Hollywood Foreign Press - 1/3
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a non-profit organization made up of international journalists and photographers, is most known for its annual Golden Globe Awards. But the group considers the restoration and preservation of films for future generations to be a cultural mission of primary importance. In many of its restoration projects, the HFPA works in partnership with the Film Foundation, a U.S.-based non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and exhibiting restored and classic cinema.
TCM proudly presents a night of four movie restorations with HFPA member Silvia Bizio joining our host Ben Mankiewicz to discuss the films. A journalist and film producer, Bizio is the author of several books and a frequent contributor to Italy's newspaper La Repubblica.
Leading off the restored films is The Boy with Green Hair (1948), an RKO production directed by Joseph Losey and starring Dean Stockwell as a war orphan whose neighbors in a small American town find it disturbing when his hair mysteriously turns green. Stockwell's adult costars include Robert Ryan, Pat O'Brien and Barbara Hale. In a review in The New York Times, Bosley Crowther described the film as "a novel and noble endeavor to say something withering against war on behalf of the world's unnumbered children who are the most piteous victims thereof."
Sergio Leone's groundbreaking "spaghetti Western," A Fistful of Dollars (1964), was shot in Italy on a modest budget with tons of style and attitude. It established the genre as something new and arresting and made a movie star of Clint Eastwood. Jack Dalmas's striking cinematography and Ennio Morricone's haunting musical score helped turn the film into a sensation. Critic Mark Harris wrote in Film Comment that the movie, an unofficial remake of the 1961 Japanese film Yojimbo, brought "a new, more pared-down, iconographic and blood-soaked take on the Western to American shores."
Pather Panchali (1955), the movie debut of acclaimed Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray, depicts the harsh childhood of a brother and sister in rural Bengal in the 1910s. The film was the beginning of Ray's "Apu trilogy," which also featured Aparajito (1956) and The World of Apu (1959), and has been collectively described as the greatest filmmaking in the history of Indian cinema. The revered Japanese director Akira Kurosawa has described Pather Panchali as "the kind of cinema that flows with the serenity and nobility of a big river."
Eraserhead (1977), a study in surrealistic horror, was the first feature-length film of writer/producer/director David Lynch. It tells the story of Henry (Jack Nance), a man who experiences hallucinations as he cares for his deformed son in a bleak industrial landscape. The film is generally considered one of the seminal works of independent cinema in the horror/thriller genre. A reviewer for New York magazine recently wrote that it "was destined for cult status from the get-go, but what makes it so remarkable after all these years is not its weirdness but the surprisingly powerful emotions bubbling beneath the surface."
By Roger Fristoe