From: Darryl Wiggers <[log in to unmask]> MODERATOR'S NOTE: Darryl forwards the following from Screen-L... k From: Kino International Corporation <[log in to unmask]> To: [log in to unmask] OK I have been somewhat quiet about this for a few weeks but I think the AFI list combined associated with other factors is literally leading to the end of classic film screenings in the US. Let me explain For years prints have been disappearing at an alarming rate. Basically rights holders HAVE NO INTEREST in actual film prints. They only care about video, cable & other more lucrative rights. SWANK which now holds the contract for all but one of the major studios has allowed their collection to deteriote to the point were they have run out of hundreds of crucial titles ( SHADOW OF A DOUBT, THE WIND, most Sirk films and on and on.) Since the studios do not care SWANK simply does not replace these missing films. Many major collections are competely gone including RANK, GOLDWYN, and DEG ( these would include THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES, THE RED SHOES & BLUE VELVET among the hundreds in these libraries) The majority of Foreign language films are actually in WORSE shape. Most were on seven year contracts and when they expired either the American or overseas company did not or could not renew the contract. Right now most films by Agnes Varda, Wim Wenders are unavailable and hundreds of other classics from MY BRILLIANT CAREER & RAN to PHANTOM OF THE LIBERTY & LACOMBE, LUCIEN are probably gone for good. When and if these titles reappear it will almost surely just be on video or if we are very lucky maybe a 35mm print will be made but not likely. 16mm will NEVER come back because no one knows what happened to the negatives. Well if all of the above were not bad enough, Guess what? ALL TITLES ON THE AFI list that belong to the studios ( about 90%) are being PULLED from non-theatrical distribution. That means no college bookings on TAXI DRIVER, No musuem shows on LAWRENCE OF ARABIA etc. SWANK is pulling em all at the instructions of the studios. The studios plan to do an AFI tour of those great multiplex theaters and do not want to be bothered by a pesky college wanting to show CASABLANCA. ( I should add that good old CITIZEN KANE is safe from this fiasco since WB DOES NOT OWN non theatrical rights and Kit Parker can still rent those 16mm prins out). So in order to "Promote " classic films but putting them in the very theaters that in most cases can not even project them properly, no one else will be able to show them. The saddest part of the above is the virtual elimination all the truly great things done by Turner Entertainment before Warner Bros ate them. Turner preserved and made widely available more prints than any archive could. Within reason the were generous to Museums & film users aroung the country. A few months ago they fired the head of the classics division and the new head has told museums and even some rep theaters that they no longer care about that stuff. Their only mandate is for putting big titles in as many theaters as possible ( the AFI TOUR) and the rest of the collection is of little interest. So the bottem line is that more and more films are going to vanish, most forever some like the AFI list ones will probably come back in a year. Meanwhile The AFI itself just gets the party line that they are HELPING FILM & FILM PRESERVATION. Please remember that the head of the AFI has already stated that repertory film screenings are no longer necessary since we have video & cable. Personally I think film screenings will become a luxury limited to the half dozen or so well connected institutions like MOMA, UCLA and I hope The Film Forum. The "POPULAR ART" will become the most restricted art, available only to people who live in major cities and go to the very select institutions that will have access to prints. I have heard people argue that no one WANTS to show film anymore, that they prefer video or disc projection. This is NOT TRUE. Every day I have to tell some poor professor, college film society programmer or museum programmer, that the film they want is no longer available. The frustration leval is reaching a peak and pretty soon, they may give up on trying to show films. I will spare you any more of my gloomy predictions, but I rather doubt than anything can be done to stop the above. The only thing that would help is if well connected film people and journalists really shed light on this disaster. The Scorseses, Speilbergs et al have done nothing about this. There have been no articles that I know of regarding the inability of colleges and museums and theaters screen hundreds of crucial films. Well gang thats it. If anyone out there knows a studio head or a film writer at the LA TIMES go for it. As for me, I live in New York so I'll still be able to see em Jessica Rosner ALL VIEWS EXPRESSED ARE MY OWN Kino International Corporation 333 W. 39th St. Suite 503 New York, NY 10018 (212)629-6880 fax: (212)714-0871 ---- To sign off SCREEN-L, e-mail [log in to unmask] and put SIGNOFF SCREEN-L in the message. Problems? Contact [log in to unmask] --- end forwarded text ---- Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the University of Alabama.