As much as I adore my adopted hometown of Toronto, there are times when I wish I lived elsewhere. Usually New York, and usually because of some film-related event. Like right now, when I’m staring at the schedule for the upcoming MOMA To Save and Project film festival. Newly restored versions of NANOOK OF THE NORTH and Frank Capra’s FORBIDDEN on the big screen? A showing of HAXAN: WITCHCRAFT THROUGH THE AGES, a 1922 silent Swedish film that’s been on my want-to-see list since I missed out on the last Toronto screening years ago due to schedule conflicts*? And – gem of gems – a restored print of Lotte Reiniger’s THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE ACHMED? What a feast of old-timey cinematic glee!
I’ve seen a few of Lotte Reiniger’s shorts, and outtakes from an unrestored version of ACHMED, but never the full film; hopefully, this new restoration will merit a DVD release (there’s one currently available, but I’ve been a bit hesitant about the transfer quality). Her life story is pretty interesting, and her influence resonates clearly among modern directors such as the Brothers Quay and Guy Maddin (in particular, the silhouette sequences in ARCHANGEL).
“I love working for children, because they are a very critical and very thankful public.” – Lotte Reiniger
(links via the Dangerous Minds blog)
* – oh, and it turns out HAXAN is public domain and thus available online; the quality won’t be as nice as a print, of course, but I’ll have to give it a try this weekend, just to see.