Preserving More of It’s All True
In 2002, Catherine Benamou wrote the following for the Brazilian documentary film festival called "It's All True":
"Besides some excerpts, which can be cherished in a copy that this Festival will screen, there is a larger text and story to be rescued from the cans stacked up in the UCLA collection and yet labeled "It's All True." They are 68,145 feet corresponding to "My Friend Bonito"; 32,000 feet in black-and- white, and 3,000 feet in Technicolor corresponding to "Carnival," and 48,500 feet in black-and-white of "Jangadeiros." This material still needs to be preserved."
Here's a more recent writing, referring to last year's Locarno Festival:
Orson Welless Its All True: Paths of Retrieval / Os Caminhos do Resgate
Catherine L. Benamou
Last summer at the UCLA Film and Television Archive (where Welles's footage is stored), we were able to preserve two reels of the nitrate footage for exhibition at the Locarno International Film Festival in August. One of these reels was of the cow "tientas" in Central Mexico performed by reknowned Mexican bullfighters Chucho Solorzano and Fermin "Armillita" Espinosa (this was shot in 1941); this reel was combined with already preserved footage not used in the 1993 documentary reconstruction of the "Branding of Bonito" (preserved by Richard Wilson in 1989).
The second reel was something I found in 2000: a rough assemblage of black and white footage of the entrance of the jangadeiros to Guanabara Bay during the filming of IT'S ALL TRUE. It reveals the "montage elements" that Welles was planning on working with for that climactic scene towards the end of the episode "Jangadeiros".
This summer, I will be working with UCLA preservationists and editors to produce at least one more reel, preferrably of *hand held* footage Welles shot with an Eyemo of the Carnaval festivities in February 1942.
And, as previously mentioned, at The UCLA Festival of Preservation on August 10th at 7:30, Prof. Benamou will give an update on the on-going preservation of It's All True, which she has been involved with since she was an associate producer on the "It's All True" reconstruction released in 1993.
(UCLA Festival of Preservation info: (310) 296-FILM)