Saturday 21 May 2022

A View into Yugoslav Cinema by Mina Radović

Man Is Not a Bird

During its XXXVI edition, Il Cinema Ritrovato will present a section dedicated to Yugoslav cinema. The curator of the programme, Mina Radović, has written an introductory article, discussing the ideas behind the selection, as well as the significance of each selected title. All the films will play at the Jolly cinema of Bologna between June 25 and July 2, 2022.

“Tell the Truth!” A View into Yugoslav Cinema, 1955-1969

By Mina Radović

Yugoslav cinema represents a rich, multifaceted, and for many film connoisseurs, untapped resource of film heritage. One of the most diverse states in twentieth century Europe, Yugoslavia was originally founded in 1918 in the aftermath of the First World War and the collapse of several empires as the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. The country was governed as a constitutional monarchy governed by King Aleksandar Karađorđević and in 1929 the country changed its name to Yugoslavia – ‘the land of South Slavs’.

A hub of film culture, pedagogy, and production, the film industry was nationalised after the Second World War and a sophisticated studio system quickly emerged. The new government led by Josip Broz Tito turned Yugoslavia into a socialist country with its own brand of self-management and a form of diplomacy which connected East, West, and the ‘Non-Aligned’ world.

The post-war years saw the rise of formidable new artists who examined, mediated, and challenged contemporary Yugoslav reality, breaking social taboos, and forging new means of cinematic expression. Their work is often diametrically different, but they are connected by an innovative, experimental, and altogether refreshing spirit to see the world anew. The retrospective will present two decades of cinema, moving from the Classical Cinema of the 1950s to the New Yugoslav Film of the 1960s and incorporates a range of feature and short, fiction, documentary, and experimental films by master filmmakers of the era.

Wednesday 18 May 2022

Iranian Films at Il Cinema Ritrovato 2022

The Carriage Driver (Nosrat Karimi, 1971), shot by Houshang Baharlou (Chess of the Wind)

The forthcoming edition of Il Cinema Ritrovato (June 25-July 3, 2022) doesn't include an individual strand for Iranian cinema, however, it'll nonetheless feature at least five dazzling Iranian films, made between 1961 and 2022, shown across 3 different strands.

The documentary section will see the Italian premiere of À vendredi, Robinson (Mitra Farahani, 2022), a dialogue between Ebrahim Golestan, a giant of Iranian cinema and literature (now only a few months shy of his 100th birthday) and Swiss-French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard. This is a truly beautiful work and should prepare you for what comes next.

A Fire (Yek Atash) by Ebrahim Golestan was premiered at Venice Film Festival in 1961. We screened it in 2016 when a retrospective was dedicated to Golestan's cinema of poetry and politics. Now we have updated the faded 35mm print previously shown with a 4K restoration of the film, presented for the first time in its original Persian voice-over, spoken by a famous voice artist, Asadollah Peyman. (The 2016 screening was from an English-dubbed version.)