Documentary filmmaker Kevin Brownlow will speak at a special screening of his feature-length documentary on legendary filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille Wednesday, Feb. 2, at 7 p.m. in the Harold B. Lee Library Auditorium.
"DeMille: American Epic" is a two-hour documentary produced last year for broadcast on the Turner classic Movies channel and features clips from DeMille's movies beginning with "The Squaw Man" (1914), the first feature made in Hollywood.
Also seen in the film is rare behind-the-scenes footage on the making of many of DeMille's epics including the secret behind the parting-of-the-Red-Sea sequence in "The Ten Commandments."
The film also includes interviews with those who have worked with or who were close to DeMille including Angela Landsbury, Charlton Heston, Anthony Quinn, his niece Agnes de Mille and his son Richard DeMille. James D'Arc, curator of the DeMille Papers at BYU, was also interviewed for the documentary.
In preparing for "DeMille: American Epic," London filmmaker Brownlow and partner Patrick Stanbury spent many days at BYU's L. Tom Perry Special Collections looking through the voluminous Cecil B. DeMille Papers, which were donated in the mid-1970s by DeMille's daughter.
"It is an honor for BYU to have these two accomplished filmmakers and historians visit us a second time and host this rare public showing of their fascinating documentary on Cecil B. DeMille," said D'Arc.
The only other public showing of the documentary was at the American Cinematheque in Los Angeles last year.
Brownlow has been a pioneer in restoring classic silent-era motion pictures. His work on "Napoleon" (1927) toured the world with a live orchestral accompaniment. Brownlow also supervised the restoration of D.W. Griffith's "Intolerance."
Brownlow and Stanbury are visiting BYU's L. Tom Perry Special Collections to comb the papers of Merian C. Cooper, the creator of "King Kong" for another documentary to be shown on the Turner Classic Movies channel this spring. BYU acquired the papers of Cooper from Cooper's widow actress Dorothy Jordan in 1986.