Video Shows



Dir.: Hugh Munro Neely; prod.: Keith Lawrence, John J. Flynn, Hugh Munro Neely; Betacam SP, Pal, Timeline Films, 27’. Versione inglese / English version.

Buddy Rogers, scomparso lo scorso anno, ripercorre la sua carriera, con citazioni da Wings e da altri suoi film, accompagnati da splendide fotografie e dalle musiche della sua banda. Inedito in televisione. — LJ

Buddy’s own recollections of his career, highlighted with clips from Wings and a number of his other movies, along with fascinating photographs and music recorded by Rogers’ own band. Never screened on television. — LJ

Charles "Buddy" Rogers (1904-1999) was born to a poor family in Olathe, Kansas. He studied music, but in 1925 entered the Paramount acting school, and was soon given a contract by the company. With his good looks, athletic physique, and gentle charm, he was seen as a likely rival to Charles Farrell and Richard Arlen, and co-starred in films with Thelma Todd, Clara Bow, Nancy Carroll, Mary Brian, and most notably Mary Pickford, in My Best Girl (1927). Today his best-remembered performance is in William Wellman’s Wings (1927). With the coming of sound, his career quickly declined, and he returned to music, forming his own dance band, which was popular in ’30s Hollywood. In 1937 his marriage to Mary Pickford, recently divorced from Douglas Fairbanks and eleven years his senior, made world-wide news. Rogers continued to appear occasionally in films (notably in the "Mexican Spitfire" series, starring Lupe Velez) until 1957. As Pickford’s husband, he provided companionship and support throughout the star’s later, ailing years, until her death in 1979. — DR

IN MARY’S SHADOW: THE STORY OF JACK PICKFORD (Timeline Films/The Library of Moving Images, US 2000)

Dir., prod.: Elaina B. Archer; produttore esecutivo / exec. prod.: Michael Peter Yakaitis; Betacam SP, Pal, Timeline Films, 44’. Versione inglese / English version.

La storia di Jack, il Pickford dimenticato, è straordinaria. Dotato come la sorella, ha recitato in più di trenta lungometraggi, vissuto una vita avventurosa, è stato sposato tre volte ed è morto prima dei quarant’anni. Sebbene i primi anni della sua vita siano stati tormentati da una tragedia, i suoi film sopravvissuti dimostrano una non comune abilità recitativa. Il video è costituito da parecchie citazioni dalla sua filmografia, a partire dalla Biograph, da una breve intervista con Douglas Fairbank, Jr. e Isabelle Falk (figlia di una attrice che lavorò con Jack), e da un gran numero di foto. Il documentario è diretto da Elaina B. Archer, direttrice della Mary Pickford Library. Anteprima europea. — LJ

The story of Jack, the forgotten Pickford, is amazing. As talented as his sister, he starred in more than 30 features, lived a wild life, married three times, and died before he turned forty. Even though his life was haunted by early tragedy, his surviving films reveal an artist of uncommon ability. The documentary features clips from a variety of his films (starting with the Biographs), brief interviews with Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Isabelle Falk (daughter of one of Jack’s co-stars), and a large collection of beautiful and revealing photographs. This documentary is by Elaina B. Archer, the manager of the Mary Pickford Library. European premiere. — LJ

JACK PICKFORD (1896-1933) followed his sister into films at Biograph in 1910, and quickly became valuable as a boy actor, winning his first major role in Frank Powell’s The Kid (1910). When the company moved west to Hollywood, life was colourful for the 14-year-old. Linda Arvidson Griffith related how he "would sit around nights watching [the men of the company] play poker, sometimes around 3am". Describing the restless sleeping habits of the Biograph players, roaming the corridors of the Mendelsohn Hotel in search of a more interesting bed, she recalled also that, "Dell Henderson, who had put himself wise to the arrangement of sleeping partners, had copped little Jack Pickford. Dell was one of our very largest actors and Jack being about as big as a peanut, Dell had figured that with the little fellow by his side be might be able to catch forty winks during the night...."

When Mary signed her million-dollar contract with First National, a stipulation was a lucrative contract for Jack also. He became a star in his own right: his best roles included Pip in Great Expectations and the title part in Tom Sawyer (both released in 1917). One of his last roles was alongside Beatrice Lillie in Sam Taylor’s brilliant comedy Exit Smiling (1928).

Despite his on-screen character as the artless, enthusiastic, good-hearted boy-next-door, in private life Jack was reckoned a tearaway. He married in rapid succession three former Ziegfeld Girls — Olive Thomas (who died of poisoning in unexplained circumstances in 1920), Marilyn Miller (1922-1927, divorced), and Mary Mulhern (1930-32, divorced). Jack died in the American Hospital in Paris on 3 January 1933, following an accident. — DR


Dir., sc., des., ed.: Kalle Kaarna; da un dramma musicale scritto e composto da / based on a musical play written and composed by: Sam Sihvo (1921); prod. esec. / exec. prod.: Hugo Stenlund; ph.: Heikki Aho, Björn Soldan; musica aggiunt. / additional mus.: Toivo Palmroth; coreografie / choreography: George Gé; registrazione sonora / sd. rec.: Nordisk Tonefilm A/S; canzoni / songs: Oy Komedia-Filmi / Kurt Jäger; cast: Tauno Brännäs (= Tauno Palo), Hanna Taini, Ella Eronen, Armas Lindström, Hellin Kahila-Matinpalo, Väinö Hukka, Hannes Närhi, Gunnar Calenius, Rakel Linnanheimo, Väinö Hellén, Toivo Pohjakallio, Georg Skutnabb; video (da / from 35mm), 96’ (24 fps), colonna sonora sincronizzata, con canzoni / full synchronised music track with songs, Suomen Elokuva-Arkisto. Didascalie in finlandese e svedese / Finnish and Swedish titles. Restaurato dal / Restored by Suomen Elokuva-Arkisto in 1999.

Già incluso nel programma nordico del 1999, questo film è ora presentato in occasione del Collegium Sacilense 2000 come oggetto di discussione del "dialogo" sul tema "Vedere con gli occhi degli altri". Si tratta con ogni probabilità del film più frainteso delle Giornate dello scorso anno, nonostante esso sia un vivace melodramma con colonna sonora sincronizzata contenente brani scritti da Sibelius. Il problema per il pubblico del 1999 era principalmente di natura morale: l’incapacità di compiere lo sforzo necessario a identificarsi con una visione positiva del nazionalismo dell’epoca immediatamente successiva alla Prima Guerra Mondiale, prima del Fascismo, e in un paese che si era appena liberato da secoli di dominio coloniale da parte degli svedesi e dei russi.

Adattato da un dramma musicale di enorme successo nel 1921, il soggetto tratta di attivisti finlandesi impegnati in addestramenti militari da tedeschi negli anni 1915-1917 allo scopo di combattere i russi. I suoi maggiori elementi d’interesse ai giorni nostri sono l’uso della musica come elemento drammatico e la splendida fotografia di Heikki Aho e Björn Soldan, figli documentaristi di Juhani Aho, l’autore di Juha (Johan). Gli interpreti principali, gli ottimi Tauno Palo e Hanna Taini, diventeranno le grandi stelle del cinema finlandese nei due decenni successivi. La "political correctness" dello spettatore è ulteriormente messa alla prova dal personaggio caricaturale dell’ebreo "cattivo" Isak Meyer, interpretato da Väinö Hellén. Il film fu considerato perduto fino al 1991, anno in cui fu ritrovata una copia incompleta. Una copia completa è stata poi ritrovata nel Michigan dall’American Film Institute nel 1998. — AA/DR

Included in last year’s "Nordic Discoveries", this film is now shown in connection with the 2000 Collegium Sacilense, as a discussion point for the dialogue on "Seeing Through Others’ Eyes". It was perhaps the most misunderstood film of last year’s festival, even though it is a lively melodrama with a synchronised sound track, with contributions by Sibelius. The problem for many in the 1999 audience was one of "political correctness" — an inability to make the mental adjustment necessary to identify with the positive view of nationalism of the post-World War I era, before fascism, and in a country very recently emancipated after centuries of colonial rule under the Swedes and Russians.

Adapted from a hugely successful musical play of 1921, the story is about Finnish activists who acquire German military training in 1915-1917 in order to fight the Russians. Its great attraction today is for its demonstration of the use of music in drama in that era. The excellent photography is by Heikki Aho and Björn Soldan, the documentarist sons of Juhani Aho, the author of Juha (Johan). The principal players, dashing Tauno Palo and Hanna Taini, were destined to become the leading romantic stars of Finnish cinema in the succeeding two decades. "Political correctness", it must be admitted, is tested further by the caricatural Jewish villain "Isak Meyer", played by Väinö Hellén. The film was believed entirely lost until an incomplete print was found in 1991. A complete print was found in Michigan by the American Film Institute in 1998. — AA/DR

LON CHANEY — A THOUSAND FACES (Photoplay Productions, for Turner Classic Movies, in association with UCLA Film & Television Archive, GB 2000)

Dir., ed.: Kevin Brownlow; prod.: Patrick Stanbury; exec. prod.: Hugh M. Hefner; narrator: Kenneth Branagh; special consultant: Michael F. Blake; orig. mus. comp./cond.: Nic Raine; mus. for The Phantom of the Opera: Carl Davis; cast (intervistati / interviewees): Edward Montagne, Ray Bradbury, Arthur Gardner, Forrest Ackerman, Michael F. Blake, Malcolm Sabiston, Ron Chaney, Budd Schulberg, Sara Karloff, Willard Sheldon, Anthony Bulleid, Loretta Young [solo voce / voice only]; archival interviews: Orson Welles, Lon Chaney Jr., Jackie Coogan, Patsy Ruth Miller; video, 85’, colore, bianco e nero / color, b/w, Photoplay Productions. Versione inglese / English version.

Anteprima europea / European premiere.

Estratti di film / Film extracts: By the Sun’s Rays (1914), Alas and Alack (1915), The Fascination od the Fleur de Lys (1915), Dolly’s Scoop (1916), The Scarlet Car (1917), Riddle Gawne (1918), The Miracle Man (1919), The Wicked Darling (1919), The Penalty (1920), Outside the Law (1921), Light in the Dark (1922), Shadows (1922), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), The Shock (1923), The Trap (1923), He Who Gets Slapped (1924), The Monster (1925), The Phantom of the Opera (1925), The Unholy Three (1925), The Blackbird (1926), The Road to Mandalay (1926), Mockery (1927), Mr. Wu (1927), Tell It to the Marines (1927), The Unknown (1927), Laugh, Clown, Laugh (1928), West of Zanzibar (1928), While the City Sleeps (1928), The Hollywood Revue of 1929, Thunder (1929), The Unholy Three (1930).

Nato a Colorado Springs da genitori sordomuti, Lon Chaney imparò da bambino a comunicare mediante i gesti e le espressioni facciali. Fu grazie a questo apprendistato che egli divenne una delle più grandi stelle del muto: l’Uomo dai Mille Volti. Kevin Brownlow, responsabile del trionfale restauro del Napoléon di Gance, insieme a Patrick Stanbury, si sforza qui di dimostrare che Chaney non fu soltanto un ottimo interprete di film dell’orrore, ma anche e soprattutto uno delle maggiori personalità del cinema dell’epoca. Questo documentario presenta anche la figura di Michael Blake, uno scrittore e collezionista di film che ha dedicato gran parte della sua vita allo studio di Lon Chaney per contribuire all’ulteriore rivalutazione del protagonista e al suo ingresso a pieno diritto nel pantheon del grande schermo. Il programma aiuterà infine a comprendere l’origine di un vecchio detto: "Non calpestatelo... potrebbe essere Lon Chaney." — Jason Silverman, nel catalago Telluride 2000

Born in Colorado Springs to a deaf-mute couple, Lon Chaney learned as a child to communicate through gesture and expression. That training helped him become one of the greatest of silent stars: "the Man of a Thousand Faces". Kevin Brownlow, the force behind the triumphant restoration of Abel Gance's Napoléon, is one of cinema’s most passionate and insightful historians. Here, with Patrick Stanbury, Brownlow makes a case for Chaney not just as a star of horror films, but as the finest character actor of his generation. This documentary also introduces Michael Blake, who, as a writer, preservationist, and collector, has been Chaney’s biggest champion. Blake’s tireless work has helped elevate Chaney to his deserved place in cinema’s pantheon. And this film helps explain the old joke, "Don't step on it — it may be Lon Chaney." — Jason Silverman, Telluride 2000 catalogue

LOUIS FEUILLADE: POÈTE DE LA RÉALITÉ (Atlantic Cinema/Ciné Cinéfil, F 1996)

Dir.: Jacques Champreux, Jérôme Champreux; prod.: Claude Fusée; Betacam SP, Pal, 50’. Versione francese / French version.

Ricorrendo a ampie citazioni dai film, a fotografie, a manifesti, a documenti dell’archivio di famiglia e ad altri materiali, Jacques e Jérôme Champreux (rispettivamente nipote e pronipote del cineasta) ricostruiscono la vita e la prolifica carriera di Louis Feuillade.

Using extensive extracts from the films, together with photographs, posters, documents from the family archives, and other material, Jacques and Jérôme Champreux, respectively grandson and great-grandson of the film-maker, reconstruct the life and the prolific career of Louis Feuillade.


Altri titoli / alternate titles: Die Tragödie eines Kaiserreiches; Die Tragödie eines Herrscherhauses; Die menschliche Tragödie eines Herrscherhauses.

Dir.: Rolf Raffè; asst. dir.: Rolf Eckbauer; sc.: Max Ferner; ph.: Marius Holdt; scenografia / art director: Arthur Berger; cast: Fritz Spira (Imperatore Francesco Giuseppe / Emperor Franz Josef); Alfons Fryland (Principe ereditario Rodolfo / Crown Prince Rudolph); Franz Kammauf (Bratfisch, Fiaker / coachman); Willi Hubert (Francesco Ferdinando / Franz Ferdinand); Ernst Recniczek (Filippo di Coburgo / Philip of Coburg), Albert Kersten (Conte / Count Hoyos); Paul Askonas (Montenuovo); Ferry Lukacs (Imperatore / Emperor Karl); Erna Morena (Imperatrice / Empress Elisabeth); Maly Delschaft (Stefanie); Leni Riefenstahl (Maria Vetsera); Irene Kraus (Baronessa / Baroness Helene Vetsera); Carmen Cartellieri (Contessa / Countess Larisch); Alice Roberte (Luisa di Coburgo / Louise of Coburg), Minje van Gooten (Contessa / Countess Chotek); Lunghezza originale / orig. length: 2758m, 7 atti / acts.

Ricostruzione video / Video reconstruction, Betacam SP, Pal, Filmarchiv Austria. Il film sarà proiettato in versione italiana e tedesca / The film will be screened in both the Italian and German versions: Versione italiana / Italian version, 74’; Versione tedesca / German version, 73’.

Il film nella sua versione originale raccontava la grandezza e la decadenza della famiglia Asburgo. Quello che rimane oggi non sono che un nitrato in avanzato stato di decomposizione dell’edizione italiana ed alcuni frammenti della versione tedesca. Questo video tenta di ricostruire con il materiale superstite, l’intera vicenda che vede personaggi storici molto frequentati dal cinema (Sissi, Maria Vetsera, il principe ereditario Rodolfo, Francesco Giuseppe e Francesco Ferdinando). Ecco cosa racconta Leni Riefensthal nella sua autobiografia Stretta nel tempo: Storia della mia vita (Bompiani, Milano 1995): "Poi un giorno, con mia grande sorpresa; ricevetti la prima volta la parte della protagonista in un film a soggetto: sarei stata Maria Vestera nel Crollo degli Asburgo. Il regista era Rolf Raffée, un nome che ignoravo, e il film era ispirato alla nota, ma ancor sempre misteriosa tragedia del successore al trono austriaco, il principe Rodolfo, che si tolse la vita insieme alla baronessa Maria Vetsera nel castello di Mayerling. Ero davvero felice di poter finalmente avere una parte importante in un film non diretto da Arnold Fanck; le riprese sarebbero avvenute a Vienna, nel castello di Schönbrunn. Quando fui chiamata sul set, avevo una febbre piuttosto alta e perciò mi feci accompagnare da mia madre. Ma quell’indisposizione era difterite e la mia salute peggiorava di giorno in giorno; non riuscivo più né a mangiare né a bere. Il regista dal canto suo non poteva continuare a rinviare le riprese delle mie scene, anche perché molti altri attori erano legati ad impegni teatrali. Pensò così di ridurre la mia parte: più la mia febbre saliva, più il mio ruolo diventava marginale. Alla fine arrivarono gli ultimi sei giorni di lavorazione e, nonostante la temperatura alta, riuscii a recitare. Non vidi mai questo film, che d’altronde venne ritirato molto presto dalle sale cinematografiche: non potevo rassegnarmi alla malasorte che mi aveva perseguitata in una occasione tanto propizia per la mia carriera di attrice." — LJ

La versione italiana del film, con il titolo Il crollo degli Absburgo, passò in censura il 31 ottobre 1929 con il numero 25195 con una lunghezza di 2807 metri. Il progetto di restaurare in video il film nacque nella primavera del 1999 quando Livio Jacob della Cineteca del Friuli ci informò che una copia in nitrato del film era conservata presso la Collezione Privata di Paolo Venier a Trieste. Il supporto era quasi totalmente compromesso; era perciò impraticabile la strada di un restauro su pellicola. Anche per limitare i costi di produzione, abbiamo deciso di tentare la via della ricostruzione del film in video.

A partire dai seguenti materiali: una copia in nitrato della versione italiana del film Il crollo degli Absburgo (didascalie in italiano, 35mm, 1706 metri) dalla Collezione Paolo Venier; un frammento (35mm, 382 metri) proveniente dal Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv; un frammento (35mm, 335 metri) conservato presso il Filmarchiv Austria di Vienna. Mentre i due brevi frammenti erano di ottima qualità la copia italiana del film era gravemente compromessa. La sostituzione con i frammenti ha permesso di recuperare proprio le sezioni più danneggiate della versione italiana. Abbiamo anche eliminato i fotogrammi completamente illeggibili e abbiamo sostituito due scene tratte da documentari d’epoca con materiale identico ma di migliore qualità (il cinegiornale della Sascha-Film Die Trauerfeierlichkeiten für Weiland Sr. Majestät Kaiser Franz Josef I, e scene dal documentario italiano Primo omaggio di Trieste liberata al suo re, proveninente dalla Cineteca del Friuli). Il film ha destato il nostro interesse per molteplici motivi: anzitutto era considerato perduto; poi perché nella versione italiana erano stati inseriti alcuni spezzoni di documentari che trasformavano il film da un dramma familiare a un’opera di propaganda antiaustriaca; infine perché vi compaiono attrici come Erna Morena e Leni Riefenstahl, quest’ultima in uno dei suoi primi ruoli non legati alla montagna. — Michael Achenbach/Paolo Caneppele

In its original version, the film relates the glory and the decadence of the house of Hapsburg. What remains of it today is only a nitrate print of the Italian version in an advanced state of decay, and some fragments of the original German version. This video attempts, with the surviving material, to reconstruct the whole action, involving historical personages very frequently depicted in the cinema (Sissi, Maria Vetsera, Crown Prince Rudolph, Franz Josef, and Franz Ferdinand). Leni Riefenstahl recalled the film in her autobiography, though the section was omitted from the English-language edition of the book, and is here translated from the Italian version Stretta nel tempo: Storia della mia vita (Bompiani, Milan, 1995): "Then one day, to my great surprise, I was offered the main role in a feature film: I would be Maria Vetsera in the film The Fall of the Hapsburgs. The director was Rolf Raffé, a name I did not know, and the film was inspired by the celebrated but still mysterious tragedy of the heir to the Austrian throne, Crown Prince Rudolph, who took his life along with that of Countess Maria Vetsera in the castle of Mayerling. Naturally I was happy finally to have an important role in a film not directed by Arnold Fanck; the filming was to take place in Vienna in the palace of Schönbrunn. When I reported to the set, I had rather a high fever and in consequence was accompanied by my mother. But it turned out that I had diphtheria and my health deteriorated from day to day; I could neither eat nor drink. For his part the director could not continue to postpone the shooting of my scenes, since many of the other actors were tied to theatrical commitments. So it was decided to reduce my part: then my fever rose; and in turn my role became marginal. Finally the last six days of shooting arrived and, despite my high temperature, I managed to act. I never saw this film, which in any event was very quickly taken out of the cinemas: I could not reconcile myself to the misfortune which had dogged me at such a propitious moment for my career." — LJ

The Italian version of the film, with the title Il crollo degli Absburgo, was passed by the censor on 31 October 1929 (no. 25195), when the length was registered as 2807m. The project for the video restoration was born in the spring of 1999 when Livio Jacob of the Cineteca del Friuli discovered that a nitrate print of the film was preserved in the private collection of Paolo Venier in Trieste. The support was almost totally decomposed; thus conventional restoration on film was impracticable. Also to limit the production costs, we decided to try the method of a video reconstruction. The following materials were available: the print of the Italian version, Il crollo degli Absburgo (Italian intertitles, 35mm, 1706m), in the Paolo Venier collection; a fragment (35mm, 382m.) from the Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv; and a fragment (35mm, 335m.) preserved in Filmarchiv Austria, Vienna. While the two short fragments were of excellent quality, the Italian print was badly deteriorated. The substitution of the fragments made it possible to recover precisely the most damaged sections of the Italian version. We also eliminated frames that were completely illegible, and substituted sequences from actualities of the period containing material that was identical but of better quality (the Sascha-Film newsreel Die Trauerfeierlichkeiten für Weiland Sr. Majestät Kaiser Franz Josef I, and scenes from the Italian reportage, Primo omaggio di Trieste liberata al suo re, from the Cineteca del Friuli). The film aroused our interest for a number of reasons, not least that it was believed lost; then because in the Italian version some documentary sequences had been inserted which transformed the film from a family drama into a work of anti-Austrian propaganda; finally for the appearances of actresses like Erna Morena and Leni Riefenstahl, the latter in the first role in which she was not co-starred with a mountain. — Michael Achenbach/Paolo Caneppele


Dir.: Hugh Munro Neely; prod.: Keith Lawrence, John J. Flynn, Hugh Munro Neely; Betacam SP, Pal, Timeline Films, 54’. Versione inglese / English version.

Quattro mini biographie dei principali fondatori della United Artists — Charles Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks e D.W.Griffith — narrate da Roddy McDowall, con interviste con Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. e Marc Wanamaker. — LJ

Narrated by Roddy McDowall. Four mini-biographies of the principal founders of United Artists — Charles Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and D.W.Griffith — lead to the dramatic moment when these pioneers decided to combine their might against the film distribution practices of their former employers. Includes interviews with Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Marc Wanamaker. — LJ