After Tati, Etaix and Méliès, the Technicolor and Groupama Gan Foundations have decided to work together once more to restore Jacques Demy's debut feature. The restored version of Lola will premiere on June 24th in Bologna as part of the Il Cinema Ritrovato festival, a major event of film heritage, then on June 30th at La Rochelle film festival, in the presence of Anouk Aimée.
Each restoration has its own history, relative to the shooting but also to the exploitation of the film. A film may be lost; its rights held up, its original elements deteriorated, as it is the case with Lola (the original negative was destroyed by fire in the early 1970s). The various copies of the film deteriorated with time and in 2000, their condition was too bad for a screening. A solution needed to be found. Jacques Demy’s family searched international film libraries and found a new internegative, printed in low contrast at the British Film Institute. From this copy, the Archives Francaises du Film (CNC) was able to produce a new internegative. Agnes Varda and the director of photography Raoul Coutard supervised the color grading.
In 2012, a complete restoration was launched by the Groupama Gan and Technicolor Foundations, with the help of Ciné-Tamaris and Mathieu Demy, Jacques Demy's son. The work was also done in Los Angeles, by Technicolor laboratory who had completed complex restorations such as A trip to the Moon, in color, by Georges Méliès.
“Lola is the first film of a major director, Jacques Demy. Considering the very poor condition of the film, we have decided to launch a full restoration program, with the help of digital technology and the very high standards required by a celluloid print, which is the only way to preserve the restored elements” said Gilles Duval, head of the Groupama Gan Foundation and Severine Wemaere head of the Technicolor Foundation. “We have now high definition digital elements and restored celluloid prints of the film which, kept in a film library, guarantee the sustainability of our work.”
“ Nevertheless, this program would not make sense if it were limited to the sole restoration of the film. We need to organize the widest distribution of the film possible. Our foundations are working for this new version to be screened in all the festivals, in France and abroad, as well as in theatres, and to be shown on DVDs etc… This is how A Trip to the Moon has travelled the world and Lola will follow its way.” concluded Gilles Duval and Severine Wemaere.
Release of the restored version of Lola
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The Technicolor and Groupama Gan Foundations unveil their 2012 lineup of film restorations: Brook, Demy & Varda
After the restoration, in color, of Georges Méliès’ Trip to the Moon (1902), the Technicolor Foundation and Groupama Gan Foundation – The only two foundations in France working for the cinema – present their lineup of restored movies slated for release in 2012:
About Technicolor Foundation for Cinema Heritage
Created in 2006, The Technicolor Foundation for Cinema Heritage is a non-profit entity, acting in the field of preservation and promotion of film heritage. The Technicolor Foundation operates worldwide according to three main lines: to preserve but also highlight cinema heritage as well as to train and inform everyone who can play a part in the safeguard of film heritage. Each year, one of the objectives of this foundation is also to restore a key title of the international cinema heritage in order to heighten the audience’s awareness about the importance of film heritage and the risks endangered by films when not properly safeguarded. In 2008, the Foundation restored Lola Montès by Max Ophuls and in 2009, jointly with Groupama Gan Foundation, Mr Hulot’s Holiday by Jacques Tati in 2009, Selvi Boylum al Yazmalim by Atif Yilmaz within a yearly restoration of Turkish classics, the Complete Film Works of Pierre Etaix in 2010 and A Trip to the Moon (1902), in color, by Georges Méliès in 2011.
About Fondation Groupama Gan pour le Cinéma
Founded in 1987, the Groupama Gan Foundation is today a major private partner of French cinema. It has contributed financially to more than 140 first full-length films. Today its support is recognised as a mark of quality. The Foundation also backs over 30 film festivals in France and worldwide. The Foundation also champions the restoration of many film classics. It has notably participated in the restoration of Le Carrosse d’or by Jean Renoir, L’Age d’Or by Luis Buñuel, Jour de Fête, PlayTime, My Uncle and, alongside Technicolor Foundation, Mr Hulot’s Holiday by Jacques Tati, Pierre Etaix’s complete film works, and in 2011 the unique color version of Le Voyage dans la lune (A Trip to the Moon) by George Méliès (1902).