Letters: 'Let There Be Light,' Regina Spektor

Robert Siegel reads emails from listeners about the restoration of the documentary, Let There Be Light, and songwriter Regina Spektor.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel with some of your emails now. And first, we need to reroll the credits in an interview we did with film historian Scott Simmon. He told us about the controversial World War II documentary "Let There Be Light." The great John Huston directed the film. It was a look at soldiers' psychological war wounds, but the Army never released it.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

SCOTT SIMMON: I think his impression was that the film did not live up to the Army's view at the time of what a heroic soldier would be like coming back from the war. It sort of violated, as he put it, the warrior myth.

SIEGEL: Well, "Let There Be Light" has been digitally restored and is now available online. We gave restoration credit to the National Film Preservation Foundation. No, says Heidi Holmstrom. That organization funded the project. Holmstrom is a motion picture preservation specialist at the National Archives and Records Administration, NARA, in College Park, Maryland. And she writes this about the work done on "Let There Be Light": The picture elements were preserved in the motion picture preservation lab at the National Archives and Records Administration. Chace Audio by Deluxe in L.A. performed the soundtrack restoration. And the new sound and picture elements were then synched up so new composite prints could be created. Colorlab in Rockville, Maryland, also did some lab work.

And Holmstrom concludes "Let There Be Light" was one of the first projects I worked on after starting at NARA. Everyone in the lab has put so much work on this title that I want our contribution to be recognized.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NE ME QUITTE PAS (DON'T LEAVE ME)")

SIEGEL: Now, a comment about our interview yesterday with Regina Spektor.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NE ME QUITTE PAS (DON'T LEAVE ME)")

REGINA SPEKTOR: Down on Bowery they lose their ball-eyes and their lip-mouths in the night. And stumbling through the street, they say, sir, do you got a light?

SIEGEL: Roberta Fogger(ph) of Oakland, California, said listening to Spektor was a driveway moment. And Fogger writes: She was so delightful. Her energy, her sense of humor, her honesty, what a joy.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NE ME QUITTE PAS (DON'T LEAVE ME)")

SIEGEL: You can send us your thoughts at npr.org. Just click on Contact Us at the bottom of the page.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NE ME QUITTE PAS (DON'T LEAVE ME)")

SPEKTOR: And down on Lexington they're wearing new shoes stuck to aging feet and close their eyes and open, and they'll recognize the aging street and think about how things were right when they were young and veins were tight. And if you were the ghost of Christmas Past, then won't you stay the night?

(Singing in foreign language)

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