Friday, July 15, 2011

Restoration of Abel Gance's Napoleon to Run Next Year

Just in time for Bastille Day, the San Francisco Silent Film Festival announces that it will sponsor a full-scale production of Kevin Brownlow's restoration of Abel Gance's legenary Napoleon biography. The 1927 film is in fact but the first of a projected six installments, and covers Bonparte's iife only up to the Italian Campaign of 1797.

As originally conceived, the film was to be shown on a triple screen, to the accompaniment of a live orchestra. The re-release of the film more than a generation ago was a revelation and a sensation, but because of the complexity of the undertaking, repeat performances have been rare.
In a prepared statement, Stacey Wisnia, Executive Director of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival commented, "This will be 'the cinema event of a lifetime' and for once that's not just hype, considering that we may never have another chance to see Napoleon presented on this scale, and with Carl Davis' magnificent score. But we're also referring to the lifetime of passion that Kevin Brownlow has devoted to bringing Abel Gance's original vision back to life."

Because of logistics and the enormous expense involved in such a production, there no plans to repeat the event in any other American city. (read the rest)

Abel Gance's Napoleon (HD) from San Francisco Silent Film Festiv on Vimeo.

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