May 10, 2010

the passing of Callie Angell

Callie Angell and Jonas Mekas (April 9, 2010)

Very sad news. 

Word came this past weekend that Callie Angell has died.

Less than a month ago we heard from this brilliant scholar and curator at the screening of the newly preserved Warhol film Uptight #3 -- David Susskind. It was a thrill to work with her on the Danny Williams/Andy Warhol film presentations, which Sarah Resnick, Esther Robinson, and Katie Trainor revved up for Orphans 7.

Callie said yes right away when, in 1999, I asked her to speak at the first Orphan Film Symposium, at the University of South Carolina. And she said yes right away ten years later, when invited to speak at the 2010 symposium. She was eager to attend all four days. She was delighted to see, for the first time, the funny 1967 local TV news piece in which Andy goofs on a square reporter curious about the Exploding Plastic Inevitable (film shot in Rhode Island, brought to us courtesy of Stephen Parr).

So it's especially shocking to learn of Callie Angell's death, less than a month later. 

Callie knew so much. As compiler of Warhol's  film catalog raisonné, she no doubt saw more of his voluminous work than anyone. As Jim Hoberman writes in his Village Voice piece (see below), it was she who pointed out that in the supposedly uneventful eight-hour Empire, one can see reflections of Jonas Mekas and Andy standing behind the camera. When I was hungry for any scrap of information about Warhol's unreleased 1965 film Drunk, Callie generously shared her notes on it. She was, after all, the only person to see the film since '65.

Sarah, Katie, Callie, Esther, Todd (April 9, 2010)

Below are links to some tributes to and memories of Callie, which her curatorial assistant Claire Henry put together and asked be circulated. (Thanks to Bill Morrison for passing this along.)
from Callie’s family in the NYT:
New York Times obituary by Niko Koppel
from the Whitney Museum in the NYT:
J. Hoberman, the Village
        J. J. Murphy:
David Schwartz (Museum of the Moving Image): 
Douglas Crimp, Artforum: 

Take care of one another.


May 5, 2010

the most famous film archivist in the world for the past two years

The May 5 New York Times has a good write-up of the archival details behind Fernando Peña and Paula Félix-Didier's rediscovery of the complete Metropolis. The former, sadly, was unable to join us at the recent Orphan Film Symposium. But the latter, happily, was. In fact, Paula has already come to New York again. This time "the most famous film archivist in the world for the past two years" is in NYC for the premiere of the restored Metropolis at Film Forum.

Saludos, orphanistas.

Paula Félix-Didier (center) talks with Bill Brand (right) and Kara Van Malssen at the 2006 Orphan Film Symposium in Columbia, South Carolina.