Il Caso Mattei

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(1972, d Francesco Rosi)

Starring Gian Maria Volonté, Luigi Squarzina, Gianfranco Ombuen, Edda Ferronao


Il caso Mattei (The Mattei Affair), directed by Francesco Rosi, is a brilliant political thriller based on actual people and events. The film explores the ambitions, accomplishments, and mysterious death of Eni’s founder, Enrico Mattei. The success of Eni, a state-owned oil company, was considered a key reason for Italy’s postwar economic boom, but Mattei’s expanding political power and unorthodox vision made him many enemies. He was killed in 1962 when his private plane crashed outside Milan. Inclement weather was the official explanation, but this ignored the testimony of eyewitnesses who saw a mid-air explosion before the plane fell to earth.
Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival (sharing the prize with Elio Petri’s La Classe Operaia Va In Paradiso), the film has long been championed by Martin Scorsese and has recently been re-discovered by a new generation, which sees Il caso Mattei as an unflinching exposé of Italian politics, society and morality. 

Il caso Mattei was restored at the Cineteca di Bologna’s preservation facility, L’Immagine Ritrovata, using original camera negatives and vintage prints.  Mold growth was detected on the original elements, which caused emulsion damage.  The mold also damaged the picture with visible yellow stains, which were difficult to eliminate digitally, so the first-generation interpositive was used in those areas.

Photo Courtesy: Gian Maria Volonté in Il caso Mattei © Sergio Strizzi, Courtesy of Museo Nazionale del Cinema - Fondo Rosi
The full 4K digital restoration included color grading, removal of dirt and scratches, and image stabilization.  35mm as well as digital versions of the restored film were created for screening and archival purposes.  L’Immagine Ritrovata, working in collaboration with The Film Foundation, Paramount Pictures, and Museo Nazionale del Cinema di Torino completed the restoration in time to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the film’s release.

© Sergio Strizzi / Photomovie, Courtesy of Museo Nazionale del Cinema - Fondo Rosi

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