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.
A presentation concerning the recently published Italian translation of Giovanna Fossati’sFrom Grain to Pixel: The Archival Life of Film in Transition (Dai grani ai pixel. Il Restauro del film nella transizione dall’analogico al digitale- Casa Editrice Persiani) took place on Monday, July 26th as part of a series of talks from DAMSLab and the Department of Arts at the University of Bologna
The new edition widens access and provides updated research developments following the original 2009 publication and significant, expanded second and third editions in 2011 and 2018 from Amsterdam University Press. New research projects featured in the volume include Beyond the Rocks (Sam Wood, 1922, with Gloria Swanson and Rudolph Valentino), Doctor Strangelove (Stanley Kubrick, 1964), and We Can’t Go Home Again (Nicholas Ray, 1973.)
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.
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.