December 29 2016 Drama Movies Newsletter
Filmmaker and film collector Mike Williamson
Williamson is one of the collectors profiled in a 2016 book titled "A Thousand Cuts: The Bizarre Underground World of Collectors and Dealers Who Saved the Movies", written by Dennis Bartok and Jeff Joseph. Before the Internet and DVD/VHS players, movie fans would collect and trade the actual canisters of film in ways legal and illegal. While the studios spearheaded a crackdown in the 1970s, goading the FBI into arresting actor Roddy McDowall and confiscating his film collection, they often later turned to these same collectors for lost footage when engaged in restoration efforts.
Co-author Jeff Joseph was in a storage facility when he saw two film cans, containing the final screen tests of Greta Garbo, abandoned in the trash. Joseph "liberated" the footage so that it would survive. There are many similar stories related in the book. Amazingly, nitrate prints from the early 20th century were being discovered as late as 2005 and still viable. While the book concentrates on the personalities of various collectors, it also touches on the issues of restoration/preservation and the film vs. digital debate. If you are a movie fan looking to spend your Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift cards, I would highly recommend "A Thousand Cuts".
The film world lost two amazing women this week, Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds. If you haven't seen "Postcards from the Edge" (1990), written by Carrie Fisher and directed by Mike Nichols, now might be the time. Fisher adapted the script from her autobiographical novel, and it depicts her sometimes contentious relationship with her mother. The two obviously shared an incredible bond and they will be missed.
Here's the latest article from the Drama Movies site at BellaOnline.com.
Sunrise Film Review
As a child, filmmaker Partho Sen-Gupta was the victim of an attempted kidnapping. He explores the subject of missing children and the devastating effects on their parents in his rain-soaked, neo-noir film "Sunrise".
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Angela K. Peterson, Drama Movies Editor
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