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Film Preservation : what SHOULDN'T be preserved


classiccinemafan
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Sorry, but you're out of luck as both those films are readily available and GLEN OR GLENDA has even developed a cult following.

 

As far as I'm concerned all films, good bad or indifferent, should be preserved because each, in there own way, is part of the history of the motion picture industry. I would never presume to call for the destruction of any film simply because I didn't like it.

 

Still, with the limited resources available for film preservation, I understand how, every day, decisions have to be made as to what to preserve. I'm just glad I'm not the one that has to do it.

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For every great artist, there is some poor, untalented slob who, nevertheless, tries his/her hand at something he/she has no business doing. Some of us can appreciate the crap they produce, because we know going in our expectations are low and we're never disappointed.

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>Cult following or not , I don't think the library of congress and George Eastman will never preserve those 'classics'. Let them rot in those vaults their sitting in.

 

Ya know ccf, if THAT would have been the policy years ago, then I personally and as a highly impressionable teenager at the time, would have NEVER discovered the joy of watching these lovelies here with their shapely legs adorned with garter belt-suspended nylons and high heels being swallowed up by "The Creeping Terror"(arguably THE worst movie ever made) while it was broadcast on "Seymour's Fright Night" in the late '60s on KHJ-TV Los Angeles...

 

 

 

And so PLEASE reconsider what you're askin' for here, dude!!!

 

(...I mean would you REALLY deny to others these kinds of opportunities to ultimately become "Leg Men" such as ME?!) ;)

 

LOL

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>Cult following or not , I don't think the library of congress and George Eastman will never preserve those 'classics'. Let them rot in those vaults their sitting in.

 

Luckily for the rest of us, the archivists at the Library of Congress, George Eastman House, UCLA Film and Television Archive, the Academy Film Library and all of the others don't share your narrow view of what should or should not be preserved.

 

Luckily for the rest of us, even with the tight budgets they have to work with, archivists believe that ALL films are important from the grade A cinematic classics to the grade Z cinematic flops and everything in between.

 

We have lost far too much of our cinematic history over the years through ignorance (the idea that nitrate film even if it had no signs of decomposing must be destroyed because it was dangerous) or vault fires, not understanding its importance, the need for shelf space at the various studios and our own inability to fund the archives that everyday do yeoman work in the battle to save what hasn't already been lost, to start deciding that certain films should be allowed to rot.

 

Would anyone even suggest that paintings or other works of art be allowed to just crumple away? Would anyone suggest that the work of composers in museums or archives be allowed to turn to dust?

 

Probably not or if they did the backlash against the idea would be swift and would be brutal.

 

But as long as we take the view that films don't matter, that our cinematic history is just pop culture and that these films, even the ones we don't like or understand are disposable then we shouldn't be surprised when suggestions are made for what should be allowed to rot.

 

But it is rather sad that on a message board for a movie channel that every day celebrates the idea that all films are important (and has for 20 years) that there are threads like this.

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> Well, clothes make the man.

 

I've always disagreed with this banal statement. If you put an orangutan in an Armani suit, you only wind up with a well dressed orangutan.

 

I do believe that anything filmed for major release should be preserved. Not only as part of film making history, but also as an instuctional tool for what to avoid while film making.

 

Add the fact that the worst movie YOU ever saw is someone ELSE'S all time favorite.

 

Sepiatone

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scsu1975 wrote:

<< For every great artist, there is some poor, untalented slob who, nevertheless, tries his/her hand at something he/she has no business doing. Some of us can appreciate the crap they produce, because we know going in our expectations are low and we're never disappointed. >>

 

http://smashortrashindiefilmmaking.com/?p=704

 

Got to admire people like Don Dohler who can produce a film for $3,500 and make it work. "The Alien Factor" (1976). Like the really weird main title music.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chOKdLyUPXQ

 

a_factor2222.jpg

 

He even managed to produce a sequel.

 

Alien+Factor.jpg

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The films that should be preserved are those a society are willing to put the time and effort (and that means money in this society), into saving.

 

Works of all kind that are of value to some will be lost because those that value them don't have the means or the will to save them. This is just how life works.

 

PS: Good article by Susan King in this weeks L.A. Times with regards to film preservation. A lot of effort was spent on Too Late for Tears, the Liz Scott Dan Duryea film. Muller was involved, so hopefully this restored version will be shown on TCM.

 

Note that a lot of time and effort (i.e. money) were spent on the restoration. Like with any choice that means that this time and effort can't be used on other films and these films will be lost. i.e. there is only so much time and effort available and choices have to be made.

 

Edited by: jamesjazzguitar on Mar 21, 2014 12:36 PM

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>Like with any choice that means that this time and effort can't be used on other films and these films will be lost. i.e. there is only so much time and effort available and choices have to be made.

 

*Too Late for Tears* was not a lost film - a dupe negative existed in a French archive. The versions available on DVD were from existing 35mm prints that were in bad shape, missing frames, scenes and credit sequences, depending on which print was used.

 

I think that's why King put "lost" in quotes.

 

If the film was truly a lost film, there would be no prints or negatives of the film. A lost film is defined as a film of which no prints or negatives survive in public archives, studio archives and are not known to be in private collections.

 

(It is the private collectors who tend to be very quiet about which titles they actually own where hope holds out that some films long thought lost might actually survive. The most well-known example is probably the uncut, original release of Judy Garland's *A Star is Born* which is said to be private collection).

 

Lost films (without the quotes) are films like *London After Midnight*, Theda Bara's *Cleopatra*, *Red Hot Rhythm* and many more. The Library of Congress released a report last winter that includes information of American silent films, what elements exist as well as their condition and which archive they are located in.

 

75% of American studio produced silent films are now considered lost according to the LOC report.

 

http://variety.com/2013/film/news/library-of-congress-only-14-of-u-s-silent-films-survive-1200915020/

 

Hope springs eternal among moving image archivists that unidentified films in foreign archives, or unidentified small gauge films (28mm, 16mm or 9.5mm) may someday yield results to improve that statistic.

 

A similar study should be done for 1930-1960 films as Eddie Muller is right, the non-studio produced films during those years tend to fare the worst. Often untangling the rights is a nightmare and finding elements on those films can be difficult at best.

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You're correct Lynn. *Too Late for Tears* is certainly not a lost film. Took it out of the library less than 5 years ago, and enjoyed it, had already seen it over the years but the print is not great. I believe it's also on on the Women in Noirs tapes and dvd's or Femme Fatales of Noirs one or the other. I'll try to find the exact name of the dvd.

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Of course Too Late for Tears wasn't lost. The info you site was in the L.A. Times article by Susan King.

 

My point still is that someone (or some group) decided that Too Late for Tears was 'special' (in some ways more important than other films), to put in over 5 years of effort into ensuring a clean version the film will be preserved for future audiences.

 

Sadly this means that other works will not get the same type of treatment and they will either be lost or the version that remains for public use may not be of high quality.

 

As for private collectors: I asked this question before but no one replied; Should these collectors be compelled by law to turn over what they have? I.e. something similar to historical buildings? In the land of Hollywood (L.A.), there are lawsuits every day with regards to this; private owners fighting the L.A. historical building committee (which has the power of the government behind it). The committe dictates what a private owner can do with their property. Overall I'm not for this type of goverment overreach but without it many things of valuable will end up 'lost' to future generations.

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>Should these collectors be compelled by law to turn over what they have?

 

Ever since Roddy McDowall's run-in with the Feds back in the 1970s, most film collectors have taken a "stay off the radar" approach and don't advertise that they have collections or what they have in those collections for fear the studios and the Feds will swoop in and confiscate the films. In many cases, these collectors paid $$ for the prints and have spent major $$ storing and caring for the films and having them confiscated by the Feds, as you can imagine, is not high on their lists.

 

Those who have friendships and working relationships with collectors aren't inclined to want to bring them to the studios and/or the Feds attention.

 

So, without really knowing who they are, how could they be compelled to turn over what they have?

 

Edited by: lzcutter 7s and 9s

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