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Zlateh The Goat (1973)

20 Mar
Director  Gene Deitch
Producer  Weston Woods Inc.
Contributors  Consultation – Maurice Sendak, Original Story – Isaac Bashevis Singer
Length  20 minutes
B&W/Color  Black and White
UO Library Catalog description:  A heartwarming story about a little boy and his heroic family goat who must survive stranded in a harsh blizzard
Call #  FILM MB192
Genre  Feature
Rare  No
Online  Yes
Copyright status  Protected
Physical condition  Poor
Oregon-related  No

Notes:

Zlateh The Goat is an adaptation of a children’s story from Israel, written in 1966 by Isaac Bashevis Singer. In order to survive in a time with little work, a man sends his son Aaron to the butcher with the family goat, Zlateh. On their way to town, a terrible blizzard sets in, and they are forced to take shelter in a haystack, where Zlateh keeps Aaron alive for three days with her warmth and milk. When Aaron returns to his family alive, they are overjoyed, and decide to keep Zlateh after all.

The characters of the film remain silent, while light music and the amiable voice of a narrator keep us informed of the story.

The film is directed by Gene Deitch, known for his animated work on Tom & Jerry and Popeye.

Maurice Sendak, renowned creator of Where The Wild Things Are, and original illustrator of the print edition of Zlateh The Goat, is credited as a creative consultant.

A Year Towards Tomorrow (1966)

16 Mar
Director Edmund A. Levy
Producer Edmund A. Levy
Contributors Sundial Films Inc., The Office of Economic Opportunity
Length  25 minutes
B&W/Color  Color
UO Library Catalog description: Follows Volunteers In Service To America (VISTA) on their one year assignments. Two women go to a Navajo reservation in Arizona, while a man goes to a poor district of Atlanta, Georgia.
Call # FILM MC154
Genre  Feature
Rare  No
Online  Yes
Copyright status Protected
Physical condition  Poor
Oregon-related  No

Notes:

This film is commonly referred to as a documentary, but is actually a re-enactment of true events after their conclusion, although the characters are portrayed by the original VISTA volunteers themselves. The VISTA organization is a national service program specifically aimed at fighting poverty. Vista members commit to one-year assignments in poor communities around the country.

The film follows three volunteers as they settle into the communities they’ve been assigned to. Two women go to Lukachukai, Arizona to join a Navajo reservation. There they attempt to teach the residents how to speak English, sow clothing, and to make the best use of their government-issue food provisions. Meanwhile, a young man arrives in a poor African-American district of Atlanta, Georgia. There his goal is to start a tenant union and also to assist in the education of the neighborhood youth, some of whom rarely set foot in school.  Many of the residents are resilient to the program, and the volunteers must use compassion and wit before they can even begin to help their charges.

Of particular note is the dry narrative delivered by Academy award winner and entrepreneur Paul Newman.

This film won an Oscar for best documentary short at the 39th Academy Awards Ceremony in 1967.

The Crazy Ray (1927)

15 Mar
Director René Clair
Producer Henri Diamant-Berger
Contributors Film Arts Guild, Eastin-Phelan Corp., released by Blackhawk Films
Length 35 minutes
B&W/Color  B&W
UO Library Catalog description: none
Call # Mb154
Genre feature
Rare  No (available online and on DVD)
Online  Yes
Copyright status Public Domain
Physical condition Poor
Oregon-related  No

Notes:

The Crazy Ray (1925), also titled “At 3:25” and “Paris qui dort”, is a short film about an Eiffel Tower nightwatchman who finds that all of Paris is frozen in time. He meets up with a group of Parisians who evaded this strange phenomenon, and the they celebrate their newfound freedom by eating at a restaurant, taking money, wearing fancy clothes, and living in the Eiffel Tower.

René Clair is one of the most celebrated French filmmakers of the silent era. His most notable films include And Then There Were None and Le Silence est d’or, which both won Best Picture at the Locarno International Film Festival. His film A nous la liberté (1936) created some controversy when Charlie Chaplin released his film Modern Times (1936). Modern Times contained some similarities to Clair’s film, including the conveyor belt scenes. Clair showed great admiration for Chaplin, and said that if Chaplin did get any inspiration from his film, that it would be an honor. Clair, not wanting to participate in any legal recourse, settled out of court.

Peege (1972)

15 Mar
Director  Randal Kleiser
Producer  Leonard S. Berman & David Knapp
Contributors  Kleiser-Knapp Productions
Length  28 minutes
B&W/Color  color
UO Library Catalog description: A dramatization which shows how a young man who comes home for the Christmas holidays is able to break through communication barriers and reach his grandmother who has become isolated by age and failing mental and physical capacities.
Call # Mc217
Genre feature
Rare No
Online No (a two minute clip is online)
Copyright status Protected
Physical condition Fair
Oregon-related No

Notes:

Peege is short film written and directed by Randal Kleiser. Kleiser graduated from the University of Souther California in 1968, and Peege became his Master’s thesis film, winning awards such as a Chris Award at the Columbus Film Festival, the top honor at the National Council on Family Relations Film Competition, a Maxi Award, and a TEAM Film Award for Best Film in Family Counseling.

Kleiser went on to direct Grease (1978) and The Blue Lagoon (1980) starring Brooke Shields.

In 2007, Peege was added to the National Film Registry by the LIbrarian of Congress.

Bernice Bobs Her Hair (1976)

15 Mar
Director  Joan Micklin Silver
Producer  Perspective Films, Learning in Focus Inc.
Contributors  Executive Producer: Robert GellerCast: Shelley Duvall (Bernice), Veronica Cartwright (Marjorie), Bud Cort (Warren), Dennis Christopher (Charley), Henry Fonda (narrator), Patrick Reynolds (Draycott)
Length 48 minutes
B&W/Color  Color
UO Library Catalog description: A young flapper bobs her hair to gain peer approval. She doesn’t get approval but she learns a lesson in values
Call # Md110
Genre  Theatrical
Rare  No
Online  Yes
Copyright status  Copyrighted
Physical condition  Good
Oregon-related  No

Notes:

Bernice Bobs Her Hair is an adaptation of the short story with the same title by F. Scott Fitzgerald.  It was a part of the series, The American Short Story and aired on PBS’ American Playhouse on April 5, 1977 in tandem with Sherwood Anderson’s I’m a Fool.  Some consider it to be the best film adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Joan Micklin Silver is an American director born in 1935.  Her early low budget film Hester Street received a Best Actress Oscar nomination for actress Carol Kane.  Her film Between the Lines was entered into the 27th Berlin International Film Festival in 1977.

The Golden Honeymoon (1980)

15 Mar
Director  Noel Black
Producer  Robert Geller
Contributors Perspective Films; distributed by Coronet Films; Writers Frederic Hunger and Ring Lardner; starring James Whitmore, Teresa Wright, and Larry Loonin
Length  52 minutes
B&W/Color  Color
UO Library Catalog description: Based on the story of the same title by Ring Lardner, about an elderly couple who takes a winter vacation in St. Petersburg, Fla., in the 1920’s, and discovers that 50 years of marriage have not prevented the arousal of old jealousies nor diminished the chances of an even deeper love.
Call #  Md121
Genre  Feature film
Rare  No
Online  Available on Netflix and from various other retailers
Copyright status  Protected
Physical condition  Good
Oregon-related  No

Notes: 

The Golden Honeymoon is an adaptation of Ring Lardner’s The Golden Honeymoon. Written in 1922, the short story follows a couple celebrating their honeymoon during their golden years. The 1980 television film version opened for the second season of PBS’ American Playhouse on February 4th. It was directed by Noel Black who won an award in 1966 at the Cannes Film Festival for his short silent film Skaterdater, which was also nominated for an Academy Award; The Golden Honeymoon was produced by Robert Geller who is known for Seize the Day with Robin Williams, and The Jolly Corner which is on hold in the Knight Library 16mm film section.

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.

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