Held annually in Pordenone, northern Italy, Le Giornate del Cinema Muto is the biggest and most prestigious silent film festival in the world. The 34th edition, beginning October 3, will showcase five films preserved through the NFPF’s grant programs.
From George Eastman House come two premieres of recently completed restorations. Thirty Years of Motion Pictures (1927) is a film adaptation of pioneering producer and publicist Terry Ramsaye's history book on the early movie industry, A Million and One Nights (1926). The documentary includes scenes from lost films such as D.W. Griffith’s 1914 version of The Battle of the Sexes.
Drifting (1923) is Todd Browning’s underworld saga about opium smuggling in China, starring Priscilla Dean, Wallace Beery, and Anna May Wong. GEH has restored the film by drawing on a nitrate print from the Nardoni Film Archive in Prague, an acetate print from Gosfilmfond in Moscow and a negative from the Hungarian National Digital Archive and Film Institute in Budapest.
The Mollycoddle (1920), is an adventure about diamond smugglers, led by Wallace Beery, foiled by a bespectacled milksop played by Douglas Fairbanks. The print is from the Museum of Modern Art in New York, which preserved the film with support from the NFPF and The Film Foundation.
Mantrap (1926), a wilderness comedy starring the vivacious Clara Bow, screens in a preserved print from the Library of Congress. Those who can’t make it to Italy can watch the film on the NFPF’s DVD set Treasures 5: The West, 1898-1938.
Last but definitely not least, the shorts program "Girls Will Be Boys" includes a film recently preserved through the NFPF’s ongoing repatriation project with EYE Filmmuseum in Amsterdam. The Darling of the CSA (1912) is the tale of a plucky crossdressing spy, played by Anna Q. Nilsson, who risks capture to secure explosives for the Confederates. Preservation of this actioneer was supervised by the Academy Film Archive.
The NFPF wishes to thank MoMA’s Mary Keene for her assistance with this post.