Steven Spielberg and Christopher Nolan introduced special screenings of films restored thanks to Hollywood Foreign Press Association grants at the American Cinematheque. The program was presented jointly with the Film Foundation as part of the events celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Golden Globe Awards.
Over the last 20 years, the HFPA has helped fund the restoration of over 90 classic feature films through the Film Foundation, the organization launched by Martin Scorsese to preserve film heritage. Thanks to this partnership, future generations will be able to enjoy classic films that had come to define our cultural identity and our times and that happened to be in a state of disrepair.
Spielberg came to the Egyptian Theater on September 21st to kick off the series by introducing Elia Kazan’s A Face In The Crowd, calling it a film which “way ahead of its time " in dealing with the obsession with celebrity and power, presenting the “nightmare scenario of an Arkansas drifter who turns folk hero who turns demagogue”. “The HFPA is passionately committed to the preservation of the art of cinema”, said Steven Spielberg. “As a Film Foundation board member and as one of its original founders, I want to express also on behalf of Mr. Scorsese, back in New York, how grateful we are”
Other films in the series included the Michael Powell-Eric Pressburger masterpiece The Red Shoes, Robert Altman’s Come Back To The Five And Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, the first film version of Death Of A Salesman and Indian director Satyajit Ray’s acclaimed Apu Trilogy ( Pather Panchali, Aparajito and Apur Sansar). The film restorations have been made possible in part by grants awarded annually to The Film Foundation by the HFPA.
The Red Shoes was presented by Christopher Nolan. The director joked that now that he is on the Film Foundation’s Board he has gained the right to call Mr. Scorsese simply Marty, and he added how he appreciates Scorsese’s fascination with color and the influence of color, something very fitting for a film like Red Shoes, a Technicolor dream.
Nolan also praised the role of the HFPA in supporting the restoration of films. “If you assume as I did that this thing is institutionalized and that the studios and the people who finance and distribute films take care of their own, well, this is not the case”, he told the crowd filling the theater. “The restoration of a film like The Red Shoes is only possible thanks to the pioneering work of organizations like the one set up by Marty. You need money, you need support. And the HFPA has been one the most important backers of his work for decades”. Nolan added that restoration is a job that never ends and that Red Shoes is going to need new attention relatively soon. “That is the nature of film”
A challenge that the HFPA, as promised by its president Meher Tatna, is ready to tackle for many years to come. “Film restoration is part of the HFPA's mandate, so that classic cinema, a part of Hollywood history, is preserved in its original glory and lives on for future generations to enjoy”, said Tatna. “We pledge to continue our support as long as we are around. At least for the next 75 years!”