12 April 2011
The Coolidge Corner Theatre Foundation announces that the 8th annual Coolidge Award, to be celebrated May 10-11, will honor Film Preservation. Leading professionals in the field of film preservation and restoration will arrive in Boston to participate in the festivities. The Coolidge also announces a five-year commitment to this important mission by setting up a Film Preservation Fund of $125,000, of which $25,000 a year will be distributed over the next five years. The Coolidge is pleased to announce that the first $25,000 installment will be granted to The Film Foundation, in honor of their extraordinary contribution to film preservation and restoration, education and outreach.
Accepting this year’s award will be Margaret Bodde, Executive Director of The Film Foundation, the non-profit organization created by Martin Scorsese in 1990, along with seven other distinguished filmmakers. For over twenty years, The Film Foundation has helped to save 555 films and created 'The Story of Movies', an integrated curriculum teaching film history and appreciation to 9 million middle school and high school students across the nation.
The Coolidge Award programming begins on Tuesday, May 10 with the Boston-area premiere sneak preview of These Amazing Shadows, directed by Paul Mariano and Kurt Norton. The screening begins at 7:00 pm and will be introduced by the filmmakers. A feast for the eyes for film lovers everywhere, These Amazing Shadows tells the history and importance of the National Film Registry, a roll call of American cinema treasures that reflects the diversity of film, and indeed the American experience itself. Through interviews and numerous legendary film clips spanning a multitude of genres, the documentary reveals how “American movies tell us so much about ourselves…not just what we did, but what we thought, what we felt, what we aspired to, and the lies we told ourselves.”
Immediately following the screening, other special guests will join the filmmakers to answer questions from the audience. Guests include Jay Carr (chief film critic for the Boston Globe from 1983-2002, and has served for ten years on the Library of Congress National Film Preservation Board), Robin Blaetz (associate professor of Film Studies and chair of the program at Mount Holyoke College), and George Willeman (Nitrate Film Vault Manager at the Library of Congress). All three are featured in the film. General admission tickets to the screening of These Amazing Shadows are $15.
On Wednesday, May 11 at 8:00 pm, the Coolidge will screen an archival print of the 1950 classic All About Eve, starring beloved Hollywood darling Bette Davis along with Anne Baxter and George Sanders. The film was restored by the Museum of Modern Art and Twentieth Century Fox with funding provided by The Film Foundation. Written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, All About Eve is among the most cherished of Hollywood-produced films. It was nominated for 14 Academy Awards and won six, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay. Best known for Margo Channing’s (Bette Davis) quote, “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night,” it is perhaps Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter) that best sums up an evening of watching the delightful All About Eve. “If nothing else, there’s applause…like waves of love pouring over the footlights.” The film was selected in 1990 for preservation in the National Film Registry. General admission tickets to the screening of All About Eve are $15.
The centerpiece of this year’s Coolidge Award program is a not-to-be-missed topical panel discussion, 'Restoration and Access in the Digital Age', addressing the many facets of digital technology and its role as a tool for film preservationists and restorers. Featuring a panel of nationally acclaimed professionals in the industry, the discussion will address the considerable advantages of new technologies: eliminating dust spots, scratches and grain, removing hiss from optical soundtracks, and even restoring Technicolor to its former glory. And the results can be viewed on DVD or Blu-Ray anytime and anywhere, or projected from a hard drive in a theater. Also included will be the controversies and complexities associated with digitizing the craft of cinema. Why do some restorers prefer to keep to chemical processes? Is something intrinsic in the nature of film lost when a digital print is projected or a digital file is displayed on a computer or television screen? What best serves the original vision of the artist – restoring with only the tools they had at the time of creation, or bringing state-of-the-art technology to bear? And, while some think the world of instant access to every film is heaven on earth, others argue that the viewing experience loses something when any film can be seen at any size, at any time, paused, run backwards – and watched alone.
The Coolidge hosts the event on Wednesday, May 11 at 4:00 pm. General admission tickets to the panel discussion are $15. The list of renowned panelists includes:
Kenn Rabin (Moderator) – A documentary producer, writer, and audiovisual archival researcher. Rabin often faces numerous restoration challenges in his work, usually involving historical film materials. His over one hundred credits include PBS’s Eyes on the Prize and the forthcoming The Storm That Swept Mexico, as well as the features Good Night and Good Luck and Milk. He is the co-author of the Focal Press/Elsevier book, “Archival Storytelling: A Filmmaker’s Guide to Finding, Using, and Licensing Third-Party Visuals and Music.”
Wendy Shay – The audiovisual archivist and deputy chair for the Archives Center at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. A founding member of the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA), and currently the Association’s president.
Dennis Doros – Co-owner of Milestone Film & Video with Amy Heller, and director of the Board of the Association of Moving Image Archivists. Doros started his career at Kino International where he was responsible for restoring two classic silent films starring Gloria Swanson: Raoul Walsh’s Sadie Thompson and Erich von Stroheim’s Queen Kelly. For 20 years, Milestone has been devoted to discovering and distributing films of enduring artistry. Doros is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Association of Moving Image Archivists and is the founder of the AMIA Press Office.
George Willeman – The Nitrate Film Vault Manager at the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Preservation in Culpeper, VA. He has had the pleasure of working exclusively with the Library’s collection of over 130,000 reels of nitrocellulose film for 27 years. George counts as one of his most memorable moments the discovery of the original camera negative of The Great Train Robbery made by the Edison Studio in 1903.
Haden Guest – A film historian, curator and archivist, and director of the Harvard Film Archive. At HFA he oversees the cinematheque, preservation program, research initiatives and its renowned collections. A Lecturer in Film Studies in Harvard’s Department of Visual and Environmental Studies, Guest’s research focuses principally upon studio-era Hollywood cinema, postwar American experimental film, and contemporary Argentine, Latin American and French cinema.
Schawn Belston – Vice President and Executive Director of Film Preservation at Twentieth Century Fox Film.
Matt White – Executive Director of the Corporation of Public Broadcasting’s American Archive, which is public broadcasting’s comprehensive archive of radio and television programming, ensuring its collection, management and preservation. White has been active in the moving image archival community for nearly 25 years: he founded the WPA Film Library in the 1980s, was one of the original founders and first President of the Association of Commercial Stock Image Licensors (ACSIL), managed National Geographic’s Film Library and ultimately served as the Executive Vice President for Digital Markets at National Geographic Ventures. White has been very active in the development of archive-based programming for traditional and digital media, and is a committee member on The Inter Organizational Group on Archives at Risk.
Andrew Lampert – Film Archivist and Co-Programmer at Anthology Film Archives. Lampert is in charge of preservation and to date has preserved well over 150 short and feature- length works related to the history of independent and experimental cinema by artists including Stan Brakhage, Maya Deren, Bruce Conner, Ken Jacobs, Bette Gordon/James Benning and many others.
Katie Trainor – A graduate of L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation at the George Eastman House. Trainor has worked as Film Collections Manager for the Museum of Modern Art in the Celeste Bartos Film Preservation Center, and for the Jacob Burns Center as Director of Operations. From 1993 to 2000 she was the Archive Manager of the Harvard Film Archive. She is a long-standing projector operator for the Sundance Film Festival and veteran of the Telluride Film Festival. She is co-founder of Home Movie Day and The Center For Home Movies, and currently serves as an active member of the Association of Moving Image Archivists.
Karan Sheldon – Co-founder of Northeast Historic Film, a regional moving image archives established in 1986.
The annual Coolidge Award, launched in 2004, has traditionally recognized a selected film artist whose work advances the spirit of original and challenging cinema. Previous honorees are American director Jonathan Demme in 2010, animators the Quay Brothers in 2009 (Street of Crocodiles, Institute Benjamenta), film producer Jeremy Thomas in 2008 (Sexy Beast, The Last Emperor, The Great Rock and Roll Swindle), film editor Thelma Schoonmaker in 2007 (Raging Bull, Goodfellas, The Departed), actress Meryl Streep in 2006 (Sophie’s Choice, Silkwood, The Devil Wears Prada), Italian cinematographer Vittorio Storaro in 2005 (Apocalypse Now, The Conformist, Reds) and Chinese director Zhang Yimou in 2004 (Hero, The House of Flying Daggers, Raise the Red Lantern). This year’s recognition of Film Preservation draws critical attention to the vital challenges facing both the movie industry and cinematic artistry in an era of ever-changing technology.
Since 1990, The Film Foundation (www.film-foundation.org), a nonprofit organization established by Martin Scorsese, has been dedicated to protecting and preserving motion picture history by providing substantial annual support for preservation and restoration projects at the nation's major film archives. Since its inception, the foundation has raised awareness of the urgent need to preserve films and has helped to save over 555 motion pictures. Joining Scorsese on the board of directors are: Woody Allen, Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson, Francis Ford Coppola, Clint Eastwood, Curtis Hanson, Peter Jackson, Ang Lee, George Lucas, Alexander Payne, Robert Redford and Steven Spielberg. The Film Foundation is aligned with the Directors Guild of America whose President and Secretary-Treasurer serve on the foundation's board. The Film Foundation has been recognized for its work with the “Preservation and Scholarship Award” from the International Documentary Association, the Focal International Award for “Best Archival Restoration or Preservation Project (The Red Shoes),” and the “Film Heritage Award” from the National Society of Film Critics.
The 2011 Coolidge Award is made possible by the generous support of Elizabeth Driehaus and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Platinum Sponsors: Stoltze Design and Palm Beer. Additional support continues to grow from numerous individuals, sponsor sand community-based businesses.
Advance tickets to all of the above events/screenings are available at the Coolidge box office or online. For more information on special receptions and all-access passes, and to buy tickets online, visit the theater website: www.coolidge/org.
The Coolidge Corner Theatre is located at 290 Harvard Street in the heart of Coolidge Corner, Brookline, Massachusetts.
News piece provided by Coolidge.