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Rossellini's Restored & Uncut 'Generale della Rovere' to Screen at MoMA's Int'l Festival of Film Preservation; Last Screened in 1959

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood October 11, 2012 at 5:42PM

MoMA's 10th annual International Festival of Film Preservation will unveil the restored version of Roberto Rossellini's "Il Generale della Rovere," presented for the first time since the film's premiere in 1959 at the Venice Film Festival, where it won the Golden Lion in its original uncut glory. Talk about a once-in-a-half-century opportunity.
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Vittorio De Sica in "Il Generale della Rovere"
Vittorio De Sica in "Il Generale della Rovere"

MoMA's 10th annual International Festival of Film Preservation will unveil the restored version of Roberto Rossellini's "Il Generale della Rovere," presented for the first time since the film's premiere in 1959 at the Venice Film Festival, where it won the Golden Lion in its original uncut glory. Talk about a once-in-a-half-century opportunity.

"Il Generale" marked a return for Rossellini to World War II themes more than a decade after his Neorealist trilogy (including "Rome: Open City," "Paisa" and "Germany Year Zero") concluded in 1948, and was one of his most commercially and critically successful dramas. It stars his friend and fellow Neorealist filmmaker Vittorio De Sica as a conman compelled by the Nazis to impersonate a partisan hero.

The version screening at MoMA is ten minutes longer than the original Italian theatrical cut, and will be showcased in a brand new 35mm print. New Yorkers have two opportunites to catch it: Monday, October 22 and Friday, October 26. The film's restoration is a collaboration between RaroVideo and the museum.

"Il Generale" is only a taste of the delicious offerings the Festival of Film Preservation, also cleverly titled "To Save and Project," has in store. Check out Dave Kehr's recent NY Times highlight piece on the upcoming fest, where he discusses a new print of Jacques Demy's debut feature "Lola" (struck and revitalized from the sole-existing, faded TV print negative), various pre-code goodies and a full day of political films, including a Richard Nixon Super-8 home movie collection.

This article is related to: Festivals, MoMA, Festivals


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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.