Programma 2014/This year's programme
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The Barrymores: John, Ethel, Lionel (1904).
John Barrymore, Dolores Costello & Fifi in When a Man Loves (1927).
Programme 2014 - Highlights
Thanks to the generous support of over 30 archives across the world, the 2014 Giornate is even more packed than usual: not one of the 60 screenings can readily be missed. The main programme section is devoted to The Barrymores, Lionel, Ethel and John - the Royal Family of Broadway who brought prestige to 20s Hollywood as its own Royal Family, with films like THE COPPERHEAD, DON JUAN and DR JEKYLL AND MR HYDE. The Festival will open with WHEN A MAN LOVES, Alan Crosland's adaptation of Manon Lescaut, starring John Barrymore ("the great profile") and his bride Dolores Costello. The performance will recreate the 1927 premiere screening, with one of the most celebrated synchronized musical scores of the era, by the esteemed classical composer Henry Hadley, along with its supporting programme of Vitaphone shorts.
The closing show of the festival, in tribute to the centenary of the universally recognized Chaplin image, is a live performance of CITY LIGHTS, with Chaplin's own score restored by Timothy Brock and conducted by Günter Buchwald. Further tribute to Chaplin will be paid by Ichiro Kataoka, the celebrated Japanese benshi, whom we welcome back this year to perform with four Chaplin Keystone shorts - a recognition both of Chaplin's universality and the versatility required of the traditional Japanese film 'explainer'. Kataoka-san will additionally present this year's Jonathan Dennis Lecture.
A series of six programmes celebrates the impending centenary of Technicolor, and offers two major evening galas, the legendary 1925 BEN HUR and Douglas Fairbanks' incomparable colour swashbuckler, THE BLACK PIRATE. The first part of a planned series revealing the often overlooked comedy production of Soviet silent cinema is devoted to films by the versatile Yakov Protazanov, whose special talents for ironic comedy have generally been overshadowed by his more prestigious dramatic and patriotic works.
There are exciting rediscoveries of films long considered lost, among them Richard Oswald's LADY HAMILTON, with Conrad Veidt as Nelson; Hans Steinhoff's sensational white-slave drama, DIE FRAUENHAUS VON RIO; Conrad Wiene's legendary adaptation of Tolstoy's POWER OF DARKNESS; and PAN SI DONG, a Chinese classic believed lost for more than 80 years: a rare and early example of the magic-spirit film, it helped to establish the genre, with its mystical theme, nudity, and depiction of desire.
Again we present rediscoveries from the earliest days of cinema - films by the pioneer Paul Nadar and the father of the mountain film, F. Ormiston-Smith, with his 1902 epic THE ASCENT OF MONT BLANC. A group of Japanese films from the first decade of the 20th century will be seen for the first time in Europe. A programme of Méliès films in colour demonstrates the sophistication of early stencil colour. A programme in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Italian Film History Association (AIRSC) features a selection of films from the vast Josef Joye collection absent from the main holding housed at the British Film Institute.
Early encounters of silent film and sound are celebrated in a programme of German "Tonbilder" offering, in sight and sound, a range of songs, classical and popular, from more than a century ago. More spectacular is the 1930 German Nadelton sound version of THE BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN, of which the original discs were found by German film scholars in the Vienna Technical Museum and synchronised to the image. The famous contemporary score by Edmund Meisel - till now known only in later restorations - is here supervised by the composer himself, while the titles are replaced by the voices of actors of the Piscator Theatre. Apprehensions of such fundamental adaptation of a classic swifly gives way to thrill as the familiar images appear in a dazzling new light.
Among the regular festival features, Paolo Cherchi Usai's ongoing revaluation of the traditional canon will include a marathon screening of both films of Fritz Lang's NIBELUNGEN diptych, screened successively on the same afternoon and evening, and accompanied by Maud Nelissen (piano) and Frank Bockius (percussion). The Collegium will be flourishing with a talented new intake, and the Masterclasses host two brilliant young musicians, Daan van den Hurk from Holland and David Gray from the UK. We do promise that you will not be bored.