Fund These Restorations: Bloody Friday, Los Sures and Kelly Reichardt’s River of Grass

By  · Published on January 31st, 2015


You may have heard about a new Kickstarter project to restore the first feature by Kelly Reichardt, now of Old Joy, Wendy and Lucy, Meek’s Cutoff and Night Moves fame. It’s definitely a good cause to save an old film that might otherwise become lost or damaged, and it’s a relatively safe venture to help because you may trust that you’re not funding something that could wind up terrible. I mean, you might actually think Reichardt’s 1994 debut, which is titled River of Grass, is awful, but you won’t be able to deny it’s historical significance given what she has become. A lot of your favorite filmmakers made lower quality movies in the beginning, and you’d still like to be able to see them if you wanted to.

River of Grass isn’t the only film currently with a campaign on Kickstarter. There are at least two other restorations seeking funding from the crowds, and while neither of them have the name recognition of Reichardt’s, they appeal to different audiences and might be just as deserving of a rescue. One is a documentary from 1984 titled Los Sures, which showcases the Brooklyn neighborhood of the title, a small hispanic section of South Williamsburg. The great people at Uniondocs have been working on not just a restoration of the film but also updates, supplementary features, interactive material, related short films and more for a bigger project called Living Los Sures.

Finally, there’s the German exploitation film Bloody Friday, which is apparently “infamous,” perhaps because of a gratuitous, borderline-hardcore rape scene (with montage that would make the Soviet masters proud), though from what I’ve read it sounds like it’s pretty bloody and violent overall. Other than it being surprisingly similar to Dog Day Afternoon yet came earlier and both are based on true stories, I don’t know much about this one. The Kickstarter video is entirely in German. Regardless, I’ve included it below with the campaign videos for the rest of these projects.

First, here’s the video for River of Grass, which sadly features very little footage or info about the film’s story (there are a few clips to watch on the Kickstarter page, however). The campaign is introduced by co-star and fellow indie filmmaker Larry Fessenden. The restoration goal is $20k, which is sought by February 27th.

Now the video for the Los Sures project, which was in part spawned by acclaimed documentarians Pamela Yates (Granito) and Paco de Onis (State of Fear: The Truth About Terrorism). It’s goal is $30k, which is sought by March 2nd.

Finally, here’s the video for Bloody Friday, which I can’t understand more than three words of. Its goal is $25k, and its deadline also is March 2nd.

Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.