XIXAX Film Forum

Film Discussion => News and Theory => Topic started by: wilder on January 16, 2013, 09:30:59 PM

Title: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on January 16, 2013, 09:30:59 PM
Restoring Underground

Thanks to a recent discovery of an alternative print at the Brussels Cinematheque Royale, and advancement in photo-chemical and digital techniques, the BFI were finally able to restore the magnificence of Anthony Asquith's silent romance of 1928. Here the curatorial and technical team responsible for the painstaking restoration of one of Asquith's most celebrated works discuss their roles in the exciting project, as well as the cutting-edge digital wizardry used in the repair of the original print. In its newly-refurbished state the film then had its grand premiere at Queen Elizabeth Hall with a thrilling live score from Neil Brand, in the first archive gala screening as part of the Times BFI 53rd London Film Festival.

BFI's 8 minute video on the restoration of Underground (1928) (https://www.bfi.org.uk/live/video/326)
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on January 18, 2013, 12:24:08 AM
Think I may have posted these elsewhere before but I'm going to drop them here.

Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on January 18, 2013, 12:54:43 AM
The Film Preservation Guide (http://www.filmpreservation.org/userfiles/image/PDFs/fpg.pdf) is a free PDF book put out by The National Fim Preservation Foundation (http://www.filmpreservation.org/) that "describes methods for handling, duplicating, making available, and storing film that are practical for research institutions with limited resources. It is organized in chapters tracing the path of film through the preservation process, from acquisition to exhibition, and includes case studies, photo-illustrations prepared by the staff of George Eastman House, and charts".

Film Forever (http://www.filmforever.org/), The Film Foundation (http://www.film-foundation.org/common/11004/default.cfm?clientID=11004&thispage=homepage), The Association of Moving Image Archivists (http://www.amianet.org/index.php), and Video Aids to Film Preservation (http://www.folkstreams.net/vafp/) (<--- incredible) are other good resources.
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on January 18, 2013, 02:22:47 AM
The Digital Dilemma - PDF (http://www.sendspace.com/file/6ryvgd)

In its landmark report, The Digital Dilemma, the Academy’s Science and Technology Council examined ways in which key players in the movie business and other major industries currently store and access important digital data. The goal was to better understand what problems these industries face today and what, if anything, is being done to avoid full-fledged data access disasters down the road.

Through 18 months of research and writing, the Council discovered that the issues of digital storage reliability and compatibility go far beyond lost snapshots and spreadsheets. The world currently produces the equivalent of many trillions of books a year in digital data. The question of how to dependably and efficiently archive and access this massive amount of information in the long term is already a burning issue for government, industrial and scientific communities.

The Digital Dilemma 2 - PDF (http://www.sendspace.com/file/1gm2j3)

The Digital Dilemma 2 focuses on the more acute challenges faced by independent filmmakers, documentarians and nonprofit audiovisual archives.  While 75 percent of theatrically released motion pictures are independently produced, these communities typically lack the resources, personnel and funding to address sustainability issues that are available to major Hollywood studios and other large, deep-pocketed enterprises.  Independent filmmakers create – and nonprofit film archives collect and store – a sizeable part of moving image and sound heritage.  The Academy partnered with the Library of Congress's National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) to produce this new study with the conviction that these communities shouldn't be allowed to fall through the cracks.

For this report, a cross-section of independent filmmakers, distributors and marketers was interviewed and a broader online survey of independent filmmakers was conducted.  In addition, a representative group of nonprofit audiovisual archives provided details on their digital preservation activities, including information about the content they receive as born digital files, their current practices for digitally reformatting content for preservation, and their overall digital infrastructure, policies and funding strategies.  The report's findings show an urgent need for these diverse and widely dispersed individuals and organizations to address the digital dilemma before the cultural heritage they represent is permanently lost.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in partnership with The Charles Guggenheim Center for Documentary Film and the Foundation for the National Archives presents 'Preserving Grain, Presenting Pixels: Film Preservation and Restoration in the Digital Age'

This thing is pretty dry, none of the speakers are Charlie Chaplin, but it's informative. However, to bypass The Most Boring Man in the World skip to the 4 minute mark.

Edit - A little after the 24 minute mark he mentions that a good studio print of Magnolia no longer exists.
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on February 16, 2013, 05:40:07 PM
Cohen Media Group Announces Plans for 700-Film Collection
via Home Media Magazine

Charles Cohen, chairman and CEO of the Cohen Media Group, has big plans for a lot of titles. More than 700 of them, in fact.

“We don’t want to just dump these in the marketplace,” he said. “We’re going to meticulously restore them, and they’ll all see a lot of tender loving care.”

Cohen acquired the rights to this collection — then the Rohauer Film Collection — in late 2011, and was put together over the course of three decades by Los Angeles theater owner Raymond Rohauer.

The collection includes dozens of silent movies — many from famed actor Buster Keaton — as well as films from D.W. Griffith, Rudolph Valentino, Vivien Leigh and Harry Langdon. Cohen said that the collection includes the only known materials for some films, garnered from overseas warehouses and The Library of Congress.

“We think we have a real treasure trove of material, and we think fans will respond,” Cohen said.

The first release from the collection is Douglas Fairbanks’ The Thief of Bagdad, out on DVD and Blu-ray Disc Feb. 19. The 1924 fantasy epic has been digitally restored in 2K from two 35mm negatives, incorporating tints and tones of original release prints. The release will include an audio commentary and other extras, and Cohen said it will set the standard for the future films from the collection.

On March 12, Cohen will release Tristana, the 1970 Spanish film from director Luis Buñuel (Los Olvidados).

Other highlights from the collection include:

• Keaton’s Civil War comedy The General, which will feature a 4K transfer from the original nitrate camera negative. Other Keaton films include Sherlock Jr., Our Hospitality, The Navigator and Go West.

• Alfred Hitchcock’s Jamaica Inn (1939).

• Other early Fairbanks films, including 1915’s The Lamb and Double Trouble, The Mark of Zorro, The Three Musketeers, Robin Hood, The Black Pirate and The Taming of the Shrew.

• Musical shorts featuring Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Hoagy Carmichael, Bessie Smith, Rudy Vallee and Ethel Merman.

• The 1916 D.W. Griffith film Intolerance, which is getting a 2K restoration and includes the orchestral score from composer Carl Davis. Other Griffith films include The Birth of a Nation (both the 1915 original and the 1930 cut), Broken Blossoms, Way Down East and Orphans of the Storm.

• Fire Over England (1937), the first screen pairing of Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier, one of four Leigh films in the collection.

• Comedy shorts featuring W.C. Fields, George Burns and Gracie Allen, Robert Benchley and Milton Berle.

• Sudden Fear (1952), starring Joan Crawford and Jack Palance.

• L’Etoile de Mer (1928) and other experimental shorts from photographer Man Ray.

• Hangmen Also Die (1943), from Fritz Lang, which will include a never-before-seen sequence.

• Song of Freedom (1936), one of six films starring singer-actor Paul Robeson.

• Son of the Sheik (1926), Valentino’s last film, along with Blood and Sand and The Eagle.

• Forty years of British films spanning from the 1930s to the 1960s.

Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on March 14, 2013, 05:25:01 PM
Film Restoration In The Digital Domain: A Chat With James White (http://somecamerunning.typepad.com/some_came_running/2013/03/film-restoration-in-the-digital-domain-a-chat-with-james-white.html)
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on April 23, 2013, 07:28:00 PM
Scorsese on the restoration of Richard III

[ Invalid YouTube link ]
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on February 15, 2014, 03:00:39 PM
Restoration at Criterion (http://vimeo.com/84135659)
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on March 18, 2014, 03:38:42 PM
Restoring Jack Hill's Pit Stop (1969)

Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on March 30, 2014, 08:27:55 PM
A treasure trove of silent American movies found in Amsterdam
By Susan King
30 March 2014
via The Los Angeles Times

Long-missing comedy shorts such as 1927’s “Mickey’s Circus,” featuring a 6-year-old Mickey Rooney in his first starring role, 1917's "Neptune's Naughty Daughter"; 1925’s “Fifty Million Years Ago,” an animated introduction to the theory of evolution; and a 1924 industrial short, “The Last Word in Chickens,” are among the American silent films recently found at the EYE Filmmusem in Amsterdam.

EYE and the San Francisco-based National Film Preservation Foundation have partnered to repatriate and preserve these films -- the majority either don’t exist in the U.S. or only in inferior prints.

The announcement was to be made Sunday in Amsterdam at EYE Museum with a public screening of the first film saved from the project “Koko’s Queen,” a 1926  “Out of the Inkwell” cartoon, which had been available in the U.S. only in substandard video copies.

Annette Melville, director of the National Film Preservation Foundation, said EYE came to them after learning of NFPF’s partnership four years ago with the New Zealand Film Archive, which repatriated nitrate prints of nearly 200 silent U.S. films, including a missing 1927 John Ford comedy, “Upstream.” The following year, the NFPF and the New Zealand archive also identified the 30-minute portion of the 1923 British film “The White Shadow,” which is considered to be the earliest feature film in which Alfred Hitchcock had a credit.

“We had so much on our plate,” said Melville. “We took responsibility for funding the preservation of a good number of the 176 films. We didn’t want to bite off more than we could chew. There are a lot of resources involved in bringing the films back and preserving them. Most of this work is funded through grants.”

With support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the NFPF last year sent researcher Leslie Lewis to Amsterdam, where she spent two months examining more than 200,000 feet of highly combustible 35mm nitrate film. A veritable Sherlock Holmes of celluloid, Lewis also was one of two nitrate experts dispatched to identify the films in the New Zealand Archive.

“There’s a good reason these films haven’t been preserved,” said Melville, noting that credit sequences on many of the titles had decayed over the years. “Many of them haven’t been identified because the way films sit on their reels, sometimes the credits are most exposed to the atmosphere.”

Then there was the language problem. In the instances in which credits did survive or the film had intertitles, they were generally in Dutch.

“There was a lot of detective work going on,” said Melville.

Working with research teams at the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., Lewis would take photos of scenes from the films, as well as copies of intertitles and then send  them off to experts for identification.

“We would look up the stuff and send information back the next morning,” said Melville, adding that this is the first large-scale repatriation project involving the translation of intertitles back into English.

Not only does the EYE collection feature shorts, animated films, dramas, serials and westerns, there is also a cache of nonfiction films, including footage from a 1920 Chicago rodeo; 1923’s “The Crystal Ascension,” which chronicles an exploration of Mt. Hood; 1917’s “The Dairy Industry and the Canning of Milk” and 1925’s “Uncommon Clay," a survey of America's art pottery heritage.

“After World War I, many of the film companies in Europe had taken a big hit, and the U.S. government supported the film industry by helping to send over films overseas,” said Melville. They sent short comedies and features, but they solicited big business to send over films about what they do.”

Twenty-six of the short films, thought to be the best surviving source material on these titles reported anywhere, have been shipped for preservation at Colorlab in Rockville, Md., under the guidance of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Library of Congress.

The Oregon Historical Society has joined the effort to restore “The Crystal Ascension.” And just last week the NFPF received a $260,000 grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities to fund the preservation and Web presentation of the nonfiction films.

There are more titles that the NFPF wants to repatriate, including two feature films, 1924’s “The Reckless Age,” a comedy with Reginald Denny, and the 1922 melodrama “For the Defense,” with ZaSu Pitts.

When the restoration work is done, the American archives will have custody of new digital scans, 35mm masters, prints and access copies. EYE will receive new prints and digital copies. And the NFPF plans to post copies of the film for streaming on their website.
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: Pubrick on March 30, 2014, 08:45:04 PM
Wilder you should go work for these people who travel the world looking for forgotten films.

Think of it as an extension of your work here, it's random blu ray announcements on a global scale.

You can submit your post history as proof that you're willing to do it for free, that you'd work just for the sheer thrill of the randomness.
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: 03 on March 30, 2014, 09:52:35 PM
its funny you say that p because that was my dream when i was younger, which is why i have a weird knowledge of obscure forgotten stuff.
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on March 30, 2014, 11:01:00 PM
I actually looked into that about a year ago, but the path to working in restoration is long and tedious, more technical than creative, sort of like discovering you have to draw 24 frames of nearly the exact same thing to produce a single second of animation. It kills the mood. I couldn’t do it, personally. Thankfully there are some who can.

I selfishly use this forum as a kind of tracking board, also in hopes that organizing all this disparate film news might make it easier for someone stumbling along to make sense of the film landscape as it exists right now, and possibly discover movies more than a couple years old that get them excited, too. Unrealistic? Maybe. Insane? Probably so. Given that this place has maybe 30 regular members and a phantom crew of 50 visiting guests on any daily basis. But whatever. If I break from following this stuff for even a week I become totally unaware of what’s happening, which is fine, but I prefer to have some sense of the industry’s pulse, despite the fact it’s now only faintly beating.

The problem right now more than anything is awareness that these kinds of films even exist, older films, not access necessarily — that article mentions that they’re going to throw a bunch of these silent movies online, streaming, for free. But what will that do? Who will know they are there? When a director with clout like PT mentions being inspired by something relatively obscure like the films of Robert Downey Sr., Jonathan Demme’s Something Wild, or the doc Jazz on a Summer’s Day, or in the case of Refn mentioning Kenneth Anger’s Scorpio Rising in reference to Drive…it does more to keep these films alive and generate interest in new restorations I think than any independent efforts working outside that kind of influence could. I doubt, for instance, that the Criterion and Eclipse releases of some of those movies would have ended up happening otherwise. A new licensing fee was paid and a studio that thought it would never make another buck off some random 1986 comedy was able to profit again most likely thanks to those offhand remarks.

On this week’s episode of KCRW’s The Business podcast, it was mentioned that film attendance by 18-24 year olds dropped a full 21% in 2013. That’s gigantic. That’s a landslide. That’s a whole generation out there that has completely checked out of the movie scene, or grew up too young to ever be involved at all. That means that the current audience for indies is generally much older, 25 - 40. The budding filmmakers with a personal vision, the ones whose ambitions aren’t to make the broadest pictures possible that people still seem to be paying for, where does that leave them?

I’m wondering out loud now, but I actively debate whether or not interest in independent movies today has fallen because people don’t know they exist in the first place, or because they suck, or both. I think it’s both. But I think it’s a more complicated answer and that those reasons are intertwined — that the lack of awareness of films is also related, on a basic structural level (in terms of the way information online is disseminated and the methods by which people discover new content) to the reasons why the independent films of the past five or ten years haven’t exactly lit the world on fire.

The disruption that’s occurred in distribution over the course of the past decade has affected both new releases and catalog titles, and my theory is that the lack of access to older films has left a bit of a vacuum for a younger generation in terms of being familiar with film language or varied storytelling styles, which has produced a whole slew of handheld, naval-gazing work rooted in no film tradition at all. (Oh fuck I’m getting up my ass here…) Filmmakers who want to tell stories that are different than what is largely being offered now, stories as varied as the industry produced twenty or thirty years ago, they’re most likely film fanatics themselves. Cinema has become polarized, but half the issue is that many of the better indie movies are operating in a completely different register in terms of film language, informed by all those years of following movies in a linear way, learning more sophisticated cinematographic techniques and storytelling methods gradually, than the product most audiences are used to seeing. This stuff isn’t rocket science, it’s not impenetrable, but familiarity with it requires consistent exposure. A lot of the better writing may be happening in television right now, I can admit that, and the cable shows are certainly more cinematic than they were before, but at the end of the day, it’s still resulting in television closer to filmed plays than singular visual experiences.

That’s the other thing. What characterized the independent movies of the 90s was a sense of personality, a feeling that you were seeing the world through the eyes of one person, the filmmaker, and that the story might have even been secondary to the individual tone they were able to strike with their worldview. David Lynch, Tarantino, Todd Solondz —  we associate something specific with their names. A scene between a husband and wife in a kitchen wouldn’t be even close to the same scene if filmed by any of them. That’s missing now. I can scarcely think of any filmmakers who have emerged in the past 15 years who I can attach that degree of specificity to, and furthermore I worry that basic interest in personal vision is becoming passé, that the turn to watching so much by yourself in your house on your home theater or laptop instead of in a communal setting, theatrically, has perversely created an even greater need for common cultural landmarks, which in turn has pushed aside the need to connect with the individual experience of someone else.

Here's a quote by Jonathan Franzen, tangentially related:

When I first met Don DeLillo, he was making the case that if we ever stop having fiction writers it will mean we’ve given up on the concept of the individual person. We will only be a crowd. And so it seems to me that the writer’s responsibility nowadays is very basic: to continue to try to be a person, not merely a member of a crowd. (Of course, the place where the crowd is forming now is largely electronic.) This is a primary assignment for anyone setting up to be and remain a writer now. So even as I spend half my day on the Internet—doing email, buying plane tickets, ordering stuff online, looking at bird pictures, all of it—I personally need to be careful to restrict my access. I need to make sure I still have a private self. Because the private self is where my writing comes from. The more I’m pulled out of that, the more I simply become another loudspeaker for what already exists. As a writer, I’m trying to pay attention to the stuff the people aren’t paying attention to. I’m trying to monitor my own soul as carefully as I can and find ways to express what I find there.

What I’m getting at is that the audience for the kinds of movies a lot of us on this board like, or used to like when they were still getting made regularly, is excruciatingly small, but it doesn't necessarily have to be. There just needs to be an easy way to get at this stuff, in an accessible organized fashion, and that's partially what I'm attempting to contribute to.

That was a huge, unwieldy, rant. I went fucking way off topic. Will probably delete this in an hour or so.

Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: jenkins on March 31, 2014, 12:04:29 AM
think i'm right now like the person in the romance movie who meets the crush then freezes on words. i may or may not summon emotional courage later, but i'm positive i don't want you to delete that. i'd quote the whole thing but seems rude. you and i both know what happened and we both know there's a movie reference to make --

Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on April 24, 2014, 01:23:40 PM
Paul Thomas Anderson, Nicolas Winding Refn Back Crowdfunding Campaign To Digitally Save Endangered 35MM Prints
via Deadline

As celluloid gives way to the digital era, filmmakers Paul Thomas Anderson (The Master) and Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive) are some of the names lending their support to a new crowdfunding campaign (https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-american-genre-film-archive#home) to save and restore 35mm film prints. The campaign was launched today by the American Genre Film Archive (http://www.deadline.com/tag/american-genre-film-archive) (AGFA), a non-profit org whose mission it is to undertake high-resolution 2K digital transfers to preserve film prints too fragile for active circulation. Older and rare prints are an increasingly endangered treat on the repertory/art house exhibition scene and unless restored or digitally archived, frequently deteriorate too far to be screened and can be lost forever. AGFA specializes in horror, sleaze, action, independent regional film, and international genre cinema and has over 3,200 film prints in its archive. Organizers are looking to raise $15K by May 30 to fund AGFA’s first digital restoration, of Craig Denney’s 1975 sci-fi pic The Astrologer, which real life psychic Denney self-financed and stars in as a fortune teller who discovers psychic abilities and rises to fame by advising the President of the United States. Refn and Anderson have recently joined the AGFA advisory board which also includes Alamo Drafthouse founders Tim and Karrie League. “By any means necessary, we need to watch movies on film, because that’s why God created cinema,” said Refn. “The American Genre Film Archive has begun a mission to preserve what I consider the greatest art form God has given us.”
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on May 13, 2014, 12:49:06 PM
And speaking of "The Kingdom" (http://xixax.com/index.php?topic=865.msg333393#new), it's one of a handful of early works by von Trier that are getting digitally restored. Production company Zentropa has released a seven-minute featurette diving into the lengthy process of scanning the original film strips and re-editing the movies from scratch in order to preserve the director's projects (trivia: "The Kingdom" was recorded on DigiBeta, a now defunct format).

Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: tpfkabi on June 24, 2014, 10:59:25 PM
This is more preservation than restoration, but I'm not sure where this would fit.

Maybe one of you has TV station experience or is 'in the know' about such things.

There are lots of films with extra scenes for TV.
Just about any movie will have a thread on their IMDB message board with someone saying their home video release is edited and it turns out these scenes were added for broadcast.
The worst is when they don't even put these on the DVD.
That should be the easy thing to do.

All of this made me think - What happens to these "tapes" that are sent to stations with the TV edits? I assume in the 90's they used tapes. No idea about now.
Is anyone making sure these cuts/scenes aren't being lost to time?
In all the times I've read about TV scenes and watched videos of movie collectors, I've never seen a person say that they bought a TV edit tape that used to be owned by a TV station or movie studio.
Maybe TV stations never owned copies of films, the studio just loaned them out?
I'd like to think that the studios keep backups, but if that's the case, why don't these end up on a lot of DVD releases? It should be in the vaults along with the other materials they need when creating new masters, etc. for Blu-Rays or whatever.
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: Mel on June 25, 2014, 04:10:59 AM
Maybe one of you has TV station experience or is 'in the know' about such things.
There are lots of films with extra scenes for TV.
The worst is when they don't even put these on the DVD.
That should be the easy thing to do.

I could be wrong, but there are multiple issues:
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: tpfkabi on June 26, 2014, 10:21:28 PM
Thanks for the info.

I just happened to watch Quick Change (1990), a film starring and co-directed by Bill Murray.
Like with a lot of movies, you will usually find someone asking if the DVD is edited because the film is missing scenes.
Of course, arthouse films aren't really the type of film you program for your cable television mid day, so most films I read this about are comedies of the 80's/90's.
I know The Jerk has scenes shown on cable that are not on the DVD, even as an extra.
I've read about extra Teen Wolf scenes and scenes from the Problem Child films.
These being lost wouldn't be a huge loss to cinema, but it would be sad to lose them.
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on July 22, 2014, 08:47:26 PM
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on July 30, 2014, 03:59:14 PM
Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, Judd Apatow & J.J. Abrams Team Up To Save Film Stock
via The Playlist

A couple of years ago, things were looking grim for Kodak. The legendary film company couldn't keep up with the digital age, and were on the brink of bankruptcy, but managed to bounce back last fall. While the company promised to be more contemporary in their approach going forward, they also said that film stock was part of their future as well. And a bunch of filmmakers teamed up to make sure the industry ensures that in an increasingly digital age, there is still room for good, old fashioned physical film stock.

The Wall Street Journal (http://online.wsj.com/articles/kodak-movie-film-at-deaths-door-gets-a-reprieve-1406674752?tesla=y&mg=reno64-wsj) reveals that behind-the-scenes, Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, Judd Apatow, and J.J. Abrams went to the heads of studios to make the case for film, and to have them invest in the format. How? The studios have agreed to buy an unspecified amount of film stock each year from Kodak, even if they don't know how many movies will be shot using it. It guarantees Kodak a consistent flow of money, and a reason to keep making celluloid, even though the photo company initially tried to get the studios to invest in a manufacturing plant. And the feedback, as you might expect, is a bit mixed, but mostly supportive.

"It's a financial commitment, no doubt about it. But I don't think we could look some of our filmmakers in the eyes if we didn't do it," said Bob Weinstein, likely referring longtime pal, and film enthusiast, Quentin Tarantino.

Meanwhile, Apatow just wants the option available. "[Digital and film] are valid choices, but it would be a tragedy if suddenly directors didn't have the opportunity to shoot on film," he said. "There's a magic to the grain and the color quality that you get with film."

But as you might expect, there are practical considerations to make too. "I'm a huge fan of film, but it's so much more convenient digitally," "Transformers: Age Of Extinction" producer Ian Bryce stated.

But real test will be how this plays out in the longterm. For younger directors, digital is still a much cheaper way to get movies made on a reasonable budget, so it remains to be see if this solution is merely a minor hold what is the inevitable demise of film stock. That said, if the studios do stay supportive, and make it an option for directors who aren't just marquee names, we could see celluloid survive for years to come.
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: Ravi on July 31, 2014, 11:19:25 AM
The beginning of the end for film was digital projection, which killed off the huge volumes of 35mm film prints that used to be made. I'm sure there are plenty of filmmakers who want to shoot on film, but without the revenue from film prints, I'm not sure it makes financial sense to keep producing film stock.
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on August 04, 2014, 01:45:09 PM
Martin Scorsese's Statement Supporting Kodak's Continued Production Of Film Stock
via The Playlist

Martin Scorsese has issued a statement in support of Kodak's decision to continue making film stock.

We have many names for what we do – cinema, movies, motion pictures. And…film. We’re called directors, but more often we’re called filmmakers. Filmmakers. I’m not suggesting that we ignore the obvious: HD isn’t coming, it’s here. The advantages are numerous: the cameras are lighter, it’s much easier to shoot at night, we have many more means at our disposal for altering and perfecting our images. And, the cameras are more affordable: films really can be made now for very little money. Even those of us still shooting on film finish in HD, and our movies are projected in HD. So, we could easily agree that the future is here, that film is cumbersome and imperfect and difficult to transport and prone to wear and decay, and that it’s time to forget the past and say goodbye – really, that could be easily done. Too easily.
It seems like we’re always being reminded that film is, after all, a business. But film is also an art form, and young people who are driven to make films should have access to the tools and materials that were the building blocks of that art form. Would anyone dream of telling young artists to throw away their paints and canvases because iPads are so much easier to carry? Of course not. In the history of motion pictures, only a minuscule percentage of the works comprising our art form was not shot on film. Everything we do in HD is an effort to recreate the look of film. Film, even now, offers a richer visual palette than HD. And, we have to remember that film is still the best and only time-proven way to preserve movies. We have no assurance that digital informaton will last, but we know that film will, if properly stored and cared for.
Our industry – our filmmakers – rallied behind Kodak because we knew that we couldn’t afford to lose them, the way we’ve lost so many other film stocks. This news is a positive step towards preserving film, the art form we love.
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: Fuzzy Dunlop on February 05, 2015, 06:31:18 PM
Film is Here to Stay! Studios and Kodak Strike a Deal
via Indiewire

Apparently, all that pressure from Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarantino and J.J. Abrams made a difference.

Last summer, Hollywood directors including Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, J.J. Abrams and Judd Apatow urged Hollywood studios to support Kodak to keep film stock in use. Today, Kodak announced it has finalized new film supply agreements with all six major Hollywood studios.

"Film has long been – and will remain – a vital part of our culture," said Jeff Clarke, Kodak chief executive office, in a statement. "With the support of the studios, we will continue to provide motion picture film, with its unparalleled richness and unique textures, to enable filmmakers to tell their stories and demonstrate their art."

Recently, such high-profile films such as Oscar-nominees "Boyhood," "The Grand Budapest Hotel," "Interstellar," "Foxcatcher" and "Into the Woods" were shot on Kodak film. Some of the biggest films of 2015 are being shot on Kodak film as well, including "Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens," "Batman v. Superman - Dawn of Justice" and "Ant-Man," among others.

Apatow told The Wall Street Journal last summer that film and digital are "are valid choices, but it would be a tragedy if suddenly directors didn't have the opportunity to shoot on film. Apatow is shooting his latest film, "Trainwreck" on film. "There's a magic to the grain and the color quality that you get with film," he said.

With the rise of digital imaging technologies and theaters converting to digital projection, Kodak's film sales have declined by 96 percent over the last decade.

In addition to continuing to manufacture motion picture film, Kodak said it would also pursue new opportunities to use film production technologies in new areas, such as touchscreens for smartphones and tablet computers.

"With the support of the major studios, the creative community can continue to confidently choose film for their projects," said Andrew Evenski, Kodak’s president of Entertainment & Commercial Films, in a statement. "We’ve been asking filmmakers, 'What makes a project FilmWorthy?' Their responses have varied from the need for its exceptional depth to its distinctive grain, but overwhelmingly, the answer is 'the story.' They need film to tell their stories the way they envision them, and hold a strong desire for it to remain a critical part of their visual language. Enabling artists to use film will help them to create the moments that make cinema history. The agreements announced today are a testament to the power of film and the creative vision of the artists telling them."
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on March 14, 2015, 12:22:20 PM
Restored Polish Classic Films Selected by Martin Scorsese to be Screened Across the UK
via blu-ray.com

KINOTEKA Polish Film Festival, BFI Southbank and Filmhouse Edinburgh have partnered to show 24 newly restored classic Polish films, which have been chosen by acclaimed American director Martin Scorsese. Amongst them are such renowned films as Krzysztof Kieślowski's Blind Man and A Short Film About Killing, Andrzej Munk's Eroica, and Andrzej Wajda's Man of Iron.

Director Scorsese commented: "These are films that have great emotional and visual power – they're 'serious' films that, with their depth, stand up to repeated viewings. There are many revelations in the season and whether you're familiar with some of these films or not, it's an incredible opportunity to discover for yourself the great power of Polish Cinema, on the big screen."

The 13th KINOTEKA Polish Film Festival runs from 8 April - 29 May.

Here's the official press release from the Polish Cultural Institute:

KINOTEKA, the annual celebration of Polish Cinema, returns to the capital for an extended bumper 13th edition. On offer there is an enticing mix of film, music and visual arts with an outstanding selection of screenings; UK premieres, curated retrospectives, exhibitions, concerts, interactive workshops, industry masterclasses and special guests encompassing all aspects of Polish film culture.

KINOTEKA is partnering with Filmhouse Edinburgh and BFI Southbank on an exciting new collaboration for the UK tour of Martin Scorsese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema. 24 masterpieces, chosen by Scorsese himself, all brilliantly restored and digitally remastered to 2K resolution. The season showcases films made during a particularly fertile and creative time in post-war Poland, by directors such as Andrzej Wajda, Krzysztof Zanussi, Andrzej Munk, Jerzy Kawalerowicz, Wojciech Jerzy Has, Aleksander Ford, Krzysztof Kieślowski, and others. The UK season launches at KINOTEKA's Opening Night Gala, on 8th April at BFI Southbank, with a screening of Camouflage, with director Krzysztof Zanussi in attendance. The event will be repeated at the Filmhouse Edinburgh on April 10th. The full list of venues will be announced soon.

The ICA plays host to KINOTEKA's New Polish Cinema strand from 10th April with a selection of both popular and critically acclaimed contemporary Polish films from the last year. The strand includes the UK premiere of the festival special guest Krzysztof Zanussi's Foreign Body and Jerzy Stuhr's Citizen. The latest film from KINOTEKA's favourite Wojciech Smarzowski (Traffic Department, The Dark House), The Mighty Angel will be presented alongside one of the year's most interesting directorial debuts, Krzysztof Skonieczny's Hardkor Disko.

KINOTEKA showcases the breadth of original, innovative documentary that has come out of Poland. In a short career before his premature death at the age of 34, influential documentarian Wojciech Wiszniewski (1946-1981) produced just 12 films in total, yet he is now considered to be one of the most outstanding personalities of his generation. His legacy is explored in Wojciech Wiszniewski Rediscovered, a programme of 6 of his shorts at the ICA on 12th April. Paweł Pawlikowski, will present a special weekend of screenings of his prestigious documentaries at the ICA (18th/19th April), including Dostoevsky's Travels and From Moscow to Pietushki. The documentary strand also celebrates the work of emerging Polish documentary filmmakers, Aneta Kopacz and Tomasz Śliwiński who have both studied at the Wajda Film School and who have been Oscar® nominated for this year's Best Documentary Short Film category.

In conjunction with Martin Scorsese presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema, KINOTEKA and BFI Southbank will host an exhibition of original poster artwork celebrating the films of legendary director Andrzej Wajda. Tate Modern will screen The Performer by Łukasz Ronduda, a dynamic story full of punk energy based on the life of one of Oskar Dawicki, one of the most original contemporary Polish artists currently working, who will play himself...

This year, KINOTEKA will draw to a close with a special screening of cult Polish comedy The Cruise (1970) at the ICA (29th May), to mark Second Run's DVD release. Taking inspiration from the film's subject, festivities continue with an authentic boat ride on the Thames, for a 70's-themed interactive performance created by immersive UK theatre group Gideon Reeling, with live jazz by Obara International and DJ set to close the evening.

KINOTEKA is presented by the Polish Cultural Institute in London in partnership with DFDS Seaways and Pola Arts Foundation, co-financed by the Polish Film Institute and supported by Project London Films and Forest and Ray. Venues already confirmed to participate in the 13th KINOTEKA programme include the BFI Southbank, ICA, Tate Modern, Frontline Club and Filmhouse Edinburgh.

Martin Scorsese Presents Masterpieces of Polish Cinema Complete Program:

Eroica (1957) Dir: Andrzej Munk
The Last Day of Summer (1958) Dir. Tadeusz Konwicki
Ashes and Diamonds (1958) Dir. Andrzej Wajda
Knights of the Black Cross (1960) Dir. Aleksander Ford
Night Train (1959) Dir. Jerzy Kawalerowicz
Innocent Sorcerers (1960) Dir. Andrzej Wajda
Knife in the Water (1961) Dir. Roman Polański
Mother Joan of the Angels (1961) Dir. Jerzy Kawalerowicz
The Saragossa Manuscript (1964) Dir. Wojciech J Has
Pharoah (1965) Dir. Jerzy Kawalerowicz
Jump (1965) Dir. Tadeusz Konwicki
Walkover (1965) Dir. Jerzy Skolimowski
The Illumination (1972) Dir. Krzysztof Zanussi
To Kill This Love (1972) Dir. Janusz Morgenstern
The Wedding (1972) Dir. Andrzej Wajda
The Hourglass Sanatorium (1973) Dir. Wojciech J Has
The Promised Land (1974) Dir. Andrzej Wajda
Camouflage (1976) Dir. Krzysztof Zanussi
Provincial Actors (1978) Dir. Agnieszka Holland
The Constant Factor (1980) Dir. Krzysztof Zanussi
Blind Chance (1981) Dir. Krzysztof Kieślowski
Man of Iron (1981) Dir. Andrzej Wajda
Austeria (1982) Dir. Jerzy Kawalerowicz
A Short Film About Killing (1987) Dir. Krzysztof Kieślowski.

Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: 03 on March 14, 2015, 11:53:05 PM
blind chance*
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on April 23, 2015, 02:31:47 PM
The Apu Trilogy: 2015 Restoration - Official Janus Films U.S. Trailer
via blu-ray.com

Janus Films has released an official trailer for the recent 4K restoration of acclaimed Bengali director Satyajit Ray's The Apu Trilogy.

Initially, the restored Pather Panchali, Aparajito, and Apur Sansar will be screened in select theaters in Los Angeles and New York. Later this summer the films will be screened in other theaters across the country.

The Criterion Collection will also release the new restorations on Blu-ray.

The Apu Trilogy was restored in 4K by Janus Films/the Criterion Collection at L'Immagine Ritrovata, Bologna, with the support of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Academy Film Archive.

Synopsis: Two decades after its original negatives were burned in a fire, Satyajit Ray's breathtaking milestone of world cinema rises from the ashes in a meticulously reconstructed new 4K restoration. The Apu Trilogy brought India into the golden age of international art-house film, following one indelible character, a free-spirited child in rural Bengal who matures into an adolescent urban student and finally a sensitive man of the world. These delicate masterworks—Pather Panchali (Song of the Little Road), Aparajito (The Unvanquished), and Apur Sansar (The World of Apu)—based on two books by Bibhutibhusan Banerjee—were shot over the course of five years, and each stands on its own as a tender, visually radiant journey. They are among the most achingly beautiful, richly humane movies ever made—essential works for any film lover.



In 1992, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented an honorary lifetime achievement Oscar to director Satyajit Ray. When sourcing material from Ray's films for the Academy Awards ceremony, telecast producers were dismayed by the poor condition of the existing prints. The following year, after Ray's death, a project was initiated to restore many of Ray's films, including those in The Apu Trilogy.

In 1993, several of the filmmaker's original negatives were shipped to Henderson's Film Laboratories in London. In July, a massive nitrate fire at the lab spread to the film vaults, destroying more than twenty-five original negatives of important British classics—and burning several Ray films, including the original negatives of The Apu Trilogy. Any ashes, fragments, or film cans that could be identified as belonging to Ray's films were sent to the Academy Film Archive, but the trilogy negatives were deemed unprintable—there were no technologies available at the time that were capable of fully restoring such badly damaged film elements.

When the Criterion Collection began working on this restoration with the Academy Film Archive in 2013, the negatives were in storage and hadn't been seen in twenty years. Many portions were indeed burned to ash, and what remained was startlingly fragile, thanks to deterioration and the heat and contaminants the elements had been exposed to. Head and tail leaders were often missing from reels. Yet significant portions survived, from which high-quality images might be rendered.

No commercial laboratory would handle this material, so it was entrusted to L'Immagine Ritrovata in Bologna, one of the world's premier restoration facilities. There, technicians successfully rehydrated the brittle film using a special solution (one part glycerol, one part acetone, three parts water). Scanning tests determined that pin-registered wet-gate scans yielded the best results. Technicians then set about physically repairing the elements. This meant almost a thousand hours of meticulous hand labor, which even included rebuilding the perforation holes on the sides of the film and removing melted tape and glue. Using fine-grain masters and duplicate negatives preserved by Janus Films, the Academy, the Harvard Film Archive, and the British Film Institute, the technicians found excellent replacements for the unusable or missing sections of the original negatives. In the end, 40 percent of Pather Panchali and over 60 percent of Aparajito were restored directly from the original negatives. The two surviving reels of Apur Sansar were too damaged to be used in the restoration, so all of that film was restored from a fine-grain master and a duplicate negative.

Over the course of nearly six months of steady work, the Criterion Collection restoration lab handled the digital restoration, including eliminating dirt, debris, warps, and cracks. Emphasis was placed on retaining the look and character of the original material, preferring when necessary to leave damage rather than overprocess digital images that might lose the grain and feel of film.

All in all, the restoration of The Apu Trilogy has been years in the making. The return of these films to theaters marks a triumph for the archivists and members of the preservation community who had the foresight and faith to protect these vital treasures of world cinema—even when all seemed lost.

[ Invalid YouTube link ]
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on May 29, 2015, 02:40:36 PM
Universal Pictures Expands Restoration Program
via blu-ray.com

Universal Pictures will restore 15 silent films from its catalog. The restoration work will be completed in the next four years.

At the moment the 15 films have not yet been finalized.

Following the announcement, Ron Meyer, Vice Chairman of NBCUniversal, said: "The company understands its responsibility and need to preserve our silent film legacy. This early art of filmmaking is the foundation on which Universal Pictures was built more than 100 years ago, and it's important we honor our rich history."

The upcoming restorations will be completed with the support of the Library of Congress, the Film Foundation, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, George Eastman House, UCLA Film & Television Archives, Association of Moving Image Archivists and Hollywood Heritage.
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on August 06, 2015, 04:53:54 PM
Jerry Lewis' 'The Day The Clown Cried' Added To The Library Of Congress, But With A 10 Year Screening Embargo
via The Playlist

One of the most notorious, unreleased films ever made, Jerry Lewis' Holocaust drama "The Day The Clown Cried" has long been the subject of rumor and speculation. Even Lewis himself, who has long been sitting on the only copy of the movie, has veered in recent interviews from being "embarrassed" to "proud" of the effort in which he plays a German circus clown arrested by the Gestapo after mocking Hitler, and who is eventually forced by the Nazis to perform and help lead Jewish children to concentration camp gas chambers. But he has long held he would never show the movie (which was plagued by production and financial woes) publicly, though he thinks if he had a chance to tweak it, maybe it could work.

"I think about this a lot. If I could pull certain specific elements from the project, and give me these three or four elements that I can do what I want with, if I hired Lincoln Center one night, for a specific audience, and give me one week shooting to let me shoot a beginning to that, a beginning to that, and a beginning to that and let me show that…. Whoooo-weeeee! It would be fucking wonderful to think about," he said in 2013, adding: "What I would shoot would be strictly as a marketing presentation tool for that night and it would all be thrown away after that night."

Well, that's not happening, but Lewis is making the picture available for future generations. The LA Times (http://www.latimes.com/nation/great-reads/la-na-c1-lost-films-20150805-story.html#page=1) reveals that the Library Of Congress has just received a collection of Lewis' work from the man himself, including "The Day The Clown Cried." But there's one caveat: Lewis made the Library agree not to screen the movie for ten years.

So, the wait will continue, but it looks like this little piece of movie history will finally come to light in a decade. Until then, you can check out some footage and behind-the-scenes material right here (http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/watch-rare-footage-from-jerry-lewis-unreleased-holocaust-movie-the-day-the-clown-cried-20130812).
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on October 19, 2015, 05:14:50 AM
The American Genre Film Archive's Kickstarter campaign (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/agfa/agfa-and-something-weird) to preserve the Something Weird collection
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on October 24, 2015, 05:30:54 PM
Too many classic films remain buried in studios' vaults
via The Los Angeles Times

Will McKinley (https://willmckinley.wordpress.com/), a New York film writer, is dying to get his hands on a copy of "Alias Nick Beal, (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0041107/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1)" a 1949 film noir starring Ray Milland as a satanic gangster. For classic film blogger (https://nitratediva.wordpress.com/) Nora Fiore, the Grail might be "The Wild Party" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0020590/?ref_=fn_al_tt_2) (1929), the first talkie to star 1920's "It" girl Clara Bow, directed by the pioneering female director Dorothy Arzner. Film critic Leonard Maltin says he'd like to score a viewing of "Hotel Haywire," (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0029024/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1) a 1937 screwball comedy written by the great comic director Preston Sturges.

Produced by Paramount Studios, these are all among 700 titles assumed to be nestled in the vaults of Universal Pictures, which inherited Paramount's 1930s and 1940s film archive from its forebear MCA, which acquired the collection in 1958. They're frustratingly near at hand but out of reach of film fans and cinephiles.

Like most of the other major studios, Universal is grappling with the challenging economics of making more of this hoard accessible to the public on DVD, video on demand or streaming video. Studios have come to realize that there's not only marketable value in the films, but publicity value in performing as responsible stewards of cultural assets.

No studio recognizes these values better than Warner Bros., whose Warner Archives division is the industry gold standard in the care and marketing of the past. The studio sells some 2,300 titles, including TV series, as made-to-order DVDs and offers its own archival video streaming service (https://instant.warnerarchive.com/) for a subscription fee of up to $9.99 a month.

The manufacturing-on-demand service, launched in March 2009 with 150 titles, has proved "far more successful than we even dreamed," says George Feltenstein, a veteran home video executive who heads the division. "I thought that all the studios would follow in our footsteps, but nobody has been as comprehensive as we've been."

Other major studios have dipped their toes into this market, if gingerly. Paramount last year stocked a free YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzMVH2jEyEwXPBvyht8xQNw) with 91 of its own titles, mostly post-1949. This month 20th Century Fox announced that as part of its 100th anniversary this year, it would release 100 remastered classic films, including silents, to buy or rent for high-definition streaming — "enough to make any classic film fan weep with joy," McKinley wrote (https://willmckinley.wordpress.com/2015/10/02/classic-film-fans-get-lucky-on-foxs-100th-birthday/) on his blog. Sony last year introduced a free cable channel, get.tv (http://get.tv/), to screen films from its Columbia Pictures archive, though it's only spottily available and often preempted by cable operators.

Universal offers some manufacture-on-demand titles via Amazon as its Universal Vault Series (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Dmovies-tv&field-keywords=universal+vault+series) and announced in May that it would restore 15 of its silent films as part of its 2012 centennial celebration. Curiously, Universal, owned by the cable giant Comcast, is one of the only majors without a dedicated cable channel or Internet streaming service for its archive. Universal spokesperson Cindy Gardner maintains that the studio is working on ways to improve: "Stay tuned."

Film buffs and historians have easier access to more classic films than ever before. But that only whets their appetite for important — but perhaps forgotten — films.

The 1932 Paramount World War I drama "Broken Lullaby," Fiore says, might provoke a reexamination of the career of its director, the master of graceful comedy Ernst Lubitsch. But a version that crept onto YouTube a few years ago was taken down at the insistence of Universal. "I would have to break the law to see that film," laments Fiore, who blogs on classic films in the guise of the Nitrate Diva (https://nitratediva.wordpress.com/).

"The studios seem to be sitting on a lot of films, but they're limited by budget and by their projected return on investment," says Alan Rode, a director of the Film Noir Foundation (http://www.filmnoirfoundation.org/home.html). "But it's not like you open a valve and films come gushing out. If they can't realize a profit on it, they're not going to do it."

Adding to the challenge is that some of the major studios have become subsidiaries of large corporations, and not consistently huge profit centers. For example, Paramount last year contributed about 26% of the $13.8 billion in revenue of its parent, Viacom, but its $205 million in operating profit paled next to the $2.4 billion net income recorded by the whole corporation.

Converting a film title for digital release can be costly, especially under the watchful eye of cinephiles who demand high quality. Some black-and-white titles can be digitized for $40,000 or less, says Jan-Christopher Horak, director of the UCLA Film & Television Archive — with 350,000 titles, the second-largest in the U.S. after only the Library of Congress.

But the price rises exponentially for color, especially for important restoration. UCLA spent about three years and $1.5 million in donated funds on its heroic restoration and digital transfer (https://www.cinema.ucla.edu/restoration/red-shoes-restoration) of the Technicolor classic "The Red Shoes," a 1948 backstage ballet drama revered for its beauty.

That means that when deciding which titles to prepare for digital release, archive managers must walk a tightrope between serving their audience and protecting the bottom line. Some classics are easy calls. "There always will be a place on the retail shelf for 'Casablanca,' 'King Kong' or 'Citizen Kane,'" says Warner's Feltenstein. But finer judgments are required for what Feltenstein calls "the deeper part of the library."

"My job is to monetize that content, make it available to the largest number of people possible and do so profitably," Feltenstein told me. To gauge demand, Feltenstein's staff keeps lines open with film enthusiasts and historians via Facebook, Twitter, a free weekly podcast and other outreach. "They literally ask us, 'What do you want to see?'" Fiore says.

That gives them a window into values that others might miss. Take B-movie westerns made in the 1940s and 1950s that landed in the Warners vault. To Allied Artists and Lorimar, their producers, "these films were worthless and they said it's OK to let them rot," Feltenstein says. Instead, Warner Archives packaged them into DVD collections, "and they've all been nicely profitable."

Feltenstein says Warners is releasing 30 more titles to its manufacturing-on-demand library every month. "It's growing precipitously and there's no end in sight." Universal's Gardner says there's "real momentum" at her studio behind "making our titles more available than ever before."

But there's always more beckoning over the horizon. "The good news is that every studio is actively engaged in taking care of its library," Maltin says. "That's a big improvement over 20 or 25 years ago. But access is the final frontier."
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on October 28, 2015, 05:55:11 PM
Lobster Films and Kino Lorber to Present New Restorations of 32 Buster Keaton Films   
via blu-ray.com

Lobster Films (France) and Kino Lobster have teamed up to restore and present 32 of Buster Keaton's short films. The new restorations are expected to be completed in 2016.

Lobster has devoted a massive amount of resources to The Buster Keaton Project, which encompasses not only the 19 Keaton solo comedies, but the 13 short films Buster made with Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle and Al St. John. But they need everyone's support in order to finish the year-long job.Here is a special message from Lobster Films founder (and one of the foremost "rescuers" of silent cinema) Serge Bromberg, about the campaign:

You can contribute to the Kickstarter campaign here (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1154182684/buster-keaton-project-restauration-films).
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: OpO1832 on October 28, 2015, 06:37:04 PM
this is so damn cool
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on December 23, 2015, 05:15:13 PM
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on December 24, 2015, 11:14:05 PM
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on December 29, 2015, 03:38:34 AM
The best part of seeing The Hateful Eight earlier tonight for me was listening to a few guys in line geek out about something called Star Wars: The Legacy Edition (https://vimeo.com/channels/starwarslegacy/videos), where a dude named Mike Verta has taken it upon himself to scan several prints (including a technicolor print) of the original unaltered Star Wars films in 4K, and painstakingly color-correct them frame by frame to be as close as possible to the original colors committed to film, which according to him have been incorrectly altered in all of the home video releases.

I can't vouch for the accuracy of his project, but if you scan through his videos on Vimeo and look at the clips from the home video releases compared to his version, it does, admittedly, look better. Check out the colors from his Legacy version in this shot (https://vimeo.com/122877129) at 2:33 compared to the blu-ray release screengrab at 2:23.
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: Just Withnail on December 29, 2015, 05:39:31 AM
Holy shit. (https://vimeo.com/124147988)
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on June 17, 2016, 04:16:17 PM
A 30 minute condensed version of Jerry Lewis' The Day the Clown Cried (1972) has been uploaded to vimeo (https://vimeo.com/160821734)

Quote from: The Playlist
The story around Jerry Lewis‘s allegedly terrible and near-unwatchable Holocaust drama “The Day The Clown Cried” is the stuff of legend. The movie, filmed but never fully completed or released, has been described by the very few who been able to view it, as an artistic folly that widely misses the mark. Telling the story of a German circus clown (played by Lewis) arrested by the Gestapo after mocking Hitler, who is eventually forced by the Nazis to perform and help lead Jewish children to concentration camp gas chambers, Lewis’ effort was apparently misguided at best and a total failure at worst. But the question remains: is it really that bad?

While it’s not the whole film, a 31-minute condensed cut of “The Day The Clown Cried” has landed online, and offers the most extensive look yet at Lewis’s movie, which until now, has only seen portions of footage surfacing. This version uses material from “Der Clown,” a recently aired German documentary about the movie, re-enactments of the script and more to provide a broad overview of the movie. And while it doesn’t look good, it’s not quite the car crash that has been part of the movie’s aura for decades.
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on June 29, 2016, 05:19:03 AM
The Campaign to Revive Early Films from Christine Vachon and Todd Haynes
via Filmmaker Magazine

He Was Once, one of the early Apparatus film produced by Christine Vachon & Todd Haynes

Led by IFP founder Sandra Schulberg, who serves as its president, the nonprofit IndieCollect is working to conserve independent cinema. In just two years, the company has rescued and archived more than 3,500 film negatives, according to Schulberg, the president of IndieCollect (http://indiecollect.org/).

IndieCollect recently located the master picture and sound elements for eight of the shorts Vachon and Haynes produced in the ’80s and ’90s with Barry Ellsworth under their non-profit Apparatus banner. Apparatus backed a number of other directors, including Suzan-Lori Parks, Mary Hestand, Susan Delson, Brooke Dammkoehler, Larry Carty, and Evan Dunsky.

Now the company has launched a Kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/indiecollect/revive-early-films-from-christine-vachon-and-todd?token=005fe3c2) campaign with hopes of raising $40,000 to properly capture and preserve the original film materials and provide the filmmakers with high-resolution files. They’re also hoping to locate the elements for two more Apparatus productions, including Haynes’ first film, Assassins: A Film Concerning Rimbaud (1985), in which he depicts the poet as a homosexual outlaw.

IndieCollect hopes to digitize and make this rare collection of films available to Kickstarter backers in a Blu-ray edition and 4K digital copies for streaming.

Vachon recently told Filmmaker that she was surprised to learn that IndieCollect was able to find the master picture and sound elements for these Apparatus shorts.

“With [Haynes’] Superstar, we’ve been careful to preserve the elements, but a lot of the older Apparatus films, when DuArt closed, we just assumed they got lost. So having IndieCollect make it their business to make sure these films are preserved is fantastic,” said Vachon.

For her part, Schulberg said that it was her mission to scan the early films Vachon and Haynes made as part of Apparatus so they could create new hi-res digital versions.

“It is fun for cinephiles and important for film scholars for their entire body of work to be made available — now and in the future,” said Schulberg. “You get a snapshot of this hotbed of creativity, and we hope it will inspire young filmmakers today to take similar artistic risks.”

Speaking of risks, Schulberg is aware that scanning archival film elements can be challenging. But, she said, “the physical condition of the works that we are planning to scan has been assessed, and we are optimistic about our success.”

Vachon emphasized that the films in the collection represent a diverse group of filmmakers. “The filmmakers are not just me and Todd,” Vachon said. “We produced them and played various roles on them, but the majority of them were not conceived of by Todd Haynes or myself or Barry Ellsworth.”

Find out more about the films and the crowdfunding campaign here (http://Find out more about the films and the crowdfunding campaign here.).
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on July 27, 2016, 05:04:31 PM
Hollywood’s Historic Egyptian Theatre Undergoes Retrofit For “Rare” 35mm Nitrate Film Projection
via Deadline

Hollywood’s Egyptian Theatre will soon have the capability to screen “rare and fragile” 35mm nitrate film prints thanks to a film preservation project undertaken by The Film Foundation, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and Turner Classic Movies, in conjunction with the American Cinematheque.

“When I was told that one of the most beautiful movie theaters in the country could be retrofitted for nitrate projection, I was overjoyed, moved, and excited by the potential,” said Martin Scorsese, founder and chair of The Film Foundation. “I hope that this is the beginning of a trend.”

Cellulose nitrate was the standard film stock in commercial use prior to 1951. Though beloved by buffs for its vivid image quality, cellulose nitrate is flammable and was replaced by cellulose acetate safety film. Though old nitrate prints survive in controlled vault environments, few theaters are equipped to screen them.

Scorsese praised the stock for its “luminosity and a richness that was never quite matched by the safer stocks that followed or their digital reproductions.”

Rick Nicita, chairman of American Cinematheque, which owns the 1922 Egyptian, said the project will enable the theater “to show every film format possible. A state-of-the-art digital projector will sit side-by-side with our 35mm/70mm machines – representing the rich history of cinema, as well as the future of the art form.” The new nitrate-safe projection booth at the Egyptian, designed by BAR Architects, has begun construction, with the retrofit scheduled for completion in fall of 2016.

“Needless to say,” said Scorsese, “I’m eager for the completion of the necessary work so that I can see those glorious images projected in that one-of-a-kind theater.”
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on August 08, 2016, 05:56:59 PM
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on August 29, 2016, 03:27:28 PM
Kino launches Kino Repertory: New Label Specializing in Restorations of Classic and Cult Titles
via blu-ray.com

Kino Lorber has announced the creation of a theatrical repertory label dedicated to releasing restored classics and sought-after cult films, as well as acquiring new catalog titles and tapping onto the company's long-curated library of over 1,500 titles.

Kino Lorber Repertory starts with a mandate to re-release 10 to 12 titles a year in select theaters nationwide, allowing these important works of cinema to connect with audiences in the theatrical space. All titles will eventually become available on home media and digital outlets, via Kino Lorber's already existing relationships with all key digital and physical media partners.

The label will be curated by Jonathan Hertzberg, the company's Director of Repertory Sales and Acquisitions. Hertzberg will also spearhead the label's sales and marketing efforts, under CEO Richard Lorber and Senior VP Wendy Lidell. "Kino Lorber Repertory will give us a dedicated spotlight for our ever-growing list of classics and cult films, and also remind exhibitors and audiences of the many wonderful, historically-significant titles already in our catalog," Hertzberg says.

The label's first release, slated for September, 2016, is the "Canuxploitation" favorite The Pit, a 1981 horror film that has built up a sizable cult audience over the years. It will play in Alamo Drafthouse cinemas, as well as other venues, nationwide in October, leading up to its Blu-ray premiere on the Kino Lorber Studio Classics label.

Following this release is Philip Kaufman's The Wanderers, the beloved 1979 gang drama based upon Richard Price's debut novel. The Wanderers will premiere in Kaufman's home town of San Francisco in November, followed by dates in New York and around the country, with several of these screenings featuring the direct involvement of Kaufman, Price, Karen Allen and other key members of the production.

Both re-releases are based on new 2K restorations sourced from archival materials.

Future titles on the Kino Lorber Repertory slate will be a Lina Wertmuller retrospective with seven titles, including new restorations of Seven Beauties and Swept Away, Jean-Luc Godard's La Chinoise and Le Gai Savoir, Andrey Zvyagintsev's The Return (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZ0nv2MVoYk) and The Banishment (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MC84Ox34EA), several new Lobster Films restorations of Buster Keaton favorites, and Josef von Sternberg's long unavailable final film, Anatahan.
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on December 14, 2016, 05:09:02 PM
‘Rushmore,’ ‘The Breakfast Club,’ ‘Thelma & Louise,’ ‘The Princess Bride’ & More Enter The National Film Registry
via The Playlist

2016 National Film Registry

The Atomic Cafe (1982)
Produced and directed by Kevin Rafferty, Jayne Loader and Pierce Rafferty, the influential film compilation “The Atomic Cafe” provocatively documents the post-World War II threat of nuclear war as depicted in a wide assortment of archival footage from the period (newsreels, statements from politicians, advertisements, training, civil defense and military films).  This vast, yet entertaining, collage of clips serves as a unique document of the 1940s-1960s era and illustrates how these films—some of which today seem propagandistic or even patently absurd (“The House in the Middle”)—were used to inform the public on how to cope in the nuclear age.

Ball of Fire (1941)
In this Howard Hawks-directed screwball comedy, showgirl and gangster’s moll Sugarpuss O’Shea (Barbara Stanwyck) hides from the law among a group of scholars compiling an encyclopedia. Cooling her heels until the heat lets up, Sugarpuss charms the elderly academics and bewitches the young professor in charge (Gary Cooper). Hawks deftly shapes an effervescent, innuendo-packed Billy Wilder-Charles Brackett script into a swing-era version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs or “squirrely cherubs,” as Sugarpuss christens them. Filled with colorful period slang and boogie-woogie tunes and highlighted by an energetic performance from legendary drummer Gene Krupa, the film captures a pre-World War II lightheartedness.

The Beau Brummels (1928)
Al Shaw and Sam Lee were an eccentrically popular vaudeville act of the 1920s.  In 1928, they made this eight-minute Vitaphone short for Warner Bros. The duo later appeared in more than a dozen other films, though none possessed the wacky charm of “The Beau Brummels.” As critic Jim Knipfel has observed: “If Samuel Beckett had written a vaudeville routine, he would have created Shaw and Lee.” Often considered one of the quintessential vaudeville comedy shorts, the film has a simple set-up—Shaw and Lee stand side by side with deadpan expressions in non-tailored suits and bowler hats as they deliver their comic routine of corny nonsense songs and gags with a bit of soft shoe and their renowned hat-swapping routine. Shaw and Lee’s reputation has enjoyed a recent renaissance and their brand of dry, offbeat humor is seen by some as well ahead of its time. The film has been preserved by the UCLA Film and Television Archive.

The Birds (1963)
Alfred Hitchcock’s four sequential masterpieces—“Vertigo,” “North by Northwest,” “Psycho” and “The Birds”—revealed a director who had reached the pinnacle of his craft.  In “The Birds,” Hitchcock transfixed both critics and mass audiences by deftly moving from anxiety-inducing horror to glossy entertainment and suspense, with bold forays into psychological terrain.  Marked by a foreboding sense of an unending terror no one can escape, the film concludes with its famous final scene, which only adds to the emotional impact of “The Birds.”

Blackboard Jungle (1955)
In a 1983 interview, writer-director Richard Brooks claimed that hearing Bill Haley and the Comets’ “Rock Around the Clock” in 1954 inspired him to make a rock & roll-themed picture. The result was “Blackboard Jungle,” an adaptation of the controversial novel by Evan Hunter about an inner-city schoolteacher (played in the film by Glenn Ford) tackling juvenile delinquency and the lamentable state of public education— common bugaboos of the Eisenhower era. Retaining much of the novel’s gritty realism, the film effectively dramatizes the social issues at hand and features outstanding early performances by Sidney Poitier and Vic Morrow. The film, however, packs its biggest wallop even before a word of dialogue is spoken. As the opening credits roll, Brooks’ original inspiration for the film – the pulsating strains of “Rock Around the Clock” – blasts across theater speakers, bringing the devil’s music to Main Street and epitomizing American culture worldwide.

The Breakfast Club (1985)
John Hughes, who had previously given gravitas to the angst of adolescence in his 1984 film, “Sixteen Candles,” further explored the social politics of high school in this comedy/character study produced one year later.  Set in a daylong Saturday detention hall, the film offers an assortment of American teenage archetypes such as the “nerd,” “jock” and “weirdo.”  Over the course of the day, labels and default personas slip away as members of this motley group actually talk to each other and learn about each other and themselves.  “The Breakfast Club” is a comedy that delivers a message with laughs.  Thirty years later, the movie’s message is still vivid.  Written and directed by Hughes, the film’s cast includes Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez and Ally Sheedy.

The Decline of Western Civilization (1981)
Director Penelope Spheeris’ controversial documentary about the Los Angeles hard-core punk rock scene circa 1980 was perceived as shocking by some, even prompting L.A. police chief Daryl Gates to request banning all screenings of the film. Despite the qualms, the work remains a bracing historical and musical record of that culture, mixing outrageous performances and whirling mosh-pits with far more restrained interviews.  Featured bands include Black Flag, Fear, X, The Germs and Circle Jerks.  Scenes of older club owners making game attempts to describe this new type of music prove comic highlights. Spheeris made two other musical documentaries in this trilogy, chronicling the hair-metal and gutter-punk scenes, and—in a definite change of pace—the 1992 “Wayne’s World.”

East of Eden (1955)
Director Elia Kazan and screenwriter Paul Osborn fashioned John Steinbeck’s classic Cain-and-Abel allegory into a screen actor’s showcase. Though much abbreviated from Steinbeck’s sprawling epic, Kazan capitalizes on the teen angst theme popular in the ‘50s and artfully builds tension between the troubled, rebellious Cal (James Dean) vying against “good” brother Aron (Richard Davalos) for the love of their taciturn father (Raymond Massey). In his autobiography, Kazan described how he achieved the familial dynamics: “I didn’t conceal from Jimmy or from Ray what they thought of each other. The screen was alive with precisely what I wanted: They detested each other.” Dean received a posthumous Oscar nomination for his performance. Jo Van Fleet won an Oscar for her raw portrayal as the boys’ estranged mother.

Funny Girl (1968)
Reprising her Tony-winning performance as legendary singer-comedienne Fanny Brice, Barbra Streisand’s impressive vocal talent and understated acting, as guided by distinguished veteran director William Wyler, earned her an Academy Award for her screen debut. The film retains most of the stage show’s Jule Styne-Bob Merrill musical numbers including “People,” “I’m the Greatest Star” and “Don’t Rain on My Parade.” Streisand plays Brice as a plain-looking, fast-talking dynamo who yearns for the stage, and gets her chance when she’s hired by impresario Florenz Ziegfeld (Walter Pidgeon) and becomes the toast of Broadway. She meets and marries big-time gambler Nick Arnstein (Omar Sharif), but their idyllic romance crumbles as he grows to resent her fame. Produced by Ray Stark, Brice’s real-life son-in-law, “Funny Girl” was among the last of the successful big-budget musicals.

Life of an American Fireman (1903)
Film historian Charles Musser hails this as a seminal work in American cinema, among the most innovative in terms of editing, storytelling and the relationship between shots.  Edwin S. Porter was an influential pioneer in the development of early American cinema and “Life of an American Fireman” provides a superb snapshot of how advanced U.S. filmmaking had become.  Porter followed up several months later with “The Great Train Robbery.” Ironically, “Life of an American Fireman” later became a controversial topic in American film historiography when a re-edited, more modern version of the film using cross-cutting techniques was thought to be the original.  Many years later, scholars helped disprove this misconception by reviewing the original paper print copyright deposit in the Library of Congress.

The Lion King (1994)
Disney Studios further solidified its position as the producer of modern-day animated masterpieces with this lyrical 1994 offering.  The story of a young lion cub destined to become King of the Jungle, but first exiled by his evil uncle, “The Lion King” was a triumph from the moment of its release and has charmed new generations of viewers.  Like Disney’s beloved “Bambi,” “The Lion King” seamlessly blends innovative animation with excellent voice-actors (Jonathan Taylor Thomas, James Earl Jones, Moira Kelly, Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick and Whoopi Goldberg) and catchy, now-classic songs by Sir Elton John and Tim Rice.  It is the film’s storytelling that resonates—funny, innovative, suspenseful—for both children and adults.  Since its release, the film has spawned an animated TV series, two made-for-video sequels and a highly imaginative Broadway show.

Lost Horizon (1937)
Frank Capra’s big-budget romantic fantasy “Lost Horizon” (based on the James Hilton novel) offered an emotional respite to an American public seeking escape from the Depression and yearning for their own personal utopias.  Through the book and film, the term Shangri-La became a household word.  In the story, dashing diplomat Ronald Colman and a group of plane passengers are kidnapped and taken for mysterious reasons to a remote valley in the Himalayas where they find a seemingly blissful paradise, refuge from a world on the precipice of war. Along with memorable adventure, “Lost Horizon” stands out for its stunning cinematography and fantastic, extravagant sets, a hallmark of the Golden Age of Hollywood.

The Musketeers of Pig Alley (1912)
Considered the first gangster film, this 17-minute early work by director D.W. Griffith is also noteworthy for employing several innovative camera techniques. Cameramen of the era typically kept the entire frame in focus, but Griffith instructed cinematographer Billy Bitzer to place the subject of a scene in sharp focus while muting the background, a technique common in classical paintings, but unheard-of in films of that era. The film also introduced off-center framing—positioning the subject at the edge of the frame instead of dead center—to achieve greater visual and emotional impact.  The cast members, filmed with such revolutionary camerawork, included one of Griffith’s most famous discoveries, Lillian Gish, and her sister, Dorothy, as well as Lionel Barrymore, Donald Crisp, Harry Carey and Antonio Moreno, all of whom would go on to long careers in sound films.  The film has been preserved by the Museum of Modern Art Department of Film and can be viewed at mo.ma/musketeers.

Paris Is Burning (1990) 
In a 2015 article in The Guardian, Ashley Clark noted, “Few documentaries can claim to have sparked as much discussion and controversy as Jennie Livingston’s debut ‘Paris is Burning,’ the vibrant time capsule of New York’s ballroom subculture in the ‘80s.” The film explores the complex subculture of fashion shows and vogue dance competitions among black and Hispanic gay men, drag queens and transgender women in Manhattan. It shifts among ballroom contests and shows and interviews with contestants, who belong to different “houses” that are like families to them, sharing their views on wealth, notions of beauty, racism and gender orientation.

Point Blank (1967)
If ever there is a Mount Rushmore for tough guys, the face of Lee Marvin should be sculpted there in bold relief.  He definitely upholds that reputation in the relentless crime drama “Point Blank.” Based on a novel by Donald Westlake (writing as Richard Stark), this tense, stylish thriller from director John Boorman opens with Walker (Marvin) getting double-crossed by mobster friend John Vernon while conducting a crime on Alcatraz Island.  Shot, left for dead, and now missing $93,000, Marvin soon learns that his wife was also romantically involved with Vernon.  Writing for Slant in 2003, critic Nick Schager frames the film as a reworking of traditional noir: “Boorman set out to make a thriller that looked and felt like nothing else before it, using widescreen Panavision cinematography, explosive colors, and a multi-layered soundtrack to re-envision the noir picture as highbrow Euro-art film.”  “Point Blank” has come to be recognized as a seminal film of the 1960s.

The Princess Bride (1987)
The 1980s produced many feel-good movies and “The Princess Bride” is one of the decade’s most beloved. Adapting his popular 1973 novel for the screen, William Goldman collaborated with director Rob Reiner to craft a lighthearted parody of classic fairy tales that retains the writer’s wit and memorable characters and adds bravura performances and a barrage of oft-quoted dialogue. It is a joyride filled with assorted storybook figures like the beautiful title character (Robin Wright), her dashing true love (Cary Elwes), makers of magic spells (Billy Crystal and Carol Kane) and a rhyming colossus (Andre the Giant). As the devious Vizzini, Wallace Shawn incredulously exclaims “Inconceivable!” at every turn. Swashbuckling Mandy Patinkin dreams of avenging family honor and someday declaring, “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!”  The film continues to delight audiences, drawing new generations of fans.

Putney Swope (1969)
When writer-director Robert Downey Sr.’s surrealistic satire of Madison Avenue and black power, “Putney Swope,” opened in July 1969, New York Times critic Vincent Canby characterized it as “funny, sophomoric, brilliant, obscene, disjointed, marvelous, unintelligible and relevant,” while New York Daily News reviewer Wanda Hale damned it as “the most offensive picture I’ve ever seen.” A cult classic from an earlier time, Downey’s wildly irreverent underground breakout film presents hilarious vignettes of an ad agency takeover by black nationalists. Although noting that power ultimately corrupts the militants, Henry Louis Gates Jr. reminisced that he and fellow black students at Yale loved the film as a utopian fantasy that offered them a realistic path—infiltration, then transformation—for social change.

Rushmore (1998)
Director Wes Anderson’s indie film “Rushmore, ” a work filled with incisive detail to pop sensitivities, remains a cultural milestone of Gen X and millennials. Geeky misfit Jason Schwartzman tries to escape the stigma of being wildly unpopular at Rushmore Academy by becoming the king of extracurricular activities, nearly flunking out in the process.  He makes bizarre, unsuccessful attempts to woo elementary schoolteacher Olivia Williams and has a chaotic, up-and-down relationship with wealthy businessman-mentor Bill Murray. This was Anderson’s second film, following the unexpected success of his debut, “Bottle Rocket.”  In a 1999 interview with the New York Times, Anderson and screenwriter Owen Wilson described their cinematic approach: “We’re interested in characters who have enthusiasm,” and “We wanted to have ‘Rushmore’ become its own slightly heightened reality, like a Roald Dahl children’s book.”

Solomon Sir Jones films (1924-28)
Solomon Sir Jones was a Baptist minister and businessman who also had an important career as an accomplished amateur filmmaker.  Jones was born in Tennessee to former slaves and grew up in the South before moving to Oklahoma in 1889. As described on its website, Yale University’s collection of Solomon Sir Jones films consists of 29 silent black-and-white films documenting African-American communities in Oklahoma from 1924 to 1928. They contain 355 minutes of footage shot with then-new 16-mm cameras. The films document a rich tapestry of everyday life: funerals, sporting events, schools, parades, businesses, Masonic meetings, river baptisms, families at home, African-American oil barons and their wells, black colleges, Juneteenth celebrations and a transcontinental footrace.  Jones also documented his travels. IndieWire termed these films “the most extensive film records we have of Southern and urban black life and culture at the time of rapid social and cultural change for African-Americans during the 1920s, the very beginning of the Great Migration, which transformed not only black people as a whole, but America itself.”  The Smithsonian also has nine reels of film, comprising approximately two hours of footage. The films have been preserved by Yale University Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928)
If Charlie Chaplin can be called the “poet” of American comedy and Harold Lloyd its “everyman,” Buster Keaton can best be seen as an ingenious craftsman.  Born in Piqua, Kansas to vaudevillian parents, Keaton as a toddler was given the name “Buster” by Harry Houdini, according to legend, for his ability to survive falls. Keaton’s fame rests on his array of work from 1920 to 1928 when, in both shorts and feature films, he displayed a seamless mastery of film comic technique, from superb cinematography and editing to brilliant, intricately visual gags. “Steamboat Bill, Jr.” opens with ship captain Steamboat Bill (Ernest Torrence) awaiting the arrival of his long-unseen son (Buster Keaton) whom he hopes to groom as his successor.  Keaton, fresh from Boston schooling, turns out to be a dandy wearing a striped blazer and sporting a ukulele. Impatient parent Torrence wearily begins the daunting makeover. The film is remembered for its breath-stopping stunts and cyclone finale.  After making the film, Keaton made a disastrous move to MGM, which, combined with personal difficulties, ended his productive career.

Suzanne, Suzanne (1982)
This insightful 30-minute documentary profiles a young black woman, Suzanne Browning, as she confronts a legacy of physical abuse and its role in her descent into substance abuse. The film was conceived by Browning’s aunt, Camille Billops, as a sort of cinematic drug intervention.  Family remembrances revealed the truth behind the addiction: Suzanne and her mother were victims of domestic abuse at the hands of the family patriarch.  Armed with the key to her own self-destructive behavior, Suzanne struggles to understand her father’s brutality and her mother’s passive complicity. After years of silence, Suzanne and her mother are finally able to share their painful experiences with each other in an intensely moving moment of truth. Directed by Billops and James Hatch, this film essay captures the essence of a black middle-class family in crisis.

Thelma & Louise (1991)
Screenwriter Callie Khouri began her script for “Thelma & Louise” with a single- sentence premise:  “Two women go on a crime spree.”  What emerged, from her word processor and eventually from the screen, became a feminist manifesto and a cultural flashpoint that eventually landed the film’s stars, in character, onto the cover of “Time” magazine.  Anchored by two career-defining performances from Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis (and a breakout early appearance by Brad Pitt), “Thelma & Louise” skillfully contrasts action-movie themes with a social commentary before building to an unforgettable climax.  Directed by Ridley Scott, “Thelma & Louise” has become a symbol of feminism.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1916)
Directed by Stuart Paton, the film was touted as “the first submarine photoplay.” Universal spent freely on location, shooting in the Bahamas and building life-size props, including the submarine, and taking two years to film. J. E. Williamson’s “photosphere,” an underwater chamber connected to an iron tube on the surface of the water, enabled Paton to film underwater scenes up to depths of 150 feet. The film is based on Jules Verne’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” and to a lesser extent, “The Mysterious Island.” The real star of the film is its special effects. Although they may seem primitive by today’s standards, 100 years ago they dazzled contemporary audiences. It was the first time the public had an opportunity to see reefs, various types of marine life and men mingling with sharks. It was also World War I, and submarine warfare was very much in the public consciousness, so the life-size submarine gave the film an added dimension of reality. The film was immensely popular with audiences and critics.

A Walk in the Sun (1945)
Though better known for his World War I masterpiece “All Quiet on the Western Front,” director Lewis Milestone also directed the World War II classic “A Walk in the Sun.” The film (Robert Rossen adapted the excellent script from the Harry Brown novel) tells the story of a group of men and “how they came across the sea to sunny Italy and took a little walk in the sun.” The walk here is the struggle the platoon faces after surviving a beach landing near Salerno, Italy, and then having to fight their way a few miles toward a bridge and fortified farmhouse held by the Nazis. “Walk in the Sun” forgoes the usual focus of war movies on fierce battle scenes for an episodic, perceptive character study of the men in the platoon, interspersed with sharp, random bursts of violence.  The frequent conversations among the soldiers reveal the emotional stress they go through when faced with the day-to-day uncertainties of war, constant peril and the fear of death.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
Described by Roger Ebert as “not only great entertainment but a breakthrough in craftsmanship,” “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” introduced a new sense of realism into the interactions between cartoons and live-action characters on screen.  In this film noir comedy, set in a 1940s Hollywood where cartoon characters are real, private investigator Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins) is hired to prove the innocence of the accused murderer and uncontrollably crazy ‘toon’ Roger Rabbit (voiced by Charles Fleischer), with memorable appearances by Roger’s voluptuous wife, Jessica Rabbit (voiced by Kathleen Turner), and the chillingly evil Judge Doom (Christopher Lloyd). The film evokes a love for the golden age of animation, represented through the construction of Roger Rabbit himself, who embodies Disney’s high-quality animation, Warner Bros.’ character design and Tex Avery’s sense of humor. The spirit of the film is artfully summarized in this one line: “I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way.”  Executive producer Steven Spielberg worked tirelessly to negotiate the use of over 140 beloved cartoon characters in the film, making this the first time Warner Bros. and Disney characters shared the screen and the last time Mel Blanc voiced Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck before his death in 1989.
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on February 09, 2017, 08:33:56 PM
Breathing fresh life into cult classics on Blu-ray - interview with James White (http://www.homecinemachoice.com/news/article/breathing-fresh-life-into-cult-classics-on-blu-ray/24717#.WIsbhvXrBMA.twitter)
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on March 02, 2017, 04:44:43 PM
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on March 31, 2017, 10:38:16 PM
Anna Biller joins the AGFA advisory board
via American Genre Film Archive


We are beyond honored to welcome Anna Biller, the filmmaker behind VIVA and THE LOVE WITCH, to the AGFA advisory board.

At the American Genre Film Archive (AGFA), we believe that genre films should rule the world. But we can’t make this happen alone. Our advisory board is a coalition of like-minded fans who believe in the importance and preservation of genre films. Together, we ensure that these movies will be available on 35mm until the end of time. Or until the planet explodes. Whichever comes first.

The AGFA advisory board consists of Alamo Drafthouse founders Karrie and Tim League, filmmakers Paul Thomas Anderson and Nicolas Winding Refn, and musician RZA. Today, we’re proud to welcome Anna Biller to the ranks.

“I am thrilled to be included on the board of the American Genre Film Archive,” says Biller, “I believe passionately in continuing the legacy of film, and in preserving some of the great genre films that are such a vital part of our history and culture."

Anna Biller’s work is an inspiration. Meticulously crafting VIVA and THE LOVE WITCH on 35mm, Biller is a breath of fresh air for twenty-first century genre filmmaking. She channels the hyper-stylized aesthetic of Jaques Tati, the surreal melodrama of Nicholas Ray, and the pop-art pulp of Doris Wishman to create movies that feel like nothing else before or since.

For more on Anna Biller and her work, visit: www.lifeofastar.com (http://www.lifeofastar.com)
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on April 12, 2017, 04:45:04 AM
Seven Restored Lina Wertmuller Films Heading to U.S. Theaters
via blu-ray.com


Kino Lorber will bring back to U.S. seven classic films from acclaimed director Lina Wertmuller which have been recently restored. The distributors have also confirmed that one of them, Seven Beauties, will transition to Blu-ray later this year.

The touring series makes available the following titles: The Seduction of Mimi, Love & Anarchy, All Screwed Up, Swept Away, Seven Beauties, Summer Night, Ferdinando & Carolina, plus the documentary Behind the White Glasses.

Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on May 02, 2017, 07:15:34 PM
Lost and Found Cinema by Imogen Sara Smith - Criterion (https://www.criterion.com/current/posts/4519-lost-and-found-cinema)
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on June 12, 2017, 07:03:38 PM
Produced in the aftermath of the horrific destruction witnessed with the dropping of atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the “tri-dimensional religious art film” The Way of Peace (1947) represents a historic early example of a sponsored anti-nuclear film.  Created under the auspices of the American Lutheran Church, the uncompromising film, animated with stop motion and puppets, was intended to influence public opinion and international policy by graphically illustrating how man’s inhumanity to man could ultimately lead to the destruction of the Earth.  The cautionary tale features grim imagery that undoubtedly shocked audiences in its time, including expressionistic sequences depicting torture, lynching and Nazi fascism, culminating with an extended, technically-innovative special effects sequence dramatizing a devastating global nuclear war that results in the extermination of humankind.

The creative team assembled to make The Way of Peace represents a notable cross-section of Hollywood talent of considerable interest to cinema and media historians.  The short film was written and directed by American animator, screenwriter and director, Frank Tashlin, perhaps best known as the director of many golden-era Warner Bros. animated shorts and a number of major studio films starring Jerry Lewis, including  Cinderfella (1960) .  In a highly successful film career spanning decades, The Way of Peace represents Tashlin’s lone foray into dramatic work.  Technical supervision and the “original conception” for The Way of Peace was provided by the Reverend H.K. Rasbach, who would later serve as an advisor to director Cecil B. DeMille on The Ten Commandments (1956) and director George Stevens on The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965).  Rasbach would also later work with the West Coast Commission of the National Council of Churches on film and broadcasting, reviewing scripts to insure they met decency standards. The Way of Peace was co-produced, photographed and featured puppet design by Chinese-American special effects pioneer Wah Ming Chang, who worked on character designs for Walt Disney, puppet animation and special effects for George Pal, and innovative and highly-influential sculptures and props for the original Outer Limits and Star Trek television series.  The film's other co-producer and art director was noted artist, etcher and set and production designer James Blanding Sloan (foster father to Wah Ming Chang, with whom he formed East-West Studios).  Lastly, The Way of Peace was narrated by Academy Award-nominated actor Lew Ayres, a dedicated pacifist and, controversially, with great personal sacrifice, a prominent conscientious objector to World War II.

In a 1947 article covering the production of The Way of Peace titled “Peace and Puppets,” Newsweek magazine reported that “Mr. Rasbach worked with technicians for twenty months at a cost of $60,000 to get the effects he wanted.”  That year, the startling product of that labor premiered in Constitution Hall, Washington D.C., with The Way of Peace screening to over 2,700 invited guests, including members of Congress, representatives of the Supreme Court and leaders from numerous branches of government.  Today, The Way of Peace stands as a unique artifact of the atomic age, significantly intersecting the histories of animation, sponsored film, religion, politics, nuclear policy, and propaganda.  In 2014, the landmark film was named to the National Film Registry by the Librarian of Congress.

UCLA Film & Television Archive completed preservation of The Way of Peace in 2017 with a grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation.

— Mark Quigley, manager, Archive Research and Study Center

Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on August 03, 2017, 07:15:42 PM
(http://i.imgur.com/GIXbxnf.jpg) (https://vimeo.com/227757230)

Upon its release in 1992, it won the grand jury prize at Sundance competing against films like Reservoir Dogs (Quentin Tarantino) and Gas, Food, Lodging (Alison Anders), and proceded to play some of the most prestigious festivals worldwide throughout that year, including Venice, Toronto, and the New York Film Festival. 

But, despite these rave reviews and an amazing start to a theatrical tour, a series of distribution mishaps caused it to become unavailable and more or less stay that way for the next quarter-century. Now, an official high-quality copy of it does not exist digitally, it's not on Blu-Ray, and the DVD release it saw in 2004 which is now out of print.

As of last year, there was only one fine-grain, black-and-white master archival print left, and unfortunately, while being screened at a cinema in Los Angeles, this precious but aging, fragile print was accidentally damaged during projection to the extent that moments of the first and fifth reel were virtually shredded

Without this time-proof archive of the film, not only can we not reproduce In the Soup in the way it was meant to be seen – it could be lost forever.

Because of the rarity of the Kodak black-and-white stock with which it was made, this process of restoration requires the epitome of expert attention and high-tech equipment at labs around the world…

In the Soup (1992) - Kickstarter Restoration Campaign (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/factory25/in-the-soup-urgent-restoration-and-25th-anniversar)

Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: jenkins on August 03, 2017, 07:43:31 PM
Factory 25 treating it right, looking like it'll bring this home. it's beautiful.




there's a "naughty" additional gif on the page, which is very well constructed and deserves its money
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on September 28, 2017, 04:37:54 PM
And speaking of "The Kingdom" (http://xixax.com/index.php?topic=865.msg333393#new), it's one of a handful of early works by von Trier that are getting digitally restored. Production company Zentropa has released a seven-minute featurette diving into the lengthy process of scanning the original film strips and re-editing the movies from scratch in order to preserve the director's projects (trivia: "The Kingdom" was recorded on DigiBeta, a now defunct format).

To be released next year.
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on November 01, 2017, 07:57:56 PM
New resto:

Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on November 07, 2017, 03:43:39 PM
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on November 13, 2017, 02:27:53 PM
Jacques Rivette's La Belle Noiseuse (1991) 4K restoration trailer (https://vimeo.com/242561202) (NSFW?)

Threading the needle between a narrative film about an artist and a documentary recording of the creative act, Jacques Rivette infuses his Balzac adaptation with erotic tension and suspenseful drama. All-but-retired painter Michel Piccoli, living en Provence with wife and onetime muse Jane Birkin, becomes inspired by visitor Emmanuelle Béart. He picks up the brush once again as his newly anointed model poses nude for the duration.
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilberfan on December 13, 2017, 11:33:37 PM
National Film Registry Adds ‘Memento,’ ‘Titanic,’ ‘Die Hard,’ ‘The Goonies’ and More

Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilberfan on December 20, 2017, 07:26:57 PM
Our film and video history is threatened by the rise of streaming video

Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on January 08, 2018, 09:58:55 PM
Criterion details the Bergman retrospective tour schedule (https://www.criterion.com/current/posts/5242-the-daily-bergman100). Janus' trailer is on vimeo (https://vimeo.com/248053963). BFI's:

Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on May 23, 2018, 04:26:58 AM
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on July 05, 2018, 06:25:53 PM
Jacques Rivette's The Nun a.k.a. La Religieuse (1966) has been restored in 4K. GREAT movie. UK blu-ray (http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/La-Religieuse-Blu-ray/206579/) coming on September 10.

And the new restoration of Barbara Loden’s Wanda (1970) opens in NY July 20, with a national tour (and eventual Criterion release) to follow.

Wanda Trailer - Vimeo (https://vimeo.com/275159804)
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on July 17, 2018, 06:37:28 PM
Arbelos Films' 4K restoration trailer (https://deadline.com/2018/07/the-last-movie-trailer-4k-restoration-release-date-dennis-hopper-arbelos-films-1202425030/) for Dennis Hooper's The Last Movie (1971)

The film, written by Rebel Without A Cause screenwriter Stewart Stern, stars Hopper as a stuntman on a movie crew making a Western in a remote Peruvian village. He meets a woman and after the movie wraps and he decides to stay with her, and is soon enlisted by the locals to make their own movie minus the understanding that the action isn’t real.

Opens at the Metrograph in NY August 3rd and plays at Los Angeles' Egyptian Theater on August 16th. The rest of the cities it's touring are listed here (http://forum.blu-ray.com/showpost.php?p=15311916&postcount=547).

The plan is for Los Angeles-based Arbelos to mine the Cinelicious library it now reps to release both older and newer films. Also on its upcoming slate and Béla Tarr’s 1994 film Sátántangó.
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilberfan on July 18, 2018, 03:01:00 PM
Arbelos Films' 4K restoration trailer (https://deadline.com/2018/07/the-last-movie-trailer-4k-restoration-release-date-dennis-hopper-arbelos-films-1202425030/) for Dennis Hooper's The Last Movie (1971)

The film, written by Rebel Without A Cause screenwriter Stewart Stern, stars Hopper as a stuntman on a movie crew making a Western in a remote Peruvian village. He meets a woman and after the movie wraps and he decides to stay with her, and is soon enlisted by the locals to make their own movie minus the understanding that the action isn’t real.

Opens at the Metrograph in NY August 3rd, also scheduled to play at Los Angeles' American Cinematheque at a later date.

Ah, this film.  I came of age in the 70s, devouring almost everything that came along in those halcyon days.  Even I skipped this one.  Has anyone here ever actually seen it? Is it as bad as legend has it? 
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: eward on July 19, 2018, 02:21:19 PM
I saw it at BAM a year or two ago on 35 and really enjoyed it, but I do recall a small handful of meandering stretches which flirted with boredom... Still an overall pretty wild experience and totally worth checking out as, if nothing else, a unique cultural artifact which really encapsulates the time/environment in which it was made, not to mention the notoriously drug and booze-addled creative mind from which it sprang. This news excites me! Now if Criterion would just get to Out of the Blue already....
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on July 19, 2018, 07:39:23 PM
Speaking of...

Out of the Blue is getting a 4K restoration from Discovery Productions (https://www.facebook.com/notes/out-of-the-blue-dennis-hopper/out-of-the-blue/816589651854227/)

Discovery Productions, Inc. (John Alan Simon and Elizabeth Karr) plans now to undertake a 4K digital restoration of this landmark film. - so that we can make it available to a whole new generation of cinema audiences.    Because Out Of The Blue exists only as a 35mm print, its audience has been limited to those who are fortunate enough to see it in a theatre like BFI, Cinemateque, Anthology Film Archives, The Roxie, Metrograph and other art house / indie cinemas.

As on the previous successful 35mm restoration, Robert Harris has been kind enough to offer his advice and expertise to us in this process - Robert is currently working with the Cinematheque on the much more difficult digital restoration of Abel Gance's Napoleon - and we are already benefiting from this learning curve.  Other of his restorations include Lawrence of Arabia and Rear Window.
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: eward on July 19, 2018, 08:17:25 PM
Commence joyful tearing out of hair!

I've long had a very poor DVD copy of it, but fortunately I got to see a 35 print at Anthology some time ago, and it's just one of the all-time great American films. Rips me apart.
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on August 22, 2018, 04:30:15 PM
Jean-Pierre Melville’s When You Read This Letter (1953) has been restored in 4K by Gaumont and opens at New York’s Film Forum September 12th.

An English-subtitled blu-ray is currently available (https://www.amazon.fr/Quand-tu-liras-cette-lettre-Blu-ray/dp/B0731RR9B8?SubscriptionId=AKIAIY4YSQJMFDJATNBA&tag=bluraycom05-21&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B0731RR9B8&m=A1X6FK5RDHNB96) in France.

After her parents' sudden death, Thérese (Juliette Gréco) decides to leave the convent to run the family business and care for her younger sister, who is involved with local lowlife Max (Philippe Lemaire). Then rape, attempted suicide, blackmail, a rigged car accident, and a one-sided love affair crash to a startling conclusion. Cinematography by Henri Alekan (La Belle et la Bête).
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on September 19, 2018, 07:53:40 PM


Cronenberg is currently supervising a restoration of his original cut of Crash
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: Sleepless on September 25, 2018, 12:14:00 PM
The Indie Film Preservation Crisis: We Are Losing the Films That Defined the ’80s and ’90s (https://www.indiewire.com/2018/09/indie-film-preservation-crisis-1202006831/)

Many movies are costly to preserve. Others have disappeared. It's a problem no one saw coming.

When curating the recent retrospective “NY Indie Guy: Ira Deutchman and the Rise of Independent Film” – a Columbia University exhibit honoring the 40-year career of a leading American independent film producer, marketer, and distributor – programmers Rob King and Jack Lechner made an upsetting discovery: Many of the films they picked to screen were unavailable in any form.

This sent Deutchman into detective mode, to discover what happened to many of the films he helped introduce to the world. He walked away from his initial examination shocked by the situation and with a grim assessment: We are in danger of losing many of the films that defined recent movements in American independent film.

“During the height of in the independent boom back in the ’80s and into the 90s, it was always considered the holy grail for independent filmmakers that to be truly independent they would eventually get back the rights or control the rights, or control their copyrights,” Deutchman said in an interview. “All that type of stuff was bandied about as being really important. Here we are 20 years later and we’ve got this crisis developing where if somebody doesn’t do something about it, they may end up being lost.”

Deutchman holds up Nancy Savoca’s 1993 film “Household Saints” as a poster child for the problem. When he was at Fineline Features, Deutchman put together the film’s financing and distribution partners . One by one, he went to all the companies that inherited various rights – Warner Brothers now controls the Fineline library, Sony now controls what was the RCA-Columbia library, and the TV company Jones Entertainment is now defunct. Each company said its rights had expired.

“We have no idea who controls the rights at this point. We’re still trying to find out,” said Deutchman. “And worse yet, the film was never released on DVD. It was never released on any streaming format. The only copy of it we have been able to find is a 35mm print at the UCLA film archive, but it has a damaged reel, and I have VHS cassette of it, and that’s it.”

Part of the problem is storage and proper care of the materials costs money and for independent filmmakers, who are no longer making income on these movies — Netflix and the other profitable streamers aren’t interested, according to Deutchman – so the cost of preservation is a hardship.

Yet even when a film is well-preserved, restorations can still be expensive. For example, IndieCollect, a non-profit attempting to tackle the indie preservation crisis, recently restored the 1979 documentary “The War at Home,” for which directors Glenn Silber and Barry Brown remain the rights holders. Years ago, they made sure to properly archive all their original film and sound elements at the Wisconsin Historical Society. IndieCollect borrowed the elements from WHS and scanned the original negative using its in-house Kinetta Archival Scanner at 5K to produce a true 4K DCP.

“As is common with vintage film, the negative showed some warping and shrinkage, but was in quite good shape overall,” said Sandra Schulberg, President of IndieCollect. She sent it to Colorlab in Rockville, MD, where the audio was restored. “They created 24 fps WAV files for us and our editorial team uses those files to sync sound to raw film scans,” she said. “Then color correction and restoration could begin.”

In total, the process took 72 hours, while the color correction and restoration took 160 hours to date. The total cost was $18,000, which doesn’t include IndieCollect’s internal costs — including multiple scans and project supervision — that adds another $10,000, but the non-profit treats as its contribution to the restoration. And “The War at Home” was one of IndieCollect’s easier restorations.

“They are unusual in that respect,” said Schulberg. “Many of the filmmakers who come to us have lost or lost track of their film negatives and sound tracks. In that case, we have to work with best surviving print.”

Because of the interest in the film (which will screen at the New York Film Festival on October 9 and receive a weeklong run at The Metrograph on October 12), IndieCollect was able to raise most of the funds for the restoration in two weeks through its donor platform that it customizes for each film.

Deutchman sees money as the key problem. Without a profitable market for these restorations, nor the sort of government funding available in other countries, non-profits like IndieCollect have limited resources. He expressed concern that this problem could continue with the preservation challenges facing new movies in the digital age.

“In many cases, digitally-shot films present a potentially worse problem,” said Deutchman. “File formats change, hard drives disappear and break. Just look at video games that can’t be played anymore, now think of the first digital indies that we shot on DV tapes, which require operational decks. How to preserve digital cinema is a constantly moving target as technology evolves.”

Deutchman said the best practices for preserving digitally shot movies is currently to have a 4K scan — though he acknowledged that it’s often too expensive for low-budget films — and store it on multiple hard drives kept in different locations.

Deutchman’s recent discovery of the looming crisis has led him to try to build awareness, especially among filmmakers he said should lead the charge of finding and preserving their work. In the meantime, IndieCollects continues its mission of making restorations obtainable, allowing filmmakers to use its donor platform to raise tax deductible gifts to restore their films. The company has had several recent successes beyond “The War at Home,” including restored versions of “The Atomic Cafe” and “In the Soup” that recently reentered distribution.

“Our mission is to bring down the cost of restoration,” Schulberg said, “so that more and more filmmakers can market their films in state-of-the-art digital formats.”
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on October 01, 2018, 10:52:36 PM
The best part of seeing The Hateful Eight earlier tonight for me was listening to a few guys in line geek out about something called Star Wars: The Legacy Edition (https://vimeo.com/channels/starwarslegacy/videos), where a dude named Mike Verta has taken it upon himself to scan several prints (including a technicolor print) of the original unaltered Star Wars films in 4K, and painstakingly color-correct them frame by frame to be as close as possible to the original colors committed to film, which according to him have been incorrectly altered in all of the home video releases.

I can't vouch for the accuracy of his project, but if you scan through his videos on Vimeo and look at the clips from the home video releases compared to his version, it does, admittedly, look better. Check out the colors from his Legacy version in this shot (https://vimeo.com/122877129) at 2:33 compared to the blu-ray release screengrab at 2:23.

There's another independent restoration effort called Project 4K77 (http://www.thestarwarstrilogy.com/page/Project-4K77), which finished restoring a New Hope release print in May '18 and distributes via usenet.

They've detailed their process on their website (http://www.thestarwarstrilogy.com/page/Project-4K77), and also through various videos on their youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwsda6LhKc4gTUIg8u5bLGw/videos).

Project 4K83 (http://www.thestarwarstrilogy.com/starwars/page/Project-4K83) is in the works, and someone else (https://originaltrilogy.com/topic/Empire-Strikes-back-35mm-restoration-feedback-thread-POUT/id/54346) is restoring Empire (although Project 4K may be doing their own version, as well).
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: Sleepless on October 03, 2018, 04:28:10 PM
Library of Congress launches online National Screening Room

Story (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/library-of-congress-launches-online-national-screening-room/)

NSR (https://www.loc.gov/collections/national-screening-room)
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on December 03, 2018, 06:03:38 PM
Had never heard of this - Hans Heinrich's Meine Frau macht Musik (1958). DEFA (https://www.youtube.com/user/defastift/videos) just posted a restoration trailer. Looks like a German Vincente Minnelli movie:

It's crazy that there are whole swaths of international film history that seem to be undocumented or unknown outside of their native countries. Another example being all of the Mexican Noir (https://www.moma.org/calendar/film/1533) films from the 1940s-1950s, done with the same studio-level scope as their American counterparts.
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on December 16, 2018, 06:47:59 PM
Hope these eventually get physical releases.

Leuchtturm des Chaos (Pharosof Chaos). 1983. West Germany. Written and directed by Wolf-Eckart Bühler and Manfred Blank. 119 min.


A grizzled but unbowed Sterling Hayden, holed up with his bitter memories on a canal barge in eastern France, looks back on a life of acting (The Asphalt Jungle, Johnny Guitar, The Killing, Dr. Strangelove), sailing the seven seas, and writing (a successful memoir, Wanderer, and a novel, Voyage). The true revelations of this raw and riveting (self-)portrait, made three years before Hayden’s death at 70, are his wartime heroism (sailing and parachuting supplies behind enemy lines for the Yugoslav partisans) and his shame and contempt at having named names in his HUAC testimony. Digital preservation courtesy Munich Filmmuseum.

Playing at MoMA January 19, 2019 / 4pm

Source (https://www.moma.org/calendar/events/5057)

Der Havarist (The Shipwrecker). 1984. West Germany. Directed by Wolf-Eckart Bühler. Screenplay by Bühler, based on Sterling Hayden’s autobiography Wanderer. With Burkhard Driest, Rüdiger Vogler, Hannes Wader. In German; English subtitles. 92 min.


Based on Sterling Hayden’s beautifully written yet brutally honest memoir, Der Havarist is Wolf-Eckart Bühler’s companion film to Pharos of Chaos (also screening on January 19 and 27). “Betrayal is an everyday occurance, and it starts with the betrayal of one’s own self. Sterling Hayden: round-the-world sailor, war hero, Hollywood star, author. ‘Hayden did more than just regret and seek the forgiveness of those whom he had harmed so much,’ as one of those whom Hayden had denounced to the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947 later put it. ‘He did the most radical thing possible: He changed’ (Abraham Polonsky). Hayden's self-analytical, autobiographical tale of fear, conformation and betrayal [is] condensed into contemporary images and sounds in The Shipwrecker” (Alf Mayer). Digital preservation courtesy Munich Filmmuseum.

Playing at MoMA January 19, 2019 / 7pm

Source (https://www.moma.org/calendar/events/5058)
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: Ravi on December 18, 2018, 01:07:11 PM
The Found Footage That Provides a Whole New Look at the Apollo 11 Moon Landing (https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2018/12/apollo-11-50th-year-anniversary)
In the new documentary Apollo 11, freshly unearthed footage of the 1969 lunar mission, with the help of a community of space nerds, will tell the story of the historic event in a new way, making the film as much a cinematic discovery as a celestial one.

DECEMBER 9, 2018 5:00 PM

At the outset of making his new documentary, Apollo 11, Todd Douglas Miller had a pro forma conversation with his contact at the National Archives and Records Administration, Dan Rooney, about what he was working on. Rooney is the supervisory archivist in NARA’s Motion Picture, Sound, and Video branch, in College Park, Maryland, which is the final repository for, among other things, any extant films whose production was underwritten by the U.S. government.

As its title indicates, Apollo 11, which will have its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January as a 90-minute feature (a shorter version, around 40 minutes, will reach museums later next year), is about the most famous and celebrated of all the missions carried out by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration—the one that made Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin the first two human beings to walk on the moon, on July 20, 1969. The 50th anniversary of this landmark was coming up, and Miller, best known for his Emmy-winning film about the discovery of the world’s largest Tyrannosaurus rex fossil, Dinosaur 13, was looking for a fresh approach to telling the story of the mission, without using the same old footage, tropes, and imagery. He didn’t quite know what he was after at NARA. But Rooney was intrigued when Miller mentioned that his production company, Statement Pictures, is a player in the large-format world of Imax pictures.

“So I casually told Todd, ‘Well, we do have large-format NASA materials, and I know we have 70-millimeter, but we’ve never really had the opportunity to look under the hood and see what’s there,’” Rooney told me. He decided to investigate.

In May of last year, Miller received a startling e-mail from Rooney. “I was used to the way in which archivists and librarians communicate, which is typically very monotone, very even keel,” Miller said. “But I get this e-mail from Dan, and it’s just insanely long and full of exclamation points and bolded words.” Rooney’s staff had located a cache of old reels that he identified as the “65mm Panavision collection.” (In this format, the negative is shot on 65-mm. film and then printed as a 70-mm. positive.) “The collection consists of approximately 165 source reels of materials, covering Apollo 8 through Apollo 13,” Rooney wrote. “Thus far, we have definitively identified 61 of those 165 that relate directly to the Apollo 11 mission, including astronaut mission preparations, launch, recovery, and astronaut engagement and tours after the mission.”

“These are exciting finds, and we think it could change your direction significantly,” Rooney concluded.

The specific 70-mm. format in which the footage had been printed was the Todd-AO process, the one used for such 50s and 60s cinematic extravaganzas as Around the World in 80 Days and The Sound of Music, back when the movie industry was going ever bigger and wider to compete with the threat of television.

But what was staid NASA doing, shooting in Todd-AO in 1969, by which point the format was in decline? Part of the explanation lies in a film called Moonwalk One, directed by a man named Theo Kamecke. A couple of years before the Apollo 11 mission, NASA had put together a deal with MGM Studios and the filmmaker Francis Thompson, a pioneer in producing proto-Imax giant-screen documentaries, to make a picture that would tell the story of the entire Apollo program. But on short notice, MGM backed out. Six weeks before Apollo 11’s launch, NASA, eager to salvage some aspect of the project, asked Thompson if he was still game to do something. By then busy with other projects, he recommended Kamecke, his editor.

Kamecke was wise enough to instruct some of his cameramen not to shoot the launch, but, rather, to point their lenses in the direction of spectators, capturing the full range of humanity reveling in what it was witnessing. Moonwalk One, the kaleidoscopic, vaguely trippy movie that resulted (narrated by Laurence Luckinbill!), is a pretty good artifact of the era, and has over time acquired status as a cult film. But it died a death at the time of its 1972 release, when a saturated public was simply over Apollo-mania. (It’s easy to forget that Apollo 12 followed Apollo 11 by only four months, landing two more astronauts, Pete Conrad and Alan Bean, on the moon.)

Much of the wide-screen motherlode that came to light at NARA consisted of leftover reels from Kamecke’s project. And some of it was footage shot by NASA itself—presumably for public-relations purposes, though there is no longer anyone alive to say definitively why the agency opted for the same format that Joseph L. Mankiewicz had used for Cleopatra.

As exhilarating as Rooney’s news was for Miller, it presented a technological challenge. NARA didn’t have 60s-era Todd-AO projectors to screen these materials, let alone the equipment to transfer them to digital. But Miller’s project presented Rooney and NARA with a golden opportunity: for a private entity to underwrite the digitization and preservation of materials that, because they are part of the National Archives, belong to the public. An arrangement was worked out to do just that. The postproduction shop with which Miller works in New York, Final Frame, rigged up custom hardware and software just for the Apollo 11 project in order to scan the Todd-AO footage to digital. As the old reels scanned through Final Frame’s machinery and their contents played out on a screen, Miller and Rooney couldn’t believe their good fortune. “Our jaws were on the floor,” Miller said. What they saw: scene after magnificent scene, in pristine, unfaded color, of vignettes from the historic mission.

They watched footage of the mission’s mighty Saturn V rocket being carried to its launchpad on a crawler-transporter, a massive contraption that looks more Lucasfilm than NASA: a quarter-acre-size hunk of platform mounted atop slow-rolling tank treads. They watched a pan across a waterside J.C. Penney store whose parking lot had become a de facto campsite for spectators, packed with moms, dads, and kids in the rust- and mustard-colored Ban-Lon leisurewear of the period, drowsily biding their time in the Florida heat until the launch, which was scheduled for 9:32 A.M. They watched Johnny Carson milling around the V.I.P. viewing section awkwardly, seemingly uncertain of how to pass the time until launch. Most movingly, they viewed intimately close shots of the astronauts—Armstrong, the mission commander; Aldrin, the lunar-module pilot; and Michael Collins, the command-module pilot—in the suit-up room at Kennedy Space Center, their faces weighted with the profundity of what they were about to undertake, while techs in white scrub caps fluttered around them like fashion stylists, checking their fasteners and headsets.

It was like a family discovering a forgotten shoebox full of old Super 8 movies of major life events and departed friends—only the family was America, the movies were of theater quality, the event was one of the most important accomplishments in human history, and the departed friend was Neil Armstrong.

Apollo 11, the mission, is the climactic chapter of an epic American tale. The story begins in 1957, when, in the middle of the Cold War, the Soviet Union launches into orbit Earth’s first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1. This triggers the space race between the Soviets and the Americans, the establishment of NASA, in 1958, and John F. Kennedy’s 1961 address to Congress in which he proclaims that the U.S. should land a man on the moon “before this decade is out.” The lead-up to 1969 is a succession of dense, incident-rich chapters that encompass NASA’s Project Mercury, which sends the first American astronauts into orbit; the Gemini program, which develops and hones techniques for prolonged spaceflight; and the early to mid stages of the Apollo program, where preparations for a moon landing begin in earnest.

The first manned moon mission, which takes place from July 16 to July 24 of 1969, is where time stretches out and the story slows down, luxuriating in every detail of the journey that finally deposits Armstrong and Aldrin on the lunar surface and then brings them and Collins safely home.

Apollo 11, the film, covers just those nine days, give or take a few digressions backward and forward. But, as Miller learned, within these days lie layers upon layers of narrative, in the sheer volume of archival material they generated, and because they represented the culmination of years of work by thousands of people. Like Damien Chazelle, whose Neil Armstrong biopic, First Man, was released in October, Miller was keen to transcend the familiar highlights—from the sight of the Saturn V clearing the tower to Armstrong’s famous, article-challenged first words on the lunar surface (what he meant to say was “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind”)—and tell the mission’s story in a new way that would resonate with a viewing audience that, in large part, was not yet born when the landing took place.

Miller began work on Apollo 11 in 2016, when Courtney Sexton, vice president at CNN Films, the news network’s documentary division, contacted him to see if he had any bright ideas on how they might commemorate the moon landing’s 50th anniversary. Her request didn’t come out of the blue. At the time, Miller was completing a digital documentary short for CNN Films called The Last Steps, about Apollo 17, the final manned mission to the moon, which took place in December 1972—effectively, the epic tale’s quiet dénouement. (There were originally to have been three more missions, Apollos 18, 19, and 20, but budget cuts and shifting priorities precluded their going forward.)

While putting together The Last Steps, Miller and his producing partner, Tom Petersen, hit upon a formula that they would apply to the new film: telling the story entirely in the present tense, using only archival materials, with no present-day talking heads reflecting back on past events. (Aldrin and Collins are still alive, but Armstrong died in 2012.) Throughout the Apollo missions, NASA positioned a public-affairs officer at the elbow of the flight director at Mission Control in Houston, to explicate everything that was going on to the news media and the public. Miller decided to use the public-affairs officers, whose every utterance was recorded for posterity, as his movie’s narrators. “There’s four of them, working in shifts, and they’re all just the greatest voices, very calming, like an airline pilot’s,” he said. “Even though there’s chaos happening at certain points in the mission, you would never know it from the way these guys conduct themselves.”

But the long-forgotten 70-mm. footage proved to be an even bigger boon, making Apollo 11 feel as immediate as Chazelle’s feature—with the added benefit of showing the actual historical figures carrying out their actual historical actions.

While the Todd-AO footage was Miller’s most thrilling archival find, it wasn’t the only one. In the course of making The Last Steps, the director won the trust of the community of hard-core civilian space enthusiasts who self-identify as space nerds. Since NASA, like NARA, is a federal agency of limited resources, it has, to a surprising extent, crowd-sourced much of the curation of its own past. For example, while the agency hosts the impressively thorough Apollo Flight Journal and Apollo Lunar Surface Journal Web sites, which offer full transcripts and some playable recordings of the air-to-ground audio for Apollo missions 7 to 17, these sites were built, and are still maintained, by a dedicated corps of volunteers.

One of them is Stephen Slater, a 31-year-old independent archivist based in Sheffield, England, who, though he has no formal background in aerospace, has amassed one of the world’s most impressive libraries of Apollo film footage. Slater’s pet project—or demented passion, depending upon how you look at it—is to synch the soundless 16-mm. footage that NASA cameramen shot at Mission Control during Apollo 11 to the audio recordings that survive. This involves poring over old, haphazardly catalogued snippets of film in search of visual clues—such as a clock face visible in the frame, indicating the time—and then matching this information to the time stamps in the transcripts, and then trying to locate the corresponding dialogue in NASA’s vast trove of audio, whether from the air-to-ground transmissions or the flight director’s loop, the master channel on which all of the mission’s flight controllers in Houston communicated with their chief.

It’s an incredibly tedious process, but rewarding when it pays off. “When I got Gene Kranz saying, ‘We’re go for landing,’ it was like, Oh my God!,” Slater told me. Kranz was the flight director on duty at the time of the lunar module’s descent, and was later memorably portrayed in all of his brush-cut, vest-wearing splendor by Ed Harris in Ron Howard’s movie Apollo 13. Slater assembled a clip in which Kranz is seen issuing his historic command, followed immediately by another synched shot in which Charlie Duke, then on duty as CAPCOM—the capsule communicator, a ground-based astronaut whose job it is to communicate directly with the crew of the spacecraft—relays Kranz’s command to Armstrong and Aldrin in the lunar module: “Eagle, Houston. You’re go for landing, over.” Not since these events originally occurred had it been possible to simultaneously see and hear them play out.

Slater was conscripted by Miller to apply his expertise to Apollo 11. The sound-synched shots, Slater said, “remove any suggestion that this is generic footage. It makes it so much more powerful to me, knowing that we are watching the actual moment, almost as if Todd had been shooting in there with his own film crew.”

Slater’s efforts were complemented by the work of another esteemed member of the space-nerd firmament, Ben Feist. By profession, the 47-year-old Feist is the head of technology at an ad agency in Toronto. But he spends the better part of his off-hours applying his formidable coding skills to the creation of such astonishing reconstitutions of space history as Apollo17.org, which he launched three years ago, aggregating publicly available audio, transcripts, and moving and still images into an immersive “real-time mission experience” of humankind’s most recent trip to the moon. (He also happens to be the older brother of Leslie Feist, the Canadian singer-songwriter who performs as Feist.)

Through his correspondence with NASA, Feist learned of a bounty of newly available mission audio that no filmmaker had worked with. During the Apollo era, the agency had two 30-track tape recorders running concurrently in Houston that captured not only the flight director’s commands to his subordinates, but also all the so-called back-room loops, the channels through which NASA’s various headset-wearing controllers and support teams communicated with one another.

It was like a family discovering a forgotten shoebox full of old movies of major life events—only the family was America.

“If you picture the people sitting in Mission Control, each one is sitting at a different station,” Feist told me. “And if you want to hear what the flight dynamics officer was talking about with the guidance officer at a certain moment, you just turn on those two channels, and you can hear what those guys were saying.”

Until recently, it was nigh on impossible to hear what any of these guys were saying, because the antique, analog 30-track recordings had been neither digitized nor separated into their component tracks. But in a timely stroke of good fortune for Miller, a team of sound engineers at the University of Texas at Dallas recently completed a multi-year, labor-intensive program to transform these tapes—which include upwards of 10,000 hours of audio for Apollo 11 alone, spread over 60 channels—into digital files.

Slater clued in Miller to the files, and Feist wrote software to improve their fidelity. reducing the recordings’ flutter and wow, audio terms for the speed and pitch variations that arise from tape and recording irregularities. “You could still tell what the controllers are saying,” Feist said of the pre-cleanup audio, “but they all sound worried, like their voices are wavering. And nobody was worried.”

For Miller and Petersen, this cleaned-up 30-track audio was another means with which to tell the story of the mission in the present tense. One of its most fraught moments, familiar to space nerds but not to the general public, occurred just seven and a half minutes before the scheduled touchdown on the moon, causing fleeting but legitimate concern that the mission would have to be aborted. An alarm reading “1202” went off on the guidance computer of the lunar module, Eagle—not once but several times, and was soon joined by a second alarm reading “1201.” Neither Armstrong nor Aldrin was familiar with these codes.

This set off a scramble at Mission Control in Houston to figure out what was going on. Fortunately, a 24-year-old flight-software specialist who worked in one of the back rooms, Jack Garman, quickly determined what was happening—an “executive overflow,” or data overload, that was not mission-threatening. His reassurance was relayed up the chain of command and into outer space, in time for Eagle to land.

This episode is glancingly depicted in First Man. But thanks to the 30-track audio, the 1202 program-alarm story can be heard in Apollo 11 in its full vérité unfolding—you actually hear the kid savior, Garman, telling his guidance officer, Steve Bales, that if the alarm doesn’t reoccur, Eagle should be go for landing.

The Apollo 11 controllers didn’t just speak to each other about matters pertaining to the mission, either; in the movie, the audio finds them talking about their personal lives, and what was going on in the world. Petersen’s ears perked up when he heard a controller report for a graveyard shift early on July 20, having just come from a diner. “He’s on the loop,” Petersen said, “and he says, ‘Did you guys hear about Ted Kennedy?’”

The Chappaquiddick incident, in which Kennedy drove his car off a bridge near Martha’s Vineyard and fled the scene of the accident, leaving his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, to die in the submerged vehicle, had occurred just two days before—and temporarily knocked Apollo 11 off of the front page. It’s a useful reminder of the fraught context in which the mission took place—with the Vietnam War ongoing, the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy still in recent memory, and the Rev. Ralph Abernathy, the civil-rights leader and King’s successor as the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, leading a protest at Cape Canaveral on the eve of the rocket launch, critiquing the “distorted sense of national priorities” that saw the federal government underwriting a trip to the moon while not doing enough to help America’s earthbound poor.

One of the movie’s most powerful musical cues comes from another bit of fortuitously found audio. The night before the controllers spoke about Chappaquiddick, the astronauts, on the eve of the moon landing, were out of ground range, yakking amongst themselves aboard the command module, Columbia. (Collins: “Amazing how quickly you adapt. Why, it doesn’t seem weird at all to me to look out there and see the moon going by, you know?”) Petersen was listening to this on-board audio when something caught his attention: while the three men were inspecting the condition of the lunar module, which Armstrong and Aldrin would be flying the next day, Aldrin casually said, “Let’s get some music.” And then Petersen picked up some faint baritone singing in the background. He initially took this to be a Johnny Cash song, but, after listening for more clues, he determined that what he was hearing was “Mother Country,” by the singer-songwriter John Stewart, off of Stewart’s then-latest album, California Bloodlines.

As it turns out, NASA, ever mindful of efficiency, equipped each crew member with a Sony TC-50 cassette recorder, a sort of proto-Walkman, for the purpose of logging mission notes verbally rather than with pen and paper. Rather than blast off with only blank cassettes, the astronauts took tapes that had been pre-filled with music befitting their tastes by NASA’s friends in the music industry, most notably the record-company executive Mickey Kapp. While Armstrong went with a rather on-the-nose choice, a recording of Music Out of the Moon, a 1947 album of otherworldly theremin music, Aldrin opted for a more eclectic array of recently released adult-contemporary pop and rock.

“Mother Country,” a bittersweet, not un-Cash-esque ballad about American heroism and the elastic meaning of the phrase “the good old days,” proved a perfect allegorical fit for the film. Miller and Petersen sought permission from Stewart’s widow, Buffy Ford Stewart, to use the song in Apollo 11, and she was happy to oblige; she and her late husband, it transpired, had been good friends in the 60s with some of the Mercury astronauts.

Early one morning this past summer, I joined a small group of people who had gathered at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, in Washington, D.C., for a private screening of Apollo 11’s first 30 minutes. On the giant screen, the film looked spectacular, in particular the launch: infernal and rumbling up close, as the Saturn V’s five F-1 engines burn 5,700 pounds of kerosene and liquid oxygen per second, and a gorgeous spectacle from a patch of grass few miles away, where a young woman in purple-tinted bubble sunglasses takes photos with her camera, smiling as she snaps.

When the lights came up in the museum’s Imax theater, Miller took questions and comments from the audience. One fellow near the back, at age 87 the oldest at the gathering, happened to be a former director of the Air and Space Museum. He pronounced what he had just witnessed “magnificent.” He did note, however, that the film’s launch sequence, as effective as he found it, doesn’t quite capture the jerky lateral motion that the astronauts felt after liftoff, which he likened to being inside “a wide car being driven by a novice down a narrow road.” One might have been inclined to ask the old-timer how he could be so damned sure of this, were it not for the fact that he was none other than Michael Collins, Major General U.S.A.F. (Ret.) and NASA astronaut from 1963 to 1970.

Armstrong’s two sons, Rick and Mark, were also present at the screening. As boys, aged 12 and 6, respectively, they had watched the launch live with their mother, from a boat in the Banana River, near Cape Canaveral. Of Miller’s film, Rick Armstrong told me afterward, “The combination of the footage quality and the way it was edited made me feel like I was watching it in real time.”

If anything, Apollo 11, in its hi-res, hi-fi revisitation of those nine days in 1969, invites further curiosity about what great untapped tales of the mission remain to be told. Who, for example, is the lone woman controller seen among all the men in white shirts and skinny black neckties as the camera pans over the “firing room” at Kennedy Space Center on the day of the launch, in the third row back? What were the circumstances that placed her there?

Actually, I tracked her down and spoke with her. Her name is JoAnn Morgan, and she was a 28-year-old instrumentation controller at the time—and the only woman permitted in the firing room once it was locked down at T minus 30 minutes. “Just short of 500 men and me,” she said with a laugh. Morgan had worked for NASA almost since its inception, starting as an engineer’s aide during her summers off from the University of Florida. But Apollo 11 marked the first time she was working a mission as a senior-level controller. Morgan later learned that her very presence in the room had been the subject of serious discussion, with the matter going all the way up to Kennedy Space Center’s director, Kurt Debus, one of the elite German rocket scientists who came to the U.S. after World War II as part of Wernher von Braun’s team.

“It was no big deal to Dr. Debus,” Morgan told me. Still, she said, she experienced “tidbits of resistance” regarding her presence in the Apollo program. “I got obscene phone calls on my telephone at my console a couple of times,” she said. And, like Dr. Katherine Johnson in the movie Hidden Figures, Morgan had to trek to a completely different building in order to use a bathroom, albeit in her case for a different discriminatory reason—not because of segregation but because there simply wasn’t a women’s bathroom in the building where she worked.

All by herself, JoAnn Morgan would make for a pretty good documentary. As it is, she is a flicker on the screen—a thread in the Apollo 11 tapestry. Ben Feist, hopeful of weaving back together as many of these threads as possible, is building a companion Web site to the Apollo 11 movie that will be like his Apollo 17 site but even more thorough, with clickable access to the flight controllers’ audio channels and the opportunity for users to offer their own commentary and contributions.

“If you find something on one of the channels,” he said, “you’ll be able to open up a discussion in a forum and say, ‘Hey, I found this thing. What is it?’ Because there’s real interesting things in there.” As engrossing as it is, Apollo 11 is not the last word on Apollo 11.

A version of this story appears in the Holiday 2018 issue.
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on February 11, 2019, 06:29:30 PM
Gábor Bódy's Psyché  (1980), starring Udo Kier. Getting an English-subtitled Hungarian DVD (http://filmarchiv.hu/en/dvd/catalogue/view/psyche-1) release

Based on Sándor Weöres’s epic poem, the film is a fantastic vision, a visual time travel, the encyclopaedic debut film of the postmodern era. Gábor Bódy connected the love of Erzsébet Lónyay, a gipsy countess of the 18th century, and László Ungvárnémeti Tóth, an ill-fated playwright, with the story of baron Zedlitz, the fantast. Behind this love triangle, he unfolds the intellectual history of a century and a half, from the Enlightenment to the nineteen-twenties.

Quote from: Letterboxd user rischka
a psychedelic tour de force spanning more than a century between the napoleonic wars and world war two, in which the title characters never age and carry on a love affair that is never consummated, across time and distance. clouds rush by, stars track across the sky, scenes from a bohemian life race headlong toward doom.
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on April 04, 2019, 01:26:58 AM
Playing April 9th at Film Society Lincoln Center

Though he’s best known for his modernist domestic dramas, the great Yasujiro Ozu began his career making eclectic genre pictures—each its own unique, breathless love letter to Hollywood. His undeniably cool Dragnet Girl takes its cue from American gangster films, particularly Josef von Sternberg’s Underworld, to tell the story of a moll (Kinuyo Tanaka) desperate to keep her boxer-turned-gangster boyfriend from falling for an innocent shop girl and going straight. Hyper-stylized and psychologically dense, this silent crime film begs to be experienced anew with the atmospheric, transporting electro-ambient film score by critically lauded musical group Coupler in its New York premiere.

Edit - It's on The Criterion Channel
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on April 22, 2019, 05:58:38 PM
Kevin Brownlow Thinks a Treasure Trove of ‘Lost’ Silent Films Is Collecting Dust in Cuba
by Christian Blauvelt
20 April 2019
via IndieWire

When you speak to Kevin Brownlow, you have a direct link to some of the greatest silent film directors who ever lived. The British film historian, now 80, interviewed and befriended many early film veterans when he was just in his twenties. He then spearheaded early efforts to preserve and restore silent films at a time when silent film was often derided. To say Brownlow has some stories about those early directors would be an understatement.

“King Vidor would say to me, ‘Every time I saw a Cecil B. DeMille picture, it made me want to quit the business,’” Brownlow said during a phone interview with IndieWire from his home in London — a sentiment about the “Ten Commandments” filmmaker Brownlow disagrees with. In the 1960s, he also encountered Josef von Sternberg (“He was very, very difficult”), Allan Dwan, and Abel Gance, whose 1927 epic “Napoleon” Brownlow spent over 12 years restoring before debuting a reconstituted print of the four-hour film at the 1979 Telluride Film Festival. Gance, then 89 years old, was in attendance. Premiering to a rhapsodic response, the restored “Napoleon” helped popularize the importance of film preservation like no other project to that point.

Now it’s Brownlow’s turn in the spotlight. He was just honored with the Robert Osborne Award at the Turner Classic Movies Film Festival in Los Angeles. (Brownlow had previously received an Academy Honorary Award for his work in film preservation in 2010.) In presenting him with the honor, AMPAS president John Bailey said, “Mr. Brownlow has inspired generations of film students and filmmakers.”

But Brownlow isn’t content to just be honored for his own past work — he wants the work to continue, freely offering up advice about how future milestones in film preservation might be achieved. And where “lost” silent masterpieces might yet be found.

“I remember a Cuban refugee meeting me in London and saying all the films you’re looking for are in the Cuban archive,” Brownlow said, referring to Havana’s Cinemateca de Cuba, which is in possession of some 80,000 reels of historic films, including early American silent films. “So I spoke to a high ranking member [of the Cinemateca] on the telephone, and just to try and test the waters, I asked him if he had a print of the lost Erich von Stroheim film ‘The Devil’s Pass Key.’ And he simply said, ‘I’ve seen it.’”

“The Devil’s Pass Key,” a 1920 silent drama mounted by Universal Pictures under its Jewel label, is still considered lost, and its rediscovery would help illuminate more about von Stroheim’s career.

“You can see that really one’s work consists often of running around from archive to archive just checking on the things that they know they’ve got,” Brownlow said.

But some archives may not even know what they have — or had. The holy grail of silent film preservation might be a complete eight-hour print of von Stroheim’s “Greed,” which MGM slashed to a releasable 140 minutes in 1924. Brownlow said that von Stroheim’s son Josef, who died in 2002, told him that the entire eight-hour version sat as 42 film reels collecting dust for decades afterward in the MGM archive but under its original title, “McTeague,” which it shared with the Frank Norris novel that inspired it. Brownlow suspects it was simply discarded around the time MGM auctioned off much of its memorabilia in a firesale auction in 1970.

“The wartime generation really hated silent film,” Brownlow said. “I discovered the reason for this was when sound came in, in order to make sure that people didn’t want to return to silents again, film producers used to take very primitive silent pictures and put funny sound effects in, and honky tonk music, and crude, ‘hilarious’ commentary and show them as one-reel comedies. Of course, those looked ridiculous, and people must have said to themselves, ‘Was that what I fell in love with?’”

As the “Greed” situation shows, one of the biggest perils in terms of tracking down silent films is that many silents had multiple titles — including many American films released in other countries with titles thought to be more appealing to local audiences. Brownlow’s advice to the next generation of film preservationists: “Look through historic foreign fan magazines and find out what the foreign release title was of American films that are thought lost, then look for films with those titles.”

Brownlow was born in Crowborough, Sussex, in the south of England in 1938. He began to fall in love with film by the age of 11, befriended Abel Gance while in his teens, and started work on his own feature film (with Andrew Mollo) when he was just 17. “It Happened Here,” an alternate history film imagining if Britain had been invaded by the Nazis, was made on a shoestring but picked up by United Artists, which cut some controversial scenes depicting British Fascist collaborators, who were portrayed by actual Neo-Nazis. “We were so smug in Britain about how we thought we would have reacted to invasion,” Brownlow said.

As unconcerned about ruffling feathers as he was with “It Happened Here,” so he remains today. “I was so ashamed of the director’s guild for removing D.W. Griffith from the name of their honor [in 1999],” Brownlow said. “After all, they were all courtesy of D.W. Griffith. If he hadn’t made pictures like ‘The Birth of a Nation’ and ‘Intolerance,’ Wall Street wouldn’t have thought the early film industry was even worth financing at all. To judge a work of art by the way the artist lived and thought is cockeyed.”

To Brownlow, history needs to be faced head-on — not improved, just preserved — even when it’s hard to look at.
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on July 18, 2019, 07:01:07 PM
A new 4K restoration, rumored to be forthcoming from Criterion. Opening at Film Forum in NY on September 6th

Both a thriller and a Kafkaesque dissertation on identity, Joseph Losey's Mr. Klein stars Alain Delon (Le Samourai, Le Cercle Rouge) as Robert Klein - a charming and unscrupulous art dealer in Nazi-occupied France. As Jews flee Paris, Klein exploits them, preying on their desperation by buying their valuables at a fraction of their worth... until he finds his name is shared by a Jewish member of the anti-Nazi resistance. Klein reports this to the authorities only find that he is uncontrollably sinking into the quicksand of mistaken identity. Co-starring Jeanne Moreau (La Femme Nikita), Mr. Klein is an award-winning suspense classic that studies the ever-changing relationship between victim and oppressor.
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on August 01, 2019, 09:19:33 PM

A short biography of the DEFA
Film essay by Betina Kuntzsch
OUTER SPACE AND THE EVERYDAY takes us on a journey through time, through the history of the DEFA (state film production in East Germany from 1946 to 1992): from the first post-war German film “The Murderers Are Among Us” (1946) to one of the last films, “The Architects” (1990). Works of cinematic art from the 50s and 60s are presented, as well as some curiosities and film favourites. Across all the genres, these films tell of people searching for their role in life and for personal happiness – and show everything that can go wrong along the way.
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on August 27, 2019, 03:51:38 PM
4K restoration trailers for Fritz Lang's The Indian Tomb (1938) and The Tiger of Eschnapur (1938)

Opening at Film Forum in NY on September 27, blu-ray TBD from Film Movement

A German architect runs away with the maharajah of Eschnapur's fiancee but is caught and thrown in the dungeon, while his relatives arrive from Europe looking for him and the maharajah's brother is scheming to usurp the throne. Starring Debra Paget, Paul Hubschmid, Walther Reyer, Sabine Bethmann, and Claus Holm.

In Eschnapur, a local Maharajah and a German architect fall in-love with the same temple dancer. Starring Debra Paget, Paul Hubschmid, Walther Reyer, and Claus Holm.
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: jenkins on August 28, 2019, 03:42:50 PM
oh, something is happening this week

Re-release of filmmaker Jacqueline Audry’s 1950 drama about an English teen who finds herself in the middle of a power struggle between the headmistress and a female mathematics instructor at a girls boarding school in 19th-century France. With Marie-Claire Olivia, Simone Simon, Edwige Feuillère, Philippe Noiret. Written by Colette Audry, Pierre Laroche; based on a novel by Dorothy Bussy. In French with English subtitles. (1:38) NR.


Olivia (also known as The Pit of Loneliness) is a 1951 French film directed by Jacqueline Audry, and based on the 1950 semi-autobiographical novel by Dorothy Bussy. It has been called a "landmark of lesbian representation".
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on August 28, 2019, 05:31:46 PM
v. cool, Ophuls as a woman

Quote from: Wikipedia
Audry worked as an assistant to directors Jean Delannoy, G. W. Pabst and Max Ophüls
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: jenkins on August 30, 2019, 06:23:52 PM
i mean, assertiveness and competition are guiding features of Olivia, but this movie fully occupied by women is able to elevate philosophical matters above the personal. no one has the male ego problem. Olivia truly explores the abstract nature of society, as in not just intelligence and culture and breed etc, but the difference between beauty and grace, the power of grace, and the dynamics of a personality that gravitate others toward you. the realities of human existence are both bleak and comprehensible, and this movie displays them like a champ
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: jenkins on September 10, 2019, 02:17:31 PM
available on the Apple tv app

24 films. i don't know what's going to be happen when people Scorsese's age die. it makes me sad to think about in general sure, but i mean the cultural legacy. right now there's an 80s nostalgia and my god there's a difference
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on November 07, 2019, 12:24:32 PM
oh, something is happening this week

Re-release of filmmaker Jacqueline Audry’s 1950 drama about an English teen who finds herself in the middle of a power struggle between the headmistress and a female mathematics instructor at a girls boarding school in 19th-century France. With Marie-Claire Olivia, Simone Simon, Edwige Feuillère, Philippe Noiret. Written by Colette Audry, Pierre Laroche; based on a novel by Dorothy Bussy. In French with English subtitles. (1:38) NR.

November 26, 2019



December 10, 2019


(restored trailers above)
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on December 18, 2019, 01:20:59 PM

Playing at Film Forum February 21, 2020
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on December 27, 2019, 03:50:14 PM
4K restorations of Hungarian filmmaker István Szabó’s films are coming to Film Forum in January

The story of a stage actor that finds himself starring as Mephistopheles in a version of “Faust” in pre-WWII Germany. The role becomes incredibly popular and the actor finds himself hiding behind is role as the Nazis begin to gain power in the country.

End of the WW II in Budapest, and the resistance stashes Péter Andorai and Ildikó Bánsági for their own safety as a married couple with a seemingly safe elderly couple — only trouble is, they’re happily married to others. Tightly controlled, atmospheric chamber piece. Oscar nominee, Best Foreign Language Film.

In pre-WW I Austria-Hungary, Klaus Maria Brandauer rises from Colonel to head of counterterrorism, even as his sexual orientation makes him prey to Russian blackmailing, and sets him up as the fall guy to the great Armin Mueller-Stahl’s imperial heir Franz Ferdinand (soon to be assassinated at Sarajevo). Oscar nominee, Best Foreign Language Film.
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on January 10, 2020, 06:57:05 PM
Reposting this blog entry (http://www.filmlegacy.net/blog/2020/01/10/french-filmmaker-louis-valrays-1930s-features-restored/) from Film Legacy. These sound so cool.

French filmmaker Louis Valray’s 1930s features restored


Louis Valray directed two independent features in France in the mid-1930s. Adapted from a play by Pierre Wolff, La belle de nuit is structured a bit like La Ronde, starting with a theatrical couple facing a crisis and progressing through several love affairs in various settings, all ending in betrayals of one sort or another. It stars Véra Korène, a member of the Comédie Française, Aimé Clariond and Jacques Dumesnil.

Valray uses some of the techniques of mainstream filmmaking in how scenes are written and structured, but also departs from them in unexpected ways. There’s a daring pan of working women at a bar that’s shot in tight, almost out of focus. A singer performs a number nonchalantly, almost contemptuously, the way Pert Kelton did in The Bowery. Subplots end abruptly, unresolved. The camera swings back and forth across a table in a restaurant, capturing three characters as their relationships change right before our eyes. (Dreyer would use a similar technique in Day of Wrath.) Valray cuts from a pet dog crying after its mistress to a train whistle, one of several audio edits that carry the movie from one location to another.


There’s a twist reminiscent of a film so famous to name it would give the game away, but it’s delivered in an off-handed manner that doesn’t call attention to itself. The movie as a whole is very much in the tone of Max Ophüls, if not quite his style (and that due more to budget issues than artistic vision). And while not everyone will accept its cold, even creepy, message (it was a box-office failure), it is a lot of fun to watch.


MoMA is screening it January 12 and 21 (https://www.moma.org/calendar/events/6236). Valray’s second feature, Escale (Thirteen Days of Love) (https://www.moma.org/calendar/events/6237), will screen the same days. The January 12 screenings will be introduced by Serge Bromberg. Since these are Lobster Films (https://www.lobsterfilms.com/en/) restorations, they will most likely be available on Blu-ray or DVD at some point.

La belle de nuit. 1934. France. Directed by Louis Valray. Screenplay by Arnold Lipp. With Véra Korène, Aimé Clariond, Jacques Dumesnil. DCP. In French; English subtitles. 87 min.

Not much is known about the director Louis Valray, except that he was born in Toulon in 1896 and made two exceptional feature films in the mid-1930s, both of which are screening in this program in new editions from Lobster Films. Based on a play by Pierre Wolff, about a wronged husband’s revenge on his wife and her lover, La belle de nuit is a major find, a work of uninhibited stylistic imagination that ranges from Sirkian stylization (an elaborate play of mirrors and doubles) to brutal realism (a tour of the bordellos of Marseille suggests the contemporary photographs of Brassaï).

Escale (Thirteen Days of Love). 1935. France. Directed by Louis Valray. Screenplay by Louis Valray, Anne Valray. With Colette Darfeuil, Samson Fainsilber, Serge Arola. DCP. In French; English subtitles. 90 min.

An officer of a passenger ship falls in love with the mistress of a Marseille racketeer, with unexpected results. Louis Valray’s second and final feature film, written with his wife, Anne Valray, is as free-spirited as his first, La belle de nuit, owing little or nothing to any established school of French cinema, mixing the lyrical (as the lovers enjoy a few days of romance on a tiny island) and stark realism (unblinking observations of the Marseille underworld and its seemingly authentic denizens).
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on February 17, 2020, 09:25:24 PM
Trailer for the new 4K restoration, currently touring and coming to blu-ray from Cohen Media Group later this year

Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: WorldForgot on February 20, 2020, 05:46:20 PM
Korean Film Archive (https://www.youtube.com/user/KoreanFilm/videos)
Their actual site is a bit hard to navigate compared to YT, unfortunately.  (https://eng.koreafilm.or.kr/main)
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: jenkins on February 20, 2020, 08:24:07 PM
well that sure is a find
Title: Re: Film Restoration and Preservation
Post by: wilder on March 10, 2020, 02:46:05 AM

^ Blu-ray from Cohen Media Group on April 21, 2020. Also includes Albert Lewin’s The Living Idol (1951)


PANDORA AND THE FLYING DUTCHMAN is producer/director Albert Lewin's hauntingly romantic film of the famed legend of The Flying Dutchman. In one of the most sensually rich performances of her career, Ava Gardner stars as Pandora Reynolds, a nightclub singer on vacation in Spain, with whom all men fall hopelessly in love. But Pandora, never having known true love, is indifferent to her suitors' affections. Until, one evening, she swims out to a mysterious yacht and meets its captain - a Dutchman named Hendrick van der Zee (James Mason). Hailed for its brilliant Technicolor cinematography by Jack Cardiff and with impressive production design by John Bryan, PANDORA AND THE FLYING DUTCHMAN remains a wonderfully enigmatic and compelling movie.