I want to start off this project by focusing on the very first Academy Awards held in 1929. The good news is that the first Oscars have few total films nominated. The bad news is that many of the films will be near impossible to see:
– The Way of All Flesh is considered lost except for just a couple of minutes of surviving fragments
– The Noose can only be seen at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
– Sorrell and Son has not been released as far as I know, even though the Academy Film Archive has a print of the film.
– Glorious Betsy also has never been released even though it still exists.
– The Private Life of Helen of Troy only has 30 minutes of existing footage in the archive of the British Film Institute.
– The Dove has four (approximately half of the movie) reels archived at The Library of Congress.
– The Devil Dancer and The Magic Flame are considered lost.
From the rest of this years list of nominated film I have only seen one of them before, the excellent Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans.
After subtracting Sunrise and those hard to see films I only have 15 left to see. The older the ceremony, the harder the films will be to get a hold of, but luckily it seems it should be possible to get hold of all of them, either on blu-ray, DVD or bootlegs from TV recordings. I already have some of them in my collection.
While I get hold of the very first batch of early nominated films, I will catch up on the films I’ve missed from the last couple of years that are hopefully a bit easier to get hold of.