30 Years of The Film Foundation

30 Years of The Film Foundation

46 Episodes

In 1990, Martin Scorsese founded an organization whose stated mission told the world, in no uncertain terms, that movies matter, that the art of cinema and its history is a legacy worth preserving. Three decades later, The Film Foundation is an indispensable pillar of moving-image culture, helping to make possible over 850 restorations so far and raising much-needed awareness of the necessity of film preservation as central to the safeguarding of our cultural heritage. In recognition of thirty years of vital work, the Criterion Channel looks back at a selection of the many brilliant films that, thanks to the efforts of The Film Foundation, have been rescued from the ravages of time for future generations to discover. This series will expand over the next year, with new additions to be announced monthly.

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30 Years of The Film Foundation
  • Orgosolo’s Shepherds

    Episode 1

    Directed by Vittorio De Seta • 1958 • Italy

    The striking landscapes of rural Sardinia provide the backdrop to this lyrical look at the hardscrabble lives of the region’s shepherds in winter.

  • Fishing Boats

    Episode 2

    Directed by Vittorio De Seta • 1958 • Italy

    The unpredictable nature of the sea governs the world of Sicilian fishermen as they work, rest, and seek refuge from a storm.

  • The Music Room

    Episode 3

    Directed by Satyajit Ray • 1958 • India
    Starring Chhabi Biswas, Padma Devi, Pinaki Sen Gupta

    With THE MUSIC ROOM (JALSAGHAR), Satyajit Ray brilliantly evokes the crumbling opulence of the world of a fallen aristocrat (the beloved actor Chhabi Biswas) desperately clinging to a fading way of life....

  • Shadows

    Episode 4

    Directed by John Cassavetes • 1959 • United States
    Starring Lelia Goldoni, Anthony Ray, Hugh Hurd

    John Cassavetes’s directorial debut revolves around a romance in New York City between Lelia (Lelia Goldoni), a light- skinned black woman, and Tony (Anthony Ray), a white man. The relationship is p...

  • The Forgotten

    Episode 5

    Directed by Vittorio De Seta • 1959 • Italy

    Vittorio De Seta travels to a remote province in southern Italy to capture a unique celebration known as the “Feast of Silver.”

  • Primary

    Episode 6

    Directed by Robert Drew • 1960 • United States

    Robert Drew’s groundbreaking 1960 film PRIMARY is one of the most important and influential documentaries in the history of the medium. A pioneering work in the documentary movement that came to be known as cinéma vérité, PRIMARY follows the young c...

  • The Cloud-Capped Star

    Episode 7

    Directed by Ritwik Ghatak • 1960 • India
    Starring Supriya Choudhury, Anil Chatterjee, Bijon Bhattacharya

    Directed by the visionary Bengali filmmaker Ritwik Ghatak, THE CLOUD-CAPPED STAR tells the story of a family who have been uprooted by the Partition of India and come to depend on their eldes...

  • The Connection

    Episode 8

    Directed by Shirley Clarke • 1961 • United States
    Starring Warren Finnerty, Jerome Raphel, Garry Goodrow

    Shirley Clarke made a splash—and ignited a landmark censorship case—with her controversial feature debut, an innovative adaptation of Jack Gelber’s off-Broadway play in which the line between...

  • Salvatore Giuliano

    Episode 9

    Directed by Francesco Rosi • 1962 • Italy

    July 5, 1950--Sicilian bandit Salvatore Giuliano's bullet-riddled corpse is found facedown in a courtyard in Castelvetrano, a handgun and rifle by his side. Local and international press descend upon the scene, hoping to crack open the true story behind ...

  • Borom sarret

    Episode 10

    Directed by Ousmane Sembène • 1963 • Senegal

    This groundbreaking short film, which won first prize at the 1963 Touris Film Festival in France, was the directorial debut of Ousmane Sembène.

    Restored in 2013 by the Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory and Éclair, in association wit...

  • Black Girl

    Episode 11

    Directed by Ousmane Sembène • 1966 • Senegal
    Starring M’Bissine Thérèse Diop

    Ousmane Sembène was one of the greatest and most groundbreaking filmmakers who ever lived, as well as the most renowned African director of the twentieth century—and yet his name still deserves to be better known in ...

  • Uncle Yanco

    Episode 12

    Directed by Agnès Varda • 1968 • France

    In her effervescent first California film, Agnès Varda delves into her own family history. The short documentary UNCLE YANCO features Varda tracking down a Greek emigrant relative she’s never met, discovering an artist and kindred soul leading a bohemian l...

  • Putney Swope

    Episode 13

    Directed by Robert Downey Sr. • 1969 • United States
    Starring Arnold Johnson, Laura Greene, Buddy Butler

    The most popular film by Robert Downey Sr. is this offbeat classic about the antics that ensue after Putney Swope (Arnold Johnson, his voice dubbed by a gravelly Downey), the token black man ...

  • Wanda

    Episode 14

    Directed by Barbara Loden • 1970 • United States
    Starring Barbara Loden, Michael Higgins

    With her first and only feature film—a hard-luck drama she wrote, directed, and starred in—Barbara Loden turned in a groundbreaking work of American independent cinema, bringing to life a kind of characte...

  • Soleil Ô

    Episode 15

    Directed by Med Hondo • 1970 • France, Mauritania
    Starring Robert Liensol, Théo Légitimus, Gabriel Glissand

    A furious howl of resistance against racist oppression, the debut from Mauritanian director Med Hondo is a bitterly funny, stylistically explosive attack on Western capitalism and the lega...

  • Black Panthers

    Episode 16

    Directed by Agnès Varda • 1970 • United States

    Agnès Varda turns her camera on an Oakland demonstration against the imprisonment of activist and Black Panthers cofounder Huey P. Newton. In addition to evincing Varda’s fascination with her adopted surroundings and her empathy, this perceptive sho...

  • Downpour

    Episode 17

    Directed by Bahram Beyzaie • 1972 • Iran
    Starring Parviz Fannizadeh, Parvaneh Massoumi, Manuchehr Farid

    With brash stylistic exuberance, this first feature from Bahram Beyzaie helped usher in the Iranian New Wave. When he takes a job as a schoolteacher in a new neighborhood, the hapless intellec...

  • Insiang

    Episode 18

    Directed by Lino Brocka • 1976 • Philippines

    Jealousy and violence take center stage in this claustrophobic melodrama, a tautly constructed character study set in the slums of Manila. Lino Brocka crafts an eviscerating portrait of an innocent daughter and her bitter mother as women scorned. In...

  • The Tree of Wooden Clogs

    Episode 19

    Directed by Ermanno Olmi • 1978 • Italy
    Starring Luigi Ornaghi, Francesca Moriggi, Omar Brignoli

    A painterly and sensual immersion in late nineteenth-century Italian farm life, Ermanno Olmi’s THE TREE OF WOODEN CLOGS lovingly focuses on four families working for one landowner on an isolated e...

  • Audience

    Episode 20

    Directed by Barbara Hammer • 1982 • United States

    An incredible document of the LGBT film scene in the early 1980s (as well as artist Barbara Hammer’s off-the-charts charisma), AUDIENCE finds Hammer working in a more straightforward documentary mode than usual. Hammer interviews her largely lesb...

  • Xiao Wu

    Episode 21

    Directed by Jia Zhangke • 1997 • China, Hong Kong
    Starring Wang Hongwei, Hao Hongjian, Zuo Baitao

    The feature debut of visionary director Jia Zhangke announced the arrival of arguably the most important Chinese filmmaker of his generation. Left behind by friends who have taken advantage of the c...

  • Mysterious Object at Noon

    Episode 22

    Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul • 2000 • Thailand

    Apichatpong Weerasethakul brought an appetite for experimentation to Thai cinema with his debut feature, an uncategorizable work that refracts documentary impressions of his homeland through the surrealist concept of the exquisite corpse ...