In the Soup, the Restoration Rescue

The Rescue Restoration of In the Soup

Anniversaries are typically a time for looking back, often fondly, on a particular event that was in some way transformational and memorable. The 25th anniversary of Alex Rockwell’s Sundance award-winning indie film, In the Soup certainly qualifies. Actress Jennifer Beals, who appeared in the film along with a stellar cast that included Steve Buscemi, Stanley Tucci, Seymour Cassel and Will Patton recalls the film fondly. “In the Soup is a beautiful, award-winning film that touches the soul.” She also says “To willingly lose art like this is a sure-fire way to lose our souls.” Her words reveal why this anniversary isn’t just a nostalgic look back at a film that touched people’s souls. It’s a rescue. The film is no longer available for viewing and because of the ravages of time, a quality copy no longer exists. That’s why Matt Grady has launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to raise $54,000 to restore the film and preserve it, and to introduce it to a new audience. The campaign is going strong; with more than two weeks remaining, crowdfunding has already raised more than $71,000, easily exceeding its target goal of $54,000.

In the soup Movie

Why Does In the Soup Need to be Rescued?

The film received rave reviews upon its release, but then a series of distribution mishaps made it unavailable for the next twenty five years. A high-quality copy of In the Soup doesn’t even exist digitally; it’s not available on Blu-Ray, and its 2004 DVD release is now out of print. As of last year, only one fine-grain, black-and-white master archival print of the 1992 cult classic even survived. But when the film was being screened at a Los Angeles cinema, the print, aging and fragile, was inadvertently damaged during projection. Moments of the first and fifth reels of the film were virtually shredded. Fearful that this classic Sundance film will disappear forever, Matt Grady of Factory 25 has the full support of In the Soup director Alex Rockwell in this crusade to restore the film. Rockwell, who is the head of the film directing program at New York University’s graduate school, is no stranger to crowdfunding campaigns; his most recent feature, Little Feet, received its funding through a Kickstarter.

What Kickstarter Crowdfunding will do for In the Soup

The restoration, because of the ararit of the Kodak black-and-white stock with which In the Soup was made, will be costly. The film requires expert attention from the best technicians in the field, as well as lab equipment of the highest caliber. The funding provided by the theater where the damage to the existing print took place will help, but that only represents a fraction of what’s needed to restore the film so that it can work its cinematic magic on a new generation of movie lovers. IndieCollect, an archiving nonprofit organization, is already working on the restoration process along with labs around the globe, but those efforts require funding. The restoration involves a series of complex lab processes that will make it possible to create a brand-new, archival print of the film. Copies can be reproduced from this print, allowing In the Soup to be released in a few theatres so that a new audience can enjoy its magic.

Why Now?

This year is the 25th anniversary of the original release of In the Soup. What better time for a re-release and for the film to make its digital debut? But without the rescue of the archive, the film can’t be reproduced in the way it was meant to be viewed by an audience. If the restoration doesn’t take place, the film could be lost forever. Looking back on the film, actor Steve Buscemi says, “In the Soup is, for me, one of the great independent films of the ’90s. It breaks my heart that this film is falling apart.”

Don’t let Steve Buscemi’s heart break! Your support of this Kickstarter campaign can rescue a great film.