After more than one hundred posts from more than 60 bloggers, critics, archivists, students, food writers, film collectors and just plain cinephiles, the blogathon is over, and the Siren is at something of a loss for words. It has, simply, been one hell of a great week. The response to this, the film blogosphere's first effort to come together and raise money for the art form we love, has been tremendous.
When I first zinged the idea past Marilyn Ferdinand, I told her I thought it would be a nice way to raise a few hundred for a preservation organization. Pay the electrical bill at the restoration labs for a while, that sort of thing. Later, when we started to realize that the level of enthusiasm was higher than anticipated, Marilyn and I dreamed that we might hit $10,000.
And so it came to pass. We've raised $10,000 and change for the National Film Preservation Foundation. That should be enough to save an entire three-reeler--a film that will go on living because people took the time to write and donate. The NFPF is working on a special project, and our donations will be applied to it; details should be announced in June. When the film is restored, they want to make note of the fact that it was done with money from this, our film preservation blogathon.
In future, if anyone tries to tell you bloggers are all talk, point 'em to the Movie Preservation Blog, which will house a master list of all the posts and participants. And then tell them about the film we saved.
As Marilyn writes at her place,
The blogathon ads Greg made were plastered all over the blogosphere, and we got shout-outs from James Wolcott at Vanity Fair, The Auteurs, Lou Lumenick at The New York Post, and Roger Ebert, among many others. We had film students, film bloggers of every stripe, preservationists like Eddie Muller, and scholars like David Bordwell write about preservation. Tinky Weisblat, a food blogger with an interest in film, showed up and turned in a great couple of posts. We had Dennis Nyback, who actually projected nitrate film, tell us about it. And we had people who were willing to open their wallets in these tough times to help.
Even now, we still have donations trickling in, and more posts have come as well. Dennis Nyback is blogging about his experiences trucking nitrate film cross-country, a sort of film collector's Wages of Fear. Kenji Fujishima just made the midnight cutoff with a lovely post about preservation and The Crowd, at My Life at 24 Frames Per Second. Brian Darr of the fantastic blog Hell on Frisco Bay gave us an eloquent shout-out. And Michael Guillen's post about the immortal Lola Montes is a bit late, but so well worth the wait.
Finally, in keeping with the fact that we've had contributions from bloggers all over the world--India, Scotland, Dubai, Spain, the Philippines--the Middle Eastern Film Festival and its publications doyenne, Cindi Rowell, have chipped in with an interview with Serge Bromberg, co-founder of Lobster Films and co-director of L’enfer d’Henri-Georges Clouzot. They remind everyone that it is never too late to donate--how very true--and plan to include a regular preservation feature at their site.
And now the Siren is going to go find one of those cute little ice-packs that Myrna Loy wore in The Thin Man, and recuperate for just a wee while.
We did good.