Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Rare silent movie haul to be restored

Rare silent movie haul to be restored

Good news if, like me, you are a fan of early silent films featuring the likes of Mabel Normand and Clara Bow (left). The New Zealanders have come up with the goods - 75 rare silents just waiting to be restored and enjoyed again by new audiences. Not just in America and New Zealand but the world over, hopefully.

So much of early cinema has been lost, due in part either to the fragile nature of the original nitrate film stock or simply because at the time they were made no consideration was given to the possibility that they would be of any value to future audiences. Many early movies were simply thrown away after a few years or stored away and forgotten about, languishing on dusty shelves until the brittle nitrate frames simply disintegrated.

To see so many old silents, unseen by audiences for decades, found and such a splendid effort made to save and restore them for future enjoyment is truly cheering and it also keeps alive the hope that there are still more "lost" films from that time period just waiting to be found and given the same treatment.

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