To Save and Protect: Film Preservation Gets a Shot in the Arm

sweet-sweetback-baadasssssWhy would the Newport Film Festival be giving New York’s MOMA $10,000? Turns out the answer is … well, kinda cool. The money is going towards MOMA’s film preservation efforts. As well as charging $20 bucks to see Van Gogh’s Starry Night, the museum has also restored films like Melvin Van Peebles’ Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, Ernst Lubitsch’s Lady Windermere’s Fan, Ernie Gehr’s Serene Velocity, Sergei Eisenstein’s Que Viva Mexico, Andy Warhol’s films and quite frankly a whole ark’s worth of cinematic masterpieces.

Where it gets fun is how the money is being allocated. This winner of the NFF’s annual Claibone Pell Tribute Award will get to select which films MOMA should restore. So here’s our question to you. What was the last film you saw where the print was so bad that it demanded to be restored? And if you had $10,000 to spend, which movie would you have restored to wholeness and cleaned to a Criterion-like sheen? Tell us why would be helpful, too. Answers in the comment box, please.

While you’re thinking about you’re answer, here’s Earth, Wind and Fire from Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song:

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