Apr 29, 2013

Wanted: graduate student presentations for Indiana University's Orphan Film event

Bloomington, IN --

The announcement below is from Martin L. Johnson [the film scholar, not Osa Johnson's filmmaking husband], who is organizing a one-day conference leading into the Orphans Midwest symposium at Indiana University Bloomington.  Dr. Johnson [thought not that Dr. Johnson] received his PhD from NYU Cinema Studies in 2011, has been teaching at UNC Chapel Hill, and has accepted a faculty position at Catholic University in Washington for fall 2013. 

Martin Johnson and Caitlin McGrath (U of Maryland) co-chair the Nontheatrical Film and Media Scholarly Interest Group within the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. Dave Sagehorn (doctoral candidate at Northwestern U), as the group's grad. student rep., is helping to plan the conference described below.  This Thursday session is also designed to allow graduate students to attend the Orphans Midwest extravaganza that follows it. 

The September 26th daytime event will be followed immediately that evening by the opening of the Orphan Film Symposium entitled "Materiality and the Moving Image," which will continue all day and night Friday and Saturday, September 27 and 28, 2013.  All at the IU Cinema. Registration is open.  www.cinema.indiana.edu/about/orphans-midwest/ 

Call for Papers -- from graduate students 
contact martin.johnson@nyu.edu

Orphans, Disciplines, and the Institutions of Cinema: 
Placing Orphan Films
Indiana University Bloomington
Thursday, September 26, 2013

When the first Orphan Film Symposium was held in 1999, the agenda was clear from its title: “Saving ‘Orphan Films’ in the Digital Age.” Fourteen years, and eight symposia, later, orphan films no longer need scare quotes to be identified, and many previously obscure and unknown films are now at the center of archival and historical investigations of the cinema. Moreover, recent edited collections such as Charles Acland and Haidee Wasson’s Useful Cinema (Duke, 2011), and Devin Orgeron, Marsha Orgeron, and Dan Streible’s Learning with the Lights Off: Educational Film in the United States (Oxford, 2012), demonstrate the history of these films before they were orphaned; they were produced, distributed, and exhibited as part of a larger nontheatrical network and as active participants in alternative cinema cultures.

In this one-day, graduate student conference is presented by the Nontheatrical Film and Media Scholarly Interest Group of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, in conjunction with Orphans Midwest (Sept 26-28), Indiana University Cinema, Film and Media Studies at Indiana University, the Department of Cinema Studies at New York University. 

We ask for papers that consider the analytical, historiographic, and disciplinary consequences of "placing" orphan films in particular theoretical and historical categories. For example, does the identification of orphan works as educational, medical, industrial, scientific, or other genres of films remind us of the specific circumstances of their reception, or does it needlessly encourage a tendency to ahistorically categorize films? Are auteurist histories of individual directors overly dependent on art cinema modes of analysis, or do they give us a way to think of these works are more than mere expressions of institutional ideologies? Should we use the traditional tools of film studies, such as close reading, to analyze orphan films? Or is it preferable to create new methodologies that allow us to consider the tens of thousands of films that make up the orphan archives? How can researchers of orphan films benefit from dialogue with those in science studies, media ethnography, digital humanities, media archeology, and other emerging fields of study to produce interdisciplinary historical and theoretical work on orphan films?

Please submit 300-word proposals, and a brief bio, by May 10, 2013 to Martin.Johnson[@]nyu.edu. If you wish to propose a pre-constituted panel, workshop, or alternative presentation mode, please contact us as soon as possible to discuss your plans. 

Apr 17, 2013

Academy spotlight on 'Orphan Films'

According to Susan King and the April 17th L.A. Times. . . .

The academy will shine the spotlight on 'Orphan Films' in May

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will showcase rarely seen, previously overlooked films with a two-day screening series "The Real Indies: A Close Look at Orphan Films" May 10 and 11 at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood.
The series, presented in partnership with New York University and the Orphan Film Symposium, will feature the West Coast premiere of the restoration of "Portrait of Jason," Shirley Clarke's 1967 documentary about a gay African American self-described hustler. Elvis Mitchell will moderate a panel after the screening that will include Dennis Doros, co-founder of Milestone Films, which recently restored the film in partnership with the Academy Film Archive, and Robert Fiore, the film's assistant to the director.

The series will feature rare home movies, promotional films, silent rediscoveries and experimental shorts including works by Saul Bass and Satyajit Ray. Plus there are premieres of the restorations of Oscar-nominated "Exploratorium," Jim Hoberman's "Mission to Mongo" and Academy Award-winning cinematographer Ray Rennahan's "The Love Charm."

Apr 14, 2013

Call for Presentations on Obsolescence and Orphan Films

Orphans 9

The 9th Orphan Film Symposium
March 30 - April 2, 2014
@ EYE 
in Amsterdam

New York University Cinema Studies joins with EYE (Film Institute Netherlands) and the University of Amsterdam for the ninth international gathering of archivists, curators, scholars, preservationists, and artists devoted to screening and discussing  orphan films (i.e., an eclectic variety of neglected moving images). Film, video, and digital works from around the world will be projected in the magnificent EYE building in Amsterdam, all presented with context provided by expert speakers and creative accompanists. 

Call for Presentations: 
The Future of Obsolescence

The theme of “Orphans 9” is obsolescence, broadly conceived. We invite proposals for presentations on the histories and futures of film and other moving image media. The symposium will consider not only technological and format obsolescence, but also the ways that audiovisual media have recorded and deployed ideas, content, representations, genres, narratives, fashions, and ideologies deemed obsolete or outdated. What neglected cinema artifacts or orphaned media should we re-view and reconsider in order to better understand the world? How should preservationists, archivists, historians, curators, and scholars deal with film and obsolete “new media”? What orphan films document these phenomena and issues? What does “media archaeology” teach us? How are artists, producers, and others using, reviving, and transforming remaindered film and video material? How do archives, museums, libraries, schools, cinematheques, and sister institutions participate in the remix culture of recombinant media 2.0? 

Throughout the three days and four nights of the symposium, selected speakers will lead presentations, screenings, and discussions. Proposals that include the screening of rare, rediscovered, or recently preserved works are encouraged. New media productions using archival or abandoned material are sought for the symposium’s screenings as well, as are technical presentations on moving image archiving and preservation. 

E-mail questions and proposals to Dan.Streible@nyu.edu. First round of proposal review begins June 28, 2013. For more information and updates, visit www.nyu.edu/orphans.

NYU | Cinema Studies | MIAP                   UVA Media Studies | P&P