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A Season of Classic Films: Discover Czech silent films

A Season of Classic Films at NFA

From April to June, the Czech National Film Archive will offer free online access to seven silent films with contemporary music, in the frame of ‘A Season of Classic Films’. The selection includes some of the first movies shot in the Czech lands, Karel Lamač’s films and performances by Vlasta Burian and Anna Ondráková. Some screenings will be followed by live discussion on topics related to silent film and its presentation.

The first screening of the Czech retrospective is Karel Lamač’s Bílý ráj (White Paradise, 1924, 73’) with music by multi-instrumentalist Tomáš Vtípil on Thursday 8 April, starting at 17:00 CET. In this film, Nina falls for the good heart and piercing eyes of an escaped prisoner and decides to help him visit his dying mother for the last time. An ingeniously written script and the involvement of ‘The Strong Four’ – one of the most distinctive creative teams to come out of Czechoslovak cinema: director and actor Karel Lamač, cameraman Otto Heller, actress Anny Ondra and screenwriter Václav Wasserman – contributed to the international success of the film and established Lamač and Ondra as major forces of early cinema. Other prominent figures of early Czech cinema participated in the production, such as Martin Frič and Gustav Machatý. The new film digitisation originates from a 35mm coloured restored print, for which a unique tinted and toned nitrate film provided source material.

FILM + MUSIC PERFORMANCE: WHITE PARADISE 

The premiere screening on 8 April will be followed by the discussion ‘Classics Today’, which provides a framework for the entire Czech retrospective. What the term ‘classic’ means in architecture, music, literature and why using this term, will be some of the questions discussed by guests from various cultural fields and moderated by the General Director of the Czech National Film Archive, Mihal Bregant.

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Cinemateca portuguesa online proposals for the second lockdown

As happened in the first lockdown last year, Cinemateca Portuguesa continues to promote a set of online experiencies to fulfill the lack of presential activities. The main focus is still on the virtual platform Gestos & Fragmentos (Gestures & Fragments, as in the title of a well known movie directed by the portuguese filmmaker Alberto Seixas Santos), this time refreshed in the form of a new website where visitors can find various sections dedicated to Cinemateca’s collections, from objects of pre-cinema era, to virtual exhibitions or articles on some of the most valuable items from its library.

The website also presents a collection of feature films from the silent period made in Portugal, that were recently restored by Cinemateca Portuguesa and will be available until the end of the lockdown, one feature per week. For those who want to dive in cinema’s history, Cinemateca added a new set of the conferences Histórias do Cinema to the website, this time dedicated to the films of Straub-Huillet, Ernst Lubitsch, Otto Preminger and some thematic conferences.

Finally, a new thematic section with a choice of moving images from different cities and regions of Portugal, from different periods, highlighting the digital platform Cinemateca Digital where digital representations of these films are available for public access.

All this and many more are available at http://gestosefragmentos.cinemateca.pt/

A Season of Classic Films: free worldwide screening of ‘Sanz and the secret of his art’

Sanz and the secret of his art, an unusual hybrid between documentary and fiction displaying animated human-like dolls, will be screened on Friday 5 February at 18:00 CET with live music, in the frame of the 2020-2021 edition of ‘A Season of Classic Films’.

The screening will be freely accessible worldwide with English subtitles via the YouTube channel of the Institut Valencià de Cultura, and at the same time a limited audience will have the opportunity to attend the event at the Filmoteca’s cinema in Valencia.

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A Season of Classic Films: online premiere with the newly restored ‘Sinner without a sin’

The second edition of A Season of Classic Films will premiere on Friday 4 December at 19:00 CET with a free online worldwide streaming of the newly restored 1930 film Sinner without a sin. Yugoslovenska Kinoteka will provide the streaming service via its YouTube channel, while the screening at its premises in Belgrade, Serbia, will take place at a later date based on the latest COVID-19 measures.

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Official opening of the new building of the Montenegrin Cinematheque


News from our colleagues  in Montenegro:

Montenegrin Cinematheque and Music Centre of Montenegro have officially started their work at the new building on the 3rd November, the day of opening ceremony which was attended by the President of Montenegro, the Mayor of Podgorica and the Minister of Culture.

After two decades of waiting, we can say with great pleasure that the Cinematheque met all the needs for starting  its activities in conditions that fulfill the standards of modern film archives.

In its new space, the Cinematheque has at its disposal adequate depots for preserving copies of film negatives and  positives, as well as editing rooms which serve for working with digital and analogue materials.

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A Season of Classic Films – Programme Catalogue

This publication presents the film titles selected for the second edition of A Season of Classic Films. It provides a colourful palette of European cinema history which aims to be a source of inspiration for cinemagoers and film programmers around the world. The films are presented by 22 members of the Association of European Cinematheques (Association des Cinémathèques Européennes – ACE).

The 22 partner institutions selected a total of over 50 short and long-feature films, showcasing distinguished titles and less known treasures. Most of the films are new digital restorations and some screenings include exciting elements such as live performances and experimental electronic music.

 

Download: A Season of Classic Films – programme catalogue

 

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The new Season of Classic Films to be presented at Festival Lumière

After the success in 2019 with more than 15.000 people participating, ‘A Season of Classic Films’ is back for its second edition in December.

Led this year by the Association des Cinémathèques Européennes (ACE) with the funding of the European Commission under the cross-sectoral strand of Creative Europe programme, this initiative will be presented on 15 October at the Festival Lumière in Lyon. The festival, focusing on the history of cinema, will host a special afternoon around ‘Europe and Heritage’ where Sandra den Hamer, ACE president and Eye Filmmuseum director, and Maria Silvia Gatta, representative from the European Commission DG CNECT, will explain the details of the outreach project and other policies and trends to keep supporting and modernising European film heritage.

The second edition of the Season of Classic Films will consist of a series of free screenings planned between December 2020 and June 2021 across Europe to raise awareness of the work of European national and regional film archives, especially among young adults. Most of the films are new digital restorations and some screenings include exciting elements such as live performances and experimental electronic music. With 22 participating institutions, this initiative particularly aims to support the reopening of European film archives, all affected by the Covid19 crisis.

A map including the list of cities and films will be soon available via this page.

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The Brilliant Biograph: Earliest Moving Images of Europe (1897-1902)

Eye Filmmuseum and the British Film Institute present a compilation film of newly-restored rare images from the first years of filmmaking. Immerse yourself in enchanting images of Venice, Berlin, Amsterdam and London from 120 years ago. Let yourself be carried away in the mesmerizing events and celebrities of the time, and feel the enthusiasm of early cinema that overcame the challenge of capturing life-like movement.

 

Origins

The Mutoscope and Biograph Company was founded by film pioneer and inventor William Kennedy-Laurie Dickson, who had worked with Thomas Edison since the 1880s. After leaving Edison, Dickson and partners filmed remarkable events across Europe.

These films are all photographed with the unique large-format 68mm Mutograph camera, which provided extraordinarily high resolution images. These one-minute time capsules from 120 years ago still convey some of the richest and sharpest images that film can achieve.

The films reflect the essence of early cinema: capturing the first ever moving images of important events, famous locations and personalities, as well as spectacular moments such as dance and sports performances, or even natural phenomena like fire or storm, that only work when seen in motion.

 

The Collection and Restoration

The Mutoscope and Biograph Collection is the oldest film collection held at Eye Filmmuseum. It includes over 200 films, most of which made in Europe between 1897 and 1902. This constitutes the largest existing collection of Mutoscope and Biograph films surviving in the world.

The films are shot on nitrate film stock with a short-lived technology which was, at the time, innovative and groundbreaking: an exceptionally large-format film (approx. 68mm wide, without perforation) with an extremely high resolution providing extraordinary richness of details.

Because the films are a non-standard size, they have been largely unseen. Given their obsolete format digital restoration with custom-made equipment at a resolution of around 8K is the best way to make them accessible again, using today’s technology. After digitization, image restoration is done to reproduce as closely as possible the characteristics of the original film.

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Il Cinema Ritrovato Book Fair and the 2020 DVD Awards

From August 24th to the 31st, during Il Cinema Ritrovato, the Biblioteca Renzi in the Cineteca di Bologna will host an unmissable event for cinema fanatics with hundreds of books, DVDs and Blu-rays: Il Cinema Ritrovato Book fair.

It is the 18th birthday of the Book fair and regardless of the difficulties of the current year, the Cineteca has decided to confirm the event, albeit in a reduced version, to offer the Festival attendees some publications. There will be space for publications by film archives from all over the world and other national and international editors. Among this year’s news, the Biblioteca Renzi will host a selection of DVDs for a low price that include rarities but also contemporary works.

Among the many publications, the Cineteca di Bologna has decided to highlight the finalists of this year’s DVD Awards. These include some ACE members such as BFI, Filmoteka Narodowna, Národní filmový archiv and Magyar Nemzeti Filmarchívum. The DVD Awards will be given out on Friday, August 28th in Piazzetta Pasolini. This year’s jury is composed by Paolo Mereghetti, Lorenzo Codelli, Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, Philippe Garnier, Pamela Hutchinson and Miguel Marías.

Among the Italian editors at the Book Fair: Eagle Pictures, 01distribution, Dino Audino Editore, CG Entertainment and Mustang Entertainment.

Among the foreign editors: Edition Filmmuseum, Lobster Films, Cinematek Royale de Belgique, EYE FilmMuseum, Film Heritage Foundation, Institut Lumière e Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé.

For more information on the Book Fair click here.

For a full list of the Il Cinema Ritrovato | Dvd Awards finalists, click here.

Irish Film Institute launches IFI@Home, a new VOD service

The Irish Film Institute has launched a video-on-demand platform named IFI@Home. At www.ifihome.ie there is a selection of IFI’s Irish and international programming finally made available online for audiences across Ireland.

IFI@Home has made the Reel Art Collection available online, a selection of 20 Irish documentaries, funded by the Arts Council. Its purpose is to showcase Irish non-fiction filmmakers’ talent. Each of the films is available to rent for 3.99 on www.ifihome.ie.

The IFI’s director Ross Keane explains that the launch of the online streaming library IFI@Home delivers on a key aspect of their current five-year strategy, to extend the reach of the IFI’s programming beyond their venue to homes across Ireland. This is particularly important, according to Ross Keane, during the COVID-19, when everyone is engaging with the arts online.

On the Reel Art Collection, Fionnuala Sweeney, Head of Film and Architecture at The Arts Council, adds:

The Arts Council is delighted that IFI@Home is launching with the Reel Art Collection. Over the past ten years many of Ireland’s finest film artists have made a Reel Art film, and together their work forms a collection that is unique in its subject range and realisation. Until now it has not been possible to see most of these films following their cinema and festival screenings so it is wonderful that they will have a new life on IFI@Home and that audiences all over Ireland will have access to them.