Restored ‘Star Is Born’ to Kick Off TCM Classic Film Festival

Inaugural Hollywood-set event also will offer restored “Metropolis.”

Last Updated: November 18, 2009 @ 11:25 AM

The world premiere of a newly restored version of George Cukor’s "A Star Is Born" will be the opening-night event of TCM’s Classic Film Festival on April 22 in Hollywood, part of the fest’s overall theme of celebrating Hollywood’s history.

Also during the inaugural festival, which runs through April 25, TCM will present the North American premiere of a restoration of Fritz Lang’s 1927 "Metropolis" and a 50th-anniversary screening of "Breathless," the French classic that launched director Jean-Luc Godard’s career. "Breathless" will be seen in a new print thanks to Rialto Pictures.

Passes for the festival are on sale now at www.tcm.com/festival.

The new version of "A Star Is Born" is the first major restoration of the film since 1983. The digitally restored version was created by scanning original negatives, resulting in better picture quality of all elements of the 1983 restoration, with deeper and richer color.

The new version of "Metropolis" gained 30 minutes of additional footage unseen since the film’s 1927 Berlin premiere, thanks to the discovery in 2008 of a 16mm negative in Buenos Aires. The Murnau Foundation has described this nearly complete copy of Lang’s 204-minute original as the authoritative version of the film.

The newly reconstructed "Metropolis" features scenes that flesh out supporting characters, fill in previously jarring gaps in the plot and provide additional back story.

At the festival, the music score for "Metropolis" will be performed live by the Alloy Orchestra, a three-man musical ensemble that will be marking its 20th year writing and performing live accompaniment to classic silent films.

Among many special guests scheduled to participate in the festival are filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich and film critic Leonard Maltin.

Oscar-winning visual effects artist Douglas Trumbull will take part in a discussion as part of a screening of Stanley Kubrick’s "2001: A Space Odyssey."

TCM weekend-daytime host Ben Mankiewicz will take part in introducing films during the festival. 

“The TCM Classic Film Festival is shaping up to be a truly amazing event, with rare cinematic treats and many chances to hear from classic film stars and knowledgeable experts,” said TCM host and film historian Robert Osborne, who will serve as the official host for the festival. “This is the kind of celebration classic film fans have been dreaming about for years, and everyone at TCM is proud to bring that dream to life.”

 Also as part of the event, TCM is partnering with Vanity Fair to commemorate the publication of "Vanity Fair’s Tales of Hollywood" (Penguin Books), edited by Graydon Carter. Special panels will feature writers from the magazine, along with actors and filmmakers who will tell behind-the-scenes stories of many of Hollywood’s greatest films. 

The festival’s hub will be Club TCM, to be located inside the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard. Event locations include the nearby Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and the Egyptian Theatre.

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