From 21st to 26th September, the National Film Institute is organizing – for the fourth time – Budapest’s largest international film event, Budapest Classics Film Marathon. During the six days of the festival, audiences can watch more than 70 recently restored classic films in five themed blocks at various venues around the capital. To the delight of Budapesters, the square in front of St. Stephen’s Basilica is once again being transformed into a free open-air cinema on four evenings.
National Film Institute celebrates 120 years of Hungarian film with several large-scale events this year. The Hungarian Motion Picture Festival was brought to life this summer, the exhibition Wide Angle in Ludwig Museum is a broad-ranging overview of Hungarian film history (open until mid-November 2021), and the opening gala of the 4th Budapest Classics Film Marathon in Uránia National Film Theatre on the evening of 21 September is similarly a celebration of this important anniversary. At the gala there will be a screening – in a selection made up Lumière films from 1896 – of the first film footage shot in Hungary; an animation documentary made about the birth of the first Hungarian film, A táncz (The Dance), and the digitally restored (2K) version of Sándor Korda’s cult silent film from 1918 Az aranyember, with musical accompaniment composed by Bence Farkas and performed by Győr Philharmonic Orchestra.
“This year is very special because we have the opportunity to celebrate several anniversaries that are important from the aspect of the history of Hungarian film. Cameramen of the Lumière brothers shot the first footage in Hungary 125 years ago, the first directed Hungarian film debuted 120 years ago, and 90 years ago Hungarian sound film was born, the first triumph of which, Hyppolit, a lakáj (Hyppolit, the Butler), remains enormously popular even after the passage of nine decades. In 2017, when we launched the Budapest Classics Film Marathon, we undertook to showcase Hungarian film history, the impact of Hungarian filmmakers on global film history, and the great classics of universal film history on the big screen. To achieve this goal, we called on the family of international film archives, which since then have continuously sent their restored precious films to the Film Marathon. This year, we are once again inviting all lovers of cinema on an exciting journey through time from the era of silent films to recent decades, thus paying tribute to the talent of great filmmakers and artists.”
– György Ráduly, Director of National Film Institute Hungary – Film Archive
The goal of the Classics Film Marathon is to spotlight the values of Hungarian film and present the treasures preserved in European archives to a Hungarian audience. This year the Marathon showcases newly restored classics and film rarities in five blocks: Hommage, In Focus, Hungarians in Hollywood, Hungarian Eye, Open Archives.
Lichtspiel / Kinemathek Bern joins the second edition of A Season of Classic Films with a compilation of unique short films that takes viewers to a journey to the various regions of Switzerland. The compilation consists of eight newly digitised films, presenting aviation pioneers in the 1920s to progressive women in the 1960s. The films will premiere on Thursday 2 September at 20:00 CEST in a special free-admission event at Lichtspiel’s premises in Bern and via live stream with English subtitles. An introduction by Brigitte Paulowitz, Head of Film Collections and Restorer at Lichtspiel, will provide the context to the films.
A Season of Classic Films is an initiative of the Association des Cinémathèques Européennes (ACE) with the support of the EU Creative Europe MEDIA programme to raise awareness of the work of national and regional film archives, connecting the public with cinema history and the preservation of film heritage. Twenty-two European film institutions are taking part this year offering free access to films from their precious collections. This screening is organised by Lichtspiel / Kinemathek Bern.
Reise durch die Schweiz (Travel through Switzerland) | Switzerland, 1920-1961, 102′
Basler Flugtag. 12. September 1920. Advertisement, 1920, 9’, silent.
Cinemateket / The Norwegian Film Institute joins A Season of Classic Films with the restored film Ung flukt (Edith Carlmar, 1959), a teen rebellion drama with Liv Ullmann in her debut role, with a free special cinema screening event on Wednesday 25 August at 18:00 CEST at Cinemateket in Oslo, while the film will be free-to-view worldwide between 26 August and 2 September, with English subtitles.
The digital restoration was carried out by the National Library of Norway in 2018 and has drawn attention internationally to the work of Edith Carlmar, the number one female director in Norwegian post-war cinema. Carlmar was not only Norway’s first female director, but she made what is considered to be the country’s first film noir (Death Is a Caress). Together with her husband Otto Carlmar, she founded the film company Carlmar Film AS, where he produced and she directed one brilliant film after another. She directed ten films in ten years and Ung flukt is her last feature film.
Speaking about the restored film, Head of Cinemateket Jan Langlo said, “The restored version of Ung flukt (The Wayward Girl) was selected for Berlinale Classics in 2019. This generated quite a lot of interest in both this film and other films by Edith Carlmar, and there are several retrospectives of her films being planned at international festivals in 2021 and 2022. New viewers recognise Ung flukt as a surprisingly vital film, with a vibrant Liv Ullmann in her screen debut.”
A Season of Classic Films is an initiative of the Association des Cinémathèques Européennes (ACE) with the support of the EU Creative Europe MEDIA programme to raise awareness of the work of national and regional film archives, connecting the public with cinema history and the preservation of film heritage. Twenty-two European film institutions are taking part this year offering free access to films from their precious collections. This screening is organised by Cinemateket / The Norwegian Film Institute.
Ung flukt (The Wayward Girl) | Norway, 1959, 95′
Director: Edith Carlmar. Producer: Otto Carlmar. Cast: Liv Ullmann, Atle Merton, Rolf Søder, Nanna Stenersen, Randi Brænne, Tore Foss. Physical characteristics of first release: 35mm, 95’, B&W, mono sound, Norwegian. Film copy screened during A Season of Classic Films: DCP, 95’, B&W, sound, Norwegian. Available subtitles: English. Copyright: Norwegian Film Institute.
Ung flukt is based on a book by Nils Johan Rud and tells the story of 17-year-old Gerd, the illegitimate daughter of a single working mother. Gerd, played by Liv Ullmann in her first lead role, has fallen into delinquency. After she spends a brief stint in police custody, Gerd’s boyfriend, a student, disobeys his parents and takes her away to the country to protect her from bad influences.
Wednesday 25 August, 18:00, Cinemateket Dronningens gate 16 0152 Oslo. With English subtitles. Introduced by Hege Jaer, Curator at Cinematek. Reserve your free ticket here!
Thursday 26 August – Wednesday 2 September. Watch free online here, worldwide access, English subtitles.
Cinémathèque suisse will present the new 4K restoration of Derborence, a landmark work by the Swiss filmmaker Francis Reusser (1942-2019), during two free special screenings, one at the Locarno Film Festival (12 August) and one at the Festival international du film alpin des Diablerets (14 August).
The digital restoration was carried out by the Cinémathèque suisse in the Color Grade laboratory, with the support of RTS. The special free screening events are offered by A Season of Classic Films, an Association des Cinémathèques Européennes (ACE) initiative with the support of the EU Creative Europe MEDIA programme and in partnership with Cinémathèque suisse.
Twenty-two film institutions from all over Europe, including the Cinémathèque suisse, are taking part this year in A Season of Classic Films. The initiative offers free access to restored European films, connecting the public with cinema history and the preservation of film heritage.
Derborence | Switzerland/France, 1985, 99′
Director: Francis Reusser. Producer: Jean-Marc Henchoz, Claude Stadelmann. Cast: Isabel Otero, Jacques Penot, Maria Machado, Jean-Marc Bory, Bruno Cremer. Music: Maria Carta / Sound Design: François Musy / Cinematography: Emmanuel Machuel / Film Editing: Christine Benoît and Francis Reusser / Production Design: Jean-Marc Stehlé / Costume Design: Rose-Marie Melka. Physical characteristics of first release: 35mm, 99’, colour, sound, French. Film copy screened during A Season of Classic Films: New restoration. DCP, 99’, colour, sound, French. Copyright: Les productions JMH, Marion’s Films, Sagittaire production.
The lives of two newlyweds, Antoine, an alpine shepherd, and Thérèse, are overturned when a landslide swallows the mountain pasture where Antoine is working. Believed to be dead by everyone, Antoine suddenly returns home. In this adaptation of Charles Ferdinand Ramuz’s novel, Francis Reusser has crafted a sensual alpine western, which competed in Cannes in 1985 and received the César for the best French-language film the following year.
Thursday 12 August, 15:00, PalaCinema 1, 74 Locarno Film Festival. With English subtitles. Introduced by Emmanuelle de Riedmatten, Jean Reusser and Frédéric Maire. Reserve your free ticket here!
Saturday 14 August, 13:30, Festival International du Film Alpin des Diablerets (FIFAD 2021). Closing screening event, more information here.
The winners of the XVIII Edition of Il Cinema Ritrovato’s DVD Awards were presented on Saturday, the 24th by film critic and jury president Paolo Merghetti. He was joined at Piazzetta Pier Paolo Pasolini by other members of the jury present in Bologna. In addition to core prizes in the categories of Best Box Set, Best Special Features, Best Rediscovery of a Forgotten Film, Best Single Film Release, Best Documentary, and Best Film, each member of the jury chose a personal winner from amongst more than 40 finalists. The full 2021 jury was comprised of Lorenzo Codelli, Shivendra Singh Dungapur, Phillipe Garnier, Pamela Hutchinson, Miguel Marías, and Paolo Mereghetti. A complete list of winners can be found below.
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.
On Friday the 23rd, editor Camille Blot-Wellens and executive publisher Christophe Dupin delivered a presentation at Il Cinema Ritrovato on the newly expanded edition of Harold Brown’s Physical Characteristics of Early Films as Aids to Identification, following its publication in November of 2020.
The project, which was first proposed by Blot-Wellens in 2014, remains true in content and spirit to Harold Brown’s original edition, published by FIAF in 1990. In addition to preserving and clarifying his work with the integration of more than 900 images into the body of the text, and the inclusion of updated information in footnotes and a comprehensive index, the second section of the new edition is comprised of additional research, with a wealth of contributions from archivists specialising in film-identification.
A particularly valuable feature of the expanded text concerns the dating of film from specific production companies: Blot-Wellens and collaborators from a range of archives and cinematheques provide critical findings which enable the precise identification of film stock from AGFA, Pathé, Fuji, and other production companies by year.
Dupin began with a tribute to Brown, sharing details from his extraordinary life as a pioneer in archival preservation and film identification with attendees at Auditorium DAMS lab. From his post as an office boy at the BFI at just 15 years old, Brown would go on to be at the forefront of the creation of scientific film identification methods, a key player in FIAF’s Technical and Preservation Commissions, and an active educator, continuing to teach and publish even after his retirement. The expanded work is an extension of this remarkable legacy.
Additional remarks were made by Martin Koerber, head archivist at the Deutsche Kinemathek and author of the volume’s foreword, as well as Peter Bagrov of the Eastman Museum, whose essay, ‘Preliminary Notes on Soviet Nitrate Film Stock and Other Aids to Identification of Russian and Soviet Films,’ is included in the new edition.
Harold Brown’s Physical Characteristics of Early Films as Aids to Identification is available for online order throughFIAF and North American distributor Indiana University Press, as well as for purchase at the festival book fair in Bologna.
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”.