Pre-opening event of the 80th Venice International Film Festival dedicated to Gina Lollobrigida

Jul 19, 2023

The Pre-opening event of the 80th Venice International Film Festival (30 August – 9 September 2023) directed by Alberto Barbera will be dedicated entirely to the great actress Gina Lollobrigida, the icon of Italian cinema who passed away last January.

A double-feature screening will take place will take place in the Sala Darsena (Palazzo del Cinema) at the Lido di Venezia starting at 9:00 p.m:

  • Portrait of Gina (1958, 27’) by Orson Welles, presented as a world premiere in collaboration with Cinecittà, restored by Monaco Filmmuseum.
  • La provinciale (1953, 113’) by Mario Soldati, presented as a world premiere, restored by the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia-Cineteca Nazionale, in collaboration with Compass Film.

The two films are part of Venice Classics program of the 80th Venice International Film Festival and are part of the initiatives dedicated to the great actress Gina Lollobrigida conceived by the Undersecretary of Culture Lucia Borgonzoni and the President of Cinecittà Chiara Sbarigia. A project that also includes two photographic exhibitions in Rome and Venice and an award for young talents, which will be presented during the Venice Film Festival.

Portrait of Gina (1958) by Orson Welles, a fully completd pilot for a television series about “people and places” with Orson Welles as guide. Long thought to be lost, the film it’s an interview by Welles to Gina in her villa on the Appia antica. The film remain undiscovered until 1986, when it was screened at the Venice Film Festival, one year after Orson Welles’ death.

“In fact, it’s not really a documentary at all, but an essay, a personal essay. It’s not trying to be factual, it’s simply not telling lies. It’s in the tradition of a diary, my reflcetions on a given subject, Lollobrigida, and not what she is in reality. And it’s even more personal than living my point of view; it truly i san essay”. (Orson Welles, 1958)

La provinciale (The Wayward Wife, 1953) by Mario Soldati, is a literary drama about a woman, adapted from the eponymous novel by Alberto Moravia with a screenplay written by the director himself. Gina Lollobrigida, in the role of the main character Gemma, offers one of the finest performances of her career. The original camera negative was used to restore the film, integrated with a dupe for some of the missing or damaged frames. A dual-band soundtrack positive preserved in the archives of the Cineteca Nazionale was used for the soundtrack.

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