Nov. 30 - Dec. 2, 2001

American Cinematheque Presents...

The Treasure Cave of Silent Films: A Tribute to the Cineteca Del Friuli & The Pordenone Film Festival

Sponsered by the Istitiuto Italiano di Cultura

Series compiled by Lorenzo Codelli, with the assistance of Gwen Deglise. Program notes by Lorenzo Codelli; edited by Chris D.

Special Thanks: Lorenzo Codelli / CINETECA DEL FRIULI; Rob stone/ UCLA FILM & TELEVISION ARCHIVE; Stacey Vandenburgh, Caroline Yeager / GEORGE EASTMAN HOUSE; Guido Fink / Istituto Italiano di Cultura; Marcella Spinotti.

Tickets available 30 days in advance.



SCHEDULE (by series)

SCHEDULE (by date)







The Cineteca del Friuli was founded in 1977 in Gemona, Italy, by young scholars Piera Patat and Livio Jacob, when the city was at the height of its reconstruction after the earthquake of 1976. The film archive originated with a private collection, which also provided the basis for the Silent Film Festival inaugurated in 1982. Subsequently the Pordenone Festival has become a recognized international event, attended by historians, archivists and enthusiasts from all over the world. Some of the restorations of rare silent and sound films have been done thanks to the cooperation of major international archives, such as the UCLA Film and Television Archive, the George Eastman House, the Library of Congress, the Cineteca Nazionale of Rome and the Cinémathèque Française. The Cineteca del Friuli's film archive, currently in the process of being catalogued, has extended over the years to embrace American animation, classics of the ‘20s, rarities from the early years of sound film, the first Technicolor pictures, the American underground, Italian popular features and more.

This short series, compiled with the help of the Cineteca del Friuli’s irrepressible archivist/scholar/journalist Lorenzo Codelli, features a small but vibrant sampling of some of the stunning discoveries showcased over the past few years at the Pordenone Film Festival. If you can’t make it all the way to Pordenone, then this is the next best thing to being there!


Friday, November 30th – 7:00 PM

SILENT CLOWNS – A Two Hour Program of Rare Silent Shorts, Featuring: "Astuzia Di Robinet," (1911, Italy); "Robinet Aviatore," (1911, Italy, 7 min); "Fatty at the Factory" aka "Love" (1919, U.S., 21 min); "Kri Kri E Checco Al Concorso Di Bellezza" (1913, Italy); "Kri Kri E La Polvere D’Uovo" (1913, Italy); "Tontolini Ipnotizzato" (1910, Italy); "Pass the Gravy" (U.S., 20 min); "L’Eridita’ Di Polidor" (1912, Italy, 5 min); "Polidor Cambia Sesso" (1918, Italy, 15 min); "La Corsa Alla Scimmia" (1909, Italy, 7 min); "Movieland" (1926, U.S., 20 min); "Sword Points" (1928, U.S., 18 min); "Gigetto Senza Impigo" (1915, Italy, 8 min.)

A selection of some of the craziest one- and two-reel comedies stored in the Cineteca del Friuli’s vaults that audiences have enjoyed over the years at the Pordenone Silent Film Festival. "Kri Kri," "Tontolini," "Polidor" and "Robinet" were among the leading clowns who invaded Italian screens before WWI, so different from their American counterparts. Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle’s comic genius was similarly rediscovered in the 1980’s thanks to a memorable Pordenone retrospective. Charming Lupino Lane is a link between British stage and American slapstick. Silent with live piano accompaniment by Robert Israel.


Friday, November 30th – 9:30 PM

TIGER’S COAT, 1920, U.S., 60 min. Dir. Roy Clement. A unique chance to admire Tina Modotti’s extraordinary appeal. Several years before becoming a famous photographer, artist’s model and later a victim of her own leftist engagement in the USSR and Mexico, the Friuli-born Modotti starred in three Hollywood B-pictures between 1920 and 1922. Only the first one has survived in a single 16mm print. A melodrama inspired by Elizabeth De Jeans’ book, TIGER’S COAT features Modotti as a Mexican dancer in love with a rich bachelor. Silent with live piano accompaniment by Robert Israel.


Saturday, December 1st – 6:30 PM Please note time change. This screening was originally advertised for 5 PM.

Director Richard Fleischer in-person!

RARE FLEISCHER BROS. SHORTS, approx. 90 min. In New York in the early 1920’s, brothers Max and Dave Fleischer built one of the first and most successful animation studios, where they created such classic series as "Out of the Inkwell," "Betty Boop" and "Popeye the Sailor." This selection of their early animated shorts -- restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive in cooperation with the Cineteca del Friuli -- allows us to see just how amazing their inkwell truly was. Live characters and two-dimensional ones interplay in a brilliant, uninterrupted flow of gags. A very modern, almost experimental art form. The program features: "Electric Bell"(3', 1918), "The Fortune Teller" (8', 1923), "Finding his Voice" (1929, 10 min), "False Alarm" (1923, 7 min), "Ko-Ko Explores" (1927, 7 min), "Ko-Ko Hops Off" (1927, 7 min), "Ko-Ko Plays Pool" (1927, 7 min), "Ko-Ko the Kid" (1927, 7 min), "Ko-Ko’s Klock" (1927, 7 min), "Ko-Ko’s Quest" (1927, 7 min), "Ko-Ko’s Catch" (1928, 7 min), "Ko-Ko’s Earth Control" (1928, 8 min) and "Ko-Ko’s Tatoo" (1928, 7 min). Introduction to screening by noted director Richard Fleischer, son of Max Fleischer. Film silent with live piano accompaniment by Robert Israel.


Saturday, December 1st 8:30 PM Please note time change. This screening was originally advertised for 7:30 PM.

Ultra-Rare William Wyler Double Feature!!

STRAIGHT SHOOTER + THUNDER RIDERS, Universal, 1927, 35 min. Universal, 1928, 45 min. Years before his classic work directing MRS. MINIVER, THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES and BEN-HUR, the young William Wyler cut his teeth shooting fast-paced Westerns for Universal Pictures. Many years later, historian Kevin Brownlow asked Wyler how many set-ups he would do in a day at that time. Wyler answered: "I can’t remember. You didn’t count set-ups. It was just bang-bang ‘shoot here, shoot there’. If a cameraman wanted an extra reflector, we’d say ‘C’mon, don’t make so much fuss!’" Long thought lost, STRAIGHT SHOOTING and THUNDER RIDERS were restored from 16mm collectors’ prints by the Haghefilm, Netherlands, in cooperation with Cineteca del Friuli. Next year the world will celebrate the centenary of master William Wyler. Let¹s start right now with some remarkable examples of his legendar career! Silent with live piano accompaniment by Robert Israel.


Sunday, December 2nd – 5:00 PM

Italian Director Febo Mari Double Feature!!

CENERE (DUST), 1916, Italy, 60 min. Dir. Febo Mari. In this starkly realistic literary adaptation, Eleonora Duse, the most celebrated Italian stage star of her time, makes her only movie appearance. Duse plays a poor mother who must give her baby up for adoption to a wealthy family. The film was far from a hit, so Duse did not pursue her new career in cinema! Restored by George Eastman House in cooperation with Cineteca del Friuli.

IL FAUNO (THE FAUN), 1917, Italy, 60 min. Dir. Febo Mari. A melodrama mixing dreams and romance, IL FAUNO features actor-director Febo Mari as a mythical love symbol who appears to soothe the suffering of a lonely lady. Restored by the Cineteca del Friuli. Both films silent with live piano accompaniment by Robert Israel and live translation.