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Cinema Studies: Archives
Resources for searching for scholarly information in all areas of cinema.
Treasures from American film archives: 50 preserved filmsAn anthology of films from American film archives. In addition to rare silent-era features, includes landmark independent and avant-garde works, documentaries and newsreels, earliest American movies, pioneering special effects, one-reel adventures and comedies, cartoons and experimental animation, home movies, travel films from the 1910s, working training films from the 1920s, political ads from the 1930's, and other film types invented during the first four decades of the motion picture. Also contains newly recorded musical scores, essays about the archives narrated by Laurence Fishburne, and interactive screens about the films and music.
After 1912, registrants were required to submit both a physical copy and written descriptions of motion picture works to the United States Copyright Office. Because of the flammable nature of nitrate film stock, motion pictures were not permanently retained by the Library of Congress for many decades, but the descriptions were transferred to the Library and kept, forming the basis of this collection. And because so many films released during the nitrate era, which ended in 1951 with the introduction of safety film stock, are now considered “lost,” the copyright descriptions are sometimes the best or only surviving record of a particular title. From "About this collection." Retrieved 24 Feb. 2022
Black Film Archive is a living register of Black films. In its current iteration, it showcases Black films made from 1915 to 1979 currently streaming. Cade, M. (2021). "Homepage." Retrieved 24 Feb. 2022
The Archive Effect: Found Footage and the Audiovisual Experience of History by Jaimie BaronThe Archive Effect: Found Footage and the Audiovisual Experience of History examines the problems of representation inherent in the appropriation of archival film and video footage for historical purposes. Baron analyses the way in which the meanings of archival documents are modified when they are placed in new texts and contexts, constructing the viewer's experience of and relationship to the past they portray. Rethinking the notion of the archival document in terms of its reception and the spectatorial experiences it generates, she explores the 'archive effect' as it is produced across the genres of documentary, mockumentary, experimental, and fiction films. This engaging work discusses how, for better or for worse, the archive effect is mobilized to create new histories, alternative histories, and misreadings of history. The book covers a multitude of contemporary cultural artefacts including fiction films like Zelig, Forrest Gump and JFK, mockumentaries such as The Blair Witch Project and Forgotten Silver, documentaries like Standard Operating Procedure and Grizzly Man, and videogames like Call of Duty: World at War. In addition, she examines the works of many experimental filmmakers including those of Péter Forgács, Adele Horne, Bill Morrison, Cheryl Dunye, and Natalie Bookchin.
Publication Date: 2013-12-13
The Death of Cinema: History, Cultural Memory and the Digital Dark Age by Paolo Cherchi UsaiProvocative polemic on digital media; Features foreword by Martin Scorsese, extract overleaf; It is estimated that about one and a half billion hours of moving images were produced in 1999, twice as many as a decade before. If that rate of growth continues, one hundred billion hours of moving images will be made in the year 2025. In 1895 there was just above forty minutes of moving images to be seen, and most of them are now preserved. Today, for every film made, thousands of them disappear forever without leaving a trace. Meanwhile, public and private institutions are struggling to save the film heritage with largely insufficient resources and ever increasing pressures from the commercial world. Are they wasting their time? Is the much feared and much touted Death of Cinema already occurring before our eyes? Is digital technology the solution to the problem, or just another illusion promoted by the industry? In a provocative essay designed as a collection of aphorisms and letters, the author brings an impassioned scrutiny to bear on these issues with a critique of film preservation, an indictiment of the crimes perpetuated in its name, and a proposal to give a new analytical framework to a major cultural phenomenon of our time.
The Past Is a Moving Picture: Preserving the Twentieth Century on Film by Janna JonesAlmost all remnants of culture - past and present - degrade over time, whether sculpture or scrolls, painting or papyrus, books or clay tablets. Perhaps no major cultural record dissolves more rapidly than film, arguably the predominant medium of the twentieth century. Given the fragility of early nitrate film, much has already been lost. The fragments that remain - whether complete prints of theatrical releases or scraps of everyday life captured by Thomas Edison - only hint at what has disappeared. More recently, archives have been flooded with so much material that they lack the funds to properly preserve it all. Both situations raise questions about how film archives shape our understanding of history and culture. Janna Jones provides a stunning, tour-de-force analysis of the major assumptions and paradigmatic shifts about history, cinema, and the moving image archive, one that we ignore at our peril in the midst of the overwhelming rush toward digitization. No student of film, twentieth-century history, or archiving and preservation can afford to miss The Past Is a Moving Picture.
Publication Date: 2012-07-30
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Resources for film history, theory, and criticism from The International Federation of Film Archives. Citations and select full-text of academic and popular film journals as well as holdings information of silent-era film archives.