The programme for this year’s Giornate del Cinema Muto at Pordenone, Italy (4-11 October) continues to evolve, but it’s been some months since we outlined some of the promised highlights, so it seems a good idea to point out the programme as it now stands. As always, the programme is divded up into strands:
4 October 2008 [20.30]
Sparrows (dir.: William Beaudine; United Artists, 1926)
produced by and starring Mary Pickford
11 October 2008 [20.30]
Les Nouveaux Messieurs (Albatros, FR 1929)
dir.: Jacques Feyder; cast: Gaby Morlay, Albert Préjean, Henry Roussell
The traditional opening and closing prestige films with orchestral accompaniment. Sparrows is accompanied by the premiere of a score composed by Jeffrey Silverman, performed by the Orchestra Sinfonica del Friuli Venezia Giulia, conducted by Hugh Munro Neely. Feyder’s Les Nouveaux Messieurs has a new score by Pordenone regular Antonio Coppola, performed by l’Octuor de France.
Tribute to Vittorio Martinelli
– La fanciulla, il poeta e la laguna (Carmine Gallone, 1922)
– Tutto per mio fratello (Latium Film, 1911)
– Maciste in vacanza (Itala Film, 1921)
– La vita dl grillo campestre (Roberto Omegna)
– Sicilia illustrata (Ambrosio, 1907)
A selection of Italian silents shown in tribute to the late Italian historian Vittorio Martinelli (see the Bioscope’s obituary notice)
Richard Williams Masterclasses
The first-ever complete retrospective of the films of Alexander Shiryaev, made privately 1906-1909, which use animation as a means of recording choreography. Plus a masterclass from the great modern animator, Richard Williams.
The French Touch (1915-1929)
An eclectic selection of French films, programmed by Lenny Borger, including works by Jacques Feyder, Raymond Bernard (Triplepatte), René Hervil (Knock), Gaston Ravel (Figaro), Jean Renoir (Tir au Flanc), Augusto Genina (Totte et sa Chance) and René Barberis (La Merveilleuse Journée)
Hollywood on the Hudson
Programme of New York-based films, to accompany Richard Koszarski’s new book, Hollywood on the Hudson. Titles include His Nibs (Exceptional Pictures, US 1920-21), Enchantment (Cosmopolitan Productions, US 1921), The Headless Horseman (Legend of Sleepy Hollow Corp., US 1922), The Green Goddess (Distinctive Productions, US 1923), Little Old New York (Cosmopolitan Pictures, US 1923), Janice Meredith (Cosmopolitan Pictures, US 1924) and The Show Off (Famous Players-Lasky Corp., US 1926).
With some convenient overlaps with other festival sections, the programme features Pool Sharks (1915), Janice Meredith (1924), Sally of the Sawdust (1925), It’s the Old Army Game (1926), So’s Your Old Man (1926), Running Wild (1927) and The Golf Specialist (1930).
The Griffith Project, 12 (1925-1931)
Pordenone’s long-running D.W. Griffith restrospective finally comes to an end with Sally of the Sawdust (1925), The Sorrows of Satan (1926), The Drums of Love (1928), The Battle of the Sexes (1928), Lady of the Pavements (1929), Abraham Lincoln (1930), prologues to the reissue of The Birth of a Nation (1930), The Struggle (1931).
– Brighton in Pordenone
– W.K.L. Dickson
– The Corrick Collection, 2
– Before The Lonely Villa
– The Evidence of the Film (Thanhouser, 1913)
Mish-mash of early cinema subjects including a programme commemorating the 30th anniversary of the legendary FIAF congress held in Brighton, which did so much to establish early cinema studies (see Bioscope post), a programme of W.K-L. Dickson films to accompany Paul Spehr’s new biography, and part two of the collection of films owned by the Corrick family, vaudevillians who toured Australia in the 1900s.
Films and History – WW1-90 years
Gloria: Apoteosi del Soldato Ignoto (1921)
Umanità (Elvira Giallanella, 1919)
If My Country Should Call (Joseph De Grasse, Ida May Park, 1916)
– The Messina Earthquake
Pordenone usually tries to include non-fiction films in its programming, and this selection commemorates the 90th anniversary of the end of the First World War, with two war dramas from women filmmakers, and actualities of the Messina earthquake of 1909.
Rediscoveries and Restorations
– Bardelys the Magnificent (King Vidor, 1926)
– Cikáni ([Gipsies], Karel Anton, 1921)
– Ed’s Co-ed (Carvel Nelson, James Raley, 1929)
– Gribiche (Jacques Feyder, 1926)
– Ihr dunkler Punkt (Johannes Guter, 1929)
– When Flowers Bloom (Haghefilm/Selznick School Fellowship 2008)
– Sessue Hayakawa
– Max Linder
A rich selection of new discoveries and restorations, the highlight undoubtedly being the much-discussed Bardelys the Magnificent, directed by King Vidor and starring John Gilbert.
– The Boot Cake
– David Gillespie: A Life of Film (2008)
Homage to Mary Pickford
– Mary Pickford: The Muse of the Movies (2008)
– Poteslui Meri Pikford (Sergei Komarov, 1926)
– Katie Melua: “Mary Pickford” (promo video, 2007)
David Gillespie (left), who sadly died earlier this year, was a projectionist, film collector and dedicated attendee of Pordenone, even when his eyesight had almost totally failed. He would sit in the front row, still delighted in such shadows as he could sense. A documentary was made about him by friends and completed shortly before he died. There’s a tribute to him on the Pordenone site. At the other end of some spectrum, Mary Pickford is recognised by a new documentary, Sergei Komarov’s The Kiss of Mary Pickford, and – surprise surprise – the pop video for Katie Melua’s ‘Mary Pickford’ (already covered by the Bioscope).
21st Century Silents
No details as yet.
A really marvellous programme – goodness knows how they are going to fit it all in. There’s also the Collegium, FilmFair, music masterclasses, and the Jonathan Dennis Memorial Lecture, which will be given by Eileen Bowser. Full details of registration, transportation and accommodation are on the festival site.
The Bioscope will be providing daily reports, but if you’ve not been before and are wavering over whether to do so, this really is the year to take the plunge. Just think of David Gillespie, barely able to see and yet loyally and lovingly coming back year after year. Makes the usual excuses seem a little on the feeble side…
Hope maybe to see you there.