Collectieblog

  • Kroniek Cinétol: van buurtbioscoop tot internationaal fenomeen

    maandag 9 mei 2016


    Tot 26 mei 2016 is in OBA-locatie Cinétol aan de Tolstraat in de Pijp nog de overzichtstentoonstelling  “Kroniek Cinétol: van theosophische tempel tot bibliotheek: een historisch overzicht” te bezoeken. Het rijksmonument waar nu de openbare bibliotheek gevestigd is, werd gebouwd in 1926 onder de stijl van het Nieuwe Bouwen. Achtereenvolgens diende het gebouw als theosofische tempel, theater, synagoge, bioscoop, moskee en nu al dertig jaar als bibliotheek. Het huisvestte de bioscopen Thalia (1942-1944), Cultura (1946-1954) en Cinétol (vanaf 1954) tot de sluiting in 1979. Onder directeur en programmeur Cor Koppies werd Cinétol een belangrijke bioscoop met premières, klassiekers, festivals en discussies, met gasten als Jan Blokker, François Truffaut en Ingmar Bergman. Films van onder meer Akira Kurosawa, Jean Eustache, Eric Rohmer, Alfred Hitchcock, Charles Chaplin, Louis Malle, Federico Fellini en vele anderen werden vertoond.

          AJR filmposter, EYE Filmgerelateerde collecties, 1957

    Duikend in het archief van EYE zijn er vele publicaties te vinden over Cinétol, haar directeur en programmering. Mooi zijn bijvoorbeeld de posters van de Amsterdamse Jeugdraad, die voorstellingen in Cinétol organiseerde. Sowieso wist veel jeugd Cinétol te vinden, niet alleen de jeugd uit de Pijp. Koppies organiseerde er nachtelijke “teach-ins” die zelfs op landelijk niveau bekendheid verwierven. Zelf was hij op zijn achttiende als leerling-operateur begonnen bij datzelfde Cinétol, dat in de jaren vijftig samen met het Leidsepleintheater en de Uitkijk werd geëxploiteerd. Langs deze theaters wist hij op te klimmen tot chef-operateur en technisch bedrijfsleider. Toen werd besloten dat het noodlijdende Cinétolgebouw moest worden afgestoten, wist Koppies, amper 25 jaar, het zich toe te eigenen. Als directeur én operateur startte hij met een programma over Ingmar Bergman (“Is Ingmar Bergman een charlatan?”). Zo werd al gauw de toon gezet voor een bijzondere bioscoop. Koppies raakte geregeld in de clinch met de Filmkeuring of de Bioscoopbond, door themareeksen te organiseren over de Nouvelle Vague, de Britse Free Cinema en Italiaanse films, omdat de bond vereiste dat films een hele week draaiden.
    Vele regisseursprogramma’s en themareeksen zouden volgen. Ook de nachtvoorstellingen, een unicum in die tijd, waren zeer geliefd. Koppies, die met zijn onafhankelijke bioscoop bekend stond als kleine zelfstandige in het commerciële bioscooplandschap, schroomde niet om tot onconventionele methoden over te gaan om titels te bemachtigen die hij wilde vertonen. Vond hij een film niet of te duur op filmmarkten in Cannes en Parijs, dan benaderde hij de Franse ambassade gewoon zelf voor de import. Hij zocht, zoals hij zelf zei, naar een andere manier van film verkopen. Desondanks was Koppies niet vreemd van een beetje amusement, naast de artistiekere titels. Zo haalde hij King Kong naar zijn Cinétol-theater, een kaskraker. Fantastische film, zo werd opgetekend uit zijn mond. (Artikel “Alles laten zien wat interessant is” in De Tijd/Maasbode, 2-12-1966). In 1979 sloot Cinétol en ging Koppies een nieuw avontuur aan op de Lijnbaansgracht, het welbekende Cinecenter.


      Cinétol-button, EYE Filmgerelateerde collecties, jaar onbekend
     

    Er zijn twee publicaties uitgegeven naar aanleiding van de tentoonstelling, beiden zijn opgenomen in de bibliotheek van EYE. Ook zijn er zoals gezegd veel posters, parafenalia en knipsels te vinden over Cinétol en Cor Koppies, die zeker de moeite zijn om na te slaan in de vernieuwde EYE Study vanaf oktober. Tot die tijd zijn er ook andere online bronnen waarin Cinétol terug te vinden is, zoals het In Memoriam-artikel over Koppies van Hans Beerekamp en de Cinétol-advertenties in de Delpher-krantenbank.





     

    Cinétol, Cor Koppies, collectie, filmgerelateerd, Jan Blokker, François Truffaut, Ingmar Bergman, Amsterdamse Jeugdraad, kroniek
  • Moving to the Collection Centre: the technical move

    dinsdag 26 april 2016

                                                                                                                                          

    It has been well over a month since my first collection blog about the move to the new Collection Centre in Amsterdam Noord. Last week was an important and extensive stage in the moving process, as the technical move was carried out. Amongst the technical devices that needed to be rehoused carefully, were Steenbeck’s flatbeds and the Scanity  filmscanner. These heavy machines  were hoisted out of the Overamstel building by crane.

                          
    As you can see from the pictures, this was a great operation. Luckily, the Steenbeck company was present to prepare the flatbeds/viewing tables for the move. On these tables, varying from rewinding tables to editing tables with two screens and speakers, film and sound can be run individually and matched to synchronize. The originally German-based company was taken over by one of its former Dutch dealers in Venray, in 2003. Besides the maintenance that is involved with the delicate mechanisms of these machines, the company’s focus remains with developing viewing and editing tables as it has been for the last 60 years. (For more information on the history of Steenbeck, see their company's history page).
     

             

                                                                                            

    Film scanning: Scanity's technology

    Scanity is another machine of great importance to the EYE archive and the Film Conservation & Digital Access department. With this, we have the possibility to scan 16mm and 35mm analog film image (and sound) up to a 4K digital format at a high pace. The demand for analog film scanned digitally is high. As digital born films are issued in 4K, the demand on historical film - and its gatekeepers - is changing because of it. The European Broadcasters Union (EBU) has set up guidelines that apply here, as quoted by Giovanna Fossati in her book From Grain to Pixel: The Archival Life of Film in Transition:

    Technology is now available to scan and digitize the full information available in film images. Experience with such equipment shows that a pixel pitch of 6 μm (about 160 pixels per mm) is considered sufficient to reproduce current film stocks. This corresponds to a scan of 4k x 3k (actually 4096 x 3112) over the full aperture on 35 mm film. If film is scanned at lower resolution (corresponding to a larger pixel spacing), less information is captured and more aliasing artefacts are introduced” (EBU 2001 in Fossati, p. 77).

    Besides the advantages of Scanity in high-paced scanning of EYE’s archival films for use within and outside of EYE, it has some other features that are most important for the sort of film the archive holds. Scanning film is often a precarious undertaking because of the state of many archival films. Scanning film is often a precarious undertaking because of the state of many archival film footage. It can suffer from shrinkage, warping, loose splices, rips, mold, etc. The process can be stressing the film and deteriorating the film’s state ever further. If we for example look at the perforations of a certain film copy, they can be torn in many ways, such as on this image (left). The perforations are used for the transport through most projectors, editing tables, and other machines. These systems, as well as many scanning systems, pick up the film by sprockets or pins that go through the perforations. Because of this, the perforations have a tendency to wear easily. Scanity on the other hand, does not use the perforations for transporting the film through the machine for the scanning process.

    (Source: DFT Film)

     The technique Scanity uses instead is based on a capstan and roller gate transport system. This entails that the film is not guided through the machine by fixed guides, but instead goes through the scanning process on a number of rollers.The capstan on the machine makes for a relaxed move of the film through the process. Still, for scanning the film it is essential to identify the film per frame. This because if the perforations are not located, the image stability of the digital scan will not be up to standards. To make this possible, Scanity uses a camera technology dedicated to detect the perforations without having to physically use them. This makes for a steady digital scan in the end. For more information from DFT’s perspective on digitization of analog film and how Scanity works, see DFT's datasheet.

    At this point in time, gathering the EYE collection in this new Collection Centre has proven to be a great success: from February until today, about 85% of the 200.000 cans that needed to be processed and barcoded have found their new place into the shelves. It has been great to find titles that inspire your inner film geek to re-watch, not to mention the beautiful and/or completely ruined film cans. The film in the can below is for example taken out and put into a new can, left from the corroded one on the picture. Under the right circumstances, these cans are archived under the same roof as the Film Conservation & Digital Access department, the EYE Study and other departments that work closely with this collection. To keep updated on the different stages of the move to the Collection Centre, keep an eye (...) on this collection blog!

    archief, archive, digitalisering, digitization, technology, Collection Centre, Steenbeck, Scanity, barcoding project, collectie, collection
  • Theodore van Houten overleden

    maandag 18 april 2016

    Vrij plotseling maar niet geheel onverwacht bereikte ons vorige week het bericht dat Theodore van Houten is overleden. Deze markante persoon had op een aantal manieren een band met EYE. Hij was bekend door zijn voorstellingen voor zwijgende film via zijn stichting Cinema in Concert. Deze voorstellingen werden weliswaar niet bij EYE georganiseerd en waren bedoeld voor muzikale begeleiding met groot orkest, maar uiteraard vormden zij een mooie aanvulling op de voortstellingen die EYE zelf met zwijgende film verzorgt en delen vooral de passie voor deze bijzondere kunstvorm.
    Ondergetekende werkte in 1991 een drietal maanden intensief met Theodore samen aan de ontsluiting van EYE's collectie bladmuziek voor zwijgende film, die toen voornamelijk bestond uit de collectie afkomstig van de Utrechtse concertmeester Ido Eyl. Theodore beschreef de stukken inhoudelijk, waarna ik ze in zuurvrije omslagen verpakte en de data in de database invoerde.

    Ik leerde Theodore in die periode kennen als een zeer eigenzinnige, om niet te zeggen eigenwijze man, die echter tegelijk een bijzonder humorvolle en aangename kamergenoot bleek. Zijn passie voor muziek galmde regelmatig door de ruimte en hij bleek bovendien zeer gedreven en productief.
    Theodore vulde de Eyl-collectie nog aan met honderden stukken uit zijn eigen verzameling. Hij wist te bewerkstelligen dat alle op deze manier gegeneerde data in boekvorm verschenen bij uitgever Frits Knuf: Silent Cinema Music.

    In 1991 vertelde Theodore regelmatig over zijn nog jonge dochters, waaruit tevens een warm vaderhart sprak. Toen kon ik nog niet vermoeden welk een bekendheid Carice en Jelka later zouden krijgen. Zijn trots om de prestaties van zijn dochters bleek in 2011, toen Theodore enkele dozen vol verzamelde publicaties over met name Carice aan EYE aanbood. Hij kon de stroom niet meer bijhouden en droeg de materialen daarom al vast over. In 2014 volgde zijn archief van Cinema in Concert. Alle drie genoemde collecties zijn bij EYE ontsloten en zullen binnenkort raadpleegbaar zijn in het nieuwe Collectiecentrum.

  • Exposing the Film Apparatus

    donderdag 24 maart 2016

    Friday, the 11th of March, the book launch of Exposing the Film Apparatus: The Film Archive as a Research Laboratory took place at EYE. Co-editors Giovanna Fossati (EYE, University of Amsterdam) and Annie van den Oever (University of Groningen), together with the present contributors, proudly presented the new book.

    Exposing the Film Apparatus is a volume which is made possible by a collaboration between EYE and the Film Archive and Research Laboratory of the University of Groningen. The book offers essays on film apparatuses and media technologies by various media scholars and practitioners. It is a rich tribute to the various pioneers and creators of the cinematic medium. Furthermore, the book provides “a wider view encompassing the coming rewards in the context of the treasures left us by past experiences, possessions and insights”.
     


    In Fossati’s introduction speech, she states that one of the main reasons to create the book was the material turn. As a reaction to the digital turn, the material turn spurs a strong longing for the materiality of film and its devices; its apparatuses so to say. By opening up the archival vaults it is possible to seek out for practical and interactive ways of dealing with the apparatus collection. Therefore, the book has an experimental archival approach by addressing the film archive as a research lab, van den Oever argues.

    The afternoon was filled with five chapter presentations by Susan Aasman, Eef Masson, Leenke Ripmeester, Martin Koerber and Jan Holmberg. They provided the audience with inspiring and interactive ways of dealing with the apparatus collection. During Ripmeester’s presentation, the audience even witnessed a 35mm film reel changeover by a projectionist.

    This book is the ultimate materialization of a collaboration between the many scholars who are involved in this project. The gathering ended with all the speakers and writers on stage to receive a great applause by the attendees.

    Exposing the Film Apparatus: The Film Archive as a Research Laboratory
    ISBN 978 90 8964 718 4

    Price: € 39.90

    http://nl.aup.nl/books/9789462983168-exposing-the-film-apparatus.html

     

    By Sam Duijf and Anouk Kraan. Photo's by Tulta Behm

    Filmapparaten, Filmapparatus, apparaten, apparatencollectie
  • Moving to the Collection Centre

    maandag 14 maart 2016

    An interesting time lies ahead of us. Lots has already happened since the move to EYE’s new Collection Centre was announced. The EYE library will be moving too, therefore many considerations have to be made. Especially given that more and more material is requested through the online catalogue instead of being consulted in the library. Needless to say, it is still key to hold on to the great collection of books and magazines. EYE has been focussing on its core task of maintaining the Dutch film heritage more and more. How does this affect what is moved to the Collection Centre and what isn’t?

    Foreign magazine and book duplicates make up a significant part of the library collection. They have for long been stored elsewhere since they are the duplicates of material available. Since the first week of February, all these boxes with magazine duplicates have moved into the Overamstel library.  In teams of two, EYE employees and volunteers have been going through over 90 cardboard boxes with material from all over the globe.  This ranges from numerous Variety issues, to Finnish and Russian magazines, as well as beautifully designed Dutch Kunst en Amusement issues from the 1920s. The latter is of course kept and it will make the move to the new Collection Centre. These magazines are put in new boxes and registered on title. The foreign duplicates are certainly not thrown away, but are given to another film museum.

    Kunst en Amusement (Nr.1, 1923)

    As an intern at EYE, it has been really interesting handling all these beautiful magazines and preparing them for a place in a brand new building. As we are working meticulously over the next couple of months until reopening in October, these gems as well as others, are digitally available in the BIBIS library catalogue. This specific magazine gives a concrete overview of the Dutch commercial cinema circuit throughout the 1920s, and is one of numerous examples in EYE’s collection from throughout the twentieth and twenty-first century. Kunst en Amusement’s primary focus could be described as promoting the cinema circuit and caring for its future, for example by discussing the “Ontwerp Bioskoopwet” as well as dismissing the idea for restricting cinema admission for children. The latter was thought to be unnecessary, since the nationally centralized "filmkeuring” commission kept track of providing cinemas with decent films suitable for all ages. Moreover, the advertisements in the Kunst en amusement magazines offer a glimpse into the countless film businesses that were around in the 1920s.



    From October onwards, it is possible to reserve a spot in the Collection Centre's EYE Study, where magazines such as this one can be consulted close to the main EYE Museum building. It will be more condensed and complete than ever: both the film collection and film-related collections under one roof. Sorting out these duplicates to make use of the new Collection Centre as efficiently as possible is only one of many tasks needed to prepare for the move. During the move, I will occasionally update this blog with interesting moments in the process. 

    collectie, collection, Collection Centre, EYE Study, collectie-informatie, filmkeuring, Nederlandse film, Kunst en amusement, digitalisering, digitized
  • Interaction designers Bogaerts and Vos reinterpret Bart Vegter’s 2008 film ‘De Tijd’

    vrijdag 11 maart 2016

    Recently EYE was part of a quite exciting project involving the re-enactment of the software code filmmaker and computer artist Bart Vegter used to create his computer abstract animation film ‘De Tijd’ in 2008.

    In 2011 after the filmmaker passed away, his complete archive was donated to EYE. We had already previously worked on the restoration of his films, but this was the first time we received a filmmaker’s archive made up of a diverse range of media testifying to the different image-making techniques he used during his lifetime; together with previously unreleased 16mm or 8mm early films, the boxes also included old hard-drives and floppy disks containing the software code he wrote to make his computer films.

     

    As the expertise of our film curators and restorers lies primarily in the preservation of analogue and digital film rather than computer art the computer-based artefacts in Vegter’s archive presented us with a number of challenges. In order to bring us closer to understanding and appreciating the working method of Bart Vegter, and his use of the computer as a creative medium, EYE commissioned Bram Bogaerts and Jesper Vos to respond to this archive. We asked the designers to focus specifically on the preservation and access of the self-written software code. The result is ‘Machine Room’; a large-scale spatial installation which is a real-time visualization of the computer code Vegter used to make his 2008 film ‘De Tijd’ and at the same time a study of the life-span of software codes.

    Still provided by Bram Bogaerts and Jesper Vos

     

    Who was Bart Vegter and why is he important to us?

    Bart Vegter (1940-2011) was an experimental filmmaker who lived and worked in Rotterdam. He is often considered one of the pioneers of abstract animation in The Netherlands.

    Initially Vegter did not train as a filmmaker. In his twenties he studied Electronic Engineering at Eindhoven University and, following this, went on to work as an engineer for a number of large corporations. After working in this field for almost two decades Vegter decided he wanted a career change. In 1976 he began to channel his energy into experimental cinema. He started attending Frans Zwartjes’ Cine Workshop at the Psychopolis Free Academy of Art in the Hague (Vrije Akademie). During his time here he was introduced to the work of a number of prominent Dutch experimental filmmakers and animators. Jacques Verbeek, Paul de Mol and Karin Wiertz, as well as the artists associated with 1960s and 1970s American experimental cinema, influenced Vegter’s early film work.

    During his first years as a film-maker, he worked mainly with traditional animation techniques. In 1981 he made his first experimental film, Horizontalen. This film, along with  In Need of Space (1983), De Hemel is Vierkant (1985), and Four Moves (1987), was filmed on 16mm and made by using traditional methods like cuts-outs, cell overlays and other printing techniques. From the 1990's Vegter started to use computer generated images in his films, the first one of this kind was Nacht-Licht (1993). The films that followed, Space-Modulation (1994), Forest-Views (1999), Zwerk (2004), and De Tijd (2008) all were made using his self-written computer software code. These computer-made films were transferred back to film for projection copies on 16mm and 35mm. Vegter continued to make films using this technique up until his death in 2011.

    Still from De hemel is vierkant

    Hemel is Vierkant (1985) by Bart Vegter Still from Horizontalen Horizontalen (1981) by Bart Vegter Vegter’s switch to computers was based upon his desire to combine his technical background with his creative interests and to be able to explore a new medium. Though Vegter’s use of computers changed the aesthetics of his films, his overall approach to filmmaking remained the same throughout his life. He was interested in exploring the inherent qualities/rules of processes present in physical realities or perceptual experiences. As Joost Rekveld writes on Vegter:   “He had an eye for intriguing visual phenomena…He took many pictures of sand patterns in the dunes, enjoyed the rhythmic circular waves in a puddle when it was raining, admired the light projections on his wall caused by the sun’s rays reflected off windows and through trees, and wondered why he could only see the reflection of his cactus in the window when he was moving it…In a way, besides their beauty and originality, perhaps the strongest statement the films of Bart Vegter make is that they share his admiration, curiosity and above all his pure attention for the visual world.”   The computer-made films of Bart Vegter are the end result of a long process which starts with a self-written software code that either creates or manipulates an image. These codes could be considered the DNA of the film but contrary to film, they cannot be read or easily accessed by third parties. Researching the Bart Vegter software code for the project ‘Machine Room’ is a first step into understanding how he worked with the computer and could hopefully provide interesting insights into computer art in general and its preservation, an area of interest not yet widely spread among film archives but in need of attention due to the speedy technical obsolescence of equipment and softwares. In the future we hope to develop and expand upon this area of research. For more information on this project you can watch the short documentary we produced for Art-Tube with interviews of Bogaerts and Vos, Martijn van Boven and Simona Monizza.

    On Tuesday 15th March 2016, in collaboration with ArtEZ, EYE will present ‘Machine Room’, the EYE-commissioned installation by interaction designers Bram Bogaerts and Jesper Vos.

    To know more about the project Machine Room you can watch this short video reportage  by Bram Bogaerts and Jesper Vos.

    Simona Monizza, Curator Experimental Film & Ruth Sweeney, intern

    experimental film, computer, digital, technology, interactive, interaction, archive
  • Collection H. Rider Haggard: Imperialist adventure fiction in silent and sound film

    maandag 7 maart 2016

    In the early 2000s the EYE Filmmuseum received a large amount of film-related materials (in particular about Dutch silent film) through the estate of film collector and historian Geoffrey Donaldson (1929-2002). In a previous blog entry we already talked about the archive of the Kinsbergen family which was created from the materials from this particular archive. Another part of the collection which has recently been inventoried consisted of 2 boxes containing 8 binders with material about the British author Henry Rider Haggard. Six of which contained information about films adapted from Haggard's works. Haggard, who is most widely known for his adventure stories set in exotic locations (predominately the jungles of Africa), is widely regarded as one of the first people to popularize the so-called “Lost World” literary genre.

    Henry Rider Haggard was born in Bradenham (Norfolk) on June 22nd 1856 as the eight of ten children. As the son of a barrister he was educated at Ipswich Grammar school and by private tutors. At age 19 he was sent to southern Africa as part of the staff of Sir Henry Bulwer, the governor of the South African province Natal. He was present during the signing of the treaty with the Boers (settlers in that region who had predominately Dutch ancestry) and the annexation of the Transvaal region by the British government. He later became head of his own government department. On August 11, 1880 he married Mariana Louisa Margitson and returned to England after the Transvaal gained independence in 1884. They had four children, one son (who tragically died from measles at age 10) and three daughters who he named after characters from his books. His first commercial success came with his fourth book, “King Solomon’s Mines”, an adventure novel in the vein of Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island”. Among his most popular creations were Allan Quatermain, the hero of “King Solomon’s Mines” (and it's sequels), and Ayesha, the title character of his fifth book “She” (the novel that was most frequently adapted to the screen, at least 13 adaptations according to Donaldson).

    Donaldson collected everything he could find about films made from Haggard's books ranging from the earliest silent versions till the most recent film adaptation of "Allan Quatermain", “Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold” (USA, 1987) with Richard Chamberlain and Sharon Stone. The latter a sequel to the 1985 film "King Solomon's Mines" which tried but failed to reach the same level of success as Spielberg's Indiana Jones movies. The meticulously research contained personal notes in which Donaldson gave further details about the cast and crew and discussed whether the film should be considered part of the Haggard filmography. In some cases, as with the Méliès film “La Danse du Feu” (France 1899) he concluded that the film should not be considered as a adaptation of “She”, as some other film historians had suggested.

    Among the materials collected were more than 300 photographs and (vintage) postcards aquired from a number of archives around the world as well as a few original publicity items such as brochures, pressbooks and posters. 

      

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

      

    Donaldson's research included information about some of the more obscure versions of Haggard adaptations such as a Musical version of "She" called "Malika Salomi" (India, 1953) from India and a TV version of "King Solomon's Mines" from South Africa as well as a variety of photographs from lost silent films such as two US films from 1917 "Heart and Soul" and "Cleopatra" starring the famous Vamp Theda Bara.

     

    Those familiar with Dutch silent film might be particularily interested in the Austrian silent film "Die Sklavenkönigin" (1924), a version of the novel "Moon of Israel". One of the stars of the movie was the Chilean actor Adelqui Migliar who is most famous for appearing in a great number of Dutch productions. This connection is quite remarkable given the fact that Donaldson was particularily interested in Dutch film, spoke out against the claim by earlier Dutch filmscholars that the Netherlands had not been very prolific during the silent film era  and is well-known for writing "Of Joy and Sorrow" an indepth filmography about the Dutch silent film period.

     

    Dana Pastor, intern filmrelated collection

     

    silent film, sound film, Geoffrey Donaldson, H. Rider Haggard, stille film, archief, collectie, collection, archive, lost films, adaptation
  • In search of the Ottoman Empire

    dinsdag 23 februari 2016

    Since the summer of 2014, films from EYE collection have been involved in numerous screenings of the project ‘Views of the Ottoman Empire’; a travelling film presentation aiming to discover and put into context archival images pertaining to former territories of the Ottoman Empire. This project grew gradually from the research into the hundred years ago programs and the WWI films, which revealed many short films, seemingly not belonging anywhere specific, but falling into the right place when viewed from the perspective of the Ottoman history and geography. 

    One of the most rewarding aspects of the project (which is always presented live to explain the underlying context) is bringing the films to the places they were originally shot. Screenings in places like Kosovo, Belgrade or Istanbul never fail to move the local audiences, confronting them with their home towns from a century ago. 

    In December 2015, when the project visited Istanbul for the second time, we brought a surprise from EYE: a 1926 film called Les fontaines de Constantinople contains the historic Tophane Fountain that is only 50 meters away from the cinema!

    Tophane fountain in Istanbul (december 2015)

    Since the project also hopes to improve the identification of these often scarcely catalogued images, it can be helpful to show the images to the locals. For example, at EYE we recently found and restored the film Pathé-revue n° 37 – Visions de Yougoslavie (Beelden Uit Yugoslavie, 1926). Despite its overall title referring to Yugoslavia, this compilation film appears to contain images of Istanbul’s Uskudar district (or ‘Scutari’, as referred to on the film); recognizable to the residents of the city (mainly thanks to the monumental Mihrimah Sultan Mosque), but not so obvious to us at EYE, due to the presence of many places called ‘Scutari’ on the Balkan peninsula.

     

    Ottoman Project asserts that the films from these territories, though often considered lost, can actually be found in unexpected places. The film Der Kaiser bei unseren Türkischen Verbündeten, shot by the German Army in 1917 has so far popped up in the Netherlands (EYE/Huis Doorn Collection), Germany (Bundesarchiv), England (Imperial War Museum) and Turkey (Turkish Armed Forces archive held by theTurkish Film and TV institute). Unique footage showing Balkan War refugees camping outside Istanbul’s byzantine walls in 1913 arrived to EYE in 2013 from a private collection. Images of the Armenian orphans in the occupied Istanbul (1918-1923) were found at the Library of Congress in Washington and restored by the Cineteca di Bologna in 2015. Images of the ancient Armenian city of Ani, shot by the Italian cameraman Giovanni Vitrotti in 1911, was found within the collection of the Swiss priest Joye, curently held and restored by the British Film Institute.

    After having visited Istanbul twice (during the 1st and 2nd Istanbul Silent Cinema Days); just as I thought we had run out of Istanbul images at EYE, a new film surfaced within a very recently donated batch of films only a couple of weeks ago: En Promenade Sur Le Bosphore (1928). Although not unique, this particular print is beautifully toned (as opposed to the French version that is b&w). At the moment there are no immediate plans to restore this particular film, but it is clear that the Ottoman project can continue to travel and gradually grow in the coming years.

    Follow the project by liking our Facebook page. Watch the trailer (all footage provided by EYE)

    Elif Rongen-Kaynakçi, Curator of Silent Film

    Om deze video te bekijken moet je cookies accepteren klik hier

    Silent cinema, Ottoman, history, archives, discovery, lost&found, nitrate film
  • Special find in the Leonard Henny collection

    woensdag 27 januari 2016

    At the end of last year we began work on the collection of films in our archive by the Dutch documentary filmmaker Leonard M. Henny (4 August 1935 - 17 September 2011), donated to EYE before his death. Henny was a politically engaged filmmaker, what you would call a guerrilla filmmaker, but also a writer and professor with an academic background in sociology and Urban planning. He studied at the University of Amsterdam and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He spent much of his life moving between America and Europe, residing in Berlin, Cambridge Massachusetts, San Francisco, St. Louis Missouri, Micronesia and Venezuela. Throughout his life he worked as a professor and researcher at several American and Dutch Universities. During his time at the Sociological Institute of the University of Utrecht he coached various sociology students in documentary filmmaking.

    Henny was interested in the use of film as a tool to depict the elements of social, political and economic change that were taking place throughout America and Europe. He was mostly active as a filmmaker in the 1960s and 1970s. Much of his own work documents the Black Power Movement and the impact of the Vietnam war, both in Vietnam and in the United States. Henny was driven by the belief that film can be used as a platform for engaging people in discussion in order to harness a good understanding and much-needed solidarity with those groups or individuals in society who are oppressed or continually subjected to injustices.  

    “The main purpose of my films is to provide information on social problems from the point of view of people who are confronted with the problems, and who want to change them. In this way, the films provide graphic knowledge, and become a tool for people in universities, schools, churches and community groups to stimulate constructive discussion of the issues of our time…Thus, films provide an opportunity for people to meet with others with similar interests who are willing to engage themselves in efforts to change this world into a better place to live.” Leonard Henny 

    Whilst we were identifying and analysing Henny’s films we came across one film can labelled “Peace Pickets Original”. Within this can we found a fragment of a 16mm film reel which contains silent colour footage of Martin Luther King Jr entering Santa Rita Rehabilitation Centre. The footage, which is in excellent condition, depicts King being driven to the prison in a white car and then cuts to him, presumably upon exiting the prison, getting out of the car and delivering an impromptu speech to a crowd of anti-war protesters. After conducting thorough research on this subject matter we found that Martin Luther King was visiting the prison in Santa Rita on January 14th 1968 in order to visit his friend, the folk singer and activist, Joan Baez.  Baez had been arrested, along with her mother and her sister, for “disturbing the peace” at an anti-Vietnam war demonstration. In Leonard Henny’s film “Peace Pickets Arrested for Disturbing the Peace” - a documentary depicting the early draft resistance demonstrations - there is clear footage of Baez’s arrest. 

     

    The speech King delivered outside the Santa Rita Rehabilitation Centre was recorded by Pacifica Coast Radio and can be found here.

    Footage of an Interview with Joan Baez (courtesy of the San Francisco Bay Area Television Archive) on the day she was released from prison can be found here.

    At this stage we are still researching this important collection with the idea to start preservation on the films, including this special find, in the near future, aiming to generate interest in these rarely seen documents witnessing major social changes of its time. This is now just a first step in this direction and we will come back with updates during the process.

    Simona Monizza, curator Experimental Film & Ruth Sweeney, intern.

     

    Martin Luther King Jr, Leonard Henny, experimental film, experimentele film, Joan Baez
  • Saul Bass affiches tentoongesteld in EYE

    donderdag 21 januari 2016

    De Amerikaan Saul Bass (1920-1996) is een van de beroemdste grafische ontwerpers van de 20ste eeuw. Hij ontwierp markante symbolen op allerlei gebied voor bijv. Minolta, United Airlines en Kleenex. Hij is vooral wereldberoemd en blijvend populair om zijn treffende filmtitelsequenties en filmaffiches. Zijn titelsequenties zijn een samenvatting van de film in enkele minuten, zijn affiches een samenvatting van de titelsequentie in een enkel beeld, vaak met hetzelfde symbool.

    EYE heeft nu een kleine tentoonstelling met 16 affiches van Saul Bass, die twintig jaar geleden overleed. Er bestaat geen complete catalogus van zijn filmaffiches die vaak niet zijn gesigneerd (van deze 16  zijn er slechts 5 gesigneerd), deels omdat maatschappijen zijn gestileerde werk afkeurden en veranderden, zoals toevoeging van stills aan THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM. Op het affiche voor ROSEBUD resteert van Bass’ ontwerp slechts de titel plus een vuist met mes. Toeschrijving van zijn ongesigneerde werk blijft ook voor zijn biografen een uitdaging. Er is vooral verwarring over films waarvoor hij alleen titelsequenties ontwierp maar geen affiche zoals PSYCHO en WEST SIDE STORY. 
    Zijn grafische filmaffiches hebben een krachtige en heldere stijl met soms slordige letters en tot de essentie teruggebrachte lijnen en figuratieve symbolen in weinig tinten met monochrome vlakvulling (vaak rood zoals hier bij 9 exemplaren) ogenschijnlijk kinderlijk eenvoudig maar trefzeker en onnavolgbaar. Sommige symbolen werden een icoon voor bepaalde films, zoals het lichaam uit ANATOMY OF A MURDER of de arm uit THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM en veel ander werk vooral voor regisseur Otto Preminger (hier vertegenwoordigd met 9 affiches). Handen werden Bass’ bekendste motief voor talloze titels (hier 8 exemplaren).

    EYE toont onder meer beroemde affiches als VERTIGO (met spiraalvorm voor duizelingen van de hoofdpersoon met hoogtevrees), ANATOMY OF A MURDER (met losse lichaamsdelen), THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM (met verwrongen arm van de verslaafde hoofdpersoon), ADVISE AND CONSENT (het opengeklapte Capitool onthult geheimen). VERTIGO is bij uitzondering een re-issue uit 1996 want een eerste druk hiervan ontbreekt in de EYE collectie en is nu zeldzaam en daarom zeer prijzig.

    Jan-Hein Bal

     

    Saul Bass, affiche

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