Friday, October 10, 2008


The highlight of the Festival, introduced by David Robinson, the world premiere of the restored films from the Prestech laboratory, Joao de Oliveira getting the award, with John Sweeney excellent on the grand piano (these are films where music counts), together with a violin (by Günter Buchwald?) in Harlequin's Jest. Presented with live commentary at Le Giornate del Cinema Muto, Pordenone, Cinema Verdi, 10 October 2008.
The following list is from the Catalogue:
1. Dance Films with Shiryaev and Matveeva
[COSSACK DANCE] (source: 17.5mm neg., restored and transferred to 35mm, 1113 frames, 1’09”)
[FOLK COURTSHIP DANCE] (source: 35mm neg., 1’35”)
[“FOOL’S DANCE” FROM PETIPA’S MLADA] (source: 35mm neg., 2’15”)
[HUNGARIAN? DANCE] (source: 35mm neg., 2’56”)
[“MATELOTE”] (source: 17.5mm neg., 51”)
[POLISH? DANCE] (source: 17.5mm pos., 2’37”)
[POLISH? DANCE] (source: 17.5mm pos., 54”) Shiryaev solo.
2. Trick Films
[BOY IN A SACK] (source: 17.5mm pos., 52”)
[CHAIRS] (source: 35mm neg., 35”)
[THE ENCHANTED TEA TABLE] (source: 17.5mm pos., 42”)
[MAGICAL DRESSING] (source: 17.5mm neg., 500 frames, 35”)
[PIERROT AND THE MAID 1] (source: 17.5mm neg., 1820 frames, 1’52”)
[PIERROT AND THE MAID 2] (source: 17.5mm pos., 2’02”)
[PIERROT AND THE MAID 3] (source: 17.5mm neg., 2292 frames, 2’23”)
3. Paper Films
[BIRDS IN FLIGHT] (source: 45mm paper film, digitally re-animated by Aardman Animations, Bristol, 2008, 4”, now looped, DigiBeta)
[“BUFFOON’S DANCE” FROM THE NUTCRACKER] (source: 45mm paper film, reanimated by Viktor Bocharov, 2003, 1’30”, DigiBeta)
[CAKEWALK] (source: 45mm paper film, re-animated by Viktor Bocharov, 2003, 1’04”, DigiBeta)
[SNAKE] (source: 45mm paper film, re-animated by Viktor Bocharov, 2003, 5”, DigiBeta)
4. Puppet Animation Films
[“BABY DANCE” FROM DIE PUPPENFEE] (source: 35mm neg., 1’17”)
[HARLEQUIN’S JEST] (source: 35mm neg.; 5 scenes, 12’41”, plus interpolated titles)
[“HINDU DANCE” FROM LA BAYADÈRE] (source: 35mm neg., 3’)
P’ERO-KHUDOZHNIKI [No.1] (Artist Pierrots 1) (source: 35mm neg., 5’35”)
P’ERO-KHUDOZHNIKI [No. 2] (Artist Pierrots 2) (source: 35mm neg., 3’05”)
[TWO PIERROTS PLAYING BALL] (source: 35mm neg., 1’17”)
The films were not shown in the order of the catalogue. Comments on the actual screening: 1-7 dvd, 8-11 35mm, 12-13 dvd, 14-18 35mm, 19-22 DigiBeta, 23-29 35mm. The films almost never had title cards. All four film groups had a special charm of their own, but maybe the most marvellous was the last section. Harlequin's Jest was the final number.
A milestone in the history of dance in the cinema and animation.

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