Nov. 29--Premiering on Thanksgiving weekend, the 35mm Archival Film Series features a quartet of classic Technicolor movies at the Lensic Performing Arts Center (211 W. San Francisco St.). Friday, Nov. 29, offers showings of the 1954 adventure-fantasy 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and the 1953 musical The Band Wagon; on Saturday, Nov. 30, it's the 1962 African adventure Hatari! and the 1959 Alfred Hitchcock thriller North by Northwest. "This first weekend is dedicated to Technicolor, and we have original glorious prints for all of the films we're showing," said director Tim Hunter (The River's Edge, Twin Peaks, Mad Men), who is co-producing the new series with Lensic executive and artistic director Robert Martin.
Hunter, who has collected and archived films since the 1960s, is working with the Lensic to locate prints from movie archives and collectors around the country. The first four films in the series are presented in partnership with the Academy Film Archive, a division of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles. "I think collectors feel very strongly that they're preserving films to be shown rather than to be locked in a vault. The point of this series is that now that filmmaking and film showing has gone completely digital, all 35 millimeter prints have become archival material in a certain sense. And we think there's no better way to see classic film than to see it in the original prints. The series is designed to find the best archive prints we can."
The prints of two of the movies screening in the series this month -- North by Northwest and the stunning desert biopic Lawrence of Arabia -- were borrowed a few years ago by Sony to use as color reference prints for the Blu-ray versions.
Not only is the Lensic showing superb versions of great movies, but the series is also affordable: all seats are $7, available by calling 505-988-1234 or visiting www.ticketssantafe.org. "We're hoping that this will recreate the original experience of seeing films in a neighborhood theater," said Hunter, who is a part-time Santa Fe resident.
35mm Archival Film Series:
Friday, Nov. 29
2 p.m.: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea starring Kirk Douglas
and James Mason
7 p.m.: The Band Wagon with Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse
Saturday, Nov. 30
2 p.m.: Hatari! with John Wayne and Elsa Martinelli
7 p.m.: North by Northwest starring Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint,
and James Mason
The series continues on Dec. 27 with White Christmas at 2 p.m. and Lawrence of Arabia at 7 p.m.
-- Paul Weideman
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