Jul 13, 2010

Bits & Pieces,  Nr. 711

While majors projects and forays swim beneath the surface during summer months, there are some odds and ends to report on the orphan film front.

"Film tramp" Bill Daniel (left) has taken up the orphan film banner and is flying it around the U.S. this summer, screening a 16mm collection of music films from the late-mid-twentieth century.  Read about the "Sonic Orphans" tour on his blog.

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Several orphanistas (Walter Forsberg, filmmaker Meg Jamieson, et al.), pointed out July 8's article in Slate magazine: 

The Silence of the Silents:  
A heroic wiki project to identify lost and orphaned films.


A relatively recent venture, this iterative, wikified  method for identifying extant orphaned films and finding lost ones is a great idea. Lost-Films.eu is helmed (as Variety would say) by the Deutsche Kinemathek (Museum für Film und Fernsehen) Berlin. Partners in the Lost Films project include several archives with some of the largest collections in Europe:
  • Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv, Berlin
  • Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung, Wiesbaden
  • Centre national de la cinématographie (CNC), Paris
  • Filmarchiv Austria, Vienna
  • Národní filmový archiv, Prague
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"Rachel Wilson teaches media production and research in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT [Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology] University. She attended Orphans 7 as part of her PhD research to establish an online digital archive for student films produced in Australian Universities."
         So reads her bio/byline in the just published Senses of Cinema, issue 55 (July 2010).
Read her report on the Moving Images Around the World symposium here:  www.SensesofCinema.com/2010/festival-reports

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Perennial favorite and orphan film frog/mascot Ro-Revus, star of Ro-Revus Talks about Worms (1971, watch it here), had a major tribute paid to his legacy at the Pocahontas County [West Virginia] Film Preservation Symposium & Moonshine Jamboree, 4th of July weekend.

Mr. Joe Bowie the Voice of Ro-Revus, was Pocfest's Guest of Honor.   The Columbia, South Carolina native and resident brought Ro-Revus memorabilia and told stories about his life with America's greatest frog. Dwight Swanson, Skip Elsheimer, and friends organized a special screening of a Ro-Revus episode of the SC ETV children's program The June Bugg Show (1967) unseen in public for 40 years! (courtesy of ETV and the UGA Peabody Awards Archive).  All unfolded at the Pocahontas Country Opera House, in Marlinton, West Virginia.

See a video clip of the star-struck Skip Elsheimer with Ro-Joe at AVGeeks.com: 

 The Orphan Film Symposium has mailed Mr. Bowie a copy of its DVD Orphans 7: A Collection of Orphan Films. It includes all six minutes of Ro-Revus Talks about Worms, color-corrected by Colorlab. A DVD extra is an interview with Joe Bowie. 

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Anyone who attended the 7th Orphan Film Symposium in April 2010, will recognize the face and brassy voice of Jude Kiernan (left), the NYU MIAP student who served as the acrobatic, head-setted stage manager, traffic coordinator, and troubleshooter throughout the three days and four nights.

Today, July 13, 2010, Jude and family welcome daughter Billie into the world. Not an orphan.

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Forthcoming updates on several Orphan Film Project events, including:
• Films preserved through the Orphan Film Symposium screening at the Museum of Modern Art's "To Save and Project" showcase, this coming fall;

• "Orphans West II," a second mini-symposium on orphan films, sponsored by Los Angeles Filmforum (May 2011), TBA;
 • Audio and video documentation of the 7th Orphan Film Symposium going on-line soon;
• Announcement of dates, location, and theme of Orphans 8 in Spring 2012.
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And. . . the Wikipedia entry for "orphan film" now has outtake video of Rick Prelinger and Howard Besser (NYU) answering the questions "What is an orphan film?" and "What is the Orphan Film Symposium?"

Video shot by Erin Curtis (now at SC ETV, with Ro-Revus!) and Lauren Heath (now an NYC-SC commuter-mediamaker) at the 2006 symposium at the University of South Carolina.