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Screen Media Group Presents: Renaissance: Reclaiming Borowczyk

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Today, the work of the painter, sculptor and filmmaker Walerian Borowczyk (1923 – 2006) is relatively unknown by contemporary filmgoers. Borowczyk’s reputation as an ‘artistic soft pornographer’ is due to the availability of his sexually explicit works of the 1970s (Contes immoraux, La Bête), and the unavailability of his short films (Renaissance, Les jeux des anges) and early features (Théâtre de M et Mme Kabal, Goto, l’île d’amour). However, this last year there has been an attempt to reclaim Borowczyk as a major figure in film history by transferring and restoring these early works from the 1960s. This presentation, which coincides with a retrospective of Borowczyk’s films at the BFI and ICA (complete with an exhibition of works on paper and sculptures) and the imminent release of a DVD /Blu-ray box set of his early films, recounts the story of rehabilitation through restoration. Special attention will be given to the condition of the original film elements and the process of scanning. It will also address questions regarding restoration, colour timing and film grain. The presentation will be illustrated by clips revealing films at different levels of restoration, and will end with a screening of Renaissance (1963).

This talk is part of the Cambridge Screen Media Group series.

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