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Some Old Time Films

Date produced: 1911

Filmmaker(s):

Paul Tilley

W. Hope Tilley

Description:

"This film includes material originally shot by the Tilley brothers in the 1910s and 1920s. W.H. Tilley later edited, compiled, and transferred these clips to 16mm, adding caption from his perspective forty years later. Scenes of note include a Krit Motor Car demonstration (1910s), a circus parade on Congress Avenue (facing the Capital, 1912) in Austin. While the brothers worked commercially in filmmaking, these clips exhibit their practice as amateur filmmakers that captured footage of personal experiences" Texas Archive of the Moving Image.


News Flashes

Date produced: 1935

Filmmaker(s):

Austin J. Alexander

Description:

News Flashes captures "events around Vancouver, ca. 1934-1935: 1. The German warship 'Karlsruhe' ties up in Vancouver. 2. Champion high diver Ray Wood dives from Burrard Bridge. 3. Japanese training ship (the tall ship 'Zaisei Maru') visits Vancouver. 4. A circus visits Vancouver. 5. Jubilee exhibition and parade, Vancouver, 1935" British Columbia Archives.


Circus Capers

Date produced: 1955

Filmmaker(s):

Margaret Conneely

Description:

"A Margaret Conneely amateur film starring St. Tarcissus’ Cub Scout Pack 3969 in a circus production. Children dress as both circus animals and performers." Chicago Film Archives


Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus

Date produced: 1950

Filmmaker(s):

Oscar H. Horovitz

Description:

"A carefully detailed study of the biggest show on earth, Ringling Bros, and Barnum & Bailey Circus bears lively evidence to Oscar H. Horovitz's intense interest and attentive recording over a ten year period. The glamour and the tinsel, the thrills and the panoply, the sawdust and the sweat, all have been caught by his camera and painstakingly mounted. Backstage glimpses show something of what it takes to produce the massive extravaganza. The clowns in their dressing rooms reveal a little of the secret of their art. But in the eager faces of young spectators and the breathless attention of their elders can be read the circus's enduring mystery and perennial allure. The filmer's technical capabilities are manifestly demonstrated. Despite the obvious exposure handicaps, individual shots of admirable artistry turn up often enough to enliven any audience. With all these factors in its favor, however this massively impressive movie may leave some viewers wishing for a little less detail, a little more simplicity, and a still more stringent use of the editing scissors." Movie Makers, Dec. 1950, 465-466.


Circus Time

Date produced: 1950

Filmmaker(s):

George Merz

Description:

"Tackling the circus in broad daylight is a brave undertaking for the most advanced amateur. The lack of dramatic lighting and exciting colors found at night exhibitions or in darkened auditoriums puts the burden of making an interesting film squarely on the filmer. George Merz, in his Circus Time, has overcome these obstacles ably and with imagination. Highly competent camera work and excellent editing mark every foot of Circus Time. When the action threatens to lag, Mr. Merz knowingly inserts audience reaction shots of high human interest. A colorful musical score adds an extra fillip of excitement to moments that might otherwise become static." Movie Makers, Dec. 1950, 464.


The Circus is in Town

Date produced: 1934

Filmmaker(s):

Duncan MacD. Little


Outside the Big Top

Date produced: 1945

Filmmaker(s):

Guy Nelli

Description:

"What happens behind the scenes is always of interest to curious people — and most of us are curious. Remembering the delighted boys who sometimes get odd jobs in the backyard of the circus, Guy Nelli elected to let us see what they have seen, in Outside the Big Top. Not once are we shown the performance for which the whole effort is made, since Mr. Nelli very properly stays outside with his camera. Beginning with interesting and well filmed scenes of the circus in its early morning arrival, Mr. Nelli shows us how the Big Top is set up and carries us along until the show has ended. Odds are that he is a persuasive talker as well as a fine movie maker, because he got some of the best portrait and "candid" scenes of the performers that one will meet in many a day." Movie Makers, Dec. 1945, 496.


Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus

Date produced: 1943

Filmmaker(s):

Oscar H. Horovitz

Description:

"Competence plus completeness distinguish Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Oscar H. Horovitz started his film with sequences of the circus's winter quarters in Florida and followed it as it entrained for Northern performances. Unloading the circus comes next, and, after informal views of the crews at work setting up tents and the performers preparing for work, there is a complete picture of the show in the big top. The quality of the lighting, although limited by the amount of illumination provided by the circus, is still astonishingly good. Even better is the sequencing of the scenes of the performances, for Mr. Horovitz succeeds in altering his camera positions almost as freely as if the circus were staged especially for him." Movie Makers, Dec. 1943, 478.