I have no idea how many people look at this blog, especially considering it’s so sporadically updated. But sometimes people will mention to me that they check it periodically, so I guess somebody’s looking at it.
Anyway, I thought I’d specifically solicit suggestions, request, comments, etc. at this point. Do you have questions about something general or something in particular that I might be able to answer through this blog? Requests for coverage of specific films/filmmakers/questions about film preservation? Random thoughts? General feedback? Students of film archiving are particularly welcome and encouraged.
I’d love to hear from people, both to get a sense of who’s actually reading this thing, and with the idea that if people have specific questions or feedback, it’ll probably prompt me to update more regularly.
Anyhow, thanks for reading!
P.S. For those of you in the Bay Area, hope you can make it to the SF Cinematheque screening I’ll be doing on April 1 at Yerba Buena. It’ll be a nice, hefty show of restored experimental works from L.A. in the ’60s-’70s. Lots of beautiful and crazy stuff, including films by Thom Andersen, Morgan Fisher, Gary Beydler, Roberta Friedman & Grahame Weinbren, David Wilson, Diana Wilson, Fred Worden, Chris Langdon, and Pat O’Neill.
p.p.s. The “cut here” image is from a preservation project I’ve been working on for Picasso (1973) by Chris Langdon.
Found among some outtakes from iotaCenter’s Ed Emshwiller materials, here’s one version of an original titlecard for Emshwiller’s Thanatopsis (1962), before it was called Thanatopsis:
Lewis Klahr originally assembled his 1987 film Her Fragrant Emulsion in Super 8 by taking lots of chopped up strips of film and collaging them together with splicing tape. This roll (about 30 or 40 feet in length) was then copied to Super 8 Ektachrome. Lew then constructed his edit for the film from this Ektachrome material.
Lew made quite a few Super 8 films, and had some of them blown up to 16mm, but felt they didn’t translate well to the larger medium. He told me that Her Fragrant Emulsion is pretty much the only one that he thought benefited from the blowup, and this is the primary form in which the film has been shown.
Here are some photos I took today of the collaged Super 8 original:
Lew used this technique a number of times, including for the music video for Public Enemy’s “Shut Em Down” (!)
Thought this photo came out pretty well, so I figured I’d share it here. This is a shot of a section of the 16mm original for Fred Worden’s film Insomnia (1981). Fred made this film entirely by punching holes into black leader. I can only assume that the title perhaps refers to the sleepless nights during which I imagine Fred made this sucker. Talk about an economical film – after punching the holes (2 different sizes, if I remember right), he struck a 7361 reversal print, and there it was: a movie.
Here are a couple more:
I had to share this. For a few years, I had the honor of being the only distribution source for the films of Robert Nelson. As nice as this was, I had wanted him to put the films back into Canyon Cinema (which he co-founded), not just to take some burden off of me, but really to make them a lot more accessible. This was finally done, I think in early 2008. Anyway, sometime in early 2007, Nelson sent me this letter which detailed a plan for rental fees for his films and the various discounts for which interested parties might be eligible. I laughed my ass off when I got this.
About a month later, Bob sent another letter saying the films should instead all be rented for free.
(As it stands now, several of the films are available (not for free – he changed his mind again) from Canyon Cinema, with additional ones still available through Bob and me via the Academy Film Archive.)