Cinema is global, as is cultural heritage. Both have recently been insulted, humiliated and seriously damaged by the Brazilian authorities. Beyond any question, the government should be held accountable for leading the Cinemateca Brasileira into such a crisis which has culminated in the fire of the Cinemateca’s vaults on 29 July 2021.
Fires are always a tragedy, no matter to whom they happen. However, no organization, public, state, or private, responsible for the care of collections of cultural value should be plunged into such a crisis like we have been following in Brazil. This recent fire is number five in the history of this Brazilian film heritage institution and the most devastating one.
Cinemateca Brasileira is a much-respected member of the family of film archives. Since last June, representatives from numerous film heritage institutions from Europe and the World have expressed their concerns regarding the future of this respected institution. We, international representatives, can attest that the management and staff of Cinemateca Brasileira are the last who should be considered accountable for this disaster. We have known this for far too long. The federal government has been treating the Cinemateca with such disregard that in 2020 the institution became starved: funds were frozen, the employees unpaid and fired, activities halted – including conservation of the collection. The government took over the administration of the Cinemateca, with no one in charge of these fundamental responsibilities.
On Friday July 30th at 10.00 GMT (at 10:00 PDT for international attendees), the British Film Insitute will unveil a major new redesign and editorial approach for the film magazine Sight and Sound, with an introduction by BFI Chief Exec Ben Roberts.
During the event an exclusive preview of the Sight and Sound’s special ‘Future of Film’ September issue will be shown. This issue marks Editor-in-Chief Mike Williams’s new vision for the magazine to build upon the legacy of the magazine and deliver culturally relevant, impactful film journalism, reflected in a new design, developed in collaboration with award-winning design agency Pentagram.
Williams will also reveal the stars featured on the cover of the September issues, alonside a series of established and emerging filmmakers who will be reflecting on their hopes and fears for cinema.
For those interested in received a complimentary copy of the launch issue, you can provide your mailing address when your RSVP. The event will take place at 10:00 GMT and again at 10:00 PDT for international attendees – please specify which launch you would like to attend when you RSVP.
RSVP right now by sending an email to email@example.com with the subject “Sight & Sound new look launch”
On July 27th, before the screening in Piazza Maggiore, Andrea Meneghelli (Cineteca di Bologna) and composer and musician Daniele Furlati presented the restoration work on Mario Fantin’s footage of the 1954 expedition on K2, directed by the geologist Ardito Desio. The footage was originally part of the 1955 Marcello Baldi’s documentary Italia K2, but the restored version of the documentary will have its premiere at the Trento Film Festival and the screening in Piazza Maggiore focuses on the mountain scenery with a new editing by Andrea Meneghelli, texts by Albino Ferrari and original music by Teo Uselli orchestrated and adapted by Daniele Furlati.
After the presentation from Cinémathèque Suisse, Museo Nazionale del Cinema di Torino took the stage of Auditorium DAMS Lab, on Monday 24th, to present its new film laboratory. The meeting featured two representatives from the film archive, Director Domenico De Gaetano and Head of the digital restoration area Gabriele Angelo Perrone, and was moderated by Davide Pozzi from L’Immagine Ritrovata.
The film laboratory opened in the first months of 2021. It is dedicated to the restoration and digitization of films, but the first focus of Museo del Cinema is interested is the digitization and safeguard of the mute cinema from Torino. The laboratory is divided in three spaces to optimize the workflow and it features a latest-generation server. The Museo del Cinema also owns a scan station, that permits to digitalize the film materials by following the FIAF protocols. For what concerns the programs used, they are currently still in a testing phase.
The main purpose of the laboratory is to make possible for the Museo del Cinema di Torino to be independent in the restoration of its archive and others in the city of Turin, such as the Aiace archive. Among the restorations curated by Museo del Cinema di Torino, this year’s Cinema Ritrovato hosted “I raggi “Z” (Eleuterio Rodolfi, 1917), in collaboration with Cineteca di Bologna and Národní filmový archiv.
The morning of July 26th , at il Cinema Ritrovato, was dedicated to the presentation of the new film laboratories from two ACE members: Cinémathèque Suisse and Museo del Cinema di Torino. For Cinémathèque Suisse, Nicolas Ricordel had recorded a video presenting the structure and a small video-tour.
On July 24th, the Auditorium DAMS Lab hosted the talk on the restoration of Sarah Maldodor‘s Sambizanga with the partecipation of Annouchka De Andrade (Daughter of the director and Amiens Film Festival Artistic Director) and Cecilia Cenciarelli (Cineteca di Bologna). This restoration is part of the African Film Heritage Project, created by The Film Foundation, FEPACI and UNESCO – in collaboration with Cineteca di Bologna – in support of the restoration and the distribution of African cinema. Cecilia Cenciarelli explained that this restoration was in the works for a very long time and it was made possible by The Film Foundation and the Pan African Federation of Filmmakers – La Federation Panafricaine des Cineastes (FEPACI). Without associations that highlight the African film heritage, many films would be lost forever.
On July 24th, Jeanne Pommeau from Národní filmový archiv took the stage at the Auditorium DAMS Lab to present the restoration work on “I Raggi Z” by Eleuterio Rodolfi (1917). The analog restoration was curated by Cineteca di Bologna, Museo Nazionale del Cinema and Národní filmový archiv (NFA). As Mariann Lewinsky explains in the Film Notes available on Il Cinema Ritrovato website, the film has had a very charming gradual rediscovery. At first a 15-minute framgment surfaced in the early 1990 at the CNC in Paris, but then it was identified as another film by the same director. After other discoveries, il Cinema Ritrovato screened a 30 minute long version of the film at the 2009 edition. This gave the idea of the storyline and helped in identifying I raggi Z, a 1917 Ambrosio production. The present version is still complete, but contains an additional 200m and an opening scene that the previous one didn’t have.
As part of the restoration meetings presented during the mornings of Il Cinema Ritrovato, today the Auditorium DAMS Lab hosted the talk on the two new Cinémathèque française’s restorations: F for Fake and Un chien andalou. While the choice may appear strange, these two films are connected by the importance of the pioneers behind them: respectively Orson Welles and Luis Buñuel.
The restoration of F for Fake, carried out by Les Film de l’Astrophore and the Cinémathèques française in collaboration with Documentaire sur grand écran, the Cinémathèque suisse and the Institut audiovisuel de Monaco and with the help of Hiventy and the L.E. Diapason Studio, was first presented during Cannes Classics and will be screened in Piazza Maggiore tonight at 21:30. To give a detailed explaination of the restoration work, the conference saw the participation of members from Hiventy and L.E. Diapason. F for Fake has parts in 16mm and others in 35mm and Hiventy’s work consisted in creating a more cohesive visual flow, while preserving the photochemical quality of the original copy. For the sound, L.E. Diapason studio had to work on the post-synchronization of the dialogues.
Un chien andalou will be screened in Piazza Maggiore on Saturday at 21.30. The 4k restoration was carried out by the Cinémathèque française and Filmoteca Española in collaboration with Les Grands Films Classiques. The Filmoteca Española has restored Buñuel’s works over the years, but Un chien andalou was a difficult operation for the availability of the original prints. Hiventy’s work started from an original negative and a safety countertype stored in Cinémathèque française and a 2003 analogical countertype from the Filmoteca Española. In order to preserve the film in its best and most accurate form, the speed of the projector must be changed during the screening. The restoration was possible thanks to the contribution from the Creative Europe project in the context of “A Season of Classic Films”.
After a one-year stop due to the pandemic, ACE has returned in Bologna for its annual workshop during Il Cinema Ritrovato festival. The event, hosted by MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna, was in collaboration with Europa Cinemas. The ACE workshop, moderated by professor Francesco Clerici, was divided in two sessions. The morning one was an opportunity to discuss the re-opening of cinemas and the presence of new platforms, while the afternoon was dedicated to film education.
After the first two meetings about restoration, curators Sylvie Pras and Massoumeh Lahidji presented the exhibition dedicated to filmmaker, writer, artist and photographer Abbas Kiarostami. The exhibition named Où est l’ami Kiarostami?, echoing the title of one of its most famous films (Où est la maison de mon ami?), is hosted by a very special venue: Centre Pompidou. The closeness to the entrance and the free access are key features of the homage to the Iranian director for the two curators, that want this to be a full immersion in Kiarostami’s body of work.
The exhibition wants to cater to those who are familiar with his work and those who aren’t by facilitating the encounter between the artist and the audience. It offers insights in all the different aspects of Abbas Kiarostami‘s career with graphic works, photographs, film sequences and much more, bringing his poetic way of seeing the world to life.
Où est l’ami Kiarostami? was designed by Centre Pompidou in partnership with mk2 (which has restored Kiarostami‘s films) and the Kiarostami Foundation and it offers a visit route between different modules, where his works clash and collaborate to create something new, over an area of more than a thousand square meters.