Feb 24, 2008

the assassination of Pancho Villa

sábado, 22/2 (32 días mas)

Gregorio Rocha sends this photograph, taken in El Paso Heights, Texas, ca. 1932. The two-camera, six-rifle crew was there to film a re-enactment of the assassination of Pancho Villa. The footage was then added to the extraordinary compilation film La Venganza de Pancho Villa, made by Edmundo and Felix Padilla. The Padillas collected all kinds of films related to the life of Villa -- features, serials, newsreels.

Between 1930 and 1934 they revised the film many times. Their screenings used music from their phonograph record collection as accompaniment.

The Padillas' story is told in two documentaries by Gregorio Rocha, an independent filmmaker based in Mexico City: The Lost Reels of Pancho Villa (2003) and Acme & Co. (2006).

After Gregorio identified the Padillas' lost reels in rusted cans at the University of Texas El Paso library, the Padilla family and UTEP began a process of restoration for La Venganza. The project was first announced at Orphans 2 (2001) by a breathless Gregorio, fresh from the discovery. It culminates on March 27, with the first screening of the restored 35mm film print of the Padilla production. The American Film Institute [Kim Tomadjoglou] has been working on the restoration with the fab labs of Cineteca di Bologna [Davide Pozzi], with the aid of the UNAM Film Archive in Mexico.

For this first projection, a team of students in the NYU Film Scoring Program is preparing a compilation score based on recordings found in the Padilla collection.