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Nitrate Film to Light Up the Egyptian Again

posted August 17, 2016

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In the early years of motion pictures, movies were conveyed on nitrate film stock. That medium had a major shortcoming: it could burst into flame during projection. The Egyptian Theater in Hollywood is undergoing renovations that will make it possible for the facility to screen nitrate film regularly for the first time since the early 1950s.

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Nitrate Film Makes A Comeback

posted July 27, 2016

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Wheeler Winston Dixon applauds the return of nitrate-film projection to the Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles. He writes: "Projecting nitrate is certainly not without risk – it’s highly flammable, and needs to be treated with the greatest care during projection and preservation – but for more more than half a century it was the dominant medium for film production, and for quality of image, it simply is in a class by itself."

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39 Institutions Receive Preservation Grants

posted May 18, 2016

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In its 2016 round of preservation grants, the National Film Preservation Foundation has awarded grants to 39 institutions to ensure the survival of 64 films, among them "The Streets of Greenwood" (1963), a documentary about civil rights activists registering African American voters in Mississippi, and James Blue’s "The Olive Trees of Justice" (1962), about the torn loyalties of an Algerian/French man during the Algerian civil war, which won a prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

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Who Is Crazy? Always a Good Question

posted March 31, 2016

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"Who's Crazy?," a 1965 film by Thomas White, a young American in Paris with performances by members of the Living Theater and soundtrack by Ornette Coleman, has turned up in a New York garage, and has been restored to throw light on experimental cinema of its day.

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25 Films Added to US National Film Registry

posted December 16, 2015

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The Library of Congress has made its annual addition of 25 motion pictures to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress, bringing the listing to 675 films dating from 1894 to 1997. The films named to the registry this year include Hollywood blockbusters, documentaries, silent movies, animation, shorts, independent and experimental motion pictures. They bring the number of films on the registry to 675, which certainly far from exhausts the potential for additions, because the Library’s moving-image collection runs to some 1.3 million items.

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Owen Land’s Strange, Expansive Film World

posted November 15, 2015

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By the time Owen Land died unexpectedly in 2011 at the age of 67, he had become a leading figure in American "structural film," film making whose films were about the nature of film making. Now Anthology Film Archives will preserve with an award from the recently announced round of Avant-Garde Masters Grants from The Film Foundation and the National Film Preservation Foundation.

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Disaster-Porn Shock Horror: Gertie the Galloping Bridge Really Just Lolloped

posted November 12, 2015

The Tacoma Narrows Bridge crumbles into Puget Sound on Nov. 7, 1940. The fifth-longest suspension bridge in the nation, the original structure know as 'Galloping Gertie' collapsed during a windstorm. It was rebuilt and completed in 1950. A reporter for the Tacoma News Tribune, James Bashford, shot the photo but credit was mistakenly given to a cameraman who shot a 16mm movie film, now a staple in engineering classes, of the unforgettable tumble. (AP Photo/The News Tribune, James Bashford) MANDATORY CREDIT  WATAC1
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Now It Can Be Told: 75 years after the infamous collapse of "Galloping Gertie," the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington State, USA, four physicists have donned moving-image-archivist hats to deduce that famous, much-viewed film footage of the dramatic failure was later greatly speeded up.

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Films by Gregory J. Markopoulos and Four Other Avant-Gardists Win Preservation Grants

posted November 3, 2015

Gregory Markopoulos: Twice A Man (1963)

Paul Kilb and Olympia Dukakis in Twice A Man (Gregory Markopoulos, 1963)

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In this year's round of Avant-Garde Masters Grants from The Film Foundation and the National Film Preservation Foundation, Twice a Man, a 1963 film by Gregory J. Markopoulos, was among seven films granted preservation grants. In the mid-1960s, two decades into his highly idiosyncratic filmmaking career, Markopoulous, born in 1928 in Ohio of Greek immigrants, became so disgusted by American critics’ reception of American film avant-gardism that he told a New York Film Festival panel of critics that they were "soulless morons,” packed up, and moved to Greece.

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UCLA Inaugurates New Education Approach

posted September 30, 2015

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The University of California at Los Angeles is changing the focus of its master’s-degree education in moving-image archiving, and the move signals evolution in employment opportunities for graduates. Less film theory, less confusion between cultural-studies and archival-studies components, and more attention to emerging career opportunities, underpins the new formula.

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