Apr 29, 2011

Would you NOT pay $10 to see these 50 orphan films?

Celebrating Orphan Films: 
Screenings & Discussions
May 13-14, 2011
UCLA Billy Wilder Theater

One ten-dollar pass gets you into everything.  It's true.

Friday, May 13
7:30 pm 

Progress, Indeed (2010)  
Jim Bittl and Russell Sheaffer created four trailers for the 7th Orphan Film Symposium, “Moving Pictures Around the World.” Here John Wayne learns about the innovative film techniques of Helen Hill, Jodie Mack, and Danielle Ash. Other trailers appropriate clips from the obscure Cromwell the Wicked (1926), General Motors Around the World (1927), a USIA film, and the Soviet propaganda marvel We Never Tire of Speaking of Mothers (1975).

Madison News Reel (ca. 1932)
Found in a barn in Bristol, Maine, this 200 feet of nitrate film was nearly overlooked amid a pile of empty reels. No one knows who made this uncanny collage, which references citizens of Madison, Maine. Introduced by Sean Savage (Academy Film Archive), who published a near-definitive study of this amateur compilation film of rare vintage. The animated logo (still at right) for the BCE, he notes, may be the only surviving copy of this once-common bit of film.
Source: Northeast Historic Film, Ronald Yates Collection.
The Augustas (1930s-1950s)
This 16-minute, 16mm silent compilation edits together footage taken of no fewer than 36 places called Augusta extant in the US during the years of amateur filmmaker Scott Nixon’s travels. Featuring road signs and other markers naming “Augusta,” it celebrates the expressive potential of keyword labels, which in the film come to designate not only several concrete places, but also no one place in particular. In this way, Nixon’s film offers a cinematic example of what have become familiar concerns in the context of recent social-networking communities: location awareness, self-documentation, and information-retrieval. Presented by Heidi Rae Cooley (University of South Carolina). Source: University of South Carolina Moving Image Research Collections (USC MIRC).

The “Iron Horse” in Hollywood (1925)
Fox newsreel footage shot on February 25, outside of Grauman’s Egyptian Theater. Promoting the release of John Ford’s epic The Iron Horse, a steam locomotive arrives (on flatbed truck), carrying Tom Mix’s cowboys and costumed Arapaho and Shoshone performers (although Ford’s cast and characters were Sioux, Cheyenne, and Pawnee). Introduced by Mark G. Cooper (University of South Carolina). Source: USC MIRC Fox Movietone News Collection.

Brother and Sister Motorcycle Act (1931)
On a back road in Hollywood, Putt and Dessie Mossman perform stunts for the Fox Movietone newsreel camera and microphone. Source: USC MIRC Fox Movietone News Collection.

Light Cavalry Girl (1980)
Produced by the Central Newsreel and Documentary Film Studio in China, Light Cavalry Girl, pays homage to the motorcycle stylings of the military’s top female cyclists. This ten-minute film was directed by one the country’s most prolific documentary filmmakers, Jie Shen. It won a Silver Medal at the Hungarian International Sports Film Festival. Introduced by Yongli Li of the Beijing Film Academy and University of South Carolina. Source: USC MIRC Chinese Film Collection. 


Lillian Schwartz: two films by the pioneering computer artist 
Introduced by Bill Brand (BB Optics) and presented for the first time in 3-D. Thanks to the filmmaker and to Walter Forsberg (NYU Libraries). Source: Ohio State University Libraries.

UFOs (1971)
This playful graphic work by Bell Labs artist-in-residence Lillian Schwartz and computer scientist Ken Knowlton features an array of computer-displayed forms that evolve and mutate into layers of colored abstract shapes. Preserved in 2011 by Brand and students in his NYU Film Preservation class.

Galaxies' 16mm mag track. Thanks to Walter Forsberg for leading the way.
Galaxies (1974)
Lillian Schwartz collaborated with NASA computer programmer Frank Hohl to create this colorful computer-simulation of disk-like “galaxies” moving through space at various speeds. Preserved by Colorlab for the Orphan Film Symposium’s forthcoming DVD.

Robert Abel promo reel (1970s) 
This 35mm promotional reel highlights the work of pioneering visual effects firm Robert Abel & Associates, and includes the iconic, award-winning 7-Up television advertisement Bubbles (1974, right). Presented by Tony Best (UCLA Film & Television Archive).

And Then They Forgot God (1971)
Prolific episodic television writer Sy Salkowitz wrote and directed this outré dramatic telefilm set in a dystopian future. With a grim plot twist that rivals the darkest of Twilight Zone episodes, this humanistic parable centers on an average couple (Joseph Campanella and Beverly Garland) as they face starvation due to a Kafkaesque bureaucracy. Also features Adam West as a policy-obsessed prosecutor. Presented by writer Paul Cullum and Mark Quigley (UCLA). Source: UCLA Film & Television Archive.
James Campanella in And Then They Forgot God

Muzak (1972)
This idiosyncratic and funny documentary first aired on WNET-New York’s nightly TV news program The 51st State (1972-76). Filmmakers Tony Ganz and Rhody Streeter record straight [?] interviews with executives of America's "efficiency through music” corporation, revealing the pocket protector-clad social engineers of elevator music infamy. Introduced by Elena Rossi-Snook (NYPL). Source: Reserve Film and Video Collection, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

Saturday, May 14

10:15 am  Introductions 
Dan Streible (NYU Orphan Film Symposium) and Mark Quigley (UCLA ARSC)

Designed by Saul Bass: The Alcoa Account
Presented by Jan-Christopher Horak, Director, UCLA Film & Television Archive.
Noted as a pioneer of distinctive credit sequences and posters for Hollywood feature films, Saul Bass’ equally intriguing modernist television work is much less known. Some of these broadcasts works, including title sequences and commercials for the Aluminum Corporation of America, reveal that Bass was not only a student of artist, designer, and theorist György Kepes, but also of filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein. 

+ Animated TV station indentification reel (early 1960s)
Demo reel of Mad Men-era, mid-century modern broadcast ephemera by 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. Source: UCLA Film & Television Archive.

10:45 am   100 Years of Home Movies: 1905-2005

[Francena Feeding the Chickens] (1905)
A home movie from 1905? Yes!  CHM guided it to LOC.
Pioneering Western filmmaker Charles Camp (1860-1929) shot this footage of his niece Frances during a visit to "the Bickling homeplace" close to the time of his four-month-long engagement at the 1905 Lewis & Clark Exposition in Portland, Oregon. This short document of his niece at home in Colorado, along with a series of stills from the 1904 roundup footage reproduced in Camp's 1928 book Muggins the Cow Horse, may be the only surviving remnants of Camp's cinematic work. Snowden Becker (Center for Home Movies) introduces the rediscovered film in this 35mm re-debut screening. Source: Library of Congress.

Projecting 28mm: [New Hampshire home movie] (ca. 1920)
Most 28mm gauge film prints were copies of 35mm movies, sold or rented for nontheatrical exhibition. But shortly before 1920, the American company Pathéscope released its New Premier Motion Picture Camera, which made it possible for amateurs to shoot on safety film. Amateur-made 28mm home movies rarely survive, and even more rarely are seen on original projectors. Archivist Dino Everett projects these found films on a 1919 model New Premier Pathéscope projector. Film and equipment made possible by the Hugh M. Hefner Moving Image Archive, USC School of Cinematic Arts.

Marie Dickerson Coker home movies (1930s-1950s)
As an accomplished singer, dancer, and musician, Marie Dickerson Coker performed at Los Angeles hot spots, including the Cotton Club. She was also one of the first African American women to receive a pilot's license, performing in air shows as a member of an all-female flying team. Coker's charisma shines in these recently discovered home movies, which include footage of her travels to Hawaii and moments from everyday life. Presented by Trisha Lendo (UCLA Film & Television Archive) & Leah Kerr (Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum). 

Helen Hill’s home movies (2003-05)
The most recent preservation work on the flood-damaged Super 8 films shot by the late artist Helen Hill show the funky New Orleans scene that she and her husband Paul inhabited and animated. We see the couple’s house post-Katrina and other pieces of film used in The Florestine Collection (2011), “a film by Helen Hill, completed by Paul Gailiunas.” Introduced by Dan Streible (NYU), founder of the Orphan Film Symposium. Preserved by Harvard Film Archive with the Center for Home Movies; video and digital transfers by the Library of Congress. 

Orphans 2006: Bill Brand advises Helen Hill on saving her Katrina-damaged films.

"What if you eat watermelon seeds?"
+ Fast Fax (1997-98)
Animator Helen Hill made these witty whimsical micro-interstitials (of 3 to 15 seconds duration) for the Canadian Broadcast Corporation’s educational TV series Street Sense. Thanks to the research of NYU student Jim Bittl, the original CBC broadcast masters were preserved in 2010 and copies deposited with the Helen Hill Collection, Harvard Film Archive.

12 noon  Latterday Newsreels

NYC Street Scenes and Noises (1929)
In November 1929, a Fox Movietone newsreel van recorded synchronous-sound footage of two locations of concern to the city’s Noise Abatement Commission: Times Square and “Radio Row” (Cortlandt Street), with its many shops selling radio sets. Does the raw footage record noises, or a modernist city symphony?  Source: University of South Carolina Moving Image Research Collections.

New York Street Scenes (1960)
B-roll newsreel footage shot in Manhattan, from a camera car traveling Broadway and 7th and 8th Avenues. Numerous takes showing Penn Station, Loew’s State Theatre, the old Madison Square Garden facade, the Smoking Camel billboard, the Coliseum building in Columbus Circle, and other buildings and theater marquees no longer extant. Preserved at UCLA Film & Television Archive in a newsreel preservation workshop as part of the Moving Image Archive Studies (MIAS) program.  Presented by Roger L. Brown, MIAS alum.

Hearst News of the Day newsreels (1963-1967)
Excerpts from Hearst’s theatrically-released News Of The Day during its final years of production. In addition to a reel of newsreel stories compiled by a collector, and a newsreel issue covering the Watts riots of 1965, the presentation includes the final Heart newsreel, released in December 1967. Presented by Blaine Bartell, Senior Newsreel Preservationist, UCLA Film & Television Archive.

Lunch break   

2:00 pm  Tele-visions
+ Meadow Gold TV spots (mid-1950s)
Charming animation from TV Graphics, Inc., featuring characters from Mary Blair’s award-winning Little Golden Book, I Can Fly (1951). Source: UCLA Film & Television Archive.

The American Archive sizzle reel (2011)
Stephanie Sapienza (CPB) presents on behalf of the American Archive, a Corporation for Public Broadcasting initiative to locate, preserve, and make publicly accessible thousands of hours of public media from local stations, CPB.org/features/americanarchive. The Archive’s 2009 pilot project located 2,400 hours of audio and video recordings related to civil rights and World War II from 24 stations across the U.S. Rediscovered material includes a kinescope found by HoustonPBS: live coverage of a 1956 city council meeting addressing the racial integration of Houston schools. Dan Rather was in the reporters' pool, and the standing-room-only crowd was witness to a visceral public debate on race in America.

KTLA-TV newsfilm of the 1970s
Television historian Mark J. Williams (Darmouth College) presents selections culled from a larger collection of vintage KTLA news segments curated by UCLA's Archive Research and Study Center for an upcoming online exhibition.  Starring: Mary Pickford & Eulia Love; Edith Head & Cesar Chavez; Anita Bryant & Roman Polanski.

Help Thy Neighbor (1952)
Described as "the first do-gooder of the airwaves," Hal Styles hosted the television series Help Thy Neighbor. People appearing on this live program told of their problems and viewers at home were asked to phone in with pledges of help. In this episode, Styles hosts a pregnant 15-year-old and a man whose wife had been missing. While earnest in its good Samaritan aims, the proceedings are draped in eerie shadows of human despair and voyeuristic exploitation. Presented by Dan Einstein, UCLA Film & Television Archive.

3:45 pm  break

4 pm  Experimental Out-takes 

Outfest Legacy Project x2
UCLA preservationist Ross Lipman presents a pair recently preserved rarities.

Mona’s Candle Light (ca. 1950) 
Collector Geoff Alexander discovered this 16mm film in an unmarked box he bought at a flea market. The unidentified filmmaker recorded performers (singer Jan Jensen and "drag king, Miss Jimmy Reynard") and patrons of Mona's, a lesbian bar in San Francisco. A deceptively simple document, it presents exceedingly rare images of queer life on its own turf, and on its own terms, a generation before gay liberation.

Epilogue / Siam (1969)
A diptych of intimate lyrical portraits by the late New York underground filmmaker Tom Chomont. Filmmaker/curator Jim Hubbard notes, “Chomont’s films offer a lyric depiction of the ordinary world, but at the same time reveal an unabashedly spiritual and sexualized parallel universe.”
Tom Chomont's Siam
A Fire in My Belly (1986-87)
While the infamous four-minute video of this title, recently created and then censored by the Smithsonian has now been widely seen, this longer (13-minute) rarely screened 16mm preservation print of David Wojnarowicz’s Super 8 work-in-progress reveals a film far more subtle and complex in its meaning and texture. Presented by Bill Brand (BB Optics), who preserved the film for NYU Fales Library & Special Collections.   

The Word Made Flesh?
Unresolved Thoughts on the Unchecked Curatorial Power of Archivists
Mark Toscano (Academy Film Archive) presents

S.W. L.A. (1971)
Rob Thompson shot this short experimental film in Southwestern Los Angeles.

Snail Film (1972)
           A mysterious and perhaps legendary piece made by animator Chris Casady while a student at CalArts.

5:30 pm  College Collage: a Trio of Student Films

Kinky (ca. 1966)
This UCLA student film captures a psychedelic, kaleidoscopic montage of students, beatniks, and hippies on the sidewalk in front of Canter's Deli on Fairfax Avenue. The happening is edited to music by The Kinks. Presented by the filmmaker James Joannides, who co-directed with classmate Maurice Bar-David.

Patient 411: A Progress Report (ca. 1965)
A faux case study of a male hustler, produced by the "California Institute of Neuropsychiatry." The film’s onscreen credits for "technical staff" include "J. Morrison," which refers to then UCLA film student Jim Morrison, soon to gain fame as lead singer of The Doors. Morrison was cinematographer for the film and also provided creative input. Presented by the filmmaker, Ronald Raley.

Five Situations for Camera, Recorder and People (1965)
This beginning UCLA student workshop film intercuts absurdist sequences of increasing violence, providing a fascinating glimpse into UCLA's film school in the 60s, with then student Jim Morrison as location sound man. Director Alex Prisadsky recalls that working on Morrison's student film a week earlier helped to inspire some scenes in this production. Includes footage of a bonfire celebration after a Bruin basketball victory.
Read Alex Prisadsky's entertaining account of making films with Jim Morrison. 

6:00 pm Dinner break  

Saturday (cont'd)

7:30 pm  Closing screenings, closing remarks

The Transgressor (1918) excerpt 
Produced by the Catholic Arts Association amid the First Red Scare and released only in Catholic parishes and schools, this elaborately staged dramatic narrative promotes religious principles against the background of a violent clash between labor and capital. Presented by Andrew Myers (UCLA Cinema and Media Studies). Special thanks to David Shepard. Source: UCLA Film & Television Archive.

The Passaic Textile Strike (1926) reel 5
This legendary labor film, made by International Workers Aid to support New Jersey workers amid a bitter strike, survived in incomplete form until NYU’s Tamiment Library rediscovered a missing reel when it acquired the Communist Party USA Collection. The badly decayed nitrate film was painstakingly rescued by the Library of Congress, revealing a segment showing the plight of “the pale children of the hovels.” Introduced by Steven J. Ross (University of Southern California), author of Working-Class Hollywood.
           Cello accompaniment by Shannon Kelley (UCLA Film & Television Archive).

The Unshod Maiden (1932)
This Universal sound-era parody of Lois Weber’s feature film Shoes (1916) uses a male voice-over commentary to mock a re-edited version of Weber’s earnest plea for women’s wage equity. Part of a wave of similar shorts, the movie demonstrates Hollywood’s rapid disregard for silent cinema in the wake of recorded sound and a broader disregard for Weber’s vision of politically-engaged popular cinema. Introduced by Weber scholar Shelley Stamp (UC-Santa Cruz), who was instrumental in the just-completed restoration of Shoes. Source: Library of Congress.

Two 16mm Paintings
            Artists make films that are of, as, and about painting. Divergent approaches to visual pleasure are framed by a 1950s Uruguayan jazz improvisation and a 1960s minimalist gesture. Introduced by Bill Brand.

Color (1955)
This abstract work by Lidia García Millán is considered the first experimental film shot in color in Uruguay. Preserved by BB Optics, Trackwise, and the Library of Congress, for the Fundación de Arte Contemporáneo in Montevideo and the Orphan Film Project. Source: NYU Department of Cinema Studies. Special thanks to the filmmaker.

            Black and White Movie (1968-69)
By painter and filmmaker Robert Huot. "A nude woman is revealed, and then obliterates herself entirely, in extreme slow-motion. This film is 'about' painting. Outside of painting itself, it is the only really intense criticism I have ever seen." - Hollis Frampton. Source: Canyon Cinema.

Sunday (1961)
A 50th anniversary screening of Dan Drasin’s stunning document of a police crackdown on a peaceful demonstration of amateur folk singers in Washington Square Park, Sunday, April 9, 1961. Drasin was still a teenager when he made this early verité work. Every frame he shot that day appears in the film, along with a few shots taken by friends. Preserved by UCLA Film & Television Archive for the Orphan Film Symposium, with funds from The Film Foundation. Introduced by Dan Drasin

Daydream Therapy (1980)

Student film by Bernard Nicolas set to Nina Simone’s haunting rendition of “Pirate Jenny.” The film is one of the rediscoveries of the UCLA Film & Television Archive’s “L.A. Rebellion” preservation and exhibition project, which explores this key artistic movement of Los Angeles-based Black filmmakers working at and around UCLA in the 1970s and 80s. Presented by Allyson Nadia Field (UCLA Cinema and Media Studies).

Three Super 8 films by Andrea Callard
Introduced by Bill Brand (BB Optics). Source: NYU Fales Library & Special Collections.
            Andrea Callard works in diverse media -- drawing, photography, audio, video, painting, and collage. Based in New York since 1973, she was the Secretary of the artist group Collaborative Projects, Inc., popularly known as Colab. From 1975 to 1979 Callard made Super 8 films, as did other downtown artists during the “No Wave Cinema” movement that Colab spurred.

11 thru 12 (1977)
In this most untypical, and until recently unrecognized “No Wave” masterpiece, Andrea Callard uses the structure of the I Ching to explore the absurdity of explanation and the limits of the measuring mind.

Lost Shoe Blues (1976)
West of the recently completed World Trade Center, the yet-to-be developed Battery Park City landfill had emerged as an undeclared natural preserve. Andrea Callard found unexpected riches of clover that she surveys with her Super 8 camera. Her vocal rendition of “Lost Shoe Blues” adds to the ironic discovery a complex sentiment of regret.

Flora Funera (for Battery Park City) (1976)
Another natural discovery from the Battery Park landfill, this film features synchronized audio of stones being tossed against the reinforcement bars of a retaining wall to create musical notes.

Ron and Chuck in Disneyland Discovery (1969)
Boy meets boy on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom in this audacious queer courtship narrative covertly filmed in Disneyland, guerilla-style, by pioneer filmmaker Pat Rocco. Equal parts love story, travelogue, and pointed activist statement. From the Outfest Legacy Collection, UCLA Film & Television Archive.

Oddball Film + Video finale
San Franciscan entrepreneurial archivist Stephen Parr assembles one of his signature mind-bending ironical short programs of film + video surprises.


Celebrating Orphan Films:  
Screenings & Discussions 

presented by


Apr 27, 2011

Stamp & Brand; Savage film

Among the cinematic arcana on display May 13 and 14 at “Celebrating Orphan Films” are these.

Friday, May 13 – Sean Savage on Madison News Reel (ca. 1932)
Archivist Sean Savage will introduce Madison News Reel, a curious
and even mysterious found film. This 200 feet of nitrate film, found in a barn in Bristol, Maine, was nearly overlooked amid a pile of empty reels. No one knows who made this uncanny collage, which references citizens of Madison, Maine. We’ll be showing the 35mm print from Northeast Historic Film, where Savage formerly worked, and where he researched his NYU MIAP thesis, The Eye Beholds: Silent Era Industrial Films and the Bureau of Commercial Economics (2006).

Saturday, May 14 – Shelley Stamp on The Unshod Maiden (1932)
Shelly Stamp, Professor of Film & Digital Media at UC-Santa Cruz and expert on the work of Lois Weber, will present The Unshod Maiden, Universal’s sound-era parody of Weber’s 1916 film Shoes, also a Universal production. The film uses a male voiceover commentary to mock a re-edited and condensed version of Weber’s earnest plea for women’s
wage equity. Part of a wave of similar parodies, The Unshod Maiden also demonstrates Hollywood’s rapid disregard for silent cinema in the wake of recorded sound, and a broader disregard for Weber’s vision of politically-engaged popular cinema. We'll screen the 35mm print from the Library of Congress, which was essential to the restoration of Shoes, just completed by EYE Netherlands Film Institute.

From The Unshod Maiden

Saturday, May 14 – Bill Brand on A Fire in My Belly (1986-87)
Preservationist Bill Brand of the award-winning BB Optics will
present a screening of this much discussed film, which he preserved for NYU's Fales Library. While the infamous four-minute video condensation of this title (recently created and then censored by the Smithsonian) has now been widely seen, Brand will present the longer, rarely screened 16mm preservation print of David Wojnarowicz’s Super 8 work-in-progress that reveals a film far more subtle and complex in its meaning and texture.

There’s only TWO WEEKS LEFT until “Celebrating Orphan Films” commences at UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see an eclectic selection of unique and innovative films presented by experts in archiving, preservation and film scholarship.

40 films, 30 speakers, only 10 BUCKS!

Apr 26, 2011

Mr. Mojo Risin' at Celebrating Orphan Films

A trio of unique 1960s-era UCLA student films are on-tap for Celebrating Orphan Films, May 13-14 at the Billy Wilder Theater: Kinky (ca. 1966), Patient 411 (ca. 1965) and Five Situations for Camera, Recorder and People (ca. 1965). The original production crew for the latter two of these films included then-UCLA film student Jim Morrison, who would later rise to fame as lead singer of the seminal Los Angeles-based rock band, The Doors.

Alexander Prisadsky, director of Five Situations for Camera, Recorder and People, has shared his recollections of the making of his student film, and his collaboration with classmate Jim Morrison. Mr. Prisadsky’s generous and insightful personal notes provide a fascinating glimpse into the history of UCLA's famed film school in the 1960s, perfectly setting the stage for the upcoming screening of these rare archival treasures.

Read Alexander Prisadsky's extensive notes at:

Apr 22, 2011

Screening May 13 and 14 at “Celebrating Orphan Films”

Highlights from the two-day program will include the following:

Friday, May 13 – Opening Night includes


Produced by the Central Newsreel and Documentary Film Studio in China, Light Cavalry Girl pays homage to the motorcycle stylings of the military's top female riders. Director Jie Shen, now retired, was one of China’s most prolific documentary filmmakers.

Presented by Yongli Li of the Beijing Film Academy and University of South Carolina Moving Image Research Collections. USC MIRC houses a Chinese Film Collection (中国电影收藏) of some 900 film prints and 1,000 DVDs.

Saturday, May 14 - Closing screening includes

Three Newly Preserved Super 8 Short Films by Andrea Callard

LOST SHOE BLUES (Andrea Callard, 1976)
West of the newly completed World Trade Center, the yet to be developed Battery Park City landfill had emerged as an undeclared natural preserve. Andrea Callard found unexpected riches of clover that she surveys with her Super 8 camera. Her vocal rendition of "Lost Shoe Blues" adds to the ironic discovery of a complex sentiment of regret.

Another natural discovery from the Battery Park landfill, this film features synchronized audio of stones being tossed against the reinforcement bars of a retaining wall to create musical notes.

11 THRU 12 (1977)
A “No Wave” masterpiece that uses the structure of the I Ching to explore the absurdity of explanation and the limits of the measuring mind. Bill Brand (BB Optics) preserved these films for NYU’s Fales Library & Special Collections, which houses the Andrea Callard Collection.

Andrea Callard in 11 thru 12; (center) detail of same; (right) Callard in 2010.

** ** ** ** **
There’s only three weeks left until the "Celebrating Orphan Films" symposium commences at UCLA. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see an eclectic selection of unique and innovative films presented by numerous luminaries in the fields of archiving, preservation and film scholarship.
For more information and to purchase event passes or tickets for select screenings visit: http://www.cinema.ucla.edu/events/2011-05-13/celebrating-orphan-films.

-- posted by Ashley Smith (NYU Cinema Studies)

Apr 21, 2011

'Lost' film CLEOPATRA (1917) found in Coney Island.

Coney Island? Cleopatra was REALLY lost, eh.

New fragment of legendary 'lost' film CLEOPATRA (1917) found in Coney Island.

The hosts (Jack Garcia & Rev. Hal Shaw) of the popular alternative media program God Rock Radio stumbled across the historical clip at a local book exchange on a mislabeled video tape.

Unlike the 30 second fragment shown on TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES this newly unearthed footage featuresfluid camera movement and classic silent screen pantomime acting. Theda Bara was the screen's first sex symbol and made over 40 films, sadly only 2 complete features are known to exist.

"We contacted over a dozen film archives" said Writer/Director Jack Garcia,"but they didn't bother to return our phone calls or e-mails. I don't think they believed us, so we decided to make it available to the public".


A popular Angerian image.

Apr 19, 2011

4 clips previewing CELEBRATING ORPHAN FILMS at UCLA, May 13-14

Mark Quigley assembled this short preview of
Celebrating Orphan Films, May 13 & 14, at UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater.

Watch clips from 4 of the 40 seldom-seen films that 25 experts will
screen. One $10 pass admits you to everything.

Apr 9, 2011

50th Anniversary of Dan Drasin's film entitled SUNDAY

Washington Square Park, April 9, 1961. Frame from Sunday courtesy of Dan Drasin

Happy April 9th! 

It's the 50th anniversary of teenager Dan Drasin shooting his documentary film of a protest in Washington Square Park (Greenwich Village), at which a few hundred folksingers and civil libertarians gathered to demonstrate against New York City's ban on . . . wait for it . . .  singing folk songs in the park!

NPR's "Morning Edition" today broadcast a piece about the event and interviewed Dan Drasin.

LISTEN:  http://www.npr.org/2011/04/09/135240040/how-the-beatnik-riot-helped-kick-off-the-60s
On the webpage there's a link to Drasin's own page, where he generously allows us to watch his 17-minute movie.

Sunday was originally distributed by Emile de Antonio, who then took Warhol to see it, which got Andy interested in making films himself. Sunday was preserved by the UCLA FilmTV Archive's Ross Lipman, with funding from The Film Foundation. The 16mm original was also blown up to 35mm, a print of which premiered at the 2008 Orphan Film Symposium at NYU. 

See Sunday in 35mm at "Celebrating Orphan Films," May 13-14, 2011, at UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater (in the Hammer Museum). The celebrations are co-presented by the UCLA Film & Television Archive, New York University's Orphan Film Symposium (see also NYU Tisch School of the Arts and Department of Cinema Studies, Moving Image Archiving and Preservation program), along with Los Angeles Filmforum.

Apr 8, 2011

una archivera Joven reports from Mexico City

          (not to be confused with Filmoteca UNAM)

An official announcement is expected in June, but advanced word is that la Cineteca Nacional México will be launching a national film preservation project for home movies and the like, officially designating it: Los Archivos Huérfanos.

Un anuncio oficial se presenta en junio, sin embargo las noticias avanzadas es que la Cineteca Nacional de México iniciará un proyecto de cine nacional, para la preservación de las home movies. ¿El nombre? The Orphan Archives

Apr 4, 2011

Walter Forsberg reports from the Midwest

Salutations, Orphan Peoples!

As a heads-up to you nice folks out there, I write to tell that the Orphan Film Project screening on April 2nd (at the 13th edition of the Wisconsin Film Festival) was a success. Obvs, Dan Streible assembled nothing short of a crackerjack line-up of some of the best stuff from past symposia and Orphans-related screenings.

I was particularly pumped about the inclusion of several Wisconsin-related Orphan-y works, and a 16mm print of the newly-preserved Lillian Schwartz work from 1974, Galaxies (thank you, once again, Colorlab). 

Leon Russell, Mickey Raphael (harmonica), Paul English, with Willie Nelson.

Also, I can report a treat to the citizens of Chicago: The Nightingale Theatre sponsored a prematurely-festive screening of the not-orphaned 1979 concert film, Willie Nelson's Fourth of July Celebration last night at James Bond's Cinema Borealis. Special thanks to Christy LeMaster, who is 'specially super sweet, for arranging this event. Full deets: http://nightingaletheatre.org/nightingalefront1.html

-- Walter Forsberg

Apr 2, 2011

Time Travel and Dreams of a Better Life (in Wisconsin)

April 2, 2011 
(Madison, Wisconsin)

Today moviegoers at the sold-out University of Wisconsin Cinematheque screening of orphan films also read the following notes.

The Orphan Film Project is an ongoing, international, collaborative endeavor to save, study, and screen neglected moving images. Media archivists, artists, scholars, technical experts, lab owners, curators, collectors, students, and other self-identified orphanistas contribute to the project, gathering for the biennial Orphan Film Symposium now adopted by the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University (and formerly by the University of South Carolina, 1999-2006). NYU Cinema Studies and its Moving Image Archiving and Preservation master’s program integrate the concept and practice into coursework.

The Wisconsin Film Festival presents a program of films curated by symposium organizer Dan Streible (NYU associate professor of cinema studies) and emceed by Walter Forsberg (NYU MIAP alum, independent documentarian, NY Libraries Research Fellow, snipe collector, and co-founder of l’Atelier-National du Manitoba).

The newly preserved film prints, selected from ten archives, range in time from A Trip Down Market Street Before the Fire (1906) to Helen Hill’s dreamlike Scratch and Crow (1995) -- both recently added to the National Film Registry. Other travels include a newsreel camera van’s drive down Manhattan’s Radio Row in NYC Street Scenes and Noises (1929), the imaginative USIA propaganda short A Letter from Colombia (1963) and its previously unseen contemporary, Ed Emshwiller’s March on Washington (1963). The enigmatic, anonymous found-film Madison News Reel (ca. 1932), the intuitive verité Sunday (1961) by teenager Dan Drasin, and the I Ching-inspired 11 thru 12 (Andrea Callard, 1977) make for unconventional time travel -- as will the premiere restoration screening of Galaxies (1974), a mindbender by pioneering computer artist Lillian Schwartz. 

* * * *
UW Cinematheque
April 2, 2011, 1:30pm

[pre-show 35mm snipes reel courtesy of Walter Forsberg]
Orphan Films:
Time Travel and Dreams of a Better Life

Presenter: Walter Forsberg (NYU Libraries)

Beyond the Images in This Dark Box (Russell Sheaffer and Jim Bittl, 2010)
Trailer for the 7th Orphan Film Symposium.

National Film Registry
Scratch and Crow (Helen Hill, 1995) 16mm,  4ʼ 
Source:  Harvard Film Archive. Preserved by Colorlab.

National Film Registry
A Study in Reds (Miriam Bennett, 1933) 16mm, b/w, silent, 24’ (DVD excerpt)
Source:  Wisconsin Historical Society

Campus Smiles (1920) 35mm, b/w, silent, 5’
Source:  Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research

Madison News Reel (unknown, ca. 1932) 35mm, b/w, silent, 3’
Source:  Northeast Historic Film (Bucksport, Maine)  

National Film Registry
A Trip Down Market Street Before the Fire (Miles Bros., 1906) 35mm, b/w, 12’
Score by Agatha Kasprzyk and Rafael Leloup (NYU Film Scoring Program, 2010)
Source:  Prelinger Archives

NYC Street Scenes and Noises (Fox Movietone News, 1929) 35mm, b/w, 12’
Source:  Univ. of South Carolina, Moving Image Research Collections. Preserved by Cinetech.

Sunday (Dan Drasin, 1961) 16mm to 35mm, b/w, 17’
Source:  UCLA Film and Television Archive.
Preserved for the Orphan Film Symposium with funding from The Film Foundation.

March on Washington (Ed Emshwiller, 1963) 16mm, silent, 9’
Source:  Anthology Film Archives. Preserved by Cineric.

A Letter from Colombia (James Blue, USIA, 1963) 35mm, b/w, 10’
Source:  National Archives and Records Administration

first-ever screening of the newly preserved
Galaxies (Lillian Schwartz, 1974) 16mm, 5’
Source:  Ohio State University Rare Books and Manuscripts Library (thanks to Lisa Iacobellis). Preserved by BB Optics and Colorlab.

11 thru 12 (Andrea Callard, 1977) original Super 8 (mag. sd.) to 16mm (opt. sd.), 11’
Source:  NYU Fales Library and Special Collections 

Unannounced finale
[Andy Warhol EPI at RISC] (WJAR-TV, April 1, 1967) 2' 
Source:  Oddball Film + Video (Stephen Parr).


The next Orphan Film Symposium -- "Made to Persuade" -- happens next year, April 11-14, 2012, at the renovated and expanded Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, New York.