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Some of the records in our database link to videos that you can watch. Click on the films below.


Short Spell (Stuart Wynn-Jones, 1957)

"A two minute black and white cartoon built around the animated spelling of short words which are quickly converted into the subject of the spelling. There is an effective sound impulse with the rapidly changing characters. Stewart Wynn-Jones has done a short bit of clever cine-cartooning" PSA Journal, Nov. 1957, 33.

Watch: upload of Short Spell on YouTube

Watch: upload of Short Spell with sound via EAFA


Sightseer, The (Karl Spreitz, 1974)

"A mechanical toy from 1880 walks through a landscape created by Michael Morris" Karl Spreitz and Collaborators Archival Film Collection.

Watch: via Karl Spreitz and Collaborators Archival Film Collection, with remixed sound


Signs of the Times (Arthur H. Smith )

Short film showing shots of various neon signs at nighttime.

Watch: via Archive.org


Skating (Arthur H. Smith , 1964)

"Consists of footage of Blanche Smith rollerskating." Center for Home Movies.

Watch: via Archive.org


Sky-Land Trails of the Kings (David Brower, 1940)

Subtitled: a story of happy days in Kings Canyon National Park.

Watch: via the Sierra Club (Archive.org)


Skyscraper Symphony (Robert Florey, 1929)

“The hard-edged graphics of 'Skyscraper Symphony' stand in contrast to other New York 'scenics' produced during the 1920s. Composed of skewed perspectives, Robert Florey’s camera looks straight up the domineering concrete behemoths. And it is hard to determine if the film mimics symphonic form as the title suggests or whether it advances a new methodology in musical-visual shot progression that reflects the alien structures depicted.” —Bruce Posner via Light Cone

Watch: Video link via Critical Commons


Slow Drying (, 1960)

"A comedic film made by Chicago amateur film club Central Cinematographers about a man who paints himself into a corner." via Chicago Film Archives

Watch: chicagofilmarchives.org


Social Beaver, The (Oscar H. Horovitz, 1956)

"One may assume that Oscar Horovitz is a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology because of his interest in this film. It is a film which the school or alumni may use effectively in interesting students in M.I.T. It is a panorama of the student's activities from his entrance to graduation. It commences with an introduction of the school and carries through the class rooms, study halls, social halls, athletics, religious atmosphere, and the memorable day of graduation. To some, this would be a difficult subject to deal with but Oscar has produced a picture which sustains interest throughout" PSA Journal, Nov. 1957, 53.

Watch: From the Vault of MIT


Some Old Time Films (Paul Tilley, 1911)

"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.

Watch: via Texas Archive of the Moving Image


Song After Sorrow (Ray L. Garner, 1939)

"Documentary: Illustrates plight of leprosy victims before and after the opening of the Bibanga Leper Camp by missionaries." National Archives.

Watch: via YouTube


South of Zero: An Odyssey to Australia (Lewis B. Sebring, 1958)

"Amateur travelogue of an extensive trip to Australia photographed and produced by "The Traveling Sebrings," Lewis B. Sebring, Jr. and Alice P. Sebring. Lewis B. Sebring, Jr. was a journalist and war correspondent for the New York Herald-Tribune, who reported on combat in the Southwest Pacific Area theater during World War II. The trip documented in this film, which they referred to also as "An Odyssey to Australia" covers the entire continent of Australia, from Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Port Augusta and Kalgoorlie, Perth, and Brisbane, and everything in between, usually documented via passenger train. In each city, the film expertly documents landscape, architecture, and people, as well as rural areas and animals." Wisconsin Historical Society.

Watch: via Archive.org


Spy Scoop, The (Arthur H. Smith , 1943)

A group of children who film newsreels attempt to track down an escaped Nazi agent in their community.

Watch: via Archive.org


Sredni Vashtar (David Bradley, 1939)

"In a few days of doldrums before being called for training in the Army Signal Corps, David S. Bradley, presiding genius of Bradley Productions, scenarized, cast, costumed, filmed and directed a screen version of Sredni Vashtar, a short story by Saki. running 800 feet of 16mm. monochrome, the picture is the eighth in the series to be produced by this unusual amateur unit of Winnetka, Ill. having been directly preceded by Peer Gynt and Oliver Twist. It will be Mr. Bradley's last production until after the war. Working with him on Sredni Vashtar was John Jameson, assistant director, with the small cast played by Mrs. Herbert Hyde, Lucielle Powell, Lois Northrop and Reny Kidd, all Bradley Production veterans", Movie Makers, Apr. 1943,158.

Watch: Sredni Vashtar on YouTube


Steam Ballet (John Straiton, 1968)

"Those sensual machines, steam tractors, reveal a remarkable ability to perform to music." Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre.

Watch: via YouTube


Steam Locomotive, The (, 1944)

"The Steam Locomotive, second release in the Know Your Railroad series, sponsored and produced by the Motion Picture Bureau of the New York Central System, is a worthy successor in this intelligent line of educational films. In it, Frederick G. Beach, supervisor of the bureau, has set forth in clean cut cinematography the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the famous Hudson type locomotive. An animated model of a steam cylinder explains the otherwise hidden functions of this key piece of machinery, while a soundly conceived narrative points up the film's visual teaching throughout. A stirring sequence showing these great coal eating giants at their daily tasks brings the picture to a dramatic close." Movie Makers, Dec. 1944, 495.

Watch: The Steam Locomotive on YouTube


Stop the Projector, I Want to Get Off (Sid Spurrier, 1966)

"Stop the Projector, I Want To Get Off features James Weatherburn as the bumbling projectionist who is trying to learn how to run one of the fool contraptions. His attempts are not quite all-out comedy, yet his antics are amusing, and anyone who remembers the day he first tried to run one of these complicated machines will be amused at someone else's interpretation of what the sensation is like" PSA Journal, Sept. 1966, 35.

Watch: YouTube video originally from the Library of Congress Prelinger Archives


Strategist, The (Evelyn Kibar, 1962)

"An amateur film made by and starring the husband and wife duo, John & Evelyn Kibar. John is frustrated with Evelyn’s hat shopping habits. To distract John’s frustrations, Evelyn surprises John with a cake. Title cards with dialogue are dispersed throughout the film." Chicago Film Archives

Watch: chicagofilmarchives.org


Streetcar to Heaven (Arthur H. Smith , 1946)

"Filmed by Arthur H. Smith of San Francisco, the story opens with Jackie, a lad of 4 years, playing on the sidewalk near his home. Observing a kitten crossing the street, his natural inclination toward pets impels him to run into the street after it. An unseen car bears down upon the boy and the driver is unable to avoid striking him down. Jackie is rushed to the hospital where his life is saved with difficulty, although he will be permanently crippled. The doctor advises Jackie's parents that although he has survived the operation, the lad has only a short time to live." Home Movies, Dec. 1946, 749.

Watch: via Archive.org


Studies in Blue and Chartres Cathedral (John V. Hansen, 1932)

"Studies in Blue and Chartres Cathedral, a cerulean cinema achievement, one 400 foot reel in full Kodacolor by John V. Hansen, ACL, shows what an artist's and a colorist's eye can select and record. While this film is in some sense a travel record, Mr. Hansen definitely made it a point to choose those scenes and vistas that revealed the open sky, whether seen in patches through the interlaced branches of trees or as a dim, distance haze, shimmering up from the tops of far off mountains. Here are deep blue skies overhead, merging into white mist at the horizon, apple green, azure, so many hues that it is a revelation to see that a mechanical process can so beautifully record nature. Mr. Hansen presents to the audience's eyes such a varying kaleidoscope of blending colors in his continuity that it is difficult to do the entire effect justice by mere description. But among his outstanding technical achievements are the recording of sunlit glades in a dense forest, especially effective cloud and sunset shots, distant and close shots and side lighting and backlighting in profusion. A further, outstanding triumph in color technique was shown in Mr. Hansen's recording of the vivid, glowing hues of the stained glass windows, taken from the interior of the cathedral at Chartres. Here, he succeeded in capturing that peculiar, deep dyed transparency found only in the colors of old stained glass. It is questionable if any other method of reproducing color can give such a real and beautiful rendition of stained windows as the motion picture. Certainly no color printing process can compete. The film was rounded out by some charming long shots of the carefully cultivated, rolling hills of Denmark." Movie Makers, Dec. 1932, 538, 560.

Watch: Via YouTube


Suetonius Version, The (Stanley Fox, 1953)

"The Suetonius Version is Stan Fox’s last 16mm amateur film. The story is about a university professor who is fascinated with one of his young female students." (Royal BC Museum)

This film was shot on the UBC campus, including in the closed stacks at the UBC Library.

Watch: Excerpt, via Royal BC Museum, YouTube


Sugar Mountain (George Curtis , 1971)

"Student film made at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago set to "Sugar Mountain," a song by Canadian folk rock singer and composer Neil Young." Chicago Film Archives

Watch: chicagofilmarchives.org


Suite Two: A Memo to Oscar (Dorothy Burritt, 1947)

"Produced as a gift to Dorothy Burritt's husband, filmmaker Oscar Burritt (who was working in Toronto at the time), this is an offbeat study of life at their Vancouver apartment -- suite 2, 1960 Robson Street. The camera explores the apartment and the household memorabilia, and Dorothy is seen sitting for a portrait by painter Peter Bortkus. Later some friends drop by for a screening of Sacha Guitry's film Pearls of the Crown, followed by a party. Among the guests are Moira Armour, film editor Maureen Balfe, UBC student Stanley Fox, photographer Peter Varley, and an unnamed figure wearing a bird costume. Most of the people shown would have been involved with the National Film Society of Canada (Vancouver Branch). Suite Two won honourable mention (amateur category) at the first Canadian Film Awards in 1949." (BC Archives)

The film was restored in 1986 by the British Columbia Archives.

Watch: Excerpt via Royal BC Museum, YouTube


Sundays in the Valley of Mexico (Ralph E. Gray, 1942)

"A colorful travelogue of modern, urban life in Mexico City. "Shows scenes typical of modern Mexico, such as the tall buildings and wide boulevards of Mexico City. The canal leading to Xochimilco, with its fruit- and flower-laden boats, is pictured. Then describes a festival held in honor of the Vice President of the United States, Henry Wallace, when he visited Mexico City. It includes a bullfight and a parade of Mexican beauties. Ends with a pageant of old and new Mexican dances" (War Films Bulletin of the Extension Division Indiana University, February, 1943, 19)" Indiana University Libraries Moving Image Archive.

Watch: via Indiana University Libraries Moving Image Archive


Sunny Cuba (Julian Gromer , 1946)

"2 part edited travelogue of the industries and everyday life in featured cities of Cuba. Part 1 begins in Havana before travelling to smaller cities, with a focus on buildings, crops and the everyday lives of the people. Part 2 primarily focuses on industry and includes scenes of a tile factory, basket weaving, as well as the farming of potatoes, sugar cane, bananas, and peanuts. The film also features historical monuments, boating, children at school, cock fights, vendors selling wares, and fishing. People demonstrate manual methods of labor like harvesting crops and cutting grass with machines lead by cattle." Chicago Film Archives.

Watch: Part 1 via Chicago Film Archives

Watch: Part 2 via Chicago Film Archives


Super Colossal Production, A (Arthur H. Smith , 1939)

Comedic short film about an amateur movie club called Super Colossal Pictures.

Watch: via Archive.org


Surf and Seaweed (Ralph Steiner, 1930)

"Steiner is interested in film’s capacity to invigorate everyday sight, to alert viewers to the simple, magical visual pleasures available in nearly any circumstance. The film is divided into sequences that focus on specific kinds of imagery in and around ocean surf" Scott MacDonald via Light Cone.

Watch: Low resolution upload available on YouTube via Acce Pointtopoint


Susie Steps Out (George Ives, 1955)

"Short wide screen amateur film made by George Ives, a Chicago Metro Movie Club member, and edited by Kenosha Cine Club member Ron Doerring. A corresponding 1/4" audio reel for this title is also housed at CFA, but has yet to be digitally transferred" Chicago Film Archives.

Watch: Susie Steps Out on Youtube via Chicago Film Archives


Tambo (Fred C. Ells, 1933)

"Documentary: On the life of rural rice farm families in Japan." National Archives.

Watch: Tambo via National Archives


Tarzan and the Rocky Gorge (Robbins Barstow , 1936)

"Sixteen year old Robbins Barstow, an Amateur Cinema League member and a fan of Johnny Weissmuller's Tarzan movies, rounded up his siblings and friends and led them into the wilds of Granby, Connecticut for this epic tale of a journey into Edgar Rice Burroughs' Africa." via Archive.org

Watch: Via archive.org


Telltale Heart, The (Charles Klein, 1928)

"The TellTale Heart is a 1928 American silent film directed by Charles F. Klein, based on the short story by E.A. Poe. This experimental, avant-garde film used many new techniques and influenced a series of cinematic Poe renditions in both the United States and France, including The Fall of the House of Usher by M. Webber, made in the same year. The two films have many aesthetic similarities, although the narrative in The TellTale Heart is significantly less abstract. The music underscoring the work creates a parallel drama to the events unfolding on the screen. After the title sequence, some of the text from the original short story is projected to foreshadow the gruesome events to follow. A still of the Old Man's eye is layered on the top of this scrolling text, accompanied by the first statement of the “Vulture Eye Chord”, which continues to come back as a leitmotif throughout the score. Also prominent is the leitmotif for our narrator, which takes the shape of a disturbingly quick and easily unhinged "Death Waltz". Upon strangling the Old Man for his vulture eye, the waltz quickly dissolves into a quick 5/8 section, dignifying the beating of a heart, which gradually slows. After two detectives come to investigate the scene, the narrator having initially been successful in covering up his deceit, the underscoring reveals to us that he's been tortured by his deeds as the two leitmotifs emerge from an otherwise calm texture. After hearing the beating of the Old Man's heart beneath the floorboards, the narrator admits to his sin and reveals the body at the end of the film" Center for Fiction, NY.

Watch: The TellTale Heart with live Film Score by Whitney George performed by The Curiosity Cabinet (2014)


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