The Cineteca di Bologna, which runs Il Cinema Ritrovato – the other major European event dedicated to heritage film alongside the Lumière Fest in Lyon – has announced a slate of upcoming releases to mark the centenaries of Pier Paolo Pasolini and Francesco Rosi.
These include Pasolini’s ”Uccellacci et Uccellini” (”The Hawks and the Sparrows,” 1966) and “Il Vangelo Secondo Matteo” (“The Gospel According to St Matthew,” 1964) and Francesco Rosi’s ”C’era una Volta” (”More than a Miracle,” 1967). Other notable works aiming for a 2022 release in time for the Cannes, Bologna and Lumière festivals include Vittorio de Sica’s Oscar-winning Sciuscià (”Shoeshine,” 1946).
The centenary is generating huge interest in Pasolini and the incredible modernity of his work, Cineteca chief Gian Luca Farinelli told Variety. ”His films still surprise us, they haven’t aged, they were avant-garde in the ’60s and they still are today. These poets and writers turned to cinema and invented a whole new language, a new vision like the gaze of a Renaissance painter. It’s makes this kind of cinema unique to this day.”
Also titled ”Cinderella Italian Style” and ”Happily Ever After,” “More than a Miracle,” starring Sophia Loren and Omar Sharif, is unique in Rosi’s filmography.
Rosi is mostly known for his political films that reconstruct important moments of Italian history. This film is based on an extraordinary book, a collection of tales written in the 17th century by the poet Giambattista Basile, a kind of encyclopedia of fairy tales, which inspired all the tales written thereafter.
“It’s also an extraordinary book about Napolitan culture and that’s why it was of great interest to Francesco Rosi, who came from Naples. He was a great Italian artist who looked towards the south of Italy, and this beautiful, Mediterranean, sunny film with these two incredible stars is truly unique in his body of work,” says Farinelli, adding that the book, ”Pentamerone,” was also a source of inspiration for Matteo Garrone half a century later for his 2015 film “Tale of Tales.”
The Cineteca, which has long been in charge of the preservation and restoration of Charlie Chaplin’s work, also plans to publish an English and a French version of its latest book on Chaplin’s unfinished film “The Freak.”
“‘The Freak’ should have been his last film, he had been working on it for a long time. We worked hard to find all the details about this film to put in the book, along with the script.
Farinelli added: “It’s an incredibly modern film. The main character is a bird woman Chaplin always focused on the lives of others, on those who were different, and this film really was about seeking the impossible, going beyond human limits Chaplin was able to perform movement which seemed beyond human.
“This final character, this bird woman, marks the end of an artistic and philosophic career, of a very moving human journey, so it’s a true discovery because there was something missing in his bibliography and this book offers a new perspective.”
The Cineteca di Bologna is a world reference when it comes to restoration, with the likes of Martin Scorsese turning to its expertise for his Film Foundation. It restores some 50 films a year and has laboratories in Bologna, Paris and Hong Kong.