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Growing Up Japanese (1975)

20 Mar
Director  Michael Berger
Producer  Gordon Newsfilms Inc., The U.S. – Japan Trade Council
Contributors  Released by Modern Talking Picture Service, Inc.
Length  25 minutes
B&W/Color  Color
UO Library Catalog description:  Helps promote an understanding of the Japanese people and way of life by examining Japanese ways of learning to get along together
Call #  FILM MC228
Genre  Documentary
Rare  Yes
Online  No
Copyright status  Public Domain
Physical condition  Fair
Oregon-related  No

Notes:

Growing Up Japanese was released by the U.S. – Japan Trade Council (now known as the U.S. – Japan Business Council) to promote good relations between Japan and the United States.

The film is prefaced with this announcement, as required by the Counterespionage Section of the National Security Division of the U.S. Government:

“This material is prepared, edited, issued, or circulated by Charles Von Lowenfeldt, inc., San Francisco, which is registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) as an  agent of the Japanese government through the U.S.-Japan Trade Council, which is also registered under the FARA. The Japanese Government provides almost all funding for the council. Dissemination reports on this film are filed with the Department of Justice. This statement is made in compliance with the FARA.”

This sort of statement was common, at the time, for films produced by foreign governments but released in the United States. However, it’s requirement by the National Security Division and its mention of dissemination reports provide a sour and suspicious note at the beginning of an otherwise pleasant documentary.

An American woman narrates the film with an even voice as we see many facets of the young Japanese students life in Japan. We watch them study, play baseball, and perform morning aerobic exercises (a daily ritual which carries through to adult life in the workplace).  Students engage in a balloon popping relay and other activities, not unlike spirit-weeks of students in the United States. Later, students take difficult tests and decide which advanced schools to enter based on their grades. Schools are very competitive in Japan, and some students develop phobias and aversions to the rigorous testing regimen.

The film emphasizes a particular focus on the sense of community shared by the Japanese. Although very different countries, the viewer is encouraged to draw positive parallels between Japan and the United States.

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The Springtime of Autumn (1971)

16 Mar
Director Bruce Bittle and Bud Lawrence
Producer Oregon Center for Gerontology
Contributors Oregon State Program on Aging, Administration on Aging (Washington, D.C.)
Length  20 minutes
B&W/Color  Color
UO Library Catalog description: Follows volunteers from the Foster Grandparents Program as they work with and teach developmentally disabled children from Fairview Hospital and Training Center in Salem, OR
Call # FILM MB221
Genre  Documentary
Rare  Yes
Online  No
Copyright status Protected
Physical condition  Fair
Oregon-related  yes

Notes:

This film documents the Foster Grandparents Program set up by the Oregon Center for Gerontology. The program is designed to couple senior citizens with mentally challenged youth in a one-on-one setting. This serves not only as a learning aid for the children, but also as therapy for the older generation.

In a review published in The Gerontologist magazine, University of Oregon’s own Professors Carl Carmichael and Larry Wittnebert had this to say about the film:

“Seeing a ‘Grandmother’ teach a retarded child how to thread a wire through a spool or a ‘Grandfather’ prepare a physically handicapped child for swimming therapy causes the viewer to transcend the specific material at hand, and consider such things as the appropriateness of some of the normal characteristics of aging in dealing with the special problems of these children. The film subtly but clearly leads the viewer to consider how the elderly are especially well equipped to fill some of the gaps in our present medical assistance systems with a little extra patience, compassion, child-rearing experience, and time.”

Soft guitar music accompanies the film, provided by musician Dick Cooley.

The film was primarily shot at Fairview Hospital in Salem, and includes scenes from a visit to the Portland Zoological Gardens.

Meditation Crystallized (1973)

16 Mar
Director  Elda Hartley
Producer  Elda Hartley
Contributors  Hartley Productions
Length  13 minutes
B&W/Color  Color
UO Library Catalog description:  Explores the connection between Tibetan meditation and art, as told by Lama Govinda.
Call # FILM MB206
Genre  Documentary
Rare  Yes
Online  No
Copyright status Unknown
Physical condition  Fair
Oregon-related  No

Notes:

This film is an attempt to connect the mesmerizing art of Tibetan monks and the underlying meditative philosophy, as explained by Lama Anagarika Govinda (1898-1985). Govinda was an artist, author, and one of the western world’s foremost expositors on the traditions and expressions of Tibetan Buddhism. As Lama Govinda puts it, this art is the result of centuries of meditation crystallized.

The film is constructed primarily of candid interviews with Govinda in the Tibetan Nyingmapa Meditation Center in Berkeley, CA., and also detail shots of lavish Tibetan art pieces from the Hammond Museum, North Salem, NY.

Building Children’s Personalities with Creative Dancing (1953)

16 Mar
Director Frank Goldsmith
Producer University Extension/University of California
Contributors Written by Laurence Frank, Jr. and Gary Goldsmith
Length 30 min.
B&W/Color Color
UO Library Catalog description: Demonstrates dancing as an approach to personal development through art.
Call # FILM Mc16
Genre Instructional/Documentary
Rare YES
Online NO
Copyright status PUBLIC DOMAIN
Physical condition FAIR
Oregon-related NO

Notes:

The film is an ethnographic study of children’s dancing with an interpretive voice-of-god narrative to describe the intent, hopes, and desires of the researchers. Dancing was instructed by Gertrude Knight, a dance instructor who worked for Children’s Music Center in Los Angeles, CA.

Children’s Music Center writes of itself, “More than a record shop….a center staffed by consultants trained to help parents and teachers select the finest records and books for any age, from pre-school to beyond the university. Here you will not find the trite or the violent; only what stimulates children to move, listen, play an instrument, relax or create. We are especially proud of our tremendous collections of material on history and contributions of Black and Spanish-speaking Americans; the best of our own heritage, and that of people everywhere.” Source

This knowledge of Knight’s background helps explain the music selection used by experimenters, which is not your run-of-the-mill rock ‘n roll.

BFI’s description: “Made to demonstrate an approach to personal development through art—in this instance dancing. At first, like most children, a group of boys and girls are embarrassed and tense. A teacher skillfully guides and praises each child toward a unique personal and improvised style.”

Read about how Gertrude Knight touched the life of Lottie Jenvey, here.

Read another personal account of one of Knight’s former students, who learned to dance creatively at a summer camp in 1958.

Also contributing to the film, Edgar Brokaw—former Professor of Film and Television, Emeritus at UCLA. He passed away in 2002, but left a legacy in producing 71 films. Learn more about his life here and here.

The film was written by Lawrence Frank, Jr. and Gary Goldsmith. It is possible that Lawrence Frank, Jr. is the one mentioned in an obituary here—Frank and Goldsmith would go on to co-produce The Goldseeker (1956), a short western film (Source).

Read a 1968 news clipping that mentions the film in conjunction with special education films.

Why Must our Elderly Die Alone? (1977)

16 Mar
Director  Bill Maddron
Producer  Bill Maddron
Contributors
Length  29 Minutes
B&W/Color  Color
UO Library Catalog description:   This film suggests how and why we must regain some of the age-old meaning and richness of the experience of dying. Intended for health care professionals, the dying, and their families and friends
Call # Film Mc246
Genre
Rare  Yes
Online  No
Copyright status  Protected?
Physical condition  Fair (faded, some acid detection)
Oregon-related  Yes

Notes:

Retired local printer Bill Maddron learned and began to share his work in film through the University and other local resources. He is concerned with the changing attitudes towards death and aging in society. Here’s  a Register Guard article from ’78.

The City (1939)

16 Mar
Director  N/A
Producer  Civic Films
Contributors  American Documentary Films Inc., American Institute of Planners
Length  30 min
B&W/Color  B&W
UO Library Catalog description:  “A documentary showing life in an old New England village, the overcrowded life in New York City, and life in a planned community. Points out problems of city planning and describes desirable conditions of living in small planned suburban areas.”
Call # Mc8
Genre  Documentary
Rare  No
Online  Yes
Copyright status  Public Domain
Physical condition  Fair
Oregon-related  No

Notes:

This documentary puts into perspective how rapid industrialization effects the younger non-working age demographic in the late 1930’s.

Masturbation, Men (1979)

16 Mar
Director
Producer  MMRC
Contributors
Length  18 Minutes
B&W/Color  Color
UO Library Catalog description:
Adult male demonstrates masturbation techniques.
Call # Film Mc338
Genre  Documentary, Instructional
Rare  Yes
Online  No
Copyright status  Protected
Physical condition  Poor (extreme perforation damage, warp, fading)
Oregon-related  No

Notes:

The Multi-Media Resource Center produced a few films in our collection, including this educational, or at least objectively documentative look at male masturbation. Was unable to watch with sound (had to thread the film backwards and watch in reverse due to perf. damage) so I don’t know about credits at the start or the narration. Some of our other holdings from this production company are missing from our collection.

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