Saturday, February 06, 2010

For the Love of Film: The Lineup Grows (UPDATED)

Update: The number of bloggers pitching in to help raise money just keeps growing and growing; look below for the latest. Roger Ebert, for forty years one of this country's most visible, honored and well-loved critics, has alerted his many Twitter followers to the blogathon. Anyone who has read Ebert's columns or books or watched his television show knows he has spent his career urging people to watch great films from every era, and his support for us means a great deal.

It's time to remind our contributors of the rules of the blogathon. They are few, but important:

1. Post on any topic related to film preservation, at any time during the week of Feb. 14 through Feb. 21.

2. Include the donation link for the National Film Preservation Foundation.

The National Film Preservation Foundation is the independent, nonprofit organization created by the U.S. Congress to help save America’s film heritage. They work directly with archives to rescue endangered films that will not survive without public support. The link is right here:

The NFPF will give away 4 DVD sets as thank-you gifts to blogathon donors chosen in a random drawing: Treasures III: Social Issues in American Film, 1900-1934 and Treasures IV: American Avant Garde Film, 1947-1986.

3. Send your link to Marilyn Ferdinand of Ferdy on Films ( and to me here( We will be keeping track of the submissions and linking to them on our respective blogs.

4. Follow the links here and at Marilyn's site to read the contributions of your felllow writers; remember too that nothing gladdens a blogger's heart like a nice comment.

And, most important of all,

5. DONATE GENEROUSLY to the NFPF, and urge your readers to do the same. Film preservation is an expensive process, and our aim is to raise as much money as possible to support the NFPF's work.

In about one week forty-eight hours, on Sunday Feb. 14, the Film Preservation Blogathon, For the Love of Film, will be upon us. The Facebook page is being continually updated so please, keep checking things out. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Marilyn Ferdinand of the most excellent Ferdy on Film and Stylin' Greg Ferrara of Cinema Styles, we have 642 766 fans and more than twenty thirty forty fifty bloggers who have committed to posting something that week.

The fine folks at the National Film Preservation Foundation have really gotten into the spirit, lending us photos and clips from films that their efforts have saved. Do have a look.

Because of course, the important part is to contribute to the NFPF. If everyone who visits these blogs the week of February 14th kicks something, anything, into the kitty, we could be responsible for saving even more films. And wouldn't that be much, much better than the usual run of sad bonbons and wilted bouquets this time of year?

Like I told Marilyn...

This Valentine's Day, Give Her What She Really Wants: Nitrate.

The lineup so far, in addition to Marilyn, Greg and me, includes:

Peter Nelhaus of Coffee Coffee Coffee and More Coffee will review The Penalty, starring Lon Chaney.

Dwight Swanson of Home and Amateur will blog about the restoration of Think of Me First as a Person.

Louie Despres at El Brendel will be writing about El's Mr. Lemon of Orange.

Bucky Grimm will be coming out of blogging semi-retirement at "Mindless Meanderings"

Tony Dayoub at Cinema Viewfinder will be blogging about the 1922 Sherlock Holmes.

Justin Muschong of Brilliant in Context

David Cairns of Shadowplay

Operator 99 of Allure will look at the films listed in a 1931 edition of Photoplay and tally the survivors and the lost.

MaryAnn Johansen of Flick Filosopher will review Peter Jackson's Forgotten Silver.

Lou Lumenick of the New York Post will be writing about To the Last Man and how it fell into public-domain hell.

Glenn Kenny of Some Came Running

Kendra of Viv and Larry

Vince of Carole & Co.

Ryan Kelly of Medfly Quarantine

Ivan G. Shreve of Thrilling Days of Yesteryear will be pulling out the stops with at least two pieces, one on Fred Allen's IT'S IN THE BAG! (1945) and UCLA's restoration of its "alternate" version and the other I've titled "The Singular Case of the Magazine Magnate," which will discuss Hugh Hefner's role in funding the restoration of some of the Universal Sherlock Holmes films.

Jacqueline T. Lynch of Another Old Movie Blog plans to write on Vertigo.

Flickhead knows how to make the Siren happy; he's writing about nitrate.

JC Loophole (still one of my favorite noms de blog--a W.C. Fields ref?) of The Shelf plans a post called "Restoring Film, Preserving Art and Curating Culture."

Rob Gonsalves of Rob's Movie Vault will be blogging about the documentary The Race to Save 100 Years.

Director Jeffrey Campbell of The Last Lullaby (and) Peril

The one and only David Ehrenstein of FaBlog will post about Max Reinhardt's great filming of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Meredith of Or Maybe Eisenstein Should Just Relax will write on The Red Shoes.

Brian of Stinky Lulu will be writing about Who Killed Teddy Bear?

Filmmaker Max Sacker will be contributing from Berlin.

Tom K. of Motion Picture Gems will be writing about the message in Peter Bogdanovich's Nickelodeon.

Donna at Strictly Vintage Hollywood will be posting on Valentino's lost film Uncharted Seas and a second post to be announced.

Michael Guillen of The Evening Class has tentative plans to write on the Lola Montes restoration (and as far as the Siren is concerned, every blogathon needs some Ophuls) and indices to San Francisco's Noir City and Silent Film Festivals.

Catherine Grant of Film Studies for Free plans to post a set of links to online material about film restoration, preservation and archiving.

Arthur S. of This Pig's Alley plans to post on two neglected Raoul Walsh films, including Me and My Gal.

Plum of Don't Be a Plum plans to post.

Anne Richardson of Oregon Movies A to Z will be interviewing Dennis Nyback about his nitrate stories, as a projectionist.

Gareth of Gareth's Movie Diary plans to write about a vital component of preservation: access to what's preserved.

Brent Walker of the fine Mack Sennett Blog is on board.

Bill Ryan of The Kind of Face You Hate plans to post.

Sarah Baker, author of "Lucky Stars: Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell," will blog about Charlie and Janet's rediscovered films such as The River (1928) and Lucky Star (1929), as well as about helping to release Olive Thomas' 1920 film, The Flapper to DVD; she will post at Flapper Jane.

Paula of Paula's Movie Page, a collection of great movie pics at Shutterfly, is already showing us some link love.

M.K. Rath of Ehmkay is planning a post on preservation's relevance for young people.

The King of Noir, Steve-O, will post about noir and preservation at Noir of the Week.

Gordon Dymoski of Blog This Pal has "a slightly more pop-culture oriented post in mind."

Tinky Weisblat will be writing about Iris Barry of MoMA and "including a recipe of some sort" at Our Grandma's Kitchen.

Betty Jo Tucker of ReelTalk Movie Reviews has publicized the blogathon and plans to participate with a post about the great Martin Scorsese's preservation efforts.

Elizabeth Hansen of the Texas Archive of the Moving Image has pledged to promote the blogathon.

Joe Thompson of The Pneumatic Rolling-Sphere Carrier Delusion is posting on "Why Do We Need to Preserve Films? A Brief History of Nitrate."

Buttermilk Sky gladdens the Siren's heart by pledging to write about the Marx Brothers in Monkey Business.

Eddie Muller of The Film Noir Foundation, another excellent nonprofit film-preservation outfit, will be contributing an article.

Melissa Dollman, audiovisual cataloguer at the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, will be contributing at her Highlights from the Archive Blog.

Adam Zanzie of Icebox Movies will be posting.

Maggie of Silver Screen Dream will post about some favorite movies that need attention, like Love Affair (the Siren loves that one, too) as well as future solutions to classic film distribution.

Dennis Cozzalio of the must-read Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule will be joing us.

Hind Mezaina will be posting from Dubai on her blog The Culturist.

Trisha Lendo and her fellow students in the moving-image archive program at UCLA will be posting from their group blog.

Jenny the Nipper will be posting on CinemaOCD--about "DIY Preservation." (!! Do we have to wear gloves?)

Erik Loomis of Alterdestiny is getting into the spirit in a big, ambitious way, by reviewing one of the NFPF-preserved films each night for seven nights.

Librarian Leo Lo plans to post about the role of libraries in preservation.

Kenji Fujishima of My Life, at 24 Frames Per Second, will post about the greatest of all silent movies (sez me), The Crowd.

Want a reminder of what's at stake? Here's Marilyn's piece on a film badly in need of restoration, from one of the Siren's most revered directors, Douglas Sirk. Michael Guillen of The Evening Class posted a while ago about the restoration of Bardelys the Magnificent from another Siren favorite, King Vidor.

And our banner this week is from another film with a checkered release history that left it in badly in need of restoration, which the magnificent Lola Montes has finally received.

If you need ideas on what to write about, check here on the Facebook Discussions page.

There is no obnoxious door policy at the For the Love of Film Blogathon; all are welcome and you may come as you are. There is no limit to the number of bloggers who can participate and you may post any time next week. Drop me or Marilyn a line at email or comments, or on the Facebook page, and you're in, and most welcome. If you alerted me to your participation, and I somehow haven't added you, prod me again, please. You don't have to know what you are writing about yet, the promise to post that week about restoration is more than enough.


Ryan Kelly said...

Getting a shout out on this blog pretty much makes my day.

Ivan G Shreve Jr said...

Mine too!

Jeffrey Goodman said...

Please count me in. I would love to participate!

The Siren said...

Ryan and Ivan, how nice of you to say so! I am really pleased at the level of participation.

Jeffrey, welcome aboard! I will add your name to the roster right away. The blogathon runs Feb. 14 through the 21st.

DavidEhrenstein said...

I'd love to participate too.

These days I'm totally in love with the 30's -- prime nitrate era. I'm working on a piece about Dorothy Arzner's Working Girls for "The Quarterly Review of Film and Video" -- where I'm an editor. Arzner enchants me, as does Whale. Saw his rendition of The Man in the Iron Mask on TCM the other day. Not top-drawer but Whale is Whale. While the production was low-budget it certainly doesn't look it at all. That takes talent.

The beauty of nitrate is the beauty of black and white. In nitrate terms that menas Sternberg in the 30's -- the delerious lushness of Shanghai Express, Blonde Venus, The Scarlet Empress and above all The Devil is a Woman -- in which Marlene is supposedly trying to decide between Lionel Atwill and Butch.

She of course elects to travel alone.

DavidEhrenstein said...

From the 14th -- the 21st?


On the 18th I turn 63.

DavidEhrenstein said...

So nice to see Lola and her ringmaster on the banner.

The Siren said...

Sounds like a fine way to celebrate! I knew you'd like the banner D. Are you planning to get the Criterion?

Meredith said...

I would love to be a part of this!! I saw the new restoration of the red shoes in december at the british film institute and would love to write about it (i've been meaning to and this is a great way to do so)

Greg said...

I'm stylin' everybody! Ya hear that? Stylin'.

DavidEhrenstein said...

Defintiely, Siren. Lola Montes first entered my DNA in 1963 when I saw it at the first New York Film Festival. It was screened again in 1968 atg which time Peter Ustinov himself inctorduced it. He was amazed that a film that had been one of the greatest flops in history was now a beloved classic.

rudyfan1926 said...

Yup, you missed me. I'll be posting on Valentino's lost film Uncharted Seas and a second post tba at


Dave said...

I gotta give it up for Louie Despres; anyone who can stand El Brendel, let alone write about him, is a strong, strong man.

Talk about liking the uncool!

The Siren said...

Donna! Dadgum it, I knew I was forgetting someone important. You're there now.

Dave, El Brendel is one of my classic blind spots; I draw a nice tidy blank on whether I have seen him in anything. I do know that Amy-Jeanne of It'll Take the Snap Out of Your Garters is a fan, and also says she thinks he's sexy, if I recall correctly.

DavidEhrenstein said...

I've decided I'm going to write about the Max Reinhart / William Dieterle , with Oliva Dehaviland, Mickey Rooney, Dick Powell, James Cagney, Victor Jory, Ross Alexander, Veeree Teasdale and little Kenny Angerim as the Changeling Prince.

Olivia, Mickey and Kenny are still with us.

DavidEhrenstein said...

Here's a relatively recent picture of Kenny.

Marilyn said...

I add my thanks to everyone who has committed to participating in the blogathon. It is really gratifying to see so many film lovers eager to help save our film heritage. Believe me when I say that the folks at NFPF couldn't be nicer or more enthusiastic about all our efforts and will make good use of the funds we raise. I wish you all good luck on winning the raffle, too!

steve simels said...

Is anybody covering the premiere of the really and truly just about completely restored METROPOLIS?

The party begins in Berlin on February 12th. Complete with full orchestra performance of the Gustav Huppertz original score,,,,

DavidEhrenstein said...

Whoops, forgot to mention The title.

The Siren said...

David, I love that movie. Such a strikingly beautiful picture, one that deserves a pristine print.

Nobody is doing Metropolis to my knowledge Steve -- are you volunteering? :D

steve simels said...

Siren -- for some reason, the folks at BOX OFFICE haven't offered to pay my plane fare to Berlin for the Metropolis premiere. Alas.

Michael Guillen said...

Oh gosh. Film preservation is such a given in SF/Bay Area theatrical presentations (especially at Noir City and the Silent Film Festival) that I hardly know where to begin contributing.

Perhaps on the reconstruction of LOLA MONTES?

And indices to the two above-named film festivals?

DavidEhrenstein said...

It shows the colors in black and white.

Philippe Garrel is one of the only filmmakers who continues to shoot in black and white.

Arthur S. said...

I wonder if there's still space for me to do a piece on two major neglected Walsh films - Me and My Gal and . Manny Farber, Jonathan Rosenbaum and little old me think the former in particular is perhaps Walsh's best.

Catherine Grant said...

I'd be delighted to contribute, at the very least, a list of links to online film studies material about film restoration, preservation and archiving. Looking forward to reading all contributions to the blogathon.

Unknown said...

How can I get involved? I want to try and help out by blogging about a film if I have seen one on the list. Can you comment on my blog and let me know?

Don't Be a Plum

The Siren said...

Michael, that is a great idea and I am overjoyed that you will participate.

Arthur, there is space for anyone and everyone. The more that people contribute, the more readers will see the posts, and (we all hope!) the more money we can raise for film preservation. And anyway you know I think your film writing is great.

Catherine, that is a fabulous idea for a post.

Plum, I don't have a real list although you can see some preserved films at the Facebook page. The only requirement (and it's really more like a request) is that people tie the post to preservation somehow.

Gareth said...

I'm still hoping to post something about how screening - making it possible for people to watch restored films - is such an essential part of the process, so that the preservation effort isn't just the domain of academics/researchers.

Right now, I'm looking at a pretty eclectic bag of films, some of them of the more "home movie" type rather than just the full-length features that get the lion's share of the attention. Looking forward to all those posts!

pvitari said...

I don't have a blog, I just have a little Shutterfly page where I've posted screencaps I've made from favorite movies, as well as pictures of fave actors/actresses/films, but I did put links to the Film Preservation Blogathon facebook page, the Siren, Ferdy and the National Film Preservation Foundation on my page. I hope this helps a few more people find their way to the Blogathon and decide to contribute.

Anyone remember AMC's Film Preservation Marathons? I still have VHS tapes from those, especially that last grand hurrah, the John Ford marathon which included several films not in the big Ford at Fox box.

MK said...

I'd love to participate. Is there anything else I need to know, or is it kind of a free-for-all about preservation?

I was thinking of doing something along the lines of how the preservation of old films is relevant to young people.

tes said...

I'd like to post something at Noir of the Week as well.

I'll link to the donation page. Are there any rules I should follow? Any particular film I could focus on (noir?)

The Siren said...

Steve-O and ehmkay, Marilyn and I intentionally kept the category just broadly related to preservation, in order to draw as many people in as possible. I'm sure any topic you pick will be great. The key thing is the link to the donation page! :)

Pvitari, that counts too! I will add the link. I do remember those AMC marathons and that was in the back of my mind when I first pitched the idea to Marilyn. Used to be such a great channel. I miss Nick Clooney too.

Tinky said...

Dear Siren: I would love to participate! I will be only peripherally related to preservation, but I'm sure I can whip up a great film-related recipe and link to the page. My post will be late in the week rather than early. Thanks for the FAB idea.


pvitari said...

Siren, what an honor to be mentioned on your page -- especially right after Sarah Baker, whose book about Farrell and Gaynor is now one of my favorite film books. In fact, a complete screencapping of Lucky Star is on my page. ;) Thank you for all you do and thank you to all the wonderful people with their film blogs and pages. I hope the Film Preservation Blogathon is a stunning success.

The restored version of Mr. Hulot's Holiday just showed up in my burg (Atlanta) -- what a shock that it actually is here on the big screen. Just another reason why film preservation is so important.

Ladybug said...

Will there be a place where one may list lost films so everyone will know what treasures have already been lost? I would place Alexander Korda's "Private Life of Helen of Troy" (1927) on such a list. An American film, only fragments exist and are held by the British Film Institute. Why this one? My mother was in it (uncredited child). So preservation is both a public and private issue. Thanks for doing this.

The Siren said...

Edward, such a project is beyond my capabilities, but has a "Progressive Silent Film" list that catalogues lost films. Helen of Troy is probably on it. Makes for sad reading.

rudyfan1926 said...

Oh, thanks for mentioning my humble blog, Siren. I've got the first post queued up and ready to go for Sunday. I've figured out the second posting is going to be stills and scenes from lost films. Hopefully people will find that interesting.

rudyfan1926 said...

Oh,and I'm sorry we never got together for a podcast to promote the blogathon. Maybe someday you & Ferdy would still like to get on the phone and dish about film with me.

Kendra said...

hey, just wanted to let you know I've nominated you for a creative blog award :)

Adam Zanzie said...

Any room left? I've given it a bit of thought and I think I've finally got something to write about.

steve simels said...

Hmm...tried to leave this earlier, but it didn't seem to take.

Anyway, today's Berlin Film Festival premiere of the complete fully restored at last version of Fritz Lang's METROPOLIS?

Apparently, you can watch the film streamed starting at 2:15 New York City time.

Could be a hot one!!!!

Erik Loomis said...

I'm going to participate as well, by reviewing one of the NFPF preserved films each night on my blog:

Jennythenipper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennythenipper said...

I'd like to participate by posting on "DIY Preservationists" on my blog

Kenji Fujishima said...

I'd like to get in on this at my blog ("My Life, at 24 Frames Per Second": I think a brief piece about King Vidor's masterpiece "The Crowd"—which I've seen twice on laserdisc but never on DVD (as far as I know)—would be appropriate, right?

Buttermilk Sky said...

My post is up and can be read here:

Please use this link rather than the one I gave the Siren above.

Uncle Gustav said...

My contribution is up, Siren.

Kendra said...

My post is up:


D Cairns said...

My first post is up:
This is going to be fun!

D Cairns said...


Joe Thompson said...

I finished reading the day eight posts, except for Jaime's which I will approach tomorrow with the help of translation software. Thank you to everyone for the wonderful posts throughout this blogathon, and the thank you to Siren and Ferdy, who made it all possible. Now get some rest.