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April 29 - May 1, 2005

Buried Treasures: Film Archives in Focus


Introduced by Archivist Andrew Lampert, Anthology Film Archives
April 29 (Friday) 7 pm

Essential Cinema

In 1968, the founders of the Anthology Film Archives in New York organized a collection of films knows as the Essential Cinema Repertory. The collection was designed to be a continuous critical tool in the investigation of the essential works created in cinema and played a significant role in the acceptance of avant-garde films as part of the cinematic canon. Archivist Andrew Lampert presents a selection of works from this groundbreaking collection.

Films will include: Thanatopsis (Ed Emshwiller, 1962)
Rhythm in Light, (Mary Ellen Bute, 1934)
No. 16: Oz, The Tin Woodman's Dream (Harry Smith, 1967)
The Man Who Invented Gold (Christopher Maclaine, 1957)
Look Park (Ralph Steiner, 1974)
Newsreel of Dreams (Stan Vanderbeek, 1961)
Lights (Marie Menken, 1966)

Unessential Cinema

From the dustbins of time comes this review of the truly marginalized cinema; the mysteries of the archive unleashed. Archivist Andrew Lampert presents orphan film reels that by their very nature demonstrate what archives cannot, will not, and prefer not to save.

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Introduced by Julie Buck, HFA Conservator
April 29 (Friday) 9:15 pm

Return of the Blue Shorts

Back by popular demand! Until recently, so-called "blue movies"—the stuff of private collections, late-night theaters, and adult video stores—were shunned by archives and dismissed by academia. Yet because erotic cinema has a rich and long history that dates back to the earliest days of film, scholars of "the gaze" have begun to embark on serious study of how such films affect audiences, and film archives, once wary of collecting such material, have finally begun to catalogue the work and grant research access to it. Two years ago the HFA presented a series of these so-called "blue" shorts, which included everything from animated shorts and silent-era stag films to provocative works made in the "swinging sixties." In collaboration with private collectors and culling films from the HFA collection, we offer a new slate of "blue" shorts that offer a fascinating view of a part of film history that is often overlooked.

Introduced by Archivist Rick Prelinger, Prelinger Archives
April 30 (Saturday) 7 pm

Panorama Ephemera

Directed by Rick Prelinger
US, 2004, b/w and color, 89 min.

Panorama Ephemera is a collage of sequences drawn from a wide variety of ephemeral (industrial, advertising, educational and amateur) films, touring the conflicted landscapes of twentieth-century America. This collection focuses on familiar and mythical activities and images in America (1926-1978). Many creatures and substances that often go unnoticed take center stage, including pigs, corn, water, telephones, fire, and rice. At first resembling a compilation, it soon reveals itself as a journey through the American landscape over time. The films' often-skewed visions construct an American history filled with horror and hope, unreeling in familiar and unexpected ways.

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Introduced by Archivist Mark Toscano, Academy Film Archive
April 30 (Saturday) 9 pm

Films from the Academy Film Archive

Although known to the masses as the presenters of the Oscars, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has one of the deepest film collections in the United States and one of the most proflific film preservation programs. Film archivist Mark Toscano presents a selection of recently restored 16mm avant-garde films including:
Film Abstractions 1/2/3 Directed by Harry Smith, 1949, 9 min.
On The Edge Directed by Curtis Harrington, 1949/2003, 6 min.
Logos Directed by Jane Conger Belson Shimane, 1957, 2 min.
Frank Film Directed by Frank & Caroline Mouris, 1973, 10 min.
Even -- As You And I Directed by Roger Barlow, Harry Hay and Leroy Robbins, 1937, 12 min.
Limitations Directed by Robert Nelson, 1988, 9 min.
Obmaru Directed by Patricia Marx, 1953, 4 min.
Castro Street Directed by Bruce Baillie, 1966, 10 min.
Rio Reel Directed by Russ Tamblyn, 1968, 8 min.
The Off-Handed Jape Directed by Robert Nelson, 1967, 9 min.

May 1 (Sunday) 7 pm

Henri Langlois: The Phantom of the Cinematheque (Le Fantôme d'Henri Langlois)

Directed by Jacques Richard
France, 2004, b/w and color, 210 min.
French with English subtitles

As one of the co-founders of the Cinémathèque Française, Henri Langlois played a central role in the establishment of one of the major international institutions devoted to the preservation and exhibition of motion pictures. During his tenure, he was responsible for the rescue of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and the discovery of original negative of The Blue Angel. For all of his accomplishments, Langlois also generated a fair share of controversy; the protests of 1968 nearly led to his banishment from the Cinémathèque until an outcry from the international film community saved him from exile. This expansive documentary provides, in the words of the film’s director, a “warts and all” portrait of the father of the modern film archive.

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