Aug 30, 2013

Frampton, Hampton, Kartemquin, Bogdampton: the outs


A great addition to the lineup for the Orphan Film Symposium at Indiana University ("Materiality and the Moving Image"), September 26-28.

from the Frampton notebooks

The morning session on Saturday will now include scholar Ken Eisenstein screening his selection of outtakes from the films of Hollis Frampton. For a sample of the excellence of both Messrs. Eisenstein and Frampton, there is the excellent Blu-ray disc A Hollis Frampton Odyssey (Criterion #607), featuring 24 films (1966-1979), running 266 minutes, with a booklet containing essays by Mr. Eisenstein alongside Ed Halter, Bruce Jenkins, Michael Zryd, and another very good friend of the show, Bill Brand.

Register to attend the whole shootin' match in Bloomington:  65 presenters and dozens of moving image works in a variety of material formats, from celluloid film to DCP. Material dating from January 1894 to September 2013. Premieres, re-premieres of restorations, rediscoveries, never-screened films. With catering and other accoutrements. Keynote by Tom Gunning (U of Chicago).

Door prizes.

Here's the outtakes session:

Saturday, Sept. 28 in the Indiana University Cinema 
9:00am to 11:45am  Outs_&_Trims
  • Ken Eisenstein (Bucknell / Mount Holyoke) from Hollis Frampton
  • Carolyn Faber (Kartemquin Films) from Kartemquin Films
  • Nadia Ghasedi (Wash U) from Eyes on the Prize, Henry Hampton
  • Noelle Griffis (IU) from the IU Peter Bogdanovich Collection


Criterion bonus:
Hollis Frampton's Surface Tension (1968) 

Aug 25, 2013

Thursday @ Lincoln Center: Occupy and Beyond & George Stoney Tribute

Guest blogger for this post is Jon Dieringer. In addition to being a film curator in New York, he is also beginning his final year in NYU Cinema Studies' Moving Image Archiving and Preservation master's program.

Although Jon's text originated as an e-mail blast, it brings together several threads of film and video programming directly relevant to the Orphan Film ethos. In fact, looking over the programming below, I see that most of the filmmakers and others highlighted in bold have presented at past Orphan Film Symposiums in both NYC and Columbia, SC. The words are Jon's; the images and links were added.

Jon Dieringer (photo:  • • • • • • • • • •  George Stoney at Orphans 5

Hey friends,

I wanted to send you notice of two events I've helped plan and co-organized this Thursday, August 29, which happen to be back-to-back and across the street from each other at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts Citadel on the island of Manhattan.

First up, at 6:00 pm at the New York Public Library for Performing Arts [Bruno Auditorium, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza] is the New York Film/Video Council's Second Annual George Stoney
Memorial Screening. George Stoney, who passed away just over a year ago at age 96, is a legendary filmmaker, teacher, activist, and a pioneer of both documentary film and public television. He was a virtually lifelong member and former president of the NYFVC, an organization that I have been proud to serve on the board of for just over one year now. For this year's screening, NYPL's Elena Rossi-Snook will introduce a program of New York City portraits set against a backbeat of community, faith and jazz: How to Look at a City (1964, 29 min.) and Shepherd of the Night Flock (1978, 59 min.). Both films screen from 16mm prints held by the NYPL's Reserve Film & Video collection, and admission is free and open to the public.

Then at 8:30 pm at the Film Society of Lincoln Center [Howard Gilman Theater, 144 West 65th Street], Occupy Wall Street and Beyond is a program I have organized in collaboration with Dennis Lim, FSLC's new Director of Programming. The program contains work shot in and around Zuccotti Park and kindred historical documents of protest, direct actions, and polemical performance. Among the work is a video of Occupy Cinema's direct actions at the Charging Bull statue, including a breathtaking projector performance by Bradley Eros and discussion with CUNY's Theories of Anti-Capitalist Movements class.

The program also includes work by Jack Smith w/ Ken Jacobs (Scotch Tape), Newsreel (The Case Against Lincoln Center, Garbage, Mill-In), Red Channels/Glass Bead Collective (From Wall Street to Wall Street to Wall Street), Jem Cohen (Gravity Hill Newsreels), and Zoe Beloff (Days of the Commune, excerpt). Rachael Rakes will moderate a conversation with Beloff, Cohen, Matt Petersen (of Red Channels), myself (of Occupy Cinema), and others TBA. Admission is $13 general, $9 students/seniors.

I think these are two personally meaningful and exciting programs, and it would be a pleasure to see you there. I'm very eager to see the, in some instances, rather underscreened work projected from its original intended formats, and in such a stimulating context. I am also grateful to the Film Society of Lincoln Center for allowing us to show at least three historical pieces sharply critical of the institution and to invite candid discussion about cinema and radical politics.

Plus: I have my usual torrent (pun) of programming at Spectacle, including Klaus Kinski spaghetti western And God Said to Cain (Sat., Aug 31), a series of unearthed spaghetti westerns organized with David Wilentz (all Sept.), a semi-irreverent screening tribute acknowledging the ten year anniversary of the deaths of Johnny Cash and John Ritter (Sept. 11), Anand Patwardhan's Father, Son and Holy War, an exploration of the psychology of violence and male insecurity in Indian culture (Sept. 16 and 25), a Filipino extravaganza starring the great/awful Chris Mitchum, SFX Retaliator (Sept. 28) an evening with Barry Gifford (author, Wild at Heart) presenting the rarely-screened David Lynch/Gifford television show Hotel Room (Oct. 17) (shout outs to Mark D. Freado Jr. & Cristina Cacioppo), and some other rare screenings and personal appearances in October that are just TOO EXCITING to announce yet.

Thanks for your indulgence, and see you soon,

Jon Dieringer

Aug 23, 2013

ALL VOWS: a sneak peek + Historical Recordings of Kol Nidre.

updated August 24 and 26, 2013

Bill Morrison's new film-to-HD transmogrification of materiality into the ineffable, All Vows,  finds moving images to accompany composer Michael Gordon's musical composition of the same name, first performed in 2006 (although Gordon has revised the piece for 2014). Cellist Maya Beiser, for whom Gordon wrote "All Vows," premiered the work at Zankel Hall in New York, part of her program "Almost Human."

The New York Times review of that performance noted:

Electronics play a more vital role . . . in Michael Gordon's "All Vows," a reimagination of Kol Nidre, the central prayer of the Yom Kippur service. Ms. Beiser played a plaintive, arpeggiated line amid a variegated electronic cloak woven mostly of voices, and against an attractively simple video by Luke DuBois.
 *               * A Conversation of Cultures, Spoken Through a Cello's Voice," March 11, 2006.

I haven't seen Mr. DuBois's attractively simple video. But it's safe to say (based on Morrison's past films and DuBois's videos -- 34 of which are excerpted here -- that Mr. Morrison's source materials and aesthetic will bring a much different visualization to the Gordon-Beiser piece. Both media artists have collaborated with the Bang on a Can All-Stars (see again Gordon, Beiser) on multimedia musical presentations. But DuBois works more closely with computer music and digital video; Morrison with film qua film: good old-fashioned nitrate cellulose material, infamous for its unquenchable flammability and chemical decomposition. It was that decaying quality that brought forth the Gordon-Morrison collaboration Decasia, one of the most celebrated experimental film works of the new century.

For the spiritual, religious, ancient, reflective, somber substance of Kol Nidre, Morrison's return to images taken from decaying 35mm films makes sense. As momento mori, few things better conjure up thoughts of mortality than a life recorded on film curiously decomposing. Although the chemical breakdown of film emulsion lying on a nitrate base can lead to the erasure of any recognizable trace of an original photographic image, Morrison's images are seldom abstract. They are moments carefully selected for their uncanny impact.

Here's a Morrison sample from the forthcoming All Vows.
courtesy of Bill Morrison

Few things are more ghostly or, in this case, we might even say scary. Only a phantom of a human figure remains. Nothing is digitally manipulated in these swirls and naturally occurring "brush strokes."

To return to the musical qualities of the traditional Kol Nidre invocation of Yom Kippur, since a Beiser recording of Gordon's "All Vows" is not yet available, we can prepare for it with a reminder of other musical interpretations. And indeed to a landmark of cinema.

Below is singer Al Jolson's Kol Nidre, in a semi-synchronous portion of what is often mistakenly referred to as the first "talkie."  Two minutes from The Jazz Singer, with the jazz singer Jack Robin honoring his cantor father's dying wish, returning to his synagogue as Jakie Rabinowitz.

Twenty years later, Jolson released this remarkable recording, "Kol Nidrei" on Decca Records (4200 LX 4698). (The flip side of the 78rpm disc was entitled "Cantor on the Sabbath," sung in Yiddish. The Kol Nidrei is in Aramaic.) The basso reach of Jolson's voice is the unexpected part, particularly given that he was then 61.

Other significant historical recordings of this music can be heard on the Library of Congress's fabulous resource, the National Jukebox. All three Kol Nidres are from Victor records (Victor Talking Machine Co.).

* A 1912 recording by violinst Maximillian Pilzer, with piano accompaniment, listed in the Victor catalog as Plegaria hebraica. 

* Cantor Josef Rosenblatt sings Kol Nidre in Hebrew on a 1913 record, accompanied by organ.

* Rosenblatt's "Die Neuer 'Kol Nidre'" recorded in English in 1923, with an ensemble (violin, viola, cello, flute, and organ) conducted by Victor's musical director Nathaniel Shilkret.

Josef "Yossele" Rosenblatt was a popular singer ("the Jewish Caruso") and recording artist until his death in 1933, as well as the leading cantor of his era. From the foreword to his book Selected Recitatives by Cantor Yosef Rosenblatt for the Synagogue (1927):

He performed as himself in The Jazz Singer (1927).  In this scene, Jolson's title character attends a Rosenblatt concert of sacred songs, thereby preparing for his return to sing Kol Nidre in his father's synagogue.

 As Hillel Tryster points out, he died while in Palestine to make one of the earliest sound films produced there.

Finally, the magazine Reform Judaism (Fall 2007) compiled a great annotated list of "Ten Kol Nidre Tracks." Here's my condensation of the ten citations, with some amplifications and additional metadata.

 1. Hazzan Alberto Mizrahi with the Western Wind Vocal Ensemble. The Birthday of the World: Music and Traditions of the High Holy Days: Part II: Yom Kippur (Western Wind, 1998), narrated by Leonard Nimoy! 

 2. Spanish-Portuguese sung by Hazzan Abraham Lopes Cardozo (Congregation Shearith Israel, NYC) (private recording). See also, sung in Hebrew, the CD album The Western Sephardi Liturgical Tradition (Jewish Music Research Centre, 2004; SISU Home Entertainment, 2006).

 3. Cantor Manfred Lewandowski (1895-1970), late 19th-century arrangement by German composer Louis (Eliezer) Lewandowski. On Great Synagogue Composers, Vol. X (Musique International, 1979; CD 1989). Out of print. But available online at Judaica Sound Archives (Florida Atlantic University Libraries). Sung in Hebrew, with organ accompaniment by Franz Doll. PDF of original liner notes. No date is given for the audio recordings, which came from the private collection of Joseph Greene, and from New York Public Library's Benedict Stambler Memorial Archives.  Nimbus 7096 CD Legendary Cantors (2000) reproduces a 78 rpm recording of Kol Nodre by "Manfred Lewandowsky," but only dates the compilation as recorded between 1908 and 1947. Other Lewandowski recordings appear on Vorbei -- Beyond Recall (BCD 16030, 2001), a CD issued by the German label Bear Family Records, which describes its content as "a record of Jewish musical life in Nazi Berlin, 1933-1938."
[Addendum: As R. S. Hillel Tryster (former director of the Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive in Jerusalem) offers in this comment below, cantor/baritone Lewandoski in his later years hurt his voice by trying to sing tenor to please American congregations. Tryster's fond memory -- hearing the Gregor Piatigorsky cello version as a 78 rpm disc on his grandmother's gramophone -- brings us back to the cello motif that emerged in this blog report about Kol Nidre (all vows), Morrison's new film All Vows, the Orphans Midwest Films for Cello program, and cellist Maya Beisier's upcoming All Vows tour.]

Here's a 1941 verision on Decca, cello solo with piano and organ. Judaica Sound Archives has kindly merged the A and B sides for us.

On the Internet Archive, there's this 1947 recording of Eugene Ormandy conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra in Max Bruch's "Kol Nidrei, Adagio on Hebrew Melodies, Op. 47," with Piatigorsky on cello, of course.

Ah! But here ("archived" as a .rar file), from a website in Russian (, is a reproduction of the 78 Tryster inherited from his grammy's gramophone: the B side of a 1929 Odeon recording.

Piatigorsky and his cello can be seen as well as heard playing Kol Nidre in a documentary for the Jewish Chautauqua Society, Choose Life (1976). I haven't seen the film, but a book of the same title has this to say about it:

It is the eve of Yom Kippur, 1973, and Gregor Piatigorsky, the world-renowned cellist, is introduced by Rabbi Nussbaum and begins the Kol Nidre. Half way around the world the Arabs have launched their attack on Israel. This is the first time Piatigorsky has played in a synagogue, and significantly he is playing Kol Nidre, which Tolstoy said described the "martyrdom of a grief stricken people". As that magnificent music is played so eloquently and heart-rending by Piatigorsky, the rabbi is giving his sermon, which that night was entitled "Choose Life," and which he says is our prayer for peace. 
Terry King's book Gregor Piatigorsky: The Life and Career of the Virtuoso Cellist (2010) says only Choose Life shows him playing portions of Bruch's Kol Nidrei "interspersed within a historical backdrop." The JCS Facebook page says the film "relates the modern relevance of the Yom Kippur liturgy," and was given awards at the New York International Film Festival.

There are at least 25 Kol Nidrei recordings on Judaica Sound Archives.

Another is here: Pablo Casals's "solo on violincello" (with orchestra accompaniment) in 1914. Columbia A5722. And on YouTube, there's a copy of the sublime Casals recording of the Bruch, with piano accompaniment, from 1923 (Columbia 68019-D).

 4. Richard Tucker, with organ and choral accompaniment on the LP Kol Nidre Service (Columbia Records, 1978). Setting by composer Sholom Secunda. The Secunda setting was also used in the Yiddish-language film Kol Nidre  (dir. Joseph Seiden, 1939) restored in 2012 by the National Center for Jewish Film. Now available in Blu-Ray and DCP!  Apparently the Secunda setting was also used in the 1930 short Kol Nidre (Judea Films, Inc.; produced by Seiden, dir. Sidney M. Goldin). [Is the 1930 film extant?]

 5. Cantor Lisa Levine, setting by Samuel Adler. Gems of the High Holy Days (Transcontinental Music, 1999).

 6. The Immortal Cantor Yossele Rosenblatt (Cantors Assembly, 2007), 6-CD set, includes the 1913 recording heard (above) on the LOC National Jukebox.

 7. Haifa Symphony Orchestra, Jewish Prayers (Mace Records, 1965?). Max Bruch’s setting of "Kol Nidrei" (sic) for cello. Soloist Hamissa Dor . Out of print LP.

 8. The 6th movement of Beethoven's String Quartet in C# minor, Op. 131 (1826). On, for example, Emerson String Quartet, Beethoven: The Late String Quartets (Deutsche Grammophon, 2003).

 9. The Electric Prunes, Release of an Oath: The Kol Nidre (Reprise, 1968). In English.
In spirit of the times, here's the liner note to this LP, written by someone named Jules B. Newman (about whom I can find no information).
Through the centuries and out of the travail of the past, man has many times, in his search for a better life, been forced by powers beyond his control to foreswear the principles of his fathers and to accept the yoke of a conqueror who might vanquish his body, but not his soul. But no man of principle can live with himself having foresworn the ideals that he lives by. In yearning to free his spirit of the conqueror's yoke, he has conjured up a psychological release that enables him to break the chains that bind him to any oath made under duress and in violation of his principles. Such a lament is the Kol Nidre - a prayer of antiquity which cleanses the spirit and enables man to start anew, with his eyes again on the stars.  
This, then, is the music of the Kol Nidre, which is as modern and meaningful today as when it was first written. David Axelrod has brought the music into a contemporary stance by blending the melodies of the centuries with today's contemporary sounds. David Hassinger has taken the efforts of David Axelrod and, with his provocative talents, has in turn blended them into this artful presentation by The Electric Prunes.

 10. For sitar! Nicolas Jolliet, "The Jolliet Kol Nidre," Kol Nidre Goes East (2006). Independently released MP3.

And this media archaeology about the presence of Kol Nidre ends with another surprising turn -- in an Afghanistan war zone in 2009. The Jolliet sitar version of the incantation led the Canadian Broadcast Corporation to produce this radio documentary -- The Kol Nidre in Kabul -- for its series Outfront. Listen at

Producer Harold Levy wrote on the website words we might think serendipitous with the creation of Michael Gordon's "All Vows" and the new All Vows by Bill Morrison and cellist Maya Beiser.
The Kol Nidre has exercised a powerful religious and musical influence over the centuries. One of the adjectives most commonly used to describe the Kol Nidre -- the opening prayer recited on the eve of Yom Kippur -- is “haunting”. The great cellist Jacqueline Du Pré is said to have asked that her recording of Kol Nidre be played by her bedside as she lay dying. “She knew music, and she knew her urgent need: to hear the haunting strains of this mysterious, magical melody, leading into a personal and communal song of remembrance and of promise”, a writer Joann G. Breuer] noted. Other commonly used adjectives include “plaintive”, “meditative”, “intoxicating” and “liberating." 
Here is one of many Web links to: Jacqueline Du Pré's recording of Max Bruch's Kol Nidrei, Op. 47, Adagio on Hebrew Themes for Cello and Orchestra (1881), performed with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and her newly-wed husband Daniel Barenboim. The EMI recording is from 1968, when Du Pré was 23 years old. She made her last cello recordings in 1971 and died of multiple sclerosis in 1987, at age 42.

Her earlier recording was made in 1963. Herbert Downes and Jacqueline Du Pré, Bruch "Kol Nedrei" on the LP Music for Viola and Cello.

His Master's Voice, CSD-1499, UK (1963 LP)  ****  EMI Classics, Bruch: Kol Nidrei (2002)

 In 2007, EMI Classics issued the CD box set Jacqueline Du Pré: The Complete Recordings (#04167) with 17 discs!  

Du Pré               ||           Beiser


Aug 22, 2013

Maya Beiser in Films for Cello -- Indiana University Cinema -- Sept. 26

Here's a version of the press release from

Maya Beiser in Films for Cello
Indiana University Cinema
World Premiere of the film All Vows by Bill Morrison
Orphans Midwest 2013 Film Symposium
Thursday, September 26, 2013 at 8:30pm
Indiana University Cinema | Bloomington, IN
Tickets: $30 at the IU Auditorium Box Office. 812.855.1103.

Watch Maya’s new NPR Tiny Desk Concert:

Bloomington, IN — Cellist Maya Beiser will perform live in Films for Cello, featuring music written by composers Steve Reich, Michael Gordon, and Michael Harrison, all with film by Bill Morrison, on Thursday, September 26, 2013 at 8:30pm presented by the Orphans Midwest Film Symposium at Indiana University Cinema. The evening includes the world premiere of Morrison’s film All Vows, with music by Michael Gordon, which was commissioned by Indiana University Cinema and the Robert A. and Sandra S. Borns Jewish Studies Program.

Films for Cello will begin with Light is Calling, written by Michael Gordon in his studio on Desbrosses Street in New York during the days and months after September 11, 2001. Morrison’s film for the piece was created by reprinting and re-editing a scene from the black and white 1926 film, The Bells. Maya will also perform Steve Reich’s iconic work, “Cello Counterpoint,” written for her in 2003 and scored for cello soloist with seven pre-recorded cello parts. Reich calls the work, “one of the most difficult pieces I have ever written.”

The second half of the program begins with Just Ancient Loops, a 25-minute piece by Michael Harrison that unveils every aspect of the cello – from its most glorious and mysterious harmonics to earthy, rhythmic pizzicatos. Morrison’s film for the piece makes use of archival footage, chemical processes and animation to present a unique view of the heavens.

Michael Gordon’s composition “All Vows” is a reimagination of Kol Nidre, the opening prayer of the Yom Kippur service. The music was commissioned for Maya in 2006, through the generosity of the Maria and Robert A. Skirnick Fund for New Works at Carnegie Hall. Of his new film All Vows, which completes the program at the IU Cinema, Bill Morrison says, “As in my previous work with Michael, the film will highlight the fragile and corporeal nature of ancient film stock – the implication of an unknowable future as reflected through a dissolving historic document.” [Note: Gordon has substantially revised the music for this new incarnation.] Over the past 20 years Bill Morrison has built a filmography of more than 30 projects that have been presented in theaters, museums, galleries and concert halls worldwide. His work often makes use of rare archival footage in which forgotten film imagery is reframed as part of our collective mythology. Variety calls him, “One of the most adventurous American filmmakers.”

Beiser bio:  Raised in the Galilee Mountains in Israel, surrounded with the music and rituals of Jews, Muslims, and Christians, while studying classical cello repertoire, Maya has dedicated her work to reinventing solo cello performance in the mainstream classical arena. A featured performer on the world’s most prestigious stages, she has collaborated with artists across a wide range of musical styles, including Brian Eno, Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Tan Dun, James Newton Howard and Carter Burwell, among many others.
            Maya’s 2011 TEDtalk performance has been watched by close to one million people. It featured “Cello Counterpoint” with Bill Morrison’s video of the same title (watch at
            Maya is a graduate of Yale University and a founding member of the Bang on a Can All-Stars. Her discography includes five solo albums and many studio recordings and film music collaborations. Her 2010 album Provenance topped the classical and world music charts.  Collaborating with renowned film composer James Newton Howard, Maya is the featured soloist on several film soundtracks including M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening, Denzel Washington’s The Great Debaters, Edward Zwick’s Blood Diamond, Rupert Sanders’ Snow White and the Huntsman, and M. Night Shyamalan’s After Earth.

Maya tweets: @cellogoddess.

She is managed by Opus 3 Artists.

Photos by ioulex, available in high resolution at

Aug 21, 2013

More Looks at the new look of MATERIALITY AND THE MOVING IMAGE

Days until the Orphans Midwest film symposium at Indiana University:  36. 

Do come to Bloomington, September 26-28.

Do REGISTER before all the seats are taken!

Judges selected this poster contest entry for the cover of the printed symposium booklet. Unbeknownst to the judges, it was submitted by Ashley Blewer, who is giving a paper at the Sept. 26 mini-conference devoted to Placing Orphan Films. (Conceptually placing them, that is.)

The Kodachrome images of U.S. Navy sailors at a boxing match come from a home movie collection recently acquired [I think] by the University of South Carolina Moving Image Research Collections -- where Ms. Blewer works as a film archivist.

Aug 20, 2013


Only 37 days left until the big Orphans Midwest symposium at Indiana University.

Do come to Bloomington, September 26-28.

Do REGISTER before all the seats are taken!

Aug 19, 2013

About AMPAS Orphans aka "Orphans at the Academy" aka "Orphans West 3"aka "The Real Indies"

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences 
& NYU Cinema Studies

Friday, May 10, 2013

Shirley Clarke's Portrait of Jason (1967)
newly restored by the Academy Film Archive & Milestone Films

Randy Haberkamp (AMPAS) introduction of special guests:

Critic Elvis Mitchell (moderator) with Robert Fiore (assistant on Jason),
Dennis Doros (Milestone), and Oscar-winning filmmakers  
Rob Epstein (Academy Board of Governors) and Jeffrey Friedman.

"Academy Discussions" offers this video excerpt.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

May Haduong (Academy Film Archive)
Dan Streible (NYU / Orphan Film Symposium and Academy Scholar)
Building the Hollywoodland Sign (Fox newsreel footage, 1923) 35mm print: University of South Carolina Moving Image Research Collections

Helen Hill home movie, New Orleans, + camera test (2003-04) b/w, color
Source: Center for Home Movies and the filmmaker's estate.

FEMALE-NARRATED TRAILERS from the Packard Humanities Institute Collection

Tessa Idlewine & Cassie Blake (Academy Film Archive) Helga (1967), Malibu High (1979), and Tomboy (1985)

TRIBUTE to FILMMAKER LES BLANK (1935 - April 7, 2013)
Running Around Like a Chicken with Its Head Cut Off (1960) 16mm, b/w
          His first student film at the University of Southern California. Cast: Les and Gail Blank, Pieter Van Deusen. Preserved by Academy Film Archive.
Oh My God! It’s Harrod Blank (David Silberberg, 2008) DVD, excerpt in which Les talks about his early career as an industrial filmmaker-for-hire

          The 1967 International and Universal Exposition in Montreal featured innovative, experimental, and large-format films.

Josef Lindner (Academy Film Archive) with A Place to Stand (1967) Produced in 70mm for the Expo’s Ontario Pavilion; Oscar for Live action short: restored by the Academy.

Walter Forsberg (above, left; NYU Libraries) introduces an excerpt from The Shape of Films to Come (CBS, 1968) 16mm, preserved by the Academy. Walter Cronkite narrates the supposed future of the multi-screen experience through films produced for Expo 67.
          + Forsberg digital compilation of 16mm home movies shot at the Expo (1967-68) shown alongside Super 8 footage he shot on the same locations in 2004.

          Whether purposefully shot amateur works or modest home movies, small-gauge films far outnumber theatrical motion pictures. When preserved, they provide a wide array of perspectives on the past.

Lynne Kirste (Academy Film Archive)
a 35mm San Francisco home movie (Herman Barfield, 1917)

Descendants of filmmaker Herman Barfield being acknowledged by Lynn Kirste. (Photo: AMPAS)
Baseball at Wrigley Field, Los Angeles (Richard Brooks, Nov. 7, 1948, 16mm Kodachrome) Satchel Paige (then of MLB Cleveland Indians; age 42) pitches for the Royals, a barnstorming team of Negro League players. The Gene Bearden-Bob Lemon All-Stars (from the Cleveland Indians) oppose.

Todd Wiener (UCLA Film & Television Archive)
footage of the Hollywood Gay Pride Parade (Pat Rocco, 1971)

Rick Prelinger (Prelinger Library & Archives) "Remaking the Archive with Home Movies"
+ excerpts from his work in progress, No More Road Trips?
from a home movie maker's visit to Dealey Plaza, Dallas (1965) [cell phone snapshots of Rick's clips]

TWO SILENT REDISCOVERIES: music by Michael Mortilla
Jeff Lambert (NFPF) The Love Charm (1928) two-color system Technicolor, shot by Harry Renahan. Restored by and repatriated to George Eastman House; nitrate material from the New Zealand Film Archive.  Part of the NFPF project "Lost and Found: New Zealand."

Snowden Becker (UCLA) The Bishop of Hollywood (Fred Caldwell, 1924) Previous lost short from the five-film series produced by "Hollywood Comedies." Preserved by the Academy.


Mark Quigley (UCLA Film & Television Archive) introduces
Hey Mama (Vaughn Obern, 1969) UCLA student documentary about Black Venice

Jacqueline Stewart (Northwestern) and artist S. Pearl Sharp discuss a series of short 'wraparounds' called Lead-In, which Sharp produced (and hosted on screen) for Black Entertainment Television (Saundra Sharp and Thom Eubank, 1981). Lead-In guests included Dr. Henry Hampton (physicist and pioneering historian of "race movies"), Ron O'Neal (Super Fly), and Max Julien (The Mack, Cleopatra Jones).

          The cinematic artistry of in-house industrial productions and sponsored films.

Showley Brothers Candy Factory (1924) Source: San Diego History Center. Preserved by the Academy with a grant from NFPF.

Ralph Sargent (Film Technology Co.) introduces a film he directed (uncredited) for the IBM chairman's address to stockholders: Transformations (1968).

Sean Savage (Academy Film Archive) with a version of A New Look for the Bell System (Saul Bass, 1969), re-edited by Bass himself for his own teaching purposes.
Savage demonstrates how big the screen is in the Dunn Theater. 

Jan-Christopher Horak (UCLA Film & Television Archive and Academy Film Scholar)
From Here to There (Saul Bass, 1964), presented by United Airlines at the 1964 New York World’s Fair.

Priya Jaikumar (USC) introduces Two (A Film Fable) (Satyajit Ray, 1964), a short telefilm produced for the syndicated TV series Esso World Theatre. Also known as Parable of the Two. Introduction includes a clip from Jalsaghar (The Music Room), (Satyajit Ray, 1958).


Pre-show: Countdown snipes, 35mm reel courtesy of Walter Forsberg

10 short film from off the map and under the radar (if not beyond the pale)

When the Organ Played “Oh Promise Me” (Cecil Stokes, ca. 1943) the sole surviving Auroratone. Soundtrack vocal by Bing Crosby. Preserved by Film Technology Co. for the Orphan Film Film Symposium; print owner Robert Marten donated the material to the Academy. Introduced by Walter Forsberg.

"Shit Happens: The Salvation of a Lost Student Film." Director Penelope Spheeris and Academy preservationist Mark Toscano discuss and screen her never-before-seen 16mm film Shit (1969).

Dino Everett (USC Hugh M. Hefner Moving Image Archive) shows Felix Ferdinando and His Orchestra in Musical Moments (Bristolphone, 1929-30), projected on an original Western Electric/Vitaphone 16mm sound-on-disc film projector. From the Herbert E. Farmer Motion Picture Technology Collection.

City Harvest (OWI, ca. 1943-44) "Victory gardening" in Chicago's ethnic neighborhoods. Heather Linville introduces a new 35mm print from the Academy's War Film Collection.

What About Thad[?] (Keith Atkinson; BYU Motion Picture Studio, 1968)  + [Being Alone] (Bonneville Productions, 1980) TV spot for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Both introduced by Hadrian Belove (The Cinefamily)
Opening title (left) and end title (?) explain the variable title listings in catalogs. The original 1968 release was listed as 20 minutes. Belove introduced an 8-minute version (which appears to have been done in 1973). 

Help! My Snowman's Burning Down (Carson Davidson, 1964) Brian Meacham introduces the Academy's preservation of this Oscar-nominated satire on the Madison Avenue image of the world. Cast: Bob Larkin.

        Larkin contacted the Academy to report how surprised hew was to find a 49-year-old image of himself on the cover of the Academy calendar that came to his mailbox prior to "The Real Indies." He spoke at the screening about the making of Snowman. Photos: Matt Petit / ©A.M.P.A.S.

 Naked Yoga (Paul Cordsen, 1974) Academy Award, Best Documentary Short Subject. Excerpt introduced by Academy curator Ed Carter

excerpt from Don't Bank on Amerika (Peter Biskind, Stephen Hornick, & John C. Manning; Cinecong Films, 1970) from University of California Santa Barbara Film Archive. Documentary about the burning of a Bank of America building in Isla Vista, California, Feb. 25, 1970. Introduced by Ross Melnick and Charles Wolfe (UCSB)

Mission to Mongo (Jim Hoberman, 1978) premiere 16mm screening of the newly-preserved work from Anthology Film Archives. Support from the National Film Preservation Foundation and the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts. The filmmaker, better known as critic J. Hoberman, assembled postcards from the streets of Chinatown in New York, superimposing political texts in Brechtian fashion. Introduced by Dan Streible, with a nod to the Academy Foundation for funding NYU student internships at Anthology.

Liz Keim & Sam Sharkey of the Exploratorium's Cinema Arts Program introduce Jon Boorstin, who introduces his film Exploratorium (1974). Premiere screening of the Academy's new 35mm restoration of the museum's eponymous documentary.

* * * * 
Thanks to Barbara Hall (Margaret Herrick Library) for digital presentation of glass lantern slides from the Herrick Library collections; and to Mike Pogorzelski (Academy Film Archive).
* * * * 

Sunday, May 12, 2013
          Adam Hyman (right; Los Angeles Filmforum) announces an Orphan Film event on Sunday. Scholar-programmer Genevieve Yue (left) with a lineup of experimental films, including Releasing Human Energies (Mark Toscano, 2012) (center): "China Girls" at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. .

          A Los Angeles Filmforum event co-sponsored by the NYU Orphan Film Project.

Aug 11, 2013

Such a program! Orphans Midwest: Materiality and the Moving Image

IU Libaries Film Archive, IU Cinema, & NYU Orphan Film Symposium 
Orphans Midwest:  Materiality and the Moving Image
September 26-28, 2013
@ Indiana University Bloomington

Thursday, Sept. 26  9am-5pm,
Indiana University Memorial Union (Dogwood Room)

    SCMS Nontheatrical Film and Media Scholarly Interest Group graduate student conference
Placing Orphan Films
Martin Johnson (Catholic U), Amanda Keeler (Marquette U), and Andy Uhrich (IU)

8am                 coffee & pastries
9am  Category Problems
Luke Stadel (Northwestern U) Placing “Scientific” Cinema in the Pre-Nickelodeon Era 
Dave Sagehorn (Northwestern U) Amateur Adjacent and Nearly Orphaned: Complications in Categorization
Ashley R. Smith (Northwestern U) Recurring Nightmares: The Shifting Ephemerality of “Exclusive” Serial Killer Interviews in America’s “Wound Culture”
10:15am          coffee break
10:30am  Toward a Historiography of Film’s Productive Forces, via Twin Cities Archives 
Matt Levine (U of Minnesota) Films that Teach: Audio-Visual Education Services
Rachel Schaff (U of Minnesota) Tracing the Archival Function: Home Movies, Amateur Films and the Institution
Anaïs Nony (U of Minnesota) Walter Breckenridge and the Educational Nature Film of the 1950s
Jen Hughes (U of Minnesota) Media Ethnography in Practice: Sadie Benning, the Walker Art Center, and Social Capital in the Film Archive
12noon            lunch
1pm     Orphan Geographies
Ben Strassfeld (U of Michigan) Local Orphans: Examining the Local through Detroit Newsreels 
Nate Brennan (NYU) Orphan Films or Prisoners of War? The Use of Captured Enemy Motion Pictures as Evidence and Intelligence during World War II 
2:15pm             break 
2:30pm  Future Directions
Ashley Blewer and Travis Wagner (U of South Carolina) Un-Caging the Orphan: What Intersectionality Can Teach Us about the Educational Role of Orphan Works
Brian Real (U of Maryland) Orphan Films and Digital Humanities: Bad Metadata as a Barrier to Good Research
Kit Hughes (U of Wisconsin - Madison)  “It’s the Pictures that Got Small”: Incorporating Video in the Orphans Movement
3:45pm             break
4:00pm  Closing Thoughts
6:30pm  Opening Reception  IU Auditorium 

8:30pm  Films for Cello   
Four works presented by filmmaker Bill Morrison 
with live performance by Opus 3 artist and cello virtuoso Maya Beiser
            Light Is Calling (2004) music by Michael Gordon
            Cello Counterpoint (2005) music by Steve Reich for Maya Beiser
            Just Ancient Loops (2012) music by Michael Harrison for Maya Beiser
            world premiere of All Vows, with Michael Gordon’s music, “All Vows” (2006)

Indiana University Cinema and the Robert A. and Sandra S. Borns Jewish Studies Program commissioned Bill Morrison’s All Vows. The project is supported by Indiana University’s New Frontiers in the Arts & Humanities Institute.

|                                                                              |

Friday, Sept. 27  in the Indiana University Cinema
9:00am Welcome
Orphans Midwest trailer (Russell Sheaffer, 2013)
Rachael Stoeltje (IU Libraries Film Archive), Jon Vickers (IU Cinema), Dan Streible (NYU Orphan Film Symposium)

9:15am Keynote by Tom Gunning (U of Chicago)

10:00am  Silent-Era Films  
Mike Mashon (Library of Congress) Paper Prints in the DataCine Era   
Dan Streible (NYU) Versions of "Films": Kinetoscopic and Digital
Heddi Vaughan Siebel (media artist) Anthony Fiala’s Arctic Expedition Films, 1901-1905
            + A Dash to the North Pole (Charles Urban, 1909) compilation film, with partially retitled with Swiss German intertitles. 35mm print from BFI National Archive
Greg Wilsbacher (U of South Carolina) The Fox Varieties Series: Frogland (192?) and the Unreleased A Frontier Post (1925)
11:30am  break 
11:45am Media Migration  chair: Jeff Martin (Independent Media Arts Preservation)  
Mike Casey (IU Media Preservation Services) The Media Preservation Initiative
Stefan Elnabli (Northwestern U Library)  The Open-Source Avalon Media System: Digitizing 2,425 Wildcat 16mm Football Films (1929-89)
Mona Jimenez (NYU) Early Video Processing Tools: Art & Technology
1:15pm  lunch  
2:30pm Educational Films and University Distribution chair: Rachael Stoeltje
Alex Kupfer (NYU) University Extension Programs and Nontheatrical Film Distribution
Natasha Ritsma (Kenyon College) History of the IU Audio-Visual Center  
Amy Beste (School of the Art Institute of Chicago) EB Films: The Living City (1953)
Marsha Gordon (NC State U) & Allyson Nadia Field (UCLA) On Felicia (U of California Media Center, ca. 1965) and Felicia Bragg
4:15pm  break 
4:30pm  Indiana – Working for a Living   
Donald Crafton (U of Notre Dame) and Andrew Beckman (Studebaker National Museum) Partnership of Faith (Studebaker Corp., 1949)
Gregory A. Waller (IU) a home movie from Brown County
James Paasche (IU) Transportation Underground: The Story of a Pipeline (Robert Young, for Indiana Farm Bureau Co-Op Association, 1953)

6:30pm  dinner break (on your own)

8:30pm Portmanteau: 35mm, 16mm, HD, and ¼” Magnetic Audio Tape
Kit Hughes (Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research) trailers from the Emile de Antonio Collection: Millhouse: A White Comedy (1971) and the German-language Point of Order (1964)
Greg Wilsbacher introduces the premiere of the 35mm restoration A Frontier Post (Fox, 1925), musical accompaniment by Gabriel Gutierrez Arellano
Jennifer Reeves introduces her hand-painted 16mm film Landfill 16 (2011)
Albert Steg (Center for Home Movies) introduces Suitcase of Love and Shame (Jane Gillooly, 2013) and the suitcase of tapes he discovered
Q&A with filmmaker and Guggenheim Fellow Jane Gillooly (School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)


Extramural Blue Note: IU Cinema’s public programming on this Friday night includes a midnight screening relevant to the symposium, but not technically part of Orphans Midwest. Free admission for registered symposium attendees.

11:59 pm  public screening (Adults only.)
Eric Schaefer (Emerson College) introduces William Mishkin productions
            The Orgy at Lil’s Place (Jerald Intrator, 1963) 77’
            + trailer for Fleshpot on 42nd Street (Andy Milligan, 1972)


|                                                                               |

Saturday, Sept. 28 in the Indiana University Cinema

9:00am Outs & Trims  
Nadia Ghasedi (Washington U) from Eyes on the Prize, Henry Hampton Collection
Carolyn Faber (Kartemquin Films) from Kartemquin Films  
Ken Eisenstein (Bucknell U) from the Hollis Frampton Collection
Noelle Griffis (IU) from the Peter Bogdanovich Collection  
10:45am  break 
11:00am  Off the Rails: Hell Bound Train  
Jacqueline Stewart (U of Chicago) and Brian Graney (IU Black Film Center/Archive) Early Black Film Artifacts as Material Evidence: Digital Regeneration
S. Torriano Berry (Howard U) Reconstructing the Eloyce Gist Film Fragments at the Library of Congress: Hell Bound Train (1929-30) and Verdict Not Guilty (1930-33)

12:30pm  lunch 

2:00pm Kinsey Institute Film Archive chair: Russell Sheaffer (IU)
Eric Schaefer (Emerson College) on William Mishkin and The Orgy at Lil’s Place (1963) Joseph Slade (Ohio U) and Liana Zhou (Kinsey Institute)   
3:30pm  break 
3:45pm Recontextualizing Bits & Pieces  
Greg Wilsbacher on Indiana University Graduation (Fox Movietone News, 1929)  
Craig Kridel (U of South Carolina Museum of Education) Alice Keliher and the Human Relations Film Series (1937-1942)
Screening: a rare archival16mm print from the HR series:
Fury (lynching) (Human Relations Commission, 1939)
edited by Helen van Dongen
from Fritz Lang's Fury (MGM, 1936)
Andy Uhrich (IU) The Film Group of Chicago: Advertising Films and Verité Documentary  

5:15pm  break 

5:30pm Closing Thoughts and Discussion

6pm  reception +  dinner, IU Art Museum
    featuring Skip’s 16mm Silent Science Screening projected by Skip Elsheimer (A/V Geeks)

8:30pm  Music in Orphan Films in the Indiana University Cinema

Curated by Kelli Hix  

(singer/songwriter, musician, and film archivist at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum) 

Hix Pix Mix likely to include things such as:

Bradley Reeves (Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound): Kincaid on Makin’ Music (WBIR-TV, Knoxville, 1983)
Andrea J. Kelley (IU): Hong Kong Blues and Lazy Bones (1941, Hoagy Carmichael) IU Archive of Traditional Music
Asia Harman (IU Libraries Film Archive): Hoosier Promenade (Janet R. MacLean; IU Audio-Visual Center, 1957)
Anne Wells (Chicago Film Archives): Park Band (Hedman-Gray, Inc., ca. 1965)
Carolyn Faber (Kartemquin Films): Anonymous Artists of America (Gordon Quinn and Jerry Temaner, 1970)
Greg Pierce (Orgone Archive): Sonambients: The Sound Sculpture of Harry Bertoia (Jeffrey Eger, 1971)
Garden Gates:  performing live with a collage of science and nature films from IU Libraries Film Archive
Andy Uhrich (Center for Home Movies): Blanche’s Recital (Arthur H. Smith, 1977), with live accompaniment by Lylas
Kelli Hix (Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum):  Super 8 Kodachrome home movie of Dolly Parton, Porter Wagoner, and other country music stars in Anderson, Indiana  (1971)
Jake Austen (Roctober Productions):  Chic-A-Go-Go highlights (Chicago Access Network Television, 1996-2013)
Skip Elsheimer (A/V Geeks):  All Girl Melody Makers (Castle Films, 1946)
Sara Chapman ( Media Burn Independent Video Archive): Cheat-U-Fair (Columbia College Visual Production Seminar: Carl German, Thomas Phillips, Bruce Real, Scott Rosenthal, Marsha Rudak, Bob Schordje, and Al Stoncius; instructor Jim Passin, 1980)
Liz Coffey (Harvard Film Archive): Honky Tonk Bud (Scott Laster, 1986)