A world-famous film preservationist and entertainer, Serge Bromberg returns to the Film Society with his traveling show Saved from the Flame, a program of rare shorts that conjures the dazzling wonder and excitement of early cinema exhibition. Bromberg and his company Lobster Films hold one of the most important private collections of films. Culling from the best surviving prints and negatives from around the world, Bromberg and collaborators use the latest digital technology to painstakingly restore each work and present them as if they were screening a century ago.
This year’s show—for which Bromberg accompanies on piano and provides insightful commentary—is full of amazing discoveries and restored works from the silent era. The program includes once-thought-lost spectacles by the great Georges Méliès, including 1902’s hand-painted Robinson Crusoe and the East Coast premiere of a new reconstruction of the comedic Faust adaptation The Merry Frolics of Satan; the restored, complete version of Percy Pembroke’s Detained, starring Stan Laurel; a collection of the first stereoscopic 3D films ever; and more. This event promises to entertain audiences of all ages!
Georges Méliès, France, 1902, 3m
In this delicately hand-painted, ironically abridged adaptation of Daniel Defoe’s great novel, Méliès stars as the titular castaway who spends years upon years on a remote tropical island.
The Merry Frolics of Satan / Les Quatre cents farces du diable
Georges Méliès, France, 1906, 17m
Newly reconstructed by eight archives from around the world, this funny adaptation of the Faust legend concerns an engineer who makes a deal with the Devil (played by Méliès). Reconstruction courtesy of Lobster Films, Narodni Filmovi archiv Czech republic, EYE Film Institute Holland, Library of Congress, MoMA, Motion Picture Academy and CNC France – the Mauclaire collection. East Coast premiere of the new reconstruction.
Percy Pembroke, U.S., 1924, 20m
This comic two-reeler features Stan Laurel, in a rare solo outing, as an unfortunate man who gets mistaken for an escaped prisoner. Restoration courtesy Lobster Films and the Fries Film Archief (Holland).
Early Stereoscopic 3D films
This program features spectacular silent shorts from Méliès, the Lumière brothers, and others that were filmed with stereoscopic film cameras, making them the first 3D films ever made.
Special thanks to Cultural Services of the French Embassy.