Scorsese's Film Foundation launches free virtual theater
New York — Film Foundation, the nonprofit founded by Martin Scorsese dedicated to film preservation, is launching a virtual theater to stream classic films free of charge.
The film organization announced Friday that the Film Foundation Restoration Screening Room will launch May 9 with the presentation of “I Know Where I'm Going!,” Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's Scotland-set romance, recently restored by the Film Foundation and the British Film Institute's National Archive.
The screening room will present films in a live-event manner, with movies playing at a specific time and accompanied by introductions and conversations. “I Know Where I’m Going!” will be available for a 24-hour window.
“We’re looking forward to making these beautiful restorations available to a wide audience,” Scorsese, Film Foundation founder and chair, said in a statement. “Many of these presentations will feature restorations that are rarely seen, with myself and other filmmakers sharing why these films are important, how they have impacted our lives, and why it’s crucial that they be preserved.”
“I Know Where I'm Going!” will be introduced by Scorsese and feature a conversation with Tilda Swinton, filmmaker Joanna Hogg, director Kevin Macdonald and Thelma Schoonmaker, Scorsese's longtime editor. Schoonmaker was married to Powell before his death in 1990, and has since worked tirelessly to preserve his work. Powell and Pressburger, known as the Archers, made the much-admired classics “The Red Shoes,” “A Matter of Life and Death,” “Black Narcissus” and “The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp.”
Screenings will run on the second Monday of each month, with future selections to include Federico Fellini's “La Strada,” Marlon Brando's “One-Eyed Jacks,” G. Aravindan's “Kummatty,” Jonas Mekas' “Lost Lost Lost," John Huston's “Moulin Rouge,” Sarah Maldoror's “Sambizanga” and a film noir double feature of Edgar G. Ulmer's “Detour” and Arthur D. Ripley's “The Chase.” Scorsese and Kent Jones, the filmmaker and critic, are curating the platform.
Scorsese started the Film Foundation in 1990. Since then, it has helped restore 925 films. Its World Cinema Project has restored 47 films from 27 countries.