14th Annual Northeast Historic Film Summer Symposium
Visions of Travel and Mobility
Thursday, July 25 through Saturday, July 27, 2013
(“Arizona Airstream” courtesy of Mark Neumann)
Wunderkino (“wonder-cinema”) are moving images that ignite our curiosity and engagement and help us to rethink questions of creativity, complexity, rarity and the multiple uses and understandings of amateur and non-commercial films.
The Tree in a Test Tube?: Forestry and Film in Mid-Century Maine
Oliver Gaycken, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Oliver Gaycken is the 2012 recipient of Northeast Historic Film’s William O’Farrell Fellowship, which provides support for research at NHF. He will present his ongoing research on forestry films.
Stan Midgley: Thousands of feet and thousands of miles
Trisha Lendo, UCLA Film and Television Archive, Los Angeles, CA
Over his career, Stan Midgley shot footage in such places as Yosemite, Arizona, the Canadian Rockies, Yellowstone, and Hawaii and made over 4,000 appearances with his adventures. He embraced regionalism wherever he was and shared local pronunciations and customs with his viewers. Because of his use of sight gags, Stan Midgley referred to his films as “chucklelogues.” His love of the American places he captured, along with his humor, earned him the moniker “Mark Twain with a camera.”
The Armchair Traveller: The Travelogues of Charles Joseph Chislett
Sue Howard, Yorkshire Film Archive/Northeast Film Archive, UK
Charles Chislett was a Bank Manager and Chair of the Photographic Society in a South Yorkshire industrial city. A mix of social standing, financial ability, and a strong ethos to serve the community manifested in his Travelogues. He filmed, recorded, scripted, edited, and then exhibited his films to thousands, with the intention of ‘transporting the armchair traveller to areas of the globe to which they would likely never travel themselves’, and in the course of doing so, raising significant proceeds forlocal charities.
Burton Holmes Travel Films
Ilona Auth, Selznick School of Film Preservation, Rochester, NY
As the originator of the travelogue format, Holmes presented images of exotic cultures and remote locations to huge audiences at a time when international travel was far more inaccessible than it is today. Holmes’s moving images provide a strong base for discussion on the development of the travelogue format, the importance and desirability of cultural and geographic education, and the powerful effect that film can have in building a sense of global community.
Shooting the Sportsmen’s Paradise: The Role of Early Motion Pictures in the New Brunswick Travel and Tourism Industry
Scott Preston, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB
This presentation examines the introduction of film to the sport hunting, travel and tourism industry in New Brunswick at the turn of the 20th century. My paper begins by tracing the history and the context of Bitzer’s A Moose Hunt in New Brunswick—it was produced as part of a series of sportsman’s films to be shown at the New England Forest, Fish and Game Show in Boston in December 1905—and then considers its place within a larger discourse of travel, tourism, wildlife and nature as it pertains to New Brunswick’s self-image and the image of itself promoted to potential tourists in the early 20th century.
A Sporting Life — on Film: Hunting and Fishing in New England Shown at Boston’s Sportsmen’s Show in 1905
Paul Spehr, Fairfield, PA
In the fall of 1905 the American Mutoscope & Biograph Company’s films of hunting and fishing in Maine, New Brunswick and elsewhere were a hit at Boston’s Sportsmen’s Show. Although G.W. “Billy” Bitzer is best known as Griffith’s cameraman, these films show that there was an enthusiastic New England audience that valued films that recorded sports and other aspects of life as people lived it in the world that audiences were familiar with.
Liz Coffey, Travel Film Maker
Liz Coffey, Media Preservation Services, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Liz Coffey shot her first rolls of travel film during a cross country road trip in the late twentieth century. Between 1997 and 2012 she shot Super 8 in The Netherlands, Austria, France, Spain, England, Ireland, Italy, and the USA. Although she studied film and has worked in various aspects of the field, she is not a classically-trained filmmaker and considers her works amateur.
This is an exciting an unusual opportunity to actually talk to and interrogate a living amateur travel-film-maker. Several of Ms Coffey’s films will be screened on Super 8 with a live narration, and there will be ample opportunity for questions, so come prepared!
Travel During Wartime: Harry Randall and the Abraham Lincoln Brigades
Kimberly Tarr, New York University, NY
Presentation Description: Although many travel for leisure, war often compels individuals to travel to new countries and confront new landscapes, people, and culture. Harry Randall (1915-2012), a native Oregonian, joined the volunteer U.S. Abraham Lincoln Brigades in the fight against fascism during the Spanish Civil War. A skilled photographer and projectionist, Randall served as the Chief Photographer of the Photographic Unit of the 15th International Brigade from 1937-38. Randall’s work documents the life of the troops, as well as the quotidian in the Spanish countryside. Although there were challenges to secure both film and equipment during the war, Randall and his company made the most of their limited supplies to capture the cultural landscape of Spain at war.
Engineering the Female Traveler: How to Pack a Suitcase and the Curious Case of the Shell Oil’s ‘Carol Lane’
Travel and Mobility as Cultural Diplomacy: The USIA and Government Films Around the World
Brian Real, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
At the height of the Cold War, a major element of the United States Information Agency (USIA)’s activities was its production, collection, and dissemination of thousands of motion pictures to hundreds of film festivals and film clubs throughout the world. When these films are viewed in comparison to each other, trends and themes emerge that illustrate how concepts of travel and mobility were used to promote American public policy and ideals abroad, with certain production tropes demonstrating how government films informed each others’ style.
Hell Bound Train
Brian Graney, Black Film Center/Archive, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
In the late 1920s, Indianapolis-born Baptist James Gist, Jr. was inspired by a vision during a sermon to produce THE HELL-BOUND EXCURSION TRAIN. Structured around a metaphor common to sermons and religious music of the time, Gist’s 16mm film featured a local cast enacting a catalogue of sins assigned to coach after coach of a train speeding toward Hell, gleefully conducted by Satan.
The Curious Case of the Hidden Images from Luxembourg’s National Home Movie Archive: A Travelogue
Françoise Poos, Independent Curator, Luxembourg
I will tackle questions of mobility and materiality of home movies by tracing the journey of Luxembourg’s Centre National de l’Audiovisuel (CNA) 2007 Hidden Images exhibit of home movie stills from private memories viewed in the family circle to aesthetic artifacts offered to the public gaze, and objects of scientific scrutiny via a public archive. I will discuss the lively social biography of one particular body of images as well as their varying uses and meanings at each of their life stages in order to engage a reflection about how to approach home movies beyond their primary visual appeal, and how to look at them as both images and material objects that exist in time and space.
Magic Mushroom Mountain Movie
John Klacsmann, Anthology Film Archives, New York City, NY
Philosopher Manuel DeLanda’s recently digitized Super 8mm film, MAGIC
MUSHROOM MOUNTAIN MOVIE was shot by DeLanda between 1973 and 1980 during his annual pilgrimages to the remote Mexican village of Huautla in Oaxaca. Essentially an avant-garde home movie, the film highlights a full embrace and respect for the psychedelic Mazateca rituals of rural Mexico without denying or exploiting it as the “hippie” culture of the 1960s often did.
Registration can be made online HERE.
Symposium Registration (Members) including Fri & Sat Breakfast and Lunch: $155. ♦ After Monday July 13, 2013: $190
Symposium Registration (Non-Members) including Fri & Sat Breakfast and Lunch: $200. ♦ After Monday July 13, 2013: $225
Symposium Registration (Students and Underemployed) including Fri & Sat Breakfast and Lunch: $90. ♦ After Monday July 13, 2013: $115
Local lodging options
Driving distances to Bucksport
Bangor, ME: 19 miles
Portland, ME: 121 miles
Boston, MA: 227 miles
New York, NY: 441 miles
Montreal, Canada: 304 miles
Halifax, Canada: 432 miles
Toronto, Canada: 638 miles
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