Amazing Tales from the Archives, 2017

AMAZING TALES FROM THE ARCHIVES
with Heather Linville from the Academy Film Archive, Eilf Rongen-Kaynakçi from EYE Filmmuseum, and George Willeman from the Library of Congress

Presented at SFSFF 2017
Musical accompaniment by Donald Sosin


"THE WORLD'S MOST TRAVELED GIRL"
In the late 1920s Aloha Wanderwell Baker became the first woman to travel around the world by car, deploying her 35mm camera the way travelers today pull out their Go-cams. Stopping to develop footage along the way, she showed her films wherever she could, at an Istanbul movie palace or a tin-shack theater near a diamond mine somewhere in Africa. Heather Linville delves into the collection of documentary footage that Baker donated to the Academy Film Archive in 1985.

STROLLING THROUGH THE ARCHIVE
The Desmet Collection of films and ephemera deposited in 1957 at the Netherlands national film archive has since been inscribed in UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register for its significance to world culture. Its nine hundred-plus titles, many in color, and its tens of thousands of documents (posters, programs, piano tuner receipts, insurance papers, etc.) have upended previously held notions about the first decades of cinema’s silent era. Elif Rongen-Kaynakçi, curator of silent film at EYE Filmmuseum, takes what she calls “an impossible stroll” through the collection, giving a glimpse of what is already known and what might yet be discovered.

HEARING SILENTS
Since the earliest days of moving images, innovators strove to marry sound to picture. Of the two hundred or more Kinetophones that Thomas Edison produced in 1913 and 1914, only a handful of the films and their accompanying sound cylinders survive. Library of Congress preservationist George Willeman shares these unique artifacts, preserved in collaboration with the Thomas Edison National Historical Park.