From Dario Argento to Orson Welles, silent comedies to Technicolor musicals, pioneering European feminist films to politically charged documentaries from Cuba, this year’s edition of To Save and Project, MoMA’s annual celebration of newly preserved and restored films, features rarities from around the world. Many of these films are receiving their first American screening since their original release; others will be shown in meticulously restored versions; and some are being shown for the first time ever in New York. Guest presenters include Guy Maddin, Babette Mangolte, Academy Award–nominated filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako (Timbuktu, 2014), and noted film historians John Canemaker, Tom Gunning, and Eddie Muller.
As a climax to this year’s Orson Welles centennial celebrations, catch an extraordinary collection of legendary, largely unseen Welles films from the collection of the Munich Filmmuseum. Among these rarities are the work print of The Deep (1967); a reconstruction of The Merchant of Venice (1969), with Welles directing himself as Shylock; and a new version of Journey into Fear (1943), directed by Norman Foster under Welles’s supervision, that reconstructs the original preview cut, which is more entertaining than the shorter official release.
From Belgium’s Cinémathèque Royale comes a complete refurbishment of Chantal Akerman’s watershed feminist film Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, as well as Je tu il elle and Saute ma ville. As a companion piece, from Germany comes Helma Sanders-Brahms’s Germany, Pale Mother, in the director’s cut unseen since the film’s first screenings in 1980.
Other festival highlights include MoMA’s recent restorations of two innovative pre-Code Hollywood films directed by William K. Howard: Don’t Bet on Women (1931), starring Jeanette MacDonald, and The Trial of Vivienne Ware (1932), with Joan Bennett. Eddie Muller, the founding director of the Film Noir Foundation, will present two films recently rescued by his organization, John Reinhardt’s The Guilty (1947) and Norman Foster’s Woman on the Run (1950). Rediscoveries from the silent era include The Library of Congress’s restoration of Get Your Man (1927); the Weimar classic Varieté (1925) in a stunning new edition from the Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Stiftung Foundation; and two recently rediscovered comedy shorts starring Stan Laurel (Monsieur Don’t Care, 1924) and Oliver Hardy (Maids and Muslin, 1920) before they became a team.
These films join dozens of others in a three-week overview of the exciting work being done to reclaim endangered films and revive forgotten treasures.
Organized by Joshua Siegel, Curator, and Dave Kehr, Adjunct Curator, Department of Film. Special thanks to Cindi Rowell.