Monthly Archives: December 2010

Our Lady of the Preserved Sphere, & a Deadpan R.I.P.


Hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable new year’s. Here’s a parting shot from 2010 — a few days ago the Library of Congress announced the 25 films they’re preserving for 2010. In addition to catching up on some SNC art-related stuff over break, I wanted to link & embed a variety of interesting stuff to read & look at, for any of you out there jonesing for wider art-related material in between the family pleasantries and the wintersport exertions. The Library of Congress list provides a good excuse to embed some of the shorter films — which can be found on youtube or elsewhere. There was a wide range of selections, ranging from pop-culture heavyweights to independent experimental films. Here’s the list (If you want to read some descriptions of the films, click here. There are several personal favorites on it: “McCabe and Mrs. Miller,” “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” which is more tough-minded than its reputation might suggest, “The Front Page,” “Airplane!”, and I still have a soft spot for “The Empire Strikes Back,” despite all the oxygen Star Wars sucks up in the culture. The one I most want to see, but haven’t yet, is “make Way for Tomorrow,” which sounds kind of devastating.)

1) AIRPLANE! (1980)

2) ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN (1976)

3) BARGAIN, THE (1914)

4) CRY OF JAZZ (1959)

5) ELECTRONIC LABYRINTH: THX 1138 4EB (1967)

6) EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, THE (1980)

7) EXORCIST, THE (1973)

8) FRONT PAGE, THE (1931)

9) GREY GARDENS (1976)

10) I AM JOAQUIN (1969)

11) IT’S A GIFT (1934)

12) LET THERE BE LIGHT (1946)

13) LONESOME (1928)

14) MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW (1937)

15) MALCOLM X (1992)

16) MCCABE AND MRS. MILLER (1971)

17) NEWARK ATHLETE (1891)

18) OUR LADY OF THE SPHERE (1969)

19) THE PINK PANTHER (1964)

20) PRESERVATION OF THE SIGN LANGUAGE (1913)

21) SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER (1977)

22) STUDY OF A RIVER (1996)

23) TARANTELLA (1940)

24) TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN, A (1945)

25) TRIP DOWN MARKET STREET, A (1906)

Of the experimental shorts, I’ve never had the chance to see Mary Ellen Bute’s “Tarantella” (if you drop her name in youtube, you can see several of her excellent animations). Larry Jordan’s “Our Lady of the Sphere” can be seen in a muddy transfer here (come to think of it, it’s probably another source for the Ramona Falls video I blogged about a while back).

Click here for a bio of the San Francisco-based Jordan; if you want to see “Our Lady” in a decent transfer, it’s on a DVD called “The Larry Jordan Album” — review here, and you can order it
“>here
.

Another selected short available on youtube is from the Prelinger Archive, a great resource that I leaned on heavily, for raw material for the documentary class last semester. “A Trip Down Market Street” is one of the purest expressions of film-as-a-time-machine I’ve seen: a camera, affixed to the front of a trolley, glides down Market street in san Francisco, recording all the horses, bicycles, pedestrians, cops, and so on, that pass before its fixed gaze — shortly before the 1906 earthquake hit, and obliterated much of the scene. As someone who made the Market street traverse several times in my decade+ as a San Franciscan, it holds a special sort of temporal whiplash.

You can download a copy of the film from the archive here. A youtube user going by the name lunarparcel created a side-by-side juxtaposition of the film, and a film taken on Market street after the earthquake, here.

Lastly, the inclusion of “Airplane!” allows me to segue into something I saw at the local Savemart a couple days ago — a Leslie Nielsen birthday card that probably should’ve been retired, still hanging about on the racks. I hope Nielsen would find it funny. Though now we’re beyond knowing:

2010 Trashion

After a bit of a holiday hiatus, I’m starting to bring the blog back to life a bit. Couldn’t let these shots go to waste — from the Design Class’ “Trashion Show,” a tradition brought to SNC by Kat Hutter, and now continued by Katie Lewis. At the end of the semester, the students walk the runway in outfits fashioned (in both senses) from recycled materials. Here was the 2010 line, paraded back in mid-December — enjoy.