NEW ITALIAN RESTORATIONS
In March, we’ll offer several new and recent digital restorations of superb works from Italy in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. The lineup includes established classics like Visconti’s Rocco and His Brothers and Pasolini’s Salo, but also marvelous movies that have yet to be discovered by North American audiences like Pietrangeli’s I Knew Her Well and Castellani’s Il Brigante. Many of the new restorations were completed with the participation of the Cineteca di Bologna, and on March 18, we’ll welcome back Guy Borlée, coordinator of Il Cinema Ritrovato for Cineteca di Bologna, to present a program of rare short documentaries from the early 1950s and the bittersweet comedy Bread and Chocolate. All of the features and shorts included in this series have been restored by the laboratory L'Immagine Ritrovata in Bologna. This year's Il Cinema Ritrovato takes place June 25 to July 2. Special thanks to Gian Luca Farinelli, Andrea Meneghelli, Carmen Accaputo (Cineteca di Bologna); Laura Argento (CSC-Cineteca Nazionale); AnnaMaria Napoli (Gruppo Mediaset/RIT).
- Sat., Mar. 5 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
A rediscovered masterpiece, co-writer/director Pietrangeli’s powerfully moving character study is just now being released in the U.S. for the first time. The beautiful Adriana (legendary Italian leading lady Sandrelli) comes from the provinces to Rome in order to pursue a modeling and acting career. Sidetracked by a series of parties and dalliances with several men, Adriana begins to reconsider the path she has taken. Alternately comic and tragic, Pietrangeli brings the exciting, yet troubling world of his heroine to life with kaleidoscopic storytelling techniques and a great choice of international pop songs on the soundtrack.
- Sat., Mar. 12 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Rocco (Delon), along with his four brothers and their widowed mother, leave their impoverished farm in southern Italy for the corruption of Milan. Tragedy ensues when Rocco and his brutal sibling Simone (Salvatori) clash over a prostitute (Girardot). As in Visconti’s The Leopard, you’ll be swept along by the powerful story, the beauty of stars Delon and Claudia Cardinale, the graceful direction, and Nino Rota’s haunting music, particularly in this new 4k restoration from Cineteca di Bologna and Milestone Films.
- Fri., Mar. 18 | 6:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
This marvelous program of rare Italian short documentaries from the early 1950s offers a multi-faceted view on post-war life in Italy. The program includes Signori, chi e de Scena (Leonardo Cortese, 1951), a look at the staging of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night at the theater Piccolo Teatro delle Arti; Sport Minore (Francesco Maselli, 1951), which follows the lives of a group of disaffected youth who find a reason to live through amateur boxing, soccer, and basketball; I bambini ci giuocano (1952, Nicolo Ferrari) explores the fate of young bomb victims after the war; Quelli che soffrono per voi…(1951, Alessandro Blasetti) movingly examines the use of animals in pharmacological experiments; Valerio Zurlini’s Miniature (1951) and Il gioiello degli estensi (1952) are experimental color art documentaries that look at, respectively, the Biblioteca Estense in Modena and the 15th Century Borso d’Este Bible. All of the shorts have been restored by the Cineteca di Bologna and the program will be introduced by Guy Borlée, Coordinator of the Cineteca’s annual Il Cinema Ritrovato festival.
- Fri., Mar. 18 | 7:30 PM4070 Vilas Hall
The marvelous comic actor Manfredi stars as a working-class Italian who looks for employment in Switzerland, working a series of sometimes humiliating menial jobs in the hopes that he can one day send for his wife and children. When our hero ultimately finds his work visa revoked, he refuses to return home and decides to stay on illegally, in the company of a recluse (former Godard muse Karina). One of the great Italian films of the 1970s. Bread and Chocolate finds the perfect balance between the dramatic and the comic. A new restoration from the Cineteca di Bologna will be shown.
- Sat., Mar. 19 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Inspired by the novels of the Marquis de Sade and by Dante's Divine Comedy, Pasolini's spiritual testament as a gay Catholic filmmaker (he was murdered a few days before the film's premiere) is based on a notorious episode of World War II when a short-lived Fascist republic was established in Northern Italy by right-wing fanatics. Banned in Italy after its release, then reauthorized after a public outcry, Salò is hailed today as a major work of art. It’s also an overwhelming indictment of political and sexual repression from one of the most controversial filmmakers of all time.
- Sat., Apr. 2 | 2:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Inspired by an event that actually happened at the end of World War II, Il Brigante tells of the young Calabrian Michele Rende, who became a legendary outlaw when he was unfairly accused of murder. A gripping tale of peasant life told in epic terms, this restored version of Il Brigante from the Cineteca di Bologna puts back nearly 40 minutes of footage not seen since the film’s prize-winning debut at the 1961 Venice Film Festival. A new DCP restoration from CSC Cineteca Nazionale will be screened courtesy of Gruppo Mediaset/RTI. Special thanks to Laura Argento & Anna Napoli.