Contact: Michael Russell
HOLLYWOOD, CA, July 17, 2009 – “The Red Shoes,” the newly-restored 1948 masterpiece from directors Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, will have its U.S. premiere at the Directors Guild of America on July 29. The film underwent an extensive 2-year 4K digital restoration by the UCLA Film & Television Archive and The Film Foundation, in association with the British Film Institute, ITV Global Entertainment Ltd and Janus Films. The restoration was primarily funded by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, aided by The Film Foundation and the Louis B. Mayer Foundation. HFPA President Philip Berk will be joined by Robert Gitt and Curtis Hansen in introducing the film at the special screening.
“Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger created a vision in ‘The Red Shoes,’ one that has never really been matched,” said Martin Scorsese, Founder and Chair of The Film Foundation. “There’s no question that it’s one of the most beautiful color films ever made, and one of the truest to the experience of the artist, the joy and pain of devoting yourself to a life of creation. Due to the incredible generosity of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, ‘The Red Shoes’ has been fully restored. Those of us who love film owe the HFPA a deep debt of gratitude.”
“We are grateful for the opportunity to support The Film Foundation in its outstanding efforts at preserving and restoring motion picture classics,“ said Philip Berk, President of the HFPA. “We are particularly proud of being associated with ‘The Red Shoes,’ an extraordinary film that influenced a generation of filmmakers.”
The world premiere of the restored “The Red Shoes” took place at the Cannes Film Festival in May.
UCLA archivist Robert Gitt explains: “In the restoration process, the entire film has been turned into ones and zeros, repaired, and then converted back into a motion picture again. In order to achieve a proper film ‘look,’ we compared the new digital images with those in an original Technicolor dye transfer print and in a new Eastman color test print struck by Cinetech Laboratories directly from the YCM camera negatives. Careful adjustments were made in the finalized digital version to combine the best qualities of modern color film (greater image sharpness, more sparkle in highlights) with the most pleasing attributes of vintage Technicolor dye transfer prints (bold colors, deep blacks, gentle contrast with a pleasing range of tones in actors’ faces). The end result is a restoration that combines the best of the past with our digital present.”

The UCLA Film & Television Archive and The Film Foundation began working on the restoration in the fall of 2006. Earlier, in the 1980s, the film had been optically copied from flammable nitrate and acetate materials, including vintage Technicolor dye transfer prints, nitrate and acetate protection master positive copies, original soundtrack elements, and – most important of all – the still extant three-strip Technicolor camera negatives. These original nitrate 3-strip camera negatives have been utilized for this restoration to obtain the highest possible image quality. The negatives, which were damaged by mold and deterioration, were scanned at 4K resolution and digitally restored at Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging. The new digital negative has been used to strike beautiful new 35mm prints at Cinetech Labs. These newly restored elements ensure that the film is now properly preserved for posterity.
Since first contributing to The Film Foundation over ten years ago, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) has become a major supporter of The Film Foundation, donating over two million dollars and funding the preservation of 70 important films, including work by John Ford, Stanley Kubrick, Ida Lupino, Alfred Hitchcock, John Cassavetes, and Jean Renoir, among many others. The HFPA’s 2006 gift supported the restoration of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s Technicolor masterpiece, “The Red Shows” (1948). Today the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association represent
some 55 countries with a combined readership of more than 250 million. Through the success of the Golden Globe awards, the HFPA has been able to donate more than 7.7 million dollars over the past thirteen years to entertainment-related charities, as well as funding scholarships and other programs for future film and television professionals.
SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT PUBLIC SCREENINGS: The premiere will be followed by five special screenings of “The Red Shoes” at UCLA July 31 – August 2. Tickets may be purchased at https://secure.cinema.ucla.edu/onlineboxoffice/.
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