New Zealand offers American Cinema treasures / by KirstenStudio

A fellow committee member of the Women's Film Preservation Fund shared this terrific New York Time article with members.  The National Film Preservation Foundation, a nonprofit affiliate of the Library of Congress, is working with the New Zealand Film Archive to bring around 75 early American films back to the States for restoration and preservation. There are some exciting works here and very recognizable names associated with these recent finds including, John Ford, Mary Fuller, Pearl White,the lovely Clara Bow, Mabel Normand, (one of the first female actor, writer, producer, directors) among many others. According to the Times article, many foreign films remained in New Zealand after their commercial lives ended because the studios didn’t feel the return shipping was worth the expense to get them back.  I guess they are worth it now, but that's not as easy as it sounds.  Apparently these are nitrate films and require UN-approved steel barrels for shipment.  These are indeed cinema treasures though.  One John Ford film represents a turning point in the director's work because of the timing of it's production.  F.W. Murnau, a German director had a strong influence on Ford's developing style, came to Fox in 1926 while Ford was there. Upstream is on the New Zealand Film Archive list of American films and Mr. Kehr writes that it's the first Ford directed film that reflects Murnau's influence.  It's those kind of special rarities that are part of this collection and therefore make the trip back home so important. The process of discovery, decision making and procedure are as fascinating as the films themselves.  Check out Dave Kehr's article here.