Miscellaneous
August 03, 2002
Classic Films from the Prelinger Archive in Berkeley Thursday

The Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley is presenting a showing of films from the Prelinger Archive.

Check out the line up for this week and next week too.

Survival of the Fittest

Though these films were meant to consider the moment, they are often concerned with issues that irascibly linger. Here contradictions between Man, nature, and social byproducts duke it out.

Ant City (Almanac Films, 1949). Recut from a captured German science film, Ant City abuts images of the social life of ants with surreally dissociated narration. The effort to describe ant life in anthropomorphic terms leaves us feeling that such attempts to "humanize" other species are bound to fail. (9:56 mins, B&W)

A Nation at Your Fingertips (Audio Productions for the Bell System, 1951). For many, freedom to communicate instantly over a wide area didn't begin with e-mail, but with the telephone. This film dramatizes the exciting impact direct long-distance dialing had on isolated families. (10:19 mins, B&W)

Freedom Highway (Jerry Fairbanks Productions for Greyhound Lines, 1956). A bus transports us on a mysterious journey through the landscape of American mythology, overlaid with roads, battles, and Manifest Destiny. Its passengers, who include Tommy Kirk, Angie Dickinson, and Tex Ritter, learn that the space we inhabit can't be separated from the events that occurred there. (34:45 mins, Color)

Perversion for Profit (Citizens for Decent Literature, Inc., 1964-65). Banker Charles Keating and several others founded CDL in the early 1960s, producing "film essays" as part of their effort to influence anti-pornography legislation. Perversion for Profit shows examples of everyday erotica, reaching new heights of prurience in its efforts to censor offending body parts. (29:23 mins, Color)

# (Total running time: 85 mins, All films U.S., 16mm, From the Prelinger Archives)


PFA FILMSERIES: Films that Haunt the Future: Ephemera from the Prelinger Archives

PFA PLAYDATE: Thursday August 8, 2002


******

Artful Adaptations

Ephemeral films document all aspects of human life, from birth unto death. What follows are four films about people at odds with their environments, and how they try to help themselves.

Safety: Harm Hides at Home (Rodger Landoue, 1977). As usual in safety films, the everyday world is a minefield of potential risks, menaces, and jeopardy, but "Guardiana, the Safety Woman" and her supernatural powers are here to protect children from harm. (16 mins, Color)

Age 13 (Arthur Swerdloff for Sid Davis Productions, 1955). Sid Davis's most compassionate film and certainly his most unusual, Age 13 enlists Bu˝uelian surrealism and a neorealist sensibility to follow the emergence of an "at-risk" young teen from immobilizing anger to self-expression. In its inability to come to terms with customary film language, this might well be called an outsider film. (26:40 mins, B&W)

Social Class in America (Knickerbocker Productions, 1957). This sociology film obeys the conventions of educational films, but packs quite a wallop. Following three boys who grow up in a small company town, it shows the limits that social class imposes on mobility. An unusually downbeat (and realistic) document of disappointment in the fifties. (14:49 mins, B&W)

Boredom at Work: The Search for Zest (University of Oklahoma, 1963). From a remarkable series on the emotions of everyday life, The Search for Zest shows the efforts of a bored, desexualized, and neurotic engineer to find happiness through therapy. Borrowing from film noir and late 1950s TV drama, it might be read as a case study of a rural man trapped by his discontent with urban life. (25 mins, B&W)

# (Total running time: 83 mins, All films U.S., 16mm, From the Prelinger Archives)


PFA FILMSERIES: Films that Haunt the Future: Ephemera from the Prelinger Archives

PFA PLAYDATE: Thursday August 15, 2002

Posted by Lisa at August 03, 2002 03:56 PM | TrackBack
Me A to Z (A Work In Progress)
Comments

robert donat played the count a movie in 1934

Posted by: j crocker on April 26, 2004 08:16 AM

robert donat played the count in a movie in 1934

Posted by: j crocker on April 26, 2004 08:16 AM

robert donat played the count in a movie in 1934

Posted by: j crocker on April 26, 2004 08:16 AM
Post a comment
Name:


Email Address:


URL:


No free link advertizing is allowed here. If you post a commercial link in this comment you agree to pay me $500 per link pursuant to the Terms posted here. Type "AGREE" here:

Comments:


Remember info?