Calliope (1976)

14 Feb
Director Don Cato
Producer Teknifilm
Contributors Assistant director, Preston Cato; sound mix, Rob Perkins; calliope recording, Don Hunter
Length  6 minutes
B&W/Color Color
UO Library Catalog description: Uses out-of-focus county fair lights, accompanied by fair sounds and the sounds of a 1932 calliope.
Call # FILM Ma186
Genre Experimental
Rare Yes
Online No
Copyright status Public Domain
Physical condition Fair
Oregon-related Yes


Although Calliope is not a “truly” orphaned film, there are still many question remaining about the film’s origin. Under “notes” the library catalog entry says that this film was: Terminal project, M.L.A.–University of Oregon, Dept. of Landscape Architecture. Despite the far and wide reaching capabilities of the internet, there was no “paper trail” of information pertaining to the involvement of the Department of Landscape Architecture in this film.

The library catalog description of Calliope  is actually spot on. The abstract style leads one to wonder about the intended purpose of this film. Due to the (purposefully/intended) blurry quality of images, the only distinctly recognizable aspect of the film is the sound of the calliope, also the film’s namesake.

Notably Calliope was processed by Teknifilm, a Portland based lab started by Tektronix employee Frank Hood. Teknifilm has been credited with fostering Oregon’s independent film community.

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