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Saturday, August 7, 2010

Don't cry for me Argentina!

Marisa Mell with some fans wanting an autograph of her. Notice that Marisa Mell is holding a cigarette in her left hand and the girl's strange look on her face at the right hand side.
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In March of 1964, at the dawn of her blosssoming movie career, Austrian born actress Marisa Mell, together with fellow German movie star Erik Schumann, went all the way down to Argentina to be a guest of honor at that year's "Festival Internacional de Cine de Mar del Plata". The festival was founded in 1954 as a showcase for new movies and not as a competition. The original name of the festival at it's conception was "Festival Cinematográfico Internacional". Some of their guests in the early days of the 50's were Gina Lollobrigida or Eroll Flynn. In 1959 the festival was taken over by the "Asociación de Cronistas Cinematograficos" and became a member of "FIAPF" or "Fedération International des Associations de Producteurs de Films". This federation supervises and owns almost all international film festivals in the world like Cannes, Berlin and Venice to name the most recognizable ones. The year that Marisa Mell went to Argentina the festival was relocated to Buenos Aires and got again a name change into "Festival Cinematográfico Internacional de la República Argentina". Two years later, Argentina had a bloody revolution. In 1968 and 1970 the festival fell into the hands of "Instituto de Cine". There was no festival in 1967 and 1969 because of another festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. During the 60's the festival was quite popular with actors and actress from Hollywood and Europe although traveling from those places to Buenos Aires at that time by plane was not as easy as it is now. The lists of guest of honor is quite impressive: Paul Newman, Alberto Sordi, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Vittorio Gassman, Toshiro Mifune, François Truffaut, Karel Reisz, Catherine Deneuve, Juan Antonio Bardem, Anthony Perkins, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Maria Callas, Cantinflas, Andrzej Wajda, Jacques Tati, Lee Strasberg, George Hamilton and Marisa Mell. In the 70's the festival fizzled out and died. Since 1996 the festival is again alive and kicking and since 2001 it has become an A-status festival like all the other prestigeous festivals. The statue given to the winners in their respective categories is called "Astor" referring to the famous Argentinian tanguero "Astor Piazzolla" who was born in Mar del Plata and has died in Buenos Aires. The original name of the statue before Astor was "Ombú".

Marisa Mell and Erik Schumann entering a social event during the festival.

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BTW the girl on the top photo on the left hand side is in complete awe of Marisa Mell, not only the way she looks at her but her body language says so much more especially the way she has folded her hands and arms like in a prayer to the Virgin Mary!

1 comment:

andreschneider said...

Lovely photos! And great article, too. I remember MM mentioning the festival quite fondly in "Coverlove". I think even one of her German films ("Venusberg"?) was shown at the festival.