Martin Scorsese Foundation Launches Virtual Screening Room, Letting You Watch Restored Classic Films for Free

Since 1990, Mar­tin Scors­ese has devot­ed the non-film­mak­ing part of his career to film preser­va­tion, whether that means the clas­sics of Hol­ly­wood or world cin­e­ma. The over 900 restora­tions that he’s helped fund through the Film Foun­da­tion non-prof­it have been the sub­ject of Cri­te­ri­on Col­lec­tion box sets, spe­cial anniver­sary screen­ings and fes­ti­val show­ings, and now a spe­cial month­ly online screen­ing room will give view­ers a chance to see some famil­iar and not-so-famil­iar films that have been saved from destruc­tion.

Accord­ing to the wel­come mes­sage at the Restora­tion Screen­ing Room, “Pre­sen­ta­tions will take place with­in a 24-hour win­dow on the sec­ond Mon­day of each month, along with Spe­cial Fea­tures about the films and their restora­tion process. Month­ly pro­gram­ming will encom­pass a broad array of restora­tions, includ­ing clas­sic and inde­pen­dent films, doc­u­men­taries, and silent films from around the world.’”

As of this writ­ing, the win­dow has closed for its inau­gur­al film, Pow­ell and Pressburger’s 1945 I Know Where I’m Going! but you can still click through to see the extras that come with the film: an Intro­duc­tion by Scors­ese; an inter­view with Scorsese’s long-time edi­tor Thel­ma Schoon­mak­er (who was also Powell’s spouse for six years until 1990 and who worked on the restora­tion); Kent Jones inter­view­ing Kevin Mac­don­ald, the grand­son of Press­burg­er and his biog­ra­ph­er; the Film Foundation’s Mar­garet Bodde inter­view­ing Til­da Swin­ton, a huge fan of the film; direc­tors Joan­na Hogg and Scors­ese talk­ing about the film; a before and after look at the restora­tion; an image gallery; and final­ly a links page called “explore” that is quite over­whelm­ing in its thor­ough­ness.

The 4K restoration’s next stop is the Cri­te­ri­on Chan­nel, so if you sub­scribe to that paid ser­vice, find it there. But the Film Foundation’s pre­mieres are com­plete­ly free and fea­ture a live chat on the screen­ing night.

In the com­ing months look for­ward to Fellini’s La Stra­da (June 13), Govin­dan Aravindan’s Kum­mat­ty (July 11), a dou­ble fea­ture of The Chase (d. Arthur Rip­ley) and Detour (d. Edgar G. Ulmer) (August 8); Sarah Maldoror’s Sam­bizan­ga (Sep. 12), Mar­lon Brando’s One Eyed Jacks (Octo­ber 10); John Huston’s Moulin Rouge (Novem­ber 14); and Jonas Mekas’ Lost Lost Lost on Decem­ber 12.

The site has no trail­ers, but we’ve got you cov­ered:

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Art of Restor­ing Clas­sic Films: Cri­te­ri­on Shows You How It Refreshed Two Hitch­cock Movies

Icon­ic Film from 1896 Restored with Arti­fi­cial Intel­li­gence: Watch an AI-Upscaled Ver­sion of the Lumière Broth­ers’ The Arrival of a Train at La Cio­tat Sta­tion

The Joy of Watch­ing Old, Dam­aged Things Get Restored: Why the World is Cap­ti­vat­ed by Restora­tion Videos

Ted Mills is a free­lance writer on the arts who cur­rent­ly hosts the Notes from the Shed pod­cast and is the pro­duc­er of KCR­W’s Curi­ous Coast. You can also fol­low him on Twit­ter at @tedmills, and/or watch his films here.

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