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The Lost Moment

The Lost Moment
March 27, 2017 - 7:30 pm
head of preservation Scott MacQueen, Dave Petty.

Restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive with funding provided by the National Film Preservation Foundation

The Way of Peace  (1947)

Produced for the American Lutheran Church, with original conception and technical supervision by Reverend H.K. Rasbach, the unorthodox animated religious short The Way of Peace graphically illustrates how man’s inhumanity to man could ultimately lead to the irreversible destruction of Earth.  Written and directed by Frank Tashlin with photography and puppet design by noted special effects pioneer Wah Ming Chang, the uncompromising work artfully employs miniatures and stop-motion to examine the dire consequences of human conflict, including scenes of the crucifixion, lynching and Nazi fascism.  The dark cautionary tale culminates with the depiction of a devastating global atomic holocaust.  —Mark Quigley

35mm, color, 18 min.  Director: Frank Tashlin.  Production: Christian Films, East West Production.  Producers: Wah Ming Chang, Blanding Sloan.  Screenwriter: Frank Tashlin.   Cinematography: Wah Ming Chang.  Editor: Stuart O'Brien.  Music: Eddison Von Ottenfeld.  Cast: Lew Ayres (voice).

Restored from a 16mm Kodachrome reversal master positive and two 16mm composite Kodachrome prints.  Laboratory services by Fotokem, Audio Mechanics, Simon Daniel Sound, DJ Audio, Inc.  Special thanks to: Mark Rasbach, Ethan de Seife, Mark Quigley, Joel Thoreson, Archives of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Library of Congress.

Restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive with funding provided by the National Film Preservation Foundation

Moods of the Sea  (1941)

Subjectivity informs Slavko Vorkapich and John Hoffman’s Moods of the Sea, a lyrical documentary utilizing Felix Mendelssohn’s “Fingal’s Cave” as musical accompaniment.  Opening with a view from a cave onto the ocean, the film orchestrates images of a powerful natural environment: giant waves breaking on the shore, cliffs towering above the surf, a gull flying overhead, otters playing in the waves, clouds gathering, the sun setting on the horizon. True to Vorkapich’s interest in montage, the images from the constantly moving camera are cut precisely to the music, and each sequence reaches a rhythmic crescendo with the melody, emphasizing the subjective nature of the camera’s point of view.  —Jan-Christopher Horak

35mm, b/w, 10 min.  Directed by Slavko Vorkapich and John Hoffman.

Restored from the 35mm nitrate picture and track negatives.  Laboratory services by YCM Labs, Audio Mechanics, DJ Audio, Inc.  Special thanks to David Shephard/Film Preservation Associates.

Restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive with funding provided by The Packard Humanities Institute

The Lost Moment  (1947)

It's ironic that the film version of The Aspern Papers by the 19th-century American author Henry James, revered for his naturalism, should be the zenith of Hollywood gothic.  In James' story—modeled after the tale of Edward Augustus Silsbee who attempted to pilfer letters written by Percy Shelley from Mary Shelley's aged stepsister—a nameless American scoundrel bent on a publishing coup tracks the centenarian Juliana Bordereau to a decaying Venetian palazzo.  In The Lost Moment, the scoundrel is an unscrupulous New York publisher (Robert Cummings), who plots to acquire Jeffrey Ashton's love letters to his withered muse (Agnes Moorehead) even if it requires wooing the tedious great-niece, Miss Tina (Susan Hayward).

James' themes remain even as the film hysterically reaches for metaphysical overtones. Miss Tina, starchy and lackluster by day, enters a fugue state by night.  In thrall to Ashton's letters which she pores over in secret, Miss Tina literally lets down her hair and becomes the luminous Juliana of 1814, throbbing with vitality and yearning for love.  Hal Mohr's sinuous travelling camera snakes through the crypt-like mansion hand in hand with Daniele Amfitheatrof's unearthly musical score.  —Scott MacQueen

35mm, b/w, 89 min. Director: Martin Gabel.  Production: Walter Wanger Pictures, Inc., Universal Pictures Co., Inc.  Distribution: Universal International.  Based on the novella The Aspern Papers by Henry James.  Screenwriter: Leonardo Bercovici.  Cinematography: Hal Mohr.  Art Director: Alexander Golitzen.  Music: Daniele Amfitheatrof.  Cast: Robert Cummings, Susan Hayward, Agnes Moorehead, Joan Lorring, Eduardo Ciannelli.

Restored from the 35mm nitrate camera negative, the 35mm nitrate sound track negative and a 35mm nitrate fine grain master.  Laboratory services by The Stanford Theatre Film Laboratory, Modern Videofilm, Audio Mechanics, Simon Daniel Sound, DJ Audio, Inc.  Special thanks to Paramount Pictures.