My Favourites – Peter Hourigan looks forward to the return of pleasures of the past

HouriganAt a certain age Peter Hourigan formalised his admiration for a famous French director and one particular film by getting this tattoo. I’ll leave it to people to guess the title of the film.

Peter has been a stalwart cinephile living in Melbourne since his university days. He has taught film for most of that time and in recent years has attended Bologna’s Il Cinema Ritrovato without fail. Here are his thoughts about what he will be looking forward to most when he travels to Sydney for Cinema Reborn 2019.

My three picks are films that I feel a special connection with.

WANDA:  My first viewing of this was back in November 1969 at the London Film Festival, when, my diary reminds me it was “introduced by its very attractive director/star Barbara Loden”.  It seems I wasn’t exactly rapt with that first viewing  – “Main trouble, the girl is never seen as more than an addle-brained thing, and I had no reason to be really very interested in her.”   Oh, my!  The fact is, that girl never got out of my mind, and a re-viewing several years back completely changed my ideas of this rich portrait of a very troubled woman – vibrant and unjudgmental. 

IN A LONELY PLACE – Nicholas Ray.  When I was teaching Year 12 Media, I dared myself to take a risk and see if today’s teenagers could engage with an old black and white film.  They loved it, it was a rich resource for teaching, and I grooved every time I ‘had’ to show it.

NEAPOLITAN CAROUSEL.  Probably for many Cinema Reborners this will be a new (and unknown) title. But it did play the Italian circuit in Australia back in the 1950s, when as a schoolboy I saw it.  Seeing it again last year at Bologna’s Cinema Ritrovato I realised why this had never left my mind. It’s certainly one of a kind, though it’s got a link of connections with the Powell and Pressburger The Red Shoes  and (in particular) Tales of Hoffman.  Here, we have a history over several  centuries of Naples as seen and heard in its popular song tradition, with its dances all part of the vivid world.  The colour is stunning.

Here’s another photo which gives you a clue as to who took the photo above and who it might connect to and what film.

Hourigan Varda

Photo sources: Staff at Cine-Tamaris

Author: Cinema Reborn

A site devoted to news and information about Cinema Reborn's festivals of classic film restorations

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