October 25, 2012 - The Museum of Modern Art, New York - To Save and Project
October 25, 2012

To Save and Project

Still from The White House Home Movies: Richard Nixon on Super 8 program. Courtesy of Brian Frye and Penny Lane. USA. Various years.

To Save and Project: The 10th MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation
October 11–November 12, 2012

The Museum of Modern Art, New York
11 West 53rd Street
New York, NY 10019

T 212 708 9400

MoMA.org

MoMA’s 10th annual International Festival of Film Preservation showcases newly restored masterworks and rediscoveries

Guest presenters include Anouk Aimée, Peter Brook, Dwight Chapin, Sally Cruikshank, Robert De Niro, Paula Gladstone, Ken Jacobs, and Taylor Mead.

To Save and Project, MoMA’s 10th festival of restored films from archives, studios, and distributors around the world, continues through November 12. This year’s edition comprises over 75 films from 15 countries, virtually all of them having their New York premieres, and some shown in versions never before seen in the United States. To Save and Project is organized by Joshua Siegel, Associate Curator, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art, and guest curator J. Hoberman, a film journalist, historian, and author or co-author of 12 books.

To Save and Project spans the entire century of cinema, from hand-painted trick films like Segundo de Chomón and Ferdinand Zecca’s The Red Spectre (1907) to Uprising, a 2012 compilation that Human Rights Watch assembled from images of the Arab Spring demonstrations. The festival also features films by Robert Aldrich, George Cukor, Jacques Demy, Sergio Leone, Joan Littlewood, Dušan Makavejev, Glauber Rocha, Roberto Rossellini, Raoul Walsh, Andy Warhol, and Lois Weber.

A program on October 28 is devoted to home movies from the White House, culled from the hundreds of Super-8 rolls shot by Richard Nixon’s aides H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, and Dwight Chapin documenting the Nixon presidency. Chapin speaks at the screening, along with filmmakers Brian Frye and Penny Lane, who are currently at work on a documentary incorporating much of this fascinating footage.

The Nixon home movies are presented as part of an election-year sidebar devoted to movies about American presidents and political campaigns. These include MoMA’s restoration of D. W. Griffith’s Abraham Lincoln (1930); the sensational Hearst-produced Gabriel over the White House (1933), together with its newly discovered British version; Harry Hurwitz and Lorees Yerby’s long-lost satire Richard (1972); and Robert Aldrich’s rarely screened thriller Twilight’s Last Gleaming (1977); as well as newsreels, cartoons, and campaign films from candidates as disparate as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Robert Kennedy, and George Wallace, and the fictional Betty Boop and Rufus Jones.

In keeping with this year’s political theme, the festival also includes anarchist cinema from the Spanish Civil War, presented by Edouard Waintrop, Artistic Director of the Cannes Film Festival Directors’ Fortnight; World War II combat movies directed by Soviet genre specialist Ivan Pyr’ev; and Brazilian master Glauber Rocha’s Der Leone Have Sept Cabeças (1970).

Other group shows are dedicated to the lost Lower East Side and Coney Island, including Ken Jacobs’s Orchard Street (1955), restored by MoMA; the “Cinema of Industrial Noise,” featuring the vintage CBGB documentary Punking Out (1978); and early Japanese talkies with benshi-recorded soundtracks, including a condensed version of Harold Lloyd’s Why Worry? (1923/1930s). Still more festival highlights include the newly restored director’s cut of Roberto Rossellini’s Il Generale della Rovere (1959); Herbert Brenon’s The Spanish Dancer (1923), with silent star Pola Negri as a gypsy singer; and Herbert Danska’s Right On! (1970), a documentary with the pre-hip-hop political rap artists the Last Poets, introduced by Danska, Woody King, Jr., and Last Poet Felipe Luciano on November 8.

In addition, the festival features two forgotten, yet prophetic, Hollywood genre films of the Mad Men era: William Asher’s Johnny Cool (1963) and Edward Dmytryk’s Mirage (1965), starring Gregory Peck and Walter Matthau.

This year, MoMA celebrates the preservation work of the Austrian Film Museum, Vienna, with screenings introduced by its director, Alexander Horwath: Robert Florey’s 1941 noir The Face behind the Mask, starring Peter Lorre; James Benning’s magnum opus, American Dreams (Lost and Found) (1984); and experimental ethnography by Forough Farrokhzad, from Iran, Dušan Makavejev, from Yugoslavia, and Ulrich Seidl, from Austria; as well “The Clock: or, 89 Minutes of ‘Free Time,’” a program on cinematic temporality. The festival also honors The National Museum of Cinema, Turin, with presentations by its director, Alberto Barbera (also Artistic Director of the Venice Film Festival), of silent Italian femme fatale melodramas directed by Giovanni Pastrone and starring the diva Pina Menichelli; Luigi Zampa’s controversial postwar drama Anni difficili (1948); and Elio Petri’s masterpiece I giorni contati (1962).

 

 

To Save and Project: The 10th MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation
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