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“Swept Away”: Lina Wertmüller’s masterpiece presented in a restored version at Venice 81!

5 July 2024

Swept Away (1974), written and directed by Lina Wertmüller, will be presented in competition in a stunning 4K restored version in the Venice Classics section at the 81st Venice International Film Festival. The film, listed by The Guardian among the top 25 European films of all time, has been restored by the Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna in collaboration with Minerva Pictures.

During a Mediterranean cruise, the snobbish and classist Raffaella Pavone Lanzetti (Mariangela Melato) is shipwrecked with the communist sailor Gennarino Carunchio (Giancarlo Giannini). The deserted island they land on becomes the stage for a forced cohabitation that exposes all their differences.

Featuring music by Piero Piccioni, awarded the David di Donatello in 1975.

See you soon at the Lido!

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The 4K restoration of “Slap the Monster on Page One” arrives at Cinema Troisi and the Giornate di Ciné!

1 July 2024

Tonight, don’t miss a crucial event at Cinema Troisi for the premiere of the 4K restoration of Slap the Monster on Page One (1972), a seminal work of Italian political cinema directed by Marco Bellocchio. After the screening, the audience will have the opportunity to engage in a Q&A session with the director himself, moderated by film critic Enrico Magrelli.

The restoration of the film, accomplished by the Cineteca di Bologna in collaboration with Surf Film, Kavac Film, and Minerva Pictures, has already been enthusiastically received in the Cannes Classics section of the 2024 Cannes Film Festival and at the Il Cinema Ritrovato Festival in Bologna, reaffirming its status as a timeless classic and its relevance in the contemporary context.

The journey of the restoration continues tomorrow in Riccione during the Giornate di Ciné at the Hot Corn Awards, where Bellocchio and director Andrea Morandi will take the stage to celebrate this significant cinematic conservation project. The event offers a fantastic opportunity to reflect on the importance of film preservation and the transmission of cinematic cultural heritage to new generations.

And there’s more good news! From July 4th, Slap the Monster on Page One will return to cinemas across Italy, distributed by 01 Distribution and Minerva Pictures. Don’t just hear about it!

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Minerva Pictures at Il Cinema Ritrovato in Bologna with four titles showcased!

14 June 2024

Bologna opens the gates to a cinephile paradise with the 38th edition of the Il Cinema Ritrovato festival, taking place in the shadow of the Two Towers from June 22nd to 30th. This year, Minerva Pictures will again be present with four titles in the lineup!

The festival kicks off on Tuesday, June 25th at 3:15 PM at Cinema Europa with Pietro Germi’s Guerra 1915-18 (an episode from Amori di mezzo secolo, 1954), as part of the Pietro Germi retrospective, Pietro Germi, the Uncomfortable Witness. “Among directors of his generation, although not seeking to stand out as an auteur and staying true to a popular vocation, Germi is among those who have focused not only on the perfection of scripts but also on the strength of staging, the power of constructing a frame, a scene, a rhythm,” (from the Il Cinema Ritrovato program, curated by Emiliano Morreale).

On Wednesday, June 26th, a 9:45 PM appointment in Piazza Maggiore is set for the presentation of the new 4K restoration of Antonio Pietrangeli‘s La visita (1963), featuring a magnificent Sandra Milo. The introduction will be provided by Sergio Castellitto, President of the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia. The screening will precede a selection of recently restored Lumière films, presented by Thierry Frémaux (Institut Lumière). The restoration is a collaboration between CSC-Cineteca Nazionale and Minerva Pictures.

On Thursday, June 27th at 4:45 PM at Cinema Modernissimo, we will present the national premiere of the restored 4K version of Slap the Monster on Page One (1972), directed by Marco Bellocchio and starring Gian Maria Volonté, with the director in attendance. Presented at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival in the Cannes Classics section, the restoration, realized by the Cineteca di Bologna in collaboration with Surf Film, Kavac Film, and Minerva Pictures, will return to cinemas across Italy from July 4th with 01 Distribution and Minerva Pictures.

The programming sponsored by Minerva Pictures concludes on Friday, June 28th at 2:30 PM at Cinema Arlecchino with the 4K restoration of Four Nights of a Dreamer (1971), by Robert Bresson. Inspired by Fyodor Dostoevsky’s White Nights, the work was presented at the Directors’ Fortnight of the 24th Cannes Film Festival.

See you in Bologna from June 22nd to 30th!

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Marco Bellocchio’s “Slap the Monster on Page One” Returns to Theaters in Restored 4K Version!

13 June 2024

We are excited to announce the return to cinemas of Slap the Monster on Page One (1972), directed by Marco Bellocchio and starring Gian Maria Volonté, in a 4K restoration by the Cineteca di Bologna. Recently presented at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival in the Cannes Classics section, the film received applause and a standing ovation. It will be shown in cinemas starting July 4th by 01 Distribution in collaboration with Minerva Pictures and will be available for a preview on June 27th at the Cinema Ritrovato in Bologna.

This version was restored in 4K by the Cineteca di Bologna, in collaboration with Surf Film, Kavac Film, and Minerva Pictures, under the supervision of Bellocchio himself; the original film and sound negatives were digitized by Augustus Color and restored at the L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory.

Featuring Gian Maria Volonté in the role of chief editor Giancarlo Bizanti, Slap the Monster on Page Onetells a story that crosses a series of real events,” wrote Gian Piero Brunetta in his History of Italian Cinema, “that shook the country’s conscience in those years. From references to the first terrorist episodes, like the bombs at the Milan Trade Fair of 1969, to black chronicle events (the death of Milena Sutter), to episodes of urban guerrilla warfare or traumatic events such as the Piazza Fontana massacre, the death of the anarchist Pinelli, or that of publisher Giangiacomo Feltrinelli.” The film, Brunetta continues, “has the ability to convey a sense of social tension, rising ideological temperature, and a blind and ruthless fight among various organized, institutional, and spontaneous forces.

Alberto Moravia summarized the plot of the film in L’Espresso: “A newspaper enjoys a reputation as an objective, impartial, independent, enlightened organ of information. Nevertheless, or perhaps for this very reason, it is a mendacious façade behind which hides an owner who fully aware defends the interests of power groups and a cynical director ready for all compromises. It happens that just on the eve of elections, the opposition attacks the financial groups that use the newspaper. Alarmed, the owner calls Bizanti, the director, and asks him to divert the public’s attention from the real track represented by the newspaper’s financiers, towards the false track of some apolitical news event. Precisely, in those days, a young girl, Maria Grazia Martini, was found raped and strangled in a meadow on the outskirts. An anonymous letter sent to the newspaper promises information about the killer. Bizanti wastes no time and eagerly creates the diversion of the monster. Bizanti is lucky. He frames the author of the letter, a jealous poor woman, and extracts from her the name of the alleged assassin, a protest movement boy. Bizanti had not hoped for so much: here is the monster and, moreover, politically positioned on the left. At this point, however, a young editor, Roveda, does not feel like following the director in his imaginative reconstructions.

Goffredo Fofi, co-screenwriter of the film along with Sergio Donati, collected in his Il cinema italiano d’oggi (1984) the testimony of Marco Bellocchio: “The making of ‘Slap the Monster on the Front Page’ had started with Sergio Donati as screenwriter and director. By mutual agreement, he and the producer had judged that Donati was not yet able to take on directing, so Franco Committeri set out to find someone to take over the film. I accepted because I was interested in an experience of this kind; to jump on a moving train, to see what could be done as strictly professional work, and also to transform the film, which was a thriller about the world of Milanese journalism, into a politically edged film. I dragged Fofi along with me and together we very quickly rewrote the screenplay day by day, while shooting. The settings remained, almost all the actors remained, but new roles were added, including the fundamental one of Laura Betti, and the story became completely different.

Goffredo Fofi himself recalled: “My model was Fritz Lang’s small American films. A quick story that showed the functioning of power within the mass media starting from a case of political manipulation that was modeled on that of Valpreda.