Monday, April 4, 2016

Cinematheque to present UCLA Festival of Preservation, April 16-30

[Press release from the Cleveland Cinematheque.]

Nine programs of restored 35mm film classics will be presented between April 16 and 30 by the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque. The nine-programs, containing 13 different short and feature-length films, comprise the latest UCLA Festival of Preservation, a biennial festival during which the UCLA Film & Television Archive (the largest university-based moving image archive in the world, with over 200,000 titles) showcases movies it has recently preserved and restored. This is UCLA’s 17th Festival of Preservation, though the first to come to Cleveland. It commemorates the archive’s 50th year.

There is a lot to recommend this edition of the festival—among them, a new restoration of John Ford’s moving 1940 Eugene O’Neill adaptation THE LONG VOYAGE HOME (which opens the Cinematheque’s festival on Saturday, April 16, with CIA President Grafton Nunes introducing the movie); a program of silent films with live piano accompaniment by Chicago’s David Drazin on Sunday, April 24; and a special screening of a largely forgotten, Ohio-shot, 1967 independent feature on Sunday, April 17 that will be attended by the film’s director, star, co-producer and co-writer, and others who worked on the movie during 1965 and 1966.
This last film is SPRING NIGHT, SUMMER NIGHT, an Appalachian family drama which Joseph L. Anderson directed while he was teaching film at Ohio University. The highly acclaimed tale of a taboo love affair was hardly seen in its original cut during the 1960s, but it is now regarded as a major rediscovery. Anderson, who is also a prominent scholar of Japanese film, will be joined at the Cinematheque by Franklin Miller, the film’s co-director and co-writer; Larue Hall, the movie’s female lead; Judy Miller, who oversaw continuity; and others. This will be the first showing of the original cut of SPRING NIGHT, SUMMER NIGHT in Ohio in almost 50 years.
Kenneth Turan, the film critic for The Los Angeles Times, writes this about the UCLA Festival of Preservation: “Forget Cannes, Sundance, even the Oscars: This is the cinematic event I look forward to most of all. That's because no other movie festival comes close to it in the magnificent breadth of neglected but compelling American film material it puts on display.”
All films will show in the Peter B. Lewis Theater of the Cleveland Institute of Art, 11610 Euclid Avenue in the Uptown District of University Circle. Unless noted below, admission to each program is $10; Cinematheque members, those with CIA or CSU I.D.s, and those age 25 & under $8. Free parking for filmgoers is available in two Institute lots, both accessed from E. 117th Street: Lot 73 and the CIA Annex Lot. For further information, visit, call (216) 421-7450, or send an email to An 80-page “Festival of Preservation” catalog will be sold at the Cinematheque box office for $5, though the first 75 people buying a ticket in person to the 4/16 screening THE LONG VOYAGE HOME will receive a complimentary copy of the program.
The complete list of films, dates, and showtimes is below.
Saturday, April 16, at 7:10 pm
UCLA Festival of Preservation
Grafton Nunes introduces
USA, 1940, John Ford
We open our presentation of the UCLA Festival of Preservation with a beautiful and moving John Ford adaptation of four one-acts by Eugene O’Neill that the playwright regarded it as the finest film version of his work. Cleveland Institute of Art President + CEO Grafton Nunes, a Ford expert, will introduce it. John Wayne, Thomas Mitchell, Ward Bond, and Barry Fitzgerald star in the movie, a tale of courage and camaraderie among a group of boisterous, brawling, and boozy seamen on a British freighter carrying explosives at the start of WWII. The spectacular cinematography is by Gregg Toland, who introduced deep-focus techniques he would refine a year later on Citizen Kane. "One of the finest of all the movies that deal with life at sea." -Pauline Kael. Newly restored 35mm print! 103 min. No passes, twofers, or radio winners. The first 75 people buying a ticket in person to this film will receive a complimentary 80-page Festival of Preservation catalogue.
Sunday, April 17, at 3:30 pm
UCLA Festival of Preservation
Director, Star, and Co-Producer in Person!
USA, 1967, J. L. Anderson
Shot on 35mm in southeast Ohio, this 1967 independent film is the only feature directed by J. L. (Joseph L.) Anderson, best known as the co-author (with Donald Richie) of the classic film book The Japanese Film: Art and Industry. Made when Anderson was a film professor at Ohio University, this singular work of American neorealism takes place in impoverished rural Appalachia, where a half-brother and half-sister begin a taboo love affair that leads to an unwanted pregnancy. Bumped from the 1968 New York Film Festival by John Cassavetes’ late entry Faces, this remarkable movie was forgotten for 40 years (though it was briefly released as an exploitation film entitled Miss Jessica Is Pregnant after some gratuitous nude scenes were added to spice it up). Recently rediscovered and acclaimed at the Rural Route Film Festival and the Museum of Modern Art, Spring Night, Summer Night can now be seen in Anderson’s original cut, and in a newly restored 35mm print. Anderson and three of the film’s other principals (Larue Hall, lead actress; Franklin Miller, co-producer, co-writer, and co-editor; and Judy Miller, continuity) will discuss the movie after the screening.  “The missing link between Shadows and The Last Picture Show.” –Village Voice. Cleveland revival premiere. 82 min. No passes, twofers, or radio winners.
Thursday, April 21, at 6:45 pm
UCLA Festival of Preservation
USA, 1957, Anthony Mann
This Korean War drama from an acclaimed director best known for his psychological
Westerns and crime films tells of an American platoon commander (Robert Ryan) whose weary soldiers are cut off behind enemy lines. Ordered to rejoin the main division to take Hill 465, the lieutenant tries to commandeer a truck to transport his men’s weapons, but meets resistance from a sergeant (Aldo Ray) who is using the vehicle to drive his revered, shell-shocked CO to a field hospital. After a tense stand-off, they slowly make their way together through hostile territory peppered with enemy snipers and land mines. “What All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) and The Story of G.I. Joe (1945) were to the great world wars, Men in War is to the Korean War…Men in War presaged the disillusionment over the Vietnam conflict in the 1960s, making it unsurprising that the United States Army deemed the film offensive to ‘the dignity of commissioned and non-commissioned officers.’” –Scott MacQueen, UCLA Film & Television Archive. Newly restored 35mm print! 102 min. No passes, twofers or radio winners. Shown as part of the 2016 Cleveland Humanities Festival coordinated by the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities of Case Western Reserve University. This year’s theme is “Remembering War.” Visit for a complete list of events.
Friday, April 22, at 7:00 pm
UCLA Festival of Preservation
USA, 1932, Alfred L. Werker
The surprise hit of the 2014 Cinefest (a weekend classic-movie convention held annually since 1978 in Syracuse, NY), this virtually unknown Fox Pre-Code comedy stars Adolph Menjou as a wealthy, middle-aged, long-single playboy who marries a bubblegum-brained blonde bombshell in her 20s. But the young bride’s insatiable appetite for fun proves too much even for him, so he looks for another sap to take her off his hands. Newly restored 35mm print! 64 min. No passes, twofers, or radio winners.
Saturday, April 23, at 5:00 pm
UCLA Festival of Preservation
USA, 1932, Frank Tuttle
Bing Crosby croons, Cab Calloway performs “Kickin’ the Gong Around,” and Burns and Allen crack wise in this Pre-Code revue movie about an all-star show intended to save a floundering radio station. This was Crosby’s first starring movie role, and the film proved so popular that three more Big Broadcast films (of 1936, 1937, 1938) followed. With Kate Smith, the Mills Brothers, et al. Newly restored 35mm print! 80 min. Preceded at 5:00 by Victor Saville’s 7-min. Me and the Boys (UK, 1929, 35mm), a “soundie” in which you can spot a 20-year-old Benny Goodman playing the clarinet. Special admission $10; members, CIA & CSU I.D. holders, age 25 & under $8; no passes, twofers, or radio winners.
Sunday, April 24, at 2:00 pm
UCLA Festival of Preservation
David Drazin accompanies
USA, 1927, Sam Taylor
Chicago silent film musician David Drazin (he’s the regular film accompanist at the Gene Siskel Film Center) returns to the Cinematheque—and to his hometown—to play for one of Mary Pickford’s best romantic comedies, and the only one in which she co-starred with her future husband Buddy Rogers. It’s a 1920s version of Undercover Boss in which a spunky department store stock girl falls for a stockroom co-worker, unaware that he is the owner’s son. Pickford (nicknamed “America’s Sweetheart”) was the most popular female star of the silent screen and My Best Girl was her last non-talkie. The stunning camerawork is by Charles Rosher, who shared the first Academy Award for cinematography for Sunrise (also 1927). Newly restored 35mm print! My Best Girl will be preceded at 2:00 by two silent shorts featuring Pickford, both restored: D. W. Griffith’s The Son’s Return (USA, 1909, DCP) and Thomas H. Ince’s A Manly Man (aka His Gratitude) (USA, 1911, 35mm). Total running time approx. 110 min. Special admission $12; members, CIA & CSU I.D. holders, age 25 & under $9; no passes, twofers, or radio winners.
Thursday, April 28, at 6:45 pm
UCLA Festival of Preservation
USA, 1951, Douglas Sirk
Made a few years before the flamboyant color “women’s pictures” that would cement his reputation and inspire Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Douglas Sirk’s b&w drama focuses on a Jesuit priest (Charles Boyer) who doubts that a “miracle” that has happened to one of his fellow brothers. With William Demarest and Barbara Rush. “Keeps skepticism and faith in a delicate balance, equal parts Ace in the Hole and Ordet.” –Martin Rubin, Gene Siskel Film Center. Newly restored 35mm print! 86 min. No passes, twofers, or radio winners.
Thursday, April 28, at 8:30 pm
UCLA Festival of Preservation
USA, 1946, Edgar G. Ulmer
The “Poverty Row” director of the cult classics The Black Cat and Detour had a relatively big budget for this little-known drama. A young woman is impregnated by a soldier before he leaves for WWII. But when she doesn’t hear from him again, she gives the child to her married sister to raise. “[A] feverishly romantic, visually resplendent war-at-home melodrama.” –The New Yorker. Newly restored 35mm print! 86 min. No passes, twofers, or radio winners.
Saturday, April 30, at 8:45 pm
UCLA Festival of Preservation
Horror Double Feature!
USA, 1932, Victor Halperin
USA, 1935, John H. Auer
Two neglected 1930s horror films, both in newly restored 35mm prints! The first is a trancelike independent production often called the screen’s first zombie movie. (It’s something of a bridge between Universal’s classic horror films of the 1930s and Val Lewton’s suggestive, poetic productions of the 1940s, and inspired musician and filmmaker Rob Zombie.) Bela Lugosi plays a Haitian voodoo master who turns a young American bride into one of the walking dead. The Crime of Doctor Crespi stars Erich von Stroheim as a doctor who extracts terrible revenge on the man who marries his girlfriend. It was inspired by Poe’s The Premature Burial. Total running time: 130 min. No passes, twofers, or radio winners.

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