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Cineteca del Comune di Bologna

The Cineteca di Bologna contributes information on film material mainly from two collections: Corona Cinematografica and restored Italian silent films (in particular, those previous to 1918). In addition to these, there are some films restored by the Cineteca for the Chaplin Project and some recently restored full-length sound films of which the Cineteca acquired the rights to distribute to cinemas (such as the works of Lionel Rogosin and "Appunti per un’Orestiade africana" by Pier Paolo Pasolini).

The Corona Cinematografica Collection

The production company Corona Cinematografica was officially founded in Rome in 1962 and was active until 1997. Over the years the production company acquired works made prior to 1962, dating back as far as the post-World War II period.

Corona Cinematografica produced a significant number of documentaries, newsreels and animated films. The newsreels fall under two series that were active from 1965 to 1996: “Panorama Cinematografico” (805 editions) and “Cinemondo” (415 editions). Cartoons produced at Corona included the collaboration of some leading figures of Italian animation (Bruno Bozzetto, Gibba, Guido Gomas, Pino Zac). Cineteca’s contribution to the Midas Project, however, concentrates mostly on ten minute documentaries covering the 1960s and 70s.

Major names worked with the production company: Luciano Emmer ("La sublime fatica", 1967, on Michelangelo’s art; "Il miracolo di S. Gennaro", 1948, on religious devotion in Naples); Giuseppe Ferrara ("Terzo mondo sotto casa", 1970, on the outer suburbs of Rome; "La città del malessere", 1974, on the difficult situation in Naples); Paola Faloja ("Miti d’oggi: giocattoli", 1968, in which she reinterprets Roland Barthes; "Il ragazzo motore", 1967, on suburban boys with a passion for mopeds, including text written and read by Pier Paolo Pasolini); Aglauco Casadio ("Maestrine", 1961, on the work of school teachers in small mountain villages); Libero Bizzarri ("Nostre mani", on the poetry of Paul Eluard); Ansano Giannarelli ("Sui colli fatali", 1964, which examines the impact of fascist architecture); Lino Del Frà ("Dopo l’alluvione", on the 1965 flood disaster in Rome); Francesco Alliata ("Pittura e memoria del sud", 1964, on the art of the painter Cantatore); the experiments of Alberto Grifi ("Orgonauti evviva", 1970) and Romano Scavolini ("Noi prevarremo", 1968); the montages of Mario Serandrei ("Mestieri per le strade", 1955, by Mario Verdone, on the streets of old Palermo); original texts by Calvino ("Città di Pavese", 1960, by Massimo Mida).

Aside from great individual filmmakers, Corona Cinematografica’s films provide us with a truly lively perspective on a few decades of life in and out of Italy, giving back to us forgotten aspects and creating extremely varied paths through geography, society, art, history, architecture…: the Resistance, the Vajont dam disaster, youth protests, hippies, crime, abortion, work-related accidents, the rise of television, football pools, the life of a city policeman in the capital, work in sulfur mines, emigration, the world of photo novels, film protagonists, refineries, nuclear energy … In addition, a considerable part of Corona Cinematografica’s production consists in art documentaries (with excellent cinematic readings of artwork by Italian and foreign masters) and documentaries on writers and poets (sometimes with the testimony of the protagonists themselves, such as Aldo Palazzeschi, Giovanni Comisso, Luciano Bianciardi).

In 2005 the Cineteca di Bologna embarked on an ambitious project with the entitled parties for salvaging and distributing Corona Cinematografica’s extensive and valuable collection, which was dangling in a precarious condition of conservation. The estimate of the quantity of material is still approximate: about 25,000 boxes (negatives, positives, soundtracks, unedited working material …) pertaining to around 3,500 titles. Bringing these images back to light means recuperating not only an important piece of film history, but, more importantly, it means actively reliving our relationship with history and Italian culture.

Italian Silent Cinema

Ever since its founding, the Cineteca di Bologna has been committed to the restoration of Italian silent films. For a long time silent films have been markedly absent from the historiography of Italian cinema, mostly due to the difficulty of locating prints. In the first phase of the Midas Project, preference has been given to some of the first documentaries (such as I corazzieri italiani, 1910; "L’inaugurazione del campanile di Piazza San Marco", 1912; "Il terremoto di Messina", 1909; "Trieste", 1918; "Tripoli", 1911; "La vita delle farfalle", 1914), war documentaries (such as "Guerra di Libia", 1911; "Mutilati di guerra", 1918; "La battaglia tra Brenta e Adige", 1916), slapstick comedies (like the ones by Tontolini and Polidor), and the first historical and drama films (such as "La rivale", 1908; "Giulio Cesare", 1909; "Il sire di Vincigliata", 1913; "L’innominato", 1909).