Dec 22, 2011

Two 2012 Orphan Symposia Run Simultaneously



Just to avoid confusion:

The NYU Orphan Film Symposiun is April 11-14, 2012.
The UCB Orphan Works Symposium is April 12-13.

Yes, there are two orphans symposia happening simultaneously. Let a hundred flowers bloom. "Orphan Works & Mass Digitization: Obstacles and Opportunities" is hosted by the University of California Berkeley School of Law and the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology.

NYU's moving image copyright instructor, Rina Pantalony, recommends the white paper on orphan works published this week: David Robert Hansen, "Orphan Works: Definitional Issues," (December 19, 2011). Berkeley Digital Library Copyright Project White Paper No. 1. Available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=1974614

"Orphan Works & Mass Digitization" features 6 sessions and a keynote by the recently appointed Register of Copyrights, Maria Pallante.

Sessions are built around these questions and their "and why?" follow-ups:

  • Who wants to make use of orphan works?
  • Who is concerned about broader access to orphans?
  • What is the best approach to addressing the orphan works problem?
  • What role should registries play in averting orphan work problems?
  • Who wants to do mass digitization?
  • Should data mining of in-copyright digital works be permissible?

The symposium's home page is www.law.berkeley.edu/orphanworks

Below is the event's precis, quoted in full.

In 2006, the US Copyright Office recommended legislation to allow unlicensed reuses of in-copyright works whose rights holders cannot be located through a reasonably diligent search to solve the "orphan works" problem. Contributing causes to this problem are a lessening of copyright formalities (such as notice of copyright claims on copies of works and voluntary registration of copyright claims) and several extensions of copyright terms. The European Commission has recently proposed a directive that would also open up greater access to orphan works in Europe.

Although orphan works legislation made some headway in Congress in the late 2000s, its progress was stalled for several reasons, including Google's announcement in the fall of 2008 of a settlement of a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by the Authors Guild and five trade publishers over Google's scanning of in-copyright books from the collections of major research libraries for purposes of indexing their contents and serving snippets in response to user search queries.

The Google Book settlement proposed an innovative way to provide greater access to orphan books. Under the settlement, Google would have been entitled to commercialize all out of print books in the Google Book corpus, including orphans, as long as it provided 63 per cent of the revenues to a new collecting society whose job would be to track down rights holders so these rights holders could collect money for Google's uses of their books.

In March 2011, Judge Chin rejected the proposed settlement on the ground that it was inconsistent with copyright rules that require that rights holders give permission before commercial uses are made of their works. In Judge Chin's view, solving the orphan work problem should be done by Congress, not through a class action settlement.

The Register of Copyrights has written to key members of Congress to indicate that the Office would be willing to consider how to address the orphan works problem now that the Google settlement has been rejected.

Given the failure of the Google Book settlement and the newly proposed orphan works directive in the EU, the time is ripe for renewed consideration about how best to solve the orphan works problem. Among the kinds of questions that may be addressed in the symposium are: Is legislation necessary to achieve a solution to the orphan works problem, or can fair use achieve some of the goal? Should orphan works legislation be aimed at creating an exception for reuses of orphan works, or should reusers of orphan works only be subject to more limited remedies if a rights holder later shows up? What other solutions should be considered? To what extent is ambiguity about who as between authors and publishers own ebook rights contributing to the orphan work problem? What factors should be considered in determining what constitutes "a diligent search"? Should every potential user of an orphan work have to do such a search, or can users rely on searches conducted by others?

REGISTRATION is now open for both symposia.

However, www.nyu.edu/orphanfilm/orphans8/attend.php is the place to begin your comparison shopping.

Dec 20, 2011

a new Sam Fuller film to premiere

Add to the list of screenings and speakers at the 8th Orphan Film Symposium this: a newly preserved film shot by young Samuel Fuller during his service with the Big Red One. Thanks to Christa Fuller and the Academy Film Archive, Fuller scholar Marsha Orgeron will introduce the first screening of a silent amateur film the emergent auteur shot shortly after the end of WWII. Unlike the harrowing and powerful film Sam Fuller shot of the liberation of Falkenau concentration camp in April 1945 (screened at Orphans 2008), this one is playful and parodic, bearing the title How to Light a Cigar. A most apropos title for the famously cigar-chomping cineaste.


Can't wait.

Dec 8, 2011

Third draft of the 2012 Orphan Film Symposium lineup



Symposium registration is open and online. Seats sell quickly, so register for the April 11-14, 2012 Orphan Film Symposium before 2011 expires. 
 *  *  *  *

•  Michael Aronson & Elizabeth Peterson (U of Oregon) "You Are Getting Sleepy/Hungry/Horny...": The Life and Times of Lester Beck, Filmmaking Psychologist; with screenings of the newly-preserved, pioneering sex education film Human Growth (Sy Wexler, 1948), and the sole Kodachrome print of Adaptive Behavior of Golden-Mantled Ground Squirrels (Beck, 1942)
•  Marsha Orgeron (NCSU) on Sam Fuller's "home movie" How to Light a Cigar (1945)
•  Devin Orgeron (NCSU) Skip Elsheimer (U of Oregon) The Post Sugar Crisp TV ad campaign and AdView Digital Access
Yvonne Zimmermann (U of Zurich / NYU Visiting Scholar) Sponsored Films by Hans Richter: Die Börse als Barometer der Wirtschaftslage [The Stock Market] (Swiss Exchange Zurich, 1939) restored by la Cinémathèque suisse
Making Films at AT&T/Bell Labs, 1967-1974: filmmakers Lillian Schwartz, Nell Cox, and Bill Brand screening newly preserved 16mm works: including Schwartz's UFOs, Galaxies, Pixillation, Enigma, and Googolplex, Brand’s Touch Tone Phone Film (1973), as well as Cox and Leacock's Operator (1969)

 Other Orphans: Fugitives, Bastards, and Test-Tube Babies
            * Anna McCarthy (The Citizen Machine), Pushing on the Analogy
            * Tina Campt (Columbia U) Orphan Photos, Fugitive Images: Family Photography and the African Diaspora in Europe
          * Hadi Gharabhagi (NYU) The Bastard Files: State "Terrorism" and the Press in the USIS's News of Iran (1954)
Sunniva O’Flynn (Irish Film Archive) curates a program from the IFA collections
Jay Schwartz (Secret Cinema) and Louis Massiah (Scribe Video Center) on The Jungle (1967, 12th + Oxford Street Filmmakers) 
David Schwartz (Museum of the Moving Image) The Living Room Candidate: Presidential Campaign ads
Anke Mebold (Deutsches Filminstitut) newly restored feature: Die Hochbahnkatastrophe, aka Elevated Train Catastrophe: 16th Sensational Adventure of Master Detective Harry Hill (Germany, 1921), introduced by Tom Gunning (U of Chicago)
Jon Gartenberg & Jeff Capp (GME) Tassilo Adam: Moving Image Adventures in Indonesia

Elena Rossi-Snook (NYPL for the Performing Arts) The Young Filmmakers Foundation Collection 

 
Karl Heider mini-tribute: [Experimental Study of Apparent Behavior: The Moving Film(1943, Fritz Heider and Marianne Simmel), with remakes of the Heider-Simmel film by University of South Carolina students of Simon Tarr (in digital video) and by Dartmouth College students of Jodie Mack (in color 16mm)


Julia Noordegraaf (U of Amsterdam) and Leenke Ripmeester (Eye Film Institute Netherlands) on Joop Geesink’s Dollywood Advertising Films
• Mona Jimenez (APEX Ghana) and Manthia Diawara (NYU) on finding Hamile: The Tongo Hamlet (1964, Ghana Film Industry Corporation) 
Susan Courtney (U of South Carolina) on how orphan films impact media scholarship
• Nico de Klerk on The Hands of a Stranger (Richard Heffron, 1965) documentary about a hospital in South Vietnam; appropriated by Friends of Vietnam (Belgium)
Yongli Li (Beijing Film Academy & U of South Carolina) introduces Light Cavalry Girl (Jie Shen, Central Newsreel and Documentary Film Studio, Beijing, 1980)  

Light Cavalry Girl (1980), Chinese Film Collection, USC Moving Image Research Collections

• Ivan von Sauer (BBC Worldwide) and Craig Kridel (U of South Carolina) on School: A Film about Progressive Education (1939, Lee Dick)
Dan Friedlaender (Temple U) & Adrianne Finelli (U Mich) Men and Dust (1940, Lee Dick) labor advocacy film about diseases plaguing zinc and lead miners
Sergei Kapterev (Moscow Research Institute of Film Art) Soviet space films, including Flight to a Thousand Suns (1963)
Alice Lovejoy (University of Minnesota) Czechoslovak Army Films and Excess of Persuasion, with filmmaker Vojtěch Jasný
       * Opportunity (Vojtěch Jasný, 1957) agitational drama warning soldiers about infidelity
       * Crooked Mirror (Karel Kachyňa, 1958) on proper military dress
       * Army Newsreel 3/65 (Karel Vachek, 1965) liberation of Ostrava
       * Metrum (Ivan Balad’a, 1967) transportation in Moscow
Mark G. Cooper (U of South Carolina MIRC) Roman Vishniac microcinematography
Mark J. Williams (Dartmouth) television newsfilm from KTLA, et al.
Mark Quigley (UCLA) One Friday (Rolf Forsberg, 1973) classroom discussion film imagines an all-out race war in the U.S.
One Friday (1973) courtesy of Rolf Forsberg and UCLA Film and Television Archives
Allyson Nadia Field (UCLA) and Jacqueline Stewart (Northwestern) The L.A. Rebellion Project: Daydream Therapy (Bernard Nicolas, 1980)
Walter Forsberg (NYU Libraries) A Second Date: Let’s All Go to the Lobby (195?) and Snipe History 
Robert Martens presents Auroratone's When the Organ Played 'O Promise Me' (Cecil Stokes, 194?) with Bing Crosby. [with great thanks to Ralph Sargent and Alan Stark of Film Technology Co.]
Jaime Partsch (Universidad del Este, Puerto Rico) Films by Governor Jesús T. Piñero <archiveswiki.historians.org/Piñero_Collection>


Martin L. Johnson (U of North Carolina) Booster films and the Paragon Feature Film Company: The Lumberjack (Wausau, 1914), Past and Present in the Cradle of Dixie (Montgomery, 1914), and The Blissveldt Romance (Grand Rapids, 1915)
Catherine Jurca (CalTech) The “Motion Pictures’ Greatest Year” Campaign: The World Is Ours (MPPDA, 1938)
Audrey Young (Cineteca Nacional) The Film that Survived the Fire: Cine Móvil (1976) [thanks to Colorlab]
Irene Lusztig (UC Santa Cruz) The Motherhood Archives (work in progress) documentary essay film on the construction of motherhood and an archival history of maternal education films
from Best-Fed Baby (U.S. Children's Bureau, 1925)
Jennifer Horne (Catholic U) Welcome to the Nanny State: Carlyle Ellis and the U.S. Children’s Bureau, 1919-1926. Screening Best-Fed Baby (1925) neo-natal health hygiene

 
Larry A. Jones (The Arc of Washington State; Seattle Disability Law) with Laura Kissel (U of South Carolina) Children Limited (1951, Children's Benevolent League) advocacy film about children with developmental disabilities and their families; rediscovered in 2011 at the Library of Congress

+
Helen Hill Media Education Center fundraising video (Whispering Statues, 2011)

Helen Hill Media Education Center from Whispering Statues.


Jeanne Burkhardt and Snowden Becker (Center for Home Movies) [Francena Feeding the Chickens] (Charles Camp, 1905) and Muggins the Cow Horse (Colorado roundup footage, 1904) [Are these the oldest surviving amateur films in the U.S.?]

"What happens if you eat watermelon seeds?"  (Helen Hill, 1997)
James Bittl (HBO) introduces “Fast Facts” and "Gross Facts,” Helen Hill’s interstitial animations for Street Sense (1997-98, CBC-TV)
Danielle Ash & Jodie Mack (2010 Helen Hill Awardees) a commissioned 70mm film
• Helen Hill Award recipient films, TBA
The Florestine Collection (2011) a film by Helen Hill, completed by Paul Gailiunas

and more . . . .

Nov 27, 2011

UPDATE: ∆ • Perceptions of the Heider-Simmel Film • ∆


Here's a followup to the posting of May 2008 about Experimental Study of Apparent Behavior: The Moving Film (1943), aka the Heider-Simmel film.

At the time, I was unable to find out much about psychologist Fritz Heider's student, co-investigator, co-author, and, presumably, co-filmmaker, Marianne L. Simmel. But her obituary reveals she would have been 20 years old when the film was made (about the same age as the experiment's movie-viewing subjects). Turns out she was still alive when I first wrote about the film, but only the appearance of her online obituary alerted me to the fact that she died in 2010.

"In Memoriam - Marianne Simmel," Cape Cod Modern House Trust blog, April 9, 2010, http://ccmht.blogspot.com/2010/04/in-memoriam-marianne-simmel.html.

Here we read that Simmel "survived the Holocaust in Europe, grew up on Manhattan's Lower East Side, went to Smith College, got a PhD at Harvard, and taught psychology for many years at Brandies University." Many readers will perhaps be amused to learn that, "getting fed up with the academic life," she moved on to a successful career in textile design. Simmel "produced a large body of designs, in some cases informed by her previous work in human perception and the brain."

Simmel's later work as a designer indicates she was probably responsible for the animation produced for the Heider study of apparent behavior.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Below: Simmel design in her online obit.






 






 





       











Above: cel from the 1943 film. (From American Journal of Psychology)
 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The Simmel textile rediscovery rhymes well with the fact that it is animator Jodie Mack who has done, with her Dartmouth students, a 2011 color film remake of Experimental Study of Apparent Behavior. Here are some frames she scanned from the 16mm. 


Professor Mack too is fond of textiles and geometric forms. Here's a sampler of frames from four Mack films. 

And if there were any doubt about Jodie Mack's fondness for geometry, here she is in costume. 
While the Orphan Film Project looks to the University of South Carolina's Moving Image Research Collections to preserve the Heider-Simmel film, it turns out that the Cape Cod Modern House Trust has the same interest in Marianne Simmel's orphaned art.

The blog post concludes:

After searching unsuccessfully for an institution interested in preserving her work CCMHT has arranged to archive her art work and textile designs which will be stored at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum in its secure art storage facility. We hope to exhibit her work in the future and preserve if for scholars and admirers.
Looking forward to seeing the Heider-Simmel film and its progeny, when admirers at the Orphan Film Symposium honor Fritz Heider's son Karl in April 2012.

Nov 25, 2011

Second draft of the 2012 Orphan Film Symposium lineup



Symposium registration is open and online. Seats sell quickly, so register for the April 2012 Orphan Film Symposium before 2011 is over. 
 *  *  *  *

•  Michael Aronson & Elizabeth Peterson (U of Oregon) "You Are Getting Sleepy/Hungry/Horny...": The Life and Times of Lester Beck, Filmmaking Psychologist; with screenings of the newly-preserved, pioneering sex education film Human Growth (Sy Wexler, 1948), and the sole Kodachrome print of Adaptive Behavior of Golden-Mantled Ground Squirrels (Beck, 1942)
Yvonne Zimmermann (U of Zurich / NYU) Sponsored Films by Hans Richter: Die Börse als Barometer der Wirtschaftslage [The Stock Market] (Swiss Exchange Zurich, 1939) restored by la Cinémathèque suisse
Making Films at AT&T/Bell Labs, 1967-1974: filmmakers Lillian Schwartz, Nell Cox, and Bill Brand screening newly preserved 16mm works: including Schwartz's UFOs, Galaxies, Pixillation, Enigma, and Googolplex, Brand’s Touch Tone Phone Film (1973), as well as Cox and Leacock's Operator (1969)

 Other Orphans: Fugitives, Bastards, and Test-Tube Babies
            * Anna McCarthy (The Citizen Machine), Pushing on the Analogy
            * Tina Campt (Columbia U) Orphan Photos, Fugitive Images: Family Photography and the African Diaspora in Europe
          * Hadi Gharabhagi (NYU) The Bastard Files: State "Terrorism" and the Press in the USIS's News of Iran (1954)
         
Sunniva O’Flynn (Irish Film Archive) curates a program from the IFA collections
David Schwartz (Museum of the Moving Image) The Living Room Candidate: Presidential Campaign ads
Anke Mebold (Deutsches Filminstitut) newly restored feature: Die Hochbahnkatastrophe, aka Elevated Train Catastrophe: 16th Sensational Adventure of Master Detective Harry Hill (Germany, 1921), introduced by Tom Gunning (U of Chicago)
Jon Gartenberg & Jeff Capp (GME) Tassilo Adam: Moving Image Adventures in Indonesia

 
Karl Heider mini-tribute: [Experimental Study of Apparent Behavior: The Moving Film(1943, Fritz Heider and Marianne Simmel), with remakes of the Heider-Simmel film by University of South Carolina students of Simon Tarr (in digital video) and by Dartmouth College students of Jodie Mack (in color 16mm)


Julia Noordegraaf (U of Amsterdam) on Joop Geesink’s Dollywood Advertising Films
• Mona Jimenez (APEX Ghana) and Manthia Diawara (NYU) on finding Hamile: The Tongo Hamlet (1964, Ghana Film Industry Corporation) 
Susan Courtney (U of South Carolina) on how orphan films impact media scholarship
• Nico de Klerk on The Hands of a Stranger (Richard Heffron, 1965) documentary about a hospital in South Vietnam; appropriated by Friends of Vietnam (Belgium)
Yongli Li (Beijing Film Academy & U of South Carolina) introduces Light Cavalry Girl (Jie Shen, Central Newsreel and Documentary Film Studio, Beijing, 1980)  

Light Cavalry Girl (1980), Chinese Film Collection, USC Moving Image Research Collections

• Ivan von Sauer (BBC Worldwide) and Craig Kridel (U of South Carolina) on School: A Film about Progressive Education (1939, Lee Dick)
Dan Friedlaender (Temple U) & Adrianne Finelli (U Mich) Men and Dust (1940, Lee Dick) labor advocacy film about diseases plaguing zinc and lead miners
Sergei Kapterev (Moscow Research Institute of Film Art) Soviet space films, including Flight to a Thousand Suns (1963)
Alice Lovejoy (University of Minnesota) Czechoslovak Army Films and Excess of Persuasion, with filmmaker Vojtěch Jasný
       * Opportunity (Vojtěch Jasný, 1957) agitational drama warning soldiers about infidelity
       * Crooked Mirror (Karel Kachyňa, 1958) on proper military dress
       * Army Newsreel 3/65 (Karel Vachek, 1965) liberation of Ostrava
       * Metrum (Ivan Balad’a, 1967) transportation in Moscow
Mark G. Cooper (U of South Carolina MIRC) Roman Vishniac microcinematography
Mark J. Williams (Dartmouth) television newsfilm from KTLA, et al.
Mark Quigley (UCLA) One Friday (Rolf Forsberg, 1973) classroom discussion film imagines an all-out race war in the U.S.
One Friday (1973) courtesy of Rolf Forsberg and UCLA Film and Television Archives
Allyson Nadia Field (UCLA) and Jacqueline Stewart (Northwestern) The L.A. Rebellion Project: Daydream Therapy (Bernard Nicolas, 1980)
Walter Forsberg (NYU Libraries) A Second Date: Let’s All Go to the Lobby (195?) and Snipe History
Jaime Partsch (Universidad del Este, Puerto Rico) Films by Governor Jesús T. Piñero <archiveswiki.historians.org/Piñero_Collection>


Martin L. Johnson (U of North Carolina) Booster films and the Paragon Feature Film Company: The Lumberjack (Wausau, 1914), Past and Present in the Cradle of Dixie (Montgomery, 1914), and The Blissveldt Romance (Grand Rapids, 1915)
Catherine Jurca (CalTech) The “Motion Pictures’ Greatest Year” Campaign: The World Is Ours (MPPDA, 1938)
Irene Lusztig (UC Santa Cruz) The Motherhood Archives (work in progress) documentary essay film on the construction of motherhood and an archival history of maternal education films
from Best-Fed Baby (U.S. Children's Bureau, 1925)
Jennifer Horne (Catholic U) Welcome to the Nanny State: Carlyle Ellis and the U.S. Children’s Bureau, 1919-1926. Screening Best-Fed Baby (1925) neo-natal health hygiene

 
Larry A. Jones (Seattle Disability Law; the Arc of Washington State) Children Limited (1951, Children's Benevolent League) advocacy film about children with developmental disabilities and their families; rediscovered in 2011 at the Library of Congress


+
Helen Hill Media Education Center fundraising video (Whispering Statues, 2011)
Jeanne Burkhardt and Snowden Becker (Center for Home Movies) [Francena Feeding the Chickens] (Charles Camp, 1905) and Muggins the Cow Horse (Colorado roundup footage, 1904)

"What happens if you eat watermelon seeds?"  (Helen Hill, 1997)
James Bittl (HBO) introduces “Fast Facts” and "Gross Facts,” Helen Hill’s interstitial animations for Street Sense (1997-98, CBC-TV)
• Helen Hill Award recipient films, TBA
The Florestine Collection (2011) a film by Helen Hill, completed by Paul Gailiunas

and more . . . .

Oct 14, 2011

Listen to Walter Forsberg show home movies on the radio

Listen:
www.wnyc.org/shows/lopate/2011/oct/14/ninth-annual-home-movie-day  
Walter Forsberg tells Leonard Lopate about the wonders of the Ninth Annual Home Movie Day, this one observed at the Queens Museum on Saturday, October 15. 

 

 


Sep 20, 2011

Columbia University Colloquium on Helen Hill films

From: Columbia University Cultural Memory Colloquium <cumemory@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Sep 20, 2011 at 12:55 PM

Dear friends,

Join us in our continuing conversations about cultural and collective memory in our contemporary world.  Our first event is to take place on Monday September 26th when we will welcome Professor Jenny Davidson from English and Comparative Literature who will be presenting on the work of filmmaker Helen Hill. Please find a further description below.  We will meet at 6PM in 754 Schermerhorn Extension.

Helen Hill, experimental animator and handmade film advocate, was shot and killed in her home in New Orleans in January 2007.  Her last film, completed posthumously by her husband Paul Gailiunas, is 'The Florestine Collection.' One Mardi Gras Day in New Orleans some years earlier, Hill found more than a hundred handmade dresses in trash bags on the curb; she set out to restore them and recover the story of the woman who had made them, a recently deceased African-American seamstress named Florestine Kinchen.  Both the dresses and the footage were seriously damaged by Katrina; the completed film includes Helen's original silhouette, cut-out, and puppet animation, as well as flood-damaged and restored home movies. Three of Hill's films will be screened - 'Madame Winger Makes a Film' (9:29), 'Mouseholes' (7:40) and 'The Florestine Collection' (31:00) - followed by a discussion by Professor Jenny Davidson that will touch on questions about memorialization and the materiality of film, the persistence and contingency of archives and the imperatives of preservation in the wake of catastrophe.

Aug 20, 2011

first draft of the 2012 Orphan Film Symposium


Symposium registration is open. Register online. Seats sell quickly, so we recommend registrating for the Orphan Film Symposium before 2011 is over. 
Here are some of the expected screenings and speakers for Orphans. Others will be announced in November 2011.
.

Yvonne Zimmermann (U of Zurich / NYU) Sponsored Films by Hans Richter: Die Börse als Barometer der Wirtschaftslage [The Stockmarket] (Swiss Exchange Zurich, 1939) restored by la Cinémathèque suisse (Swiss Film Archive).
Making Films at AT&T/Bell Labs, 1967-1974: filmmakers Lillian Schwartz, Nell Cox, and Bill Brand screening newly preserved 16mm works: including Schwartz's UFOs, Galaxies, Pixillation, Enigma, and Googolplex, Brand’s Touch Tone Phone Film (1973), as well as Cox and Leacock's Operator (1969)
Sunniva O’Flynn (Irish Film Archive) curates a program from the IFA collections
David Schwartz (Museum of the Moving Image) The Living Room Candidate: Presidential Campaign ads
Anke Mebold (Deutsches Filminstitut - DIF) newly restored feature: Die Hochbahnkatastrophe, aka Elevated Train Catastrophe: 16th Sensational Adventure of Master Detective Harry Hill (Germany, 1921), introduced by Tom Gunning (U of Chicago) with live musical accompaniment
Julia Noordegraaf (U of Amsterdam) and Giovanna Fossati (EYE Netherlands Film Institute), Joop Geesink’s Dollywood Advertising Films
• Mona Jimenez (APEX Ghana) and Manthia Diawara (NYU) on finding Hamile: The Tongo Hamlet (1964, Ghana Film Industry Corporation) 
Susan Courtney (U of South Carolina) on how orphan films impact media scholarship
• Nico de Klerk (EYE) The Hands of a Stranger (Richard Heffron, 1965) documentary about a hospital in South Vietnam; appropriated by Friends of Vietnam (Belgium)
Jon Gartenberg & Jeff Capp (GME) Tassilo Adam: Moving Image Adventures in Indonesia
Karl Heider mini-tribute: [Experimental Study of Apparent Behavior: The Moving Film(1943, Fritz Heider and Marianne Simmel) 
Jodie Mack (Dartmouth) and Simon Tarr (USC) remakes of the Heider-Simmel Apparent Behavior film, in 16mm and digital video
Yongli Li (Beijing Film Academy & U of South Carolina) introduces Light Cavalry Girl (Jie Shen, Central Newsreel and Documentary Film Studio, Beijing, 1980)  

Light Cavalry Girl (1980) U of South Carolina Moving Image Research Collections, Chinese Film Collection


Craig Kridel (U of South Carolina) and Ivan von Sauer (BBC Worldwide) School: A Film about Progressive Education (1939, Lee Dick)
Dan Friedlaender (Temple U) & Adrianne Finelli (U Mich) Men and Dust (1940, Lee Dick) labor advocacy film about diseases plaguing zinc and lead miners
Sergei Kapterev (Moscow Research Institute of Film Art) Soviet space films
Alice Lovejoy (University of Minnesota) Czechoslovak Army Films and Excess of Persuasion, with filmmaker Vojtěch Jasný
       * Opportunity (Vojtěch Jasný, 1957) agitational drama warning soldiers about infidelity
       * Crooked Mirror (Karel Kachyňa, 1958) on proper military dress
       * Army Newsreel 3/65 (Karel Vachek, 1965) liberation of Ostrava
       * Metrum (Ivan Balad’a, 1967) transportation in Moscow
Mark G. Cooper (U of South Carolina MIRC) Roman Vishniac microcinematography
Mark J. Williams (Dartmouth) television newsfilm from KTLA, et al.
Mark Quigley (UCLA) One Friday (Rolf Forsberg, 1973) classroom discussion film imagines an all-out race war in the US
One Friday (1973) courtesy of UCLA Film and Television Archives
Allyson Nadia Field (UCLA) and Jacqueline Stewart (Northwestern U) the L.A. Rebellion project: Daydream Therapy (Bernard Nicolas, 1980)
Walter Forsberg (NYU Libraries) A Second Date: Let’s All Go to the Lobby and Snipe History
Jaime Partsch (Universidad del Este, Puerto Rico) Films by Governor Jesús T. Piñero <archiveswiki.historians.org/Piñero_Collection>


Martin L. Johnson (U of North Carolina) Booster films and the Paragon Feature Film Company: The Lumberjack (Wausau, 1914), Past and Present in the Cradle of Dixie (Montgomery, 1914), and The Blissveldt Romance (Grand Rapids, 1915)
Catherine Jurca (CalTech) The “Motion Pictures’ Greatest Year” Campaign: The World Is Ours (MPPDA, 1938) two-reel comedy includes Charley Grapewin watching The Great Train Robbery (1903) and visits to Monogram, other studios
Irene Lusztig (UC Santa Cruz) The Motherhood Archives (work in progress) documentary essay film on the construction of motherhood and an archival history of maternal education films
frames from Best-Fed Baby (US Children's Bureau, 1925)
Jennifer Horne (Catholic U) Welcome to the Nanny State: Carlyle Ellis and the US Children’s Bureau, 1919-1926. Screening Best-Fed Baby (1925) neo-natal health hygiene 
Larry A. Jones (Seattle Disability Law; the Arc of Washington State) Children Limited (1951, Children's Benevolent League) advocacy film about children with developmental disabilities and their families; rediscovered in 2011 at the Library of Congress
+
Helen Hill Media Education Center fundraising video (Whispering Statues, 2011)
Snowden Becker (Center for Home Movies) [Francena Feeding the Chickens] (Charles Camp, 1905) and Muggins the Cow Horse (Colorado roundup footage, 1904)

"What happens if you eat watermelon seeds?"  (Helen Hill, 1997)
James Bittl (HBO) introduces “Fast Facts” and "Gross Facts,” Helen Hill’s interstitial animations for Street Sense (1997-98, CBC-TV)
• Helen Hill Award recipient films, TBA
The Florestine Collection (2011) a film by Helen Hill, completed by Paul Gailiunas

Aug 18, 2011

El Primer Encuentro Archivo Memoria, organizado en conjunto con el Orphan Film Project


CINETECA NACIONAL INICIA PROYECTO
DE RESCATE FÍLMICO DE LA SOCIEDAD

Iniciativa impulsada por la Cineteca Nacional que busca el rescate fílmico de la memoria social del país

Además de la conservación y preservación, Archivo Memoria tiene como objetivo gestar nuevos proyectos creativos de cineastas y artistas contemporáneos a partir del material rescatado

El Primer Encuentro Archivo Memoria, organizado en conjunto con el Orphan Film Project, es una primera muestra de la importancia de este proyecto

Conaculta Cine, a través de la Cineteca Nacional, presenta Archivo Memoria, innovador proyecto que busca rescatar archivos fílmicos “olvidados”, que algunos historiadores del cine en la actualidad denominan como orphan film o cine huérfano. Materiales surgidos de la sociedad cuyo carácter amateur les brinda una honestidad como testimonio histórico de su momento y cuyo valor antropológico se acrecienta con el tiempo. Por tal motivo su preservación se hace necesaria como un primer paso para su difusión hacia nuevos públicos, misión fundamental para la presente administración de la Cineteca, fijada desde sus primeros días en el 2010.


Archivo Memoria se propone emprender la búsqueda de estos registros en imagen, de aquello “no visto” que también forma parte de la historia fílmica de nuestra nación: películas de eventos familiares ─bautizos, bodas, cumpleaños─, noticieros, cine turístico, películas industriales, material censurado, cine educacional, obra experimental, pruebas de cámara, grabaciones bélicas, material de archivo, animaciones, pietaje antropológico y otros fragmentos efímeros.

Registros que dejan ver el contexto en el que fueron creados, y que en conjunto reflejan los cambios por los que ha transitado la sociedad mexicana.  Material que a primera vista podría parecer intrascendente pero que, de alguna manera, tiene un valor histórico que enriquece el patrimonio cultural de la nación y que, guardado en armarios o bodegas, sin las condiciones técnicas apropiadas para su conservación y preservación, corre el riesgo de desaparecer. Películas no sólo de gran valor para la historia de nuestra cultura, sino con un gran potencial  para reutilizarse y que hoy en día sirve para comprender la historia reciente de México.

Además de rescatar, conservar y preservar estos registros históricos, Archivo Memoria también busca que el contenido de dicho material pueda ser reutilizado creativamente por los cineastas y artistas mexicanos contemporáneos, quienes podrán hacer uso de él de acuerdo a intereses artísticos determinados y bajo estricto consentimiento de los propietarios del material. A largo plazo, el proyecto podría ser una forma de inaugurar, promover y posteriormente profesionalizar el cuidado y la reutilización de este tipo de estos registros audiovisuales en México. Los ejemplos de cineastas que trabajan con material de archivo son innumerables: Ken Jacobs, Gustav Deutsch, Craig Baldwin, Jesse Lener, Gregorio Rocha, Angela Ricci Lucchi y Yervant Gianikian, sólo por mencionar algunos artistas visionarios que han sabido apreciar en su justo valor el material fílmico como memoria, no sólo de una persona o familia en particular, sino como el retrato de un momento histórico determinado, con todo el peso sociocultural que ello conlleva y que está plasmado como un marco referencial irrepetible.

Es por este motivo y en búsqueda de la preservación de archivos fílmicos no sólo provenientes de la industria cinematográfica, sino también de aquellos que proceden de las inquietudes personales y familiares, reconociendo y respetando así su valor como memoria de nuestra cultura y nación, que hacemos un atento llamado a las personas que posean este tipo de materiales a que se sumen a este esfuerzo de la Cineteca Nacional por el rescate y reutilización de material que podría marcar un descubrimiento trascendental para la historia del país y que sirve como herramienta en la construcción de la identidad.

Como parte de esta iniciativa, la Cineteca Nacional, en colaboración con el Orphan Film Project y Walter Forsberg (y Audrey Young), llevará a cabo, el próximo viernes 26 y sábado 27 de agosto, el Primer Encuentro  Archivo Memoria, el cual mostrará los resultados del Orphan Film Symposium, junto con hallazgos del proyecto Archivo Memoria y los primeros cortometrajes realizados por los artistas e investigadores Kyzza Terrazas e Issa García Ascot.

Ambos programas, titulados La Historia Olvidada y Cine Arte, espectivamente, exhibirán entre otros trabajos: Berlin 1936 Olympics Home Movies [10 min/video/1936], de la Universidad de Nueva York, Carta a un Ingeniero de Kyzza Terrazas [10 min/video/2011], de la Cineteca Nacional, Cine Móvil [13 min/16mm/1976], de la Cineteca Nacional, Selecciones de Archivia Films  [30 min/16mm y DVD], A Trip Down Market Street de the Miles Brothers [12 min/video digital/1906] de los Archivos Prelinger, Muestra de material del archivo Luis Osorno Barona [25 min/video], Un Modo de Decir de Issa García Ascot [7 min/video/2011], de la Cineteca Nacional, y La Segunda Primera Matriz de Alfredo Gurrola [14 min/video/1972].

Cabe mencionar que la historia de los archivos huérfanos, que en su concepción más básica es material fílmico que ha sido abandonado por su dueño, no es reciente, tiene su origen en París, con Henri Langlois, cinéfilo y archivista francés cofundador de la Cinemateca Francesa y la Federación Internacional de Archivos Fílmicos (FIAF). Personaje trascendental en la historia del cine, Langlois trabajó en la preservación de películas históricas y de la posguerra en su propia casa, donde resguardaba material al que más tarde le encontró un lugar: la Cinemateca. Por supuesto que con el paso de los años el proceso para conservar y preservar material fílmico ha sufrido cambios, todos para su beneficio; hoy en día diversas instituciones en el mundo tienen su propio programa de rescate de archivos huérfanos.
  
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Aug 17, 2011

Lillian Schwartz’s Computer Animations Slated for Preservation (thanks to Walter Forsberg)

Lillian Schwartz’s Computer Animations Slated for Preservation

2011 AVANT-GARDE MASTERS GRANTS

A recent press release with the above title delivered good news for NYU Cinema Studies and its MIAP program. However, the official announcement does not reveal the extensive, unpaid, extramural preservation advocacy work of NYU Libraries Research Fellow Walter Forsberg (MIAP ’10).

Thanks to his efforts, the pioneering computer-generated films created by Lillian Schwartz at Bell Labs in the 1970s will soon be saved through the 2011 Avant-Garde Masters Grants awarded by the two preservation foundations. Schwartz’s films are housed at the Ohio State University Libraries. However Forsberg’s push initiated the partnership with NYU’s Orphan Film Project that led to preservation work.

The press release continued:

“A generation before Toy Story, innovative artists were already making computer-generated films, but they’ve gone mediumly uncelebrated until now,” said Dan Streible, acting director of NYU Cinema Studies’ Moving Image Archiving and Preservation (MIAP) program. “Lillian Schwartz worked alongside AT&T research scientists to create new ways of generating geometric forms, colorful abstractions, and human figures in motion. Her films document the state of computer language in the early seventies, but they also remain delightful to see and hear as works of art. Thanks to this Avant-Garde Masters grant, NYU MIAP students and film preservation professor Bill Brand will work with Ohio State, Forsberg, and Lillian Schwartz herself to save, screen, and study some of her earliest experiments, beginning with the 1970 film Pixillation, her first.” The others are Olympiad (1971), Enigma (1972), Mutations (1972), and Papillons (1973). 

* * * *
An admirer of Schwartz’s work, Walter Forsberg, who is also a filmmaker, met the New York-based artist in 2010 and by year’s end had initiated an ad hoc film preservation partnership with Schwartz and Lisa Iacobellis, curator at Ohio State University Libraries. NYU Libraries media preservation specialist Alice Moscoso helped him inspect the OSU material. In spring 2011, film-to-film preservation began with partners Colorlab and the NYU Orphan Film Project. Schwartz’s short films UFOs (1971) and Galaxies (1974) were preserved pro bono by Colorlab, with Bill Brand’s BB Optics and second-year MIAP students (led by June Oh) also participating.

April: Forsberg introduced the premiere screening of the new 16mm print of Galaxies at the Wisconsin Film Festival’s special Orphan Film Symposium session.

May: Brand introduced the premiere of UFOs at “Celebrating Orphan Films,” a two-day symposium co-presented by NYU Tisch / Cinema Studies and the UCLA Film and Television Archive.

June: Lillian Schwartz joined Forsberg and Brand for a special program of her films at the 57th Robert Flaherty Film Seminar, held at Colgate University and programmed by Dan Streible. Her films had such an impact that, throughout the week, 150 seminarians treated Schwartz like a rock star, roaring with approval each time her work appeared on the screen.

July:  NFPF selects five Schwartz films for the Avant-Garde Masters grant.

July:  NY Women in Film & TV award a preservation grant for Schwartz’s Googolplex (1972).

August:  MIAP alumni Audrey Young (’08) and Forsberg show UFOs and Galaxies at the Cineteca Nacional de México, as part of their two-day curated event entitled “Primer Encuentro Archivo Memoria, en colaboración con el Orphan Film Project.”

September:  Lillian Schwartz will introduce her films at Anthology Film Archives, part of “Sonic Truth: Films from the 2011 Flaherty Seminar,” emceed by Dan Streible. Monday, September 12, 7:30 pm. 

October - May 2012: Three Schwartz films are part of the traveling series “Flaherty on the Road”: Pixillation, UFOs, and a documentary about Lillian Schwartz at work, The Artist and the Computer (1980).

April 11-14, 2012: The 8th Orphan Film Symposium will feature a session on the films produced by artists working at Bell Labs in the late 1960s and 1970s, with a screening of all the newly preserved 16mm films by Lillian Schwartz. Bill Brand, who himself was part of that experience, and Walter Forsberg will be on the panel, along with documentary filmmaker Nell Cox, who made films with Ricky Leacock for AT&T/Bell Labs, including Operator (1969) and French Lunch (1967).

As if that were not enough, Mr. Forsberg is also the lead producer of a second DVD for the Orphan Film Project, along with NYU Libraries and Colorlab. The collection of works on the theme of outer space include Ms. Schwartz’s Galaxies and UFOs.


Posing for a mock publicity photo. In February 2011, the foursome previewed a 16mm print of Lillian Schwartz's UFOs. Walter Forsberg (foreground) drives the Steenbeck; filmmaker and Schwartz fan Jodie Mack (center); media preservation specialist at Bobst Library, Alice Moscoso (right); Orphan Film Symposium director Dan Streible (standing). 

  

Jul 25, 2011

Proposals are still being accepted for . . . .

a production of the
NYU Department of Cinema Studies, Tisch School of the Arts

Jul 1, 2011

Orphan Film DVD awarded special prize for "Most Original Contribution to Film History."

Some welcome news from friend of the show Lee Tsiantis, writing from Bologna, Italy. Il Cinema Ritrovato Film Festival today announced its DVD Award winners for 2011.

The Orphan Film Symposium DVD -- Orphans 7: A Collection of Orphan Films -- won a special prize for "Most Original Contribution to Film History."

Thanks to all who made it happen.

More details soon.

May 21, 2011

What happened at Celebrating Orphan Films? Part 2 -- Saturday

The headline for the day is that the 28mm projector worked flawlessly, while the computer projection of PowerPointy slides had to be hand-cranked, as it were. Not surprising, but work noting.

Chris Horak gave a presentation entitled "Designed by Saul Bass: The Alcoa Account." A healthy number of film scholars know that Bass (1920-1996) created amazing credit sequences and posters for Alfred Hitchcock and others, and some also know that Bass directed some films, especially the Oscar-winning short Why Man Creates (1968 -- which for some reason was shown on the very first episode of CBS's 60 Minutes). But to see some of this work in a bunch, as we did, is something of a revelation. The ingeniousness of Bass design is striking. Horak demonstrated the designer's influences from Bauhaus artist György Kepes and filmmaker/theorist Sergei Eisenstein.

Horak began by showing the opening title sequence from North by Northwest ("not an orphan film") and followed with numerous Bass-created logos and other film clips. The more memorable, and surprising, was from a lesser-known feature film, Something Wild (1961).  The lengthy black-and-white montage consists of shots of New York's skyline and a placeless sky in which we see only the sun and flocks of birds in formation. I can't say what the rest of Something Wild is like, but the Bass-made sequence alone makes me want to see it. That, and the fact that those credits consist of an interesting set of names: lead actress Carroll Baker, cinematographer Eugen Schüfftan (see Metropolis [!], etc., etc.), and director Jack Garfein (who was married to Baker, a fellow Actors Studio veteran). This was one of only two feature films that the theater director Garfein made, the other being the underappreciated, underdistributed The Strange One (1959, based on Garfein's Broadway debut effort, End as a Man). In praise of UCLA Film & Television Archive, it must be noted that the archive, in this same Billy Wilder Theater, paid tribute to Garfein in September 2010, showing both features and his third film: the documentary A Journey Back (1987) is about his revisit to Auschwitz, where he'd been imprisoned as a teen.

But I digress. Horak's presentation makes one anticipate all the more his forthcoming book on Saul Bass, for which he was awarded an Academy Scholar grant.

Throughout Saturday, Mark Quigley programmed very short "interludes" between panels, most from the UCLA collection. Animated TV station indentification reel (early 1960s) showed the work of TV Graphics Inc., an advertising company owned by Lee Blair, husband of Disney artist Mary Blair; featuring the work of Lee's brother, animator Preston Blair. The brief appearance of a logo for WOR-New York, drew a smattering of applause from some of the city's ex-pats. 

Love this handsome photo of the Mary and Lee Blair on a drawing tour of South America.



To be continued . . . . 

May 15, 2011

What happened at Celebrating Orphan Films?

Celebrating Orphan Films: a co-production of UCLA Film & Television Archive, NYU's Orphan Film Symposium, and Los Angeles Filmforum.
 
What happened on the first night, Friday, May 13, when these offbeat orphan films were projected on to the big screen at the Billy Wilder Theater? Some idiosyncratic morning-after descriptions.

 

in the projection booth at the Wilder Theater
 Progress, Indeed (Jim Bittl and Russell Sheaffer, 2010) 
     In the excitement of the kick off, Chris Horak called the session to order, and before we realized it, we'd forgotten to show this trailer from the 7th Orphan Film Symposium.  So we showed it after an intermission, and, indeed, it played well again, seeing John Wayne introduce clips of animation by Helen Hill, Jodie Mack, and Danielle Ash. The timing of its editing is spot on.


Madison News Reel (ca. 1932)
Recently declared a "cult film" by David Bordwell, we got the 35mm print of this short short only in the nick of time. There was some weird something about insurance that delayed getting it from Maine to Hollywood (ok, Westwood). Sean Savage (Academy Film Archive) delivered his deeply researched decoding of the film after we watched it cold. It's enigmatic qualities always are maximized when served cold. But, as Mr. Savage indicated, even explaining what one can about this truly uncanny compilation film of unknown provenance and vintage, mysteries still linger. For me, this film is evidence of how creative and uncliched the work of amateur filmmakers can be. 

The Augustas (1930s-1950s)
Presented/narrated by Heidi Rae Cooley (University of South Carolina), this time with her home-town parents in the house. Each time she shows this beautiful film with her digital-age examination of place, space, location, dislocation, tagging, data and metadata, the tight presentation of live voice and projection gets more polished. I'm starting to get it, the theoretical analysis, that is.  


The “Iron Horse” in Hollywood (Fox newsreel, 1925)
Introduced by Mark G. Cooper (University of South Carolina) watching this on a big screen made much more detail discernible. Unlike my DVD preview experience, this time it was obvious that several of the 'cowboy' performers had TOM MIX stitched on the back of their shirts in large letters. An important thing to think about given The Iron Horse was a Fox production, directed by John Ford, whose mythos of the American West is linked to Tom Mix. This footage was shot in front of Grauman's Egyptian Theater (where the LA Filmforum screens these days). Boy, there is no mistaking Sid Grauman in photos or footage. No one else had that hair cut.


Brother and Sister Motorcycle Act (Fox Movietone News, cinematographer Al Brick, 1931)
Staged and shot on a back road in Hollywood, Putt and Dessie Mossman.  I noticed that Brother Mossman rides an Indian make of motorcycle. And that he rides it "cowboy style," according to the announcer we hear (and oddly see on screen). "Just a little fun with Sister." A fine catchphrase that stood up well after subsequent screenings.

Light Cavalry Girl (1980)
"They'll be the hit of the festival," as Uncle Max said of the Von Trapp Family Singers in that famous non-orphaned film. And indeed, as we had hoped, there was much buzz about this short documentary. It enchanted those who I heard speaking about it later. Yongli's introducion to the film was, in a word, perfect. She made an artful set of animated Keynote slides, which culminated with us hearing a recently recorded telephone greeting (in Chinese) from the 81-year-old director of Light Cavalry Girl, Jie Shen. 


Two enlightening facts Yongli conveyed.  (1)  The women in this Chinese military unit appeared in the film without permission of their superior officers, so they were subsquently broken up as a unit and sent to a mundane policing duty. (2) Jie Shen believes that the film print we screened may be the only one in existence! And my question (3) weren't these cavalry girls riding Indian motorcycles too?




 UFOs (1971) and Galaxies (1974) by Lillian Schwartz, were both presented with viewers watching through Chroma-depth 3-D spectacles. It worked. Oohs and aahs. 


Robert Abel promo reel (1970s)
Tony Best (UCLA) gave a most excellent presentation of this reels compiling dozens of animated logos, stations IDs, commercials, promos, etc. made by Abel & Associates. One thing I appreciated was Tony giving a long list of the TV and ad industry terms for all the varying types of short-form productions. This bodes well for Orphans 8 -- Made to Persuade -- next year.


And Then They Forgot God (1971)
L.A.-based writer Paul Cullum and the irreplaceable Mark Quigley (UCLA) replicated the pitch-perfect intro to this existential Chrisitan humanist Lutheran drama and their down-a-rabbit-hole search for the title and then for a print. The colors in this surviving thing, even after color correction, are so washed out it's arty. And hearing a slight reverb in the sound track made for a subtle eery extra effect. Adam West as the prosecutor is Kafkaesque. Paul and Mark devined that his teledrama was the work of writer-director Sy Salkowitz, best known for the TV series Ironside. That on-screen credit was absent from the battered 16mm print the duo purchased, but it was on a print in the Billy Graham archive. So Mark was able to place it tactfully onto the video transfer we watched.  Evidence of how orphan films can be saved when Methodists, Catholics and Lutherans work together with Jews and evangelical Baptists.

Muzak (1972)
Reserve Film and Video Collection empresario Elena Rossi-Snook serendipitously popped up in L.A. from the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. She pluck this little gem from obscurity and brought it to our attention at an AMIA screening in 2010. Although it stands on its own as a curious and ambiguous mini-profile of the minds who were running the Muzak corporation, this film couples oh so nicely with And Then They Forgot God.  A 1971-72 present future in which people are diminished and manipulated by a distrubing, almost Borg-like apparatus.


What happened on Saturday, May 14, from 10am to 11pm at "Celebrating Orphans Films"?

More on that soon. . .  .