Film Archivists Confab to Open With Screening of Restored 'One-Eyed Jacks'

AMIA's Reel Thing also will unspool restored versions of ‘Beat the Devil’ and ‘McCabe and Mrs. Miller.'
Courtesy of Photofest
'One-Eyed Jacks'

A screening of a restored version of Marlon Brando’s only directorial project, One-Eyed Jacks, will open the 38th edition of The Reel Thing, a symposium that examines film and digital restoration and preservation. The event begins Thursday evening and runs through Saturday at the Academy's Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood.

Presented by the Association of Moving Image Archivists, the symposium also will feature restored versions of John Huston’s Beat the Devil and and Robert Altman’s McCabe and Mrs. Miller.

Thursday evening's screening of One-Eyed Jacks, a 1961 Western that also starred Brando (and was at one point set to be directed by Stanley Kubrick), will be introduced by NBC Universal's vp of content management Peter Schade. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Schade said that the recent restoration, which debuted at Cannes in May, was achieved through a collaboration between Universal and The Film Foundation. He added that the Foundation's chair, Martin Scorsese, and Steven Spielberg were fans of the Western and initiated the project.

Schade related that the movie — the final VistaVision film produced in the U.S. — was shot using an early color film stock for which the blues tend to fade first, and so to restore the full color spectrum of film, the team restored all but the blues from the original negative, and then restored the blues from a black-and-white archival element. "This required matching the different pieces of film — that’s done digitally with a lot of effort," he said. 

The work was completed primarily at NBC Universal StudioPost, with some digital restoration work from Prasad.

Held annually, The Reel Thing was created and co-founded by Grover Crisp, executive vp of asset management for Sony Pictures, and Michael Friend, director of digital archives and asset management for Sony Pictures.