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December 1991


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"Kathryn Bading" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film making and reviews list.
Fri, 13 Dec 1991 11:07:04 CST
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I thought Currie might also send his request to Screen-L but since I haven't
seen it here am forwarding to you professionals who might really have some
good info to share.  Thanks.  Kathryn Bading, Trinity University Library,
San Antonio Tex.
----------------------------Original message----------------------------
    This is to ask those on the line who know something about the subject of
film conservation and restoration two favors: (1) Please recommend any books
on this subject that might be helpful.  I have just learned of Anthony
Slide's _Nitrate Won't Wait: A History of Film Preservation in the
United States_ (ISBN 0-89950-652-6), which is being published by McFarland
and Company, and I am buying a copy--not for myself, for a friend in Argen-
tina.  (2) If you are aware of any programs which might enable my friend
to study this subject in the United States, please let me know about it.  (By
enable him to study film conservation and restoration, I mean that would pay
or help pay his expenses.)  A couple of comments, first, about my friend's
qualifications and, secondly, about the importance of having people trained
in this area in Argentina.
  First, my friend is a film editor.  Until Argentina's financial crisis
forced it to suspend classes this academic year at the National Institute of
Cinematography, he taught film editing there.  This year he is teaching at
two Argentine universities.  My point is that he is a professional and well
prepared to take full advantage of the opportunity to study this subject.
  Secondly, Argentina's cinema is one of the two most historically impor-
tant film traditions in Spanish America.  (The other is Mexico.  Since its
1959 revolution, Cuba has also had a very active film industry.)  Yet much
of Argentina's film has been--and is being--lost.  (The country's current
economic crisis is obviously not helping.)  For example, only a few fragments
remain of the work of Federico Valle, whose early work in film was quite
innovative: Valle developed the technique for creating subtitles; he was the
first person to incorporate an aerial shot in a film, he made Argentina's
first news reels; and he made the world's first feature-length animated film.
And much more recent work is also being lost--including important films that
have received recognition at major festivals.  My point is that, if my friend
could become trained in the area of film conservation and restoration, he
would be in a unique position to help save an important historical cultural
   My thanks to anyone who can recommend either books or programs that might
be helpful.
Currie Thompson