posted May 2, 2018
Hollywood and other branches of the American entertainment industry have frequently disparaged and abused Arabs, Muslims, and Americans of those ethnicities. Adverse depictions have long been so common as to be almost automatic. Those stereotypes are the study of a project at New York University based on an unusual collection: the archive donated by Jack G. Shaheen.
posted April 24, 2018
When three insurance agents founded the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company in 1925 in Los Angeles, they aimed to provide insurance protection for fellow African Americans, who were consistently denied coverage in the segregated United States, and to be able to offer “dignified employment” to African American colleagues. The University of California at Los Angeles Library is working to preserve a trove of materials from throughout the company’s history, including films, and its efforts are benefiting from goodwill towards the company that remains evident in Los Angeles.
posted March 24, 2018
Expo 67, the World’s Fair held in Montreal in 1967, was rather an hallucinogenic affair. Among its memorable features were its wildly innovative audiovisual projections. They were large, bold, and spectacular. In purpose-built pavilions, the Expo’s films boasted dazzling arrays of often-huge screens and novel, captivating forms of viewership. Pavilions immersed viewers within enormous audiovisual environments.
posted February 28, 2018
Old houses’ wall cavities can be a delightful kind of repository. Ten year olds might imagine they’d contain treasure maps, or at least rolls of twenties in crumbled rubber bands. But the structures are rather more likely to conceal wads of newspaper. Odd troves of news. On occasion, a kind of moving-image archive, too.
posted February 2, 2018
When Marketa Uhlirova and her colleagues first organized a festival of fashion in film, in 2006, theirs was a little-studied area of inquiry. So, they threw their net wide, to a range of questions and issues: to pretty much anything relating to fashion and costume and their role in the history and theory of film. And, conversely, film’s role in fashion.
posted January 15, 2018
How is the archiving profession faring, when it comes to diversity and inclusion? The Journal of Western Archives will publish a special issue on diversity, inclusion, and cultural diversity during 2018. Its editors have disseminated a call for papers (deadline 1 April 2018), with such potential topics as the history of diversity in the archiving
posted December 22, 2017
Fluid migration has long shaped the Southwest of the United States — certainly since well before the U.S. fashioned the region from large tracts of Mexico during a military invasion in the 1840s, and certainly ever since. Unfortunately, even after the invention of moving film, audiovisual records of Mexican-American life were rare; but the Library of Congress has just designated a collection of home movies from border life during the 1920s as worthy of permanent preservation.
posted December 16, 2017
What did Hollywood do, when Nazis came calling? Efforts by Nazis to influence Hollywood during the decade before World War II have long occupied historians of the period, resulting in numerous studies. Two new books have in recent months joined that parade, and have cast fresh light on an enormous controversy that arose in 2013 when two other books appeared that dealt with Hollywood’s confrontation with Nazism.
posted December 12, 2017
To mark the holiday season, the U.S. Library of Congress has made 64 motion pictures that are on its National Film Registry freely available. The films in "Selections from the National Film Registry,” which are available online on the Library’s website, as well as on YouTube, are among hundreds that the Library has designated as worthy of permanent preservation due to their cultural, historical and aesthetic significance.
posted November 15, 2017
Jayson Wall bills his podcast, Into the Archives, as “a lively discussion with leading archivists and preservationist with their stories on saving film, television, and music of the 20th century.” Since August 2017, the longtime film-restoration insider has been hosting lively discussions with archivists and preservationists, and he has been living up to his pledge by eliciting from his subjects many tales from the trenches of film preservation as well as film production and distribution.