L'Atalante , Regia di Jean Vigo

L'Atalante, Regia di Jean Vigo


I was happy to talk about “La ciociara” (Two Women) with James Hancock, host of the Wrong Reel podcast, in July. Listen to our discussion about the use of motifs in the film – bread, hair-combing, the scarves, about the Marocchinate and more. You can read the cineracconto for "La ciociara" here.

Do you remember Père Jules' room from L’Atalante? What a mess! It was full of all kinds of mysterious stuff, like seashells, puppets, screeching cats, and the preserved hand of Père Jules' friend.

This is where we keep our random stuff. Here you can see the Italian posters for the films we've discussed. There is also a selection of my gifs and tweets of Italian and International films in English and in simple Italian – just click in the image. The Italian ones are towards the left of every row. 

At the bottom of the page is "Tips for First-Time Participants" at Il Cinema Ritrovato film festival in Bologna.

We announce new posts on Twitter @IKnewThemWell. Follow us!

la ciociara suitcases.png

Le locandine italiane dei film di cui abbiamo parlato nel blog / Italian posters for movies we have talked about on the blog

Gif & tweet series



Tips for First-Time Participants at IL CINEMA RITROVATO FILM FESTIVAL in Bologna

1.     PROGRAM

Subscribe to the English-language version of the festival newsletter, which begins to be sent out in the Spring.  When the names of films and categories are published, get familiar with them; research the films if you want. Later the Catalogue (with descriptions like this one) will be online. Then – probably not until the week of the festival – the Program with full schedule will be posted.* Start your planning!

I suggest creating an excel spreadsheet. Use an erasable pen; there will be changes!

In general, you don’t need to feel too pressured to plan ahead. You can plan day-by-day with the following two exceptions: a) Some films are repeated during the week, opening up your options. b) Some programs require a reservation – and spaces do fill up.

The Catalogue is included in the price of the weekly festival pass. It is your reference material for background on the films. But it is heavy; you do not want to carry it around. Remember: the content is available online, too. 

The Program indicates the length of each film, but keep in mind that most screenings are preceded by an intro, generally 5-10 minutes. That means if you arrive a few minutes late, you won’t miss the beginning of the film, but take that extra time into account when figuring out what time the screening will end.

Find your own best way to choose films. Be strategic or go random; watch all the films by one director or all the films in a series or get a sampling of everything. Here is a tweet with images of my new and old favorites from the 2018 festival.

* These examples are from the 2018 festival. 


Bologna is a medieval town created in a sort of circle. Getting almost anywhere will be a zigzag (much of it beneath beautiful porticos). It can be confusing.

The Cineteca di Bologna Cinema Lumiere area: Sala Scorsese and Sala Mastroianni are located in the building to the left, along with registration and the book fair to the right.  (Enter “Cinema Lumiere” on google maps to find this place). DAMSLab, right outside that building, houses the film restoration school. And in front is Piazzetta Pasolini. 

For the other two main festival theaters, leave the Cinema Lumiere area and turn right onto Via Azzo Gardino. Walk a very short way and turn left onto Via delle Lame.

The commercial theater Cinema Arlecchino is a few blocks up. Cinema Jolly is a few blocks farther. 

I suggest using google maps to get around. Just set it and start it at a place with wifi and it will guide you to your destination. Remember to put your phone on airplane mode when you're not using it, to save on the battery because you will probably be out all day and much of the evening.


Sala Scorsese and Sala Mastroianni are two small-ish theaters in the Cinema Lumiere building. The wifi is a little shaky in this building. In addition to the bathrooms at Cinema Lumiere, which can get crowded, there are also restrooms in the back of the book fair. There are also some festival screenings and talks at DAMSLab, right outside this building and in Piazzetta Pasolini – with evening screenings that require reservations – out in front. Finally, there is the outdoor bar/cafe, with food, drinks and plenty of tables where you can hang out. 

Cinema Arlecchino: Great sight-lines everywhere; no wifi. 

Cinema Jolly has love seats. There is wifi and this is where you can reset your phone to google maps after a screening to find your way to a ristorante, etc. 

If you’re unsure whether you will like a film, sit on the aisle and if it’s not for you, just leave. It’s okay. People do enter screenings late, too; don’t worry about it. But you might be standing.

For the evening screenings in Piazza Maggiore, the center section is reserved for weekly festival pass-holders. I recommend sitting in this section because here you find not so much talking, people on phones and smoking as in the perimeter. If you’re meeting a friend who doesn’t have a weekly pass, arrive early because the perimeter seats do fill up early.


Wherever you stay, be sure there is air conditioning; it can get quite warm.

I think lodgings by Piazza Maggiore is best, since the screenings tend to finish around midnight. You’ll be tired and – if you’re anything like me – you could get lost on the way home.

I suggest looking for lodgings that offer a good breakfast. (My breakfast at the Hotel Roma was great.)


The sidewalks are very hard and they can be hard on your feet and knees; bring shoes with good cushioning. A light jacket, as nights can be cool. If you’re travelling through Heathrow, remember your UK electronics adapter. Bring a mailing tube if you think you’ll be purchasing posters. Don't forget your eye mask and noise-cancelling headphones for the red-eye!

6.   FOOD

You’ll find wonderful food in Bologna. The festival provides a long list of restaurant suggestions.

Prepare to fortify yourself for your day of screenings; dinners are late in Italy and you won’t find much spare time between screenings. 

For breakfast at my hotel every day I made myself a panino with prosciutto and brie, yogurt and fresh apricots, two croissants (they were small!), fresh squeezed OJ, and cappuccino.

For lunch, Re Crudo is conveniently located right next to the Cinema Arlecchino. They serve a range of foods from snacks through primi and secondi. The food is good – different specials every day; the people are friendly; they more or less speak English; it is quick if you’re in a hurry or you can linger. I had pasta and desert there for lunch every day. 


Festival posters and totes are inexpensive; what fantastic gifts for your friends who did not get to come! And there’s a wide selection of posters and books on cinema in many languages.


Here’s what I did for my first year: I volunteered at the material table in hospitality, where I gave festival-goers their totes and catalogues after they checked in. It’s a time commitment, though and you do miss quite a few films, so it’s not for everyone. But for me it was a great way to practice my Italian, interact with people and feel like a part of this wonderful festival. 

Here is a PDF version of this tip sheet, without links.


Tips compiled by Judy Cohen

Corrections, updates, complaints and invitations can be sent to me at info@liconoscevobene.net.

December 1, 2018