It is estimated that over 90% of silent films have been lost, and of those that do survive, many exist only in poor copies. Ernst Lubitsch’s first American film “Rosita” starring Mary Pickford has come down to us only in a badly damaged print discovered in the Soviet archives and repatriated by The Museum of Modern Art in the 1970s. Nearly 50 years later, new digital tools have made it possible to restore “Rosita” to something close to its original appearance. MoMA curator Dave Kehr explains what went into the three year-long restoration of “Rosita,” the story of why Pickford turned against the film in the years after its release, and how audiences and filmmakers today still have much to learn from silent films.
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Footage of United Artists contract signing © Roy Export Company Ltd. https://youtu.be/yEBZU_KHSM0
The comments and opinions expressed in this video are those of the speaker alone, and do not represent the views of The Museum of Modern Art, its personnel, or any artist.
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