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Il Cinema Ritrovato – Day 3

For breakfast this morning I was joined again by Herve and Peter von Bagh along with Dave Kehr and David Robinson.

The morning breakfasts with a bunch of fellow film fiends always sets you up for the day!

My first film was to be Aleksander Ford’s 1964 war film THE FIRST DAY OF PARADISE, closely followed by Andrzej Wajda’s SAMSON (1961). On my walk to the cinema I met Geoff Andrew and we shared a conversation on Nicholas Ray.

The two Polish films were both discoveries for me as I’d seen neither. I have the Wajda film in my archive but confess to never having watched it.

Following the two movies I made my way to the Lumiere for lunch. I met Cinegraph’s Hans-Michael Bock, an old friend from previous years at the festival, and we were then joined by Sir Christopher Frayling.

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Christopher I had not met before and he was regaling us with stories of Leone and Spaghetti Westerns before I then started talking to him about Jack Clayton’s THE INNOCENTS (1961).

My next film of the day was to be a rare Mizoguchi from 1935 entitled THE POPPY FIELD. Sadly this turned out to be rather poor representation of his work.

It was then time for a coffee pick me up and I was delighted to be joined by Kevin Brownlow. I’ve known Kevin for several years and often see him in London and send him obscure silent films that come way.

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I am delighted to reveal that I will soon start work on a documentary film about Kevin. Last year I invited Alexander (Payne) as my guest to Il Cinema Ritrovato and I’m pleased to say that he enjoyed it so much he has vowed to return each year. During a dinner one evening last year we spoke about making a film together about Kevin. I shall start my research on the project once I return to England.

My last film of the day was to be another first, a film by Guru Dutt, PYAASA (1957). A musical film and according to the introduction, much loved by many Indians.

Dinner this evening was to be with Aussie film guy, Geoff Gardner.

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