Extravagant Cinema: From Cabiria to the Inferno

26 May 2010 – 2 Jun 2010 | GOMA | Cinema A

Presented by the Australian Cinémathèque, Gallery of Modern Art, in collaboration with the Consulate of Italy in Brisbane and the Museo Nazionale del Cinema, Turin.

'I will never forget the first time I saw Giovanni Pastrone's extraordinary Cabiria. I wasn't quite prepared for the sheer scope and beauty of this film. And I was completely unprepared for having my sense of film history realigned. (…) Cabiria is not a collection of great moments or choices, but a magnificent, entrancing whole.'
Martin Scorsese


Il Fauno (The Faun) 1917 | Director: Febo Mari
Cabiria 1914 | Director: Giovanni Pastrone
Maciste all'Inferno (Maciste in Hell) 1926 | Director: Guido Brignone
Maciste in Vacanza (Maciste on Holiday) 1921 | Director: Luigi Romano Borgnetto

The historical imagination of Cabiria | Dr Tiziana Ferrero-Regis, Queensland University of Technology

The roots of Italian cinema's enduring fascination with history can be traced to the silent era and in particular to Giovanni Pastrone's Cabiria. Dr Tiziana Ferrero-Regis will speak about history and memory in this landmark of Italian silent cinema, as well as discussing the role that celebrated author and co-scriptwriter, Gabriele D'Annunzio, played in the production.

The generous assistance of the following individuals and organisations is gratefully acknowledged: the Consulate of Italy, Brisbane: Francesco Capecchi; Italian Week, Brisbane: Alessandro Sorbello; Museo Nazionale del Cinema, Turin: Alberto Barbera, Donata Pesenti Campagnoni, Luca Giuliani, Stella Dagna, Stefania Carta, Andreina Sarale; Australian Cinémathèque Intern: Giulia Saccogna.

Live Musical Accompaniment

Mauro Colombis
Mauro Colombis is an Italian classically trained musician with international concert experience. He has two masters in piano performance (from Tchaikovsky Moscow Conservatory in 1998 and Venice Conservatory in 2005) and a Bachelor of Art, Music and Spectacle from the University of Bologna. After returning to Italy from Moscow, he developed his own improvisation method, which embraces different styles, and began to compose and improvise for silent movies. Since 2002 he has played every year at the Pordenone Silent Film Festival in Italy, the leading silent film festival internationally.
He moved to Sydney in 2005 and has continued to play for silent films, performing in Australian major cities and film festivals. In 2006 he was commissioned by the National Film and Sound Archive to create a piano accompaniment for the Australian silent classic The Story of the Kelly Gang (Charles Tait, 1906), released on DVD in 2007. Colombis first performed at the Australia Cinémathèque during the Out of the Shadows: German Expressionism and Beyond film program in 2008, accompanying The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Robert Wiene, 1920) and Faust (F. W. Murnau, 1926).

Colombis returns to perform the live musical accompaniment for the Australian premieres of the restoration prints of Il Fauno (The Faun)1917 by Febo Mari, on Friday 28 May at 8.30pm and Cabiria 1914 by Giovanni Pastrone, on Saturday 29 May at 2pm.

David Bailey
Brisbane based Australian musician David Bailey developed a deep fascination with early 20th Century music at a young age which led to studies in piano and in particular the world of ragtime. As a teenager Bailey stumbled on the world of the cinema organ and was captivated by the rare and vast tonal and dynamic abilities of these instruments. A transition to organ studies followed and a deep passion grew for the music of the 20's and 30's and inturn their relationship to the world of silent cinema. Today Bailey is immersed in this musical world and personalities such as Sophie Tucker, Billie Holiday and Stephane Grappelli as well as theatre organists Sidney Torch and George Wright.

Bailey continues to perform in concert for many organ societies in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and New Zealand. Since the installation of the rare Wurlitzer style 260 organ in the Australian Cinematheque in 2006 (originally housed in Brisbane's Regent Theatre) he has composed and performed new film scores for many of the silent cinema programs held at the Gallery of Modern Art. These programs include Buster Keaton (2007), Silent Clown: Max Linder and Charlie Chaplin (2008), German Expressionism: Out of the Shadows and Beyond (2008), Hollywood on the Hudson (2009) and Charles and Elsa Chauvel (2009).

Bailey returns to perform the live musical accompaniment for the Australian premieres of the restoration prints Maciste all'Inferno (Maciste in Hell) 1926 by Guido Brignone on Sunday 30 May at 11.00am and Maciste in Vacanza (Maciste on Holiday) 1921 by Luigi Ramano Borgnetto on Wednesday 2 June at 6.00pm.