Sunday, October 30, 2016

Guess What’s Back From the Grave? ‘Night of the Living Dead’; New York Times, 10/27/16

Glenn Kenny, New York Times; Guess What’s Back From the Grave? ‘Night of the Living Dead’ :
"The film’s original distributor, the Walter Reade Organization (named for its founder, a pioneer of art-house distribution), did not file for a new copyright after changing the title from the original “Night of the Flesh Eaters” to “Night of the Living Dead.” That meant the movie went into the public domain almost immediately. As was once the case with Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the movie has been subjected to many unofficial, though legal, iterations.
The paradox of the situation has not been lost on its director, George A. Romero. “The fact that people were able to show it for free, that anybody was able to distribute it, did result in lots of people seeing it, and keeping the film alive,” he said in a phone interview. But viewers were too often watching inferior versions. That will change — dramatically, the moviemakers hope — on Saturday, Nov. 5, when the Museum of Modern Art screens a new, and copyrightable, restoration of “Living Dead” as part of its annual restoration and preservation festival, “To Save and Project.”"

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