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In celebration of its recent film preservation efforts, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will launch the first-ever “Film-to-Film” Festival, which will run September 27 through September 29, in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills and the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood.
A year ago the Academy Film Archive launched an ambitious effort called “Project Film-to-Film,” aimed at preserving as many films on film as possible over a two-year period. The initiative’s main goal is to take advantage of the current, but threatened, availability of film stock to create new prints of a diverse range of motion pictures, encompassing the whole history of the art form.
More than 390 new prints have already been created from the best available film elements, covering significant narrative features and documentaries, as well as experimental, animated and short film titles. The wide variety of titles range from ‘Navajo’, the only film to receive Oscarnominations for both Documentary Feature and Cinematography, to ‘Naked Yoga’, a short once presumed lost, and ‘Carnival of Souls’, a cult favorite that has been rescued from late-night television and restored to the big screen.
The complete “Film-to-Film” Festival schedule is as follows:
Thursday, September 27 — Samuel Goldwyn Theater, 7:30 p.m.
‘Brazil’ (1985), Original Director’s Cut (35mm, color, 142 min.): Onstage discussion with Katherine Helmond and Arnon Milchan
Writer-director Terry Gilliam’s “Brazil” is set in an alternative reality “somewhere in the 20th century,” where civil servant Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) fights a hopeless battle against a totalitarian state. The film earned Academy Award nominations for Original Screenplay (Gilliam, Tom Stoppard, Charles McKeown) and Art Direction (Art Direction: Norman Garwood; Set Decoration: Maggie Gray). The stellar supporting cast includes Helmond, Jim Broadbent, Robert De Niro, Ian Holm, Bob Hoskins, Charles McKeown and Michael Palin.
Friday, September 28 — Linwood Dunn Theater, 7:30 p.m.
Animated and live action shorts program: This program illustrates the wide range of films preserved by the Film-to-Film initiative, including a rare short made by the Academy itself, intriguing works by noted animators and the big-screen debut of crooner Phil Harris.
‘Of Men And Demons’, John Hubley and Faith Hubley (1969, 16mm, color, 9 min.)
Academy Award nominee: Cartoon Short Subject
‘So This Is Harris’, Mark Sandrich (1933, 35mm, black-and-white, 28 min.)
Academy Award winner: Comedy Short Subject
‘The Unicycle Race’, Robert Swarthe (1966, 35mm, color, 7 min.)
‘Railway With a Heart of Gold’, Carson “Kit” Davidson (1965, 16mm, color, 15 min.)
‘Screen Actors’, (1950, 35mm, black-and-white, 9 min.)
Friday, September 28 – Linwood Dunn Theater, 9:30 p.m.
Experimental Film Program: The boundaries of the film medium are stretched, ignored and laughed at in these experimental shorts that manipulate sight, sound, narrative and the relationship between filmmaker and spectator.
‘Eye Myth’, Stan Brakhage (1967, 35mm, color, silent 24fps, 9 seconds)
‘Night Mulch & Very’, Stan Brakhage (2001, 35mm, color, silent 24fps, 6 min.)
‘Experiments in Motion Graphics’, John Whitney (1968, 16mm, color, sound, 11min.)
‘Madame Mao’s Lost Love Letters’, Tom Leeser & Diana Wilson (1983, 35mm, color,
‘Babobilicons’, Daina Krumins (1982, 35mm, color, 16 min.)
‘Pencil Booklings’, Kathy Rose (1978, 35mm, color, 14 min.)
‘Furies’, Sara Petty (1977, 35mm, color, 3 min.)
‘Sonoma’, Sky-David, formerly known as Dennis Pies (1977, 35mm, color, 7 min.)
‘Background’, Carmen D’Avino (1973, 35mm, color, 20 min.) Academy Award nominee: Documentary Short Subject
Saturday, September 29 — Linwood Dunn Theater, 2 p.m.
Doc Program #1: The afternoon’s first program illustrates the diverse topics of the documentaries covered by the initiative, with a short about the spiritual aspects of Hatha yoga, and the Maysles brothers’ portrait of movie distributor Joseph E. Levine.
‘Naked Yoga’, Paul Cordsen (1974, 35mm, color, 25 min.) Academy Award nominee: Documentary Short Subject
‘Showman’, Albert Maysles and David Maysles (1963, 35mm, black-and-white, 52 min.)
Saturday, September 29 –Linwood Dunn Theater, 4 p.m.
Doc Program #2: The afternoon’s second documentary program features two titles that use a semi-documentary approach to convey stories of World War II rumor-mongering and the cultural conflict faced by a young Navajo boy.
‘Mr. Blabbermouth!’, Basil Wrangell (1942, 35mm, black-and-white, 19 min.) Academy Award nominee: Documentary Short Subject
‘Navajo’, Norman Foster (1952, 35mm, black-and-white, 70 min.) Academy Award nominee: Documentary Feature; Black-and-White Cinematography
Saturday, September 29 — Linwood Dunn Theater, 7:30 p.m.
‘Spider Baby’ (1968, 35mm, black-and-white, 81 min.): World premiere of the Academy Film Archive’s new restoration from the original negative, with special guest writer-director Jack Hill.
Filmed in 1964 but not released theatrically until 1968, this cult classic marked the solo directorial debut of Hill. The eerie story follows three siblings suffering from a rare genetic disorder that causes them to regress to a primal state of being and act out with savage, incestuous and animalistic behavior.
Saturday, September 29 — Linwood Dunn Theater, 9:30 p.m.
‘Carnival of Souls’ (1962, 35mm, black-and-white, 78 min.): World premiere of the Academy Film Archive’s new restoration from the original negative.
Director Herk Harvey’s only feature film was made on a tiny budget with a crew largely composed of industrial filmmakers from Lawrence, Kansas. Filled with evocative images, the film tells the story of a young woman who seemingly survives a car crash but is haunted by a ghostly figure that is somehow connected to an abandoned carnival pavilion.
Tickets for each screening in the “Film-to-Film” Festival are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID, and may be purchased online at www.oscars.org, in person at the Academy box office, or by mail. Each time slot listed indicates a separate ticketed program. The Samuel Goldwyn Theater is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. Doors open an hour before each program. Ticketed seating is unreserved. For more information, visit www.oscars.org.