le giornate del cinema muto

[I wrote this a few days ago, but somehow it ended up on the proverbial cutting room floor for no reason at all. Existential crisis or something like that. Anyway here it is.]

Ciao! I don’t have very much time to write this post, as I have to run off to the bus to head into Pordenone (Massimo and Cinzia live in a “frazione” of Pordenone, called Vallenoncello) for another day at the Giornate. Anyway, these last few days have been CRAZY busy. As you may or may not know, this week, I am both a volunteer and associate collegian for Pordenone’s very own silent film festival (giornate del cinema muto). I usually see a film or two in the morning, go to the collegium discussion (in which some famous and very accomplished film people tell you about their lives), work in the bookshop until five, eat dinner, and then see more films after dinner.

Needless to say, I have never seen this much silent film before in my life. I feel like I’ve discovered a whole world, a sub-culture, I never before knew existed. For example, last night I saw a short film originally released in 1902, called “Le Voyage Dans La Lune”, restored mostly by two guys. The company these two men work for got their hands on the film in 1933, at which time it was almost completely decomposed. The restoration process began. 78 years later, Le Voyage Dans La Lune is released again — with color. Now of course this isn’t a digital video; the film is made of countless clippings of frames. To add color, each and every frame must be hand-painted. Imagine the care and time you must have to accomplish that (it’s very appealing to me; I would love to do that). Furthermore, the 2011 version has modern music — a touch the film-makers used in the hopes of reaching a wider, younger audience. (It worked on me.) The juxtaposition of the bright colors, and futuristic music with the quintessentially early cinema jerkiness and hilarity made this film unlike anything I have ever seen.

And now I must go! A dopo.


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