Archive | February, 2012

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919 35mm, 1961 16mm)

28 Feb
Director Robert Wiene
Producer Rudolph Meinert, Erich Pommer
Contributors Decla-Bioscope AG
Length 71 minutes
B&W/Color B&W (no tinting in transfer from 35mm to 16mm)
UO Library Catalog description: No UO Catalog Description
Call # Not Entered Into UO Libraries
Genre Feature
Rare No
Online Yes
Copyright status Public Domain
Physical condition Reel 1 – Fair, Reel 2 – Good
Oregon-related No

Notes: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is often referred to as one of the first horror films ever (if you disregard the Lumière brothers’ Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat). It was a feature length film directed by Robert Wiene that employed numerous expressionist aesthetic choices and some of the most defined set design and costuming seen since the birth of cinema. The distorted style of the film has influenced everyone from Tim Burton to Rob Zombie, and has taken an integral place in American pop culture despite its German origin. In my opinion it is an essential film to have in this format as it is such a seminal feature that figures so heavily into movies made after it.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is available in the public domain, and has been for quite some time. Therefore it is widely available online and there are quite a few 16mm film reels still in existence. Most of the 16mm transfers popped up between the 1950’s and 1960’s. 35mm prints of the film are considerably more rare and there has been a noted effort among movie theaters and film festivals to screen restored versions of it to the public. I did some research on how to tell with a 16mm print what type of 35mm print it was transferred from. The most likely scenario would be that it was taken from a Russian print made in the 1920’s. This is probably the case because there is a visible frame line that appears at the top of the picture when it is being used. A tiny bit of the image at the top of the main image at the bottom overlap slightly within the visible dark horizontal frame line. The Russian 35mm prints of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari had to be adjusted for preservation prints in order for the frame line of the original German-made cameras, but in the transfer to preservation prints (which would include 16mm ones), “A sliver of image at the top and the bulk of the image at the bottom now overlap slightly within the visible dark horizontal frame line” (celtoslavica.de). This effect also appears on the DVD transfer of the film.

In terms of a unique history of the reel itself, my mother obtained it from New Mexico State University sometime in the 60’s. It was transferred onto 16mm film by the college, I’m assuming for educational purposes. The transfer leaves out any attribution to directors, stars, producers or distribution companies. Perhaps these didn’t need to be included since the film was being used for educational purposes. The reel is strictly the feature and nothing else. The fantastic condition of the reel would also indicate that my mother obtained it very soon after it was transferred as she essentially put it into storage when she moved and hadn’t watched it since.

Fundamentals of Volleyball (1959)

23 Feb
Director  F.&P. Films
Producer  F.&P. Films, Al Fish, George B. Pearson
Contributors  S.I., All American Productions
Length  10 Minutes
B&W/Color  B&W
UO Library Catalog description:  1 reel, SD, 16mm – Describes the basic fundamentals of volleyball, including serving, receiving, setting, spiking, and blocking, showing each fundamental in regular speed and in slow motion. Includes views of outstanding teams in actual play situations.
Call #  FILM Ma121
Genre  Sports, Instructional, Educational
Rare  Yes (2 on WorldCat)
Online  No
Copyright status  Public Domain
Physical condition  Great
Oregon-related  No

Notes: 

All American Productions, out of Riverside, California, may at one time have copywritten this and offered it on DVD.  Here is their link http://www.manta.com/c/mm5hh4v/all-american-productions.

Link to the George Pearson IMDB page http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0669261/.

Why Can’t Jimmy Read? (1969)

15 Feb
Director  Sol Dworkin
Producer
 Don G Williams
Contributors  Publisher: Syracuse University
Length  15 Minutes
B&W/Color  B&W
UO Library Catalog description: In presenting the case of Jimmy, age nine, who is in the fourth grade, this film explains a number of typical procedures which can be used to study children who have reading difficulties. Illustrates the need for cooperation between parents and teachers, and explains the contributions of a reading clinic. College and adult level
Call # Mb22
Genre  Educational
Rare  Yes
Online  No
Copyright status  No
Physical condition  Fair
Oregon-related  No

Notes:

The director Sol Dworkin has also made a film named “Just Weeds” where he overviews how much money is lost to Canadian farmers due to unwanted weeds.

Demonstrations in Perception (1951)

15 Feb
Director  Unknown
Producer  U.S. Naval Photographic Center
Contributors  Unknown
Length  25 Minutes
B&W/Color  B&W
UO Library Catalog description:  Presents some of the demonstrations developed by the Institute for Associated Research, Hanover, N.H., and used at Princeton University for research in perception. Some of this work is sponsored as part of the U.S. Navy’s medical research program for the study of psychiatric disorders
Call # Mc31
Genre  Educational
Rare Yes
Online  No
Copyright status  No
Physical condition Good
Oregon-related  No

Notes:

A demonstration of various optical illusions. 1951. An intertitle at the beginning and of the film states that these experiments can be used to understand psychiatric disorders.

There isn’t much about the creators other than the US Navy titlecard. Based on the knowledge found in this text of the film which I found at archive.org these experiments in perception were carried out by Adelbert Ames, Jr. at the Institute for Associated Research at Hanover, New Hampshire.

Rhythm Is Everywhere (1946)

15 Feb
Director  Unknown
Producer  Teaching Films Inc.
Contributors  Unknown
Length  10 Minutes
B&W/Color  BW
UO Library Catalog description:  None
Call # Ma81
Genre  Educational
Rare  Yes
Online  No
Copyright status No
Physical condition  Good
Oregon-related  No

Notes:

1946. This film follows the day of a little boy named Tommy who finds rhythm in various daily occurrences such as: a train passing by, cows eating grass and a horse galloping past. The film is meant to be a piece for young individuals to pay attention to rhythm which can occur at anytime. Although it is a rather strange film.

Teaching Films Inc. was a company which released a fair amount of educational films  on various topics. (including Bowling Fundamentals) From what I can tell there is no mention of the director’s name or anyone who was involved in the filming of this aside from the company, Teaching Films Inc.

Flashpoint (1976)

15 Feb
Director  Ernie Schmidt
Producer  John Taylor
Contributors  National Film Board of Canada
Length  12 Minutes
B&W/Color  Color
UO Library Catalog description:   An animated film about the collision of two oil tankers off the coast of British Columbia. The ensuing explosions cause an oil slick which catches fire, endangering a fishing boat with the Vice President of the United States aboard
Call # Mb259
Genre  Animated Environmental Film
Rare  Yes
Online  Yes
Copyright status  ©1977 Film Board of Canada
Physical condition  Poor
Oregon-related  No

Notes:

Story by: Ian Slater. Executive Producer: John Taylor. Producer: Don Worobey. Interestingly enough, the US Airforce has a copy of this film in their library. The print has some emulsion damage in the form of very pink, washed out colors.

This film is an animated feature which depicts the reality of the preparedness of the US government to deal with an oil spill. It is dramaticized by having a character caught in the middle of the burning ocean be the vice president of the United States. Probably made with the intent to warn the public about the dangers and environmental costs of these types of disasters.

The director Ernie Schmidt went on to work on many television cartoons such as DuckTales and Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. According to IMDB this is his second animated film as director.

Booker T. Washington (1951)

15 Feb
Director  Unknown
Producer  Emerson Film Corporation / John Emerson
Contributors  Encyclopedia Dramatica Films
Length  18 minutes
B&W/Color  B/W
UO Library Catalog description:  Portrays the hardships of Booker T. Washington‘s life, his problem in building Tuskegee Institute, and his struggle to free the Negro people from ignorance, poverty, and fear
Call # MC162
Genre Biographical
Rare  No
Online  No
Copyright status  ©1951 Emerson Film Corporation
Physical condition  Fair
Oregon-related  No

Notes:

1951. This film briefly covers the life of Booker T. Washington and the hardships he faced growing up,  as well as being an early civil rights educator.

The Emerson Film Corporation has several films with Encyclopedia Dramatica Films one of which is a biography on Lewis and Clark which, interestingly enough, was done in partnership with Dan E. Clark Ph.D. of the University of Oregon.

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