News

Gucci Helps Scorsese Restore ‘The Leopard’

Steve Pond

5/14/2010 12:00:00 AM

$900,000 grant to Film Foundation helps with 4K digital restoration of Visconti’s 1963 Palme d’Or winner

When the newly-restored version of Luchino Visconti’s “Il Gattopardo” (“The Leopard”) premieres at Cannes on Friday, viewers will have Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation to thank for the restoration done to the 1963 Palme d’Or winner.

But they’ll also have to thank the Italian fashion house Gucci, which donated $900,000 to Scorsese’s foundation to help restore that film, as well as to do upcoming work on Federico Fellini’s 1960 classic “La Dolce Vita.”

Over the years, Gucci has donated $1.5 million to the Film Foundation for the restoration of six classic films, including John Cassavetes’ “A Woman Under the Influence,” Michaelangelo Antonioni’s “Le Amiche,” Barbara Loden’s “Wanda” and Visconti’s “Senso.”

The 4K digital restoration of “Il Gattopardo” was done at Sony’s Colorworks Digital Facility through a partnership of several firms: Cineteca di Bologna, L’Immagine Ritrovata, The Film Foundation, Pathé, Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé, Twentieth Century Fox, and Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia-Cineteca Nazionale.

The night after the restored film’s unveiling, Gucci’s creative director, Frida Giannini, and Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter will host a dinner and party in honor of Scorsese and the Film Foundation’s 20th anniversary.

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NEWLY RESTORED 1948 MASTERPIECE THE RED SHOES OPENS IL CINEMA RITROVATO IN BOLOGNA ON JUNE 27TH

6/23/2009 12:00:00 AM

NEW YORK, NY - Following an extensive 2-year restoration, “The Red Shoes,” the 1948 masterpiece written, produced and directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, will open Il Cinema Ritrovato in Bologna, Italy at the Piazza Maggiore on Saturday, June 27th at 10pm. 

“There's no question that ‘The Red Shoes’ is one of the most beautiful color films ever made,” said Martin Scorsese, Founder and Chair of The Film Foundation, his non-profit organization responsible for the restoration. “Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger created an incredible vision in ‘The Red Shoes,’ one that has never really been matched. Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and the Louis B. Mayer Foundation, ‘The Red Shoes’ has finally been fully restored." 

Award-winning editor Thelma Schoonmaker-Powell, who was married to Michael Powell, has consulted, along with Scorsese, on the restoration of this influential and beloved film and will present the film to the festival audience. 

The film was restored by Robert Gitt and the team at UCLA Film & Television Archive and The Film Foundation in association with the BFI, ITV Global Entertainment Ltd., and Janus Films. Restoration funding was provided by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, The Film Foundation and the Louis B. Mayer Foundation. 

Working in partnership with the rightsholder, ITV Global Entertainment, UCLA and The Film Foundation began the restoration of “The Red Shoes” in the fall of 2006. In the 1980s, the film had been optically copied from flammable nitrate and acetate materials, and this new restoration built upon that effort using current state-of-the-art technology. Many additional elements were utilized, including vintage Technicolor dye transfer prints, nitrate and acetate protection master positive copies, original soundtrack elements, and - most important of all - the still extant three-strip Technicolor camera negatives. 

Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging and Prasad Corporation performed the picture restoration, including 4K scanning of the original nitrate negatives, 4K image processing, 4K digital color correct (by Ray Grabowski) and 4K output to 35mm Eastmancolor negative. Soundtrack restoration work was handled by John Polito at Audio Mechanics and included a cleanup of the film’s original variable density soundtrack. 

Joining Ms. Schoonmaker-Powell for the presentation of “The Red Shoes” restoration at Il Cinema Ritrovato will be Margaret Bodde, Executive Director The Film Foundation and Fiona Maxwell, Director of Operations ITV Global Entertainment.

The Festival will also present three additional films whose restoration was funded by The Film Foundation: 

PANDORA AND THE FLYING DUTCHMAN (1951, d. Albert Lewin) on Sunday, June 28th at 11:00 am and Thursday, July 2nd at 6:00 pm at Cinema Arlecchino. This film was restored by George Eastman House, in association with The Film Foundation and The Douris Corporation. Restoration funded by the Rome Film Festival, and the Franco-American Cultural Fund, apartnership of the Directors Guild of America, Société des Auteurs, Compositeurs et Editeurs de Musique, the Motion Picture Association of America, and the Writers Guild of America, West. 

DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK (1939, d. John Ford) on Tuesday, June 30th at 6:15 pm and Thursday, July 2nd at 11:00 am at Cinema Arlecchino. This film was restored by the Academy Film Archive. Restoration funded by The Film Foundation, with special thanks to Twentieth Century Fox. 

SENSO (1954, d. Luchino Visconti)on Friday, July 3rd at 10:00 pm at the Piazza Maggiore. This film was restored byStudiocanal, Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia/Cineteca Nazionale, Cineteca di Bologna/L'Immagine Ritrovata. Restoration funded by GUCCI, The Film Foundation and Comitato Italia 150.
The Film Foundation (www.film-foundation.org) is a nonprofit organization established in 1990 by Martin Scorsese. The foundation is dedicated to protecting and preserving motion picture history, and provides annual support for preservation and restoration projects at major film archives. Since its inception, the foundation has been instrumental in raising awareness of the urgent need to preserve films and has helped the archives save more than 525 motion pictures. The foundation has also created The Story of Movies (www.storyofmovies.org), an integrated curriculum that teaches middle and high school students how to “read” a film. The innovative program has reached an estimated 16 million students since its launch in 2005. Joining Scorsese on the board are: Woody Allen, Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson, Francis Ford Coppola, Clint Eastwood, Curtis Hanson, Peter Jackson, Ang Lee, George Lucas, Alexander Payne, Robert Redford and Steven Spielberg. The Film Foundation is aligned with the Directors Guild of America whose President and Secretary-Treasurer serve on the board.

Image courtesy of Cineteca di Bologna.

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FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA, THE FILM FOUNDATION, AND GUCCI HOST THE NEW YORK PREMIERE OF TETRO

6/7/2009 12:00:00 AM

Francis Ford Coppola presented the New York premiere of his new feature film, TETRO, at the Directors Guild Theater on Sunday, June 7th. The event was co-hosted by The Film Foundation and Gucci.

As a Film Foundation board member, Coppola chose the foundation to serve as beneficiary for the event. The Film Foundation’s Executive Director Margaret Bodde introduced the evening. Coppola then welcomed the audience and spoke about the continuing work of the foundation and future challenges to preservation.

The evening concluded with a cocktail reception at Nobu 57. Guests for the evening included the film’s star Alden Ehrenreich, Xan Cassavetes, Jonas Mekas, Kevin Corrigan, Paul F. Tompkins, Gay & Nan Talese, and Ralph Macchio

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THE RESTORED 1948 MASTERPIECE 'THE RED SHOES' TO PREMIERE IN CANNES ON MAY 15TH

The Film Foundation

5/4/2009 12:00:00 AM

HOLLYWOOD, CA, – The newly-restored 1948 masterpiece from directors Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, will have its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival as the Centerpiece of “Cannes Classics” section on May 15. Martin Scorsese will introduce the film which has undergone an extensive 2-year 4K digital restoration by the UCLA Film & Television Archive and The Film Foundation, in association with the British Film Institute, ITV Global Entertainment Ltd and Janus Films. The restoration was funded by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, The Film Foundation and the Louis B. Mayer Foundation. 

"Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger created a vision in ‘The Red Shoes,’ one that has never really been matched,” said Martin Scorsese, Founder and Chair of The Film Foundation. “There's no question that it's one of the most beautiful color films ever made, and one of the truest to the experience of the artist, the joy and pain of devoting yourself to a life of creation. Due to the incredible generosity of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, ‘The Red Shoes’ has been fully restored. Those of us who love film owe the HFPA a deep debt of gratitude."

“We are grateful for the opportunity to support The Film Foundation in its outstanding efforts at preserving and restoring motion picture classics,“ said Jorge Camara, President of the HFPA. “We are particularly proud of being associated with ‘The Red Shoes,’ an extraordinary film that influenced a generation of filmmakers and won fame for the intensity of its performances and the beauty of its images.

UCLA archivist Robert Gitt explains: “In the restoration process, the entire film has been turned into ones and zeros, repaired, and then converted back into a motion picture again. In order to achieve a proper film ‘look,’ we compared the new digital images with those in an original Technicolor dye transfer print and in a new Eastman color test print struck by Cinetech Laboratories directly from the YCM camera negatives. Careful adjustments were made in the finalized digital version to combine the best qualities of modern color film (greater image sharpness, more sparkle in highlights) with the most pleasing attributes of vintage Technicolor dye transfer prints (bold colors, deep blacks, gentle contrast with a pleasing range of tones in actors' faces). The end result is a restoration that combines the best of the past with our digital present.”

The UCLA Film & Television Archive and The Film Foundation began working on the restoration in the fall of 2006. Earlier, in the 1980s, the film had been optically copied from flammable nitrate and acetate materials, including vintage Technicolor dye transfer prints, nitrate and acetate protection master positive copies, original soundtrack elements, and – most important of all – the still extant three-strip Technicolor camera negatives. These original nitrate 3-strip camera negatives have been utilized for this restoration to obtain the highest possible image quality. The negatives, which were damaged by mold and deterioration, were scanned at 4K resolution and digitally restored at Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging. The new digital negative has been used to strike beautiful new 35mm prints at Cinetech Labs, one of which will premiere in Cannes. These newly restored elements ensure that the film is now properly preserved for posterity.

The restoration was a landmark collaborative effort between the following non- profit entities: 

1) THE UCLA FILM & TELEVISION ARCHIVE
2) THE FILM FOUNDATION
3) THE HOLLYWOOD FOREIGN PRESS ASSOCIATION
4) THE BRITISH FILM INSTITUTE
5) THE LOUIS B. MAYER FOUNDATION

The Film Foundation (www.film-foundation.org) is a nonprofit organization established in 1990 by Martin Scorsese. The foundation is dedicated to protecting and preserving motion picture history, and provides substantial annual support for preservation and restoration projects at the nation’s major film archives. Since its inception, the foundation has been instrumental in raising awareness of the urgent need to preserve films and has helped to save more than 525 motion pictures. Joining Scorsese on the board are: Woody Allen, Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson, Francis Ford Coppola, Clint Eastwood, Curtis Hanson, Peter Jackson, Ang Lee, George Lucas, Alexander Payne, Robert Redford and Steven Spielberg. The Film Foundation is aligned with the Directors Guild of America whose President and Secretary-Treasurer serve on the foundation’s board.

The UCLA Film & Television Archive is renowned for its pioneering efforts to rescue, preserve and showcase moving image media, and is dedicated to ensuring that the collective visual memory of our time is explored and enjoyed for generations to come.

The Archive is a world leader in the restoration of film and important feature projects include STAGECOACH (1939, John Ford), HIS GIRL FRIDAY (1940, Howard Hawks), MACBETH (1948, Orson Welles) and KILLER OF SHEEP (1977, Charles Burnett). The Archive has also restored historical newsreels and hundreds of short subjects. Many of the Archive’s restorations are invited to screen at prestigious events around the globe and released commercially on DVD.

The British Film Institute is the UK’s agency for film culture, aiming to provide people with
access to the broadest choice of film, wherever they live and however they want to access it. The BFI does this through preserving and curating the UK’s film heritage, generating new knowledge and content through an exciting and accessible cultural programme (screenings, events, DVDs, festivals, theatrical distribution, publications, education) and reaching new audiences by inspiring and motivating people to seek out film culture. BFI is proud to have contributed to the restoration of The Red Shoes with elements preserved by the BFI National Archive.

Since first contributing to The Film Foundation over ten years ago, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) has become a major supporter of The Film Foundation, donating over two million dollars and funding the preservation of 70 important films, including work by John Ford, Stanley Kubrick, Ida Lupino, Alfred Hitchcock, John Cassavetes, and Jean Renoir, among many others. The HFPA’s 2006 gift supported the restoration of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s Technicolor masterpiece, THE RED SHOES (1948). Today the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association represent some 55 countries with a combined readership of more than 250 million. Through the success of the Golden Globe awards, the HFPA has been able to donate more than 7.7 million dollars over the past thirteen years to entertainment-related charities, as well as funding scholarships and other programs for future film and television professionals.

Formed by the legendary Hollywood producer, Louis B. Mayer, the Louis B. Mayer Foundation’s film preservation program specifically focuses on the body of work of key figures in the history of film. In 2008, The Louis B. Mayer Foundation provided The Film Foundation with grant support for restoration of two films from the directing team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP (1943) and THE RED SHOES (1948). The three-year grant from the Louis B. Mayer Foundation has helped to ensure the restoration and preserve the legacy of these two masterpieces.

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