For the Love of Film (Noir)

Last February, Marilyn Ferdinand of Ferdy of Films and Farran Smith Nehme of The Self-Styled Siren, held a blogathon to raise money for film preservation. The money raised, some $30,000, was used to restore two silent film shorts, The Better Man (1912) and The Sergeant (1910), discovered in the New Zealand Film Archive in 2009. This time around, things will done a little differently. I'll let Marilyn explain it from her post currently up at Ferdy on Films:

Last year, we didn’t know what films we would be helping to restore, but this year, we do! In 1950, United Artists released a searing drama called The Sound of Fury, aka Try and Get Me. The film recounts the same story Fritz Lang told in Fury (1936) and was directed by Cy Endfield, who would run afoul of the Hollywood blacklist. Its star, Lloyd Bridges, never had a better role, and Eddie told me that when Jeff and Beau Bridges finally saw the film, they were blown away by his performance. A nitrate print of the film will be restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive, using a reference print from Martin Scorsese’s personal collection to guide them and fill in any blanks. Paramount Pictures, which now owns the film, has agreed to help fund the restoration, but FNF is going to have to come up with significant funds to get the job done. That’s where we come in.

I know everyone loves noir, and that noir crosses all borders of time and place. That gives everyone a lot of choice of topics, and we hope everyone will join in what is bound to be a gigantic party. Once again, we’ll be offering helpful advice and taking suggestions from the film community on the For the Love of Film Facebook fan page, which we’ll be adding to regularly. Become a fan, and take a look around in the coming weeks for suggestions of topics, discussions about the blogathon, information about film preservation, and a lot more. And go to the For the Love of Film blog, where Cinema Styles’ Greg Ferrara has posted banners you can use on your own blog and Facebook page to promote participation and awareness.

The banners Marilyn mentions come in large and small sizes for use either within a post or on a sidebar. One of them, with Joan Bennett leaning against a street lamp, comes from Scarlet Street, Fritz Lang's 1945 masterpiece that my wife and I recently took in on the big screen at the AFI. I plan on writing that one up, as well as proselytizing, as usual, for seeing as many classic films on the big screen as possible because, once again, a movie I liked became a movie I loved once seen as originally intended. I also plan on giving to the cause, as I did last year, and hope you can too.

Here at the National Archives, my place of employment, I got to take in Upstream, a 1927 John Ford backstage comedy that was a part of the 2009 New Zealand treasure trove and, though we didn't specifically fund that one, felt proud to have been a part of a greater whole, one that works towards the goal of restoring works of art and pieces of history that might otherwise be lost forever.

So put up the banners, watch plenty of film noir and come ready to write, read, discuss and make a difference. I'll see you there.