Saturday, February 7, 2015

Announcing: The Lost Film Project!

La Testa Rossa (The Red Head), 1971?

An exhibition of four restored film stills, as part of 'Beyond The Horizon', a group show at the ADM Gallery in the School of Art, Design and Media in Singapore from the 4th February to the 14th March.

From the exhibition notes:

"While researching American and European films shot on location in Singapore, I came across a brief article in The Straits Times (11th January, 1971) announcing that an “Italian spy picture” was being filmed in the East Coast area under the title La Testa Rossa (The Red Head). Its director was unknown, Enzo Salvadori (misspelt as “Salfatori” by the newspaper). I assumed that the film was never completed.

About a year ago, further research revealed that a film of that name was released briefly in Italy (and other countries) in 1974, but we were unable to locate an archive print or video copy. My researcher Hun Ping acquired an Italian distribution catalogue from the early ‘70s and there was a Post Office Box address associated with the title. I sent an inquiry letter, not expecting a reply.

Six months later I received a package containing a 117 page typed screenplay in Italian for La Testa Rossa on yellowing paper, and four 35mm frames, apparently clipped from a extremely faded and damaged film print. A hand-written note accompanied the materials with just the words, “That’s all that’s left.”

For this exhibition, I’m presenting specially restored ‘blow-ups’ of those four images, alongside brief extracts of the script (the translation of which is ongoing) that may or may not correspond to the scenes depicted. The ‘film stills’ are precious glimpses of Singapore in 1971; fragments of an apparently lost film."

“The Girl points to the wilderness behind them. Lee sees a FIGURE emerge out of nowhere – both utterly of this land and a stranger. The Man screams.” Page 7

“Muffled sounds of words and noises deep within the rooms. The corridor seems to stretch out forever. He’s walking but not getting anywhere.” Page 48

“He crashes against a stall selling raw meat. An infant wails. He keeps running - into alleys and between walkways. Unseen footsteps loud and fast.” Page 88

“It’s from a distance, and it hurts to see him fall. The water surges up against his body, breaths slowing with every wave. Then – finally, he’s quiet.” Page 113

My research into this intriguing film is ongoing.

Thanks a million to Toh Hun Ping for his work as researcher and digital image restorer on this project, you can see his latest film location related website here