The Wexner Center celebrates film preservation with “Cinema Revival” 

Mon, Jan 09, 2017

(Don't Look Back image, courtesy Criterion Collection)

Columbus, Ohio–For the third year in a row, the Wexner Center for the Arts will present a festival celebrating the efforts of film preservationists and restoration experts to protect treasures of vintage cinema from around the world. Happening Wednesday, February 22 through Sunday, February 26, 2017, Cinema Revival: A Festival of Film Restoration includes masterworks by renowned filmmakers alongside engaging and insightful talks on the art and practice of film restoration.

Among the recently restored classics in this year’s program are Michael Curtiz’s 1945 film noir Mildred Pierce, starring Joan Crawford in an Oscar-winning performance; Howard Hawks’s 1934 screwball comedy Twentieth Century, co-starring John Barrymore and Carole Lombard; the 1968 Cuban classic Memories of Underdevelopment, by filmmaker Gutiérrez Alea; and Japanese filmmaker Juzo Itami’s Tampopo, a “ramen Western” that has developed a cult following among foodies since its release in 1985.

The screening program will be enhanced by discussions about the art and practice of film restoration, with participants such as Amy Heller and Dennis Doros, the husband-and-wife team behind Milestone Film & Video; Margaret Bodde, Executive Director of Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation, a champion of film presentation around the world; Schawn Belston, Senior Vice President, Library and Technical Services, 20th Century Fox, who worked closely with director William Friedkin on the restoration of The French Connection; and Jeff Lambert, Executive Director of the National Film Preservation Foundation, who will lead a discussion on the challenges of saving “orphan” films—a term for titles with no corporate owner or copyright holder.

“We’re excited to once again bring a diverse array of new restorations and leading figures in the field to Columbus and the central Ohio region,” says David Filipi, Director, Film/Video at the Wexner Center. “It is a rare opportunity indeed to be able to hear from so many restoration and preservation experts in such a concentrated period of time.” 

Single tickets for Cinema Revival are $8, or $6 for students, seniors, and Wexner Center members. A pass offering admission to all five days of the festival’s programming in the Film/Video Theater is available for $35, or $30 for students, seniors, and members. Tickets and passes are available through the Wexner Center box office or at


Complete listings for Cinema Revival: A Festival of Film Restoration are below.

Wed, Feb 22 | 7 pm


(Lois Weber, 1916)

Introduced by Amy Heller and Dennis Doros, Milestone Film & Video

Heller and Doros, cofounders of Milestone Film & Video, have been tireless champions of film preservation and independent cinema. To kick off Cinema Revival, they introduce the recent restoration of Shoes, an early masterpiece by pioneering feminist filmmaker Lois Weber, and discuss her remarkable career. (52 mins., 2K DCP)

Thu, Feb 23 | 7 pm

Animation Restoration at Walt Disney Studios

Presented by Theo Gluck, Director, Library Restoration and Preservation, Walt Disney Studios

Gluck explores how the animation giant preserves and restores their cinematic treasures that span some 90 years. Explore the early days of Technicolor, discover the arrival of widescreen formats, and learn how all of these technologies are brought into the modern age with unique footage and restoration examples. The program will also include four shorts with Mickey, Donald, and Goofy at their best: Thru the Mirror (1936), Clock Cleaners (1937), Society Dog Show (1939), and Sea Scouts (1939). (approx.. 120 mins., 2K DCP)

Fri, Feb 24 | 5 pm

Sound Restoration at the Criterion Collection: The Beatles, Bob Dylan, & The Who

Presented by Ryan Hullings, Audio Supervisor, The Criterion Collection

Free for all audiences

Hullings gives us a behind-the-scenes look—and listen—at the challenges of sound restoration using three music-centric classics as case studies: Richard Lester’s A Hard Day’s Night (1964), featuring the fan-beset young Beatles; D. A. Pennebaker’s Don’t Look Back (1967), starring a spiky young Bob Dylan; and the film realization of The Who’s anthemic mod epic, Quadrophenia (1979). (approx.. 60 mins., DCP)

Fri, Feb 24 | 7 pm

Leading the Way: Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation

Presented by Margaret Bodde, Executive Director

Fri, Feb 24 | 8 pm

Memories of Underdevelopment

(Memorias del subdesarrollo, Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, 1968)

Founded by Martin Scorsese in 1990, The Film Foundation has been at the forefront of the effort to find, restore, and preserve the world’s cinematic treasures. Bodde presents an overview of the organization’s history and its continued efforts.

Her talk is followed by a screening of Memories of Underdevelopment, a fascinating Cuban film that was restored through the foundation’s World Cinema Project. In keeping with the cinematic “new wave” of its time, Memories follows Sergio, a wealthy writer who decides to remain in Cuba after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion. Initially scornful of his bourgeois family (who fled) and the country’s devoted Marxists (whom he thinks naive), his outlook begins to change when confronted with the new reality of living in a Communist bureaucracy. (97 mins., DCP)

Sat, Feb 25 | noon

Mildred Pierce

(Michael Curtiz, 1945)

Introduced by Lee Kline, Technical Director, Criterion Collection

See this noir-meets-woman’s-film as you’ve never seen it before in a new restoration from the camera negative. Single mom Mildred Pierce (Joan Crawford) works herself to the bone to establish a successful restaurant, all to support her two daughters. How about even a “thank you” from her eldest, Veda (Ann Marie Blyth)? Both actresses deliver tour-de-force performances, earning Crawford an Oscar for Best Actress and Blyth a nomination for Best Supporting Actress. (111 mins., 4K DCP)

Sat, Feb 25 | 2:30 pm

Twentieth Century

(Howard Hawks, 1934)

Introduced by Rita Belda, Vice President of Asset Management, Film Restoration, and Digital Mastering, Sony Pictures

In this classic screwball comedy, John Barrymore plays a washed-up Broadway producer who bumps into a former flame and protegée (Carole Lombard, in a career-defining performance) on the train from Chicago to New York. Knowing his time is limited, he pulls out all the stops to try to win back her heart and jump-start his career.  (91 mins., 4K DCP)

Sat, Feb 25 | 4:30 pm

Saving “Orphan” Films

Introduced by Jeff Lambert, Executive Director, National Film Preservation Foundation

The National Film Preservation Foundation was established by Congress in 1997 to help save America’s film heritage. In this program, Lambert introduces a program of “orphan films”—works with no corporate owner or copyright holder and at greatest risk of falling through the cracks—whose preservation the NFPF is supporting. The program includes films by Owen Land, Shirley Clarke, and Charles and Ray Eames, among others. The complete lineup is available at (approx.. 90 mins., 16 & 35mm)

Sat, Feb 25 | 7 pm

The French Connection

(William Friedkin, 1971)

Introduced by Schawn Belston, Senior Vice President, Library and Technical Services, 20th Century Fox

On the heels of William Friedkin’s February 11 visit to the Wex, Belston discusses his collaboration with the director to restore one of his best-known works—and one of the great films of the 1970s. The gritty, Academy Award–winning drama The French Connection stars Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider as New York City cops trying to intercept a huge heroin shipment coming in from France. (104 mins., 2K DCP)

Sun, Feb 26 | noon

Expresso Bongo

(Val Guest, 1959)

Introduced by Tim Lanza, Vice President and Archivist, Cohen Film Collection

In Expresso Bongo, Laurence Harvey stars as a sleazy agent always on the hunt for new talent. He discovers it in a teen-filled London coffee shop going crazy for bongo-playing Burt Rudge (played by Cliff Richard, the UK’s first proper rock idol). They sign a deal, but it doesn’t take Rudge very long to discover he’s being hustled. This restoration includes a number of songs cut from previous release. (111 mins., 2K DCP)

Sun, Feb 26 | 2:15 pm

Beat the Devil

(John Huston, 1953)

Written by John Huston and Truman Capote, the cult film Beat the Devil stars Humphrey Bogart, Gina Lollobrigida, Jennifer Jones, and Peter Lorre as travelers who are all stranded in Italy on their way to Africa, and all trying to outfox each other to lay claim to a uranium-rich mine once there. (93 mins., 4K DCP)

Sun, Feb 26 | 4 pm


(Juzo Itami, 1985)

Dubbed the first “ramen western,” Tampopo follows a struggling roadside noodle shop owner who is driven to make the perfect bowl of soup. Her game improves considerably with the encouragement and expertise of a trucker-cum-gourmet who stumbles into her shop one rainy evening. A surprise art-house hit, Tampopo remains an odd and hilarious celebration of two great sensual pleasures—food and sex. (115 mins., 4K DCP)

Season support for Film/Video programming is provided by the Rohauer Collection Foundation.