Saturday, December 14, 2013

The latest from the Czech Film Archive

I've mentioned a couple of times that I listen to international broadcasters, and that Radio Prague has had several movie-related features over the years. The latest news concerns the part-silent movie Mysterious Island: apparently a copy more complete than any heretofore known to exist has turned up in the Czech Film Archive. The story goes that when Hollywood sent silent movies abroad for exhibition, the English-language intertitles had to be removed and replaced with titles in the language of whichever country was getting the print. Hollywood had no need for the prints once the English titles had been removed, as it would have been expensive to put English titles back in. Besides, it's not as if they were going to send the movies back out to theaters, especially once talking pictures came on the scene. So the foreign exhibitors were allowed to dispose of the prints as they saw fit. Obviously, in some countries the prints were saved, which is why we have surviving prints of certain films. The link above is to a transcript of the report; if you'd like the audio interview you can click here; the audio is 5.1MB and about 11 minutes

The other news is that Closely Watched Trains is to be restored, with the restoration set to premiere at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival next summer, I believe.

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