NEW YORK, NY.- The Museum of Modern Art presents To Save and Project: The Sixth MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation, its annual festival of preserved and restored films from international film archives and studios around the world, from October 24 through November 16, 2008. Spanning 90 years of film history, from 1891 to 1984, the festival includes over 25 films, 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 includes feature-length and short titles, as well as fragments of works previously believed lost, by such major filmmakers as Dario Argento, Frank Borzage, Youssef Chahine, Michael Curtiz, Hollis Frampton, D.W. Griffith, Fritz Lang, Ernst Lubitsch, Djibril Diop Mambéty, Anthony Mann, and Vilgot Sjöman. It encompasses dramatic, documentary, and experimental works as well as a special program of films by women directors and a program of rarely seen films by one of cinemas inventors, W.K-L. Dickson (see separate press release). All have been recently preserved and restored by archives around the world, including MoMAs Department of Film, as well as by Hollywood and European studios and distributors.
The festival is organized by Steven Higgins, Curator; Joshua Siegel, Associate Curator; and Anne Morra, Assistant Curator; all of the Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art.
To Save and Project opens on October 24 with Melvin Van Peebles Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971), shown in a print newly restored by MoMA and introduced by filmmaker Van Peebles. This landmark of American independent cinema has been preserved with the generous financial support of The Film Foundation and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Other October highlights include Marco Ferreri's Dillinger Is Dead (1969), a major rediscovery shown in a newly struck 35mm print from Janus Films; Vilgot Sjöman's controversial look at 1960s counterculture, I Am Curious (Yellow) (1967) from the Swedish Film Institute; and, from the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat's Millions Like Us (1943), a wry, poignant depiction of life on the home front in wartime Britain.
MoMA's recent restoration of Ernst Lubitsch's Lady Windermere's Fan (1925) will be screened, along with Michael Curtiz's Jimmy the Gent (1934), a pre-Code gem starring James Cagney and Bette Davis, in a new 35mm print from The Library of Congress. Frank Borzage's late silent film The River (1929) is presented in a digital reconstruction completed by the Cinémathèque Suisse, the Cinémathèque Française, and the Svenska Filminstitutet.
Also in October, MoMA celebrates its ongoing relationship with New York Women in Film and Television (NYWIFT) with two films preserved through its Women's Film Preservation Fund: Leonard Anderson's 1947 musical That Man of Mine, featuring a young Ruby Dee, who will appear after the screening in a discussion with historian Pearl Bowser on October 29; and Jacki Ochs's The Secret Agent (1983), a documentary about Agent Orange.
A major highlight of the festival in November will be the weeklong run of Cy Endfields gritty B-movie Hell Drivers (1957), starring Stanley Baker and a then-unknown Sean Connery, November 1 through 7. It is shown with Endfields first film, the satirical wartime propaganda short Inflation (1942), which was censored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for its anticapitalist message.
Other highlights in November include classics of Turkish and Senegalese cinema Metin Erksans Dry Summer (1964) and Djibril Diop Mambétys Touki Bouki (1973)that were restored by the World Cinema Foundation at Cineteca di Bologna/LImmagine Ritrovata Laboratory; American experimental filmmaker Hollis Framptons magnum opus Hapax Legomena IVII (197172); Rob Epsteins Oscar-winning documentary The Times of Harvey Milk (1984), presented in anticipation of the theatrical release of Gus Van Sants fiction drama Milk later this year; stirring views of New York City from 1896 to 1957, featuring a new restoration of Paul Strand and Charles Sheelers Manhatta (1921), introduced by independent curator Bruce Posner; short documentaries of Great Britain from before and during World War II, assembled by the British Film Institute; The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970) and The Cat o Nine Tails (1971), two celebrated giallo films by Dario Argento, the Italian master of horror and suspense; D.W. Griffiths Hearts of the World (1918), starring Lillian and Dorothy Gish, presented on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the Dorothy and Gillian Gish Prize; Anthony Manns underappreciated Men in War (1957) and Fritz Langs Western Union (1941); and a wonderful program of rarely seen films by one of cinemas inventors, W.K-L. Dickson.