Announcing For the Love of Film (Noir): The Film Preservation Blogathon

By Marilyn Ferdinand

When Farran Nehme (The Self-Styled Siren) and I first started talking about doing a fundraising blogathon for film preservation, we didn’t know how much interest we would generate. Our choice of charity to support, the National Film Preservation Foundation, concentrates a great deal of its attention on rescuing the most endangered American films—silent films. And love for silent films is rabid, but not widespread.

Happily, when the blogathon was over, we’d found that a lot of people did indeed love silent films: we raised $30,000 in donations and matching funds and fielded 108 contributions from 81 bloggers. Furthermore, everyone who participated in the blogathon was so excited about our collective accomplishment and receiving credit for saving two important shorts from the 1910s, that we couldn’t not consider having another one.

We’re pleased to announce our second fundraiser, For the Love of Film (Noir), to benefit the Film Noir Foundation. If you’ve been as lucky as I have to attend the FNF’s Noir City, you know they present a terrific line-up, including lesser-known noir films that can’t be seen any other way. This summer, I was thrilled to see a film FNF president Eddie Muller wrote about for the first For the Love of Film blogathon, Cry Danger, as well as City That Never Sleeps, a noir shot in my own hometown, on the only 35mm print known to exist.

While silent films are most in danger, films from every era are being lost as prints disintegrate and disappear. You might be able to find some obscure noir films on an old VHS tape or recorded off TV, the print scratchy, missing scenes, or studded with commercials. That’s no way to treat a film. There is simply nothing like seeing these films the way they were meant to be seen. By helping the FNF, you will be supporting the important preservation and exhibition work they do, not only for American noir films, but also for those produced all over the world.

Last year, we didn’t know what films we would be helping to restore, but this year, we do! In 1950, United Artists released a searing drama called The Sound of Fury, aka Try and Get Me. The film recounts the same story Fritz Lang told in Fury (1936) and was directed by Cy Endfield, who would run afoul of the Hollywood blacklist. Its star, Lloyd Bridges, never had a better role, and Eddie told me that when Jeff and Beau Bridges finally saw the film, they were blown away by his performance. A nitrate print of the film will be restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive, using a reference print from Martin Scorsese’s personal collection to guide them and fill in any blanks. Paramount Pictures, which now owns the film, has agreed to help fund the restoration, but FNF is going to have to come up with significant funds to get the job done. That’s where we come in.

I know everyone loves noir, and that noir crosses all borders of time and place. That gives everyone a large choice of topics, and we hope bloggers far and wide will join in what is bound to be a gigantic party. Once again, we’ll be offering helpful advice and taking suggestions from the film community on the For the Love of Film Facebook fan page, which we’ll be adding to regularly. Become a fan, and take a look around in the coming weeks for suggestions of topics, discussions about the blogathon, information about film preservation, and a lot more. And go to the For the Love of Film blog, where Cinema Styles’ Greg Ferrara has posted the banners he created for use on your own blog and Facebook page to promote participation and awareness.

We’ll have raffle prizes again this year, and perhaps a few more surprises. And seeing as the season of giving is upon us, think about making a donation to the FNF during this tax year. The more we all give, the more films they can preserve and exhibit.

For the love of film . . . please support The Film Preservation Blogathon.l

  • Greg Ferrara spoke:
    22nd/11/2010 to 9:19 am

    I’m very excited to once again be a part of this and hope we get an even bigger response than the first one. I’d like to do several posts on noir including a video or two and look forward to reading the wide variety of entries I know this blogathon will bring in.

  • Marilyn spoke:
    22nd/11/2010 to 9:37 am

    Greg – Once again, you’ve produced some terrific banners, and your video work and original music for them are always a treat. I can’t wait to see what you come up with this year!

  • Sam Juliano spoke:
    22nd/11/2010 to 9:51 am

    It looks like it will turn out to be a resounding success once again!

    I’ll be here!

  • Marilyn spoke:
    22nd/11/2010 to 9:53 am

    Good on ya, Sam. And thanks for the mention on Wonders in the Dark – you’re better than the bush telegraph at spreading the news!

  • Peter Nellhaus spoke:
    22nd/11/2010 to 9:59 am

    WooHoo! And I predict bigger than last year.

  • Marilyn spoke:
    22nd/11/2010 to 10:06 am

    Thanks, Peter. Feel free to write about Asian noir. I think that would be SO interesting!

  • Tinky Weisblat spoke:
    22nd/11/2010 to 11:40 am

    Oh, my goodness, I will have to think film noir–and a film noir recipe. Maybe a very dark chocolate cake? Or a zebra cake? Much planning to do. What fun. Thanks for doing the work again, gals.

  • Marilyn spoke:
    22nd/11/2010 to 11:49 am

    Oh my, zebra cake sounds great. Might have to change the name to Venetian blinds cake. Always glad of the first blogathon ’cause that’s how we met, Tinky!

  • Vanwall spoke:
    22nd/11/2010 to 12:13 pm

    Dames. All alike, ‘cept you two – lookin’ forward to dark corners, dark haired “Bennett” gals, and dark souls. Yum.

  • Marilyn spoke:
    22nd/11/2010 to 12:18 pm

    This blogathon is already turning out to be the most fun yet, and it hasn’t even started!

  • DeeDee spoke:
    22nd/11/2010 to 3:16 pm

    Hi! Marilyn and Sam Juliano…
    This sounds very, very interesting and the banners look really, really nice too!

    Fortunately, I have to only add the banners made by Greg Ferrara, to my blog.

    Unfortunately, I have never watched the film “The Sound Of Fury” aka “Try and Get Me.” Therefore, I must seek this film to watch too!

    Here’s wishing…you, Farran Nehme (The Self-Styled Siren) Greg Ferrara, author Eddie Muller, Anita Monga, (Sp) and his entire staff over there at The Film Noir Foundation.
    Good luck!
    with this blogathon too!

    Thanks, for sharing!
    DeeDee ;-D

  • Marilyn spoke:
    22nd/11/2010 to 6:54 pm

    DeeDee – Nice to see you mosey over here, and thanks so much for your good wishes. It’s going to be fun, so I hope you’ll join in.

  • Eddie Muller spoke:
    23rd/11/2010 to 10:36 am

    Marilyn—I was going to say “How can we ever thank you,” when I realized that the perfect way is to restore THE SOUND OF FURY to its original pristine glory and have you and Farran at the World Re-Premiere, taking much deserved bows. This is very exciting, and I can’t wait to see what fabulous ruminations emerge from the blogathon. Thanks so much for doing this—and for realizing that donations to the FNF go directly, and immediately, to film restoration. There are very few paid staff here… we put our money where the films are.

  • Marilyn spoke:
    23rd/11/2010 to 10:49 am

    Eddie – WE thank YOU for giving all of us in the film community a chance to do good. The work FNF does is so important, and the pleasure and enlightenment I’ve personally experienced watching the films you’ve shown at Noir City is something I treasure. I certainly hope we can be at the repremiere to welcome this film back where it belongs.

  • Steve-O spoke:
    24th/11/2010 to 6:15 am

    How can I resist! Please let me know when and how to post when the blogathon starts… Should I post at my site… or submit something here?

    I’ll put up one of the banners at Back Alley Noir and Noir of the Week for now.

  • Bob Fergusson spoke:
    24th/11/2010 to 7:24 am

    I’m there. Just need to make my way up the rain-slicked streets, past the shuttered store windows, up the worn out steps, and into my one room flop to settle down with a bottle of whiskey, and start thinking about my post.

  • Marilyn spoke:
    24th/11/2010 to 8:47 am

    Steve-O – It’s an honor to have you here, and wonderful that you’re going to join in the party! During the blogathon week, simply post on your site as usual, but let me and Farran know the link so we can put it on the host page. That way, people have a main “table of contents” to use to read the contributions. Of course, you’ll need to post the “donate” link as well. If you are on Facebook, fan up with the For the Love of Film page, and read the notes. There’s one that explains what a blogathon is and how it works.

    Bob – Don’t forget the raw egg for when you wake up with a head on.

  • Brian Darr spoke:
    24th/11/2010 to 4:18 pm

    Very excited for this. It was a thrill to see the blog-a-thon-funded the Better Man on the Castro Theatre screen at the San Francisco Silent Film Fesitval this summer. It was a natural to tie the Film Noir Foundation and the For the Love Of Film Blog-A-Thon in my own piece last February, so it’s terrific to see that noir will be the beneficiary of next year’s ‘thon! I love to prospect of finally being able to watch Try and Get Me (which Jonathan Rosenbaum included in his AFI 100 alternate list), hopefully at the Castro Theatre at Noir City 10 in 2012! In the meantime, I think I know just what I’ll write about this year. It may finally be time to talk about the film that inspired my blog’s name…

  • Marilyn spoke:
    24th/11/2010 to 5:09 pm

    Brian, I have not yet seen the films we funded, so I’m jealous. I’m very glad you intend to participate again – your writing is always a huge treat!

  • DeeDee spoke:
    3rd/12/2010 to 7:32 pm

    Hi! Marilyn…
    Congratulation! on being featured (along with the Self-Styled Siren) in the current issue Of author Eddie [Muller] The Noir City “Sentinel” Which I just received when I checked my email…Once again…Congrats! you and Farran Nehme (The Self-Styled Siren) deserve it!
    Take care!
    DeeDee ;-D

  • Marilyn spoke:
    4th/12/2010 to 10:10 am

    Thanks, DeeDee. I knew the article would be in this issue, but I had no idea Eddie would give up his space to it. Very pleasant surprise, to say the least!

  • Maryann spoke:
    31st/12/2010 to 2:51 pm

    I just found your site today while searching for info on ‘”The Nun’s Story” and was pleased as punch that I did. Thank you, Marilyn, for starting this intelligent, well written and comprehensive film blog which encompasses all the decades.

    I can’t wait to see what the Blogathon is because film noir is my favorite genre. I am not a blogger myself, nor a writer, but will love to see what everyone else has to say and pick up on some movie ideas to rent, if available.

  • Marilyn spoke:
    31st/12/2010 to 3:09 pm

    Thanks for the compliment, Maryann, and we’re happy to have you reading us. I’m sure there will be a lot of great posts for the blogathon, so get ready!

  • Bob Fergusson spoke:
    10th/01/2011 to 9:39 pm

    Marilyn,
    So here is what I want to do for my Noir blogathon submission: I will be featuring lines/quotes by actresses from twenty or so films, coupled with a screen capture from the scene where the line was delivered. It should give a pretty good summation of the hard/hard luck side of the distaff characters.
    Does this work for you guys?

  • Caroline spoke:
    18th/01/2011 to 7:51 pm

    So any blogger can contribute to this? And we can write on any noir-related topic, including reviews of specific films? Will there be a post where we can submit our contributions?

  • Marilyn spoke:
    18th/01/2011 to 9:30 pm

    Caroline – Exactly. You’re welcome to post as much as you like on any noir- or preservation-related topic, including reviews. All we ask is that you provide us with a link to each post so that we can include it on the home page for the blogathon and most Important, that you include the donate link on your post(s). Click here to see how it went last year.

  • Caroline spoke:
    18th/01/2011 to 11:40 pm

    Thanks so much for clarifying, Marilyn! I’m a new-ish blogger (obviously — not very familiar with the mechanics of blogathons yet) but I’ll definitely be contributing. 🙂

  • Stu spoke:
    20th/01/2011 to 6:51 pm

    I’m hot off of a James Bond blogathon and currently enrolled in a detective fiction course. This couldn’t come at a better time or be closer to my heart. Count me in!

  • Marilyn spoke:
    20th/01/2011 to 6:58 pm

    Fantastic, Stu. Can’t wait to read your contribution.

  • Betty Jo Tucker spoke:
    23rd/01/2011 to 8:55 am

    I would love to participate again this year, Marilyn!

    I hope to submit my review of “It’s a Bitter Little World,” a wonderful film noir book by Charles Pappas, plus a couple of posts about “One in the Gun” and “Cat City,” two fairly new indie noir movies.

  • Beth Ann spoke:
    31st/01/2011 to 2:52 pm

    I followed and enjoyed last year’s blogathon, and I would love to participate this year. I’ll start thinking of topics.

  • Darren spoke:
    1st/02/2011 to 3:22 pm

    Hi Ferdy! I only just found this. If it’s not too late, I wouldn’t mind taking part. However, I’m not quite an expert when it comes to classic noir. Would neo-noir (everything from Insomnia to Brick to Bladerunner) come under the bracket?

  • Marilyn spoke:
    1st/02/2011 to 3:28 pm

    Darren – Of course. We are hoping noir films of every shape, size, and age are included. I love Insomnia especially. Expertise is optional – passion is more important!

  • Susan spoke:
    7th/02/2011 to 4:28 pm

    Hi
    This sounds like a terrific idea and a terrific cause. Count me in.

  • Marilyn spoke:
    7th/02/2011 to 4:37 pm

    Great, Susan. Will you be blogging on Movie Morlocks or at the Facets blog?

  • Dennis Cozzalio spoke:
    8th/02/2011 to 12:20 pm

    Marilyn: I’m late getting to this, as I have been with just about everything in the last few months, but I’ll be taking part as well. I suspect I’ll be writing about STRANGER ON THE THIRD FLOOR, but I won’t necessarily restrict myself to that. We’ll see what comes up! But thanks to you and Farran for swinging this wonderful event. With this and last year’s preservation affair, you’ve really taken the blog-a-thon concept to a new and important level. Thanks!

  • Marilyn spoke:
    8th/02/2011 to 12:33 pm

    Dennis – AWESOME! We’re so glad to have you and your elegant prose mixing it up with all the other great bloggers.

  • Ariel Schudson spoke:
    10th/02/2011 to 4:10 pm

    I’m really looking forward to challenging myself with this and hopefully raising as much money as possible for this amazing film! Look forward to reading all the great stuff that’s going to be turned out during this time, too!

  • Rob (as in SilentRobert) spoke:
    11th/02/2011 to 8:21 pm

    Count me in! I’m so sorry that I missed the boat last year (well, it would’ve helped if I’d had a blog) but at least I made a contribution. This year I intend to do both. On with the show!

  • Emma spoke:
    13th/02/2011 to 3:42 am

    What a lovely idea and senitment! I’d love to contribute.

  • The Flying Maciste Brothers spoke:
    13th/02/2011 to 7:16 pm

    Marilyn! The Flying Maciste Brothers will be blowing Phil Karlson’s THE PHENIX CITY STORY wide open at Destructible Man! Now, if we can only get to post it in the next few years… I suppose if Greg Ferrara over at Cinema Styles had declared a fundraiser along with his Ed Wood blog-a-thon (over a year ago), we might have finished our entry faster. But yours has distracted us from finishing that piece — we’ll try to get it in on time for once. Sorry Greg — just a few months more!

  • gary spoke:
    14th/02/2011 to 12:40 pm

    I missed the films this tear at noir city but would like to find out more about upcoming events . Many of the films are available on dvd . There used to ne a lost of films for purchase through the knitting circle. Are they still available.

  • Retro Hound spoke:
    14th/02/2011 to 7:22 pm

    How appropriate! I was just getting ready to post a review of The Maltese Falcon and I saw the blogathon info at Film Noir of the Week (Steve-O above). I’ll head over to FB and see how to get involved.

  • Jackie Jones spoke:
    14th/02/2011 to 11:03 pm

    I don’t currently have a blog either, but am very excited about sifting through all of the varied treasures that noir fans share during this time period. Its hard to make time to read all of the great noir blogs out there, this will help provide a mainstream place to learn a little, find more favorites, and help a truly worthy cause. Happy to make a contribution, as well.

  • Deborah Parsons spoke:
    16th/02/2011 to 5:41 pm

    Loving the Film Noir in Seattle this week with Eddie Muller hosting!

    Can you add a “Share this on Facebook” widget and an RSS feed, to make it easier to send my friends to your blog?

  • Darren spoke:
    17th/01/2012 to 3:53 am

    Hello. I’m probably a bit late. I’m wondering if there are plans for a similar fundraiser this year?

  • Roderick spoke:
    17th/01/2012 to 4:02 am

    Yes Darren. Announcements will be made in the next 1-2 weeks.

  • Aurora spoke:
    13th/04/2015 to 4:48 pm

    Hello Marilyn –

    I must congratulate you up front for leading this charge and co-hosting this event. Wonderful cause! I’d love to contribute a piece on Harry O. Hoyt’s THE LOST WORLD (1925), which was fairly recently restored.

    Let me know if that works for the event.

    Best,

    Aurora
    Once Upon a Screen (blog)
    @CitizenScreen

  • Marilyn spoke:
    14th/04/2015 to 3:10 pm

    Fabulous, Aurora. Happy to have you!

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