Author Archives: conservator3

Report on Anne Charlotte Robertson screenings in Portland, OR

ACR programs

Last week we attended the annual Association of Moving Image Archivists Conference in lovely Portland, Oregon and had the pleasure of presenting two screenings of digitized films from the Anne Charlotte Robertson Collection.

The first screening was hosted by Portland, Oregon’s Cinema Project. This is a great organization, co-founded by the HFA’s very own Jeremy Rossen! The Cinema Project crew graciously coordinated the event and even held a bake sale in honor of Anne, who often brought baked goods to her own screenings.

Later in the week the 2001 Anne Robertson short, My Cat, My Garden and 9/11 was presented to great reception as part of AMIA’s Archival Screening Night at the Northwest Film Center in Downtown Portland.

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My Cat My Garden and 9/11 top images, Archival Screening Night Highlights! Instagram image courtesy of @amiarchivists

It was very rewarding to share Anne’s incredible work with these communities. Thanks to all of our friends, old and new, who helped make these unique events possible!

These were some of the last screenings of Anne’s work until 2017.  We will screen Reel 3 of the Five Year Diary at the Harvard Film Archive on December 18th at 7pm, and then the work will be out of circulation until we have completed preservation and digitization of the collection, which we expect to have finished by early 2017.

Photo album: Home Movie Day 2015

Thanks to everyone who made it out for a successful Home Movie Day last weekend! This year the event was co-hosted by the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston’s historic Back Bay neighborhood. HMD15 Boston was an enjoyable evening of unique films under a crystal chandelier in the elegant NEHGS Reading Room. We topped past participant numbers and had a treasure trove of great material shared among attendees, including beautiful Kodachrome films of Maine, Gloucester and 1960’s downtown Boston with an amazingly small amount of traffic. Below are some highlights from the evening. Be sure to check out more event photos on our Flickr page.

A special thank you to our host at NEHGS, Ginevra Morse, and our staff of HMD volunteers: Sara Meyers, Derek Murphy and Adam Schutzman.

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We hope to see you next year!

#AskAnArchivist Day 2015 is October 1st!

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We are looking forward to #‎AskAnArchivist‬ Day, happening TOMORROW October 1st! Rather than looking to the Twittersphere, our archivists will be answering your questions on the HFA Facebook page. Please post any curiosities you have about Home Movie Day, how we process our archival collections, or the most oddball items that we have found in the archive. Ask us anything! No question is too big or too small!

 

Home Movie Day 2015 is just around the corner!

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HMD 2014

Greetings, home movie makers and fans! It’s that time again and we hope you will join us for our annual screening of your home movies.

What is Home Movie Day? For more than a decade, film archivists and the public have been convening in small spaces all over the globe and gathering around flickering images of times of yore. Grandmothers and babies, now since gone or grown, smile and wave to the camera-person as we watch them through the magical time machine of cinema. Vacations! Parties! Amateur theatricals! There is always something interesting and funny to watch, and we hope you will join us for this year’s event.

This year the Boston area HMD 13 will be held at the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) in Boston’s Back Bay.
http://www.americanancestors.org/visit


As always, this event is free and open to the public.

Saturday, October 17, 2015
3pm film check in
5pm-7:30 film screening

early film drop off encouraged at the HFA offices in the lower level of the Carpenter Center, Harvard University, or by 3pm on October 17 at NEHGS.
http://hcl.harvard.edu/hfa/general_info.html#directions

Formats accepted: 8mm, super 8, super 8 sound, 16mm, VHS, DVD, digital files (playable via laptop)

Films will be inspected for damage prior to projection, so please drop-off early.

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The HMD 2014 volunteers

Join our Home Movie Day Boston 2015 Facebook Event Page to receive information and updates:

https://www.facebook.com/events/822016787916611/

As always, more information is available at the Center for Home Movies, found here:
http://www.centerforhomemovies.org/hmd/

In related news, this week we will be participating in #AskAnArchivist Day on Thursday, October 1st! This event is sponsored by the Society of American Archivists, and is an opportunity for everyone to reach out with questions about the archives on social media. We will be anticipating YOUR questions, which you can post on Thursday to the Harvard Film Archive Facebook page! This is a great chance to ask us anything about Home Movie Day, how we process our archival collections, or the most oddball items that we have found in the archive. No question is too big or too small!

Interlibrary loan of 16mm films

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Image courtesy of Creative Commons

This afternoon we received a very pleasant, unexpected phone call from a gentleman in Florida who asked if we sent out any of our 16mm films for interlibrary loan. His local library is no longer circulating their 16mm films and this true film enthusiast has been seeking out other options. Although we cannot send any of our collection materials his way, a quick search online indicates that there are, indeed, a few libraries which still send out their 16mm films through ILL, including the Jacksonville Public Library! We hope you see this dear caller and fellow film fan!

A woman for all seasons: processing the Mildred Freed Alberg Papers

This is a guest post from our spring 2015 intern, Gabby Womack!

When I began my internship with the Harvard Film Archive, I knew that I would be working with the papers of a female television and film producer from the 1960s. In fact, Mildred Freed Alberg was one of the reasons I was drawn to the internship. I was curious about what her life was like, what kinds of shows and films she produced, and whether or not she was successful, because I had never heard of her before.

Star Intern, Gabby Womack holding a photograph from the Mildred Freed Alberg collection.

Star Intern, Gabby Womack, holding a photograph from the Mildred Freed Alberg collection.

Mildred Freed Alberg was a female film and television producer from the late 1950s into the 1980s. She began her work in radio and worked her way up to producing TV shows, telemovies, films/documentaries, and a play. She was best known for her work in shows such as Hallmark Hall of Fame (1955-60) and Our American Heritage (1959-62), as well as her documentary The Royal Archives of Elba (1980). Alberg also brought Shakespeare to television, despite much skepticism. Basically, she was awesome and ambitious.

I was excited to dig into her papers once I had an overall idea of her accomplishments. Of course, I was in for some very cool surprises once I began. After weeks of processing, I found a short letter discussing the cast schedules of the film Hot Millions (1968) starring Peter Ustinov and Maggie Smith. Although the find was small, it made me excited. So many Millennials have only seen Maggie Smith in her later years and have come to picture her as Professor McGonagall from Harry Potter films, or Violet Crawley from Downton Abbey. I loved reading Alberg’s letter asking about whether the young starlet was going to become a part of the cast and begin rehearsals. I later found compelling letters discussing the possibilities of casting Muhammad Ali or Johnny Cash as a lead in a movie that never ended up being filmed (Rogue). There were many letters to and from Johnny Cash about the role, attempts to meet, and Alberg’s thoughts on those meetings. The part that I found pretty funny was the way she referred to him as “a young musician who is on the rise and well liked by the younger crowd.”

Promotional item from the Mildred Freed Alberg collection

Promotional item from the Mildred Freed Alberg collection

Mildred Freed Alberg also worked with notable author Elie Wiesel on scripts for the 25th Anniversary of the State of Israel in 1972. It seemed to me that Alberg wanted her work to be as authentic as it could be, and conducted thorough research into Wiesel’s work as well as biblical stories and Israel as a whole. In fact, everything she produced showed the same depth of research. In one episode of Our American Heritage, she received some negative feedback from someone who claimed that she had misrepresented some information on Eli Whitney and his invention of the cotton gin. Alberg did not take kindly to this criticism because they had implied that she had not done her research on everyone in the episode. She wrote back to this person and shared her letter with the heads of the production company she worked for. The letter tore apart the recipient and detailed exactly where she found her information, all the way down to the page number and paragraphs.
Processing the Mildred Freed Alberg collection has shown me how this tough, but likeable, woman worked her way up to the top within the entertainment industry and never let anyone or anything stop her. Before processing this collection, I had no idea women were able to find work within that field besides acting and being assistants. She was an inspiring woman and I believe that she is a great example of what the industry is missing to this day.

September Tuesday poster

In honor of Labor Day from the Harvard Film Archive’s vintage poster collection: Akira Kurosawa’s master portrait on class, bureaucracy and one man’s discovered passion for living. Visit the Hollis+ catalog for more images and materials from the HFA collections.

Ikiru (1952)

Images from the Soviet Film Collection

We have come across some compelling images in the Soviet Film Collection prints. Herewith a selection of our staff favorites, with photos from project film specialist Adrianne Jorge:

 

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A Great Life (1939)

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The Legend of Suram Fortress (1984)

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Regina (1990)

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The Legend of Suram Fortress (1984)

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The Legend of Suram Fortress (1984)

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Watch out for the Automobile! (1966)

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Malva (1957)

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The Thirteenth Apostle (1988)

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The Thirteenth Apostle (1988)

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Tears Dripped (1983)

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Unidentified film

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Unidentified film

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We are from Kronstadt (1936)

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We are from Kronstadt (1936)

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Native Blood (1963)

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A Great Life (1939)

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Twenty-Six Commissars (1932)

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Twenty-Six Commissars (1932)

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Twenty-Six Commissars (1932)

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Unidentified film