A new life for ‘The Broken Butterfly’

Rare film from 1919 restored 100 years later.

Ludovic du Plessis, Martin Scorsese

As a tribute to its longstanding relationship with time and dedication to preserving craftsmanship, LOUIS XII Cognac has partnered with the Film Foundation to restore ‘The Broken Butterfly’, a rare film from 1919 to be rediscovered 100 years later.

‘The Broken Butterfly’ by Maurice Tourneur was first showcased in 1919 but has been unseen since. Now, 100 years later, it has been painstakingly restored with the support of LOUIS XIII Cognac. The film tells the eternal story of love lost and found; of emotions and memories that shape a lifetime.

“Thanks to The Film Foundation and Martin Scorsese, The Broken Butterfly can be experienced once again one century later. Restoring this piece of memory is for us, at LOUIS XIII, a real pleasure and honour. Time is our raw material,” said Ludovic du Plessis, LOUIS XIII Global Executive Director.

“I am grateful for The Film Foundation’s partnership with LOUIS XIII. For many years, they have provided generous support for our preservation, exhibition, and education programs. LOUIS XIII is passionate about its own legacy, and it’s gratifying to know they are equally committed to protecting the world’s cinematic heritage and sharing these great works of art with audiences for decades to come,” said Martin Scorsese, Founder & Chair of The Film Foundation.

Less than 20 percent of American films produced in the 1910s and 1920s survive in complete form

The premiere took place in New York City on the 4th October with Martin Scorsese in attendance, followed by exclusive screenings in London, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong with special guest filmmakers.

Less than 20 percent of American films produced in the 1910s and 1920s survive in complete form, so the opportunity to see any fully restored silent film is special indeed. And when that film is a rarely seen gem from an esteemed cinematic artist, it’s truly an extraordinary event. Whether it’s the art of cognac or the art of filmmaking, protecting our shared cultural heritage is vital to ensure its survival for future generations. Both art forms demand meticulous attention to detail, a unique savoir-faire and above all, time.

Founded in 1990 by Martin Scorsese, The Film Foundation has helped restore over 850 films which are screened at festivals, museums, theatres, and educational institutions all over the world. The Film Foundation ensures future generations will be able to trace the rich language of cinema: an invaluable vision of who we were, who we are, and who we might become.

The digital 4K restoration of ‘The Broken Butterfly’ took almost a year

An extensive restoration of ‘The Broken Butterfly’, that took nearly a year, was required before being shared with audiences. The digital 4K restoration was completed using the best techniques and thanks to the artistry and skill of a large team of highly experienced technicians.

Maurice Tourneur (1876-1961) began his film career in France in 1912. Over two years, he made numerous films about fiery young spirits, often orphans, seeking shelter and love. In 1914, he moved to New Jersey, and then Hollywood, and spent the next 14 years directing more than 50 silent films. Renowned in America for his mastery of lighting, design, and atmosphere, his unique sense of stylisation helped to shape the industry.

Maurice Tourneur worked in many genres, but a recurring theme ran throughout his opus: the universal story of women and the ingenuity they often have to use to find happiness – a theme that continues to resonate today.

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