The big news in the film world is the discovery of a treasure trove of once lost films from the silent era. Earlier this week, the New Zealand Film Archive and the National Film Preservation Foundation (located here in San Francisco) announced a partnership to preserve and make available some 75 American motion pictures which no longer survive in the United States.
The story garnered headlines around the world. In New Zealand, it was covered by the NZTV website, as well as the New Zealand Herald and Wellington Post. Elsewhere, the BBC in England and the CBC in Canada covered it. In the United States, the story received substantial play in Variety and the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. Locally, the San Francisco Chronicle ran the widely syndicated AP story.
National Public Radio also broadcast a story. (Click on the NPR link to listen to an archived recording.) In it, Annette Melville of the National Film Preservation Foundation can be heard commenting on the importance of this extraordinary find. Melville will, as well, give a presentation on the subject at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival Sunday free program, "Amazing Tales from the Archive: First the Bad News... then the Good!" on July 18.
And of course, on July 16th the San Francisco Silent Film Festival will present the year's other big film discovery / restoration - Fritz Lang's Metropolis. At that special presentation, the Argentine archivists who uncovered Lang's long lost reels will talk about their extraordinary find. Both of these special presentations are not to be missed, sez Mabel Normand.
Image courtesy of the National Film Preservation Foundation