23-25 August 2012
Registration is still open, but space is limited, for The Reel Thing, one of the premier gatherings devoted to presenting the latest technologies in audiovisual restoration and preservation. It brings together laboratory technicians, archivists, new-media technologists, and preservationists. But the event has much to offer interested amateurs, too.
Organized by the Association of Moving Image Archivists, the Reel Thing features sessions on technical aspects of those endeavours, as well as screenings of restored films – this year, for example, those in attendance will be able to see a new digital restoration of Howard Hawks’ Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (and certainly the film’s stars, Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe), and of James Whale’s The Invisible Man, starting Claude Rains. Also on tap is a sneak preview of a newly restored film.
The event centers around sessions about technical aspects of film archiving and restoration. This year for example, attendees can learn about such topics as: restoring Universal’s The Invisible Man; techniques for motion-picture soundtrack preservation ; preserving feature-film “original negatives”; the influence of the enlightenment on cinema; reconstructing and restoring Heaven’s Gate, and the implications of the issuing of multiple editions of American silent features.
Also among highlights this year is a special tribute to the Nicholas Brothers, Fayard (1914-2006) and Harold (1921-2000), self-taught African American entertainers who became one of the biggest musical acts of their time, headlining on Broadway, radio, television, vaudeville, and particularly film. Their routines on Down the Argentine Way, Sun Valley Serenade, and Stormy Weather made them international icons. Their spectacular dancing have drawn expressions of admiration from an assortment of dancers, including Fred Astaire, Michael Jackson, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Bob Fosse, and George Balanchine.