The Red Shoes Wins two prestigious restoration awards

Red Shoes

Audio Mechanics’ restoration of the classic film from 1948, “The Red Shoes” won the Focal Archive Restoration Award and the Film Heritage Award from the National Society of Film Critics.

ITV Studios, 30/04/10

Film legend Martin Scorsese has expressed his delight at ITV Global Entertainment winning a Focal International award for its restoration of Powell & Pressburger classic The Red Shoes.

ITV Global Entertainment’s Operations Director Fiona Maxwell accepted the award on Tuesday night at the Lancaster London Hotel. (See her on stage with Martin here.)

The restoration of the film, to which ITV owns the rights, happened in collaboration with the UCLA Archive and was made possible by Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation, The Hollywood Foreign Press and the Louis B Mayer Foundation.

Their “labour of love” involved scanning original three strip 35mm Nitrate negatives at 4K resolution and digitally processing over 579,000 individual frames to re-register, colour grade and remove dirt and scratches.

Martin Scorsese said: “I’m thrilled that The Red Shoes is being awarded by Focal as the Best Archive Restoration of 2009. It’s been incredibly gratifying to help restore this magnificent film that has meant so much to me and many others and is introducing new audiences to great films from the past.”

UCLA worked on the restoration with ITV Global Entertainment’s Film services team based at our Perivale Archive. They provided research and technical expertise and collaborated with other partners, namely the BFI in the UK and Warner’s MPI, Cinetech and Audio Mechanics in the States.


The restoration of “The Red Shoes” also won the prestigious Heritage Award from the National Society of Film Critics.

From Slant Magazine – Image/Sound:

The 2009 restoration undertaken by the Film Foundation and supervised by the UCLA Film and Television Archive completely transforms the experience of The Red Shoes. The original three-strip negatives used in the Technicolor process had decayed at varying rates, leading to a slight blur and dulling of the colors in previous prints. That’s been completely solved now. Every frame preserves cinematographer Jack Cardiff’s original depth of field without any blurring. There’s not a spot of dirt or grain to be found anywhere. Watching this new digital transfer of the Film Foundation’s restored print is to see The Red Shoes for the first time, even if you’ve seen it before. The original mono soundtrack is every bit as impressive—and immersive.

Martin Scorsese, has praised The Red Shoes, and it is partly due to his efforts that the film has been preserved and remastered. Replacing the old Criterion disc, this Blu-ray ups the ante in every significant way, from the jaw-dropping gorgeous picture and sound to the new extras in addition to the old. If there can be only one Criterion disc in a collection, there’s a strong case for this being it.

On a scale of Excellent, Good, Fair, and Poor, The Red Shoes Blu-ray rates:
Movie: Excellent
Video: Excellent
Sound: Excellent
Supplements: commentary, docu, new interviews, restoration introduction, multiple galleries, original trailer.
Packaging: Keep case
Reviewed: July 14, 2010

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