Goodbye, cruel world!

July 23rd, 2012

Greetings!  Due to some administrative quirks of this blog, we have started this newly renovated blog for your enjoyment.

Please update your RSS feeds and bookmarks, and check back often!

http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/hfacollections2/

 

Over the past few weeks new audio files were added to our Visiting Directors Audio Collection finding aids, from 2008 and 2009.  You can listen to audio recorded before and after our screenings, including well-researched introductions and discussions between visiting filmmakers, scholars, and our curator and programmer.  All audio is available to the public, you just need to click on the links and listen via realaudio.

A few highlights from the recent uploads include:

Chris Marker’s May 2009 virtual visit:  The Second Life of Chris Marker: A Live Event

Two recordings from our 2008 Warren Sonbert program: Fellow Traveler: The Cinema of Warren Sonbert

 

 

Geliebte Bestie (Arthur Maria Rabenalt, Austria, 1959) hand-colored lobby card from the Just Collection

These hand-colored lobby cards from the Lothar & Eva Just Collection make us want to find a print of the film.

Geliebte Bestie (Arthur Maria Rabenalt, Austria, 1959) hand-colored lobby card from the Just Collection

Director Arthur Maria Rabenalt was born in Austria in 1905.  He made films under the Nazis, beginning in 1934, and continuted to work through the 1970s.

Geliebte Bestie (Arthur Maria Rabenalt, Austria, 1959) hand-colored lobby card from the Just Collection

Geliebte Bestie (Arthur Maria Rabenalt, Austria, 1959) hand-colored lobby card from the Just Collection

In the picutre above, the woman’s outfit has switched from red & white to black & white. One assumes her costume change was a whim of the colorist.

Frühling in Berlin (Rabenalt, West Germany, 1957) hand colored lobby card from the Lothar & Eva Just Collection

In the image above, the colorist has colored the woman’s shoe the same color as her leg, making it appear that she is only wearing one shoe!

Frühling in Berlin (Rabenalt, West Germany, 1957) hand colored lobby card from the Lothar & Eva Just Collection

It’s springtime in Berlin, 1957.  The stills from this cold war rom-com make us want to take a plane back in time.

Frühling in Berlin (Rabenalt, West Germany, 1957) hand colored lobby card from the Lothar & Eva Just Collection

Plane travel certainly was different in the old days.

Frühling in Berlin (Rabenalt, West Germany, 1957) hand colored lobby card from the Lothar & Eva Just Collection

The nightclubs look superior, too!

 

COFFY

April 27th, 2012

Processing the Just Collection has been a lot of fun.   Today’s find was hand-colored film stills from Jack Hill’s COFFY (1973), starring the inimitable Pam Grier.  It’s generally surprising to find hand-colored stills of this vintage, but it appears to have been fairly common in the German film promotion industry.

COFFY, Jack Hill, 1973, USA hand colored film still

 

COFFY, Jack Hill, 1973, USA hand colored film still

COFFY, Jack Hill, 1973, USA hand colored film still

 

help us identify this poster

April 19th, 2012

This poster is in our collection, but we don’t know much about it.  It’s 27×41 and has no text nor writing on it.  A woman sits on a chair.  Behind her, through windows, we see a woman running arms outstretched, and a man falling off a cliff.

Can you identify it?

thank you Vernica!

 

 

Some of the collections at the HFA are acquired from private collectors.  You’ve heard a lot about Howard Burr, one of our personal favorite film collectors, on this blog.  In 2010 we acquired a small yet significant collection from another passionate collector, Tony Pugliese.  Mr. Pugliese was perhaps more precise and concise in his collecting than Mr. Burr — his collection consists of twenty-two 16mm film prints (in contrast to the over 2,500 acquired by Mr. Burr), and all were tied to his interest in one screen star.  This seemingly eclectic group of classical Hollywood films ranging from 1932 to 1965 is threaded together by the recurring presence of actor Paul Muni.  Some of the films also star other Hollywood screen legends like Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson and Bette Davis.  However, Pugliese’s interest in Muni’s films is truly the highlight of the collection.

Paul Muni in the 1932 film "Scarface."

Titles include the 1932 classic Scarface, 1945′s Chopin biopic A Song to Remember, and the 1932 crime drama I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang, just to name a few.  

This collection not only makes available a number of great 16mm prints of classic Hollywood titles for viewing and study, but also provides more insight into the collecting cultures surrounding motion picture film in the 20th century.  The full finding aid with a complete inventory of the collection is available here.

Lederhosenfilm

March 29th, 2012

We are constantly amused by the items in the Lothar and Eva Just Film Stills Collection that fall into the category we call Bavarian Softcore (see previous blog post on erotica).

Today, while working on the oeuvre  of  Sigi Rothemund, we discovered these films do have their own genre title, very close to the one we had assigned to it: Lederhosenfilm, which apparently translates into “Bavarian porn,”  a title that is far less amusing (and less descriptive!).

Cola, Candy, Chocolate (Sigi Rothemund, 1979) lobby card

The above image, from the instant classic COLA, CANDY, CHOCOLATE,  apparently typical for the director Sigi Rothemund (AKA Siggi Götz), brilliantly incorporates two themes that will always be funny – a chimp wearing clothes and women popping out of their tops.  The image below, from the same film, adds the additional hilarity of a man in poorly  done drag with the chimp (who, come to think of it, can also be considered to be in poorly done drag).

Candy, Cola, Chocolate AKA Drei kesse Bienen auf den Philippinen (Sigi Rothemund, 1979)

Mr. Rothemund was also partly responsible for a film that is difficult to comprehend from the production materials:

Starke Zeiten (Klaudi Fröhlich, Rolf Olsen, Otto Retzer, Sigi Rothemund, 1988)

STARKE ZEITEN, a production with no less than 4 credited directors plus a co-director, includes the above scene with David Hasselhoff as a mad scientist?  And then it’s off to the Middle East to blow up oil fields and drive around in a strange collage of mis-sized people!  Naturally, a chimp in human’s clothing (upper left) directs.

Starke Zeiten (Klaudi Fröhlich, Rolf Olsen, Otto Retzer, Sigi Rothemund, 1988)

Although nobody appears in lederhosen in the above images (and nobody appears to be in Bavaria), we assure you these are part of the much beloved Lederhosenfilm genre.

Next time we write about it, we promise to provide pix of people in Lederhosen being naughty in Bavaria.

A note to those of you looking for a research topic for your film studies degree – it doesn’t look like anyone has written much about Lederhosenfilm.  Just a suggestion.

 

Now available for research and viewing:  The Harvard Botanical Museum Collection.

The Grain that Built a Hemisphere. United States. Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs, Walt Disney Company. 1947.

This collection, donated by the Tozzer Library to the HFA in 2012, is made up of forty-five educational films created between 1943-1978.  The films were collected by the Harvard Botanical Museum, founded in 1858 by Asa Gray and originally called the Museum of Vegetable Products, and were used in the classroom to teach on a variety of topics, mainly focused around agriculture.  Some films were sponsored films; others look at the ethnography or history of agriculture in different societies.   Other films in the collection include a war-time production looking at corn production (nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary in 1943) which was created by the Walt Disney Company. There are a few titles by noted anthropologists and ethnographic filmmakers Timothy Asch and Napoleon Chagnon, both examining the life & customs of the Yanomami people (see the HFA’s Documentary Educational Resources Collection for more anthropological films).   There are also sponsored films which were created to showcase the how their products are manufactured before being sent to the consumers.

Overall, this is an interesting collection focusing on educational films about agriculture.  Each film has been cataloged, and the full finding aid can be found here.

A really interesting exploration into Hollis Frampton’s 1968 film “Surface Tension” is happening on the NY Times’ City Room blog, in anticipation of the April release of the Criterion Collection’s Hollis Frampton box set.  Check it out:
 http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/tag/su…

And see a short clip of the digital version of the film here:

Hollis Frampton – Two and a Half Minutes of Surface Tension

The TECO Collection

March 21st, 2012

The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Boston donated their collection of 16mm film prints to the Harvard Film Archive in 2007.   They are now find-able on Harvard Library’s online catalog, HOLLIS.

To see the titles, go to Advance Search, put TECO Collection in the Keyword box, and limit the location to Harvard Film Archive.   Titles are cataloged with their original language characters, their transliterated titles, as well as their English language release titles.

Culled from the years 1979-1994, 115 titles from Taiwan and Hong Kong are represented here.  These prints were once used by the Cultural Office as a resource for loaning and screenings in and around the city of Boston.   The genres they cover run the gamut from Kung Fu action films to sweet romances to serious dramas. The films are in Mandarin and subtitled in English and Cantonese.

Titles include
That Day at the Beach (1983), Taipei Story (1985), The Black Skin and White Tooth (1985), Terrorizer (1986) (all directed by Edward Yang)
Ang Lee’s first film, Pushing Hands (1992)
Five Girls and a Rope (Hung-Wei Yeh, 1992)
Song of the Exile (starring Maggie Cheung, directed by Ann Hui, 1990)

Kung fu films such as
Dragon Inn (starring Maggie Cheung and Donnie Yen, directed by Hsiao Ton Cheng and Raymond Lee, 1992)
The Kung Fu Kids (Wu Wanlali, 1982)
Raiders of the Shaolin Temple (Fang Hoa, 1982)

And some great titles like
Marvelously Fast Juvenile Delinquents (Liang Chun Chao, 1988, starring Andy Lau)
Return of the Electric Love (Dunping Yang, 1982)
Even the Sun is Sobbing (Chin-Tang Lai, 1983)