Saturday, April 12, 3:30 PM
THE THIEF AND THE COBBLER Double Feature
THE PERSISTENCE OF VISION
(2012, 83 minutes, Dir. Kevin Schreck)
THE THIEF AND THE COBBLER: RECOBBLED CUT
(2013, 100 minutes, Restored by Garrett Gilchrist)
BUY TICKETS HERE
THE THIEF AND THE COBBLER is a visually-stunning Arabian Nights epic that was over twenty-five years in the making. Its creator, Canadian animator Richard Williams, hoped it would be the greatest animated film ever made. There’s one problem – the film was never completed.
Williams won two Oscars, a BAFTA and an Annie for his groundbreaking work directing the animation of WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT (1988), and another Oscar for A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1971). After the success of ROGER RABBIT, Williams was finally able to produce his dream project through Warner Bros. But after failure to meet a deadline, the film was shut down and finished as cheaply as possible. It was finally released in a heavily cut, almost unrecognizable form that greatly upset both its creator and his fans.
Filmmaker Kevin Schreck explores this forgotten chapter of cinema history in the documentary PERSISTENCE OF VISION. Weaving together mind-blowing animation, rare archival footage, and exclusive interviews with key animators and artists who worked with Williams on his ill-fated magnum opus, Schreck has crafted a tale of creative genius gone horribly awry. IndieWIRE called the film a “Herculean achievement” while famed animator Bill Plympton recommends that “If it plays near you, rush out and see Persistence of Vision.”
THE THIEF AND THE COBBLER: RECOBBLED CUT is a seven-year labor of love by filmmaker Garrett Gilchrist, who gathered and restored material from workprints, alternate cuts, and rare archive materials to present a version of the film as close to Williams’ original vision as possible. The current HD version was restored and recreated frame-by-frame over two years, making this perhaps the most complex film restoration project ever attempted, certainly by an independent hand. While the film remains unfinished, and contains animation by lesser hands, this is nonetheless Williams’ intended masterpiece as it should be seen, and a dazzling work of animated art.