Film series: Restorations & Rediscoveries
Cornell Cinema presents a semester-long series of recent digital and analog restorations, beginning with virtual screenings of three titles, screening on-demand from January 26 to February 6: Federico Fellini’s La Strada, Hou Hsiao-hsien’s Flowers of Shanghai, and documentarian James Blue’s sole narrative feature, The Olive Trees of Justice. Cornell Cinema’s former director, Richard Herskowitz, will provide a pre-recorded introduction to the virtual screening of The Olive Trees of Justice. Herskowitz has been involved with the James Blue Project for the last ten years, devoted to preserving the work of the acclaimed but lesser known American documentarian, and was involved with the film’s restoration. He will discuss the restoration as well as how James Blue came to make the film in Algiers during the Algerian War.
In most all cases in this series, “restoration” means going back to original film elements, scanning them, and digitally repairing the image by removing scratches and tears, dust/dirt, and color correcting for modern digital projection. Thanks to the tireless work by many film archivists and ambitious distributors, one can now look back at the past century-plus of film history and begin to shake up the established canon, and that’s partly what has been assembled here.
Accepted masters of the form Federico Fellini (La Strada, The White Sheik, Nights of Cabiria) and Alain Resnais (Early Shorts of Alain Resnais & Je t’aime, je t’aime) are presented alongside radical experimenters Melvin Van Peebles (The Story of a Three Day Pass), Lizzie Borden (Working Girls), and Toshio Matsumoto (Funeral Parade of Roses). Lynne Ramsay’s stunning debut feature Ratcatcher, Luis Buñuel’s rediscovered Mexican film The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz, and the suppressed masterwork of Iranian cinema Chess of the Wind round out the series. Resnais’ Je t’aime, je t’aime will be shown in a restored 35mm film print!