Film Festival Today

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A Restored Print Of Cinema’s Great Anti-War Film

Written by: FFT Webmaster | May 16th, 2012

The Film Forum in New York is presenting a newly restored version of cinema’s great anti-war film starting today. Jean Renoir’s masterpiece GRAND ILLUSION (1937) will be shown in a spectacular new 4K restoration, in honor of its 75th anniversary, for the next two weeks. Set in a POW camp during World War I, the film stars such icons of the 1930s as Jean Gabn, Pierre Fresnay and Erich von Stroheim. The classic film was a huge international success, winning Best Foreign Film awards from the New York Film Critics Circle and National Board of Review, Best Overall Artistic Contribution from the Venice Film Festival (under Mussolini), and an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture – the first ever for a foreign film. The film was declared “cinema enemy number one” by Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels after the Germans occupied France in 1940. The film negative, first shipped to Berlin and then repatriated by the Soviets when they entered the city in 1945, remained in the Soviet Union for 20 years before the Cinémathèque of Toulouse reached a détente with its Soviet counterpart and a restored version was finally reissued. In the late 1990s, the material was transferred to the French State Film Archive. Last year, Studiocanal and the Cinémathèque de Toulouse embarked on a new restoration using the latest digital technology, which is the version that New Yorkers can enjoy in the coming fortnight. For more information, visit:

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