Wednesday 28 December 2016

Digitisations, Restorations and Revivals (18) - Bruce Lee, Nick Ray, VARIETY, CITY WITHOUT JEWS

Associate Editor (Restorations and Revivals) Simon Taaffe has come across the following screenings and other information. Click on the links for times, more detail etc where indicated.

Bowing to screening the wildly popular, MOMA in New York is presenting the Eternal Bruce Lee. featuring all five films Lee starred in at his prime. It includes the North American premieres of new 4k restorations of The Big Boss (1971), Fist of Fury (1972), The Way of the Dragon (1972), and Game of Death (1978). Enter the Dragon (1973) is also featured, in a weeklong run.

BAMPFA at Berkely is presenting a retrospective devoted to the key works of the hard-bitten auteur Nicholas Ray. ON DANGEROUS GROUND: THE CINEMA OF NICHOLAS RAY. Inevitably the program note opens up with Jean-Luc Godard’s assertion from 1957 “There was theater (Griffith), poetry (Murnau), painting (Rossellini), dance (Eisenstein), music (Renoir). Henceforth, there is cinema. And the cinema is Nicholas Ray.”—Jean-Luc Godard, 1957. The introduction is here. Links to the selection are provided. One film of note in the context of this column is the screening of a “restored full length ‘Scope’ print of Bitter Victory, a hard to see title.

One of the thrills of Bologna 2016 was the screening of E A Dupont’s Variety, one of the greatest of all silent films. There is now a screening of the film at Film Forum in New York. Live piano accompaniment is part of the show.  Also at the Film Forum, a screening of Julien Duvivier’s fine Simenon adaptation Panique.

Finally a genuine discovery City Without Jews.  The Guardian reports: Based on a dystopian novel by the Jewish publicist Hugo Bettauer, Die Stadt ohne Juden (“The City Without Jews”) (and) originally premiered in Vienna in July 1924, but the original version vanished in the war years and was considered lost for more than 90 years.

Now, thanks to a chance discovery in a Parisian flea market and the biggest crowdfunding campaign to date in Austria’s culture sector, the silent film is set to be digitally restored and re-released in its original form for the first time, with a premiere including a new live score scheduled at Vienna’s concert hall for autumn 2017.

City Without Jews

Hopefully one to head onto Bologna in June….  Too many restorations are never enough.

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