THE AMATEUR AS AUTEUR
Discovering Paradise in Pictures
These home-made films incorporate avant-garde strategies
and techniques to achieve a true sense of cinematic intimacy. Glimpses
of life caught unawares are found in the home movies of Elizabeth Woodman
Wright, Archie Stewart, Frank Stauffacher, and John C. Hecker. Poetic
lyricism finds a voice in city symphonies: Lynn Riggs and James Hughes'
A Day in Santa Fe (1931) and Rudy Burckhardt's Haiti (1938).
Professionally minded films, like Theodore Case's sound tests (c. 1925)
and Lewis Jacobs' Tree Trunk to Head (1938), operate from a similar
home-spun perspective of sincerity. Joseph Cornell offers an enigmatic
but lovely homage to childhood with Children's Trilogy (c. 1938).
7 Case Sound
Tests (c. 1924-25)—Theodore Case & Earl Sponable
Windy Ledge Farm (c. 1929-34)—Elizabeth Woodman Wright
A Day in Santa Fe (1931)—Lynn Riggs & James Hughes
4 Stewart Family Home Movies (c. 1935-39)—Archie Stewart
Children’s Party (c. 1938)—Joseph Cornell
Cotillion (c. 1938)—Joseph Cornell
The Midnight Party (c. 1938)—Joseph Cornell
Haiti (1938)—Rudy Burckhardt
Tree Trunk to Head (1938)—Lewis Jacobs
Bicycle Polo at San Mateo (1940-42)—Frank Stauffacher
1126 Dewey Avenue, Apt. 207 (1939)—John C. Hecker
Running time: 175 minutes
Contents: 20 Films
Format: B/W & Color;
Sound & Silent
Available as part of 7-disc box set
"What are home movies
doing in an avant-garde program? A good deal—those who are familiar
with Rene Magritte’s or Man Ray’s amateur films know precisely
how important home movies inspired visual artists working in the medium."
UNSEEN CINEMA: THE AMATEUR AS AUTEUR is one of a seven-DVD series
exploring American avant-garde cinema from 1894-1941. Presented by Anthology
Film Archives in association with the British Film Institute, Cineric,
Film Preservation Associates, Deutsches Filmmuseum, George Eastman House,
The Library of Congress and The Museum of Modern Art.
"Unseen Cinema defines the term avant-garde with the same playfulness
with which many amateurs approached the new budding medium."
–Frankfurter Allegeneine Zeitung
"Mekas’s diary films and Andy Warhol’s cinematic epics
are the direct descendants of home movies made by the early amateur Archie
Stewart—one of the discoveries of the series. With a 16mm sound
camera, Stewart created a colossal monument of family conversations rescued
in fleeting moments in front of the camera."
Films preserved by
Anthology Film Archives
Case Research Lab Museum
The Library of Congress
New Mexico State Records Center and Archives
Northeast Historic Film
Curated by Bruce Posner
Produced for DVD by David Shepard
Released by Image Entertainment
Sponsored by Anthology Film Archives, New York, and Deutsches Filmmuseum,
Frankfurt am Main.
Made possible in part by Cineric, Inc., Eastman Kodak Company, and Film
Preservation Associates, Inc.
Special Contents of this Edition © 2005
by Anthology Film Archives