A restored version of 1914 ancient-Rome epic “Cabiria,” a landmark Italian silent, will unspool as a special event at the Cannes Film Festival in May.
Helmer Giovanni Pastrone’s pic, reconstructed from long-lost reels found in a Turin basement, preemed Monday in Turin’s Teatro Region; an orchestra played the original score.
Gala began with a video presentation in which Martin Scorsese described “Cabiria” as one of the films “that started it all.”
Pastrone is credited as being the first to use tracking shots. “Cabiria,” about a Roman girl abducted during the Punic Wars, is believed to have inspired the Babylonian scenes in D.W. Griffith’s 1916 “Intolerance.”
The meticulous reconstruction, carried out by Turin’s National Cinema Museum in collaboration with London’s Prestech Film Labs, made use of Pastrone’s notes and storyboards.
A 1931 sound version of “Cabiria” also has been restored.
“We are going to be taking this amazing original around the world, starting with Cannes,” said Alberto Barbera, the film museum’s chief and a former Venice fest topper.