Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Richard Linklater's Untitled New Film Pushed to 2016, Might Direct Jennifer Lawrence Movie Richard Linklater's Untitled New Film Pushed to 2016, Might Direct Jennifer Lawrence Movie Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers 'Steve Jobs' Joins Fall Festival Contenders as NYFF Centerpiece Gala: What's Coming Up and What's Not (UPDATED) 'Steve Jobs' Joins Fall Festival Contenders as NYFF Centerpiece Gala: What's Coming Up and What's Not (UPDATED) Arthouse Audit: Is 'Phoenix' This Year's 'Ida'? 'Mr. Holmes' Stays Strong Arthouse Audit: Is 'Phoenix' This Year's 'Ida'? 'Mr. Holmes' Stays Strong Friday Box Office: Sandler's 'Pixels' Gets Mixed Response, 'Paper Towns,' 'Southpaw' Not Far Behind Friday Box Office: Sandler's 'Pixels' Gets Mixed Response, 'Paper Towns,' 'Southpaw' Not Far Behind Scott Foundas Explains Why He's Leaving Film Criticism--Again--for Amazon Studios Scott Foundas Explains Why He's Leaving Film Criticism--Again--for Amazon Studios Congrats to Monica Bellucci: She's Making History Congrats to Monica Bellucci: She's Making History Broad Green Dates 'Knight of Cups' and Two More Releases Broad Green Dates 'Knight of Cups' and Two More Releases Watch: The Secret Ingredient to David Lynch's Disorienting Cinema Watch: The Secret Ingredient to David Lynch's Disorienting Cinema First Look: 'No' Director Pablo Larraín Channels 'Neruda' with Gael García Bernal First Look: 'No' Director Pablo Larraín Channels 'Neruda' with Gael García Bernal Is 'The Revenant' the Most Hellish Shoot of All Time? Is 'The Revenant' the Most Hellish Shoot of All Time? Broad Green Enters Long-Term Home Video Deal with Universal for Burgeoning Slate Broad Green Enters Long-Term Home Video Deal with Universal for Burgeoning Slate Gabriel García Márquez Documentary Coming Soon (Trailer) Gabriel García Márquez Documentary Coming Soon (Trailer) Watch 'SPECTRE' Trailer: James Bond Meets the Author of His Pain Watch 'SPECTRE' Trailer: James Bond Meets the Author of His Pain 'BoJack Horseman,' 'Rick and Morty,' and Our Love/Hate Relationship with TV 'BoJack Horseman,' 'Rick and Morty,' and Our Love/Hate Relationship with TV Why I Can't Wait to See 'Crimson Peak,' Guillermo del Toro's Sumptuous Period Thriller (VIDEO) Why I Can't Wait to See 'Crimson Peak,' Guillermo del Toro's Sumptuous Period Thriller (VIDEO) First Look at Julianne Moore and Ellen Page as a Gay Couple in 'Freeheld' First Look at Julianne Moore and Ellen Page as a Gay Couple in 'Freeheld' Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A) Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A) Gabriel García Márquez and Akira Kurosawa Talk Film, Writing and 'Rhapsody in August' in 1991 Gabriel García Márquez and Akira Kurosawa Talk Film, Writing and 'Rhapsody in August' in 1991

Il Cinema Ritrovato, Bologna, XXVI Edizione - Day Four: Walsh, Pyr’ev, Warhol, Ghatak & 'The Grand Illusion'

Thompson on Hollywood By Meredith Brody | Thompson on Hollywood June 28, 2012 at 11:48AM

Paradise for cinephiles: Max Ophul’s “Komedie on Geld” (1936), followed by Raoul Walsh's “Kindred of the Dust,” Ritwik Ghatak’s “The Cloud-Capped Star,” a to-die-for meal and an impeccably restored "Grand Illusion"...
0


'The Grande Illusion' 1937
'The Grande Illusion' 1937

At 4:45, I see most of Andy Warhol’s “Face” (1965), starring Edie Sedgwick, brushing her hair, applying makeup, and chatting with pal Chuck Wein for 66 minutes.  It’s the first film in an Avant-Garde Masters program, playing to an SRO house. We leave before “The Velvet Underground in Boston” (1967), Samuel Beckett’s “Film” (1965) starring Buster Keaton, and “Norman Mailer’s Untitled” (1947), an experimental 8-minute work, Mailer’s first movie, about a woman considering having an abortion. The catalogue describes “a battery of cinematic techniques: black & white and colour juxtaposition, animation, time-lapse photography, and microscopic close-ups.”  

I’d love to see it, but we’ve been long ensconced across the hall, entranced by Ritwik Ghatak’s “Meghe Dhaka Tara” (“The Cloud-Capped Star,” 1960), perhaps oversold by introducer Shivendra Singh Dungarpur as “India’s greatest movie,” but indisputedly a masterpiece. Poetic, musical, haunting, this story of an unhappy family worthy of Eugene O’Neill breaks my heart – even more so because I know nothing of Ghatak.  Where has he been all my life?  My friend Jackie Mancuso enters late and is immediately gripped by the story, the cinematography, the acting.  We protest, weakly, when we’re torn away, perhaps 20 minutes before the end, for a long-planned dinner in a restaurant in its own park-like setting on the outskirts of Bologna, where Jackie and Steve dined last year during the festival.

Steve has a fantasy of returning in time to catch some of the World Cup game between Spain and Portugal, but as we linger over five courses (antipasti della casa featuring an unusual mortadella/ricotta spread, ethereal frittata, warm panzanella; seafood risotto and tagliatelle with ragu; an amazing five-item mixed grill, a dish of huge shrimp, and another of simple grilled steak; six different cheeses served with thin honey and house-made orange marmalade; an assortment of desserts including pistachio/chocolate mousse, crema catalana, and an airy coconut confection; macerated strawberries, sliced watermelon, and big fat cherries, all washed down with Verdicchio and a big Bolognese red), the game is forgotten. As for the name of this impossibly charming restaurant, I promise I will include in my next dispatch. I will remember this meal in the same breath with the best movies I’ve seen in Bologna.

A cab ride back to central Bologna lets me out in time to catch a good chunk of “The Grand Illusion” in the big square, impeccably restored by Studio Canal and the Cinémathèque de Toulouse. In the lobby of my hotel, I run into the Cinémathèque’s Natacha Laurent, and am able to compliment her on the work.  It’s a movie I thought I knew by heart, but I see things in it (both literally and figuratively) that I’ve never seen before.

Spain won.  Whatever that means.  During tomorrow’s semi-finals (Italy vs. I-don’t-know-who), I’ll be safely tucked away in the cinema.
 

This article is related to: Festivals, Guest Blogger, Classics, Foreign


E-Mail Updates








Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.