"We screened a fine cut of our film for Peter at the senior home. We’d discussed the edit at length many times before, but this was his first time seeing more than a few minutes of the movie. After about 8 years of knowing each other, 5 years of filmmaking process, 2 art shows and an unquantifiable amount of Pringles… it all boiled down to 90 minutes on screen. When it was over, Peter took off his headphones and said, "Leave it as is. That’s beautiful."
Look out for Dan Rybicky and Aaron Wickenden’s Almost There later this year.
The image at the top compares the new restoration (left) with the original release (right). It is fair to say that very few people have ever truly seen the film as it should look. But the restoration premiered at Sundance 2014 and screens this April at the upcoming Full Frame Documentary Festival.
The recently completed restoration represents the collaborative effort of Sundance Institute, UCLA Film & Television Archive, the Academy Film Archive and Kartemquin Films.
Hoop Dreams was shot primarily on analog Beta SP videotape, so the image was cropped and transferred for its commercial release. Working from multiple elements, including standard definition video masters and a 35mm film print, the project team created a new uncropped, high definition digital master that better represents the pictorial quality of the original videography. Digitally remastered at Modern VideoFilm with sound restoration by Audio Mechanics, this version allows future audiences to see the film as conceived by its filmmakers. Nora Gully managed the restoration project for Kartemquin with archivist Carolyn Faber, and working extensively with Ross Lipman, who oversaw the restoration for UCLA. John Nein at Sundance originated the restoration.
Try to catch the 20 year-old Hoop Dreams this year if you can, looking better than ever before!
A taste of the new Hoop Dreams restoration, from Kartemquin.
“Left: Hoop Dreams, 2014 restoration. Right: Hoop Dreams, original 1994 release.”
More Hoop Dreams images from the new restoration can be found here (the bottom four images).
It’s been nearly 20 years since directors Steve James, Peter Gilbert, and Frederick Marx premiered their documentary Hoop Dreams and won the Audience Award during the 1994 Sundance Film Festival. To celebrate the anniversary, a digitally remastered high definition version of the film will screen for the first time as part of the 2014 Festival’s From the Collection program.
Hoop Dreams charts the five-year journey of Chicago basketball prodigies Arthur Agee and William Gates as they vigorously chase their on-the-court endeavors while confronting burdensome issues off the hardwood.
Check out our interview with director Steve James, as he reflects on the Park City premiere of his film 20 years ago, its 170-minute runtime and unexpected commercial triumphs, and where Agee and Gates are today. Learn more about the From the Collection screening and restoration process here.
Photos from the Sundance Institute Archives
American Arab takes a gritty, lucid look at the realities of Arab and Muslim American communities in the United States. Iraqi-American director Usama Alshaibi (Nice Bombs, 2006), doesn’t shy away from confronting difficult questions around violence, hate crimes, and experiencing racism in post-9/11 America. Alshaibi’s counter-narratives don’t rely on trying to prove a capacity for assimilation into America. Instead, he chooses to face this deep racism by detailing different, complex and nuanced stories of Arab Americans as individuals, and asking bold questions around citizenship, home, and belonging. American Arab is visually captivating and playful, using experimental tones to take on an otherwise heavy subject.
Love these gifs!