29th Il Cinema Ritrovato Film Festival, Bologna (27 June - 4 July 2015)
When film buffs talk passionately about a movie or a Film Festival, I always reserve some doubt! Sometimes the sentiments of some people toward films entangle with so much exaggerations that it seems far from reality. They call a fairly good film a masterpiece and a normal programming of a Festival, the best programming ever seen. And shame on you if they notice you didn’t go to a certain Festival, or you don’t know a certain genius filmmaker! I’m also referring to all the film buffs I knew who always talked admirably about Bologna Film Festival Cinema Rediscovered (Il Cinema Ritrovato). It was clear of course that it’s one of the most professional Festivals in the field of classical cinema. Now going there for the first time, it could be judged at first hand, the admirations of friends and relatives not as mere exaggeration that in fact, the atmosphere, programming and the quality of the films of this Festival are totally different from all I’ve ever seen before.
Talk about Bologna and its inhabitants could perhaps seem repetitive. This is a tiny beautiful and peaceful city, with cultured people, having the oldest university in Europe, and with students mostly from southern Italy; and yellow, orange or red colored buildings with long windows and spacious terraces, agreeable weather and famous foods… But it’s not bad to give a brief description of a Festival that tags like “Cinephiles’ Paradise” or “Cannes Festival of Classical Cinema” doesn’t really give an exact image of. It’s a Festival without any razzle-dazzle, showy opening and closing ceremonies, and strange outfits of its participants. Their audiences are the researchers, university professors, historians, students and generally the film lovers who go there for the films and cinema. In the city center where the movie theatres show the films, you can see these participants with the Festival’s sac on their shoulder and their ID card round their neck, running between the theatres, an opera house, and the two open space cinemas in order to not miss any of their chosen films. When you enter the auditoriums, most of the people are wearing glasses, reading books, Festival catalogues or film magazines. And when at the end of every projection, there’s a Q&A session, their questions are so expertly put forward and discussed that every one of those sessions become a master class.
Writing about Festivals programming needs much more space than some pages in a Film Magazine and better is to consult its complete program on the Web and Bologna Cinematheque’s page. But for briefly said, as it’s mentioned in the catalogue, this year 427 films has been projected- the films from silent era and its very short films to a documentary like Justice Memory (Max Ophuls, 1976). “The programming of this Festival is very rich in every aspect”, the director of the Festival justifiably said. The Cinephiles’ Heaven section included the first films of Ingrid Bergman, some films of Leo MacCarey, Renato Castellany, rare Italian films from after war, Jazz and Cinema, 120th Anniversary of Gaumont, Centenary of Technicolor, and Buster Keaton project. As we knew that the Chaplin films have been restored at l’immagine ritrovata (film restoration & conservation) in Bologna, and projected during the Festival in 2013. In its new project, this institute has begun to restore Buster Keaton films, and part of those restored films including One Week and Young Sherlock are shown accompanied by Bologna City Hall Orchestra in the main big city’s square...