To Save and Project: The Seventh MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation

Oct 24–Nov 16, 2009


The Adventures of Prince Achmed. 1926. Germany. Directed by Lotte Reiniger

To Save and Project, MoMA’s international film preservation festival, celebrates its seventh year with gloriously preserved masterworks and rediscoveries of world cinema, nearly all of which are having their New York premieres. The exhibition opens with a weeklong theatrical run of John Cassavetes’s A Woman Under the Influence (1974), which will be introduced by Gena Rowlands on October 24. Also featured are two classics of 1950s Italian melodrama that differ radically in their styles and portrayals of complex women: Luchino Visconti’s Senso (1954), an impossibly beautiful Technicolor romance starring Alida Valli and Farley Granger; and Michelangelo Antonioni’s modernist breakthrough Le Amiche (1955). MoMA premieres its own restoration of Robert Flaherty’s landmark Nanook of the North (1922), and celebrates the superlative preservation work of Sony Pictures Repertory by inviting Grover Crisp, Senior Vice President of Asset Management, Film Restoration & Digital Mastering, to present four stunning new restorations: Frank Capra’s Forbidden (1933), a pre-Code gem starring Barbara Stanwyck (shown with a rare, behind-the-scenes Columbia short with Capra himself); Richard Brooks’s unjustly neglected all-star Western The Professionals (1966); and Bob Rafelson’s The King of Marvin Gardens (1972), starring Jack Nicholson.

The festival continues in November with special screenings of two silent Swedish classics—Victor Sjöström’s The Phantom Chariot (1921) and Benjamin Christensen’s Häxan: Witchcraft through the Ages (1922)—introduced by Jon Wengström, curator of the Swedish Film Institute, and featuring enchanting original scores performed live by Sweden’s Matti Bye ensemble.
Wengström also introduces the rarely seen bilingual version of Ingmar Bergman’s The Touch (1971). On November 11, the artist Kara Walker introduces one of the most beautiful animated films ever made, Lotte Reiniger’s The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926). An entire program is dedicated to home movies, offering a tantalizing glimpse into the private lives of Alfred Hitchcock and Joan Crawford, among other homespun pleasures. Restorations of two seminal documentaries of the 1960s are premiered: Chris Marker and Pierre Lhomme’s Le joli mai (1963), and Far from Vietnam (1967), a collaborative work by Marker, Jean-Luc Godard, Joris Ivens, Alain Resnais, Agnès Varda, and others. The festival also features films by Stanley Kubrick, Jean Epstein, Kim Ki-young, and Lester James Peries, and it ends on a sublime note with Marcel L’Herbier’s masterpiece L’Argent (1928), a timely tale of capitalist greed and a landmark of radically experimental studio filmmaking.

Organized by Joshua Siegel, Associate Curator; Anne Morra, Assistant Curator; and Katie Trainor, Film Collections Manager, Department of Film.

The festival is supported in part by The 42nd Street Fund and the Consulate General of Sweden, New York.


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