Saturday, June 26, 2010

Il gattopardo (2010 restoration)

22.00 Piazza Maggiore, Bologna, 26 June 2010.
IL GATTOPARDO / Tiikerikissa / The Leopard (Italia/1963) R.: Luchino Visconti. D.: 185'
Projected in 35 mm according to the progamme book.
Restauro promosso da Cineteca di Bologna, L'Immagine Ritrovata, Titanus, The Film Foundation, Pathé, Fondation Jérôme Seydoux, Twentieth Century Fox e CSC-Cineteca Nazionale, con il sostegno di Gucci e Film Foundation.
Alla presenza di Piero Tosi, costumista del film. [Enrico Medioli was not present.]

The film restoration of the year, although I have always been seeing good prints of Il gattopardo and did not realize there was a need to make a new restoration.

Following Schawn Belston's introduction in the programme book: Il gattopardo was shot on Technirama, in which images were captured on 35 mm film horizontally, and the resulting anamorphic image, twice the size of the standard 35 mm frame, is remarkably sharp and full of detail. Since 1963, the camera negative has faded and has scratches and dirt (horizontally across the frame because it's Technirama). For this new restoration the original Technirama camera negatives were scanned at 8K. A 35 mm protection interpositive was also scanned for sections needed to replace material not present in the original camera negatives. After scanning all files were converted to 4K, and the balance of picture restoration was performed entirely digitally at this resolution. The restoration is presented both in 4K DCP and in 35 mm.

I had woken up at 4.00 am and it was now 22.30 Italian time (23.30 Finnish time). I was too tired to stay, but I watched the beginning, about half an hour (until the scene where the prince meets his mistress) from the back of the Piazza. The film and the image looked gorgeous, and the total experience was magnificent.

I believe Schawn Belston and his colleagues are on the right track taking the 8K starting point for a film like Il gattopardo.

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