More Treasures from American Film Archives, 1894-1931
3-DVD box set, with 200-page book
More Treasures from American Film Archives, 1894-1931 showcases the astonishing creative range and vitality of American motion pictures in their first four decades through examples preserved by the nation's leading silent-film archives. The box set covers the years from 1894 through 1931, when the motion pictures grew from a peepshow curio to the nation's fourth largest industry. This is the period from which fewest American films survive.
The programs presents 50 films and 6 previews never before available on good-quality video, from the earliest surviving sound film, produced in 1894 by Thomas Edison's laboratory, to A Bronx Morning (1931), an avant-garde documentary by Jay Leyda. Among the rare works are Clash of the Wolves starring the original Rin-Tin-Tin, the first surviving film of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Ernst Lubitsch's Lady Windermere's Fan, kinetoscopes of Annie Oakley and Thomas Edison, a sing-along with Ko-Ko the Clown, educational shorts on making light bulbs and telephone etiquette, the earliest film of a Martha Graham dance, a cartoon satire on prohibition by Gregory La Cava, and footage of the rural South by novelist Zora Neale Hurston. All films are mastered from the best surviving source material and preserved by the contributing archive.
The second in the NFPF's Treasures series, More Treasures was produced in collaboration with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, George Eastman House, the Library of Congress, the Museum of Modern Art, and the UCLA Film & Television Archive. The set was funded in part through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Net proceeds support further film preservation.
The 9-1/2 hour anthology is curated by Scott Simmon and designed by Jennifer Grey. The music is curated by Martin Marks and includes new compositions by six composers. Fifteen of the new music scores feature instrumental ensembles.