FOX FILM RESTORATIONS at MOMA!

Announcements of upcoming theatrical sound film exhibitions.
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brendangcarroll

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FOX FILM RESTORATIONS at MOMA!

PostFri Apr 20, 2018 12:56 am

"Korngold has so much talent he could give half away and still have enough left for himself..." Giacomo Puccini (1921)
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maliejandra

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Re: FOX FILM RESTORATIONS at MOMA!

PostFri Apr 20, 2018 5:50 am

Oh how I wish I lived close! There is so much candy in this lineup.
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rodney4130

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Re: FOX FILM RESTORATIONS at MOMA!

PostWed Apr 25, 2018 7:25 am

maliejandra wrote:Oh how I wish I lived close! There is so much candy in this lineup.


You aren't kidding. So many things I'd love to see.
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Jim Roots

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Re: FOX FILM RESTORATIONS at MOMA!

PostWed Apr 25, 2018 9:33 am

Note inspired by the shot from Dressed to Kill (1928) on that same webpage:

I just love the bars in old movies. Always a long wooden bar with about ten wooden stools in front of it, and one or two shirt-sleeved, vest-wearing, bald-headed, flea-bitten bartenders squeezed into the tiny aisle between that bar and a wall full of bottles and mirrors, a few tiny round tables scattered here and there, tough guys and tougher gals snarling "BEER!" as if there's only one brand of beer in the entire United States and its trademarked name is "Beer". Everybody wearing crushed hats and cheap suits. Everybody knowing your name, and punching you out anyway. And, of course, everything in black and white!

Jim
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MDJimenez

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Re: FOX FILM RESTORATIONS at MOMA!

PostWed Apr 25, 2018 1:18 pm

I believe this is a two part film exhibit. Does anyone know when the other half will commence and what other films will be shown? I was hoping Carolina (1934), I Loved You Wednesday (1933), Merely Mary Ann (1931), Body and Soul (1931), The Sky Hawk (1929), Always Goodbye (1931), The Warrior's Husband (1933), Common Clay (1930), East Lynne (1931), Heartbreak (1931), & Skyline (1931) would show up since I know they still exist (some in 16mm). I also would love to know if As Husband Go (1933), Gambling (1934), Walls of Gold (1933), Humanity (1933), Cheaters at Play (1932), Good Sport (1931), Wicked (1931), Girls Demand Excitement (1931), Once a Sinner (1931), The Dancers (1930), On Your Back (1930), Man Trouble (1930), and Not Damaged (1930) still exist?
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Mike Gebert

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Re: FOX FILM RESTORATIONS at MOMA!

PostWed Apr 25, 2018 1:34 pm

I interviewed Dave Kehr for an upcoming podcast and he said the other half will be about a year from now, because they have to restore more films first. No word on titles (though I did ask him about the condition of Zoo in Budapest and he said that was likely to be in the next bunch). Gambling so far as I know is lost (deliberately, by producer-star George M. Cohan).
“I'm in favor of plagiarism. If we are to create a new Renaissance, the government should encourage plagiarism. When convinced that someone is a true plagiarist, we should immediately award them the Legion of Honor.” —Jean Renoir
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MDJimenez

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Re: FOX FILM RESTORATIONS at MOMA!

PostWed Apr 25, 2018 1:50 pm

What good news! I had read Gambling was destroyed by Cohan but was still holding out hope that it would pop up somehow. There is a good book waiting to be written about Fox Films from the late silent era until 1935. If I was retired I would create a blog and website that would list what survives from this unusual film studio and about its stars who are footnotes in film scholarship.
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Brooksie

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Re: FOX FILM RESTORATIONS at MOMA!

PostThu Apr 26, 2018 1:10 pm

I don't know what the scope of dates is, but Redheads on Parade (1935) would certainly have to be a candidate for Part 2. This was shown at Cinecon a few years ago - a fun little film, with a bit of subtext about being a struggling studio looking for a hit that could be made on a shoestring budget. No coincidence that Fox was in a similar position at the time. From memory, this was made by Fox but released by the newly merged Twentieth Century-Fox.
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Harold Aherne

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Re: FOX FILM RESTORATIONS at MOMA!

PostThu Apr 26, 2018 3:35 pm

MDJimenez wrote:I believe this is a two part film exhibit. Does anyone know when the other half will commence and what other films will be shown? I was hoping Carolina (1934), I Loved You Wednesday (1933), Merely Mary Ann (1931), Body and Soul (1931), The Sky Hawk (1929), Always Goodbye (1931), The Warrior's Husband (1933), Common Clay (1930), East Lynne (1931), Heartbreak (1931), & Skyline (1931) would show up since I know they still exist (some in 16mm). I also would love to know if As Husband Go (1933), Gambling (1934), Walls of Gold (1933), Humanity (1933), Cheaters at Play (1932), Good Sport (1931), Wicked (1931), Girls Demand Excitement (1931), Once a Sinner (1931), The Dancers (1930), On Your Back (1930), Man Trouble (1930), and Not Damaged (1930) still exist?


Of the second group you mentioned, UCLA has:
Man Trouble (1930)--preservation print, also nitrate
Not Damaged (1930)--nitrate print
On Your Back (1930)--preservation print, also nitrate
Girls Demand Excitement (1931)--nitrate work print
Once a Sinner (1931)--preservation print, also nitrate
Cheaters at Play (1932)--preservation print, also nitrate
Humanity (1933)--studio nitrate print

Relatively few Fox titles from 1931-35 are truly lost. There's the quartet of early Chan films, of course; Gambling (1934), which was produced independently; and Annabelle's Affairs (1931), for which only R3 remains. I don't know about the survival of the studio's non-English features, although Eran Trece is very much with us.

There are a couple of films with smaller losses: based on UCLA's preservation notes, Three Girls Lost (1931) is missing part of R4 and R5. My Lips Betray (1933) is missing R6.

The efforts of the part of William Self, Alex Gordon and others to save the pre-merger Fox films were discussed by William K. Everson in the December 1974 Films in Review, which can be read here:
http://filmsinreview.com/2012/11/30/film-treasure-trove/2/

(WKE unfortunately didn't mention Eileen Bowser in the article.)

--HA
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Cinephile59

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Re: FOX FILM RESTORATIONS at MOMA!

PostSat Apr 28, 2018 9:49 am

For people who live in Europe, they can see Fox Restorations in June in Bologna during Il Cinema Ritrovato festival.
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brendangcarroll

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Re: FOX FILM RESTORATIONS at MOMA!

PostSun Apr 29, 2018 10:55 am

But no sign of MY WEAKNESS, the wacky pre-code musical with Lillian Harvey and Lew Ayres from 1933. A print exists at UCLA.

Any chance?
"Korngold has so much talent he could give half away and still have enough left for himself..." Giacomo Puccini (1921)
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LouieD

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Re: FOX FILM RESTORATIONS at MOMA!

PostSun Apr 29, 2018 9:17 pm

brendangcarroll wrote:But no sign of MY WEAKNESS, the wacky pre-code musical with Lillian Harvey and Lew Ayres from 1933. A print exists at UCLA.

Any chance?


It was shown at Capitolfest.
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LouieD

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Re: FOX FILM RESTORATIONS at MOMA!

PostSun Apr 29, 2018 9:19 pm

Harold Aherne wrote:
There are a couple of films with smaller losses: based on UCLA's preservation notes, Three Girls Lost (1931) is missing part of R4 and R5. My Lips Betray (1933) is missing R6

--HA


Word I have is that the missing bit from "My Lips Betray" have been found and is now complete.
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LouieD

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Re: FOX FILM RESTORATIONS at MOMA!

PostSun Apr 29, 2018 9:23 pm

My most wanted to see films from Fox which could possibly be seen in this series in "High Society Blues" (which is at UCLA) and "Merely Mary Ann" (at MoMA). Of course, there are other films which I would like to see from Fox, but their chances of being shown are very slight.

I would hope that the people who are curating these shows would at least give a look at "Mr. Lemon of Orange" starring El Brendel. It showed a few years back at Capitolfest and went over very well with the crowd.
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Re: FOX FILM RESTORATIONS at MOMA!

PostThu May 03, 2018 9:40 pm

LouieD wrote:My most wanted to see films from Fox which could possibly be seen in this series in "High Society Blues" (which is at UCLA) and "Merely Mary Ann" (at MoMA). Of course, there are other films which I would like to see from Fox, but their chances of being shown are very slight.

I would hope that the people who are curating these shows would at least give a look at "Mr. Lemon of Orange" starring El Brendel. It showed a few years back at Capitolfest and went over very well with the crowd.


I would also love to see Merely Mary Ann and High Society Blues. I know that MOMA has a pristine print of Merely Mary Ann but the UCLA film archives don't mention much about High Society Blues other than they have a vaults copy. I doubt that it's been restored. And I wonder if they have both the film and the sound disks. I have never seen or heard any showings or reviews on this film ever so I really wonder about its condition.

How I wish I lived closer. What a treat to be able to see these rarely shown gems up on the big screen.
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Marr&Colton

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Re: FOX FILM RESTORATIONS at MOMA!

PostThu May 10, 2018 5:57 am

I certainly hope DVD releases will show up eventually---does MOMA have any kind of sales arrangement?
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boblipton

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Re: FOX FILM RESTORATIONS at MOMA!

PostThu May 10, 2018 6:18 am

Marr&Colton wrote:I certainly hope DVD releases will show up eventually---does MOMA have any kind of sales arrangement?


I would assume any rights reside with News Corp or whoever holds the copyrights.

Bob
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Jim Reid

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Re: FOX FILM RESTORATIONS at MOMA!

PostThu May 10, 2018 6:19 pm

boblipton wrote:I would assume any rights reside with News Corp or whoever holds the copyrights.

Bob


The company split a couple of years ago. News Corp has the newspaper business. The film and television is now 21st Century-Fox.
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Keatonesque

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Re: FOX FILM RESTORATIONS at MOMA!

PostThu May 17, 2018 6:20 pm

Marr&Colton wrote:I certainly hope DVD releases will show up eventually---does MOMA have any kind of sales arrangement?


Why settle for DVDs? The Borzage films have been released on BD in France for years now while Fox has sat on them here in the U.S. One of these that's getting shown supposedly underwent a restoration – what kind? 2K? 4K? The French releases were just HD transfers to 1080p, not 2K or 4K. In any case, most of these deserve the BD treatment, and if Fox has high standards for restoration, so be it, but the fact that the celebrated Borzage/Gaynor silent classics have been collecting dust all these years while France gives them a decent HD treatment speaks volumes about Fox's dreadfully slow process in bothering to restore and release gems, especially ones already recognized as some of the best of the silent era and hardly obscure. :?
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Daniel Eagan

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Re: FOX FILM RESTORATIONS at MOMA!

PostFri May 18, 2018 7:31 am

I got to write a piece on this series: http://www.filmjournal.com/moma-series- ... am-fox-era

In it Dave Kehr makes an appropriate comment:

"Not everything is on TCM, or on disk," he reminds us. "You've actually got to get up and go to a theatre, that's the only way you can see them."

In my experience, MoMA goes out of its way to make its collections available to the public.
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Mitch Farish

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Re: FOX FILM RESTORATIONS at MOMA!

PostFri May 18, 2018 8:08 am

Daniel Eagan wrote:I got to write a piece on this series: http://www.filmjournal.com/moma-series- ... am-fox-era" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank

In it Dave Kehr makes an appropriate comment:

"Not everything is on TCM, or on disk," he reminds us. "You've actually got to get up and go to a theatre, that's the only way you can see them."

In my experience, MoMA goes out of its way to make its collections available to the public.


Unfortunately, trekking to New York is not an option for some of us. I've heard complaints on this board of extravagant BD prices. That's nothing compared to the traveling and lodging expenses of going to NY. For me to see any of these films, they either have to come out on disc or to a theater that's relatively close. I'm lucky, in that I live pretty close to the LC Packard Campus, and I've seen some great films there. But I'll probably never have a chance to see these Fox films unless they're released on home video (and that includes streaming). What are the odds of that ever happening?!

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