Kine Weekly: Il Cinema Ritrovato and more rare and restored film news

KW140627

I’m off to Bologna to attend the Il Cinema Ritrovato festival. I’ll probably produce some sort of write-up when I return, in the meantime you can keep up with my adventures on Twitter, Tumblr and on Letterboxd.

In the meantime, here are just a few links from the world of moving image history, heritage and archiving.

Silent-ology > ‘Silent-ology Interviews Susan Buhrman About New “The General” Finds’ >> Interview with the president of the International Buster Keaton Society about the newly found archive of materials related to The General.

National Archives Media Matters > ‘Film Preservation 101: This 80 Year Old Film Printer Still Contributes to Preservation’ >> Happy 80th to the US National Archives. ‘Believe it or not, we not only still have that printer, we occasionally use it!’

The Atlantic > ‘The Forgotten Stars of Silent Film’ >> Next month the Library of Congress will host film historians, fans and informed individuals to view films and fragments from a bunch of archives and contribute any knowledge they have about them

Reap Mediazine > ‘Is Film Really Dead?An Interview With Steve Cossman’ >> I met Tara (the interviewer) a couple of years ago at Le Giornate del Cinema Muto in Pordenone, and I’m happy to read about the fascinating MONO NO AWARE group.

MOI Digital > A new online resource to do with the early years of the Ministry of Information, including material related to its Film Unit.

Library of Congress > ‘Recommended Format Specifications from the Library of Congress: An Interview with Ted Westervelt” >> For all the format fans out there!

Lastly, here’s AMIA Film Advocacy Task Force’s first in a series of upcoming video interviews -‘Five Minutes with Leonard Maltin’ – in which  the legendary film critic and historian shares his thoughts.

Kine Weekly: Space Films, War Films, Dylan Thomas etc.

KW140602

Newsround > ‘Glasgow School of Art clean-up underway’ >> Most people in the art world (and beyond) know of the terrible fire in the Glasgow School of Art last week. Just horrific. Best wishes to those involved in the clean-up.

BBC News > ‘Dylan Thomas: First film footage found’ >> Well, Dylan Thomas was found IN the film (the film itself was not lost), but still… cool!

Wired > ‘The Hackers Who Recovered NASA’s Lost Lunar Photos’ >> An archivist from the NARA alerted the AMIA Listserv to the following film from the late sixties, which details the original production of the images, the contents of which were recovered by the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (I’m a Mad Men fan, so I’ve had the moon on my mind this week!)

MUBI Notebook > ‘The Forgotten: “Mickey” (1918)’ >> As a Mabel Normand fan, I’m glad her first real ‘star vehicle’ is featured in David Cairns’s regular ‘Forgotten’ column.

UCLA Film & Television Archive > ‘World War I Symposium at FIAF Conference’ >> Lovely recap of the commemorative event, including a very personal rediscovery for the historians and archivists in Skopje, Macedonia.

Picturegoing > ‘The War Films’ >> Henry Newbolt’s beautiful 1916 poem, published in The Times in response to the film The Battle of the Somme.

Buzzfeed > ‘Online Film Archive Provides Fascinating Look At Life In Wartime Britain’ >> Pretty much. Congratulations to the British Council, for making it to the internet’s most prominent repository of viral hits.

Observations on film art > ‘THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS: A usable past’ >> David Bordwell discusses the use of allusionment and shared storyworlds to create histories within films.

Media Industries > A brand new open access peer-review journal that may be of use to some. I’ve already added Des Freedman’s piece about media policy to my PhD bibliography!

Reframe > ‘The Death of Film Is Felt Hardest In the City Built on Kodak’s Reign’ >> A photographer’s view of Rochester during the decline of Kodak.

Lastly, congratulations to all those involved in the City of Nottingham’s tribute to Torvill and Dean (see below for the film and the original). This video pretty much sums up why I’ve become so fond of this unassuming, often overlooked city these past few years. Also, a brilliant start for Notts TV.

Kine Weekly: the Australian budget, fictional film archiving fun, and historicising and memorialising film and TV

KW140516

News and views from the world of moving image history, heritage and archiving.

The Sydney Morning Herald > ‘Merging cultural institutions would be disastrous, say former directors’ >> Well, a lot can (and has) been said about the Australian budget this week, but here’s a piece of direct relevance to the cultural/heritage industries, and the National Film and Sound Archive in particular.

Fredrik on Film > ‘On wonderment and film’ >> The process of researching, analysing, evaluating and, yes, even exhibiting and archiving moving images can sometimes get in the way of sheer cinephillic wonderment.

The National Archives Blog > ‘Managing information: Are you game?’ >> I hate the word ‘gamification’ and everything it stands for, but that being said, I have found myself thinking about strategies for effective record/information management.

The Self-Styled Siren > ‘Missing Reels: The Siren’s Novel’ >> A novel about the ‘archivist ingenue’? A forgotten silent film? Ennui channelled into obsessive watching of film? This book sounds worryingly like it’s been plundered from my head.

Silent London > ‘An exclusive interview with @MsLillianGish’ >> Speaking of forgotten silent film stars, I’m delighted to find that Lillian Gish is active on Twitter.

VDFK > ‘Flugblatt für Aktivistische Filmkritik’ >> ‘Pamphlet for Acitivist Film Criticism’ (scroll down for translation).

AMIA Film Advocacy Task Force > ‘Projection: The Politics of Passivity’ >> Admittedly some of this went over my head, but it does contribute to the discussion of film projection, arguing that it is about more than format fetishisation.

kinetta > ‘Digitalisierung von Schmalfilm in HD… a response’ (PDF) >> OK, so this is written by a manufacturer of a scanner, but still an interesting presentation about the scanning resolution required for digitising small gauge film.

BFI > ‘BFI DVD releases announced for August/September 2014’ >> Someone buy me Out of the Unknown – kthx.

Pebble Mill > ‘North 3 Wins an “Oscar”’ >> ‘The last BBC Type 2 colour scanner still on the road, CMCR9/North 3, has won an award.’ The Duncan Neale Award for Excellence in Preservation, no less!

CST online > ‘Memorialising BBC2’ >> Pat Holland looks at the changing face of BBC2, through an analysis of indents and other moments celebrating its 30th, 40th and now 50th anniversary.

Institute for Screen Industries > ‘The Value of Historicising Media Industry Practices’ >> A fellow Nottingham-based PhD candidate, Matthew Freeman, explains why it is important to historicise seemingly modern media industry practices.

Lastly, as the Cannes Film Festival kicks off, here’s some footage of the very first fest in 1946:

Kine Weekly: a slew of rediscoveries from EYE, Welles memorabilia up for auction, more conferences announced, etc.

KW140404

So last Friday Pamela and I discussed our mutual love for British silent cinema starlet Betty Balfour (who has a starring role in this year’s British Silent Film Festival). I am overjoyed about the rediscovery of Love, Life and Laughter (George Pearson, 1923) starring Our Betty, five minutes of which played at the Orphan Film Symposium on Wednesday.

I actually have a post about Betty coming up early next week. In the meantime, here’s a selection of other news from the world of moving image archiving:

LA Times > ‘A treasure trove of silent American movies found in Amsterdam’ > Well done to the EYE Filmmuseum and the National Film Preservation Foundation. Koko and Mickey and chickens – oh my!

Self-Styled Siren > ‘Good News for Silent Film Fans’ >> The Siren discusses the very early Mickey Rooney film Mickey’s Circus, one of the film rediscovered and announced this week (see above).

Moving Image Archive News > ‘A Secret Ceremony, Preserved on Film’ >> There are many reasons why certain events go unrecorded, or why those recordings are lost, or why they are put under embargo when they do survive. This piece explains how film archivists have to approach recordings of local customs with tact and compassion.

The Hollywood Reporter > ‘Orson Welles’ Camera, Scripts, ‘Citizen Kane’ Memorabilia Up for Auction’ >> ‘The legendary director’s youngest daughter […] says her dad would want them in the hands of film buffs.’ Surely he would want them in an archive…?

Open Culture > ‘The History of the Movie Camera in Four Minutes: From the Lumiere Brothers to Google Glass’ >> Lovely!

Archaeologies of Media and Film > ‘Call for Papers’ >> An upcoming conference that could be of interest to those working or researching in film history, heritage and archiving.

Detroit Free Press >  ‘5 questions with filmmaker and archivist Rick Prelinger’ >> Prelinger explains his fascination with Detroit and the archival film he’s uncovered about the city.

Trevor Owens > ‘Digital Preservation’s Place in the Future of the Digital Humanities’ >>’In short, I think there is a critical need for a dialog and conversation between work in the digital humanities and work building the collections of sources they are going to draw from.’

Warwick Film and Television Studies > ‘The Projection Project’ >> Exciting fully-funded PhD project available for a student interested in the representation of the projectionist in film.

The American Archive of Public Broadcasting > ‘PBCore is Back in Action’ >> Further development of the US Public Broadcasting Metadata Dictionary.

BFI > ‘Film education strategy’ >> The BFI announces a new policy document, based in part on the responses of film educators.

The most recent More Podcast, Less Process podcast discusses the challenge of archiving video:

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/142336731" params="color=ff5500" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

And lastly, as I wrap up another chapter draft of my PhD thesis, I think I deserve a pat on the back, courtesy of British Pathe:

Kine Weekly: archiving information, film exhibition past and present, thoughts on theory etc.

KW010323

Time > ‘Meet the Geniuses on a Quixotic Quest to Archive the Entire Internet’ >> My interest in the archiving of information technology stems from moving image archiving, considering that many of our moving images are produced, formatted, distributed, exhibited and stored on a computer.

Silent London > ‘Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema 2014: reporting back’ >> Looks like fun!

Open Culture > ‘Architects Dress as Famous New York City Buildings in Vintage 1931 Photo’ >> From a 1931 ball for the Society of Beaux-Arts Architects. Includes a link to a tiny snippet of newsreel footage of the event (sadly not open access).

Flicker Alley > ‘Glass Slides from Early Chaplin Movies’ >> Gorgeous, full-colour digitised lantern slides promoting vintage Charlie.

Fredrik on Film > ‘Theory readings – An introduction’ >> ‘When theoretical texts are discussed or criticised it is usually through the use of another theory, on whether it contradicts or agrees with some other text. But that is not really critical thinking, that is compare and contrast. For me it is when a text is criticised on its own terms, from within, that it becomes interesting and meaningful’ <- My feelings exactly.

Cinema Fanatic > ‘Female Filmmaker Friday: Sedmikrásky (Daisies), 1966 (dir. Věra Chytilová)’ >> Appropriate write-up of Chytilová’s seminal film given the filmmaker’s death last week.

MUBI > ‘Movie Poster of the Week: “Sunshine of Paradise Alley”’ >> Adrian Curry’s poster column is a well-known weekly joy, but this poster I found to be particularly unusual and arresting.

 Observations on film art > ‘Dispatch from another 35mm outpost. With cats.’ >> Residents of Rochester, NY are spoiled for film on film. I braved a cat allergy to visit The Cinema for a few double-bills in 2012 and did not regret it.

National Archives > ‘The information management academy awards’ >> A neat riff on the Oscars.

British Library > ‘The Newsroom’ >> While the British Lbrary’s Newspaper Archive in Colindale was/is an important archival heritage site that will never be replaced, the new Newsroom facility does look pretty spiffy, and it’s nice that so much of the microfilm will be open-access.

Kine Weekly: Alaskan records, access and exhibition of archival film and television, silent cinema selfies, etc.

KW140314

This was supposed to go out on Friday, but I was having tech issues. Apologies.

MoveOn Petitions > ‘Keep Alaska’s Records in Alaska’ >> Alaskans/Americans interested in disputing the NARA’s decision should sign this.

Hippodrome Festival Of Silent Cinema’s Photos > ‘Oscars Schmoscars, HippFest can do a selfie too’ >> Bo’ness is obviously where to cool kids hang out.

Zotero > ‘Online Access to Audio-Visual Content’ >> The EUscreenXL project has created a library of readings on the topic of access to moving images. I believe members can supplement this bibliography by adding their own citations.

Dr Film > ‘The Religion of Vinegar Syndrome’ >> ‘The belief system of how vinegar syndrome works and affects prints has become unshakeable.  It’s much like a religion, the difference being important: real religion covers matters untestable and unknowable.  Vinegar syndrome is testable and knowable.’

Scope > Issue 26 >> The University of Nottingham’s own open-access peer-reviewed journal of Film and Television Studies boasts a particularly interesting article by Max Sexton on the use of 16mm film in the television industry (PDF).

CST Online > ‘In Memory of Studio Drama: Curating and Presenting the BFI Southbank “Dramatic Spaces” Season’ >> A fascinating piece by Leah Panos, reflecting on her experience co-curating a season of studio-based television plays for the BFI. I was lucky enough to catch one of those screenings when I was last in London.

Moving Image Archive News > ‘The Guilty Pleasure of Wallowing in Quasi-Archives Constructed in Thoroughly Disapproved Ways’ >> Fun blogpost about the subversive delights of accessing archival footage through online ‘anti-archives’ such as Youtube.

Observations on film art > ‘You can go home again, and maybe find an old movie’ >> David Bordwell considers his home town of Penn Yan, NY and presents a history of film exhibition there.

Newcastle University > ‘A History of Women in British Film and Television’ >> A new project drawing on the oral histories collected by the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU).

ATV Today > ‘Bangor “Local TV Station” Dropped >> My research into regional independent television has led me to a greater understanding of how commercial interests and broadcasting infrastructes have influenced exactly which ‘regions’ had a chance to be represented on television. This is a case in point.

BBC News > ‘Five lesser-spotted things Tony Benn gave the UK’ >> As Postmaster-General, Benn has a place in broadcasting and communications history. He was enthused about new technologies, and revelled in the opening of the Post Office Tower in 1966.

Kine Weekly: leading ladies of all kinds, film fashion, the problem with clouds, etc.

KW140228

It’s almost Oscar time! I will be watching with glasses of Mary Pickford and Ginger Rogers. Here are some links to keep you occupied in the meantime.

Moving Image Archive News > ‘China Girls, Leading Ladies, Actual Women’ >> An in-depth article detailing the history and meta-history of the ‘China Girls/ colour bar “timing control strips”’ that were part of the head leader of film reels and ‘provided certified, dependable guiders for the technicians as they printed film.’ The article covers the technical function of the frames as well as the problematic pictures of women that featured on them.

Northwest Chicago Film Society > ‘China Girls / Leader Ladies’ >> More info about the China Girls, including lots of examples and a handy diagram.

The Guardian Fashion Blog > ‘Funny Face: a film in love with fashion’ >> I love it when resident old film nut Pam does the fashion blog at the Guardian, for it is indeed ‘like taking a trip through fashion history’.

Cosmopolitan > ‘Every Best Actress Oscars dress since 1929’ >> This infographic has been doing the rounds in the run up to the Oscars this weekend. Ginger Rogers always gets my vote.

British Libray Inspired by… blog > ‘Fashion & Film – Sequins, lamé and plunging necklines in American Hustle’ >> What it says on the tin.

Wiped News > ‘Kaleidoscope uncovers lost BBC drama in RNLI vault’ >> After digging through its collection of film cans, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution found that they had a complete recording of the 1959 docudrama Medico that featured one of their lifeboats. The drama in question was believed to have never been recorded in the first place. You can see it at the Kaleidoscope event ‘Missing Believed Wiped in the Midlands’ on 5 April.

Cloud of Data > ‘Can the cloud do “in perpetuity”?’ >> Paul Miller is part of the team that has been contracted by the National Archives to answer this very question.

The National Archives > ‘Cloud storage and archives: a match made in heaven?’ >> More info about the NA’s new project team investigating whether cloud storage can ever be a reliable storage option for archives.

GSA > ‘Artists and Archive: Artist Moving Image at the BBC’ >> Six artists will be making new moving image artworks inspired by the BBC archives.

The British Pathe Archive Blog > ‘British Pathé presents: WW1 – The Definitive Collection’ >>  This being the centenary year of World War One, expect many more links of this nature.

The BBC’s iPlayer currently features The Magic Box, the 1951 film about William Friese-Greene starring Robert Donat, and Of Time And the City, Terence Davies’s documentary of Liverpool made entirely of archival film extracts.

Lastly, watch this short documentary about the BBC Radiophonic Workshop by The Vinyl Factory.

Kine Weekly: RIP Stuart Hall and Shirley Temple, and everything is better as a silent movie…

KW140215

Because nothing says ‘I love you’ like a bunch of links to do with the history, heritage and preservation of moving images.

Monkey See > ‘The Beatles, As America First Loved Them’ >> It’s been 50 years since The Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. This gives me a neat excuse to link to my favourite ever story from This American Life.

Northwest Chicago Film Society > ‘Beacons of Cinema: In Defense of Trailers‘ >> ‘Civilian audiences complain of endless trailers at the movie theater; film collectors always want more. They spend hours splicing together reels and reels of the stuff, hoping to impress audiences with the perfect trailer compilation.’

The National Archives > ‘A-Z of Information Management’ >> ‘Y is for… Yoda. Mix Star Wars and information management and what do you get?’ – simply brilliant.

The Telegraph > ‘Margot Fonteyn lost kiss scene rediscovered’ >> Rediscovered footage from a 1959 BBC broadcast of the ballet Sleeping Beauty has been found and will be screened in March.

Self-Styled Siren > ‘In Memoriam: Shirley Temple, 1928-2014’ >> More obits I liked here and here. I will be breaking out the grenadine and ginger ale.

Silent London > ‘Silent comedy on TV – Inside No 9: A Quiet Night In, and more’ >> I can’t wait to catch-up with this modern day silent comedy.

Of course, everything is better as a silent movie. To prove it, I offer these 3 examples pulled from my Facebook feed in recent days:

Exhibit A. The Onion discusses the original RoboCop

Exhibit B. What if Star Trek was a silent movie?

Exhibit C. An unofficial video for The Divine Comedy’s ‘Napoleon Complex’, compiled from clips of Abel Gance’s Napoleon.

And lastly, like every researcher studying any facet of British media and culture, I owe a debt of gratitude to Stuart Hall, the seminal cultural theorist who sadly died this week. I like this obituary, and I also like this interview he gave to the Guardian a couple of years ago. There is also The Stuart Hall Project, the documentary about his life and work that is now available on DVD.

Kine Weekly: Europeana and moving images forgotten and remembered…

KW140207

British Library Sound and Vision Blog > ‘Building a jukebox for Europe’ >> The British Library presents their new project, Europeana Sounds, that will ‘double the number of sound tracks that can be discovered through Europeana, improve descriptions for two million sounds, music scores and associated items to make them easier to find, and well create new thematic e-channels on Europeana that bring related objects together in a coordinated way.’

Moving Image Archive News > ‘The Great War in Film and Cultural Memory’ >> More Europeana! MIAN reports on the wealth of moving image material from archives across the European Film Gateway, that have been made accessible through Europeana to mark the centenary of WWI.

Film History in the Making > ‘Petition Filmoteca de Navarra’ >> Please sign this petition in support of the Filmoteca de Nevarra in Pamplona. In these times of austerity, it is crucial that archives do not shut down completely.

MACE > ‘Dr Emma Jay Presents MACE with Archive Service Accreditation Certificate’ >> Congratulations to the Media Archive for Central England, who are the only film archive to be awarded this honour by the National Archives. MACE also hit 2000 Twitter followers this week, so double congrats.

The Kaleidoscope Archive > ’50 Years Ago: How much old television is forgotten?’ >> Billy Smart wonders what the criteria is for calling a television programme truly ‘forgotten’.

Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative > ‘Visualizing Southern Television’ >> Not Southern Television the defunct ITV franchise, but television from the southern US states. David Bennet has created a map to show just how much television from the region is represented in the archives – though not necessarily available via digital copy.

CST Online > ‘Eastenders: The Triangles of Albert Square’ >> Jonathan Bignell analyses the compositions in the very first episode of Eastenders, and particularly the ‘pattern of using frontal, often triangular arrangements of characters in a static shot’.

Fast Co Labs > ‘How Digital History Lessons Can “Disrupt” The Way We Think About Time’ >> Chris Wild, AKA the Retronaut, discusses the viral potential of historical images.

MUBI Notebook > ‘The Forgotten: Demi-Monde’ >> David Cairns sells me on  Parisian Love with the words ‘Clara Bow’ and ‘french maid’, as well as the discussion of the film’s subtext.

And lastly, also via David Cairns, here’s Richard Lester’s 1968 advert for Braniff International: ‘There’s no waiting in this supersonic age, and very little walking.’

Kine Weekly: Paramount dumps film, Screen Heritage Innovation Lab, Oscar stuff etc.

KW140131

Apologies for last week’s absence – Annual Review time and all that. However, I’m back with some news and views from the world of moving image archiving, heritage and history.

UCLA Film & Television Archive > ‘Paramount’s All Digital Distribution’ >> Brilliant piece by Jan-Christopher Horak on the ramifications of the move away from film for exhibitors, preservationists and archivists.

Independent Cinema Office > ‘New Audiences for Screen Heritage – Innovation Lab’ >> ‘We are looking for 25 motivated and imaginative archivists and exhibitors who want to share practices, expertise and specialist skills, who want to look forward, and who want to play a role in designing the Screen Heritage experiences of the future.’

The Official Ray Harryhausen Website > Announcement >> ‘The Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation and the National Media Museum regret to announce that plans to lodge the Ray Harryhausen Collection on long term loan at the Museum in Bradford will not now be pursued’

The Sheila Variations > ‘Natan; directed by Paul Duane and David Cairns’ >> My desire to see this documentary about slighted French film pioneer Bernard Natan grows with every write-up. For those of you in London, the next screening is at the Curzon Soho tomorrow!

Transdiffusion > ‘TVTimes (Southern) 17-23 August 1968′ >> The TV Times originally had separate editions for the different regional franchise areas, and finding issues specific to Southern is very hard. Thanks, Transdiffusion!

Spotify > ‘IBA Engineering Announcements music’ >> Also from Transdiffusion, who interrupt your Spotifying with an engineering announcement…

Silent London > ’10 Silents Films with Amazing Colour’ >> Silent London continues its ‘Silents by Numbers’ strand with this fun, informative addition about early hand, tinted/toned and additive coloured films (and even subtractive, in the case of two-colour Technicolor) that also serves as a corrective to those who still operate under the misapprehension that all silent films were black and white.

Denver Silent Film Festival > ‘Mike Mashon, Head of Moving Images for The Library of Congress, to Receive Career Achievement Award from Denver Silent Film Festival’ >> Mashon once complimented me on my choice of wallpaper, he seemed like a nice guy. Well done him!

NY Times > ‘Smut, Refreshed for a New Generation’ >> Preservation for all, people!

Criterion > ‘Mad World Locations, Then and Now’ >> The more things change, the more a great deal of things surprisingly stay the same.

Vulture > ‘A Brief History of Harvey Weinstein’s Oscar Campaign Shenanigans’ >> Apt given that the Academy has just rescinded its nomination for that Alone Yet Not Alone song.

The Guardian > ‘Mark Kermode’s Oscars diet: an Academy Award-winning film a day’ >> What it says on the tin.

MeCCSA > Newsnight De Botton on ‘the news’ >> A lively discussion between Media Studies academics, prompted by Alain de Botton’s appearance on Newsnight.

Lastly, it is soon to be the centenary of Charlie Chaplin’s tramp persona. I’ll be celebrating by watching Kid Auto Races with wine, but y’all can go to this event at the BFI in my stead.