Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Hundred Years Ago: 1912: Opening Programme: Fragments of Dreams

CENTO ANNI FA (1912): PROGRAMMA DI APERTURA: FRAMMENTI DI SOGNI. Bologna, Sala Mastroianni (Il Cinema Ritrovato), Saturday, 23 June 2012, Grand piano: Gabriel Thibaudeau, introduced by Mariann Lewinsky.

Programma e note di / Programme and notes by Mariann Lewinsky

"For Gorky, writing in 1896 after watching a Cinématographe Lumière programme, films were eerie and supernatural; in 1921 Hofmannsthal likened them to dreams and visions. As for us, in 2012 we look at screens – large, small, everywhere – without giving them a second thought. At Cinema Ritrovato, the light of the projector lamp fills the screen with incorporeal images of people long dead, of a distant time a hundred years ago and now reawakened – and we recognise these films and fragments, the more misterious the more haunting, for what they are: phantoms, visions, dreams. A hundred years ago the cinema was already dreaming of the past (we see from the synopsis in the Pathé catalogue that Rigadin dreamed he was Napoleon) and had visions of a future with policewomen, as played by Lea Giunchi in La polizia moderna."

BARCELONE – PRINCIPALE VILLE DE LA CATALOGNE. FR 1912. D: Segundo de Chomón. DP: Segundo de Chomón. PC: Iberico Films. / Pathé. 35 mm from a 28 mm Pathé KOK. 60 m. 2’ at 24 fps. B&w. From: CNC – Archives Françaises du Film and Deutsche Kinemathek – Museum für Film und Fernsehen. - AA: A Barcelona travelogue movie from a home format print, without titles, poor visual quality to be compared with the next item in the programme:

BARCELONE – PRINCIPALE VILLE DE LA CATALOGNE. FR 1912. D: Segundo de Chomón. DP: Segundo de Chomón. PC: Iberico Films / Pathé 35 mm. 75 m. 4’ at 17 fps. Pochoir. From: EYE Film Instituut Nederland. - AA: The same movie in a much more beautiful visual quality with charming colour and intertitles: a very different experience. A vision of la belle époque.

LA POLIZIA MODERNA. IT 1912. C: Lea Giunchi, Giuseppe Gambardella, Augusto Mastripietri. PC: Cines. 35 mm. 122 m (incompleto). 6’ at 18 fps. Col. Didascalie fiamminghe e francesi / Flemish and French intertitles. From: EYE Film Instituut Nederland. - AA: A chase film with a female policeman. The chase takes place at sea, in cars, and along a mountain slope. Ok print.

DÉSESPÉRÉE. FR 1912. PC: Eclair. 35 mm. 50 m (incompleto). 2’30’’ at 17 fps. Col. From: CNC – Archives Françaises du Film. - AA: Daddy attemps suicide, but in the presence of his daughter he lays down his gun. Tinted and toned.

RIGADIN NAPOLÉON. FR 1913. D: Georges Monca. Spanish title: Salustiano Napoleon moderniza a su ejercito. C: Charles Prince (Rigadin), Pépa Bonafé, Max Charlier. PC: Pathé. 35 mm. 35 m (incompleto, l. orig: 340 m ) 2’ at 17 fps. From: BFI National Archive. - AA: A broad Napoleon parody with a farcical drill sequence. From a worn source.

LUNE DE MIEL DE ZIGOTO. FR 1912. D: Jean Durand. C: Lucien Bataille (Zigoto), Berthe Dagmar (Paméla). PC: Gaumont. 35 mm. 118 m. 6’ at 18 fps. B&w. From: CNC – Archives Françaises du Film. - AA: The concept: the honeymooners are oblivious of the outside world. They are not disturbed by the settling of accounts of cardplayers, by the dismantling of the room, by being buried under flying chairs, by a kitchen disaster beyond the wall, or by the fire brigade that comes to the rescue. The building collapses, and they crash down several floors to the boiler room. An exemplary catastrophe comedy. Here the world perishes utterly but the protagonists ignore it. The print gives a taste of the good visual quality of the cinematography.

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