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Kansas Silent Film Festival 2011


larrys66diner
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As you probably know, it's getting close to that time again ? time for the 15th Annual Kansas Silent Film Festival! There are a couple of special treats in store for this coming February!

 

First off, this is a special year as the KSFF is honoring The Academy Awards?, by showing and highlighting films from 1927-1928, the year that the first awards were presented. These films include SPEEDY; THE CIRCUS; THE LAST COMMAND; and the ever-popular WINGS will once again be seen at the festival during the special Sunday matinee. This will be the first year ever that the Kansas Silent Film Festival will be extended into Sunday!

 

Secondly, Annette D?Agostino Lloyd will be the special guest speaker. Annette is an author and historian on the great comedian, Harold Lloyd; she also maintains her own website at http://www.haroldlloyd.us/. Rumor has it that David Shepard, noted film preservationist, will once again make an appearance at this year's festival, as will Paul Gierucki, the American cinema historian who bought the can of old film marked "Keystone" at an antiques sale in Michigan and discovered it to be a lost Chaplin film, A THIEF CATCHER (1914).

 

Come to the KSFF Fri, Sat, & Sun (Feb 25,26,& 27 2011) at Washburn University's White Concert Hall for the 15th Annual KSFF. It's open to the public and, best of all, it's FREE!!!!

 

For more information, and a complete schedule, check the KSFF out on the web at http://www.kssilentfilmfest.org/.

 

You can also follow @kssilentfilm on Twitter at http://twitter.com/kssilentfilm and they will be tweeting "live" during the event.

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It indeed sounds like a magnificent event this year. and you didn't even mention the screening of *SEVENTH HEAVEN* with live orchestration by Rodney Sauer and Mont Alto of their new score. One of my favorite films. The only thing I question a little is the caliber and completeness in 16 Millimeter prints of some of the titles. *SPEEDY* for example is missing some key footage in the old Time-Life prints if that is what is screening. Including the touching ride back home in the back of the moving van where Harold and Anne Christy set about house and dream. Just a wonderful enchanting sequence.

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Yes, it will be a very great year indeed!

 

I wish to express my apologies for my negligence in crediting Mont-Alto Motion Picture Orchestra for their magnificent scoring of *SEVENTH HEAVEN*. By no means did I intend to leave anyone out; I simply rattled off a few films from the top of my head when I initially made the posting. Rodney, if you're reading this, my sincere apologies to you.

 

Jeffrey, I hope I will one day see you at the festival. This year sounds like the perfect opportunity to meet you. :)

 

Larry

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  • 2 weeks later...

Film preservationist David Shepard will discuss the DVD project ?Chaplin at Keystone,? at Friday, February 25, 2011 at the Marvin Auditorium of the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, located at 1510 SW 10th in Topeka at 2:00pm; this event is free to the public.

 

David Shepard will show clips from the films and discuss the historical significance and the restoration process of the earliest work by Charles Chaplin. He is credited with restoring more than 150 early cinema classic films for contemporary technology; he taught cinema at the University of California at Los Angeles, Pennsylvania State University, the University of Iowa and California State University; and he has also served as director of the Louis B Mayer Film and Television Study Center at the University of Southern California.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Larry, I'm bummed I'm going to miss David's presentation, but Bruce and are driving up and won't be in Topeka till about 5. I'm really excited about the lineup this year. I held off watching a couple of the films on DVD because I heard they would be running in Kansas. They are using my 16mm print of Laurel & Hardy's From Soup to Nuts. See you in a couple of weeks.

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We actually agree on many things. I would love to see beautiful restored DVDs of all extant silent films. I'm a huge fan of The Big Parade and Wings. I actually have 16mm prints of both of them.

 

I just work in the entertainment business and I know what an economic hit they have taken in the last 5 or 6 years. Around 2005, when Netflix showed up, people stopped buying DVDs like they did before. It was easier to rent them. When you are selling millions of copies of the latest Harry Potter DVD, you can afford the gamble of putting out a Lon Chaney Sr set.

 

This is why Warner has almost totally stopped putting out classic films on pressed DVDs. The Warner Archives program is fantastic because it allows them to release titles without the production costs that would have insured them losing money with regular pressed DVDs. But with the marketing of the WA discs, you can't put out all the big popular films at once. You have to leave things to be the big release a year from now.

 

As for the MGM silents like Big Parade, Crowd, Greed, etc. They are caught in the middle. They are too high a profile titles to be released as WA discs, but Warner doesn't feel that they can afford to put them out in regular DVDs right now. Maybe if blu-ray churns out enough profit, they could do them in HD. I'd love that. But there is no sign at all right now that that is close to happening.

 

As for Wings, we all know Paramount has no interest in doing anything with their older films. I think Wings has the best chance of getting a release since it was the first best picture winner, but again, there's no sign of it happening. As for the Photoplay version airing on TCM, there's nothing stopping that from happening except for TCM paying Photoplay's price. Since they have already paid Paramount to run Wings, there may be a problem with getting approval to pay the extra money for another version of a film they already have bought. I suppose it's also possible that Paramount may be blocking the Photoplay version in the US, like Coppola has done with the Photoplay Napoleon. I haven't heard anything that would make me think that is true though.

 

TCM exists on subscriber rates, and I'm amazed at the things they do come up with that fall outside of Time-Warner ownership. Hopefully some of the things you want to see will show up someday, but you have to realize there's usually very good reasons why they don't have what they don't have and some titles are not available on DVD.

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Jim,

 

Yes, but I believe that something like the TCM Vault series with Universal is ideal for the prestige MGM Silents. Put out three movies per set and sell them on TCM.com. I don't think this would break the bank by any means. Call it TCM Greatest Classic Movie Collection:"The Silents". Much better than having nothing at all available of these titles.

 

I think the Photoplay version of *WINGS* is "more complicated" in the words of Chuck Tabesh last September, because there have been two other more recent restorations by the LOC and the Academy Film Archive. Paramount you would think would have access to those, and the Photoplay version as well, but there is no evidence that they do have. But certainly the Photo-play version is the best that has ever appeared on Television and any domestic broadcast rights do not seem to exist. Nor have they ever.

 

Why Paramount would still be supplying the same long outdated transfer as the old Laser-disc is beyond me. It was reported that Paramount was preparing a new High-Def transfer in the fall of 2008. Which print source was being used I don't know. If they did this, than where is the results? Have learned nothing solid since that time.

 

Incidentally, NetFlix means nothing to me, I have never used it. I think it needs to be outlawed anyway. Studios are stupid for not pushing for this.

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Paramount has no rights to the Photoplay version unless they pay Photoplay. They only have rights to the original film, with it's existing soundtrack. Not sure exactly what the deal is with the LOC version, but they would surely have to pay somethinng to use it. Since they have a version that they don't have to pay anything to use, that's what they use whether we like it or not. Paramount really doesn't have anything to do with it unless like I earlier said they were blocking the Photoplay cut. If TCM wants to run that version, they have to lease it from Photoplay. They would be double-paying for it. Paying Paramount and Photoplay. That's probably why it's not running.

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And rights to the Carl Davis score. Can we tell anything about what version of *WINGS* we might be getting based on the running time???

 

The only video link has the so-called Re-issue trailer. But that has been on the TCM Movie Data Base for the past three years. Anyway, what they really must mean is the VHS or Laser-disc trailer. Because no theatrical re-issue had the Gaylord Carter score. It would be the J. S. Zamecnik score, and any recordings do not exist. I sure wish that they did. Would love to hear it.

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The Carl Davis score was what I was talking about when I said "it's existing soundtrack". I ran a rented print of Wings about 5 years ago and it had that track on the film. It's possible it was produced for a limited re-release some time in the 60s or 70s.

 

Someone from TCM came on Nitrateville and said that he had checked the tape and it's the same B&W version that hass run before. The only reason the footage was tinted in the promo was whoever editind the promo put the tint on these to make it look more interesting or to match it up with the other footage. I edit promos and do that sort of thing all the time.

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Jim,

 

You mean Gaylord Carter for existing score right? Not Carl Davis? His wasn't composed until 1993. Yeah Dredroll posted three years ago too. It was my understanding the Gaylord Carter score was recorded in the late 70's.

 

The exact same thing that we got last time. No new transfer? What happened with the Hi-Def transfer that Paramount was supposed to be working on in the Fall of 2008???? Why were they working on it, if it was not going to be shown on TCM or someplace? I maintain that there is no NTSC Broadcast master of the Photoplay version and never has been one. What I would like to know is will this version ever see the light of day again?

 

The other thing is, how is is that my friend Kyle can take his Laser-disc and easily make up a DVD-R copy that is 5 to 6 times as sharp as what was seen on TCM three years ago? I mean it's not that tough to do, and at very little if any added expense either.

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You're right. My mistake. The thing is, right now Paramount has provided TCM with a scored print and nobody but you have complained. I doubt anything will happen unless Paramount wants to do something like a blu-ray release. Then they will want the TCM airing to promote it. I wouldn't expect to see anything different until that happens.

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It simply is not so, that no one but me has complained. Check old posts here, on THE GOLDEN AGE OF HOLLYWOOD, Silver Screen Oasis, Larry''s 66 Diner Etc,. you will find out very quickly that is not the case.

 

I have no problem with the Gaylord Carter score. For years I was used to it. I actually like the score quite a bit. But I am disappointed that we can't get a sharper crisper more recent transfer of the film itself. Something closer to say what the DVD extra of the 1923 THE TEN COMMANDMENTS looked like. Something that might actually translate half-ways decent to today's television sets. Instead of still seeing what was shown on the old AMC clear back in 1991. I still have that recording by the way on a Super VHS T-160 tape.

 

The sad thing is that the Photoplay Productions WINGS continues to remain more myth, legend and rumor, than it does established fact. There is more evidence that the Easter Bunny exists than the Photoplay WINGS. If I hadn't finally seen it for myself, I would never have believed it either.

 

 

Say, is your 16 millimeter of THE BIG PARADE the 1931 re-issue?

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You are probably the only one who has written to TCM complaining about it. Nobody pays any attention to what's said on boards and forums. As long as it's not costing them any money, they won't change what they've been doing.

 

Yes. It's the re-release. I also have a print of the re-release of Ben-Hur.

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Jim,

 

Cool. Do they have the Axt-Mendoza scores? What is missing from the re-issue of these that are in the Thames versions? BEN HUR, I have a pretty good idea, the Technicolor footage, but I know nothing about what was cut from THE BIG PARADE. Last year someone posted a listing of the entire Axt-Mendoza score here. Carl Davis basically only kept about 5 or 6 melodies. I've seen the re-issue clip on THE MGM PARADE, and didn't think much of all the excessive sound effects during the Jimmy Leaves For the front sequence. The music is pretty much the same, but drowned out.

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I believe that I saved it someplace. Thanks. Not sure where though. I am looking for the file. There is late breaking new on *WINGS.* Don't expect a new transfer of the film this evening. Sadly, It isn't going to happen. However, while we are getting the same old, same old Tonight, Presumably, *WINGS* will be coming to DVD and Blu-ray pretty soon. Check out this quote by David Shepard posted just this morning. It is the first real confirmation that Paramount is indeed doing something major with *WINGS.* Now if we could get a similar announcement concerning *THE BIG PARADE,* from Warners.

 

 

*"Paramount is working on its own version of WINGS using the Academy's beautiful tinted restoration, a new orchestral recording of the 1927 score by J. S.Zamecnik (which is wonderful) and sound effects as done in the roadshow screenings which will be executed with modern technology by Ben Burtt. Be patient."*

 

*David Shepard*

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> {quote:title=gagman66 wrote:}{quote}

> *"Paramount is working on its own version of WINGS using the Academy's beautiful tinted restoration, a new orchestral recording of the 1927 score by J. S.Zamecnik (which is wonderful) and sound effects as done in the roadshow screenings which will be executed with modern technology by Ben Burtt. Be patient."*

>

> *David Shepard*

 

 

Sounds good to me! :D

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> {quote:title=gagman66 wrote:}{quote}

> I believe that I saved it someplace. Thanks. Not sure where though. I am looking for the file.

>

In case you wanted to find it again, I did a search and found that the post I made listing the music cues for the 1931 reissue of THE BIG PARADE was on May 23, 2010 in this thread:

 

http://forums.tcm.com/jive/tcm/thread.jspa?messageID=8407863

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That's quite interesting that Paramount will be having their own version for WINGS. I may try to inquire a little more about that when I speak with David Shepard in a couple weeks.

 

Don't forget that we'll be airing WINGS at our 15th annual Kansas Silent Film Festival, two weeks from today!

 

You can stay current with everything Festival-related by following us on [Twitter|http://twitter.com/kssilentfilm].

 

I hope to see many of you there!

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