We’re currently in a state of eager anticipation for the upcoming Istanbul Film Festival. This year’s festival, between April 7-17 and sponsored by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV), will open with a 12-hour film marathon.
The 35th Istanbul Film Festival is getting ready to leave its mark on the city with an 11-day program, including everything from world cinema’s most recent releases to cult productions, Turkish cinema’s newest productions to its classics, and influential films from hidden collections.
This weekend, a restored copy of late French director Jacques Rivette’s elusive 775-minute film Out 1, Noli me tangere will appear in its original state as part of the festival. Originally shot for a television channel, the film—a type of visual ode to the spirit, art, and politics of 1968 Paris through the eyes of a group of thespians—ran twelve hours when Rivette first completed it. After French television refused to show the film, it had a special screening and then disappeared. One year later, Rivette directed a short film entitled Out 1: Spectre, and after a few runs in the festivals it also disappeared. Now these visual treasures are making their first restored debut at the 35th Istanbul Film Festival. Along with Out 1: Spectre, Alkan Avcıoğlu will select three more films that abide to the theme of forgotten cinematic treasures that were either unknown, banned, or had disappeared.
The 1973 film The Hourglass Sanatorium by Polish director Wojciech Has (whose admirers include David Lynch and Francis Ford Coppola) is considered a fine and rare example of surreal cinema. Banned from export, the film made its way illegally to the 1973 Cannes Film Festival and won the Special Jury Prize. Festivalgoers will get to view the film’s newer version restored through the help of Martin Scorsese in 2000.
Eiichi Yamamoto’s 1973 Belladonna of Sadness is one of Japanese animation’s most important yet lost works. Completing its first screening in America this year, the film also caused quite the stir at Fantastic Fest in Austin, one of the most important festivals for fantasy film. One of cinema history’s most uncommon, brave, and psychedelic works, Yamamoto’s film was lost for a long time until it was finally restored in 2015 and had many first screening across an international domain.
American genius filmmaker Charles Burnett’s Killer of Sheep, his first film and masterpiece from 1978, competed at the Berlin Film Festival in 1981 and won the FIPRESCI award. Unable to be screened for many years due to copyright infringement issues regarding its soundtrack, it became a lost legend among American independent cinema. In 2007, the film finally resurfaced after thirty years thanks to Steven Soderbergh who bought the copyright for the film’s music.