This morning started like any other, yes you guessed it, me and Herve at breakfast!
Herve Dumont was former director of the Suisse Cinematheque in Lausanne and has written many books on film, including a celebrated book on Frank Borzage.
After breakfast I made my way to the Arlecchino Cinema for THE SARAGOSSA MANUSCRIPT (1964). I was recently sent a Polish Blu Ray of the film by film critic, Michał Oleszczyk but had not got round to watching it, so jumped at the chance to see it on the big screen. I stayed at the Arlecchino for the next film in the “Polish New Wave in Cinemascope” strand to see Andrzej Munk’s PASSENGER (1963). This I had seen before on the UK Second Run DVD and had been very moved by it, so seeing it projected was really something else. It’s an incredible film for a project that Munk died during the making of, so it’s left incomplete with narration over stills. The scene where the children are lead down to a shower block at Auschwitz is moving to say the least.
Following the two Polish films I met up with a friend from the Criterion Collection for lunch and a good old chat.
My next movie of the day was the new restoration of Rossellini’s LA PAURA (1954), the last of the Bergman/Rossellini collaborations. For me it was minor Rossellini and suffered with both a weak narrative and performance from Bergman.
I had then intended to go and see Pabst’s DIE LETZTE AKT (1955) but on learning it was to be live audio translation, I decided to opt out. So time for a coffee and ended up chatting with several folk here at the festival – Chris Fujiwara, Tony Rayns, Lee Tsiantis (from TCM), Neil Brand and Professor Tony Kaes from Berkeley, a friend of several years now and expert on German Cinema.
Dinner this evening was with legendary film critic and chum, Jonathan Rosenbaum.