Lost Films

Discuss films and filmmakers of the 20th century (and even a little of the 19th century). Threads may contain spoilers.
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HarryLong
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Re: So, I've found a lost film...

#276 Post by HarryLong » Thu Sep 02, 2010 12:03 pm

Lemmy Caution wrote:I had an odd thought the other day --
I was wondering if any (now lost) films had been placed in time capsules and buried.
Might not have done any good if they had been. I read a news report in the past month or so where a time capsule buried in 1957 - which included a Plymouth of that very year (and looks exactly like the one my dad still owned when I was learning to drive) - was opened & everything was pretty much trash. I guess water, or at least moisture, got in, cuz that Plymouth looked like it had been sitting in the scrap yard, rusting away all those years.
Also, as I understand it, most time capsules are effectively lost, as no one seems to remember where they were buried. Most of the ones that are opened are discovered by chance while excavation is going on for some new building project. So any lost films that might be in time capsules are still pretty much lost.

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Lemmy Caution
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Re: So, I've found a lost film...

#277 Post by Lemmy Caution » Thu Sep 02, 2010 12:24 pm

HarryLong wrote:Also, as I understand it, most time capsules are effectively lost, as no one seems to remember where they were buried. Most of the ones that are opened are discovered by chance while excavation is going on for some new building project. So any lost films that might be in time capsules are still pretty much lost.
Yeah, I did a little modest research and it seems most time capsules indeed get lost or forgotten. Also, it seems that the time capsule craze took off in the wake of the massive 1939 World's Fair time capsule project, so most time capsules post-date that.
But one never knows ...

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Re: So, I've found a lost film...

#278 Post by HarryLong » Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:25 pm

Lemmy Caution wrote:the time capsule craze took off in the wake of the massive 1939 World's Fair time capsule project, so most time capsules post-date that
Now that I did not know...

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Lemmy Caution
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Re: So, I've found a lost film...

#279 Post by Lemmy Caution » Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:39 pm

The modern concept was spearheaded by "The Crypt of Civilization a sealed airtight chamber located at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia" which got underway in 1937 and was completed in 1940.

International Time Capsule Society was created to maintain a global database of all existing time capsules.

Time capsules from say 1890 - 1930 or so might turn up some interesting films(?)

I think there were a couple more posts in this thread which were lost when the vandals took the moderator's handle.

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swo17
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Re: So, I've found a lost film...

#280 Post by swo17 » Thu Sep 02, 2010 3:17 pm

I know when I was 10 or so, I wrote a letter to myself that I was supposed to read when I turned, I think, 30. Who knows where that ended up. Though I'm fairly certain I did not pack a print of 4 Devils in the envelope with it.

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Re: So, I've found a lost film...

#281 Post by HarryLong » Thu Sep 02, 2010 5:18 pm

swo17 wrote:I know when I was 10 or so, I wrote a letter to myself that I was supposed to read when I turned, I think, 30. Who knows where that ended up. Though I'm fairly certain I did not pack a print of 4 Devils in the envelope with it.
That was short-sighted of you.

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Re: So, I've found a lost film...

#282 Post by fiddlesticks » Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:56 am

Kinescope of Game 7 of the 1960 World Series found in Bing Crosby's wine cellar.
SpoilerShow
Pirates 10, Yankees 9

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Napier
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Re: So, I've found a lost film...

#283 Post by Napier » Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:01 pm

fiddlesticks wrote:Kinescope of Game 7 of the 1960 World Series found in Bing Crosby's wine cellar.
SpoilerShow
Pirates 10, Yankees 9
Thanks for the heads up! I'll DVR it in December.

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Minkin
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Re: So, I've found a lost film...

#284 Post by Minkin » Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:57 am


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movielocke
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Re: So, I've found a lost film...

#285 Post by movielocke » Fri Oct 22, 2010 6:51 am

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/SHOWBIZ/Mov ... und.films/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Russia sends the US ten restored Lost silents... on harddrives.

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HerrSchreck
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Re: So, I've found a lost film...

#286 Post by HerrSchreck » Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:01 pm

Some interesting, preveiously unheard of (for me) titles in there. Japanese King Kong from the 1930's? Holy frijole!

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movielocke
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Re: So, I've found a lost film...

#287 Post by movielocke » Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:40 pm

To follow up on the Russian saved films, the exchange went well and more films will be 'returned' to the US, again, the restorations take place in Russia, the surviving prints don't leave there and Library of Congress restorationists here in the states receive Harddrives of the Russian restoration (rather than a film element) which they then work with whatever materials they have in the States (continuity, shooting scripts, descriptions etc) to recreate the original English Intertitles.

LOC press release from last fall with list and description of the first ten films

If anyone can find more information on what films were returned are being returned, have been found, I'd be interested to hear about it.

I think it's been posted in this thread before, but this article on the LOC restoration program is pretty wonderful.

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aox
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Re: So, I've found a lost film...

#288 Post by aox » Sun Feb 13, 2011 3:13 pm


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rohmerin
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Re: So, I've found a lost film...

#289 Post by rohmerin » Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:48 am

I've read in Herve Dumont's book that Borzage was huge popular in China, and in Russia Eisenstein talked about his cinema. With all this miracle discoveries, what about him and The torrent?
Please, Argentinians, NZ and Russians, search.

Edit: just watched in TVE now. Galicia cinemateque has restored silent news reels, lost sequences and short films that Russians discovered.

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Jeff
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Re: So, I've found a lost film...

#290 Post by Jeff » Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:16 am

Sam Smith tweeted, "Watching a lost film from a master for a new poster assignment." Any ideas what he might be referring to?

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knives
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Re: So, I've found a lost film...

#291 Post by knives » Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:31 am

The recently found Chaplins?

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Re: So, I've found a lost film...

#292 Post by Perkins Cobb » Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:33 am

4 Devils!

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Jeff
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Re: So, I've found a lost film...

#293 Post by Jeff » Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:42 am

I thought that perhaps it might be Ford's Upstream. It's a Fox film, but maybe they've partnered with Janus/Criterion for a theatrical run and DVD?

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matrixschmatrix
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Re: So, I've found a lost film...

#294 Post by matrixschmatrix » Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:43 am

Does Smith work with companies other than Criterion? Maybe he just got the assignment for a release directly from Fox.

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Jeff
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Re: So, I've found a lost film...

#295 Post by Jeff » Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:51 am

matrixschmatrix wrote:Does Smith work with companies other than Criterion? Maybe he just got the assignment for a release directly from Fox.
He designed the Carlos poster for IFC. I'm not sure beyond that. Fox usually distributes repertory stuff through the unrelated Criterion Pictures, but that organization really just loans prints. I don't know of them handling a touring reissue and the marketing that goes with that. I suppose it could be an assignment from Fox itself, but they're not really known for marketing their catalog titles in the rep market either.

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Re: Lost Films

#296 Post by Emak-Bakia » Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:07 pm

Long time lurker, first time poster. Reading through this thread got me thinking about some old 35mm nitrate films that I have in a box in my closet. I was hoping someone here could give me some tips on how to properly preserve them. I've got five reels (possibly all from different films), three of which are marked "Property of Pathé Exchange Inc - Not to Be Sold", another marked simply Eastman Kodak, and I don't believe the other is marked at all. None of the films have titles or credits, though by Googling some of intertitle text I did discover that at least one reel belongs to a Mae Busch/Wallace Beery picture called Only A Shop Girl. I really doubt that I have anything of any notoriety, but I still hate to see these prints disintegrate into nothing. For the most part, the films seem to have held up pretty well, with the exception of one that is a very reddish-brown color.

I have admittedly done a pretty poor job of storing the films. They've just been kept in their original canisters, in a box along with the projector for the past ten or fifteen years, mostly because I don't know how else to store them. I've considered keeping them in my freezer, though I was concerned about the moisture, and, from what I've read, they should be thawed out frequently. At one point, approximately five years ago, I contacted several archives with the hope that they would just take the films and do something to preserve them, but I was told that I would have to pay for them to take them off my hands. In the past year I've started the only thing I could think of to preserve the films: making high resolution scans of each frame with the hope that I would eventually be able to put everything back together and have a digital copy of the movies. As you can imagine, this is an extremely painstaking process, so I haven't made a great deal of progress.

Does anyone know of a cheap way that I can store these films to at least slow down the deterioration process? Are there any archives that would be interested in taking them?

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Re: Lost Films

#297 Post by Jonathan S » Sun May 01, 2011 1:39 am

Welcome to the Forum. If you've read anything about nitrate film, I assume you're aware of the considerable risk of spontaneous combustion, endangering not merely the films but your home and you. I'm no authority on its storage but a box in your closet doesn't sound safe to me. Ventilation is important, as well as temperature and humidity, especially if the films have started to decompose. Here is a Kodak article on the subject. Although that slightly downplays the risk of combustion, there have been many cases of this happening over the decades, even in properly controlled archives.

According to the Silent Era website, the survival status of Only a Shop Girl is unknown. Even if it does survive, your reel(s) may be better quality or more complete than others in archives. The reddish-brown reel, incidentally, might be an original and intended tint if it has no other signs of deterioration.

I believe this question has come up before on the Nitrateville forum. It's easy and free to join, and there are certainly people on there involved in silent film preservation and even commercial release. David Shepard (of Flicker Alley) posts on there and might be interested himself in the films.

I hope I don't come across as patronising, and I realise you've tried before, but I urge you to act as quickly as possible on this, both for the survival of the films and - more importantly - yourself!

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Faux Hulot
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Re: Lost Films

#298 Post by Faux Hulot » Sun May 01, 2011 1:32 pm

I also strongly recommend you post a query on AMIA-L, the e-mail discussion list sponsored by the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA).

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Emak-Bakia
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Re: Lost Films

#299 Post by Emak-Bakia » Sun May 01, 2011 5:05 pm

Faux Hulot wrote:I also strongly recommend you post a query on AMIA-L, the e-mail discussion list sponsored by the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA).
Thanks to both of you! You did not come across as patronizing at all, Jonathan. I'll definitely be following through with both of your suggestions.


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