Early & Silent Film

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David Shepherd 1940 to 2017

Posted by keith1942 on February 3, 2017

David Shepherd with Kevin Brownlow

David Shepherd with Kevin Brownlow

David was a key member of the brigade of film enthusiasts who preserved the flower of early cinema.

He worked as a collector, restorer and provider of prints. I have had the pleasure of seeing many classics that survive and are available thanks to his efforts. He worked for a time at the American Film Institute and with The Library of Congress. He was associated with Blackhawk Films, who at one time provided prints of difficult-to-see films. Later he founded and ran Film Preservation Associates.

His legacy will survive in the countless films whose continued existence and access is thanks to him.

A favourite of mine which I owe to David is Henry King’s Tol’able David USA 1921). This apparently was also a favourite of his. It is a fine rural melodrama and with an excellent canine performance from a collie named Lassie: note though there is also a scene of trauma.

There are numerous tributes to him on WebPages and Blogs devoted to film history and there is an obituary in the new Sight & Sound.

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