Apologies for the late posting of my summary of the last two days of Il Cinema Ritrovato but we literally left the festival Sunday morning for Prague and another film festival at Karlovy Vary, where it’s been non-stop movies again each day!
Not that many movies were watched over the last two days, but will do my best to summarise.
Friday morning kicked off with another sparkling new Duvivier restoration, this time it was his 1938 film LA FIN DU JOUR. Michel Simon is the main star of the film which takes place in a retirement home for theatre actors. I have been a long time advocate of Duvivier’s work and delighted that recently there have been several restorations of his work, particularly from one of his greatest periods; the 1930’s.
Lunch today was with another friend from Criterion, Alexandre Mabilon.
The next film seen this day was from Leo McCarey, THE BELLS OF ST MARY’S from 1945. The two leads in the film were Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman. For me this was the only disappointing McCarey film that we saw as it just seemed a bit too “twee”.
The final day got off to an early start with Sony’s Grover Crisp’s Technicolor restoration of Charles Vidor’s COVER GIRL (1944). The print looked positively incredible and what better way to start the morning than with Gene Kelly and Rita Hayworth!
Next this morning was another of the early Ingrid Bergman Swedish movies, JUNINATTEN (1940) directed by Per Lindberg. Bergman plays a young girl who is shot by her lover when she tries to leave him. For me this was not as good as COUNT OF THE OLD TOWN that we’d seen earlier in the week.
Final film of that day and therefore festival was Peter von Bagh’s oft considered best work BLUE SKY: JOURNEY INTO THE LAND OF MEMORIES (1978). The documentary looks at the Finnish Tango and the old dance pavilions which once formed the basis of communal and Finnish social life. A very touching account of an art that is sadly on the decline.
Dinner on the last night was spent with Jonathan Rosenbaum, Ehsan Khoshbakht, Lidia Merás and my lovely wife, of course!
I shall close by offering my Top 5 discoveries of the festival:
1. VISITA OU MEMORIAS E CONFISSOES (1982) d. Manoel de Oliveira
2. WOMAN ON THE RUN (1950) d. Norman Foster
3. MUNKBROGREVEN (1935) d. Edvin Adolphson
4. LOVE AFFAIR (1939) d. Leo McCarey
5. COVER GIRL (1944) d. Charles Vidor