From: Mark Toscano (email suppressed)
Date: Thu Aug 24 2006 - 12:50:25 PDT
Will's films are quite unique and beautiful, and
extreme technical mastery is a particular trait of his
films. They don't get screened nearly as much
anymore, but in their heyday, they were quite known
and won many awards. Time-Life even distributed three
of them at one point. Will stopped making films more
or less in the mid-'70s, but got back into it in the
early-'80s, though he never totally finished another
film after Pasteur3 in 1976. He died in 1987. These
reasons are also why his films aren't known as much,
as he kind of stopped actively showing and promoting
them and making new work thirty years ago.
I've been working on the restoration of a couple of
them - Non Catholicam and Saint Flournoy Lobos
Logos... - for some time, and it's extremely involved,
even though we have the originals for both to work
from. At some point, I should write up a description
of the process, because it's pretty nuts, especially
The sound has been restored already for those two (and
FFFTCM), and is just waiting on the picture work to be
finished, which will take another few months at least,
One of the things I was looking for was a nice print
of Non Catholicam, which was needed to restore one
shot in the film not conformed correctly or fixable in
the originals. Canyon ended up having a good print,
though it's interesting to hear the Co-op print is
nice. I may have to look at that one...
The long term plan is to restore many of Will's films,
hopefully all of them. There are only 11, but the
originals are lost for 5 of them. MoMA has the
originals for Chinese Firedrill and Billabong, and I
have no idea what condition they're in. I have the
originals here for Saint Flournoy, Non Catholicam,
Pasteur3, and FFFTCM (this one on loan from PFA).
The originals for Watersmith, Pastorale d'ete, Later
That Same Night, 29: Merci Merci, and Trekkerriff have
so far remained missing. It especially bothers me
that for someone who was so precise and meticulous
about the look and sound of his films, we'll have to
restore a handful of them from prints. They're mostly
gorgeous reversal prints, but it's pretty sad the
originals can't be found and used in the restorations.
Hope this is of some interest - feel free to email
with questions/ideas/etc. -
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