A south-east London filmmaker’s first feature is set to get a world premiere in London after being painstakingly remastered.
Greenwich-based Irish writer and director John Walsh made Monarch, a film about Henry VIII set over one night and based partly on fact, at Charlton House in 1996.
It starred Irish actor TP McKenna, whose long TV and film career included the Dustin Hoffman movie Straw Dogs, Lovejoy and being the last ever suspect interviewed by John Thaw in Inspector Morse.
Critics were positive about Monarch, with the Radio Times giving it four stars and the New York Times describing it as a ‘confident, brave, impressive debut’.
BAFTA nominated John thought that the original negatives had been lost but 52 cans of footage were recently found in a vault and a drawn-out process of bringing it into high definition began.
John said: “This was not simply a case of running the film through a telecine machine.”
After the footage was found and the relevant reels identified, extensive cleaning and restoration began.
He said: “Every frame of film was scanned in high definition and had over ten thousand particles removed by hand.
“Along with this a new 5.1 sound mix was created from the original elements. The film is now looking and sounding clearer and sharper than ever before.”
He added: “Some films, like Monarch are still out there to be found. Perhaps they have been mislabelled or are in a vast vault that has not been checked for years.
“Either way the HD processing of my film will “future-protect” it and will give today’s audiences the chance to see the wonderful performance of Jean Marsh and the towering presence of TP McKenna, regarded as one of the greats of his generation and rightly so in one of his most outstanding performances.”
The remastered version of Monarch will receive a world premiere at Tricycle Cinema in Kilburn, complete with a Q and A session with John, on September 14.
Go to tricycle.co.uk or call 020 73281000.