White Shadows, Doc Winners, and Italian Weekends


Alfred Hitchcock's The White Shadow

Early Hitchcock silent makes its online debut

The White Shadow was one of Alfred Hitchcock's earliest directoral efforts—sort of. It was technically directed by Graham Cutts, with Hitch on board as a highly active assistant director, art director, and co-writer. The film was considred lost for many years; now half of it has been uncovered by the National Film Preservation Foundation and brought back to sparkling life. Few films made in 1924 have been made to look this good. And you can watch it right now, free of charge. The NFPF have put the whole thing streaming online, a striking olive branch to the world of digital distribution from a group so wedded to the celluloid strip. A timely reminder that modern modes of distrubution don't have to threaten the status of film as a physical object—that they can, perhaps, give preservationists a larger audience than they've ever had before. 


Ken Burns' The Central Park Five

DOC NYC announces competition winners

New York's biggest doc-only festival had a tough but rewarding third year: it expanded into a second theater, hosted more films than ever before, brought in Ken Burns for a closing-night gala, and managed to make it through through the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Yesterday, the jurors announced the year's winners. "For its Rashomon-like investigation of a terrorist crime that did or didn't happen," the Grand Jury prize of the Viewfinders competition went to Jamie Meltzer's Informant. The equivalent prize for the NYC-themed Metropolis sidebar went to Mary Kerr's Radioman, "a documentary that demonstrates a great level of craft and an astute directorial eye in producing a complex, heartfelt portrait of a very special individual." For a full press release containing more prizes and winners, visit the festival's website.


Andrew Haigh's Weekend

TLA Releasing launches Italian distribution arm

TLA Releasing, one of the primary US-based distributors for LGBT cinema, has opened its first Italian branch. "TLA Releasing Italia," said company president David Kurl, "will give LGBT films much-needed visibility... in a territory where [they] still struggle to find sufficient distribution." The group will be based in Turin, and headed by former Atlantide Entertainment Head of Distribution Cosimo Santoro; its first slae of releases is set to include Andrew Haigh's breakthrough hit Weekend

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