Jun 20, 2013

post script to June 6th posting ". . . watching Eichman"

Thanks to the community of archivists on the AMIA-L listserv, and to some Facebook responses, I now have a clearer understanding of what and where the video recordings (2" Quad masters, 3/4" U-matic copies, DigiBeta copies, and digital video files) of the Eichmann trial are. The short answer is: State Archive of Israel, Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Museum, and U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. More details on that soon. 

For the moment, below are links to two of the principals in the debate about later use of the Eichmann trial footage. 

Here is the page with video segments (totaling 99 minutes) of Eyal Sivan talking about his 1999 documentary The Specialist at the conference entitled "Filming [sic] the Eichmann Trial," held at UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies, February 22-23, 2009.  (I say "sic" because no one filmed anything. All recordings of the 1961 Eichmann trial were on 2" videotapes. Also on this page are video segments (totaling 110 minutes) of cinematographer Tom Hurwitz talking about his father, Leo Hurwitz, who directed the television cameras in the courtroom during the April-August 1961 trial. 

and for something completely different....

Here is the audio (42 min.) of Stewart Tryster giving his presentation 
"Editing the Truth Away: The Eichmann Trial and The Specialist," delivered at the Sorbonne conference Le procès Eichmann: Réceptions, médiations, postérités, June 7-9, 2011. Tryster references watching the Sivan recording made at UCLA two years earlier. He offers a detailed analysis of the differences between the The Specialist and the original trial recordings. The differences are significant and are, he argues, arranged in such a way as to lead to a viewer to derive incorrect conclusions about the evidence clearly available from the unedited originals.

Sivan is still defending his controversial film. Only yesterday (literally -- June 19) The Specialist was screened at the annual Robert Flaherty Film Seminar (flahertyseminar.org), with the filmmaker in attendance. This year's seminar, the 59th, is entitled "History Is What's Happening," programmed by Pablo de Ocampo. Sometime in the not too distant future, we will get to listen to the post-screening discussion recorded yesterday. NYU Fales Library is currently digitizing all of the extant audio recordings of the Flaherty Seminar made by the organization in the past six decades. The library will preserve the original materials and make the digital copies available online.  

The Web announcement of the Flaherty's donation of the audio collection to NYU contains a video excerpt (5:55) of a multimedia piece created for the 2011 Flaherty Seminar ("Sonic Truth").  Erik Piil assembled pieces of the silent footage known as Louisiana Story Survey Film (1947, shot by Ricky Leacock; color corrected by Colorlab) and added audio from the historic seminars. The voices of Frances Flaherty, Ricky Leacock, Standish Lawder, Arnold Eagle, and others are heard discussing Robert Flaherty's Louisiana Story (1948) and Louisiana Story Study [not Survey] Film (George Amberg and Nicholas Cominos, 1962)at seminars in the 1958, 1963, and 1968. 

Here is the YouTube version.