New life

The art of film-preservation is honored at the Cinemateque ‘Re-Film’ fest

‘SOME LIKE IT HOT’ (photo credit: Courtesy)
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Israel Film Archive at the Jerusalem Cinematheque has a vast collection of classic films from around the world, as well as every film ever made in Israel, and has been working hard for years to preserve these movies digitally. Now, from June 25 to June 30, the cinematheque will present a program of these restored gems, Re-Film: Restored, Rediscovered, Revisited, which will feature 15 restored films from Israel and around the world.
There will also be several guests who are world leaders in digital restoration, a time-consuming process that requires a great deal of expert, painstaking work.
Elena Nepoti, the preservation manager at Imperial War Museums in London, will attend a screening of They Shall Not Grow Old, Peter Jackson’s documentary commemorating the centennial of the end of World War I, with never-before-seen digitized archival footage. This film has drawn praise for making this war come alive in a way that younger generations can appreciate and understand.
Karen Shakhnazarov, director-general of Mosfilm, the huge Russian studio and production company, will be present for the screening of a digitally restored version of Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1975 film, The Mirror, a much-acclaimed work that was rarely shown for decades due to deteriorating prints.
Some Like It Hot was voted the best comedy of all time recently in a BBC critics’ poll and now, once again, you can see it on the big screen at the Jerusalem Cinematheque as part of this series.
This 1959 classic comedy was directed by Billy Wilder, an Austrian-Jewish refugee who was one of the greatest Hollywood writer/directors of all time. It stars Marilyn Monroe, in what many consider to be her best screen performance, as Sugar Kane, a singer in an all-female orchestra, who befriends two bandmates (Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis), not knowing they are men in drag fleeing the mob, and it’s a great blend of slapstick, gender-bending laughs and romance.
Moshe Mizrahi’s The House on Chelouche Street, a 1973 film that was nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, is an Israeli classic that will be included in this festival. It stars four of Israel’s greatest actors – Shaike Ophir (for whom the Ophir Awards were named); Gila Almagor, the grand dame of Israeli film, who is also an acclaimed director; Yosef Shiloach, who moved successfully among dramas, comedies and Hollywood productions; and Michal Bat-Adam, an actress/director who was married to Mizrahi. The movie tells the story of an Egyptian family that moves to Palestine during the British Mandate period.
One of Stanley Kubrick’s earliest films, The Killing (1956), will be shown. It’s a slow-burn film noir crime drama starring Sterling Hayden about a daring robbery at a race track that features one of the most strikingly photographed chase sequences of all time.
Another classic film noir fans should rush to see on the big screen is Carol Reed’s The Third Man, one of the all-time great movies. Written by Graham Greene, the 1949 film, set amid the ruins and corruption of postwar Vienna, stars Joseph Cotten as an American novelist who comes to the city to look up an old friend, and ends up going on a life-changing journey. It costars Alida Valli, Trevor Howard and Orson Welles.
Pop music lovers will want to see ABBA: The Movie, a 1977 movie directed by Lasse Hallström, about an incompetent DJ trying to get an interview with the beloved hit-making group during their tour of Australia.
There will also be free tours of the Israel Film Archive during the festival, which will help viewers understand the fascinating and complex process of digital restoration. Participants will see films in 16 mm. and 35 mm. formats up close and observe the work done in the laboratory to create quality 4K digital files. Although the tour is free, advance registration is required.
For the full schedule and to buy tickets and make reservations, go to the Jerusalem Cinematheque website at