IL CINEMA RITROVATO AWARD-WINNING DVDS
The Il Cinema Ritrovato – DVD Awards aims to encourage and give visibility to DVD and Blu-ray editions of important films from around the world that were originally produced more than thirty years ago. The awards are presented annually at the Il Cinema Ritrovato Festival in Bologna, Italy. A panel of international archivists, historians, scholars and filmmakers carefully considers the DVD/Blu-ray entries, and then selects the award winners in each category. These include the Best DVD/Blu-ray (The Peter von Bagh), Best Single Release, Best Series/Best Box Set, Best Rediscovery of a Forgotten Film, Best Special Features (bonus), Special Mention, and Personal Choices (selected by individual jurors). The first awards were presented in 2004. Since then, the distinguished jurors have included, among others, Peter von Bagh (Finland), Jonathan Rosenbaum (United States), Paolo Mereghetti (Italy), Philippe Garnier (France), Pamela Hutchinson (Great Britain), Shivendra Singh Dungapur (India), Miguel Marias (Spain), Lorenzo Cadelli (Italy), Alexander Horwath (Austria), and Mark McElhatten (United States).
The Il Cinema Ritrovato award winning DVD editions that we distribute are listed below, in descending chronological order by year of the award. Whenever the descriptions below are taken directly from the jurors comments, they appear in quotations, together with the panelist’s name.
2018 - BEST SINGLE RELEASE
Irvin V. Willat (US)
“This is an excellent restoration of a notorious, but long incomplete war film by the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, reincorporating the original tints and supported by a specially commissioned and very distinguished multi-instrumental score by Stephen Horne. This gruesome revenge story from 1919, directed by Irvin Willat, stars Hobart Bosworth and Wallace Beery and opens with some eerily topical scenes of xenophobic patriotism. A thoughtful set of supplements includes the Russian release of the movie, outtakes, essays and an illuminating interview with Kevin Brownlow on Willat’s career.” (Pamela Hutchinson)
2018 - PERSONAL CHOICE (Lorenzo Codelli, Juror)
Leitão de Barros (Portugal)
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the death of the filmmaker J. Leitão de Barros, Cinemateca Portuguesa-Museu do Cinema has released a DVD edition of his first feature film, the documentary LISBOA, CRÓNICA ANEDÓTICA (1930). The edition includes Leitão de Barros first two films – the shorts MALMEQUER and MAL DE ESPANHA (both dated 1918).
2018 - BEST REDISCOVERY OF A FORGOTTEN FILM and PERSONAL CHOICE (Philippe Garnier, Juror)
Grace Winter & Luc Plantier (Belgium)
“The marquis Robert de Wavrin had conquered an important place in the history of anthropology for his journey in South America in the Twenties and Thirties. Nobody knew that during those journeys de Wavrin had filmed a number of excellent documentaries at least not until the footage, «forgotten» at the Cinémathèque royale de Belgique, was studied, restored and made available on a double dvd, accompanied by a rich volume elaborately illustrated and documented. Definitely, a discovery for anthropology, but particularly for the cinema – considering the extraordinary quality of the works that unite the attention of the researcher with the quality of a big filmmaker.” (Paolo Mereghetti, Jury President)
2017 - PETER VON BAGH AWARD
Josef von Sternberg (US)
“Josef von Sternberg’s first feature, beautifully presented, with two precious extras: an audiovisual essay by Janet Bergstrom and a dazzling four-minute fragment from Sternberg’s The Case of Lena Smith (1929). Alexander Horwath, who worked on this release, refrained from voting for it for that reason.” (Jonathan Rosenbaum)
2017 - BEST REDISCOVERY OF A FORGOTTEN FILM
Marcel Hanoun (France)
“Les Saisons is Marcel Hanoun’s most ambitious and representative work: four films – in the order of production, Summer, Winter, Spring, and Autumn – deal in an extremely personal style with those subjects that at the time shocked society (from May 1968 to the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Warsaw troops). Furthermore, the film can also be considered as a reflection on cinema and its practice; for example, on a signboard in one of the scenes we can read ‘Who creates and for whom?’ Published by Re:Voir in collaboration with the Cinémathèque Française, this box set presents for the first time the complete tetralogy, subtitled in English, a 100-page booklet with essays written by Dominique Noguez, Emeric de Lastens, Jean-Louis Bory, Paola Melis, and a long interview with the director.” (Paolo Mereghetti, Jury President)
2016 - PERSONAL CHOICE (Alexander Horwath, Juror)
Ernst Schmidt Jr. (Austria)
VIENNAFILM 1896-1976 constitutes the first feature length film completed by Schmidt Jr. It premiered on January 28, 1977 at the Austrian Film Museum; and screened at Vienna´s Inter-national Film Festival, the Seventh International Forum of New Cinema in Berlin, and the Festival dei Popoli in Florence. “In honor of all the poets who practice an anarchist historiography.”
2016 - PERSONAL CHOICE (Lorenzo Codelli, Juror)
Various Directors (Portugal)
The newsreel series JORNAL PORTUGUÊS (1938-1951) was produced for the Secretariat of National Propaganda (SPN/SNI) by the "Portuguese Newsreel Society" (SPAC), under the technical supervision of António Lopes Ribeiro. It was conceived and employed as part of the propaganda machinery of Salazar's regime.
2016 - BEST CONTRIBUTIONS TO FILM HISTORY
Gideon Bachmann (Germany)
“An exceptional reportage from the crib of the underground movement, at the peak of its outburst. The young filmmaker Gideon Bachmann, who afterwards wrote the biographies and became a close friend of such auteurs as Federico Fellini and Pier Paolo Pasolini, understood the importance of the fleeting moment during which artists like Jonas Mekas, Andy Warhol, Shirley Clarke and others, were becoming popular. While their friend Michelangelo Antonioni was paying them a visit with a smile on his face, the streets were invaded with violent demonstrations against the War in Vietnam, and cocktail parties were being held at the Museum of Modern Art” (Lorenzo Codelli)
2015 - BEST REDISCOVERY OF A FORGOTTEN FILM
Philppe Garrel (France)
In silence and black and white, the focus is on a sole visage, that of a fallen 40-year-old star, Jean Seberg fifteen years after BREATHLESS, struggling with alcohol, fear, loneliness chemical dependence and dementia. In an hour and fifteen minutes consisting almost exclusively of close-ups, an entire lifetime rises to the surface of a face.
2015 - BEST DVD (THE PETER VON BAGH AWARD)
Alexandre Volkoff (France)
“THE HOUSE OF MYSTERY, starring the redoubtable Ivan Mosjoukine, is one of the most outstanding film serials of any era–thrillingly inventive and distinctively different from Feuillade or Gaston Ravel–and the only serial of the three produced by Albatross known to have survived. Peter von Bagh brought this film to Bologna during his early years as artistic director of Il Cinema Ritrovato, and it remains a shining example of analogic restoration.” (Il Cinema Ritrovato Awards Jury)
2015 - PERSONAL CHOICE (Alexander Horwath)
Abel Gance (France)
Abel Gance’s extraordinary breakthrough work, J’ACCUSE is a World War I drama considered one of the most technically advanced films of the era and the first major pacifist film, referred to by Gance as, “A human cry against the bellicose din of armies.” This seminal cinematic achievement stars Marise Dauvray as Edith, a young woman who is unhappily married an older man, François (Séverin-Mars), though she’s actually in love with a young poet, Jean Diaz (Romuald Joubé). Two short films are also included in this DVD edition. PARIS DURING THE WAR (1915, directed by Henri Diamant-Berger) and FIGHTING THE WAR (1916).
2015 - SPECIAL MENTION
Various Directors (US)
Over a 21-year period from 1912 to 1933, the short and feature films produced by Mack Sennett (and released under the banners of Keystone Comedies and Mack Sennett Comedies) played a large part in creating the style and language that has forever defined visual humor in motion pictures, earning Sennett the nickname "the King of Comedy" and recognition as the father of American film comedy.
2014 - BEST DVD
Michail Kalatozov (USSR)
The Georgian-born filmmaker Michail Kalatozov (1903-1973) is best remembered for directing some of the most innovative and successful Soviet films of the 1950s and 1960s. This DVD edition presents digitally restored versions of two of his pioneering, silent era works, which were highly controversial in their time but now rank among the finest achievements in Soviet silent cinema.
2013 - BEST SILENT COLLECTION
Ivan Mosjoukine, Alexandre Volkoff, Marcel L’Herbier, Jacques Feyder(France)
The collection of Russian filmmakers who made up the core of what came to be known as Films Albatros arrived from Moscow after the October 1917 revolution by way of Yalta, Constantinople and Marseilles, establishing their base of operations in an old Pathé greenhouse-style studio in the Paris suburb of Montreuil. From it flowed some of the finest French films of the 1920s - variously experimental, spectacular, charming, witty; and always beautifully executed.
2013 - BEST BOX SET
Henri Storck (Belgium)
Henri Storck (Ostend 1907 - Brussels 1999) lived through the whole history of cinema, passing from silent to sound, and from experimental to commercial films. He was a particularly important member of the Belgian avant-garde of the late 20s and early 30s, recognised as a pioneer of Belgian cinema, and considered a key figure in documentary.
An eyewitness of his times, he made socially engaged films, but also poetic and experimental short films, films on art and a fiction feature. His body of work consists of 70 films, including a series of accounts, presented on this DVD, on his native city of Ostend of which he was the chronicler and which remained, for him, the Queen of beaches.
MISÈRE AU BORINAGE brings together Storck's Social Films, including the 1933 title work co-directed with Joris Ivens, which has become a classic of the "cinema of reality", with which Storck was most closely associated. In 1937 he made LES MAISONS DE LA MISÈRE, denouncing slum housing in the same pamphleteering style, and in 1938 LE PATRON EST MORT, an account of the funeral of Emile Vandervelde, leader of the Belgian Labour Party. This edition brings together Storck's social films, including the 1933 title work co-directed with Joris Ivens, which has become a classic of the "cinema of reality", with which Storck was most closely associated.
From 1924 to 1944, the old project of making a feature film comes true. SYMPHONIE PAYSANNE consists of four parts that correspond to the four seasons. This lyrical masterpiece describes the day to tday life and rituals of the farmers. The film is a great and slow poem to nature, in which life and death of humans, animals and plants represent as many identical themes. Nonetheless, man and his endless labour are at the core of the film.
Note: The fourth Henri Storck title in this box set, Art & Cinéma, is available upon request from GME.
2013 - BEST SPECIAL FEATURES ON DVD (BONUS)
Michael Snow (Canada)
Each of Michael Snow's works, spanning across painting, sculpture, video, film, photography, holography, drawing, publishing and music, invites us to experience, question and contemplate the representation, its process and material.
2011 - BEST BOX SET
Various Directors (US)
Charles Chaplin came to Mack Sennett’s Keystone Studios late in 1913 as a little-known British vaudevillian, and after a year, had not only established his Tramp character, learned to write and direct his own films, and also achieved public recognition as a star comedian. Although Keystone did not publicize its performers by name, standees of Chaplin's likeness outside theatres sufficed to attract audiences. Some of the films, especially TILLIE’S PUNCTURED ROMANCE (1914), remained in theatrical distribution for decades.
2011 - BEST DVD
Segundo de Chomón (Spain)
SEGUNDO DE CHOMÓN is a key figure in the early years of cinema history, and one whose career has long been overshadowed by his French contemporary, Georges Méliès. This DVD collection now presents 31 films by “the Spanish Méliès,” revealing a filmmaker of comparable imagination, yet unique artistry. Curated from the 105 titles that make up the Segundo de Chomón collection at the Filmoteca de Catalunya.
2010 - BEST SPECIAL FEATURES ON DVD (BONUS)
Georg Willhelm Pabst (Germany)
DIE FREUDLOSE GASSE (THE JOYLESS STREET) is not only one of the most important films of the Weimar Republic, it is also one of the most spectacular censorship cases of the era. The story from the inflationary period in Vienna in the years immediately after World War I was considered too much of a provocation: nouveau riches currency and stock market speculators who wallow in Babylonian luxury, homeless and unemployed Lumpenproletariat living in barns, women who sell their souls for a bit of fresh meat at the butcher's, sexual orgies, bordellos and murders.
2010 - BEST CRITICAL RESEARCH ON A DVD
Germaine Dulac (France)
Directed in 1927 by Germaine Dulac and scripted by Antonin Artaud, THE SEASHELL AND THE CLERGYMAN is generally considered to be the first Surrealist film, even if at its Studio des Ursulines premiere, the Surrealist group provoked an uproar that would become one of the great “scandals” of the 1920s. Along with contemporary musical accompaniments, this DVD edition features a video account of the premiere and a presentation of the film and its importance in the history of cinema and feminism.
2009 - BEST SPECIAL FEATURES ON DVD (BONUS)
Walther Ruttmann (Germany)
Walther Ruttmann is a pioneer of modern multimaedia art. His first short films are unique experiments with forms, colors, and rhythm, his innovative commercials connected abstract animation art with concrete messages. The symphonic documentary BERLIN, DIE SINFONIE DER GROßSTADT is one of the most famous silent classics, the travelogue MELODIE DER WELT became the first German sound feature film. With the radio play Weekend Ruttmann created the first "sound film without images" while his short IN DER NACHT transforms music to images and is a prototype of modern music videos.
2009 - BEST BOX SET
Various Directors (US)
DOUGLAS FAIRBANKS: A MODERN MUSKETEER is a five-disc DVD collection that includes eleven of the delightful modern-dress comedies, westerns, satires, dream-fantasies and romances which made Douglas Fairbanks a popular hero, before he launched into the costume spectacles for which he is best remembered today.
2008 - BEST BOX SET
George Melies (France)
Georges Méliès built the world's first movie studio in 1896 near Paris; from it cascaded fantastic magic films, dream films, historical reconstructions, imaginary journeys, melodramas, slapstick comedies—even erotic films. Examples of all are here, with many still retaining power to astonish and charm. This monumental thirteen hour collection on five DVDs gathers for the first time nearly all the surviving films of Georges Méliès from his first, UNE PARTIE DE CARTES (1896) to his last, LE VOYAGE DE LA FAMILLE BOURRICHON (1913), bracketing more than 170 others.
2008 - SPECIAL MENTION
Philippe Garrel (France)
“I believe my point of view on the Christian myth is quite clear in LE LIT DE LA VIERGE (THE VIRGIN’S BED). It is a non-violent parable in which Zouzou incarnates both Mary and Mary Magdalene, while Pierre Clémenti incarnates a discouraged Christ who throws down his arms in face of world cruelty. In spite of its allegorical nature, the film contains a denunciation of the police repression of 1968, which was generally well understood by viewers at the time.”
2008 - SPECIAL MENTION
Philippe Garrel (France)
In LE RÉVÉLATEUR, the first of his four Zanzibar films, Philippe Garrel (LA CONCENTRATION, LE LIT DE LA VIERGE, LA CICATRICE INTÉRIEURE) creates an elegy in simple language that follows a sinuous path enclosing its spectators in a timeless, symbolic universe that seems prone at any moment to self-destruct. The shots drip with a desperate poetry, inhabiting the realm between under- and over-exposure, between on and off-screen, day and night, waking and sleeping, and existing under the constant threat of dissolution. The title is a French pun on the chemical used to develop celluloid - it reveals images, it reveals life, but the threat of annihilation, of the loss of light, remains.
2006 - SPECIAL MENTION
Various Directors (Denmark)
Asta Nielsen is probably the greatest Danish film star. However, she only starred in four Danish films, all of which are on this DVD, from her breathtaking appearance in THE ABYSS (1910) to Holger-Madsen’s moral tale TOWARDS THE LIGHT (1919). Most of Asta Nielsen’s career took place in Germany where she starred in almost seventy films in the period 1911-1932.
2006 - Best DVD
Dziga Vertov (USSR)
Dziga Vertov's ENTUZIAZM is considered a masterpiece of early sound film and of Soviet avant-garde cinema. Dealing with the Five Year Plan of the late 1920s, it was praised by artists like Charlie Chaplin, was subsequently forgotten, and rediscovered by the avant-garde movement of the 1960s.
2006 - Experimental Film
Stephen Dwoskin (UK / US / France / Germany)
This 5-disc set is a limited edition of 1,000 copies and includes a 58-page full-color bilingual booklet with specially commissioned texts in English & French. Containing 12 hours of material, the 14 works included were chosen with the artist and represent the first of three planned publications of Stephen Dwoskin’s career.
2005 - SPECIAL MENTION FOR FILM HERITAGE
Benjamin Christensen (Denmark)
Benjamin Christensen (1879-1959) is probably the most innovative director of Danish silent cinema. He had full control over the creation of his films, not only as a director, but also in many cases by being producer, author and protagonist. This DVD contains his first two films. These first films clearly show Benjamin Christensen’s mastery of cinematic expression, as well as his charismatic screen appearance.
2005 - SPECIAL MENTION FOR FILM HERITAGE
August Blom, Eduard Schneider-Sorenson, Holger-Madsen (Denmark)
Valdemar Psilander (1884-1917) was probably the greatest male star of Danish silent cinema. He died in 1917, only 32 years old. Despite his early death, he nevertheless acted in 83 films during his 6 years with the Nordisk Films Kompagni. The three films on this DVD are not only representative of Valdemar Psilander’s qualities as an actor, but also the production of Nordisk Films Kompagni during the most productive and successful years of Danish cinema.