The Books of Ed Ruscha, a tongue in cheek “portrait” of his own art by California artist Ed Ruscha, along with works by four other filmmakers will be saved through the 2014 Avant-Garde Masters Grants awarded by The Film Foundation and the National Film Preservation Foundation. All told, 10 films will be preserved and made available through the 2014 grants.

“Ed Ruscha is world-renowned for his painting, photography, printmaking and artist books. Less known are his films. Now thanks to an Avant-Garde Masters grant to preserve his 1969 film The Books of Ed Ruscha, that is about to change,” said Jan-Christopher Horak, Director of the UCLA Film & Television Archive where the preservation work will take place. “Featuring Ruscha’s boyhood friend, musician Mason Williams, the film takes a delightfully wry look at Ruscha’s photographic books. We look forward to sharing this exciting aspect of Ruscha’s career with the public.”

Also green-lighted for preservation are Globe (1971) by Ken Jacobs (Anthology Film Archives); FF (1986), Tr’cheot’my P’sy (1988), A Legend of Parts (1988), and Conscious (1993) by Julie Murray (Bard College); Tommy Turner’s Simonland (1984) and Rat Trap (1985), his collaboration with Tessa Hughes-Freeland (New York University); and Shirley Clarke’s Butterfly (1967, made with Wendy Clarke) and 24 Frames Per Second (1977) (Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research). Click here for a descriptive list.

Now in its twelfth year, the Avant-Garde Masters Grants is the pioneering program funded by The Film Foundation and managed by the NFPF that saves films significant to the development of the avant-garde in America. The grants have preserved works by 58 artists, including Kenneth Anger, Samuel Beckett, Bruce Conner, Joseph Cornell, Oskar Fischinger, Hollis Frampton, Ernie Gehr, George and Mike Kuchar, and Carolee Schneemann. The full roster of projects is available on the NFPF Web site, www.filmpreservation.org.

The National Film Preservation Foundation is the nonprofit organization created by the U.S. Congress to help save America’s film heritage. Founded in 1996, the NFPF has supported film preservation in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia and has helped save more than 2,166 films and collections. The NFPF is the charitable affiliate of the National Film Preservation Board of the Library of Congress.

Created in 1990 by Martin Scorsese, The Film Foundation protects and preserves motion picture history. By working in partnership with archives and studios, the foundation has helped save over 620 films and programs these restorations throughout the world. The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project has restored films from 16 different countries representing the rich diversity of films from underrepresented regions. The foundation’s free educational curriculum, The Story of Movies, teaches young people — over 9 million to date — about film language and history. Joining Scorsese on the board of directors are Woody Allen, Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson, Francis Ford Coppola, Clint Eastwood, Curtis Hanson, Peter Jackson, Ang Lee, George Lucas, Alexander Payne, Robert Redford, and Steven Spielberg. The Film Foundation is aligned with the Directors Guild of America.
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