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.

Lillian Schwartz’s Computer Animations Among 10 Films Slated for Preservation

Contact: Jeff Lambert (415-392-7294, lambert@filmpreservation.org)

San Francisco, CA (August 10, 2011)—Pioneering computer animations created by Lillian Schwartz at Bell Labs, and landmark experimental films by four other artists will soon be saved through the 2011 Avant-Garde Masters Grants from the National Film Preservation Foundation and The Film Foundation. All told, 10 works will be preserved through the $50,000 award shared by the Andy Warhol Museum, George Eastman House, Los Angeles Filmforum, The Ohio State University, and Silverbow Art.

“A generation before Toy Story, innovative artists were already making computer-generated films, but they’ve gone uncelebrated until now,” said Dan Streible, acting director of NYU’s Moving Image Archiving and Preservation program. “Lillian Schwartz worked alongside AT&T research scientists to create new ways of generating geometric forms, colorful abstractions, and human figures in motion. Her films document the state of computer language in the early seventies, but they also remain delightful to see and hear as works of art. Thanks to this Avant-Garde Masters grant, NYU staff and students will work with The Ohio State University to save and make available again five of her earliest experiments: Pixillation (1970), Olympiad (1971), Enigma (1972), Mutations (1972), and Papillons (1973).”

Also green-lighted for preservation are Dance Movie (1963) and Tiger Morse (1966) by Andy Warhol (Andy Warhol Museum); Mozart in Love (1975) by Mark Rappaport (George Eastman House); Passion in a Seaside Slum (1961) by Robert Chatterton and featuring Taylor Mead (Los Angeles Filmforum); and Gaudi (1962) by Beryl Sokoloff (SilverBow Art).

Now in its ninth year, the Avant-Garde Masters Grants encourage archives to work directly with filmmakers and their heirs to save works significant to the development of the avant-garde in America. Funded by The Film Foundation and managed by the National Film Preservation Foundation, the program has preserved works by 49 film artists, including Kenneth Anger, Samuel Beckett, Shirley Clarke, Bruce Conner, Oskar Fischinger, Hollis Frampton, Ernie Gehr, George and Mike Kuchar, and Carolee Schneemann. The full roster of projects is available on the NFPF Web site, www.filmpreservation.org.

The National Film Preservation Foundation is the nonprofit organization created by the U.S. Congress to help save America’s film heritage. Founded in 1996, the NFPF has supported film preservation in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia and has helped save more than 1,820 films and collections. The NFPF is the charitable affiliate of the National Film Preservation Board of the Library of Congress.

The Film Foundation, a nonprofit established in 1990 by Martin Scorsese, is dedicated to protecting and preserving motion picture history and provides substantial annual support for preservation and restoration projects at major film archives. The foundation raises awareness of the urgent need to preserve films and has helped save over 555 films. Joining Scorsese on the board are Woody Allen, Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson, Francis Ford Coppola, Clint Eastwood, Curtis Hanson, Peter Jackson, Ang Lee, George Lucas, Alexander Payne, Robert Redford and Steven Spielberg. The Film Foundation is aligned with the Directors Guild of America whose President and Secretary-Treasurer serve on the foundation’s board.

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