Cinema Revival: A Festival of Film Restoration returns to the Wexner Center for the Arts February 23–27

Mon, Jan 23, 2023

The ninth annual festival will feature newly restored works by Luis Buñuel, Guy Maddin, Menelik Shabazz, and more 

February 23–27, the Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University will present the ninth annual Cinema Revival: A Festival of Film Restoration. The only event of its kind in Ohio, Cinema Revival spotlights the work of experts in the field of film preservation, with a focus this year on rethinking—and expanding—the classic film canon. 

“It’s always a pleasure to see a new restoration of a favorite classic on the big screen,” says Film/Video Director David Filipi, “but we also want to celebrate the dedication of the world’s archives and restoration experts who are working to ‘revive’ films and filmmakers that have been historically overlooked or neglected.” 

The 2023 program presents an international mix of shorts and features—narrative, documentary, and experimental—as well as visits from restoration professionals such as Mark Toscano of the Academy Film Archive, Ina Archer of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and Tim Lanza of the Cohen Film Collection.  

Visiting filmmakers for the event are Guy Maddin, a past Wexner Center Artist Residency Award recipient, who’ll be on hand for a screening of his newly restored 1988 first feature, Tales from the Gimli Hospital (Redux); and Greta Snider, who’ll introduce a free program of her radical short films from the 1980s and ‘90s—presented in 16mm—before discussing her work with Toscano.  

Along with visiting filmmakers and restoration pros, Cinema Revival ‘23 features the premiere of a new live soundtrack by Columbus’ Sue Harshe, a founding member of Scrawl and frequent Wex collaborator, who's composed a score to accompany the 1919 comedy A Temperamental Wife

This year’s lineup also includes films by Govindan Aravindan, Luis Buñuel, Timothy Carey, Mireille Dansereau, Menelik Shabazz, and more. A complete schedule is below.  

In addition to single tickets, a festival pass is available to enjoy full access to the weekend program along with a passholder lounge. 


2023 Cinema Revival schedule

A man and a woman are sitting in a restaurant booth looking at each other.

Burning an Illusion, image courtesy of the British Film Institute

Thursday, February 23 

Burning an Illusion  
(Menelik Shabazz, 1981) 
4 PM 

Only the second British feature to be made by a Black director, Shabazz’s film follows a young British-born Black woman who longs for a better life than the one she has with her aimless boyfriend. The film is both a wonderful time capsule of late ‘70s London and a searing critique of the institutional racism of the period. (106 mins, 2K DCP)  

A Temperamental Wife  
(David Kirkland, 1919) 
7 PM 
Introduced by Tim Lanza, vice president and archivist, Cohen Film Collection 
Live musical accompaniment by Sue Harshe 

This bubbly comedy stars Constance Talmadge as a young woman who swears off men after catching her fiance in a compromising position—that is, until she crosses paths with a handsome young senator. The first film made by the lead actress’ production company, it’s a testament to the power wielded by some women in Hollywood during the silent era. (72 mins, 4K DCP) 

Friday, February 24 

Radical Archaeologies: Films by Greta Snider 
Greta Snider and Mark Toscano, senior film preservationist, Academy Film Archive in person 
4:30 PM 
Free admission 

Greta Snider has made films since discovering the form at Antioch College, eventually joining the thriving experimental film scene and where she continues to live and work today. This program centers on work from earlier in her career, taking on subjects from the AIDS crisis and the San Francisco punk scene to artifacts from her father’s life. The screening will be followed by a conversation between Snider and Toscano, who restored the films in the program. (16mm, 71 mins.) 

Cinema Revival Reception 
6–7 PM 

Join fellow film enthusiasts and special festival guests for an informal reception in the Wex lower lobby with a cash bar and light snacks. 

Tales from the Gimli Hospital (Redux)  
(Guy Maddin, 1988) 
Guy Maddin in person 
7 PM 

The iconoclastic Canadian director returns to the Wex to introduce a new restoration of his fever dream of a first feature, in which an old woman tries to console her grandchildren as they fret over their ailing mother in Gimli Hospital by spinning a tale of two friends driven mad by jealously while sharing a hospital room during a smallpox epidemic. A Q&A follows the screening. (63 mins, 4K DCP) 

Saturday, February 25 

(Luis Buñuel, 1953) 

Considered one of the great director’s very best films, Él stars Arturo de Córdova as a wealthy, principled, middle-aged bachelor who descends into jealousy and madness after becoming obsessed with a young woman who’s engaged to marry another. (92 mins, 4K) 

Rewind & Play  
(Alain Gomis, 2022)  
2 PM 

In 1969, while in Paris for a concert, the legendary jazz musician Thelonious Monk sat for an intimate interview with Henri Renaud, the white host of a French television show. The result revealed a troubling dynamic between the two. Using newly discovered footage, Gomes creates both a powerful record of one of the great musical geniuses of the 20th century at work and a revealing look at casual racism in action. (66 mins, 2K DCP) 

The World’s Greatest Sinner  
(Timothy Carey, 1962)  
Introduced by Mark Toscano
3:30 PM 

Featuring a soundtrack by Frank Zappa, this “minorpiece” of low-budget, independent, cult-film mayhem stars writer-director-producer Timothy Carey as an insurance salesman who falls under the spell of the Devil, proclaims himself God, and becomes a nutty evangelist using rock ‘n’ roll to draw followers to his growing flock.  (82 mins, 4K DCP) 

Black Chariot 
(Robert Goodwin, 1971)  
Introduced by Ina Archer, media conservation and digitization specialist, National Museum of African American History and Culture 
7 PM 

The prolific Bernie Casey (a graduate of Columbus East High School) stars in the seldom-screened independent film as an idealistic militant who joins a group of activists modeling themselves on the Black Panthers. Director Robert Goodwin, who also wrote and produced, weaves past and present together to tell the story of the lead character’s political awakening. (90 mins, 35mm) 

Sunday, February 26 

(Govindan Aravindan, 1978) 
11:30 AM 

From the director of last year’s Cinema Revival favorite Kumatty, Thamp̄ follows a traveling circus troupe that sets up shop in a small riverside village in southwest India. Forgoing a conventional narrative, Aravindan instead dwells on the day-to-day lives of the performers and villagers, the village landscapes and buildings, and the performances of the troupe.  (129 mins, 4K DCP) 

The Dream Life (La vie rêvée)  
(Mireille Dansereau, 1972) 
2:15 PM 

A classic of ‘70s feminist cinema that’s ripe for rediscovery, this creatively daring indie was the first feature directed by a woman in Quebec. It follows two free-spirited women who strike up a fast friendship while working at a film production company and support each other through life’s challenges over a sunny Montreal summer. (90 mins, DCP) 

The Black and the Green  
(St. Clair Bourne, 1983) 
4:15 PM 

In the documentary The Black and the Green, a group of civil rights activists from the US travel to Belfast to examine the similarities between the American civil rights movement and the unrest among Catholics in Northern Ireland. (45 mins, DCP) 

Monday, February 27 

The Camera is Ours: Britain’s Women Documentary Makers (1935–67) 
4:30 PM 
Free admission 

Sometimes called the “father of British documentary” John Grierson is credited with coining the term “documentary.” But from the beginning, female innovators were at work within the genre, including Grierson’s sisters Ruby and Marion. This revelatory program, featuring new restorations from the British Film Institute, showcases their work alongside that of other pioneering female documentary makers.  The films explore the mysteries of maternity, capture the lives of working-class women in their own voices, and more. (97 mins, 4K DCP) 


Visitor Information

The ninth annual Cinema Revival: A Festival of Film Restoration takes place February 23–27, 2023, at the Wexner Center for the Arts, 1871 N. High St. on The Ohio State University campus.  

Unless otherwise noted, single tickets are $9 general admission, $7 for members and guests over 60, and $5 for students. Festival passes are available for $36 general admission; passes are $27 for members and guests over 60, and $18 for students. A reduced parking fee of $2 is available for select Film/Video events in the Ohio Union Garage. 

For more information, call 614-292-3535 or visit 


Film/Video programs made possible by Cardinal Health

Additional support provided by the Rohauer Collection Foundation. 

Thumbnail image: Tales from the Gimli Hospital, courtesy of Kino Lorber

Restoration credits:

Burning an Illusion: Remastered by the British Film Institute. Presented in High Definition from a new 2K transfer with its original aspect ratio of 1.66:1 and original mono audio. 

A Temperamental Wife: Preserved by the Library of Congress. A Cohen Film Collection release. 

Radical Archaeologies: All films are restored by the Academy Film Archive, with the exception of No-Zone, which is a new print from the Academy Film Archive. 

Tales from the Gimli Hospital: Restored 4K version supported by Telefilm, with additional material incorporated. A Kino Lorber release. 

Él: Restored by the Film Foundation's World Cinema Project, Les Films du Camélia anche Cineteca di Bologna with the support of OCAS and in association with Películas y Videos Internacionales. Funding provided by the Material World Foundation. 

Rewind & Play: A Grasshopper Films release. 

The World’s Greatest Sinner: Restored by the Academy Film Archive and The Film Foundation with funding provided by the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation.  

Black Chariot: Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of the family of Robert L. Goodwin Sr. Preservation of Black Chariot made possible by a generous grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation. Additional funding by the Earl W. and Amanda Stafford Center for African American Media Arts (CAAMA). 

Thamp̄: Restored in 2022 by Film Heritage Foundation, The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project and Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna at Prasad Corporation Pvt. Ltd.’s Post Studios, Chennai and L’Immagine Ritrovata, Bologna in association with Producer K. Ravindranathan Nair of General Pictures and the family of Aravindan Govindan. Restoration funding provided by Prasad Corporation Pvt. Ltd. and The Film Heritage Foundation. 

The Dream Life: Restored by Éléphant: mémoire du cinema québécois. An Arbelos Films release. 

The Black and the Green: 4K digital preservation by The Museum of Modern Art. 

The Camera is Ours: Restored by the BFI National Archive and The Film Foundation. Restoration funding provided by the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation.