A Thousand Cuts: Film Collector Book Release and Archival Screening

Nov 12, 2016

(various directors, DCP, ~90 min)

Book sales and signings with authors Dennis Bartok & Jeff Joseph at 6:30!

As 35mm and 16mm film sadly disappears, so too does the colorful underground network of dealers and collectors who fought over and hoarded these precious prints – often rescuing them from dumpsters and basements. Join us for a 90-minute program of rarities assembled by motion picture archivist Jeff Joseph of SabuCat Productions, including: 1949 footage of Alfred Hitchcock leaving for England to direct Stage Fright (found in a New Jersey attic); two-color Technicolor footage of the Marx Brothers shooting Animal Crackers in 1930; the last surviving film of both Greta Garbo and Humphrey Bogart for never-completed projects; ultra-rare commercials and PSAs; Judy Garland’s costume tests for Valley of the Dolls before she dropped out of the film; a charming Bela Lugosi interviewed at home in 1931, the year Dracula was released; the only surviving footage of Fred Astaire and choreographer Hermes Pan dancing together (discovered by a collector in Pan’s closet); and much, much more.

In connection with this program, Dennis Bartok & Jeff Joseph will be speaking about their new book A Thousand Cuts: the Bizarre Underground World of Collectors and Dealers Who Saved the Movies. A Thousand Cuts is a candid exploration of the subculture of film collecting and the paranoid, secretive, eccentric group of film-collectors who made movies and their projection a private religion in an age before DVDs and Blu-rays. These colorful individuals spent vast sums creating their own screening rooms and negotiating underground networks, even risking legal jeopardy to pursue their passion for real, physical film.

Among the book’s fascinating subjects are one-legged former Broadway dancer Tony Turano, who lives in a Norma Desmond-like world of decaying movie memories and notorious film pirate Al Beardsley, one of the men responsible for putting O. J. Simpson behind bars.

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