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The Powell & Pressburger Pages

Dedicated to the work of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and all the other people, both actors and technicians who helped them make those wonderful films.

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Tue 4th February 2003. 6:30pm

Steve's notes from an interesting evening.

NFT Programme notes

NFT bfi Previews, Interviews & Special Events/A History of Colour
Presenting Technicolor: Dye
Transfer Prints from the Collection
of the Academy Film Archive
This evening's programme will include
excerpts from the following 35mm prints:

Technicolor for Industrial Films
Original dye transfer print from the
Technicolor Reference Collection

The Thief of Bagdad
Ludwig Berger, Michael Powell, Tim Whelan,
Re-issue dye-transfer print manufactured on
safety film stock in 1956

George Stevens, 1953
Dye-transfer print from the George Stevens
collection at the Academy Film Archive

All That Heaven Allows
Douglas Sirk, 1954
Original dye-transfer print from the Academy
Film Archive collection

Carol Reed, 1968
Original dye-transfer print from the Academy
Film Archive collection

The Godfather
Francis Ford Coppola, 1972
Original dye-transfer print from the Academy
Film Archive collection

Duel in the Sun
King Vidor 1946
Dye-transfer print manufactured in 1993 at
the Bejing Film Lab

Warren Beatty, 1998
Original dye-transfer print provided by 20th
Century Fox Film Corporation

The Thin Red Line
Terence Malick, 1998
Original dye-transfer print provided by 20th
Century Fox Film Corporation
Michael Pogorzelski, Director of the Film Archive, presents a history of the Technicolor dye transfer process that set the standard for motion picture colour reproduction for over 40 years.

The evening will be introduced by David Pearce, Curator, bfi National Film and Television Archive and curator of the NFT's History of Colour season. There will be opportunities for questions from the audience at the end of the presentation.

The Academy of Motion Picture Art and Sciences Film Archive has focused on collecting films and moving picture image material which seek to preserve not only the artistic evolution of cinema but its technical developments as well. The collection contains numerous examples of early and contemporary experiments in both black and white and colour cinematography, sound recording and reproduction, visual effects processes, and unique moving picture formats on various mediums and film gauges.

When the Technicolor laboratory closed its doors in Hollywood in 1977 it left behind a vast collection of reels which were known as 'reference prints'. These reels - sometimes making up an entire feature, sometimes only one 1,000-foot reel - were retained by the laboratory as accurate colour references for the production of new dye transfer prints in 35mm and 16mm throughout the pint run or when additional prints were ordered several months or years following initial printing. The Technicolor Reference Collection is now housed at the Academy Film Archive and has proved to be an invaluable resource in countless restoration and preservation efforts. The colour reference reels take out some of the guesswork in re-creating a film's coulor palette as it appears in a dye transfer release print and serves as a guide to preservationists who seek to create an historically accurate colour print on contemporary Eastman-Kodak film stocks.

The History of Colour series is unique because so many of the Technicolor features are being presented in original dye transfer release prints. One of the attributes of a dye-transfer Technicolor print is the stability of the colour dyes themselves which do not succumb to fading or alteration as do the dyes in an Eastmancolor print. Cinema enthusiats, svholars, and students who seek to experience a film as audiences did upon its first release can do so if they have access to a print made in the dye transfer process. The original look of the film, its colour palette and attributes are not enhanced, altered, or 'improved' via printing on contemporary film stocks. They remain stable and appear just as they would have to an audience screening the print when the film was first projected.

This presentation will offer a brief overview of the technological, corporate, and aesthetic evolution of Technicolor and the dye-transfer printing process by presenting a number of rare dye-transfer Technicolor prints.

Michael Pogorzelski

Michael Pogorzelski
Michael Pogorzelski received his Bachelor's and Master of Fine Arts degree in Film Studies from the Communication Studies department at the University of Winsconsin - Madison. He worked as a film preservationist and restorationist at the Academy Film Archive beginning in 1996.

He has supervised and co-supervised the restoration of feature films, documentaries, and avant-garde works from all eras of cinema history as well as the Academy Award winning Best Pictures How Green Was My Valley (1941), All The King's Men (1949), All About Eve (1950), Oliver! (1968) and nominees such as The Lion In Winter (1968), All That Jazz (1979) and The Hustler (1961). He was named Director of the Academy Film Archive in 2000.

A History of Colour:
Remaining screenings
Presenting Technicolor
Tue 4 Feb 6.30 NFT1
An American in Paris
Tue 4 Feb 8.40 NFT1; Sat 15 Feb 3.30 NFT2
The Trail of the Lonesome Pine
Wed 5 Feb 6.20 NFT2
Becky Sharp
Thu 6 Feb 6.10 NFT3
Wings of the Morning
Fri 7 Feb 6.10 NFT3; Sat 8 Feb 6.10 NFT3
Around the World in Eighty Days
Sun 9 Feb 8.20 NFT2; Tue 11 Feb 6.20 NFT2
The Harvey Girls
Sun 9 Feb 8.20 NFT2; Tue 11 Feb 6.20 NFT2
Black Narcissus
Tue 11 Feb 8.45 NFT2; Wed 12 Feb 8.40 NFT2
The History and Development of Colour - An Illustrated Lecture
Wed 12 Feb 6.20 NFT2
Duel in the Sun
Sat 15 Feb 5.40 NFT3
The Fall of Berlin (Padeniye Berlina)
Thu 20 Feb 5.30 NFT2; Sat 22 Feb 7.50 NFT3
A Man For All Seasons
Sat 22 Feb 5.20 NFT3; Fri 28 Feb 8.40 NFT2
The Man on the Eiffel Tower
Sun Feb 8.20 NFT3; Tue 25 Feb 5.45 NFT1
Mon 24 Feb 6.40 NFT1; Thu 27 Feb 6.40 NFT3
The Wide Blue Road (La grande strada azzura)
Tue 25 Feb 8.40 NFT2; Fri 28 Feb 6.10 NFT3