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The CSC – Cineteca Nazionale at the 17th Festa del Cinema di Roma
Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia
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28 September 2022

The CSC - Cineteca Nazionale is present at the 17th Festa del Cinema di Roma with the world premiere of the restored film “La porta del cielo”/“The Gates of Heaven” by Vittorio De Sica, and the screening of “Dopoguerra 1920”/“Postwar 1920” (by Mario Chiari, episode 3 of “Amori di mezzo secolo”/“Mid-Century Loves”).


CSC - Cineteca Nazionale will be present at the Festa del Cinema di Roma, in the “History of cinema”/“Storia del cinema” section, with the world premiere restoration of  “La porta del cielo”/“The Gates of Heaven” by Vittorio De Sica.

The Curator of the CSC - Cineteca Nazionale, Alberto Anile, comments on the project as follows: “Shot in Rome in 1944 amid Allied bombings and fascist raids, Vittorio De Sica’s La porta del cielo is generally considered a minor work. A prejudice induced by its invisibility: it is, on the other hand, a film worthy of those that precede it and follow it in the Desichian filmography, for the mastery with which the director meets the needs of the client (the Azione Cattolica), for the minute observation typical of Zavattini, for the minute observation typical of Zavattini, for the humorous scraps and the sinking into the worst cynicism, and for the warm look typical of De Sica, as in “I bambini ci guardano”/“The Children Are Watching Us” and “Sciuscià”. Despite all the pressures and hard conditions, the director miraculously managed to complete the film.

The restoration was no less undertaking: the negatives long since lost, the film was reworked by the Cineteca Nazionale from flammable materials with torn images and an often incomprehensible sound. Thanks to this precious work, this legendary but misunderstood treasure can now again be brought to light by the projector ”.

Christian De Sica, son of the director Vittorio, and the film protagonist, Maria Mercader, will introduce the screening.

In addition, Mario Chiari’s “Dopoguerra 1920”/“Postwar 1920”, episode 3 from “Amori di mezzo secolo”/“Mid-Century Loves” (1954). The episode  is a short “joke” shot entirely in studio, on the scale of a histrionic Alberto Sordi, here in a black shirt to take part - in his way - in the march on Rome, which is celebrating its centenary.

The episode, which has been subject to a number of censorships over the years, is shown in a rare full version.

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“LA PORTA DEL CIELO”/ “THE GATE OF HEAVEN” by VITTORIO DE SICA (Italy, 1944, 88 ‘)
Cast: Maria Mercader, Massimo Girotti, Roldano Lupi, Marina Berti.
The film was restored by CSC – Cineteca Nazionale and Associazione Officina Cultura e Territorio, in collaboration with Azione Cattolica Italiana, and promoted by CAST of UniNettuno with the support of ISACEM.
The “white train” that takes the sick to Loreto leaves the Roma Termini station: there is the boy with crutches (Cristiano Cristiani) accompanied by a young friend (Maria Mercader), the disabled businessman (Giovanni Grasso jr) escorted by two greedy grandchildren, the blind man (Massimo Girotti) helped by the companion who caused the accident (Carlo Ninchi), the old woman (Elettra Druscovich) who seeks the grace of family harmony, the famous pianist (Roldano Lupi) with the paralysed hand that meditates suicide ... Everyone hopes for a miracle, but the real miracles that occur in Loreto will not be what people expect.

“DOPOGUERRA 1920” / “POSTWAR 1920” by Mario Chiari, Episode 3 of “AMORI DI MEZZO SECOLO” / “Mid-Century Loves” (Italy, 1954, 18 ‘)
Cast: Alberto Sordi, Silvana Pampanini, Alba Arnova, Carlo Hintermann, Giuseppe Porelli, Arturo Bragaglia, Amalia Pellegrini, Franco Migliacci, Alberto Plebani.
The copy comes from CSC - Cineteca Nazionale courtesy of Minerva Pictures.
Alberto (Sordi) is a lunatic squadrist who leaves his relatives and girlfriend Susanna (Silvana Pampanini) to take part in the march on Rome. Once in the city, however, he lets himself be ensnared by tabarinas and beautiful women. Susanna discovers it: disguising herself as a seductive entraîneuse, she makes Alberto fall at her feet, but he does not recognise her; thanks to her bursting beauty, she is then cast for a film in the part of a provocative Salome, thus taking revenge. Alberto then decides to win her back ...

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