The film has been permanently restored thanks to digital technology that permits the preservation of a masterpiece of Italian cinema for future generations
Thanks to an agreement between the Associazione Amici di Vittorio de Sica (Friends of Vittorio de Sica Association) and SEA Aeroporti di Milano, the original print of Miracle in Milan, Vittorio De Sica’s 1951 film, based on the novel by Cesare Zavattini, Totò il buono, has been definitively restored.
The restored version will be shown in Milan, on February 14, at a special screening attended by Manuel De Sica, President of the Associazione Amici di Vittorio De Sica, Giuseppe Bonomi, President of SEA Aeroporti di Milano and representatives of the municipal administration, who have supported the project since its inception.
The Association had already completed an initial restoration on the original master of Miracle in Milan in 1997, but today’s digital technology makes it possible to carry out a permanent restoration, transferring the original 35mm print to a new, identical negative, while the original is reserved for study purposes or for new interventions, should these become possible thanks to future advances in restoration technology.
Specifically, the restoration process consists of transferring each single frame of the negative, previously cleaned (regeneration, verification of spaces and perforations), to a digital support, eliminating all the defects that would otherwise remain, like snow, scratches and lines. At the same time, but separately, an analogous operation is performed on the soundtrack, digitally removing noise. When these operations have been completed, the negative and the soundtrack are combined onto a new 35mm master, from which new positive prints can be made for projection in cinemas.
The restoration – the result of two months’ work by a team of technical experts – was funded by SEA, which seized this opportunity to underscore its Milanese roots and concretize its desire to contribute to the promotion of the city’s rich cultural heritage.
For press information:
Tel. 02 20402142 – 02 29419283
Associazione Amici di Vittorio De Sica
Manuel De Sica, President of the Associazione Amici di Vittorio De Sica, states that “Miracle in Milan” is my father’s tribute to the vision of Cesare Zavattini, who did so much for Milanese culture. It is a rare film, a fantasy whose apparently fairy tale tone conceals the underlying ferociously subversive social satire. Like “Bicycle Thieves” and “UmbertoD”, the film is widely considered one of the pillars of the history of cinema”.
Giuseppe Bonomi, Chairman of SEA Aeroporti Milano, added: “We are proud to sponsor the restoration of a film that is one of the icons of Milan’s cultural heritage, a masterpiece the entire world envies us.”
The Associazione Amici di Vittorio De Sica was formed in 1994, on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of Vittorio De Sica’s death, to promote the image of the great director and preserve, restore and conserve his works and those of his illustrious peers. Among the numerous actions undertaken in favor of De Sica’s legacy and that of Italian cinematography in general, in 1995 the Association restored the film “Umberto D.”; in 1997 it was the turn of “Bicycle Thieves”; also in 1997, an initial restoration of “Miracle in Milan” was carried out, and the same was done in 1999 for “Il tetto” (The Roof);in 2001 for “Lohengrin”, the Nunzio Malasomma film with an acting turn by Vittorio De Sica and “Io, io, io… e gli altri” (Me, me, me… and the others), directed by Alessandro Blasetti, with a cameo by De Sica; in 2005 the full version of “L’oro di Napoli” (The gold of Naples) was restored, and then “The Garden of the Finzi Continis”, the last masterwork of De Sica’s career as a filmmaker. Finally, in 2008, the Association carried out a digital restoration of “Bicycle Thieves”, sixty years after it was first released.
SEA Aeroporti di Milano manages the Linate and Malpensa airports and acts in compliance with the directives issued by the governmental Authorities. It is responsible for the centralized airport services and security controls on passengers, baggage and cargo, in accordance with the applicable regulations. In addition, SEA designs and realizes new airport infrastructures and buildings and supervises their maintenance. Linate and Malpensa form an airport system that offers residents and businesses a vast range of destinations in Italy, Europe and the world, contributing to the social and economic development of Northern Italy and the country as a whole.