The CSC – Cineteca Nazionale is present at Cinema Ritrovato Festival, one of the most important international events dedicated to the appreciation of heritage cinema, promoted by the Cineteca di Bologna, with two important restorations in the section “Ritrovati e restaurati”. Monday 27 will be the turn of Pier Paolo Pasolini‘s La ricotta – Director’s cut.
Francesca Angelucci‘s commentary: on the restoration of Pier Paolo Pasolini‘s La ricotta – Director’s cut. To mark the centenary of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s birth, the Cineteca Nazionale will present the director’s cut of La ricotta. It is a restoration from the only surviving copy of the version the director intended before it met with opposition from the censorship board, which was rediscovered in the “gruppo Dogane” (customs group), which contains film materials that were, for the most part, abandoned in railway yards and never reached their destinations. In this instance, we were dealing with a 35mm positive of RoGoPaG in black-and-white and colour, which bypassed the courts and thus remained intact. It represents the film as it was released in cinemas on 19 February 1963, which was seen by very few people before being seized on 1 March. La ricotta was then modified for the second version of RoGoPaG, distributed in November 1963 under the title Laviamoci il cervello (Let’s Have a Brainwash).
The original film of Pasolini’s episode not only bears the original title card with its confident and prophetic opening caption (“It is easy to predict that my story will be met by criticism in bad faith”), in addition to various images and lines of dialogue that were later removed or modified, including the final line spoken by Orson Welles in front of the cross: “Poor Stracci! Dying was his only way to make the revolution.”
The copy, whose colors had become completely desaturated over time, was digitally restored in the laboratories of the Cineteca Nazionale, bringing it back to its original splendor. And it was rendered even more complete by the restitution of two brief cuts enacted by the censors before it even reached cinemas and which were again discovered in the Cineteca Nazionale archives. These belong to the scene in which Natalina (Maria Bernardini) bares her legs while taking off her shoes and, egged on by the extras, removes her bra while facing the other way. It is the final missing piece in a reconstruction of the original version of one of the most persecuted films in the history of Italian cinema.
The restoration of La ricotta – Director’s cut at Cinema Ritrovato is a world premiere.