Saturday, June 29, 2013

A Hundred Years Ago: The Glorious Year 1913. Cinematographing Cinema. Tragico convegno / [A Tragic Reunion]

Cento anni fa. Il glorioso 1913. Il cinema fa del cinema. Introducono Mariann Lewinsky, curatrice della rassegna e Elif Rongen (EYE Film Institute Netherlands). Accompagnamento al piano di Gabriel Thibaudeau. Earphone commentary into English and Italian. Cinema Lumière - Sala Officinema/Mastroianni (Il Cinema Ritrovato, Bologna), 29 June 2013.

TRAGICO CONVEGNO / Maria Pansa het kleine meisje / [A Tragic Reunion]. IT 1915. D: Ivo Illuminati. C: Ivo Illuminati, Maria Jacobini, Enzo Boccacci. PC: Celio Film. 35 mm. 600 m. (incompleto, orig. 900 m). 30' a 18 f/s. Tinted. Dutch intertitles. Da: EYE - Film Institute Netherlands

"A review of Tragico convegno in the magazine "La Cinematografia Italiana ed Estera" emphasized the film's "elegance", "finesse", and "decorum", characteristics which distinguished most Celio productions. Between 1913 and 1914 the Roman film studio regularly employed a host of extraordinary actors such as Alberto Collo, Emilio Ghione, Francesca Bertini, Leda Gys, not to mention the star of Tragico convegno, Maria Jacobini, a theatrically trained actress who by 1915 had already made a name for herself in Italian cinema. On this occasion she was flanked by Ivo Illuminati, co-star and director of the film. After a brief stint with Celio, Illuminati's career peaked in 1917, when he directed for Medusa Film one of the most significant Italian silent films: Il re, le torri e gli alfieri (King, Castles and Bishops), based on a story by Lucio D'Ambra." Giovanni Lasi

"In 1957, when the Desmet Collection was donated to EYE, the Dutch distribution print of Tragico convegno (or Maria Pansa het kleine meisje in Dutch) was not among the circa 900 films. It reappeared only recently, in a private collection that arrived to EYE in 2000."

"The two newly discovered reels are in very good condition, but unfortunately the ending is missing and our search in other FIAF archives for other prints yielded no results. However, in the paper archives of the Desmet Collection we found 12 photographs, two posters and one publicity flyer in Dutch. This flyer introduces Maria Jacobini as "the sister of Francesca Bertini, the famous Italian diva" and gives a detailed synopsis of each reel, including even some dialogue lines. In restoring the film we have preserved the existing parts without any intervention through analog duplication and Desmet color system. However, since the film finishes abruptly we decided to complete it with a reconstruction of the ending, using the the synopsis of the 3rd reel on the flyer and six original photographs. This new finale is attached 'loosely' to the tail, so it can be replaced easily if the last reel reappears as we hope it will sooner or later."

"The case of Tragico convegno testifies to the importance of having preserved the entire Desmet Collection: now that the film print and the paper documents were reunited after more than half a century, it has been possible to complete the film by using material from the paper collection." Elif Rongen

AA:  Reels 1 and 2 were seen, and Reel 3 was a reconstruction based on texts and stills. The story is mediocre, but the film is worthy for the performance of Maria Jacobini as Maria. She comes to Texas, and a nursery has been prepared to her as it is believed that she is a little baby. There are funny bits of comedy as Maria turns out to be a young woman of 18 years. Lucien's lover, Baroness Fulvia, instantly gets jealous. Maria gets to see the horse stables of the ranch, she loves to read on the branch of a tree (like our Finnish domestic cultural hero Elias Lönnrot used to do as a child), and when she discovers a gun, she immediately finds about "the American pastime". Little by little Maria gets interested in Lucien, and she starts to interfere with the extramarital affair of Fulvia with Lucien. There is a tragic confrontation, and it is Maria who gets shot, but she recovers, and Lucien's eyes are now opened to recognize Maria's love. Towards the end of the second reel Maria Jacobini is building up into full diva mode.

I liked the beautiful shots of Maria Jacobini in the blossoming garden, her tea party introduction to society in the beginning of the second reel, and the blue-toned sequence of Maria's desperation towards the end of the second reel.

One can appreciate the beauty of the visual quality in this restoration.

FR 1913. D: Léonce Perret. C: Léonce Perret, Suzanne Le Bret, Gaston Modot, Maurice Vinot. PC: Gaumont. 35 mm. 280 m. 14' a 18 f/s. B&w. French intertitles. Da: Gaumont Pathé Archives. - AA: A funny comedy about the wife's jealousy of her film star husband. He has a lot of admirers, and he is showered with fan mail. Print ok, with a slightly low contrast. +

AT 1913. D: Ludwig Schaschek. PC: Sascha. 35 mm. 144 m. 7' a 18 f/s. Col. German intertitles. Da: EYE - Film Institute Netherlands (dalla collezione di Filmarchiv Austria). - AA: A witty stop motion animation about many aspects of film manufacture: - perforation - camera - tripod - principal photography - the film is rolled - developed - washed - dried - wound - edited - cleaned - copied - titled - and mailed. All in meticulous detail in stop motion animation. An ok print in colour. *
Some of the following remarks may be mixed up, as there were title cards missing, and it was not always clear which film was being screened.

IT 1913. D: Eleuterio Rodolfi. Story: Arrigo Frusta. C: Fernanda Negri Pouget (Silvietta o Silviette, l'attrice giovane), Mary Cléo Tarlarini (Jenny Smart, la prima attrice), Ubaldo Stefani (Conte de Sivry), Luigi Chiesa (Piccolini, il regista), Marcel Fabre (se stesso), Anna Crosetti, Annetta Ripamonti. PC: Ambrosio. 35 mm. 69 m (incompleto, l. orig. 815 m). 4' a 18 f/s. Col. Italian intertitles. Da: Museo Nazionale del Cinema - AA: Just a meta-filmic glimpse of this movie remains.

Музыкальный момент (фильм-балет). RU 1913. D: Jakov Protazanov. C: Ekaterina Geltser, Vassiliy Tikhomirov. P: Jakov Protazanov. 35 mm. 162 m. 8' a 18 f/s. B&w. Da: EYE - Film Institute Netherlands. - AA: No title card. A humoristic study of a dancing pantomime, the spell broken by a man who makes a chalk mark for the camera. A good print.

HR-AT 1913. P+D: Ignaz Rheinthaler. 35 mm. 356 m. 18' a 18 f/s. B&w. Da: Filmarchiv Austria. - AA: Footage of a children's band and soldiers, among others. A good definition of light.

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