Festival Report: For passionate lovers of silent cinema, the first weekend of October is permanently highlighted in the calendar: it is then that a small city in the north of Italy serves up more than just excellent antipasti and chilled Aperol Spritz. Le Giornate del Cinema Muto, or “the days of silent cinema,” commonly known as the Pordenone Silent Film Festival, has been the mecca for film historians and amateurs of “mute flickers” since its founding in 1982. The festival is the largest silent film festival in the world, offering a nine-day bombardment of rediscoveries, restorations, retrospectives, and special events from dusk until well past dawn, projected at the proper speeds and accompanied by such leading early cinema musicians as Neil Brand, John Sweeney, and Günter Buchwald. Film history comes alive. Films reviewed include: Douro, Faina Fluvial (1931), Chuji tabinikki (A Diary of Chuji's Travels, Daisuke Ito, 1927), and Henri Fescourt's 1925–26 rendition of Les Misérables.
Cultivating the Early Canons: The Pordenone Silent Film Festival
Vito Adriaensens is a film and theater historian working as a visiting scholar and Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University. His research focuses on the interaction between film, theater, and visual arts. He is currently finishing two books: Sculpture in Cinema (with Steven Jacobs, Susan Felleman, and Lisa Colpaert) and Velvet Curtains and Gilded Frames: The Art of Early European Cinema, both forthcoming in 2016 from University of Edinburgh Press.
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Vito Adriaensens; Cultivating the Early Canons: The Pordenone Silent Film Festival. Film Quarterly 1 March 2016; 69 (3): 91–95. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fq.2016.69.3.91
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