Saturday, October 01, 2022

41. Le Giornate del Cinema Muto – Pordenone Silent Film Festival – 1–8 October 2022

Cover art: Alan Crosland: Three Weeks (US 1924) starring Conrad Nagel (Paul Verdayne) and Aileen Pringle (the Queen). Based on Elinor Glyn's bestselling novel, a celebration of female desire. From: Museum of Modern Art (New York).

PREMIO JEAN MITRY – i vincitori dell'edizione 2022 sono Stella Dagna & Eva Orbanz
THE JONATHAN DENNIS MEMORIAL LECTURE – XVIII Conferenza – Stella Dagna: "Etica del restauro: segreti e bugie?"
ANNUAL LECTURE SERIES DEVOTED TO COSTUME DESIGN IN SILENT FILM, conceived by Professor Deborah Nadoolman Landis, Director of the David C. Copley Center for Costume Design at UCLA – Inaugural lecture: Michelle Tolini Finemore: "Character, Costume Design and Silent Cinema" 1. Dressing Norma: Fashion in Early Cinema
COLLEGIUM 2022: Luke Bailey (US), Rabei Javaid Bhatti (PK), Cǎlin Boto (RO), Gabriel Carvalho (BR), Yunus Erdoǧan (TR), Anastasia Filenkova (UA), Lena Stötzel (DE), Alejandra Arjona Suárez (CO), Giorgia Velluti (IT), Simone Winkler (DE), Russell Zych (US).
THE 2022 PORDENONE MASTERCLASSES: Dominic Irving and Camille Phelep.
– Up In Mabel's Room
– Serata inaugurale: Film concert The Unknown - 2022 George Eastman Museum restoration - new score by José Maria Serralde Ruiz performed by Orchestra San Marco
– A colpi di note / Striking a New Note 15: Kri Kri Detective + Kri Kri ha perduto il cappelo + Robinet aviatore + Fra i due litiganti... – music played by children from the schools of Istitute Comprensivo Rorai Cappuccini and Istituto Compensivo Pordenone Centro – with the participation of Liceo Musicale "G. Marconi", Conegliano.
– Nanook of the North centenary film concert – music composed and conducted by Gabriel Thibaudeau – quartet of flutes from the Orchestra San Marco, Pordenone, with Inuit throat-singers Lydia Etokf and Nina Segalowitz, and vocal soloists Alberto Spadotto and Anna Viola, con Frank Bockius alla batteria
– Mid-Week Event: Film concert Borgslægtens historie – comp. Þórður Magnússon / Thordur Magnusson – perf. Orchestra San Marco, Pordenone – cond. Bjarni Frimann Bjarnasson
- Serata finale: Film concert The Manxman – 2012 BFINA restoration – 2012 Stephen Horne score, enhanced in 2022 – orchestrated and conducted by Ben Palmer – performed by Orchestra San Marco with soloists Louise Hayter and Jeff Moore
RURITANIA I – a cura di Amy Sargeant & Jay Weissberg
NORMA TALMADGE – a cura di Ben Brewster & Lea Jacobs
VENEZIA 90 / VENICE 90 – 90th Anniversary of Mostra Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica della Biennale di Venezia / Venice International Film Festival – a cura di Federico Striuli & Michał Pieńkowski – Biały ślad – Po horách po dolách – Regen – Tikhi Don
DUTCH COLONIAL FILMS – a cura di Nico de Klerk
THE IAC "WORLD TOUR OF PRIZEWINNING FILMS 1932–1934" – IAC = Institute of Amateur Cinematographers – a cura di Keith M. Johnston
THE CANON REVISITED: – La dixième symphonie – Europa – Manolescu – Nanook of the North
– Lumière Suisse: Lavanchy-Clarke – a cura di Roland Cosandey, Dominique Moustacchi & Hansmartin Seigrist
– Segundo de Chomón in Barcelona (Ibérico Films) – a cura di Mariona Bruzzo & Rosa Cardona
RISCOPERTI E RESTAURI: – Bobbed Hair – Die grosse Liebe einer kleinen Tänzerin – Hände – Just Around the Corner – Lāčplēsis – La Montagne infidèle – Ladroni (Italian version of Night Owls) – Profanazione
THE HAGHEFILM DIGITAAL – SELZNICK SCHOOL FELLOWSHIP 2022: Florian Höhensteiger – The Chicken Thief
ITALIA: IL FUOCO, LA CENERE (Céline Gailleurd & Olivier Bohler 2021)

AA: Le Giornate del Cinema Muto (GCM) is back to normal after the pandemic. In 2020, it was mounted as an online festival. Last year, in 2021, GCM was live again with corona emergency security: half programming, half capacity, COVID certificate required, temperature measured, hand hygiene, face masks, and distancing.

I had never felt happier in a festival, although because of extreme pressure at work I was remote working in my hotel room most of the time and missed most of the action. The extreme pressure has not gone away. The world of the film industry and film transport is in chaos. The most reliable partners have turned unreliable due to reorganizations, part-time work, distant work, layoffs and mergers. Vicious circles and chain reactions have emerged, delayed communication leading to escalating trouble. Failures are so commonplace that people no longer apologize.

This week I have worked around-the-clock days all week and hope to catch more of the GCM programme than last year. The design of the festival is top elegant, and it is a royal privilege to read the catalogue. Last year there was no catalogue, but it was reportedly printed post festum. I ordered three copies that failed to reach me. Another sign of the times: mail is erratic, important mail gets lost. No explanation, no apologies. The GCM catalogue I miss the most, along with BFI Southbank programme booklets. I am a BFI member since 1980, and only now have I failed to get those precious booklets. Sight & Sound reaches me now at a two-three month delay. That's Brexit. Before Brexit, I always received it during the month before.

Reading the GCM 2022 catalogue I keep learning something new on every page, mostly on films about which I had never heard before. But also of the best-known films. On the centenary of Nanook of the North I expect to find a critical reception in the spirit of New Colonial History but instead find Francesco Rutini writing that "despite some of its flaws, stereotypes, and cultural inaccuracies, the film displays genuine Inuit skills and knowledge, and therefore is still considered historically and culturally significant by the Inuit" (p. 191). About The Manxman, a film I have always found special, I find a particularly illuminating essay by Charles Barr, who keeps discovering new profound connections in the much covered Alfred Hitchcock œuvre. This time it's the connection between Rebecca and The Manxman. Barr's contribution in last year's anthology Haunted by Vertigo was also of the highest order.

During the first day, Saturday, I enjoyed the warm feeling of the Pordenone street fair. I was thrilled to purchase The New York Times (weekend edition of the international edition) and FT Weekly at L'Edicola del Corso di Biscontin Omar and disappointed that Le Monde had failed to arrive. In Finland, since the pandemic started, we only get weekend issues of international quality papers, and they hit the newsstands only on Monday. The Guardian Weekly and Die Zeit come with a one or two weeks' delay, daily Le Monde not at all, Le Monde Diplomatique with a month's delay. International quality press is my lifeline. (I am also an online subscriber of several journals and newspapers. Common to all: I don't read them. I continue my subscriptions to support them.)

In July I left the social media because of escalating hate speech. In 1967, at 12, I was too childish to be anything more than a fan of the "Summer of Love" movement: "make love, not war", but it made a lasting impression. This year that young passion means even more to me. "Love is all you need."

PS. Society is officially back to normal after the pandemic. But it is not over. A good friend reported on Friday that 30 of his friends caught the corona in late June at Midnight Sun Film Festival in Sodankylä, Lapland. He himself caught it for the third time and is still recovering. Symptoms of all the previous infections returned, and also his wife is still suffering since three months. Myself, I wear a facemask, carry a hand sanitizer, use it frequently, and cultivate distancing.

The only good thing I have learned from the pandemic: "namaste".

"An Oberoi Hotel employee doing Namaste, New Delhi". From: English Wikipedia: Namaste. "Namaste (/ˈnʌməsteɪ/, Devanagari: नमस्ते), sometimes called namaskar and namaskaram, is a customary Hindu non-contact manner of respectfully greeting and honoring a person or group, used at any time of day. It is found on the Indian subcontinent, and among the Nepalese and Indian diaspora. Namaste is usually spoken with a slight bow and hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointing upwards, thumbs close to the chest. This gesture is called añjali mudrā; the standing posture incorporating it is pranamasana." Namaste derives from Sanskrit.

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