Il Cinema Ritrovato on Tour: Flaming Ears


The Main 3 Sat, May 13, 2023 9:00 PM
Film Info
Program:Il Cinema Ritrovato On Tour
Runtime:89 min


Flaming Ears

Saturday, May 13 at 9:00pm

Highlighting restored, archival, and silent cinema from Il Cinema Ritrovato's annual festival in Bologna, Italy.

Introduction by Marya E. Gates (Old Films Flicker)

About Flaming Ears (Rote Ohren fetzen durch Asche)
Austria | Directed by Ursula Pürrer, Dietmar Schipek, Ashley Hans Scheirl | 1991 | 89 min | German, English

Rote Ohren fetzen durch Asche is a pop science fiction lesbian fantasy feature set in the year 2700 in the fictional burnt-out city of Asche. It follows the tangled lives of three women: Spy, a comic book artist; Volley, a performance artist and oversexed pyromaniac; and Nun, an amoral alien with a predilection for reptiles.

It’s a story of love and revenge, and an anti-romantic plea for love in its many forms. It’s also a story laced with sex, violence and a pulsating soundtrack – a cyberdyke movie that stimulates both the body and the brain. “Shot in Super8 and exploded to 16mm, Rote Ohren fetzen durch Asche is a German Blade Runner about a sexed-up pyromaniac, her red-plastic-clad mate, and a revengeful comix artist – characterized by a fierce, punky throb and gelatinous F/X. As sapphic thrillers go, it’s 20 times more fun than Basic Instinct” (“Interview”, June 1992).

From Super8 to 16mm to 4K: originally shot on Super8 in the early 1990s, the only material that remained of the film in 2019 was a two-band 16mm blow-up internegative and the optical sound negative. The internegative had shrunk by 1% and exhibited early stages of vinegar syndrome. These materials were the basis for the initial digitalisation. After extensive restoration work had already been done, the Kinemathek Hamburg provided a scarcely played 16mm print with magnetic sound – the Hamburg Film Fund’s specimen copy.

With this 16mm print as a reference, selected single frames were scanned using a multispectral film scanner from the University of Zürich. A digital style transfer was employed to render the digitalised film in a form that is as close as possible to the analogue original. This was a starting point for the final grading and restoration. Since the goal was to maintain the film’s rough, grainy quality, there were no interventions aside from image stabilisation and occasional manual lint removal. From mono to 5.1: The magnetic soundtrack of the 16mm copy was scanned by Cinévolution in Mons and the material was subtly transferred to a ‘mono’ multichannel version. –Karola Gramann

Marya E. Gates (Old Films Flicker) Bio: Marya E. Gates is a freelance film writer and historian based in Chicago. She specializes in films directed by women (past and present), film noir, and the silent era. Bylines include, Indiewire, Emmy Mag, ByNWR, Moviefone, The Playlist, Crooked Marquee, Inverse, Nerdist, and Vulture. She created the movie holiday #Noirvember, and has contributed the foreword to Lew Ayres: Hollywood's Conscientious Objector by Lesley L. Coffin and an essay on Gillian Armstrong's "Little Women" to The Female Gaze: Essential Movies Made By Women by Alicia Malone. She writes a weekly viewing guide on films directed by women every Friday at her Substack newsletter.

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About Il Cinema Ritrovato On Tour–Minneapolis

Il Cinema Ritrovato On Tour–Minneapolis will feature recently restored archival films at The Main Cinema from May 11–13, 2023. Presented in partnership by Archives on Screen, Twin Cities, the Film Society of Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Cineteca di Bologna, the festival will screen eleven highlights from Il Cinema Ritrovato’s 2022 lineup. Il Cinema Ritrovato is an annual international film festival that exhibits new restorations and archival films in Bologna, Italy. Archives on Screen is proud to partner with Il Cinema Ritrovato and Cineteca di Bologna to curate selections from their festival for Twin Cities audiences.

About Archives on Screen, Twin Cities

Co-organized by Michelle Baroody and Maggie Hennefeld, Archives on Screen is dedicated to bringing rare, unseen archival films from around the globe to movie screens in the Twin Cities. Animated by a love of cinema and a commitment to making visible excluded images from the past, we work with international film archives and local film venues to expose students and audiences to the richness of film history. We program events that foster open dialogue and community engagement between university students and local film audiences across the Twin Cities. Our programming draws on local, national, and international film archives, and it spans the early history of silent cinema, studio feature films, experimental counter-cinemas, third cinema, amateur and non-theatrical films, short films, unfinished films, and contemporary independent filmmaking.