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Brickbox's restoration work earns film festival's Rediscovery DVD Award

Filmexport Home Video’s Marijka Nevěrnice (Maria the Unfaithful), a rare gem of Czech cinema released in 1934, earned leading authoring and post-production house Brickbox Digital Media the DVD Award for Best Rediscovery of a Forgotten Film at the annual 'Il Cinema Ritrovato' film festival in Bologna, Italy, last month.

The festival brings together films recovered from the archives of Europe and beyond thought too damaged or lost to be of interest and screens them in the best possible condition.

Following on its acclaimed restoration of Dario Argento’s 1977 classic horror film Suspiria on Blu-ray and DVD, Brickbox deployed a range of techniques it developed to salvage Marijka Nevěrnice directed by Vladislav Vancura, bringing the title to quality standards expected of a DVD.

The digital restoration of this ballad-style love story describing life in Carpathian Ruthenia in the 1930s involved cleaning the film of dirt particles, scratches and other film flaws. Some frames had to be created anew. The defects were essentially due to aging as well as to the type of film material used at the time of recording. Furthermore, the team had to remedy mechanical damages caused by frequent rerecording.

On the audio front, the restoration tasks primarily involved noise corrections and video and audio synchronization. At some points, the cracking was so substantial that it had to be removed manually. It was also necessary to filter away the power frequency and its higher harmonic components and to eliminate the DC offset.

Brickbox has been partnering with Filmexport Home Video for several years, during which it completed a number of projects, including Zeman’s Bláznova kronika (The Jester’s Tale) or Smrt si říká Engelchen (Death is Called Engelchen). Future work on films from the same director includes Tam na konečné (There at the Terminal) and Tonka šibenice (Tonka of the Gallows).

The two other films that received a Rediscovery award at the 'Il Cinema Ritrovato' film festival are Kent Mackenzie’s The Exiles, a noted 1961 docudrama about Native Americans in Los Angeles, released by Milestone, and Hanns Walter Kornblum’s Wunder Der SchIöpfung, an unusual film about scientific experiments in the 20s, released by Filmmuseum München and Goethe Institut Deutschland.

Story filed 02.08.10

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