Nov 22, 2014

An Amateur Cinema League of Nations

Orphans at MoMA: 
An Amateur Cinema League of Nations
November 18, 2014 • 6:30pm • 
Museum of Modern Art • Titus Theater 2

Inaugurating an annual collaboration between the Museum of Modern Art’s To Save and Project Festival of Film Preservation and the Orphan Film Symposium at NYU.

Program by Marissa Hicks-Alcaraz, Dan Streible, and Katie Trainor

Music by Stephen Horne

David Weiss (Northeast Historic Film)
Scarf Dance (Hiram Percy Maxim, 1930) 2'
Up the Moose River in 1928  (Maxim, 1928) 16mm excerpt, 5'
Poem of Montclair (Olin Potter Geer, 1933) 34’  
Two pieces from the man who founded the Amateur Cinema League in 1926, plus the premier of the 2K scan of a day-in-the-life film by an ACL enthusiast from Montclair, New Jersey. Geer wrote about the making of his poem in Movie Makers magazine. 

Dan Streible (NYU Orphan Film Symposium)
Unidentified Theisen No. 1: [Triptych Poem] (maker/s unknown, 1926) 4’
35mm print from the Library of Congress 
Before the Polyvision triple-screen in Napoléon vu par Abel Gance (1927), unidentified filmmakers made this widescreen experiment. Based on the poem “In Youth, Beside the Lonely Sea” (1896) by Thomas Bailey Aldrich. 

Charles Tepperman (University of Calgary)
Another Day (Leslie P. Thatcher, 1934) 10’ 
A founder of the Toronto Amateur Film Club earned one of his three Ten Best awards from the ACL’s Movie Makers magazine for this city sinfonietta. Thanks to Josephine Black (Toronto Film and Video Club); Archives of Ontario; John Gledhill at Bit Works, Inc.; and Peter Oleksik (MoMA).  DCP premiere. 

Kimberly Tarr (NYU Libraries) 
The Abbakadabba Coopno (Robbins Barstow, 1941) silent, color and b/w, 15’
with music track by Bruce Ramsey added in 2006
“The Newark Kid-Stars in Their Real-Life Drama of Christian Farm Work”
Premiere of new 16mm print.  Preserved by NYU Libraries (Nancy Cricco, Janet Bunde, and Paula De Stefano) with a National Film Preservation Foundation grant. Thanks to the Barstow family.                                         

Maria Vinogradova (NYU Cinema Studies)
Na odnoi zemle (On the Same Earth, 1976) 10’
Author: Vladimir Medvedev, People’s Film Studio of the House of Culture of Professional Technical Schools of Leningrad (DK Proftekhobrazovania). Script by Boris Goller. 
A Soviet dance ensemble boards the ship Mikhail Kalinin in Leningrad and travels to Montreal, at the time when traveling abroad was akin to flying to the moon. Digital copy from the director’s 35mm print. 

Above is the text handed out to the audience at the MoMA screening on November 18.

Curator Josh Siegel invited us to organize an orphan film / amateur film screening as part of the 12th To Save and Project: The MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation. And he was generous in announcing this as an annual collaboration with the Orphan Film Symposium. Since home movies and amateur films have always been a core part of the symposium, it was a good match.

Joe Gardner at NHF scanned the 16mm print of Poem of Montclair (1933). It begins with these two ACL leaders joined together.

Scarf Dance (Hiram Percy Maxim, 1930) silent, b/w, 16mm, 2',  + other amateur pieces not on the program, including O. P. Geer's Boothbay Harbor (1938) silent, color, 16mm, 1'.

Unidentified Theisen No. 1: [Triptych Poem] (unknown, 1926) b/w, 35mm, 425 feet, 4:44 at 24 fps