Date: Friday 21 September
Films: 2 – The Mattei Affair; Blackmail
Beverages: 1 tea, 1 glass of red wine
Biscuits: 1, plus one large smartie cookie (just because)
Verdict: Not as productive as I would have liked in the end – had hoped to catch a morning screening – but both movies were very good. The Mattei Affair was the first film I’ve caught in the Francesco Rosi season, in a brand new restoration that was apparently premièring for the first time outside of Venice. A fascinating drama-documentary (mostly drama though) about an infamous incident in Italian post-war history, which beats its political drum very loudly but is no less gripping for it. This at least had subtitles showing, which an earlier screening apparently did not.
Hitchcock’s Blackmail was yet another of his restored silent movies, this time with piano accompaniment from John Sweeney. As funny, exciting and inventive as you would expect from the Master of Suspense; only the vaguely unsatisfactory ending disappoints. The Hitchcock strand at this year’s festival has been truly brilliant.