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Hitchcock Restoration Selected For Cannes Classics

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The BFI is pleased to announce that the newly restored print of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Ring (1927) will screen in this year’s Cannes Classics at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday 19th May, 5.30pm, Salle Buñuel. Palais des Festivals.
The Cannes screening of this new restoration will be a curtain-raiser for the BFI’s summer blockbuster The Genius of Hitchcock which includes screenings of the new BFI restorations of all nine of Hitchcock’s surviving silent films.
The project will feature a full retrospective of Hitchcock’s work and a range of spectacular, one-off musical events as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Additional events, lectures, debates, screenings, celebrity guests, a new BFI publication 39 Steps to Alfred Hitchcock and new web resources add up to a rich and rare celebration (June – October 2012).
Alfred Hitchcock is renowned as one of the world’s greatest filmmakers yet his early work is undeservedly little known.
These silents reveal Hitchcock as a filmmaker who had developed many of his stylish innovations with his earliest works. The new restoration took 2 years of work undertaken by experts at the BFI National Archive working with facilities house Deluxe 142, going back to the earliest available prints, sourced from the BFI’s own holdings and those of international archives.
The announcement brings the tally of BFI backed films appearing at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival up to five. In addition to the meticulously restored The Ring screening in Cannes Classics, four films backed through the BFI Film Fund are also in selection: Ken Loach’s The Angels’ Share is screening In Competition, Rufus Norris’ Broken is opening Critics’ Week, in Directors’ Fortnight Ben Wheatley’s Sightseers has a Special Screening and Fyzal Boulifa’s short film The Curse will also screen.
Amanda Nevill, BFI Chief Executive said: "The Genius of Hitchcock is THE major film project in this Olympic year and we are delighted to have Hitchcock's film The Ring as a new restoration in the Cannes Classics. How fitting also to have one of the UK’s greatest ever filmmakers's films in Cannes alongside such a strong array of contemporary British filmmaking talent. The new print of The Ring is spectacular and shows the film as it has not been seen since its original release, whetting appetites for the full menu of Hitchcock’s silent films restored by the BFI National Archive and made possible by the generosity of supporters from all over the world. We hope these films will travel to many other festivals around the world."
Michael Hazanavicius, Oscar winning director of The Artist, has acknowledged Hitchcock’s The Ring as a major inspiration in the creation of his film.
Hitchcock claimed that, after The Lodger, this is the next ‘Hitchcock’ picture. The story is a love triangle between a fairground boxer whose lover falls for the charms of a professional fighter. This is Hitchcock's one and only original screenplay but its neatness and economy confirmed him as Britain’s leading filmmaker of his generation. The lively fairground scenes show Hitchcock's fascination for circus and carnival folk that was to resurface in Saboteur (1942) and Strangers on a Train (1951) .
Funds for the restoration of The Ring have been generously provided by The Hollywood Foreign Press Association and The Film Foundation (Chair: Martin Scorsese).
The screening in the Cannes Classics will feature an improvised accompaniment by Stephen Horne, who will accompany the film variously on piano, flute and accordion.
The UK premiere of the restoration will take place at one of Hitchcock’s favourite venues, the Hackney Empire, on Friday 13th July when MOBO award-winning Soweto Kinch will unveil a new score for saxophone and other instruments, as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.
As part of the BFI’s blockbuster Genius of Hitchcock project, BFI Southbank and screens across the UK will celebrate the Master of Suspense. BFI Southbank will host the complete retrospective of the director’s surviving feature films from August to mid-October 2012, in partnership with American Express and with special thanks to Sky Movies/HD.
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