Friday 25 March 2022

The Drifter's Escape: Hugo Fregonese


A retrospective at Il Cinema Ritrovato, Bologna (June 25-July 3, 2022)

Curated by Dave Kehr and Ehsan Khoshbakht

As swiftly as some directors changed studios, Hugo Fregonese (1908-87) changed countries. The perfect ‘saddle tramp’ figure, he drifted and made films about drifting and escape. A master of brisk and unsentimental westerns and crime thrillers, with a career spanning over four decades and numerous bases of production – from his home country Argentina, to America, Spain, Italy, the UK and West Germany – Fregonese’s cinema is unjustly underappreciated to the point of obscurity. This is a step in the direction of claiming him as an important figure; one whose cinema of impassioned subjectivity blends the aesthetic of low-budget films with fatalism, myth and raw violence. Fregonese’s name is often associated with the ten films he made during his five-year residency in Hollywood in the 1950s. This programme picks some of the finest from that period to screen alongside films made elsewhere. Forming one of the most coherent cinematic oeuvres that one could expect from a wandering director, this will be one of the major revelations of Il Cinema Ritrovato 2022.

Friday 11 March 2022

The Prose-Poetry Cinema of Ebrahim Golestan

"And the earth is a woman, with reveries and roots," says the Iranian filmmaker Ebrahim Golestan, narrating over the image of a 3,000-year old skeleton as it is unearthed, in his short documentary The Hills of Marlik (1964). This is where the heart of the filmmaker, who recently turned 100, lies: in the earth, to which he returns repeatedly in his films...


Read the full essay -- a tribute to Ebrahim Golestan -- in the March 2022 issue of Sight & Sound magazine.