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Thursday, 1 September 2016

Digitisation and Restoration News (1) - Victorian era digitisation, Seven Sinners (1926)

This is the first entry on a subject which has been ignored for some little time, probably at least since everyone lost the fire in the belly about sackings at the NFSA and the closure of key parts of the institution. As they say, most have moved on. I say this notwithstanding being in regular touch with several industry veterans and professionals who have grand plans for the NFSA, most notably the relocation of its headquarters building to Sydney and the construction of a new purpose-built  landmark building to house the NFSA and perform other tasks. That is a project which would involve major investment by all three levels of Government and the private sector, especially the film industry part of that sector.... More later.

Meanwhile, around the world there are major and minor steps being taken in the long term task of preserving the world's film heritage. These posts will tell some of these stories. Contributions welcome.....

From a report on Bologna's Cinema Ritrovato in the September issue of Sight & Sound, Bryony Dixon mentions: "the BFI's new project on Victorian film which will involve digitising every surviving British film made between 1895 and 1901." Aaah. Such ambition. Such clarity of purpose.

From a superb report  headed "The Race to Save the Films we Love" in the New York Times by Manhola Dargis comes a most intriguing mention about a recent discovery: In 2015, “Seven Sinners,” (Lewis) Milestone’s long-lost feature directorial debut, turned up in Australia and was passed on to the (US) archive, which is restoring the film. Who knew? A check of one source, indicated that nothing was known of this major find. My confidante could only suggest some possible sources for this discovery which I won't go into here. 

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