Will digital restoration programs preserve film history? France says oui
A number of French film classics are about to get digitally restored by the state run organization CNC, the National Center of Cinematography and the Moving Image. The program is intended to honor some of the country's most beloved work and also preserve lesser known films for future generations of cinephiles and historians.
The first wave of titles to get restored are Jacques Tati's Jour de Fete, his first feature film, his satire of modern living, Mon Oncle, and his later comedic masterpiece Playtime; Agnes Varda's World War II-set drama Jacquot de Nantes; and Jacques Demy's fairy tale musical Donkey Skin, among others. The program is also setting out to restore the documentary Far From Vietnam, directed by Claude Lelouch, Jean-Luc Godard, and Alain Resnais.
In another push to restore classic French films, the Ministry of Culture and Communication, film company Gaumont, and Caisse des Depots have mapped out an ambitious plan to digitally restore more than 270 films for future digital release. Some of the titles include Jean Vigo's classic L'Atalante, Henri-Georges Clouzot's L'Assassin Habite au 21, and Jean Renoir's Toni.
At a time when the production of actual film is coming to an end and sales of DVDs have stagnated the last few years, it's encouraging to see initiatives such as these continuing to preserve film history.
|Tati's Play Time|
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