Nov 25, 2015

Orphans at MoMA: Animation and Activism. The final program looked likethis.

Orphans at MoMA: Animation and Activism
Ten Rediscoveries from the Orphan Film Symposium
To Save and Project
The 13th MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation
Museum of Modern Art,  11 W. 53rd St. NYC
November 24, 2015, 7:00 pm

Katie Trainor (MoMA) Welcome

Dan Streible (NYU Cinema Studies, Moving Image Archiving and Preservation)
1. Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze, Jan. 7, 1894 (W. K-L. Dickson, 1894) aka Fred Ott’s Sneeze, 10 sec., si., b/w, DCP. Restored by the Library of Congress.
2. [Fred Ott Holding a Bird] (Dickson, Edison, 1894) 8 sec., si., b/w, MOV
            Lobster Films (Paris) made a 2K scan of the 16mm negative held at the Academy Film Archive in the Blackhawk Film Collection. Merci Serge Bromberg et David Shepard.

John Canemaker (NYU Kanbar Institute of Film and Television, Animation Area)
3. [Roaring Richard logo] (John McIntyre, ca. 1985) 8 sec. color, MOV

Canemaker offered the following about "Roaring Richard" in his Orphans at MoMA tribute: "The little film recalls the great affection and admiration that students and colleagues of Richard held for him, his films, and the animation program, which he established in the late 1970s at NYU. The short was screened at NYU’s annual Spring Animation Showcase in June 1985.  Six years later, Richard Protovin succumbed to AIDS at the tragically young age of 46."

The whereabouts of the original film is unknown. (John McIntyre verified it is not in his garage.) At some point the 16mm film was transferred to Beta SP or 3/4" U-matic videotape, which was dubbed to a VHS cassette ("Richard Protovin Animation Retrospective  5/4/1993") which Canemaker donated to the NYU George Amberg Memorial Film Study Center in 2015). The Study Center digitized the VHS and created a DVD-R copy, from which I ripped an MPEG-4 file, used to create the QuickTime movie seen here.  4. Straw Pib (Richard Protovin, 1979) 8 min. 16mm, color, NYPL for the Performing Arts 5. Fan Film (Richard Protovin, 1985) 12 min. 35mm, color, MoMA Film Study Center Kimberly Tarr (NYU Libraries) & Kate Donovan (Tamiment Library)
6. [Photographic Unit of the 15th International Brigade] (Harry Randall, 1937–38) 12 min., 16mm, silent, b/w; with audio interview of Randall, 2002.
Three reels of 16mm film were preserved with the support of Rickard Jorgensen and Carol-Jeanette Jorgensen. The Harry Randall: Fifteenth International Brigade Films and Photographs Collection is part of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives at NYU. Charles Musser (Yale) & Walter Forsberg (Smithsonian NMAAHC)
7. Count Us In (Union Films, 1948) 10 min. 16mm, b/w
The Pearl Bowser Collection, National Museum of African American History and Culture             A Young Progressives of America presentation of a Union Films Production. Produced by Carl Marzani. Directed by Max Glandbard. Written and music by Bob Claiborne and Adrienne Claiborne. Camera: Vic Komow, Jack Gottlieb, Leroy Silvers. Sound: Richard Patton [Andy Cusick?]. With Bob Claiborne, Henry Wallace, Pete Seeger, Paul Robeson.

Henry Wallace’s presidential campaign on the Progressive Party ticket in 1948 included a series of films produced by Marzani. Several were filmed in Philadelphia during the party convention. Bob Claiborne’s on-camera introduction was shot in New York, at the Union Films studio on West 88th Street.
Walter Forsberg (National Museum of African American History and Culture)
8. [Bedford-Stuyvesant Youth In Action] (unknown, 1967) 6 min. 16mm, silent, b/w
            Amateur footage from the Pearl Bowser Collection, preserved in 16mm. Associated with filmmaking workshops by Brooklyn-based Hortense "Tee" Sie Beveridge (1924-1993), the unedited footage has recently been found to have companions. About an hour of silent 16mm film, much of it in color, documenting Youth in Action, also resides in the Bowser Collection. Tee Beveridge attended NYU School of Film in the early 1950s, became a professional editor and the first woman of color to join the cinema technicians' union. (Her husband Pete joined us at the MoMA screening. See his memoir about their life together: Lowell P. Beveridge Jr., Domestic Diversity and Other Subversive ActivitiesMill City Press, 2009.)
Tee & Pete, in Domestic Diversity
Blake McDowell (Smithsonian NMAAHC / NYU MIAP)
9. Venus and Adonis (Harry Dunham & Jules Bucher, 1935) 10 min. MOV, b/w Cast: Anne Miracle, Victor Kraft, Eric[k] Hawkins. Music: Paul Bowles.
Victor Kraft and Erick Hawkins. Movie Makers magazine, Aug.1935.
            An amateur production by two filmmakers who went on to significant careers in documentary. For this screening, the Library of Congress made a 2K scan of MoMA’s 16mm sound print.  The next step in the restoration of Venus and Adonis involves the Library scanning a silent print from its Aaron Copland Collection, which has superior visual qualities, and marrying that to the MoMA soundtrack.            Joining us at the screening was Mr. Van Bucher, son of two filmmakers, Jules Bucher and Miriam Bell Bucher. 
Tanya Goldman (NYU Cinema Studies) 10. Men and Dust (Lee Dick, Inc. 1940) 16 min. 35mm, b/w Direction: Lee Dick and Sheldon Dick. Commentary and photography: Sheldon Dick. Narration: Storrs Haynes, Will Geer, Eric Walz, Robert Porterfield. Music: Fred Stewart. Editing and Montage: Jules V. D. Bucher. Assoc. Editor: Edward Anhalt. Based on the findings of the Tri-State Survey Committee, this aesthetically ambitious labor advocacy film exposes the plight of lead and zinc miners afflicted with silicosis in Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas. Although seldom scene, it was added to the National Film Registry in 2013. Preserved in 35mm by the National Archives and Records Administration.  
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NYU hosts the 10th Orphan Film Symposium at the Library of Congress National Audio-Visual Conservation Center April 6-9, 2016. Register at

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Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of NYU Tisch School of the Arts