Located in Austin, The Texas Archive of the Moving Image (TAMI) is a non-profit organization committed to the discovery, preservation, study and exhibition of the state’s film heritage. TAMI’s eclectic moving image holdings include amateur films, home movies, advertisements, local television, industrial productions, as well as images of Texas produced by Hollywood and elsewhere. TAMI provides insight into Texas history and culture not only through exhibition online, but also through educator resources that encourage the use of the TAMI library in the classroom.
Among their initiatives at TAMI is the Texas Moving Image Archive Program, also known as the “Texas Film Round-Up”. In partnership with the Office of the Governor’s Texas Film Commission, TAMI continually seeks out Texas-related moving image materials. TAMI has provided free digitization of these films and videos in exchange for a donation of a digital copy to their online collection at texasarchive.org. Since the program began in 2008, more than 30,000 moving image materials have been digitized.
Hundreds of these films are available to watch on TAMIs online library, including over seventy amateur films. Below are a small selection of films which are included in the AMDB and are available to stream on the ‘Videos’ section of the TAMI website.
Austin-based brothers Wesley Hope and Paul Tilley are considered some of Texas’ pioneering filmmakers. The two siblings worked in a number of different medium such as cartoons, advertisements, newsreels, and music productions. “Some Old Time Films” is a production compiled from historically valuable and rare footage shot by the Tilley brothers in the 1910s and 1920s. The film was completed forty years later when W.H. tilley edited and transferred the clips to 16mm. The footage includes locales in Austin, Texas; with particular shots around the Texas State Capitol of the Tilley brothers and their family.
Our selection from the TAMI online library would not be complete without “141 Ranch” made by Peter Pauls Stewart. This film follows several young men who go about their activities as ranchers. The lines of work and play are blurred as young men are seen swinging on ropes, seen grooming and riding horses, and even cuddling a calf. Shot in both black and white, and colour, the film’s setting and the ranch itself was located 141 miles from Austin. The date of the film’s production is unknown.
Kenneth Anthony‘s “Adam and Eve Light Show” is a short experimental film depicting the biblical story of Adam and Eve. Half of the film is given to a linear telling of the story, wherein Eve accepts the apple, gives it to Adam and they are condemned to by God. The other half is a collection of shots which according to the filmmaker were meant to be projected on multiple screens. Some of the footage includes a crowd of protestors, a beauty pageant, the inside of an elevator and closeps of photographs of faces. TAMI posits that it is likely that the Adam and Eve story would have been on the main screen with the latter shots being projected onto an accompanying screen or screens.
A girl is captured by a grotesque individual in Ramon Galindo’s amateur 16mm film, “A Day of Horror”. The film was shot outside of San Marcos and features Galindo’s daughter Josephine and her friends from Austin’s Travis Heights neighbourhood. The spookiness is heightened by the film’s dissonant horror movie score commissioned by the lead actor, Chris Crow. Galindo was an accomplished magician and these influences in trick shots and the unusual can be seen in his other two films in the AMDB, Josephine’s Dream and The Drunk Act
Writer, director and producer Harold P. Warren stars in “Manos: The Hands of Fate”, an amateur horror feature. The film follows a family on vacation that becomes lost while driving through the Texas desert near El Paso. Stopping for directions, the family stumbles across a mysterious lodge where they become captives of a polygamous pagan cult. According to TAMI the film was widely recognized as one of the worst films ever made but nevertheless achieved cult status after it appeared on the television comedy series Mystery Science Theatre 3000 in 1993.