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For the Love of Noir: The Film Preservation Blogathon

February 17, 2011

Slide for Fritz Lang's The Woman in the Window (1944)
Slide for Fritz Lang's The Woman in the Window (1944)

Today's featured slide comes to you in support of the Love of Film (Noir): The Film Preservation Blogathon.  Last year the one-week blogathon successfully raised $30,000 in donations and matching contributions and saved two important short films from the 1910s.  This year the blogaton leaves the silent era and heads for the dark side, raising much needed cash for the restoration of Cy Endfield's 1950 noir classic, The Sound of Fury (aka Try and Get Me).

Donate Here
Donate Here

Film preservation?  What's that?  Don't you just digitize everything?

Our motion picture heritage is rapidly diminishing.  Film titles are lost - forever - every day.  Less than 20% of the titles from the silent era survive, even in fragmentary form, and perhaps more astonishingly, only half of all films created before 1950 still exist.  There are myriad reasons which have contributed to this situation, with short sightedness, indifference and neglect topping the list.

Contrary to popular belief, digitization is not the answer.  Some believe that digital copies may be a reasonable alternative to film for exhibition purposes, but there is wide consensus that digital is not a preservation medium.

For long term survival, film must be preserved on film.  Even today's newest digital productions are ultimately printed back to film in order to ensure long term preservation.  35mm film is a worldwide universal standard, it is human readable, fault tolerant, degrades slowly, and when stored under proper conditions can survive over 500 years.  On the other hand, digital media degrades in often less than ten years, becomes obsolete even faster, can only be understood by devices with their own obsolesce cycle, and requires constant migration to accommodate new media and software standards in order to survive.

Donate Here
Donate Here
Lloyd Bridges in The Sound of Fury (1950)
Lloyd Bridges in The Sound of Fury (1950)

Which brings us back to the Blogathon and this year's mission to save The Sound of Fury.  The film recalls the same plot of Fritz Lang's Fury (1936) [thus providing the tie-in to today's featured slide] and is based on the 1933 kidnapping and murder of Brooke Hart and the subsequent lynching of the two kidnapping suspects by vigilantes.  Directed by Cy Endfield (later blacklisted) and starring Lloyd Bridges as one of the crazed killers, this powerful film cries for a return to the big screen.

Your donation can help make this a reality.  This is a grassroots movement - no amount is too small (though larger amounts are certainly not discouraged).  Consider what you paid the last time you went to a movie, that might be the perfect amount to pitch in to save this important title for yourself, if not for future generations.  ...and once the work is done and you see The Sound of Fury back on the screen you'll be well justified in cheering extra-loud when you see the Blogathon in the preservation credits.

Here's that donation link again:  Love of Film (Noir): The Film Preservation Blogathon. 

C'mon!  You know you want to.