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TFF AND GUCCI HOST FIRST SCREENING OF RESTORED A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE

10/21/2008 12:00:00 AM

Hosts Gena Rowlands and Martin Scorsese hosted the first screening of the newly restored A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE (1974, d. John Cassavetes) for invited guests at New York’s Museum of Modern Art on October 21st. Introduced by Ms. Rowlands, the screening was followed by a dinner that celebrated the film’s beautiful restoration by the UCLA Film & Television Archive. 

The film will have its public world premiere next spring at UCLA’s Festival of Preservation, and then its Northern California premiere at the San Francisco International Film Festival in April 2009.

Gucci and The Film Foundation launched their partnership and the restoration of A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE at a special dinner in October 2006, attended by the film’s stars Gena Rowlands and Peter Falk, along with late TFF board member Sydney Pollack.

Since then, Gucci and The Film Foundation have also funded the restoration of Michelangelo Antonioni’s LE AMICHE (1955), which premiered at the Bologna Film Festival in July 2008. The partnership will next fund the restoration of Barbara Loden’s WANDA (1970).

Photo: A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE star Gena Rowlands (second from left) with family - daughters Zoe & Xan Cassavetes, granddaughter Veronica Ross, and son Nick Cassavetes

Photo by Chance Yeh at Patrick McMullan

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TFF PRESENTS ROBERT ROSEN WITH JOHN HUSTON AWARD AT THE 2008 DGA HONORS

The Film Foundation

10/16/2008 12:00:00 AM

Robert Rosen, Dean of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television received The Film Foundation’s John Huston Award for his significant contributions and commitment to film preservation and restoration. Rosen, who serves as Chair of The Film Foundation’s Archivists Advisory Council, accepted this prestigious award from Film Foundation Founder and Chair Martin Scorsese as part of the 2008 Directors Guild of America Honors held in New York City on October 16th. 

Scorsese spoke fondly of Rosen, citing him as one of the key figures in the 1990 creation of the foundation. He added that Rosen “was essential in making The Film Foundation a reality. 18 years later, The Film Foundation has contributed to the restoration of over 500 titles and counting, the studios and the archives are working together, and every major studio except one has a restoration/preservation program. Without Bob, I don’t know where we’d be.”

Rosen has spent more than 30 years guiding the growth of the UCLA Film & Television Archive from a small study collection to the world’s largest university-based holding of original film and television materials. He has held many leadership roles including: Founding Director of the National Center for Film and Video Preservation at the American Film Institute; Executive Committee Member of the International Federation of Film Archives; Member of the National Film Preservation Board of the Library of Congress; Board Member of the Stanford Theatre Foundation; and Board Member of the Geffen Playhouse.

The John Huston Award was created to honor those with an extraordinary commitment to defending the rights of filmmakers and, by extension, the rights of filmmakers to have their art preserved in its original, intended state. Previous honorees are Bertrand Tavernier, Curtis Hanson, Elliot Silverstein, Sydney Pollack, Tom Cruise, Miloš Forman, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, and Fred Zinnemann.

DGA Honors began in 1999 as an event that would celebrate the intersection of film and television production with labor, business and politics. “At DGA Honors, we celebrate those who have committed themselves to bringing about positive changes in society, whether it be through film or television production, advocacy or humanitarian work,” said DGA National Vice President Steven Soderbergh. “All of our honorees have left their mark on our industry in an indelible way.”

Mr. Rosen was among 5 honorees including Miloš Forman, Director; Dick Wolf, Creator/Producer; Irwin Young, Chair of DuArt Film Laboratories; and Congressman John Conyers Jr. (D-MI). The awards were presented at the DGA Theater on West 57th Street, followed by a VIP after party at Nobu 57.

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RESTORED ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST SCREENS ACROSS NORTH AMERICA

9/30/2008 12:00:00 AM

After premiering at the Rome Film Festival in 2007, the restored Sergio Leone classic, ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST (1968), celebrated its North American debut with several screenings across the continent. The film had its American premiere at a gala screening at the Miami International Film Festival on March 2nd, as part of the Preservation Screening Program presented by The Film Foundation and American Express.

It next opened in New York City as part of the Tribeca Film Festival in association with the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) on April 30th. This was followed by a successful week-long engagement at MoMA from May 1st - 5th. The film then made its way to the West Coast for a premiere at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, on Friday, June 20th. The film premiered in Canada at the Calgary International Film Festival on Sunday, September 21st, as part of the Preservation Screening Program presented by The Film Foundation and American Express.

All of the screenings featured an introductory presentation on the restoration process by Barry Allen, Executive Director of Film Preservation and Archival Resources at Paramount Pictures.

The restoration of ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST was made possible with support by The Film Foundation and The Rome Film Festival in association with Sergio Leone Productions and Paramount Pictures.

Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

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RASHOMON PREMIERES AT THE ACADEMY

9/18/2008 12:00:00 AM

The newly restored RASHOMON (1950, d. Akira Kurosawa) had its world premiere at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Samuel Goldwyn Theater on Thursday, September 18th. The evening kicked off a series of Kurosawa screenings and the opening of the art exhibit “Akira Kurosawa: Film Artist,” featuring drawings and paintings by Kurosawa, in the Galleries of the Goldwyn’s Grand Lobby and Fourth Floor.

Following a reception in the Grand Lobby, Academy President Sid Ganis welcomed the audience and introduced the evening’s host, film critic Kenneth Turan. After entertaining the audience with little-known facts about RASHOMON, Turan moderated a panel discussion with Kurosawa’s son, Hisao Kurosawa, RASHOMON star Toshiro Mifune’s son, Shiro Mifune, and American film producer Tom Luddy, who was instrumental in Zoetrope’s support for Akira Kurosawa’s KAGEMUSHA (1980).  The beautifully restored film was then screened.
 
The film was restored by the Academy Film Archive, in association with the Kadokawa Culture Promotion Foundation and The Film Foundation.  
 
Restoration Notes:  
The basis for the restoration of RASHOMON was a 35mm black-and-white print made in 1962 from the original camera negative and placed in the collection of the National Film Center in Tokyo. While the print itself was in good physical condition, the source material from which it was made was already extremely battered due to the extensive printing and handling it had received over the course of its life. Many shots were already starting to shrink and warp, and there were numerous scratches and abrasions, dust, dirt, and other artifacts from the damaged negative which were photographed into the print.
 
That print was scanned at 4k resolution at Lowry Digital in Burbank, CA. The original scans were converted to 2k files for extensive image processing and clean-up by the artists and technicians at Lowry. While some of the damage could be addressed by Lowry’s automated software, many frames needed to be meticulously cleaned by hand. Unique problems such as the warping in some shots and the blurring of every 2nd frame throughout the film were addressed with customized visual effects tools.
 
Once image restoration was complete, two 4k digital intermediate 35mm negatives were produced, as well as a complete digital archive of both the raw scan and the restored image files. On the audio side, the 1962 print and a fine grain master positive in the Kadokawa Foundation’s collection were transferred at DJ Audio. Audio Mechanics was responsible for identifying the best source element for each shot in the film and using these to create a seamless soundtrack. The presentation at the Academy will be utilizing a 2k Digital Cinema Package file.  

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