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UCLA’S FESTIVAL OF PRESERVATION

UCLA’S FESTIVAL OF PRESERVATION

Once again,
the UCLA Film and Television Archive is presenting some of its latest
preservation efforts on the big screen at the Hammer Museum in Westwood. The series
ranges from mainstream Hollywood features to live television broadcasts,
documentaries, newsreels, and early short subjects that only survive because
paper copies were printed from the original negatives in order to secure their
copyright. Some of the titles may not be rare but the opportunity to see them
in newly-struck 35mm prints definitely is—and the knowledge that they will
exist in this form offers great satisfaction.

A perfect
example of the latter category is the Archive’s ongoing Laurel and Hardy
project, which is attempting to undo decades of neglect and bring these
timeless comedies back to pristine condition. If you love Stan and Ollie and
haven’t yet contributed to this campaign, I urge you to do so. I wrote about
this endeavor some time ago; you can read the article HERE.

I’m
especially intrigued by some of the rare film noirs (saved in conjunction with
the Film Noir Foundation) and neglected titles from the Republic Pictures
library, like The Inside Story
(1948). There’s so much to discover here.

Here’s what
Archive director Jan-Christopher Horak has to say in his introduction to this
year’s Festival program:

After last
year’s herculean effort to put together the massive L.A. Rebellion program, now
touring North America, the Archive has not rested on its laurels, but has put
together a new UCLA Festival of Preservation for 2013. It is my great pleasure,
as director of UCLA Film & Television Archive, to introduce the 2013 “FOP,”
which again reflects the broad and deep efforts of UCLA Film & Television
Archive to preserve and restore our national moving image heritage. Even in an
era of tightening budgets and ever decreasing University-State funding, the
Archive is committed to protecting and celebrating our film and television
assets.

Our Festival opens with the restoration
of Gun Crazy (1950), directed by
Joseph H. Lewis, and one of the most celebrated film noirs made on Hollywood’s
poverty row. Produced in part locally in Montrose, California, and starring
Peggy Cummins, this reworking of the “Bonnie and Clyde” story served as a
template for Arthur Penn’s more famous film. The Festival also features a
number of other films noirs, including The
Chase
(1946), completed by our late preservationist, Nancy Mysel, and based
on Cornell Woolrich’s classic serie noire
novel, The Black Path of Fear. That
film will double feature with High Tide (1947), another low-budget noir gem.
And then there is Cy Endfield’s The Sound
of Fury
(1950), based on the same source as Fritz Lang’s classic, Fury (1936), which chronicles a brutal
lynching and the media frenzy surrounding it.

Independent cinema also continues to be
a major focus of the Archive’s preservation efforts. After premiering our
restoration of Robert Altman’s Come Back
to the Five & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean
(1982) in 2011,
preservationist Jere Guldin this year introduces Altman’s first major feature, That Cold Day in the Park (1969), again
funded by our good friends at The Film Foundation and the Hollywood Press
Association. Preservationist Ross Lipman contributes restorations of further
independent films, such as Eadweard
Muybridge, Zoopraxographer
(1985), directed by Thom Andersen, Fay Andersen
and Morgan Fisher, and Shirley Clarke’s Ornette:
Made in America
(1985). And the independents continue with a special
program of films from the L.A. Rebellion, which were discovered or preserved
after last year’s monumental program. We are also proud to present a compliment
of silent features, including Clara Bow’s Mantrap
(1926), and the German feature, Different
from the Others
(1919), preserved in conjunction with the Outfest/UCLA
Legacy Project.

Finally, this Festival of Preservation
marks the arrival of our new Head of Preservation, Scott MacQueen, who has
contributed several Hollywood features from Paramount in the 1930s, including Double Door (1934), International House (1933), and Supernatural (1933).

Our newsreel preservationists, Blaine
Bartell and Jeffrey Bickel, present their restoration of a German war
documentary that had been considered lost for decades, With the Greeks in the Firing Line (1913), which documents the
Balkan Wars of 1912-13, as well as a second program of selected newsreels from
the Hearst Metrotone News Film Collections.

We are also very happy to continue
preserving and screening classic television shows. Dan Einstein presents
“October Story” from the 1950s omnibus series Goodyear Television Playhouse, starring Julie Harris. Two other
classic television shows, CBS Playhouse’s
“The Final War of Olly Winter” (1967) and ABC Stage 67’s “Noon Wine” (1966),
round out the program.

As is always the case, the Archive’s
internationally recognized preservationists will appear in person at many
Festival screenings to introduce the films and discuss their work with
audiences. All of our preservation work and public programs—including this
Festival—are funded by donations from individuals, foundations, corporations,
and government agencies. We are most thankful for the generosity of these
organizations and individuals.           

For a
complete calendar of programs, click HERE.

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Comments

Tony

For more info on Bunny’s films and new documentary on DVD, search for John Bunny on facebook. This comment section will not let me give a web address.

Norm

Let the Festival commence…Viva Le Festival…maybe a "Bunny" tribute…

Brian

Thank you Leonard for reminding us of John Bunny — it's amazing to think that he was the world's biggest movie star….in 1913. Sad to say that only a handful of his shorts survive, but should all be put together in a commemorative dvd set (probably 2 discs at the most) — also his life story would make a great tv movie (it wouldn't make a cent at the box office, but would be ideal for the small screen).

If only Ernest Borgnine was still around (especially when he was old Ernest), he would have been perfect as John Bunny — this would be a great role for a character actor of a certain stature and age, so to speak, as would Bunny's regular co-star Flora Finch who was nearly as famous as he was and they were quite a duo on screen, not quite Tracy and Hepburn, but close.

In the wake of John Bunny's decline and death, she continued in movies, her last role was as 'Maw' in the early scenes of "Way Out West" with Laurel and Hardy — one suspects Stan and Oliver remembered Flora's work and persona and had her in the movie and make a most memorable appearance in that classic.

My Facebook profile picture is of John Bunny, I'll keep the flag flying — I think is both amazing and terribly tragic, how a star, probably the world's first, can in 1913 be everywhere and with the arrival of Charlie Chaplin, be erased – literally – from the face of the earth.

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