Lost Forever examines our rich and diverse American film heritage. "There are many reasons why a title may be placed on the [National Film] Registry, but most important is that it has been important to the American people in the 100 year history of film," says Gregory Lukow, who is head of the Library of Congress' National Audio-Visual Conservation Center. Lost Forever reveals our rich and diverse American film heritage and shows us how preservation saves both our cultural heritage and our individual memories. Written by
This companion piece to THOSE AMAZING SHADOWS shines the spotlight on what damage has been done to so many films. As it's said in the film, probably 80% of all silent films are now lost forever and there's a real danger that many surviving films might not remain that way because they're sitting in vault getting worse and worse with each passing day. This 30-minute documentary takes a look at the various issues with nitrate and even shows us some old footage of fires caused by the explosive material. We see how studios treated their films in the early days and we hear rather depressing stories about how many studios simply threw their film prints away or dumped them in the ocean. There's a rather amazing story of MGM wanting to get rid of all their nitrate prints and thankfully George Eastman House took them in or perhaps GONE WITH THE WIND, MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS and THE WIZARD OF OZ might not be around today in the condition that they're in. Fans of cinema really need to take a look at this and see that there's plenty of work that needs to be done in order to save countless films.
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