My flight left Stansted at 7:05am arriving Bologna at 10:10am. On disembarking the plane I saw good friend Ehsan Khoshbakht and his partner Lydia who had also been on my flight. In addition Ehsan introduced me to Mehelli Modi, owner of Second Run and we caught a taxi together as we were staying at the same hotel. When Mehelli and I arrived at the hotel, also arriving at the same time was James Bell, deputy editor of Sight and Sound.
After checking in I had a lunch appointment with Bruce Goldstein of Film Forum, New York to hear about some of the creative ways that his cinema is using in order to attract younger audiences to watch old movies.
On leaving Bruce I made my way in the heat to the Lumiere to collect my festival pass. On obtaining my pass and standing in the cinema’s foyer I caught sight of Alexander Payne and we headed for a drink together in the outdoor cafe. I’d not seen Alexander since staying with him in Omaha at Christmas so was nice to have a quick catch up.
It was then time for my first event of the day and that was to be Peter von Bagh’s interview with Constantin Costa Gavras. The interview lasted around an hour and was interesting to hear about his work as an assistant director with the likes of Rene Clement and Rene Clair as well as working on his own films and his current position as director of the Cinematheque Francaise.
My next screening was at the Cinema Arlecchino of the new restoration of Parajanov’s COLOUR OF POMEGRANATES (1966), fresh from its screening in May at Cannes. The film was introduced by several people, one of whom was George Harrison’s widow, Olivia, whose company Material World had part financed the restoration. I was joined at the screening by writer/critic Jonathan Rosenbaum.
Jonathan and I strayed at the Arlecchino for the next screening which was to be Martin Scorsese’s THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS: A 50 YEAR ARGUMENT (2014).
This was to be my final screening of the day as I was then due to meet Bristol Watershed supremo Mark Cosgrove for dinner to discuss an interview we were doing together the following morning at the Europa Cinema annual conference.