Archive for 2014

The Guilty Pleasure of Wallowing in Quasi-Archives Constructed in Thoroughly Disapproved Ways

posted March 12, 2014

In archiving film or any audiovisual material, it’s like your mother always said: “Will you please tidy up after yourself.” And just like then, you may well completely ignore her.

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“Cousin Jules”— A Rural Life

posted February 26, 2014

In "Cousin Jules" (1973), Dominique Benicheti depicted an elderly blacksmith and his wife living low to the earth in Burgundy. He also created a documentary film that was remarkable in its day, and remains so, now.

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FCC Announces New “Rules” for Closed Captioning

posted February 22, 2014

The FCC has adopted new rules that will require broadcasters to perform much better closed captioning with television and Internet programming. Performance Tom Wheeler, the recently appointed chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. And that is a fundamental failure of the telecommunications industry and federal regulators, he implied: “Reliable and consistent access to news and information for deaf and hard-of-hearing communities is a right,

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China Girls, Leading Ladies, Actual Women

posted February 21, 2014

From the days before color film until the early 1990s hundreds of anonymous women graced more motion-picture film reels than perhaps any film star. And yet movie-goers never saw them; they, and their purpose, were known only to film-lab workers and projectionists.

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They don’t make ’em like this…

posted February 3, 2014

Imagine if this had been lost to posterity. They don’t make em like Reg Kehoe and his Marimba Queens, any more. Here they are sometime in the early 1940s on a Soundie in the extraordinary Prelinger Archives (on the Internet Archive @ You can select from three versions there, depending on what you have

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The Great War in Film and Cultural Memory

posted February 3, 2014

"Europeana 1914-1918," a vast online amalgamation of resources relating to World War I, includes some 660 hours of film reflecting the military and civilian involvement of many nations.

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“Men and Dust”: Breath That Kills

posted January 16, 2014

Miners have been dying from varieties of pneumoconiosis since they have been shuttled via mine elevators to toil in shafts thick with dust that, once it sufficiently scars the lungs, suffocates its victims. In 1940, Sheldon Dick bore witness to the plague in his "Men and Dust."

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posted January 6, 2014

Caylin Smith asks Thomson & Craighead (Jon Thomson and Alison Craighead) about their goals in repurposing "found" online data and video to create artworks for the Digital Age. How are they using online networks and social-information vehicles. And how are they handling the tricky business of preserving "born digital" audio-visual art works?

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“The Daughter of Dawn” Will Never Go Dark

posted January 4, 2014

After "The Daughter of Dawn" was shot in Oklahoma during the summer of 1920 and then released in October of that year, it was shown only a few times — in Los Angeles, Kansas City, Tulsa, and a handful of other cities— but then seemed to have disappeared. Now, rediscovered, it has been restored and honored with a national guarantee of preservation in perpetuity.

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The 1966 March on Cicero, A Step Towards Equity

posted January 2, 2014

"Cicero March," an eight-minute, black-and-white film from 1966 that depicts the fraying of African American patience with the slow redress of racial inequity, is among 25 films that the Library of Congress last week selected for permanent preservation.

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