Archive | Experimental RSS feed for this section

Strings (1980)

8 Mar
Director Ken O’Connell
Producer Eugene OR, Ken O’Connell. Champaign IL, Picture Start.
Contributors Picture Start
Length 3 minutes
B&W/Color B&W
UO Library Catalog description: An abstract view of scale and light.
Call # Ma207
Genre Experimental Films, Short Films United States
Rare Yes
Online No
Copyright status ©1979 Ken O’Connell
Physical condition Fair
Oregon-related Yes

Notes: Strings is a short experimental/art film made by Ken O’Connell. It is essentially an abstract set of visuals that explores various views of scale and light, just as the UO catalog describes. It is extremely short and was made principally to be shown as part of an exhibit or at film festivals. Strings won 3rd place at the USA Film Festival in Dallas, Texas in 1980. The film was made in the early 1970’s, but not edited and released until 1979.

The film is unique to the University of Oregon. As far as I know we are the only institution to have a copy of it both in digital and 16mm form. O’Connell is a retired professor who still teaches at the U of O in the Art Department. I myself have taken a few sketching and drawing classes with him, but was unaware his work within film up until now. He has made over 16 short films in his career, many of which can be accessed from the UO libraries on VHS or digitally. I contacted O’Connell about Strings and as far as he knows, there are only five 16mm copies in existence. For a sampling of some of his other work, check out another short film he did called Chips In Space, which is a video produced in 1984 on the Apple II with Vectrix graphics hardware. The animations were produced by rendering and capturing the image frame-by-frame onto 16mm film. O’Connell shot all of his films on 16mm. His last film, Oregon Country, was transferred to video in the final printing so it was released on video only in a collection called Greentunes.

Advertisements

Photographic Studies in Hypnosis, Abnormal Psychology (1938)

7 Mar
Director  Dr. Lester F. Beck
Producer  University of Oregon
Contributors  University of California
Length  15 Minutes
B&W/Color  B&W
UO Library Catalog description:  1 reel, SI, 16mm – This silent film shows a woman being hypnotized and includes both pre and post hypnosis scenes. The hypnotist demonstrates how a patient’s mind can be manipulated as he pinpricks and burns his patient with controlled and suggestive reactions. This unrehearsed session of hypnosis features two students whom are given false memories. The pair are then tested about their memories and are given some basic psychological tests to see the effects of the hypnosis.
Call # FILM Ma12
Genre  Educational, Documentary, Instructional
Rare  No
Online  http://youtu.be/9kqQl50GyA4
Copyright status  Public Domain
Physical condition  Copy #1 is Very Good, Copy #2 is between Good & Fair, Copy #3 is Poor
Oregon-related  Yes

Notes:

Lester F. Beck was an Associate Professor of Psychology as well as a Secretary Treasurer at the University of Oregon.  He was responsible for the research and planning that resulted in production of the widely accepted E.C. Brown Trust film called “Human Growth”.  Brown University awarded its first ever Ph.D. degree in psychology in 1933 to Lester F. Beck, whose topic was “Manual Skills and the Measurement of Handedness.”  Here is a link to his IMDB page http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1393104/.

Available on DVD at http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC/PsychVid.html through the University of California Berkeley’s website.  However, I have not found that they or anyone else owns it’s copywrite.

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

Notes:

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.

Frank Film (1973)

14 Feb
Director  Frank Mouris
Producer  Pyramid Films
Contributors  Caroline Mouris
Length  9 minutes
B&W/Color  Color
UO Library Catalog description:  Combines animated sequences with two narrative sound tracks to create a series of complex, moving patterns which satirize contemporary middle-class life.
Call # FILM Ma209
Genre  Experimental, Animated
Rare  No
Online  Yes
Copyright status  Protected
Physical condition  Fair
Oregon-related  No

Notes:

Frank Mouris is an experimental filmmaker.

In 1974 Frank Film won the Academy Award for Best Short Subject, Animated Film. In 1996 the film was selected for preservation in the US National Film Registry.

University of Oregon’s library copy of “Frank Film” is in fairly good condition in 16mm format. The film is warped and has signs of emulsion degradation (pink tinge), but overall it runs well through the projector making it an enjoyable experience to watch this film on it’s original format (a side note, it is rare to find “Frank Film” on 16mm).

 

 

Seductive Child (1960)

26 Jan
Director  Unknown
Producer  Unknown
Contributors  Unknown
Length  11 Minutes
B&W/Color  B&W
UO Library Catalog description:  Scenes of a young boy interacting with a young man; used to sensitize counselors to adult aberrant behavior.
Call # FILM Ma219
Genre  Experimental, Instructional
Rare  Yes
Online  No
Copyright status  Public Domain
Physical condition  Good
Oregon-related  No

Notes:

Seductive Child is a true orphan film. There is very little info available on the movie so the conclusions drawn about it are purely speculative in relation to attitudes towards pedophilia during the 1960’s. It features a group of children enamored with a James Dean-esque character riding a motorcycle. They follow as he drives down a road, calling after him and expressing their admiration. One child approaches the young man in a playful manner, asking to sit on the motorcycle. The man obliges and the child happily revs the engine. The man then gets off the motorcycle and proceeds to stand by a tree before beginning to touch himself as the child bounces up and down on the seat. The machine tips over, trapping the child underneath. The man comes over and picks it up off of him, but is pulled to the ground in the process. He grapples with the boy and they flip over back and forth on each other until the child plunges his thumbs into his eyes. The man gets up rubbing his eyes and the boy runs away. The other group of children convene and begin to throw rocks at the man as he drives away.

It’s interesting seeing who is the victim and the predator here. There is a certain amount of ambiguity presented in the film as to who is who. On the one hand the young motorcyclist does attempt to force himself on the child, but the boy himself is shown in a way that portrays him as the seducer. The character of the motorcyclist also sits in stark contrast to the “dirty old man” persona of pedophiles today. He is definitely not the type of person you would expect to be a child molester. This falls in line with the general attitude of pedophiles during the 60’s, which had a much different focus, centered on the unassuming young man or even family members. Children were also not always trusted in court during these times and skepticism over claims of molestation was prevalent due to a Freudian understanding of children’s sexuality, which framed child sexuality as by its very nature innocent, but always present and a potential liability for adults (source: http://www.faqs.org/childhood/Pa-Re/Pedophilia.html).

Below is a selection of stills from the film.

Manhatta (1921)

17 Dec
Director   Paul Strand and Charles Sheeler
Producer 
Contributors   Distributed in this version (1997) by Glenn Photo Supply
Length   9 min
B&W/Color   b&w
UO Library Catalog description:  An avant-garde short film about New York seen in terms of its geometric architecture and the movement patterns of ships and people. Based on a poem by Walt Whitman
Call # FILM Ma221
Genre  experimental
Rare  no
Online  yes; YouTube.
Copyright status  public domain
Physical condition  good
Oregon-related  no

Notes:

Wikipedia. Strand was a photographer, Sheeler a painter. “The primary objective of the film is to explore the relationship between photography and film; camera movement is kept to a minimum, as is incidental motion within each shot. Each frame provides a view of the city that has been carefully arranged into abstract compositions.”

Logger Rhythms: A Landscape Film (1975)

17 Dec
Director   Don Cato
Producer   Printed by Teknifilm of Portland, OR
Contributors   Assisted by Karen Cato, John Huntgen and Jim Longstreth
Length   5 min
B&W/Color   color
UO Library Catalog description:  Terminal project, M.L.A.–University of Oregon, Dept. of Landscape Architecture.
Call # FILM Ma185
Genre  experimental
Rare  yes
Online  no
Copyright status  public domain
Physical condition  good
Oregon-related  yes

Notes:

Electric saws scream over oddly hypnotic, rhythmic shots of equipment and people. Don Cato also directed the Eugene-themed Skinner’s Beaut’.

%d bloggers like this: