The Mary Pickford Foundation's (4K) Restoration Project

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Keatonesque

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The Mary Pickford Foundation's (4K) Restoration Project

PostWed May 09, 2018 11:18 pm

I thought this deserves its own topic since it focuses solely on the Mary Pickford Foundation's ambitious efforts and commitment to preserve and restore Mary's body of work for the foreseeable future so new generations can discover her anew. It's an exhaustive project that was recently started and will also include other films too (e.g. Lady of the Pavements, 1929).

The following films of Mary Pickford have undergone, are currently undergoing, or will soon undergo 4K restorations:

1. Madame Butterfly (1915) / Restoration Status: Planning Stages (Paramount, 35mm)
2. Fanchon the Cricket (1915) / Restoration Status: Completed (BFI & Cinémathèque Française, 35mm)
3. Tess of the Storm Country (1914/1922) / Restoration Status: Planning Stages (Paramount, LoC & Gosfilmofond, 35mm)
4. Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1917) / Restoration Status: Planning Stages (UCLA & NEA, 35mm)
5. A Little Princess (1917) / Restoration Status: In Progress (UCLA, 35mm)
6. Stella Maris (1918) / Restoration Status: Planning Stages (UCLA & LoC, 35mm)
7. Rosita (1923) / Restoration Status: Completed (MoMA, 35mm)
8. Little Annie Rooney (1925) / Restoration Status: Completed (AMPAS, 35mm, 2016)
9. Sparrows (1926) / Restoration Status: In Progress (LoC, 35mm)
10. My Best Girl (1927) / Restoration Status: In Progress (UCLA & Film Foundation, 35mm)

Source: https://marypickford.org/preservation-work/
Last edited by Keatonesque on Thu May 10, 2018 12:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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BankofAmericasSweetheart

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Re: The Mary Pickford Foundation's (4K) Restoration Project

PostWed May 09, 2018 11:45 pm

I just wanted to thank you for the separate thread. I am currently graduating from UCLA MLIS graduate program with specialization in media archival studies and my dream has always been to work on a Pickford restoration. I probably would have to be employed at some of these institutions to be able to work on these projects but at any rate, theres no hurt in dreaming about it. Maybe some day, she has a lot of filmography left to restore right?
"It would have been more logical if silent pictures had grown out of the talkies instead of the other way around." - MP
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Re: The Mary Pickford Foundation's (4K) Restoration Project

PostThu May 10, 2018 12:45 am

This is most definitely a long-term project that I can see lasting at least a decade, but likely two decades. There are around 40 features left to restore in this project between 1913 and 1927 (by which I mean features not already in progress or in the planning stages), and all the 150 or so shorts from her time at Biograph. So many beloved features await being part of this restoration project, from The Poor Little Rich Girl to Amarilly of Clothes-Line Alley to Daddy-Long-Legs to The Hoodlum to Suds and The Love Light. Being a graduate from UCLA from which so many prints and contributions derive can only be in your benefit. It's truly an exciting time to be an admirer of Mary Pickford's films which have so long taken the backseat in terms of restoration to the work of other silent stars. Now she, like Gloria Swanson and Pola Negri, is finally getting her due with painstakingly dedicated restorations, such as Rosita which will be premiering in the US at this year's SFSFF (if only I could go!). I wish such a foundation existed to give proper painstaking restorations to the work of Clara Bow, Lon Chaney, Colleen Moore, and Lillian Gish, but alas, it is lucky enough we have the Pickford Foundation having committed to such an ambitious project rather than being content with decent prints (or sitting on a treasure trove like Warner). I hope you have many opportunities to help contribute to this project – the next decade or so that marks the centennial of the remainder of the silent era in the US is an ideal time for entering film restoration/preservation and archival specialization! :)
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Re: The Mary Pickford Foundation's (4K) Restoration Project

PostThu May 10, 2018 9:45 am

I'm THRILLED to hear this. I've wanted to see Madame Butterfly and Rosita for years, basically since the beginning of my interest in silents. I've never seen Fanchon the Cricket either, which will be released by Flicker Alley as a double bill with Little Annie Rooney.
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R Michael Pyle

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Re: The Mary Pickford Foundation's (4K) Restoration Project

PostThu May 10, 2018 10:30 am

Superlative news!! If it hadn't been for Mary...
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Re: The Mary Pickford Foundation's (4K) Restoration Project

PostThu May 10, 2018 10:53 am

Yes, great news, but if it takes them 20 years, the format in which they deliver the films will be obsolete ... whatever format it is.

Probably they'll be beaming it directly into our brain cells via a Russian spaceship. Get your tinfoil hats ready!

Jim
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Re: The Mary Pickford Foundation's (4K) Restoration Project

PostThu May 10, 2018 2:21 pm

I don't think many will mind how obsolete 4K in twenty years may be with regard to silent films, because any silent that is blessed to have its print/s restored and scanned at 4K resolution usually look as if they were made yesterday, depending on the elements and print condition. I'm confident when Pickford films are restored and released at 4K, they'll look as fantastic as anyone could've hoped for, and will endure for generations to come without any real reason or necessity for 8K or further. :wink:
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Re: The Mary Pickford Foundation's (4K) Restoration Project

PostThu May 10, 2018 2:47 pm

The original post points out that they are making 35mm copies of all these titles. Should last a few hundred years, right?

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Re: The Mary Pickford Foundation's (4K) Restoration Project

PostFri May 11, 2018 1:15 pm

Keatonesque wrote:This is most definitely a long-term project that I can see lasting at least a decade, but likely two decades. There are around 40 features left to restore in this project between 1913 and 1927 (by which I mean features not already in progress or in the planning stages), and all the 150 or so shorts from her time at Biograph. So many beloved features await being part of this restoration project, from The Poor Little Rich Girl to Amarilly of Clothes-Line Alley to Daddy-Long-Legs to The Hoodlum to Suds and The Love Light. Being a graduate from UCLA from which so many prints and contributions derive can only be in your benefit. It's truly an exciting time to be an admirer of Mary Pickford's films which have so long taken the backseat in terms of restoration to the work of other silent stars. Now she, like Gloria Swanson and Pola Negri, is finally getting her due with painstakingly dedicated restorations, such as Rosita which will be premiering in the US at this year's SFSFF (if only I could go!). I wish such a foundation existed to give proper painstaking restorations to the work of Clara Bow, Lon Chaney, Colleen Moore, and Lillian Gish, but alas, it is lucky enough we have the Pickford Foundation having committed to such an ambitious project rather than being content with decent prints (or sitting on a treasure trove like Warner). I hope you have many opportunities to help contribute to this project – the next decade or so that marks the centennial of the remainder of the silent era in the US is an ideal time for entering film restoration/preservation and archival specialization! :)


The Mary Pickford foundation has of course restored several of her titles in the past like Daddy Long Legs, Suds, The Love Light, etc. perhaps they are going to do additional work on them.

The MP foundation exists because Pickford cared enough to mark some of her estate to seeing to it that her work would live on. Several of her rivals were certainly wealthy enough to have done the same - Colleen Moore, Lillian Gish, Corinne Griffith, Marion Davies among them - but apparently it wasn't of that great an importance to them even though Lillian was quite eloquent on the need to preserve film and as everyone knows was essential in persuading Mary not to destroy her library. One of the many great things about Mary Pickford was she saw that her foundation would allow funds and time to work on other stars' films as well, the MPF worked on one of Swanson's talkies that was released on dvd and several other films and as we know helped with funding for mediahistory.org. It really burns me when this generous, compassionate woman and great humanitarian (the Motion Picture home probably wouldn't exist without her) gets written off as a reclusive, alcoholic woman who lived in the past by some idiot journalists.
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Re: The Mary Pickford Foundation's (4K) Restoration Project

PostFri May 11, 2018 2:31 pm

I agree with you HarlowGold,

Does it really matter what actors and actresses did after their Hollywood careers were over with. We are watching their talents in the arts on the screen at that moment in time when they were involved in pictures, not when they were retired or after they left show business.

Dana
Mark Hamilton (I) is on imdb.com
Joseph Hamilton (I) is on imdb.com
Gertrude Brooke Hamilton is on imdb.com
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Re: The Mary Pickford Foundation's (4K) Restoration Project

PostFri May 11, 2018 2:35 pm

Harlowgold wrote:
Keatonesque wrote:This is most definitely a long-term project that I can see lasting at least a decade, but likely two decades. There are around 40 features left to restore in this project between 1913 and 1927 (by which I mean features not already in progress or in the planning stages), and all the 150 or so shorts from her time at Biograph. So many beloved features await being part of this restoration project, from The Poor Little Rich Girl to Amarilly of Clothes-Line Alley to Daddy-Long-Legs to The Hoodlum to Suds and The Love Light. Being a graduate from UCLA from which so many prints and contributions derive can only be in your benefit. It's truly an exciting time to be an admirer of Mary Pickford's films which have so long taken the backseat in terms of restoration to the work of other silent stars. Now she, like Gloria Swanson and Pola Negri, is finally getting her due with painstakingly dedicated restorations, such as Rosita which will be premiering in the US at this year's SFSFF (if only I could go!). I wish such a foundation existed to give proper painstaking restorations to the work of Clara Bow, Lon Chaney, Colleen Moore, and Lillian Gish, but alas, it is lucky enough we have the Pickford Foundation having committed to such an ambitious project rather than being content with decent prints (or sitting on a treasure trove like Warner). I hope you have many opportunities to help contribute to this project – the next decade or so that marks the centennial of the remainder of the silent era in the US is an ideal time for entering film restoration/preservation and archival specialization! :)


The Mary Pickford foundation has of course restored several of her titles in the past like Daddy Long Legs, Suds, The Love Light, etc. perhaps they are going to do additional work on them.

The MP foundation exists because Pickford cared enough to mark some of her estate to seeing to it that her work would live on. Several of her rivals were certainly wealthy enough to have done the same - Colleen Moore, Lillian Gish, Corinne Griffith, Marion Davies among them - but apparently it wasn't of that great an importance to them even though Lillian was quite eloquent on the need to preserve film and as everyone knows was essential in persuading Mary not to destroy her library. One of the many great things about Mary Pickford was she saw that her foundation would allow funds and time to work on other stars' films as well, the MPF worked on one of Swanson's talkies that was released on dvd and several other films and as we know helped with funding for mediahistory.org. It really burns me when this generous, compassionate woman and great humanitarian (the Motion Picture home probably wouldn't exist without her) gets written off as a reclusive, alcoholic woman who lived in the past by some idiot journalists.


These are 4K restorations, which did not previously exist with past restorations. I'm sure when we see the results, we'll see how preferable they are to restorations of the past of the DVD era. As for other films, the Foundation plans to restore Lady of the Pavements next year, a late silent gem by D. W. Griffith.
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Re: The Mary Pickford Foundation's (4K) Restoration Project

PostFri May 11, 2018 5:48 pm

Keatonesque wrote:
Harlowgold wrote:
Keatonesque wrote:This is most definitely a long-term project that I can see lasting at least a decade, but likely two decades. There are around 40 features left to restore in this project between 1913 and 1927 (by which I mean features not already in progress or in the planning stages), and all the 150 or so shorts from her time at Biograph. So many beloved features await being part of this restoration project, from The Poor Little Rich Girl to Amarilly of Clothes-Line Alley to Daddy-Long-Legs to The Hoodlum to Suds and The Love Light. Being a graduate from UCLA from which so many prints and contributions derive can only be in your benefit. It's truly an exciting time to be an admirer of Mary Pickford's films which have so long taken the backseat in terms of restoration to the work of other silent stars. Now she, like Gloria Swanson and Pola Negri, is finally getting her due with painstakingly dedicated restorations, such as Rosita which will be premiering in the US at this year's SFSFF (if only I could go!). I wish such a foundation existed to give proper painstaking restorations to the work of Clara Bow, Lon Chaney, Colleen Moore, and Lillian Gish, but alas, it is lucky enough we have the Pickford Foundation having committed to such an ambitious project rather than being content with decent prints (or sitting on a treasure trove like Warner). I hope you have many opportunities to help contribute to this project – the next decade or so that marks the centennial of the remainder of the silent era in the US is an ideal time for entering film restoration/preservation and archival specialization! :)


The Mary Pickford foundation has of course restored several of her titles in the past like Daddy Long Legs, Suds, The Love Light, etc. perhaps they are going to do additional work on them.

The MP foundation exists because Pickford cared enough to mark some of her estate to seeing to it that her work would live on. Several of her rivals were certainly wealthy enough to have done the same - Colleen Moore, Lillian Gish, Corinne Griffith, Marion Davies among them - but apparently it wasn't of that great an importance to them even though Lillian was quite eloquent on the need to preserve film and as everyone knows was essential in persuading Mary not to destroy her library. One of the many great things about Mary Pickford was she saw that her foundation would allow funds and time to work on other stars' films as well, the MPF worked on one of Swanson's talkies that was released on dvd and several other films and as we know helped with funding for mediahistory.org. It really burns me when this generous, compassionate woman and great humanitarian (the Motion Picture home probably wouldn't exist without her) gets written off as a reclusive, alcoholic woman who lived in the past by some idiot journalists.


These are 4K restorations, which did not previously exist with past restorations. I'm sure when we see the results, we'll see how preferable they are to restorations of the past of the DVD era. As for other films, the Foundation plans to restore Lady of the Pavements next year, a late silent gem by D. W. Griffith.


Is DRUMS OF LOVE (1928) a lost film? If not, will the Foundation work on that film as well?
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Re: The Mary Pickford Foundation's (4K) Restoration Project

PostFri May 11, 2018 7:18 pm

colbyco82 wrote:
Keatonesque wrote:
These are 4K restorations, which did not previously exist with past restorations. I'm sure when we see the results, we'll see how preferable they are to restorations of the past of the DVD era. As for other films, the Foundation plans to restore Lady of the Pavements next year, a late silent gem by D. W. Griffith.


Is DRUMS OF LOVE (1928) a lost film? If not, will the Foundation work on that film as well?


No, that one exists, though far from one I'm particularly enamored with. However, it was released in 2016 via Silent Hall of Fame Enterprises (Volume 89 according to Amazon) on DVD. I'm no expert, but it's possible the Pickford Foundation may have it, but if not, I couldn't say what its chances for restoration are. I believe they are starting with the underrated Lady of the Pavements first, and from there, we'll see. I'd like to see Isn't Life Wonderful undergo a proper restoration too, as it's the other Griffith I love. Both of these were inexplicably excluded from the "Masterworks" collection. Lesser-known Griffiths may have to wait longer for their chance, if at all.
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Re: The Mary Pickford Foundation's (4K) Restoration Project

PostSat May 12, 2018 6:03 am

On LADY OF THE PAVEMENTS, the motivation to finally start moving ahead was largely due to the discovery of all of the missing Vitaphone disks. I obtained all but one and another turned up earlier this year.
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Re: The Mary Pickford Foundation's (4K) Restoration Project

PostSat May 12, 2018 1:16 pm

vitaphone wrote:On LADY OF THE PAVEMENTS, the motivation to finally start moving ahead was largely due to the discovery of all of the missing Vitaphone disks. I obtained all but one and another turned up earlier this year.


I did not know this. Very interesting. How much time in the film do these musical sequences take up? I hope the sound mostly involves material such as hearing Lupe Vélez sing her numbers (the anticipation!) as opposed to talking sequences that were quite primitive with clumsy dialogue circa 1929. In any case, it was filmed as such, so while it might've been better just as a silent, one takes what they can get, and I commend you for your efforts so this film gets its (belated) due.
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Re: The Mary Pickford Foundation's (4K) Restoration Project

PostSun May 13, 2018 2:36 pm

If the Pickford Foundation has them, or access to the prints, I hope Broken Blossoms and Griffith's Biograph shorts may get the 4K treatment in the future. They, along with Way Down East and Isn't Life Wonderful, are Griffith at his storytelling best, imo.
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Re: The Mary Pickford Foundation's (4K) Restoration Project

PostMon May 21, 2018 3:43 pm

Here's a 30-minute dialogue from 1964 of Pickford reminiscing with Adolph Zukor at Pickfair courtesy of the Foundation:

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Re: The Mary Pickford Foundation's (4K) Restoration Project

PostTue May 22, 2018 8:52 am

Of course, this begs the question of the status of licensing for commercial releases? I don't believe that I've heard anything since the lapsing of the agreement with Milestone about 1-1/2 years ago. Do we know if there is a new agreement and with who? If so, are we are going to seeing Blu-Rays or 4k UHD discs of the completed projects anytime soon?
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Re: The Mary Pickford Foundation's (4K) Restoration Project

PostTue May 22, 2018 4:00 pm

T0m M wrote:Of course, this begs the question of the status of licensing for commercial releases? I don't believe that I've heard anything since the lapsing of the agreement with Milestone about 1-1/2 years ago. Do we know if there is a new agreement and with who? If so, are we are going to seeing Blu-Rays or 4k UHD discs of the completed projects anytime soon?


I honestly doubt any of these or any silents will be getting any 4K UHD treatment in the next decade, but after 2025, it's possible. As for who will be responsible for the commercial releases of restored Pickford films, it seems like Flicker Alley may be the answer, as it will be releasing Little Annie Rooney on BD later this year. However, nothing has been confirmed about any deal with FA so far as I've heard. I'd rather FA release them, and particularly the restored features on BD, but I suppose KINO is another possibility. I assume the Pickford Foundation will want these restorations to find a home with consistency, where releases will get publicized and sell moderately well with excellent booklets and artwork to accompany them.
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Re: The Mary Pickford Foundation's (4K) Restoration Project

PostWed May 23, 2018 2:48 pm

Here's a new article on MoMA's 4K restoration of Lubitsch's Rosita (1923), which has its U.S. premiere May 25 at MoMA.

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/23/movies/rosita-ernst-lubitsch-film-restored.html

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Re: The Mary Pickford Foundation's (4K) Restoration Project

PostThu May 24, 2018 1:26 am

:) Really excited to hear about the restoration of Griffith's LADY OF THE PAVEMENTS. It is an excellent film! Incidentally, anymore of the Vita-phone discs turn up to LILAC TIME??? I mean such a discovery with LOTP audio discs definitely gives me renewed hope that the 3 missing discs to LT are still out there someplace.
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Re: The Mary Pickford Foundation's (4K) Restoration Project

PostSun May 27, 2018 12:42 pm

maliejandra wrote:I'm THRILLED to hear this. I've wanted to see Madame Butterfly and Rosita for years, basically since the beginning of my interest in silents. I've never seen Fanchon the Cricket either, which will be released by Flicker Alley as a double bill with Little Annie Rooney.


Thanks for that info. It will be good to have another Jack Pickford film out there too.
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Re: The Mary Pickford Foundation's (4K) Restoration Project

PostTue May 29, 2018 5:22 pm

Here's a terrific video published over the weekend by MoMA showing the restoration process ROSITA underwent. :)


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