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The amazing Corrick collection -

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TRACY BOWDEN, PRESENTER: Finding a collection of long-lost silent films in a garage in Tasmania is
the stuff of dreams for the National Film and Sound Archive.

The archive has saved and restored more than a 130 films made at the turn of the 20th Century,
including some of the oldest surviving footage shot on the streets of Perth and London.

Rebecca Baillie reports on a celluloid treasure trove called the Corrick Collection, back on the
silver screen after more than a century.

REBECCA BAILLIE, REPORTER: They're some of the oldest surviving silent films in the world and for
the first time in more than a century, these snippets of cinematic history are once again
delighting Australian audiences.

PATRICK NOLAN, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, LEGS ON THE WALL: These films were made at the very beginning of
cinema and so they're really like nothing else you've ever seen.

REBECCA BAILLIE: Saved from lying dormant and disintegrating in a garage in Tasmania, the films
have been restored by the National Film and Sound Archive and re-released to the silver screen.

MEG LABRUM, FILM CURATOR, NATIONAL FILM & SOUND ARCHIVE: The world audience is literally hungering
for what's gonna come next. Some of the films have been thought to be lost in the rest of the
world. Some of them are in better condition than any other copes around the world. And some of them
are just so lovely, people just melt when they see them.

REBECCA BAILLIE: Film curator at the National Film and Sound Archive Meg Labrum describes the
collection as a treasure trove of films from countries including Australia, England, America and
France.

MEG LABRUM: The films are fabulous because they're not only black and white, they're stencilled
colour. And that means the films were actually frame-by-frame coloured.

They're mad. I mean, if you look at them, you think somebody maybe was indulging in something not
quite natural.

One of the most amazing ones, though, is - it's 10 minutes from a 40-minute film that was made in
England in 1904. These are the only 10 minutes known to exist anywhere. And it's beautiful black
and white film called 'Living London' and it's actually - it's just simply the camera filming what
was happening in the streets of London at that time. It's one of those things - it was lost; it's
now been found.

REBECCA BAILLIE: The films were collected at the turn of the 20th Century by a Tasmanian family who
toured their vaudeville show around Australia and the world. The Marvellous Corricks showed
hundreds of short films as part of their act, with 130 of the films surviving today.

JOHN CORRICK: Other companies were starting to advertise films would be shown at the theatre that
night. Well, competition was something that the Corricks had to be extremely wary of.

REBECCA BAILLIE: John Corrick was the son of Leonard Corrick, who was the only boy of eight
children in the original troupe. Leonard was the family's film projectionist and cameraman.

JOHN CORRICK: The father drop - (inaudible) in Perth. And of course everybody crowded into the
streets and got their photographs taken and they were on the screen that night, and of course,
swell the numbers in the theatre, doesn't it? So that was a gimmick to get their numbers up.

MEG LABRUM: It's a rarity. It's something that everybody's always on the hunt for. The Perth
footage is thought to be one of the earliest records of life on the streets there.

REBECCA BAILLIE: The Marvellous Corricks disbanded in 1914, with their highly flammable film
collection ultimately ending up in John Corricks' garage.

JOHN CORRICK: That was about 10 miles of nitrate film stored in the garage, some of it without
cans, just in a tin and into the open. If I ever caused a minor fire there, I'd run like hell,
because nitrate film, boy, does she go!

PATRICK NOLAN: It's like an Aladdin's lamp. Every box that you open releases a new genie into the
world. And that is a great, great gift.

REBECCA BAILLIE: When the director of acrobatic troupe 'Legs on the Wall' Patrick Nolan first saw
the Corrick films, he was inspired to create a show featuring the collection.

PATRICK NOLAN: You feel very privileged, I guess, in term of being able to work with these people
who are now of course - are all ghosts. The films themselves have such a bizarre, crazy energy and
that's great to be around.

MEG LABRUM: You get a huge thrill. I mean, as someone who loves films, I love to be in the audience
and actually see them come alive again. I love to hear the audiences respond. And also I love to
see now that the films are starting to inspire something new.

REBECCA BAILLIE: For John Corrick, the restoration and rebirth of his family's heritage is a
tribute to the marvellous Corrick, who were an act ahead of their time.

PATRICK NOLAN: To think that such a wonderful collection of old silent film has been made available
to people today. It's marvellous. That's when you bear in mind their first show about 1902, is 108
years ago, isn't it? A long time ago. Long before my time.

TRACY BOWDEN: A fantastic find. And that Legs on the Wall dance production called 'My Bicycle Loves
You' is heading to Perth in February after its season at the Sydney Festival.

Rebecca Baillie with that report.