Wednesday, February 29, 2012

This N That - February/March 2012

Free Movies!  We like Free Movies!  To paraphrase the Genie in The Thief of Bagdad, Free, Free, FREEEEE!

EUscreen is a digital repository for Europe's television heritage and there are links galore to sites for free public domain films of all sorts. 

From their homepage:
The EUscreen project aims to promote the use of television content to explore Europe's rich and diverse cultural history.

It will create access to over 30,000 items of programme content and information, and by developing a number of interactive functionalities and dynamic links with Europeana it will prove valuable to the widest range of cultural, educational and recreational users.

EUscreen started in October 2009 and the project consortium, which includes 28 partner institutions from around Europe, is being co-ordinated by Utrecht University.

You can access films under categories such as:
Open Video Repositories
Video Footage for Remix and Reuse
Open-Source Films and Projects
Public Domain and Free-to-Share Film Listings
Watch Excellent Films for Free
Documentaries Free (and Less Free) to Share - Okay, so not everything may be free.

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(Image: The Midwood Blog)
Vitagraph Corporation was one of the earliest film studios on the East Coast.  One of the last remaining structures from the studio, bearing the studio name, is in danger of being demolished.  Please help by signing the petition at to see if this landmark structure can be saved. 

This excellent blog has some fabulous photos of the Vitagraph Stack, take a look.
Forgotten NY also has a piece and some cool historical photos.

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Kevin Brownlow will be in the Bay Area in March/April for screenings of the epic silent film, Napoleon.  If you have not done so already, buy some tickets here.  Mr. Brownlow will also be presenting a special lecture with clips on the restoration of Abel Gance's masterpiece at the Pacific Film Archive on Friday, March 30th at 7:00 pm.  Buy tickets here.

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Speaking of Napoleon, do not forget that the San Francisco Silent Film Festival is offering a wonderful poster to commemorate the event.  The poster is a classic and a classic one sheet size 27x40.  You can buy one for $30 and it's gorgeous and well worth every penny.  So, if you can't make the screenings, console yourself with this gorgeous poster!

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(Image: Flicker Alley)
Martin Scorcese's excellent and award winning film Hugo (based on the Brian Selznick novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret) features the Flicker Alley/Lobster Films restoration of George Melies 1902 film Le Voyage dans la lune.  The film featuring original tints has been lovingly and painstakingly restored.  A documentary about the restoration as well as the film itself will be available on DVD in a limited edition.  The snippets shown in Hugo were magical.  Melies was a magician on screen and off and his films still evoke wonder, amazement and delight over 100 years later.

AIR has a YouTube channel with clips from the restoration for your viewing pleasure!

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From the balcony at the Stanford Theater
In Palo Alto, near Stanford University is a gem of a theater on University Avenue.  It's called, naturally, The Stanford Theater.  Owned and operated by David Packard under the aegis The Stanford Theater Foundation, classic films from all eras are screened every week.  The Stanford is also comitted to regular screenings of silent films. 

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Because one can never read or see enough about George Melies these days.  Brian Darr of the fabulous blog Hell on Frisco Bay has an excellent piece on Melies: Part 1 entitled The Making of George Melies and Part 2 The Remaking of Georges Melies over at Fandor.  Give it a read, you won't be sorry!

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That's it for this edition of This N That!
Keep watching movies, they'll never let you down!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

For the Love of Film III - It's all about Hitch!

Mark your calendars and answer the call for participants!  The third annual film preservation blogathon has been announced.  May 13-18, 2012.  Hosted by the always fabulous to read Self-Styled Siren, Ferdy on Films and This Island Rod, the goal is worthy and fantastic!

The Siren writes:

To get serious, one of the recurring motifs here at Self-Styled Siren is access--the continuing quest to see movies that remain frustratingly out of our reach. Our friends at the NFPF know how we feel, truly they do. They have streamed a number of the rescued films on their website, at no charge. It's part of their commitment not only to film history, but to bringing that history to as wide an audience as possible.

Streaming requires some serious lolly, however. In this case, it will take about $15,000 to put The White Shadow online and record the score. So, after asking our readers for their thoughts, the Siren, together with goddess Marilyn Ferdinand of Ferdy on Films and (for the first time this year) her intrepid partner from Down Under, Roderick Heath of This Island Rod, have decided to help the NFPF get The White Shadow out there on the Web, for four months on their site, free, for anyone to see.
This, my friends and patient readers, is a call for participation and posts. The not-so-shocking twist this year is that bloggers are requested to post on any aspect of Hitchcock, which of course suggests topics as diverse as--oh, come on, how hard can that be? Or, as always, posts on all matters film-preservation-related are equally welcome. The Siren's comments section is open for business, as are Marilyn's and Rod's. You don't have to know what you're going to write (you think the Siren knows yet? puh-leez) but do let us know if you're in.

If you want to participate, read the links above, let Farran, Marilyn and Rod know you are IN.  Go here to get some fabulous banners to advertise this, spread the word and then start doing your homework for the blogathon. Please go to the For the Love of Film Facebook Page and LIKE them.

If you want to get started by donating early, have a tax refund burning a hole in your pocket?  The NFPF has the donation page up and ready for you to donate some much needed loot.  Click on Hitch to donate!

What are "we" blogging about?  Let me go on the record, I'll be posting about the lost Hitchcock film, The Mountain Eagle and I have a dear friend who has already commited to guest blog on The Pleasure Garden.  I'm also planning on showing some love to a film that gets no respect, Hitchcock's final film, Family Plot. What else, who knows, but I have to get my thinking cap on and get busy getting the posts in the queue. 

C'mon?  What are YOU waiting for?  Go forth and spread the word, shout from the rooftops