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Cinefamily resurrects Lucasfilm’s “Twice Upon A Time” (1983)

Cinefamily resurrects Lucasfilm's "Twice Upon A Time" (1983)

Los Angeles repertory cinema The Cinefamily will score a coup later this month – they will be screening a 35mm print of the seldom seen animated feature Twice Upon A TimeThe 1983 Lucasfilm production was a Ladd Company presentation through Warner Bros. It was also an unusual failure at the box office at the time for the Star Wars mogul.

Cinefamily spent years looking for a print, then trying to get clearance to show it.  The theatre finally obtained an “insanely rare” vault print (which has only been run twice) from co-director John Korty himself. The theatre will hold three screenings – one per evening at 7:30pm – April 26th, 27th and 28th. Co-directors Korty and Charles Swenson will appear in person on Friday April 26th for a Q&A with animator Phil Lord (Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, 21 Jump St. The Lego Movie). The directors will also screen other animation shorts and rarities from their personal collections. 

Twice Upon A Time was produced using the “Lumage” stop-motion process – a combination of backlit cut-out paper and fabric with brilliant stylized design. Among the youthful animators on the film were future director David Fincher, Ratatouille’s Harley Jessup and The Nightmare Before Christmas’s Henry Selick. 

Like an updated Fractured Fairy Tale, the story is set in a fantasy world of sweet dreams and nightmares. It finds our heroes attempting to re-calibrate the cosmic clock to restore the flow of time. Voices included Lorenzo Music, satirist Marshall Efron, Paul Frees, and Hamilton Camp. The dialogue was largely improvised. 

For more information on the 35mm screenings, check The Cinefamily website. An except from the film is posted below. 

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I hope to see a report with details comparing the version of the movie to be screened with other versions.

Harvey Deneroff

I recall asking Howard Kazanjian at a preview screening of RETURN OF THE JEDI, which he produced, about the film. I don't exactly remember what he said, but Kazanjian did note that George Lucas hated the film.

Jody Morgan

Though I'm a small-town boy to my core, it's times times like these I wish I lived within driving distance of Los Angeles… Maybe, just maybe, this'll lead to a proper home video release.

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