by Sam Juliano
A most appreciable honor was bestowed on Wonders in the Dark this past week when our very good friends and distinguished film scholars Marilyn Ferdinand and Roderick Heath of Ferdy-on-Films and This Island Rod enlisted the participation of Allan Fish, Jim Clark and Yours Truly in conjunction with our nearly seven-year-old site to join them in hosting the 4th edition of the wildly popular For the Love of Film: The Film Preservation Blogathon. Previously uniting the FoF duo with the renowned New York Post film critic, novelist and Criterion liner note specialist Farren Smith Nehme (“the Self-Styled Siren”), the blogathon has proved to be a success both financially and in promoting film preservation awareness, while bring deserved attention to the selected subjects. Just the idea of walking in the footsteps of Ms. Nehme is mind-boggling enough without even broaching the proposition of working with our very good friends at FoF on this worthiest of cinematic ventures. As we get closer to the actual May date of this five day blogathon, I will bring out more details and specifics, but suffice to say now it will be launched in mid-May (13-17), and will be hosted by Ms. Ferdinand for two days, Mr. Heath for two at This Island Rod, and Wonders in the Dark for one.
The film chosen to restore is the 1918 one-reeler Cupid in Quarantine, a Strand comedy with a science theme that Ms. Ferdinand encapsulates as “the story of a young couple conspiring to stay together by staging a smallpox outbreak.” Ms. Ferdinand goes much further in her splendid description and validation:
Following on the heels of successful repatriation projects with the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia and the New Zealand Film Archive—which brought back and preserved nearly 200 American silent-era films that no longer survived in U.S. archives—the National Film Preservation Foundation is now partnering with the EYE Filmmuseum in Amsterdam to return and preserve more lost treasures. As part of the preservation process, the Dutch-language intertitles will be translated back into English. After work is completed, the American archives participating in the project—the Academy Film Archive, Library of Congress, National Museum of American History, and Oregon Historical Society—will take custody of the new digital scans, 35mm masters, prints, and access copies. EYE will also receive new prints and digital copies, thus ensuring that the titles are available for screening and research on both continents. Continue Reading »
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