed at Gosfilmofond and preserved at Cinémathèque de Toulouse by Xavier Berthet, presentano Natacha Laurent, Martine Offroy, Gian Luca Farinelli, ♪ original score by André Petiot, arranged by A. Bernard, performed on the piano by Hakim Bentchouala Golobitch, 3449 m [/20 fps/ 153' announced], actually 149'. This remarkable film, a highlight of the Festival, is not a documentary compilation but a fiction film in the best French Realist tradition. Its precise documentation and multi-perspective storytelling from both sides of the front make it a predecessor of The Longest Day. It covers the strategic significance of the battlefield with ample animation and the individual experience of the soldier and the civilian with good actors (including Antonin Artaud as "The Intellectual"). This French film should interest the Germans, as well, with its lively portrayal of Kaiser Wilhelm, for instance. The extraordinary carnage of Verdun with its hundreds of thousands of casualties signified the loss of glory in warfare forever, and Poirier fully conveys its desolation, while paying some lip service to the patriotic impulse in this officially backed expensive film monument. Film and print have high visual quality. A landmark in the history of the war film.

Ljodolom / The Ice Breaks (SU 1931), PC: Mezhrabpomfilm, D: Boris Barnet, from Cinémathèque française, ♪ Maud Nelissen, 1786 m /24 fps/ 65'. Barnet's last silent film belongs to the same cycle as Starije i novoje (Eisenstein), Zemlja (Dovzhenko) and Krestjanje (Ermler). It's different from Barnet humoristic films such as Devoshka s korobkom and Okraina. Clearly influenced by Dovzhenko, maybe by Vertov, it has an unusual visual style and sense of form for the director. The feeling for the earth, for sensuality, and for the cycle of nature is strong. We witness a time of brutal violence in the fight over the earth in the era of forced collectivization, with the big land-owners as the sole villain. A disturbing film from an era when truth was suppressed.

Der heilige Berg (DE 1926), PC: Ufa, D: Arnold Fanck, DP: Sepp Allgeier, Hans Schneeberger, Helmar Lerski, starring Leni Riefenstahl (the ballerina Diotima), Luis Trenker (the mountain climber), Ernst Petersen (Vigo), FWMS, restored (2001) with Bundesarchiv and Fondazione Cineteca Italiana, presenta Friedemann Beyer, ♪ Marco Dalpane, 3100 m [/24 fps/ 83' announced], actually 95'. A masterpiece of the mountain film and the ski film. A glorification of the communion of man and nature. Visions of nature's grandeur. A triangle romance between a dancer and two mountain climbers. The stormy sea, the wild mountain rivers, the devastating ravines, the unsurmountable North Wall. I have never seen better ski scenes on film. Wonderful sequence of the night ski patrol. The climax is about the ultimate trial of the mountain climber, when one has to sacrifice the other, or both will perish. There is an original score by Edmund Meisel, which it would be interesting to hear. Beautifully tinted and toned.

WILLIAM S. HART, STAR OF THE WEST

A cura di Richard and Diane Koszarski

The William S. Hart Westerns are about the conflict between wilderness and civilization, and his star persona is a battleground for both. The stories are ideal material for an actor, who gets to display extremely different sides of a single character, including the polar opposites of good and evil. There is a sense of realism in Hart's Western milieux, and also a sense of the elementary mythic forces of the stories. Encounters with women and children are important. Without them, the man is doomed to stay a wild being. He must tame the town for the woman, and facing the child, he finally grows up himself. The Western is about the birth of society, law, justice, and conscience. The Western starts in the wilderness of the soul, but the state of utter egoism is arid and lonely, based on lies and deception. It is the road of spiritual death. Redemption is the true story of William S. Hart's "soul fights", as the contemporary critics called them. They are adventures of the conscience. The films are full with action and laconic humour, also in the witty intertitles.

On the Night Stage / Postrøveren fra Montana (US 1915), PC: New York Motion Picture Company, P: Thomas H. Ince, D: Reginald Barker, SC: C. Gardner Sullivan, starring William S. Hart ("Silent" Texas Smith), GEH, restored from a 28mm positive with Danish intertitles, ♪ Donald Sosin, 1161 m /16 fps/ 63'. The William S. Hart star persona is already mature in his second feature film. In his calm charisma as the strong silent man he is the first in a series of Western heroes that continues with Gary Cooper, Randolph Scott, and Clint Eastwood. Already he has a good producer, screenwriter, and director comparable with the dream team around Randolph Scott in the 1950s. William S. Hart's hero is already the good badman, the bandit who faces some devastating experience, which forces him to change his life. The milieu is already the lawless frontier town, which must be made fit to live for women and children. The laconic wit of the intertitles can be sensed even in this Danish version. GEH has done a great job with the 28mm material. The definition of light in this print is better than in most of the other films in the Hart retrospective.

The Taking of Luke McVane / The Fugitive (US 1915), PC: New York Motion Picture Company, P: Thomas H. Ince, D+starring: William S. Hart (as Luke McVane), MoMA, print (1992) from a diacetate print from the original camera negative, ♪ Donald Sosin, /19 fps/ 26'. In self-defense, Luke shoots a card cheat. An escalating tragedy starts as he escapes an imminent lynch mob. His friend Mercedes helps him by creating a false trail in the sand, but the sheriff finds Luke. In a tragic twist, they meet an Apache renegade band.

"Bad Buck" of Santa Ynez (US 1915), PC: New York Motion Picture Company, P: Thomas H. Ince, D+starring William S. Hart (as "Bad Buck" Peters), Library of Congress from a nitrate positive at the AFI/Miller collection, 1924 Tri-Stone reissue, ♪ Gabriel Thibaudeau, 530 m /18 fps/ 26'. Bad Buck Peters insults the sheriff, but escaping the posse he meets a covered wagon where the father has died, helps bury him, and then the little girl is bit by a rattlesnake. Peters sucks the poison from the wound and rides back to get "the only doctor in Santa Ynez, specialist in snake bites and delirium tremens". The doctor arrives on time, but in a tragic ending Peters collapses having sacrificed his life for the girl.

The Return of Draw Egan (US 1916), PC: Triangle (Kay-Bee), P: Thomas H. Ince, D+starring: William S. Hart ("Draw" Egan / William Blake), SC: C. Gardner Sullivan, DP: Joe August, also starring Louise Glaum (Poppy), Photoplay, Digibeta (alas) transfer (2006) from an original tinted Kodascope positive, presenta Kevin Brownlow, ♪ Gabriel Thibaudeau, 55'. Egan the bandit arrives into the Round-Up Saloon in Yellow Dog, the town of broken hope, changes his name to William Blake (qf. Jim Jarmusch: Dead Man!) and is appointed sheriff. He is caught between two women, the kind Myrtle and Poppy the queen of the dance hall. A bandit companion of Egan's, Arizona Joe, teams with Poppy, and they expose Egan. After the showdown he is prepared to quit, but asked to stay as a marshal and a friend. "I reckon I better be goin'". Myrtle: "Even if I ask you to stay?". Egan: "In that case it'll take dynamite to move me".

The Narrow Trail (US 1917), PC: William S. Hart Productions for Paramount-Artcraft. D: Lambert Hillyer, DP: Joe August, starring William S. Hart ("Ice" Harding), Sylvia Breamer (Betty Werdin), Cinémathèque française (1997) from a safety dupe negative with flash titles>lengthened, French/English intertitles, ♪ Neil Brand, 1454 m /20 fps/ 64'. "The beginning of the end" is the memorable intertitle when the outlaw meets woman. But this time the girl that changes the outlaw's life is an outlaw, herself, Betty "the undisputed queen of the Barbary Coast honky tonk". The ironic double twist is that meeting each other, they see purity, and the truth (that they are a robber and a whore) is a terrible disappointment for both. The films contrasts the purity of the mountains with the true wild west of the San Francisco underworld. "The narrow trail that leads to the light" is Biblically contrasted with "the crooked road that leads into darkness". Of equal importance is Fritz, Hart's beloved little pinto pony; the film was conceived as a love poem to him! Magnificent scenes and action due to a bigger budget.

Selfish Yates (US 1918), PC: William S. Hart Productions for Paramount-Artcraft. D+starring: William S. Hart (as "Selfish" Yates), SC: C. Gardner Sullivan, DP: Joe August, also starring Jane Novak (Mary Adams), MoMA (2005), colour with supplemental tint flashing as well as using additive lamps, world premiere of the print, presenta Anne Morra, ♪ Gabriel Thibaudeau, 1257 m /19 fps/ 57'. This screening of this great Hart film was its first in decades. It's a tall tale resembling a Biblical parable or a fairy-tale with its bold stylization and intentional caricature. There is something Balzacian in the juicy exaggeration of a single character trait. Yates is a man whose selfishness borders on the proverbial, and his young protégé Hotfoot ("nameless offspring of a 'departed' showgirl"), is a terrible miniature image of Yates. Again a father dies in a covered wagon, and two orphan daughters arrive in the awful desert city, to the gambling saloon of selfish Yates. It's Hotfoot whose encounter with the younger daughter starts him thinking, and it's he who first takes alphabet lessons with the girls. Riley saves Mary from his rapist partner, and, at Mary's request, more dangerously, he stops the lynching party for the partner, for the citizens have realized that "she's the only good thing this town's known".

The Toll Gate (Cowboypäällikkö, US 1920), PC: William S. Hart Company, D: Lambert Hillyer, DP: Joe August, starring William S. Hart (Black Deering), Anna Q. Nilsson (Mary Brown), MoMA (early 1970s) probably from Hart's own 1929 nitrate print, ♪ Alain Baents, 1518 m /20 fps/ 66'. Black Deering wants to disband his gang of outlaws, but Tom Jordan persuades them to a last great train robbery. The bandits are killed except BD who is arrested and TJ who had betrayed them. BD escapes from the moving train, and when he does not get a job in the town, he sets it on fire. During the two-day escape from the sheriff's posse his horse is killed. He saves the little son of Mary Brown from drowning, and gets to play husband and dad as the posse arrives. The play turns into reality, but not before a final terrible showdown with TJ. As the title of the film (like that of The Narrow Trail) reveals, it's a Biblical lesson, with a direct reference to the Sermon on the Mount: "by their fruit ye shall know them". Clean, strong cinematography by Joe August.

The Testing Block (Sierra Bill: taistelu naisesta, US 1920), PC: William S. Hart Company, for Paramount-Artcraft, D: Lambert Hillyer, DP: Joe August, starring William S. Hart ("Sierra" Bill), Eva Novak (Nelly Gray), Cinémathèque française, ♪ Neil Brand, 1820 m /20 fps/ 78'. The life of the bandits at its most arid, and the frustration of the bandit chief at its greatest. He is really fed up with the all-male drinking and fighting. The turning-point is the meeting with a travelling minstrel show with the "girl with the magic bow". The masked bandits order the players to perform at gunpoint, but the sound of the violin touches the bottom of their souls. Sierra Bill is a swine, himself, and when he spares the girl from an abject fate in the hands of the criminals, he weds her at gunpoint. Jump in time: "the drink-crazed being" has turned "into a being of tenderness". The bandit companion from the past sets a psychological trap of mistrust for the happy family, a weapon more terrible than guns. Child, horse, and woman are all significant in the final battle.

The Whistle (Vihellyspilli, US 1921), PC: William S. Hart Company, for Paramount-Artcraft, D: Lambert Hillyer, DP: Joe August, starring William S. Hart (Robert Evans), Library of Congress (1975) from a nitrate positive from AFI/AMPAS, ♪ Donald Sosin, 1633 originally, [1377 m /20 fps/ 60' announced], actually 71'. The motto refers to Plato and Socrates and the old conflict between capital and labour. It's an industrial story about the rich man and the poor man. The girl they both loved has selected the rich man. William S. Hart is the poor man, a factory foreman, a single father, who has to keep his young boy employed at the factory. In a splatter image, the most shocking image of the Hart oeuvre, the boy gets stuck in the conveyor belt, and we witness him whacked to death on-screen. Hart rescues the boss's boy in an accident that is also related to the boss's gross negligence of labour safety; believed dead, the boy grows up with Hart on a huge dam construction site. The mother is mentally crippled by the loss of the child. An accident brings them all together, and Hart, by the "punishing inquisition of his own conscience", does the right thing, as does the boss, who sets about better labour safety.

Tumbleweeds (Aavikon kulkuri, US 1925), PC: William S. Hart Company, for UA, D: King Baggot, SC: C. Gardner Sullivan, DP: Joe August, starring William S. Hart (Don Carver), Barbara Bedford (Molly Lassiter), Academy Film Archive & Film Preservation Associates (2006) from a dupe negative, presenta Mike Pogorzelski, ♪ Marco Dalpane, /22 fps/ 85'. Hart's last film is his "end of the West" saga. Might this be the earliest film to explicitly use the term? It's one of the 1920s epic Westerns (Covered Wagon, The Iron Horse, 3 Bad Men). A strong finale to a great oeuvre, though somewhat clumsier than some other Hart films. The exciting land rush sequence obviously inspired John Ford in 3 Bad Men (1926). The theme song "I'm a tumblin' tumbleweed" about a wandering cowboy. is quoted in the intertitles and was ignored by the pianist. The print is OK with a duped look.

Tumbleweeds Prologue to 1939 Reissue, from the original negative (2006), 9', William S. Hart's talking testimony, the most moving "extra" in Western film history.

PERFORMING PASSIONS: SARAH BERNHARDT AND THE SILENT SCREEN

A cura di Victoria Duckett

The legend of the stage, Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923), made her first feature film at 68, and after her right leg was amputated at 72, continued starring in feature films. I think her charisma is more in evidence in her early short films, and although the agenda of the retrospective was to question the received opinion of her film work as representative of the obsolete mastodont style of the static Film d'Art school, for me it confirmed that this is indeed the case. Stage charisma does not automatically translate into screen charisma.

Le Duel d'Hamlet (FR 1900), P+D: Clément Maurice, 1', Sarah Bernhardt as Hamlet duelling with Laertes, impressive

La Dame aux camélias (FR 1911), PC: Le Film d'Art, D: André Calmettes, Henri Pouctal, starring Sarah Bernhardt (Marguerite Gauthier), Lou Tellegen [his first film] (Armand Duval), 16', impressive histrionics, especially SB's famous "standing death" scene.

Les Amours de la Reine Elisabeth / Queen Elizabeth (FR 1912), PC: Le Film d'Art, Histrionic Film, D: Louis Mercanton, Henri Desfontaines, based on the play by Emile Moreau, starring Sarah Bernhardt (Queen Elizabeth), Lou Tellegen (Robert Devereaux, Earl of Essex), English intertitles, MoMA (1992) from a 1916 dupe negative and an acetate dupe negative, ♪ Alain Baents, 1006 m /16 fps/ 55'. At first, the image in the print seems about to break down, but it gets better, and is at times quite enjoyable. Done in the histrionic Film d'Art style. The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939) based on Maxwell Anderson's play follows the same story structure quite closely. Bette Davis and Errol Flynn are certainly superior in their roles. The plot of this film goes on after Elizabeth has had Essex executed, showing the Queen's agony ("never had a happy moment", "gradually faded away") and the inevitable "standing death" scene. Sic transit gloria mundi. And Sarah Bernhardt takes the bow. Better than I remembered from Pordenone's The Road to Hollywood (1988) screening.

Sarah Bernhardt à Belle Isle (FR 1912), PC: Le Film d'Art, 20'. Victoria Duckett states that this must be one of the first films to offer a supposedly "intimate" vision of a celebrity's private life, with views of SB's holiday in her retreat in Bretagne.

Jeanne Doré (FR 1916), PC: Eclipse, D: Louis Mercanton, René Hervil, based on the play by Tristan Bernard [the first film based on his work], starring Sarah Bernhardt (Jeanne Doré), Raymond Bernard [his first film role and his only starring role] (her son, Jacques Doré), Cinémathèque française, restored (1984) by Renée Lichtig, ♪ Alain Baents (?), 1594 m /18 fps/ 79'. With this film, SB moved from spectacle to melodrama. Shot soon after the amputation of her right leg. The story of the long-suffering mother: her husband loses all in gambling and commits suicide, Jeanne the single mother makes a living running a little stationer's store, but it's her only son Jacques' turn to ruin his life, losing their money for another man's wife with expensive tastes; he takes the path of crime with tragic results. Raymond Bernard went on to a great future as a film director. The main interest here is to witness his film debut in such good company. Beautiful print with a fine, subtle tinting.

Mères françaises (FR 1917), PC: Eclipse, D: Louis Mercanton, René Hervil, SC: Jean Richepin, starring Sarah Bernhardt (Mme Jean d'Urbex), Jean Angelo (Robert d'Urbex), AFF / CNC (1996) from a positive print, presenta Victoria Duckett, ♪ Maud Nelissen, 1568 m /18 fps/ 76'. SB moves back to spectacle, a big patriotic production on the Great War. Beautiful colour copied from vintage elements. I watched but the beginning and end.

GERMAINE DULAC, CINEMA PUR

A cura di Tami Williams

La Cigarette (FR 1919), D: Germaine Dulac, Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique, presenta Tami Williams, ♪ Maud Nelissen, Finn Möricke, 1156 m /18 fps/ 56'. TW: Dulac's earliest surviving film announces all the elements of the Impressionist film movement she helped launch soon after: location shooting, realist acting, symbolist iconography, associative montage, musical analogy. The film features one of the most patently liberated young heroines as well as one of the most distressed and suicide-driven male heroes of her oeuvre. This unrestrained liberty in expressing progressive women's roles, visible in its purest form here, gradually eroded in the face of post-war neo-natalist moral discourse. D. soon turned to 'suggestion' in order to express certain notions of emancipation. - Somewhat boringly morbid, certainly original film, with certain fine scenes (the fight over the cigarette). The elder husband suspects his young wife to be unfaithful and plans to poison himself with a poisoned cigarette.

La Fête espagnole (FR 1920), D: Germaine Dulac, Cin. fr., ♪ Maud Nelissen, Finn Möricke, originally 1671 m, surviving fragment 170 m /18 fps/ 8'.

La Belle Dame sans merci (FR 1921), D: Germaine Dulac, NFM, ♪ Maud Nelissen, Finn Möricke, 1790 m /18 fps/ 87'. TW: D. revisits the 19th century femme fatale stereotype in order to set up a caricature of the heroine, Lola de Sandoval, which she then proceeds to deconstruct. To this end, she employs symbolist mise-en-scène, associative montage, and reflexive narrative techniques. - Theoretically interesting but actually somewhat boring, with some delectable parodic scenes with the bathing vamp examining love letters.

La souriante Madame Beudet (FR 1923), D: Germaine Dulac, NFM, ♪ Maud Nelissen, Finn Möricke, 773 m /18 fps/ 38'. TW: Considered Dulac's 'Impressionist' masterpiece. Based on an avant-garde play by André Obey, it presents the 'inner life' of a young modern woman hoping to escape an oppressive marriage. Her feminine point-of-view and her desire to explore modern life are communicated through gesture, movement, rhythm, and innovative technical effects. References to Baudelaire, Debussy, and Pre-Raphaelite painting. - A mixture of many forms of cinematic expression, from Realism till Expressionism, the young lady's agony is expressed with all visual means, the husband is a brutish nightmare figure with his games of Russian roulette. Playing with death.

Gossette (FR 1923), PC: Société des Cinéromans, P: Louis Nalpas, D: Germaine Dulac, ass. dir. Marie-Anne Malleville, based on the novel by Charles Vayre, starring Régine Bouet (Gossette), Jean-David Evremond (Robert de Tayrac), Monique Chrysès (Lucienne Dornay), Georges Charlia (Philippe de Savières), Restored (1988) Cin. fr. / Renée Lichtig from a nitrate positive, nitrate negative, and an interpositive. 18 fps

Gossette I: La Nuit tragique, 1119 m / 55', ♪ Donald Sosin

Gossette II: Le Revenant, 871 m / 43', ♪ Alain Baents

Gossette III: Face à face, 1037 m / 50', ♪ Neil Brand

Gossette IV: L'Embûche, 919 m / 45', ♪ Donald Sosin

Gossette V: Les Lettres volées, 827 m / 41', ♪ Antonio Coppola

Gossette VI: La Vengeance du mort, 691 m / 34', ♪ Maud Nelissen

The "morning serial" of the year showed Dulac's approach to popular entertainment. She injects it with all kinds of visually inventive ideas. But this is already the age of Entzauberung, the magic of the great Feuillade serials is vanishing, although in the same year the Albatros team produces the best serial of all, La Maison du mystère. The story is about a complicated murder frame-up to direct a huge fortune to the hands of the villain. The two worlds of the story are the rich elite and the circus world. Gossette the orphan girl is both the rescued and the rescuer. The screenplay is not always compelling, and the villainy of Jean-David Evremond as Robert de Tayrac gets boring with too many monotonous evil stares. The definition of light is good in this beautiful print.

Le Diable dans la ville (FR 1924), PC: Société des Cinéromans, P: Louis Nalpas, D: Germaine Dulac, ass. dir.: Marie-Anne Malleville, AD: Marco de Gastyne, Cin. fr. (1965) from a negative, ♪ Antonio Coppola, 1642 m /20 fps/ 80'. TW: This social satire, based on a script by Jean-Louis Bouquet, tells the story of a forward-thinking philosopher whose arrival in a medieval village is suspected of bringing misfortune to its inhabitants. Dulac's use of technical effects (distortions, superimpositions) to convey the subjective vision of the affected villagers creates an unreliable narration. In the end we descover not only that the madmen were never mad, but that the "visions" never existed. - This film was a little boring.

Ame d'artiste (Kun taiteilijat rakastavat, FR 1925), PC: Ciné-France-Film (Westi Consortium), D: Germaine Dulac, ass. dir.: Marie-Anne Malleville, SC: GD & Alexandre Volkoff, DP: Jules Kruger, Nicolas Toporkoff, AD: Alexandre Lochakoff, starring: Ivan Pétrovich (Herbert Campbell the poet), Nicolas Koline, Mabel Poulton (Helen Taylor), Yvette Andréyor, Henry Houry (lord Stamford), Gina Manès, Charles Vanel, Cin. fr. (1985) with NFTVA from a nitrate negative, ♪ Gabriel Thibaudeau, 2032 m /18 fps/ 100'. Beautiful print, expert cinematography by Kruger & Toporkoff in the elegant international style of the high late silent era, Dulac meets the Albatros team of Russian émigré film artists. It is a tragic love story. Lord Stamford is the financier of the theatre and the mentor of its star Helen Taylor. Helen falls in love with a poet, who perishes in heartbreak and alcohol on the very night when Helen has a triumphant premiere with his play. "La gloire en lettres de feu n'est pas synonyme de bonheur". "Les cordes de ma lyre sont brisées". In the lord's magnificent apartment there is a mummy in a sarcophagus, exactly like the one in La Cigarette. A strong prologue, a play in a play, with Charles Vanel the violent husband attacking Gina Manès as the wife. - Interesting ideas, the whole is not as inspired as one would wish.

L'Invitation au voyage (FR 1927), D: Germaine Dulac, NFM (1999), ♪ Maud Nelissen, Finn Möricke, 797 m /18 fps/ 39'. TW: Dulac called this film a "melody of images", named after a Symbolist poem by Baudelaire and a melody by Duparc, one of the best examples of the director's 'cinema of suggestion'. - Hauntingly atmospheric moments.

La Coquille et le clergyman (FR 1928), D: Germaine Dulac, SC: Antonin Artaud, NFM (2004) with Lightcone and ZDF Arte, presenta Tami Williams, ♪ Maud Nelissen, 816 m /18 fps/ 40'. A beautiful restored print, making the best sense for me ever of this film. It's Dulac's most famous film, but I love best both her purely abstract and starkly realistic films. Dulac felt uncomfortable with what I would call the male sexual fantasy aspect of Surrealism. She followed Artaud's script faithfully but not always with conviction.

Disque 957 (FR 1929), D: Germaine Dulac, Cin. fr., 6'. Inspired by Chopin's Preludes 5 and 6 but projected silent as the music does not fit the film. Excellent avantgarde film, bordering on the abstract. Print from battered source material

Etude cinégraphique sur une arabesque (FR 1929), D: Germaine Dulac, NFM, 9'. Inspired by Débussy's Arabesques 1 and 2, but projected silent as the music does not fit the film. TW: Dulac: "cinegraphic ballet" in the form of the arabesque: arcs of light, water spouts, spider webs, burgeoning trees, flowers and foliage, a woman's smile, arms stretching, a leg that rhythms a rocking chair; the most abstract of D's pure films. - An excellent kinetic film, with a fine sense of cinematic rhythm.

Thèmes et variations (FR 1929), D: Germaine Dulac, Cin.fr. (1989), 12', screened silent. A dance film, the ballerina's swirling motion juxtaposed with the movements of machines and time-lapse records of the growth of plants. Beautiful.

Celles qui s'en font (FR 1930), D: Germaine Dulac, Lobster Films, Beta (alas), 6', two startling vignettes with desolate women of the outskirts. Dulac directed six "illustrated records", but we do not know which records fit the films. Lobster's inspired choice: I Fréhel: "Toute seule", and II Germaine Lix: "A la derive". In the history of short music films, these are unique, extraordinary, and unforgettable in their desolation.

Danses espagnoles (FR 1930), D: Germaine Dulac, Lobster Films, Beta (alas), 7'. The film was produced to accompany Columbia Gramophone Records. ♪ Maud Nelissen, based on "Cordoba" and "Sevillanas" by Isaac Albeniz. Two flamenco performances by Carmencita Garcia.

Le Cinéma au service de l'histoire (FR 1935), D: Germaine Dulac, Archives Gaumont-Pathé, 51'. A valuable contribution in the history of the montage film and the compilation film, fascinating also because of its own historical production moment..

France-Actualités Gaumont (FR 1932-1935), Actualités Gaumont (FR 1932-1933), Actualités Gaumont (FR 1932-1935): fashions, toys (the yo-yo), train disasters, funerals, war memories. Her last film: Ce qu'il a dit (1939) juxtaposing the words of Adolf Hitler with his deeds.

GERMAINE DULAC'S CINEMATIC FAMILY: READING OF A DULAC LECTURE WITH FILM EXTRACTS

Sortie des usines Lumière (FR 1895)

The Cheat (US 1915) extract, Beta, alas

La Roue (FR 1922), extract

La Croissance des végétaux (FR 1930), Beta, alas

Germaine Dulac was a co-founder of CASA (Club des amis du septième art), with Ricciotto Canudo in 1921. The compilation included excerpts from three unpublished Dulac lectures from 1925-1929. Excellent, inspired show.

La Femme de l'autre côté de la caméra: Germaine Dulac (FR 2005) D: Tami M. Williams, in collaboration with Laurent Véray and Frederick Frankel. Beta, alas. 9'. A solid biography. Une élégance masculine. La luminosité d'une intelligence.

LOIE FULLER: THE FLOWER OF CINEMA

A cura di Massimo Piovesana

30 shorts

Summarizing Massimo Piovesana's introduction: Loïe Fuller's life and artistic work were driven by a single, consistent urge: the search to express the spirit through light. She became the Muse of the Belle Epoque. The simultaneity of the birth of cinema and the Serpentine Dance, which made Loïe Fuller famous since 1892, goes beyond the chronological. The two spectacles are based on the same fundamental essence: movement and light. There are few film documents of Fuller, herself, but the enormous popularity of the Serpentine Dance made it one of the emblematic subjects of early cinema. All principal production companies filmed their own versions of it. The cinema, through this subject, advanced in its own first steps. The alternation of the symbolic figure of the dancer, gushing forth as if by magic from the unceasing moment of veils, and the phantasmagoric spectacle described by Mallarmé, lead us to speculate on the use of light and colour in film. Early dance films were strongly influenced by Fuller's original choreography, including the Danse du papillon. - The rediscovered fragment of Fuller's surviving feature film, Le Lys de la vie (FR 1921) was interesting just as a curiosity, but the special programmes THE SERPENTINE DANCES, PAPILLONISME I, PAPILLONISME II, and HYBRIDS OR INFLUENCES were extremely interesting.

DE KRI-KRI A DANDY: RAYMOND FRAU DANS TOUT SES ETATS

A cura di Eric Le Roy in collaborazione con Davide Pozzi e Paolo Caneppele, ringraziamente a Laurent Frau

19 shorts

Summarizing Eric Le Roy's introduction: Of all the comedy series, that featuring Dandy is one of the least known and the least studied. It was born after WWI, when the genre was already exhausted. Altogether, Boireau, Onésime, Tommy, Caza, Max, Bébé and Bout-de-Zan, Anana and Cunégonde had made more than 2000 films with some 80 different characters 1908-1918. Coming from the circus, theatre, or music hall, these first comics were pioneers. The French burlesque of that era formed a distinctive school, which inspired American slapstick comedy. The character of Dandy, following in the path of Kri-Kri, was already exceptional in 1918, with Serpentin as his only rival. The comic series already belonged to another age; yet at Eclair, Raymond Frau (1887-1953) was able to sustain his character of Dandy until 1925.

The little man with trousers that were too long and too large, with a dazed look and a face of extraordinary mobility, conquered the public and became one of the most celebrated fantasists of the screen. He only had to appear for the laughter to explode. Perhaps he owed this to the fact that his earlier character of Kri-Kri/Patachon had been widely distributed, to his recognition as a man of the theatre, to his elastic physique, his contortions worthy of an india-rubber man, and to a subtle mix of comic destructor in the spirit of Jean Durand's troupe Les Pouittes, and a certain unflappable composure.

Beside him, Lucienne Legrand appeared in a number of films, sometimes under the name of Lulu.

Frau left the cinema in 1923 for a South American tour, and did not return until the dawn of sound, when he appeared with Jean Gabin in a number of short subjects in 1929. Dandy was active on live stage till the very end, but he made fewer films.

The Dandy films of 1919-1921 were directed by Georges Rémond.

As Kri-Kri, the comedian dreams of The Three Musketeers (Un sogno di Kri-Kri, IT 1913, NFTVA), has opium hallucinations of doubles with his early version of the comic "mirror double" gag as later in Max Linder and Marx Bros. (Kri-Kri fuma l'oppio, IT 1913, NFM+Cineteca Bologna), anticipates Charley Bowers with a miraculous egg powder with wild end results (Kri-Kri gallina, IT 1913, Cineteca del Friuli), does a wonderfully funny and passionate habanera in the best film of his of those I saw (Kri-Kri e il tango, IT 1913, NFM+Cineteca di Bologna), performs in a military farce together with his girlfriend Lea in soldier drag (Kri-Kri e Lea militari, IT 1913, NFM), and as Dandy, does a wonderful slapstick as a streetcleaner who woos a young Countess (Dandy e son rival, FR 1919, AFF+Toulouse 1999), goes into drag as a governess to help his girlfriend enter a ladies' boarding school (Dandy prend des vacances, FR 1919, AFF 2000), imitates early Chaplin in clumsy slapstick at a carpenter's shop (Dandy ébéniste, FR 1920, AFF 2006), experiences a wild farce of misunderstanding aboard a ship (Dandy navigateur, FR 1920, above average in fun, AFF 1998), is seduced and kidnapped mistaken as a garlic king (Dandy et les bandits, FR 1921, beautiful definition of light in a new print, AFF/Cin.fr. 1998, 2006), performs successful services in break-ups of relationships (Dandy briseur d'hyménées, FR 1921, AFF 2006), is mistaken for a real fireman in his movie costume (Dandy als Feuerwehrmann, AT 1923, Österreichisches Filmmuseum), has an Egyptian dream in the spirit of the fascination of the recently unveiled Pharaoh's tomb (Tutankhamen, AT 1923, AFF 1992), and consults a scientist who can detect marital infidelity with his fantastic machine (Le suis-je?, FR 1934, Lobster Films).

THE CHAPLIN PROJECT

For the first time in generations there has been a chance now to see full versions of many films of Chaplin's "prehistoric past" at Keystone Studios. The films are often primitive, based on urges of lust and violence only. Familiar films look different... but not always better, as there is more repetition of the same routines (hitting, kicking, throwing stones, knocking on the head with a fatal mallet...) that were not always funny in the first place.

In some of these films it's not only that CC is evil, but that he is boringly so. He is not even a man we'd love to hate.

But CC's character gets more profound in The Face on the Bar Room Floor and Caught in a Cabaret. We see the dawn of love.

The films were shortened in re-releases not just by wear and tear, but to make them better.

Of some films I have usually seen superior quality in definition of light, but in cropped prints (sonorized with the left side missing). In these prints, there was no longer the annoying digital intermediate look that bothered in some earlier restorations.

His Prehistoric Past (US 1914), D: Charles Chaplin, NFTVA, Cinémathèque Royale. The last Keystone film has a fitting title, summing up the whole of CC's Keystone experience. It's CC's dream with comic cavemen and Bathing Beauties in bulrush skirts. More slapdash than slapstick.

The Fatal Mallet (US 1914), D: Mack Sennett, Cineteca di Bologna / NFTVA / Lobster Films - L'Immagine Ritrovata 2006. Rudimentary knockabout goes on forever.

Caught in a Cabaret (US 1914), D: Mabel Normand, Cineteca di Bologna / NFTVA / Lobster Films - L'Immagine Ritrovata 2006. From a very worn source material, partly xerox-like high contrast (much better image quality in cropped prints), borders on the unwatchable. This print has no intertitles, I seem to remember that the re-issue print identified the CC impersonation as "Count Broko" and Mabel as "Miss Moneybags". The film has funny scenes and often a fine ambience and lively atmosphere, including the climax when the rival brings the sophisticated set to the shabby bar where "the count" is exposed as a waiter.

The Star Boarder (US 1914), D: George Nichols, NFTVA, no intertitles in this print, from "rainy" source material. There is a meta-aspect, as the mischievous son photographs the extra-marital affairs at the boarding house and projects the dias on a screen, creating scandal and mayhem.

The Face on the Bar Room Floor (US 1914), D: Charles Chaplin, Cineteca di Bologna / NFTVA / Lobster Films / SEA - L'Immagine Ritrovata 2006, part of the film looks excellent. This is one of the better CC Keystones, with a version of the "birth of the tramp" myth. Interesting to compare this with La Chienne and Scarlet Street! Jean Renoir certainly paid tribute to CC in his Michel Simon films Boudu and La Chienne.

Between Showers (US 1914), D: Henry Lehrman, NFTVA, a highly improvised touch, three men fighting over Emma Clinton and an umbrella.

The Knockout (US 1914), D: Charles Avery, NFTVA - from MoMA / NFM. It's a Fatty Arbuckle vehicle, not one of his best, but the film certainly picks up in the second act as CC appears as the zealous referee who gets most of the punches. There is a brilliantly choreographed slapstick climax, complete with Keystone Kops, icebear rugs and Minta Durfee with her long hair down. Fatty knocks out the Kops single-handedly!

A Busy Day (US 1914), D: Charles Chaplin, Cineteca di Bologna / NFTVA / Lobster Films - L'Immagine Ritrovata 2006, from battered source material, heavy slapstick with CC in drag

CENTO ANNI FA: I FILM DEL 1906 / 100 YEARS AGO: THE FILMS OF 1906

A cura di Andrea Meneghelli e Luigi Virgolin in collaborazione con Chiara Caranti e con i suggerimenti di Mariann Lewinsky

The inspired concept of "100 Years Ago", this magnificent "festival in a festival", progressed to its fourth edition (1903, 1904, 1905, now 1906). Following the introduction by Luigi Virgolin and Andea Meneghelli: Pathé dominates, Gaumont follows at a good distance, Vitagraph is blooming. Nordisk (Denmark), Lux and Eclipse are founded, and in Italy, Cines and Ambrosio are established. Films get longer, narratives become more complex, scripts undergo considerable development, special effects and tricks are used for storytelling, reconstructed actualities cede to films "from life". Ideas are recycled frequently. The first luxury theater in Paris, the Omnia, is opened.

GREAT BRITAIN: curated by Bryony Dixon, 14 shorts - including the wonderful trick films The "?" Motorist (R.W. Paul), The Cabby's Dream and Motor Pirates, early colour films by G.A. Smith (Tartans of Scottish Clans) and the inevitable Mitchell and Kenyons. An excellent industrial documentary: A Visit to Peek Frean and Co.'s Bisquit Works.

CINES, AMBROSIO, AND OTHER DEBUTS: curated by Giovanni Lasi, 9 shorts, covering the early beginnings of the companies Ambrosio, Eclipse, Cines, Urban, and Nordisk. One of the most startling ones in this programme was La Loi de lynch (FR 1907, PC: Lux), maybe inspired by The White Caps. A gorgeous fantasy item was Un viaggio in una stella (IT 1906), with Gaston Velle directing for Cines, often remaking his Pathé successes.

SOCIETE DES ETABLISSEMENTS GAUMONT: curated by Agnès Bertola, 8 shorts, including the early chronophone sound films Le vrai jiu jitsu with the singer Dranem and Questions indiscrètes with the singer Mayol, Alice Guy's 33-minute La Vie du Christ, and comedies and newsreels.

AUSTRIA: "THE GOLD-DUST FIND": curated by Nikolaus Wostry, 11 shorts, unfortunately I saw only the beginning with the beautiful Les Fleurs animées (FR 1906, D: Gaston Velle) and the funny swinging comedy Noce en goguette (FR 1906).

PATHE FRERES I: curated by Serge Bromberg, 9 shorts including the wonderful Les Roses magiques (D: Segundo de Chomón) and the tragic Pour la fête à sa mère (a little girl's fate during a hunting party). Also the French original Voyage autour d'une étoile (D: Gaston Velle)!

PATHE FRERES II: curated by Henri Bousquet, 4 shorts, with a beautiful print of Vie et passion du Notre Seigneur Jésus Christ (D: Lucien Nonguet, Ferdinand Zecca, 33'), and a fine take on the oft-filmed subject: Excursion aux chutes du Niagara (D: Léo Lefebvre).

COLECCION SAGARMINAGA (1896-1906): curated by Camille Blot-Wellens, 20 shorts, covering all early cinema from the notable collection, a veritable cross-section of the ten-year period covered, from earliest Pathé till Warwick in 1906, including a beautiful print of La Poule merveilleuse (FR 1902, D: Ferdinand Zecca).

VITAGRAPH CO. OF AMERICA: curated by Jon Gartenberg, 5 shorts, all great and revelatory: A Midwinter Night's Dream (a fairytale in the spirit of H.C. Andersen's The Little Match Girl), The Haunted Hotel (D: J. Stuart Blackton), The 100 to 1 Shot (11', eviction / race track cross-cutting thriller), Foul Play (13', a thriller about a larcenous stock broker), and The Mill Girl (11', an exposé of exploitation and oppression in a textile mill, especially the harassment of women by men). The two first films were important steps in the development of the cinematic fairy-tale, and the other three fine examples of efficient storytelling; the last two films also with highly interesting elements of social realism. Of all the fine contributions, this programme was maybe the strongest.

DOSSIER CHAPLIN: A COMEDIAN SEES THE WORLD + A KING IN NEW YORK

Curated by Cecilia Cencarelli and Michela Zegna, with Michael Chaplin as special guest, Lisa Stein, Charles Maland, and Frank Scheide presenting A Comedian Sees the World. A warm and memorable sitting in the presence of the child star of A King in New York. Special tribute was paid to Jerry Epstein, Charles Chaplin's valued contributor.

DOSSIER JORIS IVENS

Curated by André Stufkens, prints from NFM

Three almost unknown Joris Ivens films from the compilation programme Van Jeugd, Strijd en Arbeid (Of Youth, Struggle, and Labour) have been rediscovered. The films show the combined impulses of the documentary and the avantgarde even before Ivens's visit to the Soviet Union.

Jeugdag te Vierhouten / Youth Day Vierhouten (NL 1930), 12'

Spoorwegbouw Zuid-Limburg / Railway Construction South Limburg (NL 1930), 12'

Betonarbeid / Concrete Construction (NL 1930), 34'