Reuters: European archives release vintage films online

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silentfilm

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Reuters: European archives release vintage films online

PostTue Feb 12, 2008 5:40 pm

http://www.news.com/European-archives-r ... 30267.html

European archives release vintage films online

In April, 37 film archives and cinematheques across Europe to jointly launch a free site called European Film Treasures.

By Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

Published: February 12, 2008, 11:42 AM PST

Where do you go if you want to watch rare archive films such as a 1916 documentary about life on a German submarine or John Ford's 53-minute Western Bucking Broadway from the following year?

Until now, the answer would have been a trip to one of the film archives that house these prints, respectively London's Imperial War Museum and the French Film Archive.

But that is about to change with the launch in April of a Europe-wide video-on-demand platform bringing together content from 37 film archives and cinematheques across the continent. And the good news for film buffs is that it's free.

European Film Treasures, as the site will be known, is the brainchild of Serge Bromberg, founder of Paris-based historic film and restoration specialist Lobster Films. The European Union's Media Program has pledged to put up half of the approximately 500,000 euros ($725,000) needed to fund the project for its first year.

European Film Treasures is hoping to tap into a chunk of the huge audience for free online video sites like YouTube and Bebo.

"The difficulty today is not so much to find old films and restore them, it's finding an audience for them," Bromberg says. "These are some of the best films shot in Europe over more than 80 years, but it's often difficult to convince people to see films like these."

Each partner archive will propose films, and a jury of historic-film specialists will decide which to include on the video-on-demand site based on criteria such as historical interest and artistic quality. Footage will be accessible for streaming only, not download, but the site may, in the future, extend to associated DVD sales.

Films will be available in their original language, with translation where needed into English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish.

The site is expected to launch with about 100 titles, but the aim is to include as many as 500 films, once fully loaded. Lobster is coming up with original music to accompany silent films.

It took two years to convince all the archives to come on board. "They thought it was a good idea but considered it impossible. The idea is not just to show their films, but also to present the archives and their work," Bromberg says.

The only major national archive that decided not to be represented was from Belgium. "That is to their great shame," Bromberg opines.

Bryony Dixon, curator of silent film at the British Film Institute's National Archive, says VOD is a well-adapted platform for these early and short films, which are otherwise difficult to program.

"(In the theater), you may get a few thousand viewers," Dixon says. "On the Web, you can get hundreds of thousands or even millions. If you put it out there, people will find it. You get that long-tail effect."

As with the other partner archives, the BFI is not putting in any financing but simply making films available. "We're in a good position to do that, as (we're) probably the biggest film archive in Europe," Dixon says.

Among films the BFI is submitting are Daisy Doodad's Dial, a 1913 British-made comedy starring U.S. actress Florence Turner, and a rare film of a French boxing champion. "We'll pick things that have appeal, like the boxing film, which will be really interesting for the boxing community because it's not seen before," Dixon contends.

For its part, the Danish Film Institute is submitting a 1923 Danish film that is one of the earliest examples of a viable talking film; an animated-sausage commercial film from the mid-1930s that uses Dufay Color, a mosaic screen additive system that predates Technicolor; and a raunchy 1910 one-reeler about Copenhagen nightlife.

"These are films that we restored recently. They're all entertaining films, one about color and cinema, one about sound and cinema. It's broadening people's idea of the development of cinema," said Thomas Christensen, curator of the DFI.

"It's great that there's this kind of channel for content that is otherwise sitting fallow in the archive," Christensen said. "I don't expect it to become a blockbuster phenomenon. It might never be more than marginal, but it's an interesting channel to be represented on. I think this is very much a transition time, and we have to explore the possibilities."

Story Copyright © 2008 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
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PostTue Feb 12, 2008 6:07 pm

Now! Now!


Bob
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PostSun Sep 21, 2008 3:19 am

The Montreal Cinematheque has started putting some silent films online also. The website is available in both English and French.

http://www.cinemamuetquebec.ca/
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Re: Reuters: European archives release vintage films online

PostFri Mar 16, 2012 12:21 pm



Daisy Doodad's Dial (1914)
Quite funny.

One of the posters was correct.
Mr. Doodad bears a striking resemblance
to President Bill Clinton.
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Re: Reuters: European archives release vintage films online

PostSat Mar 17, 2012 12:12 am

Thanks for posting the "Daisy Doodad" link. Best birthday present i had today!!
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Re: Reuters: European archives release vintage films online

PostTue Jun 25, 2013 11:42 am

This was posted on the EFT Facebook page today...

Dear Europa Film Treasures fans!
EFT temporarily closed for financial and technical reasons. However we are happy to announce you that we are starting a new partnership and we hope to be back very shortly!
Many of you showed their worry regarding the closing of the website and we thank you for your support. We will keep you informed of the future of the website as soon as possible.
Best regards,

EFT team
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Re: Reuters: European archives release vintage films online

PostTue Jun 25, 2013 1:05 pm

That's great news, Bruce. Some of us here were distressed to see the site disappear. Hope it won't be too long before the new one's up and running.

Does anyone know the situation with the website of The Filmoteca of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), which used to feature online Mexican silents at this address:

http://www.filmoteca.unam.mx/cinema/
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Re: Reuters: European archives release vintage films online

PostTue Jun 25, 2013 6:15 pm

Glad to hear they'll be back eventually. I had barely scratched the surface of what had been offered on line. This is a vivid demonstration that no matter how immediate and convenient on-line access to movies may be, local and/or personal hard copies on some sort of physical media are the only reliable options for anyone who needs regular access, and obviously the only solution for a collector.
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Re: Reuters: European archives release vintage films online

PostSat Feb 11, 2017 10:17 am

Daisy Doodad's Dial starring Florence Turner is very funny though it seems to go wrong at the end. Tom Powers (husband) is best remembered as the hapless husband in Double Indemnity 30 years later.
Ed Lorusso
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http://www.amazon.com/Edward-Lorusso/e/ ... 203&sr=8-1
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Re: Reuters: European archives release vintage films online

PostSat Feb 11, 2017 10:20 am

drednm wrote:Daisy Doodad's Dial starring Florence Turner is very funny though it seems to go wrong at the end. Tom Powers (husband) is best remembered as the hapless husband in Double Indemnity 30 years later.


It's on the BFI YouTube site.

Bob
Film is not the art of scholars, but of illiterates.

-- Werner Herzog
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Re: Reuters: European archives release vintage films online

PostSat Feb 11, 2017 11:52 am

boblipton wrote:
drednm wrote:Daisy Doodad's Dial starring Florence Turner is very funny though it seems to go wrong at the end. Tom Powers (husband) is best remembered as the hapless husband in Double Indemnity 30 years later.


It's on the BFI YouTube site.

Bob


I wanted to see her in the actual competition. What a hoot.
Ed Lorusso
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http://www.amazon.com/Edward-Lorusso/e/ ... 203&sr=8-1
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Re: Reuters: European archives release vintage films online

PostSun Feb 12, 2017 4:25 pm

The BFI's listing of Tom Powers playing Florence Turner's husband in DAISY DOODAD'S DIAL is incorrect as it's actually the director of the film Lawrence Trimble, who was Turner's partner in her Turner Film Company. The pair left Vitagraph and set up the unit in England in 1913. Tom Powers was working in England at the time but if you go to google and compare images of Trimble and Powers with the hubby of the film you'll see that it's Trimble. IMDB lists Powers as well.
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Re: Reuters: European archives release vintage films online

PostMon Feb 13, 2017 5:22 am

Steve Massa wrote:The BFI's listing of Tom Powers playing Florence Turner's husband in DAISY DOODAD'S DIAL is incorrect as it's actually the director of the film Lawrence Trimble, who was Turner's partner in her Turner Film Company. The pair left Vitagraph and set up the unit in England in 1913. Tom Powers was working in England at the time but if you go to google and compare images of Trimble and Powers with the hubby of the film you'll see that it's Trimble. IMDB lists Powers as well.


Thanks for the correction, Steve. I couldn't quite make it look like Powers, but IMDB has a power over me......
Ed Lorusso
Writer/Historian
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http://www.amazon.com/Edward-Lorusso/e/ ... 203&sr=8-1

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