Framing German Wartime Suffering

posted November 21, 2010

The more comfortable you are with the notion of retributive justice – and with its gory manifestations – the less bothered are you likely to be with what happened to German citizens in the closing phases of the Second World War. Some cultural and film commentators are revisiting those events, the way they continued to haunt individual and collective German memories, and how those traumas have found expression (often of an appallingly unreflective kind) in feature films.

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Taking Stock of Cinema Treasures

posted November 4, 2010

All but about 17 movie fans in all of creation have had a favorite cinema – the one where they learned their love of the moving image, or the taste of their first love’s lips; the one that smelled of the sea and only half-blocked the rush of passing traffic; the one where they heard dropped Milk Duds roll from the back to the front of the house; the one where they sat, gobsmacked, at the rippling pecs of George Lazenby, or at the undress of Ursula Andress – in her breakout Dr. No (1962), or perhaps later, in Mountain of the Cannibal God (1978).

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What Researchers Are Saying About Charlie Chaplin, and a Rare Chaplin Film is Rediscovered

posted August 27, 2010

It remains shocking to many film enthusiasts that the reception of Charlie Chaplin in America does not compare with the reception of Charlie Chaplin in, say, the United Kingdom, Europe, or even Japan. Even in the 1960s, children in many other nations grew up watching the Little Tramp and Chaplin’s other alter egos. Not so, in the United States, although a schooling in other greats of the silent era – Fatty Arbuckle, or Buster Keaton, say – has been, and remains, even more lacking. Still, a slowing of Chaplin-related publications, American or not, seems highly unlikely.

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Detecting the History of Sound-on-Film

posted August 24, 2010

Twenty-four frames of one of the earliest surviving recordings of sound-on-film, a test strip that Eugene Lauste made between 1910 and 1912, merely hints at the revolution that was to come. Only 24 frames long, it belongs to a Florida collector who bought it at an estate sale along with other items from Lauste’s obscure career. Alongside the frames, which show nondescript images of plants, lies a series of black squiggles that encode sound – perhaps the first sound ever simultaneously reproduced with images on film.

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Going Dutch on a Moving Image Archiving Degree

posted August 17, 2010

If you’re contemplating completing a master’s degree in moving-image archiving, you could hardly find a more appealing place to do so than Amsterdam. Apart from everything else – bike-friendly, crisscrossed with scenic canals, liberal beyond American dreams – it is home to world-class film collections and institutions that excel in restoration, research, and educational programs, and several of those have been involved in the University of Amsterdam’s archiving program since its inception in 2003. The program, in its seventh year, boasts an impressive record of combining solid schooling in the skills of the trade with a firm grounding in film history and related subjects. In Amsterdam’s master’s-degree program in the preservation and presentation of the moving image...

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Identifying a Trove of Films in Jordan

posted June 27, 2010

By Matthew Epler Aqaba, Jordan – Almost 900 mysteries wait to be solved at the Royal Film Commission in Amman, Jordan. They are film cans stacked in a garage facing a busy and popular street lined with small markets, workshops, and restaurants. Each day, locals and tourists pass them by without the slightest notion that

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Peter Clifton Finds His Lost Easybeats Film

posted June 20, 2010

At the beginning of his career in making films about music, Australian director and producer Peter Clifton created a documentary about the 1967 tour of England by The Easybeats, a fabled fivesome who put an Antipodean spin on the British Invasion bands of the era. The Easybeats’ claims to fame include being the first Australian rock-and-roll group to score an international rock hit. They did that with their 1966 single "Friday on My Mind."

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The American Indian Film Gallery Retrieves Images from 20th Century Life

posted May 22, 2010

A Hollywood staple, for decades, was Indians yelping from pinto ponies, brandishing tomahawks with bloodcurdling cries, and plummeting rifle-shot from rocky outcrops.

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Still from Rosenblatt Wedding, 1945, Chicago, Illinois. Source: Lou Rosenblatt. From the DVD Living Room Cinema: Films from Home Movie Day, Vol. 1.; image courtesy of Home Movie Day

Home Movie Day

posted May 4, 2010

Saturday, October 16, 2010, is this year’s “Home Movie Day” an annual event that celebrates amateur films and filmmaking. It takes place at local venues, worldwide, to encourage owners of home movies to share their footage with family members, friends, and neighbors. Events at the many local sites include instruction on how to care for home movies.

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Blood, Guts, Gore – and More

posted May 4, 2010

Film buffs who attended this year’s Medical Film Symposium, held over four days in January, may by now be able to sleep, and wake, without being haunted by the images they viewed there.

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