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Dubbing to Preserve Endangered Languages

posted December 31, 2022

In surprising projects in Navajo country and in Australia, adaptations of hugely popular films into Indigenous languages are helping to preserve threatened languages, as well as to provide fresh perspectives on the films. Late in 2021, the 1964 “spaghetti western” A Fistful of Dollars, starring Clint Eastwood as “The Man with No Name,” was added to that select group of adaptations. It appeared in the Navajo language as Béeso Dah Yiníłjaa’. “Language preservation is at the core of it — language awareness and issues surrounding it,” said Manny Wheeler, director of the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, Arizona, who headed the project.

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25 Films Chosen for National Film Registry

posted December 15, 2022

United States Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden has announced the annual selection of 25 motion pictures to be inducted into the National Film Registry. Inducted films are selected for their cultural, historic, or aesthetic importance. The 2022 selections date back 124 years in filmmaking to an 1898 film of the “Mardi Gras Carnival” parade in New Orleans. The film was long thought to be lost but was recently discovered in a museum in the Netherlands. The most recent film added to the registry is 2011’s Pariah, directed by Dee Rees.

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A Handbook for the Home Movie

posted September 12, 2022

During those interminable family movie nights you were made to sit through, you probably never thought the media form would one day be desirable among collectors. But it did, and now, in a significant development in this new appreciation of home movies, several archivists from around the U.S. and Europe are at work creating a Home Movie Handbook, a practical guide that covers key topics and provides case studies relating to the accession, cataloging, and exhibition of the films.

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NFPF Grants to Preserve 61 Films

posted August 24, 2022

The National Film Preservation Foundation has announced the winners of its 2022 federally funded grants. 28 institutions will use the awards to preserve 61 films or sets of films. They include the first true cowboy movie star, lecture reels of Dian Fossey’s mountain gorilla research, a short silent comedy, and much else. Also among the titles that organizations around the United States will preserve are narrative films, a silent melodrama, documentaries, home movies, and industrial and educational films.

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What the Self-Defense of Black Residents of Natchez Looked Like

posted June 14, 2022

In accounts of the Civil Rights Era in the United States, non-violent protest was clearly the key tactic in combatting centuries of racial oppression and injustice. But it was not African American communities’ only way of confronting hostility towards reform. Some groups opted for armed resistance. A startling film collection, now freely available online, shows what that looked like.

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An Archive That Keeps the Waves Rolling

posted April 27, 2022

The Australian & New Zealand Surf Film Archive aims to locate and restore as many old-school surf films as possible and make them available for public viewing, free of charge. It's a labor of love for filmmaker Jolyon Hoff and his small band of fellow enthusiasts.

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Framing Antarctica: Argentina’s Icy Film Legacy

posted April 14, 2022

Argentinians have been making films about Antarctica for 120 years, but they’ve been collecting and preserving them for far fewer. Now, the Museo del Cine Palbo C. Ducrós Hicken, in Buenos Aires, is running a major project to preserve that distinctive film legacy. To date the project has identified some 100 Antarctic films in various archives or in the hands of private collectors, and has begun to preserve and digitize as many as possible while also screening some for the public.

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Data from thousands of surveillance cameras confirms that protected areas safeguard species diversity

posted March 5, 2022

Data from thousands of surveillance cameras confirms that protected areas safeguard species diversity. Human disturbances, such as over-harvesting of crops, habitat destruction and invasive species, are the biggest drivers of biodiversity loss.

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Life Support for Medical Films

posted March 2, 2022

Northwestern University’s medical library is reviving a collection of historical educational films of operations, dissections, and other procedures. Last year, the project to preserve the collection through digitization and public display attracted a grant from the Recordings at Risk program of the Council on Library and Information Resources.

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When the Circus Came to Town, and Leapt from the Screen

posted December 20, 2021

Among the films just added to the National Film Registry is an extraordinary document from Indianapolis. The 3-minute actuality recording of the arrival in the city in 1902 of the Ringling Bros. Circus. leaps from the screen. It’s well worth watching on as large a screen as you can.

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