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Archive for May 17th, 2012

by Sam Juliano

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!]

Printed prominently on the CD artwork and in the elaborate booklets included in the “Brigham University Film Music Archive Collection” launched in 1995 and still running series of film music releases is this specification: All proceeds from this limited edition compact disc go towards the acquisition and preservation of film music elements.  The series now includes a relatively-scant 14 releases, each a miracle of production, in almost all instances produced from master tapes and manuscripts that were donated to the university, and are presently managed by the curator, James D’Arc, who has sereved as producer for each of the releases.  The published “mission statement” of the project reads:

The Film Music Archives (BYU/FMA) exists to acquire, preserve, catalog, and make 
available to scholars and other interested parties original motion picture music manuscripts and recordings that document the history of music composed and recorded for motion pictures. (more…)

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By Peter Lenihan

Finding Ford is a biweekly series on the films of John Ford.

Apologies for the EXTREME tardiness of this week’s post—as some of you may or may not know, I live and work at a small provincial college in a fairly remote area on the border of Thailand and Burma, where power outages, not to mention internet disconnections, are a daily reality. Ideally I would have my pieces scheduled here at WitD well in advance, but that rarely happens, and when the power is out the power is out.

I have found in the past few weeks that I have less and less time to dedicate to these entries, and that I find myself repeating the same ideas from essay to essay. It’s for these reasons that I’m deciding to suspend the Finding Ford series for the time being—it may very well be resuscitated some time in the future, but for now I think it has run its course, and it’s unclear to me where it has left to go. (And if anyone feels like continuing the series themselves, perhaps offering fresh perspectives on the films I haven’t yet covered, they absolutely have my blessing; just throw Sam or me an email).

The Searchers has been written on twice before at Wonders in the Dark. Here Allan Fish called it the ninth best film of the fifties. And here Maurizio Roca contrasted it unfavorably with Michael Cimino’s striking Heaven’s Gate—I don’t agree with a word of the latter piece but there’s no denying it stakes out a position that many today agree with, and does so in a way that is far more palatable (and less self-centered) than the Stephen Metcalfs of this world are capable of. (more…)

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