Wex Celebrates Film Restoration with 5th Annual Cinema Revival


Thursday, February 21–Tuesday, February 26, the Wexner Center presents Cinema Revival: A Festival of Film Restoration, an annual celebration of the art and practice of film restoration and preservation. Now in its fifth year, the fest comprises 15 recently restored films spanning 71 years, along with engaging presentations by 10 leading restoration experts. From revitalized classics to a guided history through one of the original Hollywood studios, Cinema Revival features something for everyone interested in the art and practice of preserving cinematic treasures.

“Outside of major festivals such as Telluride or archives such as the Academy, The Museum of Modern Art, or UCLA, there really isn’t another event like this in the country,” says David Filipi, the center’s Director of Film/Video and organizer of the festival. “It’s an incredible opportunity not only to learn about the technical aspects of film restoration from the experts, but also to hear the passion and dedication of these committed professionals. But the main thing, of course, is to see a weekend of great films.”

Among the highlights this year are: the US restoration premiere of the Italian film Filibus (1915), about a gender-bending super-criminal; a program of recently restored Laurel and Hardy comedy shorts in 35mm; and the 4K restoration world premieres of Hitchcock’s Notorious (1946), starring Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman and the 1980s prestige picture White Nights (1985), starring dancers Gregory Hines and Mikhail Baryshnikov. 

Experts representing the Criterion Collection, Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Milestone Films, the Cohen Film Collection, Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation, and Audio Mechanics, the foremost sound restoration company in Hollywood, will introduce screenings throughout the festival.

“I am thrilled that David has selected Prisoners of the Earth (1939) and Detour (1945) for this year’s Cinema Revival program at the Wexner Center––an essential event on every film lover’s calendar since its inception five years ago,” says Margaret Bodde, Executive Director of The Film Foundation, who will introduce the Argentine masterpiece Prisoners of the Earth

“These two films are among 32 restored last year by The Film Foundation. While relatively unknown, Prisoners of the Earth, restored by the Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata, is considered among the greatest films ever made in Argentina, and is one of the only remaining documents of the Guarani dialect. Though better known, Detour will newly astound fans of this noir cult classic, stunningly restored by the Academy Film Archive. Both projects have been restored thanks to generous support from the George Lucas Family Foundation.”

“Preservation efforts are meaningless without robust exhibition programs. Festivals such as Cinema Revival create essential opportunities for people to come together and experience these films on the big screen with an appreciative audience,” Bodde adds. “Films provide a glimpse into our shared history and it is vitally important to support great exhibition programs—at great institutions like the Wex—that help our communities thrive.”

Guests can also mingle with the experts at a public reception from 6:30 to 7:30 pm on Saturday, February 23.

A festival pass includes admission to all talks and screenings as well as the Wex exhibitions John Waters: Indecent Exposure and Peter Hujar: Speed of Life, plus access to an exclusive passholder lounge with complimentary coffee, soft drinks, and snacks.

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