Nov 23, 2016

Huérfanos del cine: the Orphan Film Symposium at the Mar del Plata Film Festival

It's holiday time in the United States, but it's also the week of the 31º Festival Internacional de Cine de Mar del Plata, in Argentina. Programmer Fernando Peña invited two programs from the NYU Orphan Film Symposium as part of the festival's "Revisiones" section.  And the Museo del Cine de Buenos, thanks to museum director Paula Félix-Didier (NYU MIAP graduate), is co-presenting the screening. In particular, she will translate English to Spanish as needed -- and tweet!

The PDF of both programs pops up here.

The Friday program, "Amateurs & Animateurs," mixes home movies and amateur films (from Canada, the U.S., Uruguay, and the Soviet Union) with animation by DIY filmmaker Helen Hill (including Rain Dance her 1990 student film restored in 2007 by NYU Moving Image Archiving and Preservation students with Bill Brand and Paul Gailiunas).

The Saturday lineup, "Nontheatrical Nonfiction" consists of nine pieces, from Albanian, China, and the U.S., including a musical performance recorded in 1928 in Argentina. This Fox Movietone News outtakes, from the University of South Carolina Moving Image Research Collections, has never been publicly screened before.


Dan Streible
Orphan Film Symposium director
NYU Cinema Studies / MIAP Program

Nov 1, 2016

Lost Snippets of Film History Need a Lot of Helping Hands to Get Found-- and Preserved.

It's not every day that a major news outlet runs a film preservation story that doesn't focus on restoring a classic feature film or rediscovered silent-era motion picture. So I would be remiss if I didn't relay here this New York Times story:  "A Lost Snippet of Film History, Found in a Home Movie Shot in 1964," October 30, 2016."

James Estrin / The New York Times
 It's part of writer James Barron's "Grace Notes: A bimonthly column that captures the essence of the people and places of New York."

The report is well written and entirely accurate, so no need to recap it here. As Mike Mashon of the Library of Congress said in related post, "Sometimes it really does take a village." The films mentioned in the Times piece -- a home movie shot by professional filmmaker Ed Feil, Ray and Charles Eames's Think (1964), and Feil's The Inner World of Aphasia (1968) -- involved many mutually supportive institutions and people.

Two not mentioned in the story who deserve much credit are Rachael Stoeltje and Andy Uhrich of Indiana University Libraries Moving Image Archive. As IULMIA Director, she acquired the Feil Collection and got the processing work underway earlier this year. As Film Archivist, he led the work and also mentored Robert Anen during his summer internship for his NYU degree. There's double continuity there, since Uhrich is a graduate of that same NYU MIAP master's program and a board member of the Center for Home Movies.

The Times page does not link to the 18-minute home movie, so here it is, streaming from the Indiana University site.

See it "live," as part of To Save and Project: The 14th MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation.

Orphans at MoMA
Sound: The Inner Whirled of Orphan Films
Saturday, November 19, 2016, 4:15 p.m.
Museum of Modern Art, Titus Theater 2
11 W. 53rd Street, New York

Combining highlights from NYU’s 10th Orphan Film Symposium, and its theme of sound, with even newer rediscoveries, this eclectic program of short films is inspired by the artful and creative flair found among works not made for theaters. Sound and vision serendipitously connect the work of two couples – partners creative and marital: the acclaimed designers Ray and Charles Eames and the prolific but little known Naomi and Edward Feil. Added to the National Film Registry this year, The Inner World of Aphasia (1968) is the Feils’ empathic medical education film, directed with poetic dimensions and a powerful lead performance by. When Ed Feil shot home movies at the World’s Fair of 1964-65, he captured a rare look at the multi-screen installation Think, which the Eameses created for the IBM pavilion – and which the Library of Congress now unveils as a single-screen reconstruction. Also newly restored, and in time for the filmmaker’s centennial, is EPH 4/27/16, Ephraim Horowitz’s sophisticated, wry Super 8 memoir, named one of the Ten Best amateur films of 1979. Rounding out the program with panache are a seldom-seen projection test, a 1908 German film synched to a 1907 opera record, and the Cinémathèque Française’s superb restoration of an early synchronous-sound film of pianist Victor Gille performing Chopin.  

Katie Trainor (MoMA, Film Collections Manager) Welcome
Dan Streible (NYU MIAP) Opening remarks: The Sounds of Orphan Films

John Klacsmann (Anthology Film Archives) 
“Jiffy” Film: SMPTE P16-PP-C (197?) 
Produced for the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers. Vintage 16mm print from Anthology Film Archives. 5 min. 

James Irsay (WBAI-FM) introduces to classical music films
Der Bajazzo: Duett der Nedda (ca. 1908)
Produced by Deutsche Bioscop, Germany. Cast unknown. 
Soundtrack: Vocal by Emilie Herzog and Baptist Hoffmann; conductor Bruno Seidler-Winkler, from Gramophone Monarch Record 044064 II (disc), 1907. 
Restored by DIF - Deutsches Filminstitut, Anke Mebold. DCP. from 35mm. 3 min. 
Premier Nocturne en fa # majeur de Chopin, Interprété par Victor Gille (1928) 
Produced by Gaumont-Petersen-Poulsen, France. 
Restored by Cinémathèque Française, Céline Ruivo. DCP from 35mm. 4 min.

Robert Anen (NYU MIAP)
[NY Fair 1964-1965] 
Home movie filmed by Edward Feil. Preserved by Indiana University Libraries Moving Image Archive. Digital from 16mm. 11 min. 

George Willeman (Library of Congress)
Think (1964) 
Directed by Ray Eames and Charles Eames for the IBM Pavilion, New York World's Fair. Reconstructed in 2016 by Amy Gallick at the Library of Congress. Digital. 10 min. 

Ken Feil (Emerson College) and Rachael Stoeltje (Indiana University)
The Inner World of Aphasia (1968) 
Filmed, directed, and edited by Edward R. Feil. 
Written by Naomi Feil. Cast: Naomi Feil as Marge Nelson. Named to the National Film Registry in 2015. 16mm print from Indiana University Libraries Moving Image Archives. 24 min.

Genevieve Havemeyer-King (New York Public Library; NYU MIAP '15)
EPH 4/27/16  (1979) 
Directed by Ephraim Horowitz. 
Super 8 film scanned by Colorlab for Fandor and the NYU Orphan Film Symposium’s’ Amateur Film Project. 26 min.