Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Cento anni fà 7 – Il passato è una paese straniero

A Hundred Years Ago 7 – The Past Is a Foreign Country.
Presentano Mariann Lewinsky e Hiroshi Komatsu. Grand piano: Gabriel Thibaudeau. Viewed in Bologna, Cinema Lumière, 1 July 2009.

The global view a hundred years ago. Filmed journeys were very popular before the age of mass tourism. The films were also documents of colonialism. In Japan the survival rate of early cinema is close to zero, but some rarities exist.

[NOT SHOWN: Nationale stoet ter verheerlijking vande inlijving van Congo bij België Antwerp (6.6.1909). BG 1909. 16mm. 60 m. B&w. From: Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique]
Au Maroc: Tanger. FR 1908. PC: Pathé. 35mm. 120 m. B&w. From: NFM. - Non-fiction, transporting cattle by boat, black workers. Good print.
Dans l’Afrique mystérieuse. FR 1909. PC: Pathé. 35mm. 135 m. B&w. From: BFINA. - Non-fiction, black muslims bowing towards the Mecca, a black tribe armed with spears, gathering cocoanuts from the trees, transport by camels. Ok print.
Récolte, manipulation et exportation du café / Der Aufbruch zur Ernte. FR 1909. PC: Pathé. 35mm. 120 m. B&w. From: BFINA. - Marks of water damage in the original material. - Non-fiction, fascinating, in the jungle, all the phases of the production of coffee from the jungle to the coffee being served to a lady.
Tame Animals at Work / Wunder der Dressur. GB 1909. PC: Cricks and Martin. 35mm. 117 m. B&w. From: BFINA. - Print from damaged original material, titles missing. - At work: the pig, the camel, the dromedary, riding the ostrich, cattle, the zebra, the donkey, the horse, the yak, the lama.
ADDED: D'ou viennent les faux cheveux. FR 1909. Tinted. From: AFF/CNC. All the phases of the fabrication of a wig. Women's hair is cut, washed, sorted out, etc.
Revolución de Mayo. AR 1909. D: Mario Gallo. PC: Mario Gallo; 35mm [frammento]. ca. 75 m. B&w. From: Cinemateca Argentina. - This restoration reduced to be screenable on a widescreen format. - See my note from May 2009 in Buenos Aires.
Grande fête du cinquantenaire de Yokohama. FR 1909. PC: Pathé. 35mm. 83 m. Pochoir. From: BFINA. - From damaged material. - A parade film with archers and geishas.
Otello. IT 1909. D: Gerolamo Lo Savio. B.o. William Shakespeare. PC: Film d’Arte Italiana. 35mm. 228 m. Pochoir. English intertitles. From: National Film Center Tokyo, Komiya Collection. - A good print with fascinating colour and original intertitles. - Stately but not touching. - Reportedly the only surviving material of this film.
Asagao nikki / [Diary of a Morning Glory]. JP 1909. D: Shokichi Umeya. PC: M. Pathé. 16mm. ca. 60 m. B&w. From: Waseda University Tokyo. - From Hiroshi Komatsu's introduction: in Japan, the name Pathé was synonymous with the cinema, and that is why a Japanese company was named M. Pathé, although it had nothing to do with Charles Pathé. - A famous short story was the basis for a kabuki play and a puppet play. It is the tragedy of one who becomes blind. Rarely all acts are played. - [In the 1960s?] a 35mm nitrate print was found, a 16mm print was produced, and the nitrate was thrown away. In Bologna, the film is shown to a general audience for the first time in almost one hundred years. - Filmed kabuki theatre with long takes and long shots. The image is badly damaged.

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