Some of the records in our database link to videos that you can watch. Click on the films below.
"This all-too-brief film, discovered at a flea market, depicts patrons of a lesbian bar (probably in San Francisco circa 1950) and performances by drag king Jimmy Reynard and singer Jan Jensen, singing American standards, including “I’ll Remember April” and “Tenderly.” A deceptively simple document, it presents exceedingly rare images of queer life on its own turf, and on its own terms, before gay liberation." UCLA Film & Television Archive.
Watch: via A/V Geeks (Archive.org)
"Money to Burn, believe it or not, comes from Scotland, where, if you can believe it, they burn money. But not until it is worn out and counted by a series of bank tellers. Then it goes up in smoke in this well-put together documentary" PSA Journal, Aug. 1967, 37.
"The eagerness of a movie maker to use a new cine camera is the clever introduction and leitmotivof Movie Bugs, an exceedingly well photographed picture by Dr. Frederick W. Brock. The picture tells how the movie maker protagonist gets in touch with a science teacher and how the two of them construct a support for the camera for use with it in filming through a microscope. The succeeding shots of hydrae and paramecia and other microscopic organisms are beautifully filmed, and the picture infers the obvious conclusion that any university zoology department should be equipped to make such studies. Clean cut interior lighting and a well knit story distinguish this fine filming job." Movie Makers, Dec. 1938, 620.
Watch: via Wagner College, YouTube
"Multiple Sidosis by Sidney N. Laverentz a PSA member of National City, California. Sid's title is a mind-boggler surpassed only by the unbelievable single frame multi-image exposures, all in synchronization, that is reminiscent of his winner of a few years ago, "One Man Band." This 10-minute 16mm film won for him a Ten Best medal and the Golden Microphone Award, the new title for the past Sound Award" PSA Journal, Nov. 1970, 38.
Watch: Multiple Sidosis on YouTube
"Mungo Martin demonstrates the making of a Bee Mask. Tony Hunt models the mask and provides a short rendition of the Bee Mask Dance" (Duffy, 140).
This film is also known as Mungo Martin Makes a Mask.
Watch: Via Royal B.C. Museum
"The filming of "Nanook" was almost an accident. It was not until his third exploration trip into the North in 1913 that Mr. Flaherty packed in his kit the necessary apparatus for making a motion picture of the life of the Eskimo. For a year and a half he lived among them as an engineer and explorer and his admiration for their life, their games, and their struggles, grew on him slowly. He was immersed in enthusiasm. He knew they made fine film stuff. Then, after months of hard work, his precious film was drowned while crossing a rotten ice stream within twelve miles of the journey's end. Undaunted, he made new plans immediately for retaking the picture. His next trip to the North, made especially to take the film, was completely successful. He did away with episodic filming; he built his first camera entity," Amateur Movie Makers, May 1927, 7.
"The subject of 'Nation Builders'—the history of Australia—is without doubt the most ambitious ever undertaken by any amateur filmer. The fact that the project was successful is in itself a tribute to Sherlock's skill. Granted that in connection with the 150th anniversary of his nation's founding there were pageants re-enacting historic events and an opportunity for an alter filmster to photograph them: but how many times have not other amateurs scored dismal failures trying the same thing? Filming such a pageant, it is all too easy to capture only the impression of history actually happening. The twentieth century background which must so often have been just beyond the camera-lines was never permitted to intrude upon his eighteenth and nineteenth century action." American Cinematographer, Feb. 1939, 61.
Watch: via A/V Geeks, Archive.org
"Record of a film society screening at the Stanley Theatre on Granville Street, Vancouver. Includes shots of the "concert" program; scenes outside the theatre before and after the show and at intermission; audience in the lobby; movie scenes shot off the screen from the auditorium; unidentified man introducing films. Oscar Burritt and other film society members are glimpsed briefly. " (BC Archives)
"E. Tad Nichols, III, born in the West, has been in the saddle almost since he first toddled. Much of his time has been spent among the Western Indians, and he has an intimate knowledge of their ways. So skillfully has he planned and edited each sequence of Navajo Rug Weaving that the audience has the rare satisfaction which comes from seeing just the right amount of each step of this ancient art that has held one method and course for many centuries. The direction and filming are of such excellence that the viewer almost seems to be present for the carding, spinning, dyeing and actual weaving of the rugs. Here is the human record film at its best." Movie Makers, Dec. 1945, 495.
"Most of the residents of New York City know that the world's metropolis is something more than a play place for sensation hunters. But, if one were to judge from many films of New York City, the conclusion would be inevitable that the urban settlement at the mouth of the Hudson River is chiefly devoted to night clubs and parades and is populated largely by those who frequent them. In New York Calling, made for the New York Central System, of which he is supervisor of the Motion Picture Bureau, Frederick G. Beach has presented the New York Central's eastern terminal city as a reasonable and understandable place, where sane people live and to which a man may bring or send his family for a holiday without wondering if they will survive the experience. Made for showing to families, Mr. Beach's excellent Kodachrome footage covers the best of New York City with an apparently effortless leisure, in spite of its brevity. Including many different phases of a great city, the picture has a generous amount of well made closeups. Things that will interest children are strikingly presented. If this reviewer did not already live in New York City, Mr. Beach's movie, with excellent narrative and music, would be the best possible argument for him to change his residence. It certainly will prove to be persuasive in the days when railroads can again urge us to travel for pleasure." Movie Makers, Dec. 1942, 508-509.
Watch: via NFPF
"A clever, artfully-shot, and carefully-edited amateur film of the 1939 New York World's Fair." oldfilm.org
Watch: Via Northeast Historic Film
"Nightsong is a dramatic story of a colored night club singer, Willie Wright, trying to make the big time and, most of all "to get people to like me." One evening while singing, his eyes rest on the face of a beautiful young white girl and his infatuation with her becomes unmistakable as the story unfolds. The film is 99% visual with a sound track that places great emphasis on the various moods of the young singer" PSA Journal, Sept. 1965, 50.
Watch: Via Chicago Film Archives
A family permits a lone hunter to stay in their cabin for the night. The hunter entertains the children with magic tricks. Later, the hunter's addition to the cabin sparks a debate over who will sleep in the cabin's beds.
"Sailing around Alaska." UC San Diego Library.
Watch: via UC San Diego Library
"An amateur film made by and starring the husband and wife duo, John & Evelyn Kibar. After Mrs. Kibar asks Mr. Kibar to throw away his old collectables, or “junk,” Mr. Kibar begins reflecting on past travels. Only later do we find out this travel sequence is actually just a dream." Chicago Film Archives
"Amateur film in one continuous shot parodying a talk show, where the guests promoting an Institute of Amateur Cinematographers (IAC) gathering in the next year get carried away with their enthusiasm, much to the chagrin of the host." Chicago Film Archives
"An amateur film made by and starring the husband and wife duo, John & Evelyn Kibar. The film follows John, a cake decorator, as he struggles to keep up with the bakery’s cake orders. Title cards with dialogue are dispersed throughout the film." Chicago Film Archives
Comedy about a psychiatric hospital patient who attempts an escape. Two inept hospital employees fail to retrieve the patient, allowing him to encounter a child whose scooter offers a chance at a faster getaway.
"Three men encourage people to follow rules set by the air raid warden in the event of an air raid. The rules are put to song, and some rules are depicted by actors." Chicago Film Archives
"An amateur film made by and starring the husband and wife duo, John & Evelyn Kibar. The couple visit an art gallery, where John proclaims he can make art just the same. Title cards with dialogue are dispersed throughout the film." Chicago Film Archives
"A two part travelogue featuring travel and industry highlights on the shores of Lake Michigan. Part one includes scenes of Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin while part two includes travel highlights of Indiana and Michigan." Chicago Film Archives.
"Footage along the American River that was used to save the American River Parkway." Sacramento Public Library.
"Hansen travels to Hong Kong following his original visit to China in 1937. Initially, he spends much of his time roaming the commercial districts, giving a sense of tourism side of Hong Kong. Immediately following, he spends several minutes focusing on the skyline and captures footage of locations on the outskirts of the city. Hansen then spends the rest of the evening eating at a local cuisine and attending a show. For the remainder of his trip, Hansen shifts his attention from Hong Kong's tourist areas to the residential districts, fishing docks, and rural farming." UC San Diego Library.
Watch: via UC San Diego Library
""Our Day" is a smart, entertaining day-in-the-life portrait of the Kelly household, shown in both idealized and comic ways. This silent 16mm home movie uses creative editing, lighting and camera techniques comparable to what professionals were doing in Hollywood. His amateur cast was made up of his mother, wife, brother and pet terrier. "Our Day" also contains exceptional images of small-town Southern life, ones that counter the stereotype of impoverished people eking out a living during the Depression. The 12-minute film documents a modern home inhabited by adults with sophisticated interests (the piano, literature, croquet) and simple ones (gardening, knitting, home cooking). Kelly, a newspaperman, was also an accomplished photographer, painter, and writer. He began shooting film in 1929 and continued until the 1950s." Library of Congress (U.S.)
Watch: via archive.org
"Good teaching films are not easy to produce, and welding activities are not easy to film. In making this picture, Ray Garner and the Harmon Foundation have solved both problems in a highly satisfactory manner. The procedures are clearly and simply outlined in titles which are combined with unusually fine camera work, to produce a well integrated whole. Done almost entirely in closeups, the actual welding scenes show perfect exposure and, in many instances, very interesting angles. The film was made at Hampton Institute, in Virginia, and a student demonstrates the proper techniques in procedure. The title art work was especially good in this film, and the entire production showed the effects of a well organized plan and a careful procedure." Movie Makers, Dec. 1942, 509.
Watch: via National Archives
"Paracutin, by Ralph E. Gray, is probably the most complete and accurate record of Mexico's new world wonder yet to be produced on 16mm. film, even possibly in the 35mm. medium. Mr. Gray, long one of Mexico's most devoted American friends, was on the scene soon after the eruption broke out in a peasant's cornfield, and he has made four further trips to record changes and progress in the volcano's life. His superbly filmed footage presents the dramatic subject from every available viewpoint — even to seemingly dangerous closeups of the fiery rim — but it has been edited and is presented in strictly accurate chronological order. Human interest scenes of the effect of the giant cauldron on native life are plentiful and appealing, even to a striking sequence of the heavy dust deposits along the streets of Uruapan, more than thirty miles from the eruption. Paracutin is today a dramatic study of beauty and power; it should prove in the future to be a unique and valuable scientific record." Movie Makers, Dec. 1943, 474.
"This experimental film by Kenneth Anthony (credited as Ken Anthony) is a twist on the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. The main character, a young man, has a portrait of himself in a contemporary style. Over the course of the film, images of traditional paintings begin appearing on his body, much to his concern. After he leaves, his female companion is chased by the portrait. As more images appear on his body, the young man decides to destroy the portrait. He fails, however, and turns into a work of contemporary art himself. He is sent to a gallery by the women in the film, all of whom fall in love with the portrait. The final shot indicates that the portrait may come to life" Texas Archive of the Moving Image.
"En Patria Libre, Sergio García documentó los primeros logros de la revolución sandinista en Nicaragua. [...] Se trataba de un documental convencional, con una voz off (leída por Felio Eliel) sobre un momento de frescura y esperanza por el triunfo del Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional. El arranque del documental con una serie de imágenes de Sandino en alto contraste que culminan en la foto de un adolescente guerrillero (mientras que en la banda sonora se escucha a Pablo Milanés cantar "Los caminos") preludian el tono que se desarrollará sobre el caso de la revolución sandinista" (Vázquez Mantecón, 2012.)
"In Patria Libre [Free Country], Sergio García documented the first achievements of the Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua. It was a conventional documentary, with an off voice (read by Felio Eliel) about a moment of freshness and hope because of the triumph of the Sandinista National Liberation Front. The documentary begins with a series of highly contrasted images of Sandino that end with the picture of a guerrilla teenager (while the soundtrack plays "Los caminos" [The roads] by Pablo Milanés), which is a prelude to the tone that will be used to describe the Sandinista Revolution" (Vázquez Mantecón, 2012).
"The life cycle of the peach -- from peach blossom to peach pie" (Holmes, 2018).
"Seldom has an amateur embarked upon so formidable a production as did David Bradley when he and some friends decided to film Ibsen's Peer Gynt, using Grieg's music for background. This mystic drama is considered so difficult that it has been performed only twice in the American theatre; yet the task held no terror for this group. Fashioning their own costumes and finding suitable locations in suburban Chicago, Mr. Bradley's intrepid band has done an amazingly good job. It would be easy to visualize the result had the production been in less capable hands than those of Mr. Bradley, and it is to his great credit that such quaint characters as the Button Moulder and the many trolls and woodland sprites do not appear ludicrous. The chief fault in this tremendous undertaking is that Ibsen's gigantic play has been transliterated to the screen rather than translated. That is, Mr. Bradley, by his own admission, modeled his scenario as closely as possible on a work written expressly for the theatre. Had he taken more liberties with the dramatic form in favor of a more peculiarly cinematic treatment — as exemplified so strikingly in the fine Hall of the Mountain King sequence — there would have been no structural weaknesses in his film. With this fundamental concept firmly in mind, Mr. Bradley, recently turned twenty one, should scale the heights in his future productions." Movie Makers, Dec. 1941, 566.
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