This Sunday's New York Times featured this article on "The Kidnappers Foil" series of movies and their filmmaker Melton Barker.
So-called “orphanistas” gather and lobby for increased attention and, most importantly, funding for a more organic or “real” American film heritage – ephemeral advertising footage, home movies, medical training films, and more. Albeit, armed with an ironic distance and postmodern sensibilities, participants in the orphans film movement hope to place individuals such as Melton Barker, an itinerant Texas filmmaker, next to (or at least, on the same list as) Howard Hawks – and the arbiters of national heritage are doing just that. [Emphasis not in the original.]
|Barker ca. 1930s (Frick Collection)|
For more about the man, including this rare photograph, see the article by our now-proven arbiter of national heritage, author of Saving Cinema: The Politics of Preservation (Oxford, 2011), founder of the Texas Archive of the Moving Image, assistant professor of Radio-TV-Film at the University of Texas, Austin, at-large alternate appointee to the National Film Preservation Board, former Curator of Motion Pictures at the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, and president of the Association of Moving Image Archivists (whew):
Caroline Frick, "Jack Rabbit Genius: Melton Barker, Itinerant Films, and Creating Locality," The Moving Image 10.1 (Spring 2010): 1-22.
|(photo courtesy of Jim Ponder)|