Exhibition Reel of Two Color Film (ca. 1929)

An experimental color short in Brewster Color, preserved by George Eastman House and presented on the More Treasures DVD set.

26 Avant-Garde Films Never Before Seen on Video

Contact: Jeff Lambert (415-392-7291, lambert@filmpreservation.org)

San Francisco, CA (September 30, 2008)—The National Film Preservation Foundation today announced the line-up for its new two-DVD box set, Treasures IV: American Avant-Garde Film, 1947-1986. Treasures IV presents works by 27 artists—from Bruce Baillie to Andy Warhol—who worked outside the mainstream and redefined American cinema in the decades following World War II. The set (list price $44.99) will be released on March 3, 2009, and distributed by Image Entertainment.

"The American avant-garde presents a stunning alternate history of cinema—an entirely different set of possibilities, another world of images and sounds— but the films have always been difficult to see," said NFPF Board member Martin Scorsese, who wrote the foreword to the Treasures IV program notes. "That is why I'm so excited by this new set in the Treasures from American Film Archives series."

The five-hour set samples an array of film types and styles, from abstract animation to documentary. Showcasing classics as well as rediscoveries, Treasures IV includes Hollis Frampton's (nostalgia); The Riddle of Lumen by Stan Brakhage; Go! Go! Go!, Marie Menken's love note to New York City; Fog Line by Larry Gottheim; New Improved Institutional Quality by Owen Land; Andy Warhol's drag queen portrait Mario Banana (No. 1); Ken Jacob's Little Stabs at Happiness and Ron Rice's Chumlum, both with Jack Smith; and The End, Christopher Maclaine's Beat meditation on the bomb; as well as works by Bruce Baillie, Wallace Berman, Robert Breer, Shirley Clarke, Joseph Cornell, Storm De Hirsch, Lawrence Jordan, George Kuchar, Standish Lawder, Saul Levine, Jonas Mekas, Robert Nelson and William T. Wiley, Pat O'Neill, Paul Sharits, Jane Conger Belson Shimane, Harry Smith, and Chick Strand. Treasures IV is the first anthology of the period available on DVD.

The works are selected from the preservation work of five of the nation's foremost avant-garde film archives: the Academy Film Archive of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Anthology Film Archives, the Museum of Modern Art, the Donnell Media Center of New York Public Library, and the Pacific Film Archive. None of the films has been available before in high-quality video.

Treasures IV is playable worldwide and has many special features for DVD audiences:

  • Newly recorded music by John Zorn
  • 70-page illustrated book of program notes, with a foreword by Martin Scorsese
  • More than 200 interactive screens
  • Portraits of the artists
  • 2 postcards from the films

This fourth set in the award-winning Treasures series is made possible through generous grants from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts and additional support from Film Technology, Inc. Net proceeds from sales will support further film preservation. A two-page brochure with the complete line-up of films can be downloaded from the NFPF Web site. The contents are listed below:

  • Bruce Baillie, Here I Am (1962)
  • Wallace Berman, Aleph (1956-66?)
  • Stan Brakhage, The Riddle of Lumen (1972)
  • Robert Breer, Eyewash (1959)
  • Shirley Clarke, Bridges-Go-Round (1958)
  • Joseph Cornell, By Night with Torch and Spear (1940s?)
  • Storm De Hirsch, Peyote Queen (1965)
  • Hollis Frampton, (nostalgia) (1971)
  • Larry Gottheim, Fog Line (1970)
  • Ken Jacobs, Little Stabs at Happiness (1959-63)
  • Lawrence Jordan, Hamfat Asar (1965)
  • George Kuchar, I, An Actress (1977)
  • Owen Land, New Improved Institutional Quality: In the Environment of Liquids and Nasals a Parasitic Vowel Sometimes Develops (1976)
  • Standish Lawder, Necrology (1969-70)
  • Saul Levine, Note to Pati (1969)
  • Christopher Maclaine, The End (1953)
  • Jonas Mekas, Notes on the Circus (1966)
  • Marie Menken, Go! Go! Go! (1962-64)
  • Robert Nelson & William T. Wiley, The Off-Handed Jape...& How to Pull It Off (1967)
  • Pat O'Neill, 7362 (1967)
  • Ron Rice, Chumlum (1964)
  • Paul Sharits, Bad Burns (1982)
  • Jane Conger Belson Shimane, Odds & Ends (1959)
  • Harry Smith, Film No. 3: Interwoven (1947-49)
  • Chick Strand, Fake Fruit Factory (1986)
  • Andy Warhol, Mario Banana (No. 1) (1964)

The National Film Preservation Foundation is the nonprofit organization created by the U.S. Congress to help save America's film heritage. Since opening its doors in 1997, the NFPF has supported film preservation in 46 states and the District of Columbia and has helped save more than 1,370 films. The NFPF is the charitable affiliate of the National Film Preservation Board of the Library of Congress.

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