Sunday, June 18, 2006

13th Festival of Preservation in Los Angeles

The UCLA Film and Television Archive shows off some of its recent restoration handiwork with the 13th Festival of Preservation at the James Bridges Theater from July 20th-August 19th. The festival runs the gamut from well-known titles to forgotten films, silent movies to TV episodes.

The month-long program schedule includes a few pre-code features and shorts:

Vitaphone Varieties (July 27th, 7:30pm): Early sound shorts from 1927-1930 feature music and vaudeville acts from the era.

The Barker (7/27): This 1928 early talkie starring Dorothy Mackaill, Milton Sills, and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. was a silent film that had Vitaphone sound sequences added into finished product for its official premiere.

Dynamite (July 30th, 7pm): Cecil B. DeMille's first sound feature.

Many silent rarities are also being presented with live accompaniment.

Two films based on Thorne Smith's comedic fantasy novels also get dusted off during the festival. The better known of these is the original "Topper," Hal Roach Studio's whimsical screwball comedy featuring Cary Grant and Constance Bennett as the two of the wittiest and most stylish ghosts you'd ever meet. But the real buried treasure is "Turnabout." This 1940 comedy, was directed by Roach and stars the lovely Carole Landis and a very funny turn by John Hubbard. This gender-bending comedy holds up well thanks to a great supporting cast (Franklin Pangborn, Marjorie Main, Mary Astor, and Donald Meek). I got a sneak preview of "Turnabout" at the San Francisco International Film Festival in April, and I can tell you the 35mm print looks wonderful.


viola1 said...
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viola1 said...

*ack*, I'm sorry. I wanted to preview my message and then it posted it, so I deleted and then, *sigh*, now it says it was.

I just wanted to say thank you for the news, Jeff. That's great. I won't be able to attend this festival, but whomever can will certainly have fun. What treasures!

My knowledge of silent and pre-code films is still in its infancy, but by coming here - I always learn something. Of the films you previewed, I think I'd like to see "Topper" the most. (My Cary Grant crush and all, *g*.) But I know they're all gems. Thank you again. :)