Exhibition Reel of Two Color Film (ca. 1929)

An experimental color short in Brewster Color, preserved by George Eastman House and presented on the More Treasures DVD set.

Samuel Beckett, George Manupelli, Carolee Schneemann, and Frank Stauffacher Films Receive Preservation Support

Contact: Jeff Lambert (415-392-7291, lambert@filmpreservation.org)

San Francisco, CA (November 9, 2006)—A slate of eight films by Samuel Beckett, George Manupelli, Carolee Schneemann, and Frank Stauffacher will be saved through the 2006 Avant-Garde Masters Grants, the collaboration by The Film Foundation and the National Film Preservation Foundation to preserve landmark works by influential American experimental filmmakers. Anthology Film Archives, Electronic Arts Intermix, Pacific Film Archive and the UCLA Film and Television Archive will spearhead the preservation work, splitting the $50,000 award contributed by The Film Foundation.

Samuel Beckett's FILM was the only work produced from a trio of films by theater greats that was envisioned by Grove Press. Starring Buster Keaton as a nameless protagonist, the short was supervised by Beckett, directed by his long-time collaborator Alan Schneider, and shot by On the Waterfront cinematographer Boris Kaufman. Keaton's character was described by Beckett as "a man trying to escape from perception of all kinds–from all perceivers, even divine perceivers." The UCLA Film and Television Archive will preserve FILM from source materials generously provided by Grove Press founder Barney Rosset.

"Samuel Beckett created one of the most enduring bodies of work in twentieth-century literature," commented Barney Rosset, whose Grove Press published almost all of Beckett's work in the United States and commissioned Beckett to write the script for FILM. Beckett made his only trip to the U.S. to oversee its production. "It is especially fitting that in this centenary of Beckett's birth that we save his only experiment in the motion picture."

Feminist artist Carolee Schneemann, a pioneer in the performance art movement, experimented with film and video in the documentation of the ephemeral and provocatively challenged the cultural assumptions of art criticism and history. Electronic Arts Intermix will preserve five of her performance-based works including Body Collage (1967) and Meat Joy (1964).

Frank Stauffacher's poetic Notes on the Port of St. Francis (1951), narrated by Vincent Price, will be preserved by the Pacific Film Archive. The Bay Area filmmaker helped win recognition for West Coast avant-gardists with his groundbreaking series at the San Francisco Museum of Art in the late 1940s.

The Avant-Garde Masters is the first grant program targeting the preservation of America's experimental film heritage. The program encourages archives to work directly with filmmakers to save works significant to the development of the avant-garde in America. The program is funded by The Film Foundation and managed by the NFPF. The winners are selected by an expert panel drawn from the film community.

Previous Avant-Garde Masters Grants preserved works by Kenneth Anger, Bruce Conner, Hollis Frampton, Larry Gottheim, George and Mike Kuchar, Gregory Markopoulos, Jonas Mekas, and Tom Palazzolo. The full list of films saved through the program is posted on the NFPF Web site, www.filmpreservation.org.

The National Film Preservation Foundation is the non-profit organization created by the U.S. Congress to help save America's film heritage. The NFPF has supported film preservation in 38 states and the District of Columbia and has helped save more than 1020 films and collections. The NFPF is the charitable affiliate of the National Film Preservation Board of the Library of Congress.

The Film Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 1990. The foundation is dedicated to protecting and preserving motion picture history, and provides substantial annual support for preservation and restoration projects at the nation's largest film archives. The group was created and is led by Martin Scorsese along with these eminent filmmakers: Woody Allen, Robert Altman, Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson, Francis Ford Coppola, Clint Eastwood, Curtis Hanson, Peter Jackson, Ang Lee, George Lucas, Alexander Payne, Sydney Pollack, Robert Redford and Steven Spielberg. It is aligned with the Directors Guild of America (DGA).

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