Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Your Cart   |   Sign In   |   Register
Site-wide Search
Archival News
Share |

Archival News 56.4 (Summer 2017)
Edited by Rielle Navitski


 

ACQUISITIONS

An Estimated 10,000 Films Produced by the US Marine Corps Join the University of South Carolina’s Moving Image Research Collections

An Estimated 10,000 Films Produced by the US Marine Corps Join the University of South Carolina’s Moving Image Research Collections

(The Third Division of the US Marine Corps in Khe Sanh, Vietnam, January 1968. University of South Carolina Moving Image Research Collections/US Marine Corps History Division Film Archive). 

Facing space constraints and the declining condition of its vast holdings of films produced by the US Marine Corps, Marine Corps University entered into an agreement with the University of South Carolina to transfer the films to USC’s Moving Image Research Collections in 2016. The collection’s 18,000 reels of 16mm and 35mm film totaling over 1,800 hours were transferred to a cold-storage vault constructed to serve as its new home.

The bulk of the US Marine Corps films were shot during the 1940s through the 1970s (with some items dated as early as 1918), and contain rare images of World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War along with a range of peacetime activities. Moving Image Research Collections curator Greg Wilsbacher described the acquisition to Free Times Columbia as “a relatively untapped, large cache of Marine Corps history that hasn’t really been seen,” stressing its value for documentary filmmakers as well as veterans and the general public.

A donation from Richard and Novelle Smith in honor of Marines veterans James and John Davis funded the construction of the vault and the purchase of two high-resolution film scanners. MIRC is currently conducting a fundraising campaign to digitize and catalogue the films, which will be made freely available online. A small selection of the US Marine Corps films can be viewed here. To read more about the collection, see here and here.

Close

Mid-Atlantic Regional Moving Image Archive Acquires Baltimore’s WJZ-TV Collection

Mid-Atlantic Regional Moving Image Archive Acquires Baltimore’s WJZ-TV Collection

(Oprah Winfrey as an anchor for WJZ-TV’s Eyewitness News. Mid-Atlantic Regional Moving Image Archive).

A rare surviving archive of television programming produced by a network affiliate, Baltimore’s WJZ-TV, has been acquired by the non-profit Mid-Atlantic Regional Moving Image Archive founded by Siobhan Hagan in 2016.

The bulk of the collection’s materials, preserved on a number of formats ranging from 16mm film to U-Matic videotape, date from 1959 to 2000 and cover local, national, and international topics. Highlights include early on-air appearances by Oprah Winfrey, who worked as an anchor for the local news program “Eyewitness News” and later co-hosted the morning show “People are Talking,” and programs featuring celebrities such as Muhammad Ali, Geraldine Ferraro, Ella Fitzgerald, Dolly Parton, and John Waters.

MARMIA has made available preliminary lists of the collection’s holdings of “People Are Talking,” “Square Off” (a political news roundtable), and “City Line” (a program focused on the African-American community of Baltimore). MARMIA is currently running a fundraising campaign for the inventory and digitization of collection materials, which will be made available on the Mid-Atlantic Media page of the Internet Archive. For more information on the project, see here and here.

Close

Photographs from the Golden Age of Marathi-Language Cinema Donated to the National Film Archive of India

Photographs from the Golden Age of Marathi-Language Cinema Donated to the National Film Archive of India

(Still from Jaga Bhadyane Dene Aahe (Achyut Ranade, Ashok Pictures, 1949). National Film Archive of India.)

One thousand photographs by S.M. Ajrekar have been donated to the National Film Archive of India in Pune by Ajrekar’s daughter Shambhavi Bal. Ajrekar worked as a still photographer for the Prabhat Film Company, Ashok Studios, and Navyug studios between 1942 and 1956, a period that witnessed the decline and resurgence of film production in Marathi in the tumultuous years following Indian Independence and Partition. Productions documented in Ajrekar’s photographs include the comedy Var pahije (1950), the 1951 drama Sharada (an adaptation of a nineteenth-century social-problem play on child marriage), and the children’s film Teen mule (1954). To read more about the collection, see here. 

Close

PRESERVATION

Title on the Library of Congress’s Lost Film List, Secrets of the Night (1924), Rediscovered in Ontario

Title on the Library of Congress’s Lost Film List, Secrets of the Night (1924), Rediscovered in Ontario

(ZaSu Pitts in Secrets of the Night (1924). University of Toronto Media Commons).

A complete print of the comedic thriller Secrets of the Night (Herbert Blaché, Universal, 1924), starring Madge Bellamy, James Kirkwood and ZaSu Pitts, has been rediscovered by University of Toronto media archivist Christina Stewart in a collection donated by Richard and Wayne Scott of Mississauga, Ontario. The films originally belonged to the 16mm rental service of Eaton’s department store, and were purchased by the donors’ father when the service was shut down in the 1940s. The University of Toronto has agreed to restore and digitize Secrets of the Night and the remaining fourteen films in the collection.  For more information on the rediscovery of Secrets of the Night, see here and here. The Library of Congress’s list of Lost U.S. Silent Feature Films is available here.

Close

Nigerian Historical Drama Shehu Umar (1976) to be Digitized and Screened at the 2018 Berlin Film Festival

Nigerian Historical Drama Shehu Umar (1976) to be Digitized and Screened at the 2018 Berlin Film Festival

Considered the first feature produced in the Hausa language, Shehu Umar (Adamu Halilu, 1976), will be restored and digitized through a partnership between Nigeria’s National Film Video and Sound Archive and Nigeria’s German Embassy. Adapted from a historical novel by Nigeria’s first Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Shehu Umar chronicles the kidnapping and enslavement of a young boy in nineteenth-century West Africa. Berlin’s Arsenal Institute of Film and Video Archives will carry out the restoration and digitization of the film, slated to be screened at next year’s Berlinale. The digitization project will also involve the training of National Film Video and Sound Archive staff and the German Embassy’s donation of a film scanner to the institution. To read more about the project, see here and here.

Close

INSTITUTIONS AND ORGANIZATIONS

Czech National Film Archives and Janus Films Sign North American Distribution Deal

Czech National Film Archives and Janus Films Sign North American Distribution Deal

(Still from the medieval epic Marketa Lazarová (František Vláčil, 1967), one of the titles to be licensed in a deal between the Czech National Film Archives and Janus films. Criterion Collection.)

Janus Films and its imprint the Criterion Collection have partnered with Czechoslovakia’s National Film Archives (Národní filmový archiv) to license thirty titles for theatrical and home video release in the United States and Canada, including darkly comic horror film The Cremator (Spalovač mrtvol, Juraj Herz, 1969); historical drama All My Good Countrymen (Všichni dobří rodáci, Vojtěch Jasný, 1968), winner of the Best Director Prize at Cannes; and fairy-tale film Three Nuts for Cinderella (Tři oříšky pro Popelku, Václav Vorlíček, 1973), a coproduction with East Germany’s DEFA studios.

Národní filmový archiv’s director Michal Bregant commented, “The demand for classic Czech films in the US is on an increase, also thanks to the retrospective we have presented this April at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Step by step we broaden the interest of foreign audiences beyond the realms of the new wave.” For more information on the distribution deal, see here.

Close

EXHIBITIONS AND FESTIVALS

Restorations and Rediscoveries Screened at San Francisco Silent Film Festival

Restorations and Rediscoveries Screened at San Francisco Silent Film Festival

(Douglas Fairbanks in The Three Musketeers (Fred Niblo, 1921), restored by the San Francisco Silent Film Festival and the Museum of Modern Art. San Francisco Silent Film Festival).

This year’s edition of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival (June 1-4) featured several restored and rediscovered films, including the Cecil B. DeMille-produced crime drama Silence (Rupert Julian, 1926), believed lost before a print was located at the Cinémathèque Française in 2016; Universal’s restoration of proto-gangster film Outside the Law (Todd Browning, 1920), featuring Priscilla Dean and Lon Chaney; and The Three Musketeers (Fred Niblo, 1921), restored by the festival in partnership with New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Fragments of the comedy Now We’re in the Air (Frank R. Strayer, 1927), which features an early appearance by Louise Brooks and was recently rediscovered at the Czech National Film Archives, screened alongside the Clara Bow vehicle Get Your Man (Dorothy Arzner, 1927). The festival’s yearly “Amazing Tales from the Archives” event featured examples of the Kinetophone (a short-lived synchronized sound system developed by the Edison Company in 1913 and 1914), restored by the Library of Congress; a presentation on the EYE Filmmuseum’s Jean Desmet collection of 1910s films and ephemera; and travelogues by early twentieth-century filmmaker and adventurer Aloha Wanderwell Baker, preserved by the Academy Film Archives.

Close

Il Cinema Ritrovato Celebrates Restored and Classic Films in 90-Degree Heat

Il Cinema Ritrovato Celebrates Restored and Classic Films in 90-Degree Heat

(Still from the crime drama Delhoreh (Samuel Khachikian, Iran, 1962). Il Cinema Ritrovato.)

Running from June 24 to July 2, the Cineteca di Bologna’s festival of film classics and preservation continues to expand, with over 500 films screened and 85,000 overall tickets and 2,500 festival passes sold despite temperatures that peaked at close to 100 degrees. In addition to the “One Hundred Years Ago” section—a fixture of the festival since 2003—featuring films from 1917, the festival showcased roughly 140 films from 1897, including works produced by the Lumière Brothers, Georges Méliès, and the American and British Mutoscope companies. Geographically themed programming at the festival included “Revolution and Adventure: Mexican Cinema in the Golden Age,” and a selection of Iranian thrillers directed by Samuel Khachikian in the 1950s and 1960s. Other sidebars honored actor Robert Mitchum and filmmaker Jean Vigo. A list of festival reports compiled by David Hudson is available on the Criterion Collection website.  

Close

Second Cinema Rediscovered Festival Held in Bristol, UK

Second Cinema Rediscovered Festival Held in Bristol, UK

Held from July 27 through 30, Bristol’s second annual Cinema Rediscovered festival featured a series of revivals and restorations, including a 50th-anniversary screening of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (Stanley Kramer) paired with Jordan Peele’s 2017 Get Out and a presentation of the 25th anniversary restoration of Howards End (James Ivory and Ismail Merchant). The festival also marked the UK premiere of the Academy Film Archive and The Film Foundation’s restoration of The Front Page (Lewis Milestone, 1931), later remade as His Girl Friday (Howard Hawks, 1940). Cinema Rediscovered’s India on Film section, which overlaps with the British Film Institute’s programming for the UK/India 2017 initiative, included a selection of rare pre-Independence Indian silents and a screening of Satyajit Ray’s The Music Room (1958) in advance of its release on Blu-Ray.

Close

UCLA Film and Television Archive to Hold Major Series of “Golden Age” Latin American Cinema

UCLA Film and Television Archive to Hold Major Series of “Golden Age” Latin American Cinema

In conjunction with the Getty Museum’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative focused on Latin American and Latinx art in the context of Los Angeles, the UCLA Film and Television Archive will screen an extensive series of 1930s-1950s Latin American cinema. Entitled “Recuerdos de un cine en español: Latin American Cinema in Los Angeles,” the program calls attention to the city’s role as a major center of Spanish-language film production, distribution, and exhibition. In addition to its partnership with Argentina’s Museo del Cine Pablo Ducrós Hicken and Mexico’s Cineteca Nacional, the UCLA Film and Television Archive has entered into an unprecedented collaboration with the Cinemateca de Cuba to preserve pre-Revolutionary Cuban film. The series runs from September 23 through December 10. To learn more about the Pacific Standard Time initiative, see http://www.pacificstandardtime.org/; additional information about “Recuerdos de un español,” including a list of films to be screened, is available here.

Close

CONFERENCES, SYMPOSIA, AND WORKSHOPS

Singapore’s Asian Film Archive Hosts “Preserving Southeast Asia’s Cinematic Heritage Through UNESCO’s Memory of the World”

Singapore’s Asian Film Archive Hosts “Preserving Southeast Asia’s Cinematic Heritage Through UNESCO’s Memory of the World”

(Participants in “Preserving Southeast Asia’s Cinematic Heritage Through UNESCO’s Memory of the World.” UNESCO Bangkok.)

A workshop hosted by the Asian Film Archive with the support of Singapore’s National Library Board brought together participants from ten countries on June 7-8 to help identify candidates for UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register. Audiovisual materials from Asia-Pacific nations have historically been underrepresented in the register, which evaluates and attests to the historical significance of cultural artifacts. Candidates identified during the conference include the oldest extant feature film produced in Myanmar, The Emerald Jungle (Mya ga naing, Maung Tin Maung, 1934); the works of prolific Filipino actor-director Fernando Poe Jr.; and the propaganda films produced by Cambodia’s brutal Khmer Rouge regime. For more information on the workshop, see here and here.

Close

Sustaining Moving Image and Sound Collections Course Held at the University of Ghana

Sustaining Moving Image and Sound Collections Course Held at the University of Ghana

The University of Ghana’s Institute of African Studies and Rome-based nonprofit ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property) partnered to offer a two-week course on audiovisual preservation in Accra from July 9 through 23. Bringing together participants from twelve countries, the course was developed in collaboration with the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, Ghana’s National Film and Television Institute, the International Council on Archives, and the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives. The training incorporated sessions on photochemical, video, audio, and digital preservation, cataloging and metadata, and creative re-use, using the University of Ghana’s J.H. Kwabena Nketia Archives, a collection focused on Ghanaian music and performance traditions, as a case study. More information on the event is available here and here. 

Close

Northeast Historic Film Hosts Summer Symposium

Northeast Historic Film Hosts Summer Symposium

The Bucksport, Maine-based Northeast Historic Film held its seventeenth annual summer symposium on the topic “Regional Moving Image Collections and Archives in the 21st Century” from July 20 to 22. Historical case studies of amateur and youth filmmaking accompanied talks focused on regional television and videotape preservation. More information about the 2017 symposium is available here.

Close

AWARDS

American Archive of Public Broadcasting Receives $1 Million Mellon Foundation Grant

American Archive of Public Broadcasting Receives $1 Million Mellon Foundation Grant

WBGH’s American Archive of Public Broadcasting, which has digitized over 40,000 hours of radio and television programming sourced from more than 100 public television stations and media organizations, has been awarded a $1 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The grant will support the acquisition of additional materials, training for partner institutions, and increased accessibility of the collections by scholars and the public. Over half of the archive’s holdings are freely available on www.americanarchive.org. Read more about the grant and the AAPB here.

Close

ACLS Awards Washington State University-Pullman Grant to Expand Native American Digital Archive

ACLS Awards Washington State University-Pullman Grant to Expand Native American Digital Archive

The American Council of Learned Societies has awarded a grant of over $147,000 to the Plateau People’s Web Portal, a collective project of the Spokane Tribe of Indians, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the Coeur d’Alene Tribe of Indians, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, the Nez Perce Tribe and the Yakama Nation, and the Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation and Native American Programs at Washington State University. The grant will support the expansion of the collaboratively curated collection, which currently comprises oral histories, digitized newspapers, and photographs and lantern slides, among other items. More information on the grant can be found here.

Close

Podcast Preservation and Access Platform PodcastRE Wins National Endowment for the Humanities Grant

Podcast Preservation and Access Platform PodcastRE Wins National Endowment for the Humanities Grant

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded a grant of nearly $75,000 in support of PodcastRE (pronounced “podcaster”), an online sound archive created by University of Wisconsin professor Jeremy Morris composed of 150,000 audio files compiled from more than 1,200 podcasts. The grant will support Morris and co-principal investigator and fellow UW professor Eric Hoyt’s development of new digital tools to help users navigate and analyze the archive’s holdings. 

The announcement comes as the future of the NEH remains uncertain; President Trump’s proposed federal budget, released in May, eliminated the organization’s entire budget.

PodcastRE also received a grant from the UW2020 WARF Discovery Initiative, funded by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, in April. For more information, see here and here.

Close

PUBLICATIONS AND DVDS

Cineteca di Bologna Releases Films Shot in Early Kinemacolor Process on DVD

Cineteca di Bologna Releases Films Shot in Early Kinemacolor Process on DVD

Between 1908 and 1917, nearly a thousand films were shot in Kinemacolor, the first commercially successful method for producing color images photographically (rather than through tinting, toning, or stenciling), yet few survive. The “Kinemacolor and Other Magic” DVD set curated by Marian Lewinsky and Luke McKernan, released in conjunction with a Kinemacolor program at the 2017 Il Cinema Ritrovato festival, includes twelve rare actualities and travel films shot using the process, along with a selection of other pre-Technicolor films. More information on the DVD set is available here.

Close

Volume II of Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project Focuses on Asian Cinema

Volume II of Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project Focuses on Asian Cinema

(Still from Limite (Mário Peixoto, Brazil, 1931). Criterion Collection.)

Scorsese’s World Cinema Project, currently in its tenth year, has released a second set of digital restorations completed in partnership with the Cineteca di Bologna. With the exception of Limite (Mário Peixoto, 1931), a famously elusive work of modernist Brazilian silent cinema, the collection is dedicated to Central and East Asian cinema, including Insiang (Lino Brocka, 1976), the first Filipino film to screen at the Cannes Film Festival; Revenge (Ermek Shinarbaev, 1989), an early work of the Kazakh New Wave; and the Turkish-Syrian neo-Western Law of the Border (Lüfti Ö Akad, 1966), along with the better-known Mysterious Object at Noon (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand, 2000) and Taipei Story (Edward Yang, Taiwan, 1985). The set may be purchased here.

Close

ONLINE RESOURCES

Library of Congress Launches Webcomics and Web Cultures Web Archives

Library of Congress Launches Webcomics and Web Cultures Web Archives

(A snapshot of Ryan North’s website “Dinosaur Comics” captured on July 11, 2014. Library of Congress.)

In June, the Library of Congress debuted two collections that preserve and make available born-digital content, which the library began archiving in 2000. The Web Cultures Web Archive is a project of the American Folklife Center, whose director Elizabeth Peterson stated, “The proliferation of smart phones, tablets and wireless internet connection has positioned networked communication as a space where people increasingly develop and share folklore, This effort will help scholars 25 and 100 years from now have a fuller picture of the culture and life of people today.” Highlights from the Web Cultures archive include archived versions of the Internet Meme Database, Urban Dictionary, the searchable GIF collection Giphy, and the crowd-sourced horror site Creepypasta.

The Webcomics Web Archive supplements the Library of Congress’s existing collection of comics and graphic novels, placing a particular emphasis on underrepresented creators and characters. Librarian Megan Halsband commented to the Washington Post, “I tried to collect female creators because we don’t have a lot of them historically in the mainstream collection.” The Web Cultures Archive is available here; the Webcomics Archive can be accessed here. More information about the collections is available here and here.

Close

National Film Preservation Foundation Makes Available Field Guide to Sponsored Films and Accompanying Film Collection

National Film Preservation Foundation Makes Available Field Guide to Sponsored Films and Accompanying Film Collection

(Still from Design for Dreaming (1956), a film produced to promote General Motors’ annual Motorama exposition. National Film Preservation Foundation/Prelinger Archives.)

Over 100 advertising, educational, and propaganda films catalogued in Rick Prelinger’s 2006 Field Guide to Sponsored Films—now freely available for download—can be viewed online thanks to a partnership between the National Film Preservation Foundation, the Internet Archive, the Library of Congress, and twelve other source archives. Encompassing nine decades of sponsored films, the collection vividly evokes a wide range of political, corporation, and governmental agendas. Films span the ideological spectrum, ranging from The House I Live In (1945), produced by the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith and featuring Frank Sinatra as an agent of tolerance, to the John Birch Society’s anti-civil rights film Anarchy, U.S.A. (1966). The collection also includes advertising films and works intended to advance public health and welfare, such as the early traffic-safety film The Cost of Carelessness (Brooklyn Rapid Transit Co., 1913) and Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.’s pro-vaccination film Man Against Microbe (1932). The Field Guide to Sponsored Films and film collection can be accessed here.

Close

Face-O-Matic App Uses Facial Recognition to Track Politicians’ TV News Appearances

Face-O-Matic App Uses Facial Recognition to Track Politicians’ TV News Appearances

In partnership with California-based start-up Matroid, the Internet Archive’s TV News Archive has launched Face-O-Matic, a service that tracks politicians’ appearances on television news and notifies users via the Slack messaging app. The app is designed to serve as an intermediate step towards make the over 1.3 million broadcasts in the TV News Archive searchable via facial recognition, rather than the automatically generated closed captions currently used to navigate the collection. See the Internet Archive’s TV News Lab for more information about Face-O-Matic.

Close

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“Archival News” reports recent news highlights from the media archive community for the Cinema Journal readership. Some information in this column comes courtesy of the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) listserv, along with institutional newsletters, websites, and press releases. This column is updated quarterly. Contributions to this column are welcomed. Information should be sent to Rielle Navitski, Theatre and Film Studies, University of Georgia, Fine Arts Building, Athens, GA, 30602-3154, email: rnavitsk@uga.edu. For news and daily finds from online media archives, follow @archivalnews on Twitter and Instagram.

Sign In
Sign In securely
Latest News

 
Society for Cinema and Media Studies | 640 Parrington Oval | Wallace Old Science Hall, Room 300 | Norman, OK 73019 | 405-325-8075 | office@cmstudies.org