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Archive for May 14th, 2012

by Allan Fish

This post is a contribution to the third annual For the Love of Film blogathon and fundraiser, which will be running from May 13-18. This year, hosts Marilyn Ferdinand, Farran Smith Nehme and Roderick Heath have dedicated the week to Alfred Hitchcock, whose early (non-directorial) work “The White Shadow” will be the beneficiary of any money earned during the event.  The film preservation theme of course is at the center of this cinematic lament.  We can certainly hope for  a miracle. Be sure to donate!]

Network For Good

In discussions regarding film preservation, what often gets lost in the mélée is at what cost our slowly awakening ourselves to the problem has come.  Lost films are a source of anguish to film connoisseurs and historians.  A read through the timelines on this site’s right menus will showcase just what treasures have been lost to us.  The degree of loss varies, of course.  In most cases the entire film is lost.  In others it’s only a portion that’s lost, in a few we have snippets surviving, from the 10 seconds or so of the Theda Bara Cleopatra (1917) to the one or two scenes of The Way of All Flesh (1927) – with the only lost Academy Award winning performance, by Emil Jannings – to films whose trailers survive and whose films do not.   The documentary Fragments (2011), financed by TCM, showcased many of these lost films and what footage we have of them.  In the spirit of that programme, I present a personal choice of 25 lost films most mourned by this writer.  I leave aside the legendary lost cuts of Foolish Wives (1921), Greed (1924), The River (1929), The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), The Red Badge of Courage (1951) and the original six hour Cleopatra (1962) as we at least have them in butchered versions through to their conclusions.  These 25 were not so fortunate.

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Kids in Hirokazu Kore-eda’s ‘I Wish’

by Sam Juliano

With spring weather upon us in full flower, outdoor activity has allowed many to do things that have long been sitting on the back burner.  Hope all those Moms out there had the best Mother’s Day ever on Sunday!  Thanks again to Dee Dee for her heart-felt attention to the special day on the sidebar and in the forwarding of cards by e mail.   Meanwhile, concrete steps have now been taken to launch the upcoming Comedy Countdown at Wonders in the Dark when a group e mail was sent this past week to all prospective participants, who have been urged to hand in a ballot with pointed specifications by July 1st.  It is currently planned and anticipated that the countdown will begin in late July and will feature a Top 60, to be posted Monday through Fridays.  Obviously if these plans come to pass as expected, the countdown will run until late October.

The For the Love of Film blogothon is officially underway at Ferdy on Films and at the sites of Roderick Heath and The Self-Styled Siren and will run through this coming Friday, May 18.  Allan Fish’s stupendous post on lost films captures the spirit of this venture in every sense imaginable, and is presently sitting above the MMD today.  My own contribution will be posted this coming Thursday, in a switch with Allan’s post, which was supposed to go up that day, but which has been moved ahead.  It should be quite a week for Marilyn and all the others here in their glorious annual venture.

Elsewhere, R.D. Finch’s William Wyler blogothon at The Movie Projector has drawn a week closer.  I will be contributing an essay on Ben-Hur, but over at The Dancing Image our dear friend Joel Bocko has written his own piece on the film:

http://thedancingimage.blogspot.com/2012/05/ben-hur.html

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