Dave Kehr's blog bids an end to 2012 with a Groucho intro to The Girl on the Bus and Decasia.
postscript to previous post:
|logo from A Citizen Makes a Decision (1954)|
It was damaged when Hurricane Fran [Sept. 1996] flooded my basement and knocked out power so the sump pump stopped working. Water damaged around 200 films. I was very depressed about it and didn't really want to go through the collection to assess the damage. Then I got a request from Bill Morrison, who was only looking for damaged material. That gave me the push to find the bad stuff...
|courtesy of Skip Elsheimer.|
|NYTimes.com credit reads: Icarus Films|
Another consequence of base deterioration is the appearance of crystalline deposits or liquid-filled bubbles on the emulsion. This is evidence of plasticizers, additives to the plastic base, becoming incompatible and oozing out on the surface. They can appear on either the base or emulsion side of the film. Plasticizers are chemical additives that are mixed in with the cellulose acetate during manufacture. . . . The high plasticizer content of acetate films reflects a desire to make film as non-flammable [aka 'non-inflammable,' ed.] as possible. The second function of plasticizers is to reduce the dimensional instability of film due to solvent loss or humidity change. All cellulosic films will shrink under dry conditions and expand under damp conditions; minimizing this behavior is an important role of plasticizer additives.
-- James M. Reilly, IPI Storage Guide for Acetate Film (Rochester, NY: Image Permanence Institute, 1993, rev. 1996), 12. See also: D. G. Horvath, The Acetate Negative Survey (Ekstrom Library, University of Louisville, 1987); C. R. Fordyce's article "Motion Picture Film Support: 1889-1976, An Historical Review," SMPTE Journal, 85 (Jul. 1976): 493-95; and, from one of the inventors of 16mm film at Eastman Kodak in the 1920s, C. E. K. Mees, "History of Professional Black-and-White Motion-Picture Film," Journal of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, 63 (Oct. 1954): 125-40.
|NYTimes.com credit line: University of South Carolina Moving Image Research Collections/Icarus Films|
Mr. Morrison has clearly logged a lot of hours at film archives — including the Museum of Modern Art, the Library of Congress and George Eastman House — in pursuit of particularly evocative instances of decay. Some shots seem almost too good to be true, as when an early-20th-century boxer spars with the shifting mass of nitrate rot that has erased his punching bag.
|soundtrack CD (Cantaloupe Music, 2002) limited edition DVD (Other Cinema)|
|This "stock" photo from Corbis company [100 million images] comes from the noted Bettman Archive [11 million photos], which it purchased in 1995. According to the Corbis Images site: "Original caption:1935- - Benny Leonard, Lightweight Champion, on a barn-storming trip, took on Willie Ritchie, ex-champion for four rounds at San Francisco and took a whipping. However, in a later fight in New Jersey, he knocked out Ritchie in 8 pounds [sic]."|
On December 21, 2012, (Bradley) Eros + (Jeanne) Liotta presented a screening/seance in the Maya Deren Theater at Anthology Film Archives, recognizing the 20th anniversary of the short Super 8 film Dervish Machine they made and toured with.
Light Cone will rent you a 16mm print for €31.
1992/16 mm / coul-n & b / son / 10 '00
"Meditations on the movement and be developed and craftsmen inspired by Gysin and Dream Machine by Sufi mysticism and pre-cinema. Knowledge of the fragility of existence reflects the toughness of the material. The film itself becomes the place where we experience impermanence and reveals the moving image."
Cellphone video (12.21.12) of Anthology Film Archives projection of a video copy of the 16mm film entitled Towers, Open Fire (1963, Anthony Balch, Brion Gysin, and Wm. S. Burroughs).
The spinning cylinders are "dream machines" (see the useful http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreamachine)
After a Super 8 projection of the original film, the duo reunited to present a series of films, drawings, objects, slides, performances, and texts that either inspired or were proto-parts of Dervish Machine. The idea is actually part of a series curated by Bradley Eros, described in the Anthology calendar this way:
CATALYSTS (or, EXPOUNDED CINEMA) is a new series wherein avant-garde filmmakers reveal the secret sources and inspirations for a specific film from their body of work by a show-and-tell presentation through readings, films, music, images, dreams, documents, private tales, or exhibits demonstrating the roots and branches of experimental personal cinema: Exegesis by demo. Experience the cultural and personal artifacts that influenced the works and unravel the process from initiation to completion of the creative dynamics that form a work of film art.
MVTN 2-49: Egyptian Dancers (11 minutes)
MVTN 2-50: Egyptian (Whirling Dervishes) Dancers (shot in Cairo, December 28, 1928) (4 minutes)
A post-script to yesterday's post:
CBS News online has a nice gallery with images from each of the 25 titles on the 2012 Registry, as well as some stills about film preservation. This was the only source Google image search found for an image from Parable.
CBS News also has like galleries from 2010 and 2011.
|a frame grab from Parable (1964). Rumors of this film presenting "Jesus as a clown" were obviously exaggerated.|
at 7:04 PM
Guest blogger Mark Quigley is Manager of the UCLA Film & Television Archive's Archival Research and Study Center, who modestly describes himself as an "access archivist." As an adjunct faculty member, he teaches in UCLA's Moving Image Archive Studies master's program.
Parable [videorecording] / The Protestant Council of the City of New York
written by Rolf Forsberg; produced by Fred A. Niles; directed by Tom Rook, Rolf Forsberg. Produced by the Council of Churches of the City of New York"--Back cover
Originally released as a motion picture in 1964.
--> Filmed with the cooperation of Circus World Museum, Baraboo, Wisconsin.[Nashville, Tenn.] : United Methodist Communications: EcuFilm, [2005?].
(22 min.) : sd., col. ; + 1 leaders guide (11 p. ; 18 cm.)
Pantomime mettant en scène un clown qui prend la place des exploités dans une troupe de cirque. Bande sonore originale.The leader's guide is available for free download at the United Methodist Communications web store. The catalog description reads:
Subject: Morale pratique.
A timeless classic of service and self-sacrifice, Parable was the groundbreaking, award-winning film that astounded crowds at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Using only strong visual images and music, Parable continues to speak volumes to contemporary audiences about compassion, combating injustice, and selfless giving. Simple. Direct. Sure to affect any age or ethnic group and spark endless discussion. This is one film that your class will remember for years to come. Free guides are available for each title under the Free Study Guide section. Council of Churches of the City of New York.
Audience: Youth and adults
Suggested Settings: Sunday school, retreats, youth groups
at 7:40 PM
The Library of Congress today announced the 25 films added to National Film Registry for 2012.
Many in archiving, preservation, and orphan film circles are particularly amped about this year's list. Librarian of Congress James Billington, offered up a quite diverse set of American films, the most eclectic group of 25 in his 24 years of being the sole arbiter of all 600 titles now on the Registry.
Among those with an orphan or non-Hollywood status (15 as I count them), there are riches. So too among the Hollywood 10 (if I may). Classics enshrined on the Registry cover a variety of genres and eras. "Just in time for Christmas," the LOC gives us the boomer touchstone A Christmas Story (1983), followed by the Delmer Daves-directed Western drama 3:10 to Yuma (1957), the iconic Siegel-Eastwood cop drama Dirty Harry (1971), a George Cukor comedy remembered as Judy Holliday's best, Born Yesterday (1950), a Blake Edwards comedy absolutely owned by Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961; map the novella and movie here!), the Penny Marshall-directed comedy best remembered for a man's line (Tom Hanks: "There's no crying in baseball!"), A League of Their Own (1992), a William Seiter-directed Hal Roach comedy starring Laurel & Hardy, Sons of the Desert (1933), and the franchise/zeitgeist movie about which nothing more need be said here because it's all around us all the time, The Matrix (1999).
|Thanks: Daniel Dempsey.|
In 1983 the National Film Archive undertook the task of copying the original 63mm footage onto 35mm film. Using some material available from their archives together with extra reels provided by Jim Jacobs.... [The NFA] rephotographed the positive print cartoon style using a light box and register pins. Each frame being advanced by hand. The final 35mm print was of the masked frame type with an aspect ratio of about l,66:1 with the normal space being provided for a future sound track. . . [T]he fight film had also been copied by Karl Malkames Inc. in New York. In this case the printing was done using a special variable-pitch printer movement designed by Karl Malkames A.S.C. The final copy negative had a larger image extending the full width between the perforations.