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MoMA Announces 8th Festival of Film Preservation
The Story of Temple Drake. 1933. USA. Directed by Stephen Roberts. Courtesy of MoMA.

NEW YORK, NY.- The Museum of Modern Art presents To Save and Project: The Eighth MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation, its annual festival of preserved and restored films from film archives, studios, and distributors around the world, from October 15 through November 14, 2010. This year‘s festival comprises over 35 films from 13 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; Anne Morra, Associate Curator; and Katie Trainor, Film Collections Manager; all of the Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art.

Opening this year‘s festival is Il Gattopardo (The Leopard) (1963), Luchino Visconti‘s masterpiece starring Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon, and Claudia Cardinale, which has been restored in association with Cineteca di Bologna, L'Immagine Ritrovata, The Film Foundation, Pathé, Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé, Twentieth Century Fox and Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia-Cineteca Nazionale, with funding provided by Gucci and The Film Foundation. The 2010 festival also includes other masterworks such as Acto da Primavera (Rite of Spring) (1963), written and directed by Manoel de Oliviera; Alberto Cavalcanti‘s postwar noir They Made Me a Fugitive (1947), starring Trevor Howard; the digital Director‘s Cut of Volker Schlöndorff ‗s Academy Award-winning The Tin Drum (1979/2010); and Pierre Schoendoerffer‘s La 317ème Section (The 317th Section) (1965), a harrowing account of the defeat of French colonial forces in Indochina. Both Schlöndorff and Schoendoerffer will present screenings of their films.

The festival‘s centerpiece is the world premiere performance of Gene Coleman and Akikazu Nakamura‘s original score for Teinosuke Kinugasa‘s silent masterpiece Kurutta ippeiji (A Page of Madness) (1926), which will be performed live on Saturday, October 23, by the Ensemble N_JP (Japan/United States), led by award-winning composer and bass clarinetist Gene Coleman and featuring the master shakuhachi player and composer Akikazu Nakamura. Also featured in this year‘s festival is Abel Gance‘s J’Accuse (1919), with an original piano score written and performed live by Robert Israel, one of the world‘s leading composers of music for silent films. Another highlight is the New York premiere of two films by Andy Warhol not seen in more than forty years: Face (1965), starring Edie Sedgwick, and The Velvet Underground in Boston (1967)—presented in honor of the late Callie Angell, the foremost scholar of Andy Warhol films.

In conjunction with the Museum‘s current exhibition ―Contemporary Art from the Collection,‖ three artists whose works are featured in that exhibition were invited to select films to present during the festival. Lynda Benglis will introduce Suddenly, Last Summer (1959), Joseph L. Mankiewicz‘s adaptation of the Tennessee Williams play starring Elizabeth Taylor, Montgomery Clift, and Katharine Hepburn. Glenn Ligon will explore depictions of race and ethnicity in early American cinema with ―Playing in the Dark,‖ a program he curated of films from 1896-1914 by Thomas Edison and other pioneering filmmakers, including Edison‘s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1901) and an excerpt from his own related video installation The Death of Tom (2008). Rachel Harrison will present two films by the underappreciated Spanish director Carlos Velo: Almadrabas (1934), about tuna fishermen, and his Academy Award-nominated Torero (1956), considered one of the most authentic and gripping films about bullfighting ever made.

This year, MoMA celebrates the preservation work of UCLA Film & Television Archive with a special presentation of five programs. Introducing the screenings are Jan-Christopher Horak, Director, UCLA Film & Television Archive; and Ross Lipman, Senior Film Preservationist, UCLA Film & Television Archive, who is the featured guest for this year‘s Conservator‘s Choice sidebar. The UCLA film preservations include Wanda (1970), written, directed, and starring Barbara Loden, which also be introduced by the filmmaker and actress Sofia Coppola, and Margaret Bodde, executive director of The Film Foundation; the 1950s noir Cry Danger (1951), directed by Robert Parrish and starring Dick Powell; Emile de Antonio‘s Point of Order! (1963), presented by the film‘s co-producer Dan Talbot; Dan Drasin‘s Sunday (1961); and Tom Chomont: In Celebration, a program of experimental films introduced by Lipman and filmmaker Jim Hubbard.

The festival also features several rediscoveries preserved by The Museum of Modern Art: Stephen Roberts‘s The Story of Temple Drake (1933), a steamy Paramount pre-Code melodrama based on William Faulkner‘s controversial 1931 novel Sanctuary and starring Miriam Hopkins; David Butler‘s Sunnyside Up (1929), one of Hollywood‘s first movie musicals, starring Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell; and Mangue-Bangue (1971), a long-censored Brazilian avant-garde film by Neville d‘Almeida. Other rediscoveries include Mrinal Sen‘s Kandahar (1983), a late-period classic by one of India‘s most important directors; Alexandre Volkoff‘s Der weisse Teufel (The White Devil) (1930), based on Leo Tolstoy‘s autobiographical Hadschi Murat and starring celebrated Russian émigré movie star Ivan Mosjoukine; Slow Summer (1976), directed by John Cook, one of the most important Austrian filmmakers of the past fifty years; Patrice Chéreau‘s debut feature La Chair de l’orchidée (The Flesh of the Orchid) (1975), loosely based on James Hadley Chase‘s 1948 brutal psychological thriller and starring Charlotte Rampling; and, just in time for Halloween, Steve Sekely‘s science fiction cult classic The Day of the Triffids (1962, co-directed by Freddie Francis), which hasn‘t been screened theatrically in nearly fifty years and will be introduced by its conservator, Michael Hyatt.

To Save and Project will also include experimental films by the artist/filmmaker Paul Sharits, preserved by Anthology Film Archives and presented on its fortieth anniversary; and a program of animated films presented by Serge Bromberg, director of the Annecy Animation Film Festival, including Walt Disney’s Laugh-O-Grams from 1921-23 and five cartoons by the legendary animator Ub Iwerks. A special program is dedicated to the Orphans Film Symposium at New York University, introduced by Orphans founder Dan Streible and featuring Henri Cartier-Bresson‘s newly rediscovered first film, With the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in Spain (1938). And an annual festival sidebar is dedicated to the Women‘s Film Preservation Fund, co-founded in 1995 by The Museum of Modern Art and New York Women in Film and Television, featuring Lourdes Portillo‘s Academy Award-nominated documentary Las Madres: The Mothers of Plaza de Mayo (1985).

All of the films in To Save and Project have been recently preserved and restored by archives around the world, including MoMA‘s Department of Film, as well as by Hollywood and European studios and distributors.

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