Kongo Lessons


Restoration Demo for King of the Kongo (it looks even cooler in HD!)
 

Some of you may not be aware that I’m in the midst of restoring The King of the Kongo (1929), which is the first sound serial ever made.  You’d think that people would be happy that I’m doing it, but I get frequent complaints about it, and a lot of questions.  I’m going to answer some of these today.

Q1: Why are you restoring a serial that’s bad and the prints aren’t great?

A: Because it’s bad and the prints aren’t great.  The archives weren’t interested in this one.  I tried.  They didn’t care.  They probably shouldn’t care, either, because part of their job is triage.  I think it’s important—it is important—it’s just that there are a lot of films in worse shape that are in line ahead of it, so I’m doing this myself.

The bottom line is that I knew that if I didn’t restore it, then no one would, and I knew where all the elements were, so I wanted to get it done while we could.

Q2: Is the whole serial sound?

A: The serial is part silent and part talkie.  The trade papers are a little confused about this, so I can’t prove this theory.  The trades at the time announced The King of the Kongo as being available in silent and sound versions.  There’s even an announcement that the silent version is finished and they’re starting on the talkie version.  But there’s no mention that I can find anywhere of the serial being played without sound.  I suspect that there was only a sound version released, and that is part silent (with synchronized music and effects) with one scene per reel with synchronized dialogue.

Q3: What survives on the serial?  Are you restoring the whole thing?

A: The entire picture exists.  There were 21 reels initially and we have 10 reels of the sound.  That’s a little less than half of the original sound that survives.  Of those, Chapters 5, 6 and 10 exist with complete sound.  Three other chapters have one reel of sound with the other still being lost (each chapter is two reels and hence two discs of sound.)

I restored Chapter 5 with Kickstarter funds, Chapter 10 with National Film Preservation Foundation funding, and Chapter 6 is being done now.  For all three Chapters, I owe thanks and funding support to Silent Cinema Presentations, Inc. (There’s a lot of drama about how Silent Cinema saved my bacon in previous blog installments.)  I may go back and restore the the picture for the rest of the episodes and drop in the sound for those parts that survive.  The complete chapters that survive have been archived to film.

Q4: This is the digital age.  Why waste money on film?

A: The restorations were done digitally and archived on film because film never crashes and goes beep when you turn it on.  Film is archival.

Q5: Are you going to put this on YouTube?

A: No.

Q6: Will it be available on Blu-Ray?

A: I hope so.

Q7: A friend of mine told me that UCLA has 35mm prints of this serial and so you’re wasting your time on this bad print you’re restoring.

A: I hear this rumor all the time.  You know what I did about it?  I contacted UCLA.  You know what they told me?  They have a 16mm print, just like mine and it’s under a donor restriction, so I couldn’t access it anyway.  There is one more print in the US that I’ve heard about in private hands, and I couldn’t access that.  There’s another 16mm print in France that’s not better than mine.  There’s a partial 35mm in an unnamed US archive that’s also under donor restriction, meaning we can’t get to it.  So that’s it, folks.  I contacted the donors for permission and they said no.

You want footwork to find the best materials?  I did it.

Q8: It’s frustrating to watch a serial a chapter at a time and then out of sequence.  Why don’t you wait until you find all the sound and restore it then?

A: Because we may never find all of the sound.  And right now, we’re at a point where I can sync the sound and picture with the help of some people I know.  Later on that might not happen.

Q9: Why did you restore Chapter 10 and then Chapter 6?

A: Because we found the complete sound for Chapter 6 after Chapter 10 was already underway.

Q10: There’s a whole group of people who do serial restorations who are spreading bad rumors about you.  Do you hate them?

A: No.  I can’t hate people who do restorations.  I contacted those people some time ago, offered to pool resources, and was told to go away.  So I went away.  They were convinced that they could do a better restoration than I could do, and that they knew where all the sound discs were.  To date, they have not done a restoration.  I would still be happy to pool resources with them.  I feel that films should be restored from the best elements.  If they know where better materials are (and they might exist in private hands), then I’m willing to help.  I suspect that the elements they thought were complete were the same incomplete ones that I found in private hands, and I bought them so I could do my restoration.  But I would still help them if they asked.

Q11: I heard that Library of Congress has all the sound discs.

A: I heard that too.  I asked them, and I contacted the film people and the audio people.  Do you know what they told me?  They don’t have them.

Q12: Does this look better than the DVD that I bought of this?

A: You bet it does.

Q13: The DVD I bought is silent with music, but has long stretches with no titles.  Is your music the same?

A: You have the sound version missing the dialogue track.  About half of each episode was silent with intertitles.  The remaining half had dialogue. The music on your DVD is patched in later to go with the action.  The original score by Lee Zahler is on the discs, plus dialogue in all those long stretches with no titles.

Q14: I heard a rumor that you may start a Kickstarter program to release a Blu-Ray.  That seems kind of crooked to me, since you got grant money to do the restorations.

A: I got grant money to do the lab work for the restorations. The lab work (scanning, track re-recording, and digital film out) was covered.  All the by-hand work (sync, image restoration, etc.) was free.  And we’d need to do that work on the 7 chapters that still need their picture restored.

Q15: Did you learn anything of historical significance while you were restoring the serial?

Yes, some.

Ben Model’s undercranking theories are borne out here.  The silent sequences are shot at about 21-22 fps and then played back at 24.  The actors haven’t adjusted to this yet, so they’re still playing slower for 21-22 which makes the dialogue deadly slow.  Once again, we see that audiences in the silent days were used to seeing films played back slightly faster than they were shot.

This film has some very interesting set design and some interesting lighting, almost expressionistic.  It’s mostly lost in the prints we see today.

Despite the fact that the film has that deadly 1929 slow pacing, I note that director Richard Thorpe has put some interesting touches in it.  There’s a long shot in which Robert Frazier is tailed by Lafe McKee and William Burt.  It’s staged to show off the set and so that we get a sense of distance between McKee and Frazier, but it’s all done in one shot with no cutting.  There’s not a second where nothing is happening onscreen, but it’s done very economically.

Mascot used black slugs (pieces of leader) to resynchronize shots that had drifted out of sync.  I’ve seen this in The Devil Horse (1931), The Whispering Shadow (1933) and The Phantom Empire (1935).  I could have taken them out, but it’s part of the Mascot “feel” and “history,” so I left them in.  There are several in Chapter 10.

There’s a little throwaway line in which Lafe McKee refers to Robert Frazier as “black boy.”  It’s 1929 racism.  I left it in (you probably wouldn’t have noticed if I’d cut it.)

Q16: You were talking about donor restrictions.  Do you mean that the donor of the film restricted access to the films after donating them?

That’s exactly what I mean.

Q17: You mean that we spend taxpayer money housing and cooling films that the donors won’t let us see?

I do mean that, yes.  And that’s the topic of another blog post.  Remember, I don’t make the rules.  I just live with them.

Welcome to Brazil, Mr. Bond

If you didn’t read my last blog post, James Bond Meets King of the Kongo, then you won’t understand this post at all, so you’d be well-advised to go back and read that one first.

When we last left the saga, it looked as if our hero, the film preservationist, was in a dire predicament. The film looked as if it would not be saved, the Kickstarter grant was compromised at best.

In desperation, he stares at the ceiling of the cavernous room, hoping against hope that someone, anyone, can rush in and save him. The odds are overwhelming and he’s just one man. Then, against all the odds, through a shower of bullets, a group of gray-clad ninjas breaks through the roof, sliding down on thin ropes to rush in and give the hero the hope he so desperately needs.

It’s the end of You Only Live Twice (1967), and James Bond has been rescued by the ninjas. He goes on to defeat Blofeld, blow up a volcano, save the space program, and avert global thermonuclear war.

But that same description also fits the end of Brazil (1985), at which point our hero, Sam Lowry, has lost all grip on reality and fantasizes about a rescue that will not, and cannot come.

And me, well, I wasn’t sure quite which one I was.

My options had shrunken to one, and my funding was almost zero. I’d been criticized by a serial preservation group, and betrayed by a friend. Frankly, things looked pretty dire. I had fashioned a note apologizing to my grant donors explaining the situation and offering a partial refund.

My last hope seemed to be teetering on the edge… I’d had an intrepid envoy, who I’ll identify as Cinerama Jones, to the last remaining lab that could do the work I needed, and I got a call that he’d been admitted to the emergency room with a raging fever and an out-of-control white cell count.

I’d been pinning a lot of hope on this project, because I find it distressing that archives are only funded to do high-profile restorations. Well, King of the Kongo is about as low-profile as it gets. It’s historically significant, interesting for some of the cast that appears, but, honestly, it’s not a landmark piece of cinema, and we only have about 1/10 of the sound for the whole serial.

But that doesn’t make it any less cool. I was hoping to parlay this into doing more restorations of little niche films like this, but I knew there was no hope if I had to crawl out of this one.

I was really bummed and pretty cranky. Many of my friends will agree that I was cranky! Then, interesting things started to happen. It was very strange.

First, the gentleman I identified as Red Grant read the previous installment and recognized himself. He emailed me, and I ignored him, and then he called (I don’t have caller ID… I still have a LAND LINE!) so I picked up. He carefully explained that his demand for copying rare film in exchange for doing King of the Kongo was only a joke. He apologized profusely. I have to give him that.

He’s known for somewhat “edgy” jokes, but that one was over the edge. The bottom line was that he was serious about not being able to do the work, so the only real difference was that one way I was cheesed off and without a film, and the other way I was just without a film.

It’s actually more severe than that.  Red’s failure to do what I’d asked him to do has cost Silent Cinema (see below) a lot of money and me a lot of headaches.  Woody Allen has a rule, “90% of success is just showing up.”  I’ve got a corollary: “The rest of success is doing what you said you would do.”  Of course, Red’s counter to that was that he didn’t realize that I was on a tight deadline and that caused the whole problem.  We can go around and around on that… but the deadline is clearly outlined in the Kickstarter proposal for all to see.

Should I forgive Red or not? I’m not sure. I do have another rule, “Never ascribe malice to anything that could be explained by stupidity.” And this, well, this is stupid. Maybe I will forgive him. I’ll have to cool off first, though.

Struggling valiantly against a fluctuating fever and accompanying weakness, Cinerama Jones managed to get a deal struck with the lab, and he also found some funding to get the film transfer done. Now, this all happened simultaneously with the deal in Italy failing because I couldn’t find a good way to get the files to him, a lab in Maryland outpricing me, and Red Grant’s calling. I have to say I wasn’t optimistic that anything could be worked out, but I had some good people on my side.

Cinerama Jones arranged for Silent Cinema Presentations, Inc, a great group that I’ve worked with many times, to donate the completion funds , as well as finding a kindly anonymous donor, who thought the project was cool, to kick in some cash at the last minute.

The whole thing meant I had to do an elaborate re-rendering of all the credits and some other technical bits, which seems always to take tons of time, but on Friday I sent off Kongo to Metropolis Film Labs, where it will be converted back to film. They haven’t received it yet, so I just have to hope what I sent them works well.

There’s still some talk about Kongo appearing on a major TV network, and whether that will happen or not is up in the air.

I’m also hoping to put the restored print in as part of an episode of Dr. Film. That still may happen. I’m working on a grant to make more Dr. Film episodes. Whether that will happen is also an open question; statistically it’s rather doubtful, but we got Kongo going… maybe this will go too.

So what goes from here? Well, Kongo should still premiere at the Syracuse Cinefest, thanks to Silent Cinema. We’re still looking at distribution channels forDr. Film, and Kongo should appear on that. Dr. Film may appear on an independent station, or it may yet make it to a major national network, or it may not appear at all. Right now, we just don’t know.

Stay tuned.

IMG_0466
My buddy Carl at Fedex shot this picture of me with messy hair (as usual) as I sent off the files to Metropolis Film Labs.

 

James Bond Meets The King of the Kongo

I’ve always said that collecting and restoring film is like James Bond without the women.  You have international intrigue, shady characters, plots and crossplots and unexpected villains.  This is an idea that isn’t unique to me, however, since “Wild Bill” Everson came up with a movie serial parody that was actually produced as Captain Celluloid Vs. The Film Pirates (1965).  There’s also a famous anonymously written USENET parody about film collectors that was surreptitiously posted several years ago on alt.movies.silent that is formatted as an actual James Bond film.

But once again, fantasy is outpaced by reality.  Let me preface this, as I always do, by stating that I’m not making any of this up.  I’ve changed the names to protect the innocent and the guilty, but I didn’t fabricate anything.

kongo2

In August, I put up a Kickstarter campaign to restore one episode of King of the Kongo (1929).  Many of you regular readers will remember that this is the first sound serial ever, and that I have a 16mm silent print of the entire serial, but only three reels of the sound are, well, accessible.  These are on Vitaphone discs, which were carefully transferred by Ron Hutchinson at The Vitaphone project.  I use Ron’s real name because he’s a good guy, and I have nothing bad or controversial to say about him whatsoever.

I’d been working with another fellow who shall, however, remain anonymous.  I had advised him on setting up a computer-to-film conversion process and even did a considerable amount of help for him in getting some Cinemascope conversions done digitally.  He quoted me a very nice price on getting the restoration printed to film.  I knew this was important because I’d promised to premiere the restoration at the Syracuse Cinefest, and they need the film on 16mm.  For the sake of this posting, we’ll refer to this gentleman as Red Grant, to use a Bond name… and it’s actually fitting.

As I was preparing the Kickstarter project, I posted a notice about it with a group that is dedicated to the preservation of serials.  Let’s refer to them as SPECTRE.  Now, innocent me, I thought if I was preserving a serial, then I was on the same side as SPECTRE.  Not so, my friends.  It seems that SPECTRE wants to do its own restoration of King of the Kongo and that they felt what I was doing was a waste of time and effort.  Again, innocent me, I thought, gee, we’ll pool our resources and share what we’ve got to do the best job possible.  It seems that the SPECTRE chief just wanted me to go away, because he “knew where a 35mm of Kongo was located,” and he “knew of the existence of several more discs.”  He didn’t actually have any of this stuff, whereas I had all of my materials, but he knew where it was, you see.  And I was competing with him, at least from his standpoint.

This aspect of collecting is one that still infuriates me.  I guess SPECTRE didn’t really want to restore King of the Kongo, but they wanted the credit for restoring it.  Knowing where something is and having it are two very different things.  I know where more Kongo discs are, too, but they are in the hands of a reclusive collector who thinks he has something worth a lot of money.  And that’s more money than it’s worth, more money than you could ever raise from selling copies, and basically pointless.  The fact that SPECTRE was actually rallying cries against me and hoping for my failure in the face of their own inability to obtain materials is just confusing.  I am reminded of Samuel Peeples’ line, which, in summation, says that this kind of reasoning is like “trying to bisect a sneeze.”

So, I got the grant (thank you again, donors), and I had a company do the scanning for me that did a bang-up job.  The problem was that the print was banged-up, too.  Actually, it was the pre-print that was banged up, the 35mm nitrate that my print was copied from.  There were also a few sections that were printed out-of-frame, a Mascot Serials trademark that I hadn’t noticed in my quick-and-dirty transfer done on my home equipment.  As archivist DJ Turner has said, “Sometimes [a high-resolution transfer] doesn’t do these old films any favors.”

This is an unretouched title frame from the scan
This is an unretouched title frame from the scan
This is a frame from the restoration (Quicktime oopsie at bottom!)
This is a frame from the restoration (Quicktime oopsie at bottom!)

I had to do a lot of surgery on Kongo to make it look halfway right.  I could keep spending time on it, hand-tweaking it even more, but it actually looks fairly good now.  I matted out the out-of-frame sections, rebalanced the black-and-white contrast on a shot-by-shot basis.  I hadn’t counted on the huge slow-down such a thing would cause my computer, but it was a massive computing task.  Red Grant had told me that he’d need the file by early December, so that was my goal.

I worked extensively with David Wood (a good guy, so I’ll use his name.)  Dave is the equivalent of Q in this story.  In fairness, I was the picture Q and Dave was the audio Q.  Dave asked me a question I thought no one would ever ask me: “Was this transferred with an RIAA curve or a Vitaphone curve?”  Well, I knew Ron had done the transfer work, but knowing curves was a pretty arcane thing that I wouldn’t expect most people to know.  It turns out that the needle and transfer arm of a record player are calibrated to a certain equalization curve, much like you’d use on your stereo.  Dave had discovered that there was an official Vitaphone curve (something I never knew).  So he applied an inverse RIAA curve and then a Vitaphone curve, and the sound was vastly improved.  He also matched the speed with the footage I had.

Now, if you understand what I just said, then you have some recording knowledge, and it will impress you.  If you didn’t understand it, then please come away with a vague sense of awe for what Dave was able to accomplish.

I had to do a little minor surgery on the sound, but it basically fit, and I married track to picture and watched the results.  Pretty good!

Then I sent a hard drive to Red Grant.  Red took his time getting back to me. Before all else, he denied ever knowing about a time deadline, which I had clearly outlined in both the Kickstarter project and in emails to him.  Then he said he was having problems with the soundtrack, and then he couldn’t do it.  He promised to look into an alternate way of doing the soundtrack.  Fine.

This made me panic.  As part of the project, I’d promised to produce a film print.  I started looking for other places.  I posted on international film groups.  I found a place in Norway, a place in Germany, a place in Italy, and a place in NY that sounded like they could do it.

I’d specified 16mm output, but most of the places I contacted were limited to 35mm output.  Only two places, a guy in Italy (we’ll call him Largo) and a film lab in NY (we’ll call him Felix Leiter) could do the 16mm that I needed.

Meanwhile, back to Red Grant.

Just before Christmas, I heard from him.  I’d asked him if he could do anything to expedite the process… anything.  Then I got the answer.

Mr. Grant told me that he’d be happy to expedite the process.  All I’d have to do would be to send him some rare footage that I’d promised not to let out of my hands.  See, I have this problem… when I promise someone something, I keep the promise.   If I treat someone shabbily, then I’m not likely to hear back from them in the future.  I always figure the right way to treat people is on the straight and narrow.  (And that way I get more film, which is what I want anyway!)

So Red Grant, knowing that I had some material I would not let him copy, and sensing that I was over a barrel, figured he could blackmail me into giving him some rare film.   He also didn’t count on one thing: I’m a pretty easy guy to get along with, but when you try to screw me over, as Red Grant did, I’ll crawl through the depths of hell with infected knees before I’ll let you win.  In short, he’s not getting anything from me… ever.

But the drama isn’t over.  You see, Felix Leiter wants four times the money I had allotted to make the print, and Largo only speaks English through fractured Italian, so getting him a file as large as Kongo is a problem.  Also, Largo only makes a color positive print, whereas I’d stipulated a black and white negative.  Largo’s price is quite reasonable, but it’s not the product I need.

In the meantime, I sent a special envoy to talk to Felix Leiter, hoping that he could be talked down from the stratosphere of budget breaking.  That’s not gone well, either, since my special envoy just had to go to the hospital emergency room.

(Deleted here is a long Bondian sub-plot involving TV network head George Kaplan and the possibility of showing Kongo and even the Dr. Film show on national TV.  Trust me, it’s real… if you want to know about it, post a message in the comments or on the Dr. Film Facebook page.)

So how does this end?  Who will make the print?  Will it be Largo or Felix Leiter?  Will the print be finished in time for the Syracuse Cinefest?  Does George Kaplan exist? Will Kongo appear on his network or another one, and what of the fate of the mysterious Dr. Film?  Will James Bond be able to rescue the secret formula from the clutches of… oh, wait.

I really have no idea how this will end.  A lot of this is out of my hands.  I can only tell you that if it follows the pattern we’ve had so far, it will be dramatic, twisty, and unpredictable.  Welcome to my world.

Followup: Don’t miss continuing adventures as this plot continues to thicken.  Here is the next article in the series: Welcome to Brazil, Mr. Bond!

Kongo Speaks! Karloff Clams Up!

I had an interesting conversation last year at a film convention.  I had brought a chapter of King of the Kongo (1929), which didn’t go over especially well.  That’s not a surprise; it’s not particularly good.  Most of the Mascot serials aren’t particularly good.  They’re a lot of fun, full of action, and most of them don’t make a lot of sense.  This was where the conversation came in.

It’s known that King of the Kongo was film was released in both silent and sound versions.  I’d seen another version of the serial on VHS tape, and it trumpeted the serial’s theme song, “Love Thoughts of You.”  My print didn’t say this.  With this missing, I simply assumed that I’d gotten the silent print.

Not so, said the gentleman speaking to me.  How could I ignore the fact that there were long stretches of film that showed actors speaking–without intertitles?  The film didn’t make any sense!  I figured that the producer sent out the same print regardless of who ordered it, and if it was for a silent show, then he just didn’t ship the sound discs.

King of the Kongo was produced as a sound-on-disc film, which meant that the sound had to be played back from a set of records that accompany the film.  There are tons of these films that were made in the early sound era.  The problem is that in order to see the films today, it’s necessary to have a copy of both the picture and the discs.  By early 1931, all films went to the easier-to-use optical soundtracks that we still use today.  (Well, they’re similar… no hostile notes please.)

The gentleman went on to tell me that he knew of collectors who had sound discs for King of the Kongo and, to top it off, several people told me of the legend that “a reclusive collector” had the complete serial on film.

That reclusive collector is yours truly.  Many years ago, in 1989 to be exact, I bought a 16mm print of King of the Kongo from a collector named JM Gillis.  (I can use his name because he’s deceased now.)  He was liquidating a collection of films he’d amassed since the 1950s.

I wanted King of the Kongo because it was historically important (it was the first sound serial), and because I love Boris Karloff.  I bought it even knowing the print was silent.  Other people wanted it, so it went for a premium.  Even though it was licensed by a video company, I never made my money back on it; they didn’t sell very many copies.  No one was ever interested in putting it out on DVD, much less Blu-Ray.

Gillis told me that he’d had a guy make several 16mm reduction prints from 35mm back in the late 1950s.   It was that song credit for “Love Thoughts of You” that kept bothering me. I wondered if the lab technician who’d made Kongo just snipped it out because he didn’t have the discs.

As I mulled it over, I wondered if the guy at the film convention had been right all along. I might have the sound version, but with the song credit removed.  That would explain the long sections without dialogue.  It would also explain why I was never able to make heads or tails of the plot.

The idea occurred to me that it might be possible to test my theory by getting access to some of the extant sound discs.  I contacted Ron Hutchison at The Vitaphone Project, which is dedicated to finding lost movie sound discs.  It’s named for the Vitaphone process that pioneered the successful sound-on-disc movies in the 1920s. Ron told me that he had material for 3 reels of King of the Kongo.  He was more than happy to make me CDs of them.

The complete serial is 21 reels!  He had only 3: Chapter 5, reel 1 and 2, and Chapter 6, reel 2.

I went to the basement and grabbed the two chapters involved.  I quickly transferred Chapter 5 to video and loaded it into my snazzy new computer.  With a few minutes of work, I saw that I could roughly get a dialogue scene to work in the first reel.  It was going to have to be done all by hand, not by calculation: my print had some splices in it, and was missing a few frames at the end each reel.  The length of the soundtrack proved that the credit for “Love Thoughts of You” had indeed been chopped out.  The sound was about fifteen seconds longer than the actual reel, just enough time for the missing title.

The lab work on this particular chapter was pretty bad.  It was dark and hard to see.  I loaded it into a video enhancement program and corrected it the best I could.  That way I could at least see the lip movements.  I sent the audio to sound king Dave Wood; he scrubbed it and got it resynchronized until it looked OK.

The results?  Well, with about 15 hours of work, I have a complete, restored Chapter 5.  The serial is not a great work of art, but it never was.  The sound sequences give the story a lot more clarity!  It appears that they had already finished the serial as a silent and then added one talking sequence in each reel.  The rest is silent with the original 1929 score on the discs.

I felt sorry for the actors.  In the early days of talking films, the microphone was heavy and nailed down. Later on, as microphones got lighter, and mike booms were invented, the sound man could follow the actor.  In Kongo, the microphone is in one place and the actors have to dive for it to say their lines. Immediately, they must move away for the next poor guy.  Quality acting is out the window.  The idea is to get through the scene without having to stop and cut. Incidentally, Boris Karloff has no lines in the available sound footage, although he’s highly visible in the rest of the chapter.

And then the song.  “Love Thoughts of You?”  What is this doing in here?  It has no place in an action serial.  The song is pleasant enough, sung by a typical 1920s tenor, but it clashes with the hard-edged African atmosphere of the rest of the film.  It even distracts the cliffhangers.  Typically, when the hero is in dire peril at the end of the chapter, the music swells dramatically and we cut to the “Don’t Miss the Next Chapter” title card.  Not here.  As Walter Miller is charged by the baddies, the title fades up, accompanied by a bubbly instrumental of, yes, you guessed it, “Love Thoughts of You.”

I have no idea if any archive has a better print of King of the Kongo.  I’m certain that it’s not high on anyone’s restoration list.  I doubt that my material is good enough to make a proper restoration on archival film.  Next year, there may be a world premiere special showing of the complete chapter–on video.  And you can see two clips of the dialogue sequences here.

How’s that for a so-called reclusive collector?  That’s a discussion for another day. Call me crazy… I think this material should be seen!