Auditorium - DAMSLab > 11:15

Bringing THE TRILOGY OF APU back from the ashes

Conference with Fumiko TakagiLee Kline and Chris Zembower (Criterion).

Moderated by Michael Porgorzelski

The trilogy of Apu

When the Criterion Collection began working on this restoration with the Academy Film Archive in 2013, the negatives were in storage and hadn’t been seen in twenty years. Many portions were indeed burned to ash, and what remained was startlingly fragile, thanks to deterioration and the heat and contaminants the elements had been exposed to. Head and tail leaders were often missing from reels. Yet significant portions survived, from which high-quality images might be rendered.
This material was entrusted to L’Immagine Ritrovata in Bologna. There, technicians successfully rehydrated the brittle film using a special solution and then they set about physically repairing the elements. This meant almost a thousand hours of meticulous hand labor, which even included rebuilding the perforation holes on the sides of the film and removing melted tape and glue. Using fine-grain masters and duplicate negatives preserved by Janus Films, the Academy, the Harvard Film Archive, and the British Film Institute, the technicians found excellent replacements for the unusable or missing sections of the original negatives. In the end, 40 percent of Pather Panchali and over 60 percent of Aparajito were restored directly from the original negatives. The two surviving reels of Apur Sansar were too damaged to be used in the restoration, so all of that film was restored from a fine-grain master and a duplicate negative.


Thursday 02/07/2015