Cinema is back and the 5th edition of Cinema Rediscovered (28 July – 1 Aug 2021) – Watershed’s annual festival showcasing brand new restorations, contemporary classics and film print rarities in and around Bristol UNESCO City of Film – will celebrate the return of the big screen experience. Screening at cinemas including Clevedon’s Curzon Cinema & Arts, 20th Century Flicks, Arnolfini and Watershed the festival will launch a UK wide tour of highlights (Aug – Oct 2021), and an online offer via MUBI, the global streaming service, production company and film distributor.
The festival opens at Watershed, Bristol on 28 July with Wong Kar Wai’s sensuous and sumptuous “In the Mood for Love”, a masterful evocation of romantic longing and fleeting moments. This 4K *restoration, supervised by the director, is essential cinema, one of those films which redefined the cinematic experience.
Closing the festival on 1 August is the UK premiere of a new 4K restoration of “A Man Called Adam” (1966) ahead of its STUDIOCANAL re-release on Blu-ray. Starring Sammy Davis Jr. as professional jazz trumpeter Adam Johnson, whose self-destructive habits spiral out of control, it was the feature film debut of Lola Falana and the late Cicely Tyson, and also marks the 50th anniversary of Louis Armstrong’s death in July.
Early highlights announced today include the UK premiere of the 4K restoration of Melvin Van Peebles’ little known Nouvelle Vague infused debut feature “The Story of a Three-Day Pass”, an edgy, romantic film set in Paris of 1967 inspired by his personal experiences in the United States Air Force.
Unable to break into a segregated Hollywood, Van Peebles decamped to France at the invitation of the Cinémathèque française, taught himself the language and wrote four books in French, one of which, La Permission, became the basis for this film. When the film went on to premiere at the 1967 San Francisco International Film Festival, Van Peebles, found himself courted by American studios.
“Hollywood was very embarrassed at that juncture because here I was, a Black American, having to work as a Frenchman, and my work was of such quality. So then everybody was saying, ‘Hey, what are you doing over there? Why aren’t you over here? What are you doing?’ I said, ‘What do you mean? Last time I asked you guys for a job, you told me to be an elevator operator.’” Melvin van Peebles (Quote excerpted from Melvin Van Peebles’s DGA career highlights interview, conducted by his son Mario Van Peebles.)
Channelling the energy and style of the French New Wave, Van Peebles created an exploration of the psychology of an interracial relationship as well as a commentary on France’s contradictory attitudes about race that is playful, sarcastic, and stingingly subversive and that laid the foundation for the cinematic revolution he would unleash just a few years later with Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song.
This 4K restoration was carried out by IndieCollect with support from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in consultation with Van Peebles’ son and filmmaker Mario Van Peebles. Following the UK Premiere at Cinema Rediscovered “The Story of a Three-Day Pass” will tour to venues across the UK c/o Janus Films.
1971: The Year Hollywood Went Independent
Fifty years on, Cinema Rediscovered will present (courtesy of Park Circus) five seminal films from 1971 which give a glimpse of an independent Hollywood before it was overshadowed by the birth of the franchise. Following the surprise success of Easy Rider in the late 60s, Hollywood was searching for the next big thing and gave the greenlight to outsiders, mavericks and cultural renegades.
1971 marked their zenith until “Jaws” and “Star Wars” arrived in the mid 1970s. Films like Monte Hellman’s “Two-Lane Blacktop” (Universal), Alan J. Pakula’s “Klute” (Warner Bros.), Bob Rafelson’s “Five Easy Pieces” (Sony), Robert Altman’s “McCabe and Mrs Miller” (Warner Bros.) and Peter Bogdanovich’s “The Last Picture Show” (Sony), all released in 1971, reveal a parallel Hollywood universe of personal, complex, nuanced and countercultural cinema.
Women were key to this creative moment whether in front of the camera: Jane Fonda (“Klute”), Julie Christie (“McCabe and Mrs Miller”) and Cloris Leachman (who sadly passed away recently and won a Supporting Actress Oscar for “The Last Picture Show”); or behind the camera: Polly Platt (“The Last Picture Show”) and scriptwriter Carole Eastman (“Five Easy Pieces”). Pamela Hutchinson and others will introduce screenings, and a panel discussion on Rewriting Film History (with the Women in it) curated and hosted by Invisible Women, will take place online during Cinema Rediscovered.
On its 50th anniversary, also now sadly marking the passing of its maverick director Monte Hellman, “Two Lane Blacktop” will headline the Cinema Rediscovered and Park Circus UK touring package, 1971: The Year Hollywood Went Independent, a collaboration between Cinema Rediscovered and the global film distributor. With an exquisite existential intensity not seen in mainstream cinema this legendary feature from Hellman is one of the defining films of 1970s independent Hollywood.
Other festival highlights include:
Twelve30 Collective present: “No Place Like Home” (1973), Perry Henzell’s little known follow-up to “The Harder They Come”, with special guest Justine Henzell (Perry’s daughter and the film’s Executive Producer) who has been instrumental in the rediscovery and restoration of the film after the negative was thought lost for over 25 years.
This road movie through ‘70s Jamaica, which introduces actress Grace Jones, is the memorable last testament of an undeniably great filmmaker with a handpicked soundtrack including Bob Marley, Etta James, Carly Simon, Toots & The Maytals and more. “No Place Like Home” premieres at Cinema Rediscovered and goes on to screen from 6 August onwards (Jamaica Independence Day) at select venues across the UK including BFI Southbank in September.
Author, critic and film historian Pamela Hutchinson will deliver The Philip French Memorial Lecture, in partnership with Bristol Ideas, on the opening day of Cinema Rediscovered 2021. Hutchinson will explore the role of film critics in rethinking and re-framing film heritage. This theme will also be key to Cinema Rediscovered’s annual Film Critics Workshop led by critic Tara Judah, taking place online this year from July – Sept in association with MUBI.
Cinema Rediscovered on Tour:
Melvin Van Peebles’ “The Story of a Three Day Pass” c/o Janus Films will tour to venues including: BFI Southbank, London (7, 8, 10, 12, 21 Aug); Glasgow Film Theatre, Glasgow (5 & 8 Sept); Home, Manchester (3, 5, 6 Oct, Broadway,Nottingham; Chapter, Cardiff; Showroom, Sheffield; QFT, Belfast; Filmhouse, Edinburgh; Eden Court, Inverness.
Monte Hellman’s “Two-Lane Blacktop” tours to venues including: ICA, London; Home, Manchester (26, 28, 29 Sep); Glasgow Film Theatre, Glasgow; Broadway, Nottingham, Chapter, Cardiff; Showroom, Sheffield; QFT, Belfast; Filmhouse, Edinburgh; Eden Court, Inverness.
The wider 1971: The Year That Hollywood Went Independent season will be announced by Park Circus. MORE PROGRAMME & TICKETING INFO COMING SOON AT: watershed.co.uk/cinema-rediscovered
About Cinema Rediscovered
Cinema Rediscovered is Watershed’s annual festival showcasing the best in digital restorations, contemporary classics and film print rarities in and around Bristol UNESCO City of Film at cinemas including Clevedon’s Curzon Cinema & Arts, Arnolfini and Watershed. It is presented with partners South West Silents and 20th Century Flicks and support from BFI awarding funds from National Lottery and MUBI. Our partnership with MUBI, the global streaming service, production company and film distributor, also complement this year’s festival and continues the Cinema Rediscovered experience for both cinema and online audiences across the UK.