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Il Cinema Ritrovato – Day 6

The day started, as any other, with breakfast with Herve then we were joined by Meredith Brody of IndieWire.

Then a short walk to the Cinema Jolly to see Wellman’s YELLOW SKY from 1948. A film I had not seen since a kid, so remembered very little, but was richly rewarding to see again, even if it was screened in a beautiful print with burned in French subtitles.

Next up in the same cinema was Freda’s THE HORRIBLE SECRET OF DR HICHCOCK (1962) – note that the ‘T’ was dropped so as not to cause offence to Sir Alfred! The print had good colour but was sadly missing frames so it jumped around a lot. Freda directed under alias Robert Hampton. Barbara Steele was due to introduce the screening but sadly was too unwell to travel from LA. Not only did the film practically borrow Hitchcock’s name, it also seemed to borrow the storyline from REBECCA and a scene with a poisoned glass of milk, straight from SUSPICION!

Lunch was with Kim Hendrickson of The Criterion Collection.

The first film of the afternoon for me was a little known title, thought lost, and discovered in the Harvard Archive, entitled OIDHCHE SHEANCHAIS (1935) and directed by Robert Flaherty. The film was introduced by Haden Guest, director of the Harvard Film Archive. I did some work last year for Haden on a Chris Marker retrospective they were presenting at the University so was good to catch a quick word with him after the screening.

The Irish film was quickly followed by a series of three short films starring Peter Sellers as the hapless character, Hector Dimwittie. These were all from 1957 and were a great deal of fun.

Final film of the day was the new restoration of Kazan’s EAST OF EDEN (1955). This looked beautiful and for me marks Dean’s greatest screen performance. Kazan really uses the vastness of the scope frame and the placing of the camera at often high levels seems to add a somewhat unsettling element.

Dinner this evening was with the Aussie Film Contingent; Geoff Gardner, Ken Wallin and Rolando Caputo.

Walking back through the Piazza Maggiore, which was packed, we caught a few minutes of Welles THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI (1947)

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