Launching Wednesday at the National Film & Sound Archive, Restoration Showcase will unearth a selection of six freshly restored films from the annals of special distributors around the world. The purpose of this mixed bag is to give new life to classic films while simultaneously highlighting the technological strides made in modern cinema over the years – thanks, in part, to the celebrated collaborations which brought them to our screens.
Opening the selection will be one of two 4K restorations included in the showcase. The final feature film from the legendary writer/director Andrei Tarkovsky, The Sacrifice (Offret), sees a man on a quest to restore peace in whatever way he can to a society at the dawn of World War III. In a fitting finale to his career, this swan-song won the storied Soviet storyteller the Grand Prix at Cannes upon release in 1986 before he passed away in December the same year.
Wednesday 13 June, 7:00 pm.
Dating all the way back to 1924, the second feature in the showcase is a special NFSA 2K digital restoration of director Duke Worne’s The Sword of Valor. From the United States, this is one of the last surviving films from Snowy Baker’s (The Man from Kangaroo) short-lived screen career. With pre-existing skills as a horseman, the athletic Aussie Baker nabbed the lead as the against-the-odds American suitor of love interest Dorothy Revier – the daughter of a Spanish nobleman – in this action comedy set across Spain and the French Riviera. 65 mins.
Friday 15 June, 6:45 pm.
The second screening this Friday night is the iconic In the Heat of the Night – the second special 4K restoration on the roster. Amid the heated socio-political climate of 1967, this was the second of three culturally charged and racially relevant releases that year (along with To Sir, With Love and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner) starring the unmistakable Sidney Poitier. Released at the height of the civil rights movement, Poitier starred as Virgil Tibbs, an African American police detective tasked with investigating a murder in a racially hostile southern town. Also starring Rod Steiger (On the Waterfront).
Friday 15 June, 8:30 pm.
Another special NFSA restoration is the 1979 Australian classic from director Gillian Armstrong, My Brilliant Career. Set during the drought of 1898, self-assured and tenacious spirit Sybylla Melvyn (Judy Davis) yearns for a life off the farm – the life of a writer and the brilliant career which may come with it. However, when she meets a well-to-do grazier in Harry Beecham (Sam Neill), she must attempt to reconcile her aspirations and feminist zeal with uninvited feelings of love and its accompanying convention.
Wednesday 20 June, 7:00 pm.
The third and final NFSA restoration included here, and second Duke Worne/Snowy Baker production, is The Empire Builders. Their second director/actor collaboration back in 1924 (following The Sword of Valor) was one of four Snowy Baker star vehicles – along with The White Panther and Fighter’s Paradise – to be released that year. Set during the Second Boer War, Baker stars as Captain William Ballard of the British Army Territorials. Dispatched to make a treaty, he faces stiff resistance from Boers unenthused by expanding British rule, along with the added distractions of a beautiful Boer woman to further complicate matters, not to mention pending important rescues to be undertaken over the course of this 49min adventure-drama.
Saturday 23 June, 4:00 pm.
Closing the programming is Black Girl from Ousmane Sembène. Based upon his own 1956 novella, this 1966 debut feature (55 mins) from Senegalese writer/director Sembène unpacks ideas around cultural domination, modern slavery and female existence as a young black girl from Senegal becomes a servant in France. The groundbreaking production won the Prix Jean Vigo upon release. This special screening will be preceded by Borom Sarret – Sembène’s writer/director debut short about the poverty of the working man in Senegal, released in 1963. 23 mins.
Saturday 23 June, 6:00 pm.
The Restoration Showcase runs from 13 June – 23 June. All sessions are $10.
Take the time and head along to see a piece of history.
For more information, head HERE.