MoMA’s 14th international festival of newly preserved films, To Save and Project, unveils a wide range of restoration premieres from institutions around the world. This year’s festival includes some 40 newly restored features and shorts from 13 countries by filmmakers as diverse as Youssef Chahine, F. W. Murnau, Suzan Pitt, George A. Romero, and Andy Warhol. Many of the films will be receiving their first American screening since their original release; others will be shown in meticulously restored versions that recapture the long-lost sound and image quality of their initial release; and some will be publicly screened for the first time ever in New York.
Highlights include MoMA’s own preservations of The Brat (1931), a rare early talkie by John Ford; and Herbert Kline’s Lights Out in Europe (1940), a newly rediscovered documentary featuring previously unseen footage of the Nazi invasion of Poland, and the world premiere of Night of the Living Dead (1968), in a new 4K digital restoration by MoMA and The Film Foundation, introduced by director George A. Romero on November 5. From the Academy Film Archive come two racy comedies produced by Howard Hughes—one a classic, the other virtually unknown—in uncensored cuts that haven’t been seen since the early 1930s: the American release version of Lewis Milestone’s The Front Page (1931) and the original pre-Code release version of Tom Buckingham’s Cock of the Air (1932). Long feared lost—and long purported to rival other 1930s RKO classics like King Kong and San Francisco in its breathtaking special effects—Felix E. Feist’s thrilling disaster movie Deluge (1933) returns in a new digital restoration by Lobster Films, Paris, courtesy of Kino Lorber.
As in previous editions, the 14th Annual To Save and Project is rich in revelations and historical import, premiering Andy Warhol’s Drunk (1965), a rival to the artist’s landmark films Eat and Sleep in its voyeuristic scrutiny of primal human behavior; the director’s cut of King Hu’s supernatural fable Legend of the Mountain (1979); as well as the meticulous reconstructions of Irvin V. Willat’s Behind the Door (1919), described by historian Kevin Brownlow as “the most outspoken of all the [WWI] vengeance films,” and G. W. Pabst’s devastating trench drama Westfront 1918 (1930).
These titles will join dozens of other masterworks and rediscoveries from around the globe—Egypt to Argentina, Pakistan to Poland—in a three-week celebration of the vital work of archives, studios, foundations, and independent filmmakers to save our world’s cinema heritage.
Organized by Joshua Siegel, Curator, and Dave Kehr, Adjunct Curator, Department of Film. Special thanks to Cynthia Rowell and Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan.