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What the Hell?

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27th Mar 2008 | 01:07 pm
location: Brooklyn, New York
disposition: busykeeping busy
diversion: Paul Nelson interviewing Greg Copeland

This morning, in The New York Sun, there's an article about how Manhattan's Anthology Film Archives (according to its website, "the first museum devoted to film as an art form") is reviving the early movies of Albert Brooks; specifically, his first two features, the wonderful and exquisite Real Life and Modern Love (the former, made in 1979, an extremely prescient commentary on reality television, the latter taking neurotic romanticism to heights even Woody Allen never dreamed possible).

Regarding Brooks's third movie, Lost in America, the article mentions that "'there's no print of it anywhere.' An apparent victim of indifference on the part of Warner Bros., which owns the film, Lost in America has fallen through the distribution cracks."

No print of it anywhere?! It's not unusual in this day of film restoration awareness (thanks to the efforts of directors like Martin Scorsese) to hear how 90 percent of American silent movies have been lost, as well as half of all the films made in the U.S. before 1950. But we're talking about a movie that was made in 1985, for Chrissake! As well, Lost in America took in more at the box office than Brooks's first two films combined. And nobody thought to preserve a single print?

I don't know about you, but that really grinds my gears.


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Comments {3}


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from: silver_chipmunk
date: 27th Mar 2008 05:16 pm (UTC)

*blink, blink* Made in 1985, major studio release, and it's just _gone_??? That's... that's the stuff conspiracy theories are made of...

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Deborah Avery

You know, I saw a documentary about this very subject once.

from: nyexeccoach
date: 28th Mar 2008 03:58 pm (UTC)

At least I think it was a documentary, it's so difficult to tell these days. Anyway, in "Be Kind Rewind" a similar challenge was overcome by reenacting the lost videos. Perhaps we should take a page from that book, or a freeze frame from that film? My fear is that Mysti would totally trash the Winnebago,but I'm game!

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what the hell? indeed...

from: pulpfantrntno
date: 28th Mar 2008 09:35 pm (UTC)

to me this is a ludicrous idea. sure, dvd is great, i guess, but as preservation goes? blech. imagine the restorative measures years and years down the road from even now when they try to restore a dvd copy of this movie for whatever format is popular then and realize they can't due to excessive generational deterioration. i love albert brooks, and the fact that so many other people do makes me just drop my jaw in disbelief at this information.

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