Preparations for this year’s San Sebastian International Film Festival (Sept 18 - 27) got underway as organisers revealed two retrospectives on the works of Italian maestro Mario Monicelli and a dedication to the Japanese film noir genre.

The retrospective on Monicelli will feature 41 of the director’s films spanning more than 50 years from Toto Looks For An Apartment (1949) to The Roses Of The Desert (2006). Monicelli has participated four times in the San Sebastian Festival Official Selection: in 1958, I Soliti Ignoti won the Silver Shell with Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo; in 1965 Casanova 70 gained the awards for best director and best actor (Marcello Mastroianni); in 1968 La Ragazza Con La Pistola bagged the best actress award for Monica Vitti; and in 1971 Brancaleone Alle Crociate earned Vittorio Gassman the best actor award.

The Japanese film noir retrospective will celebrate detective and criminal films from the silent era, such as Batuko, through post World War II gangster movies from film makers such as Akira Kurosawa and Shohei Imamura to the period of Japanese modernity when directors (Nagisa Oshima, Mashahiro Shinoda, Hiroshi Teshigahara) used criminal intrigue to make subversive, highly personal films. It will also consider the revival of the genre in the 1990s thanks to directors like Takeshi Kitano, Takashi Miike, Takashi Ikii and Kiyoshi Kurosawa. The retrospective will comprise 40 films in total.

The contents of the Official, Zabaltegi and Horizontes Latinos sections will be revealed in the coming months.