Two of the films are notable for illuminating the multicultural and transnational aspects of early American cinema. Santa (1932), to be preserved by the Paso del Norte Foundation, is a melodrama directed by Spanish American silent star Antonio Moreno and produced by Azteca Films, a company based in El Paso, Texas, that made some of the most acclaimed Mexican movies during the 1930s–50s. Santa was one of the first Mexican features with recorded dialogue, and its soundtrack survives in its most … Read more
In honor of Earth Day we turn the Orphan Film spotlight on Beach Hike (1958), a conservation film about a three-day hike protesting a proposed coastal highway along the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.
Leading the seventy-two person hike was Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas (who served from 1939–75), a passionate environmentalist who grew up in Yakima. In 1954 he had led a hike that protested (and defeated) a proposed parkway along the C & O Canal on the Potomac River.
Also participating in the Washington hike were Wilderness Society president Harvey Broome, National Parks Association president Sigurd F. Olsen, Olympic National Park superintendent Daniel B. Beard, and Federation of Western Outdoor Clubs president Polly Dyer, who organized the entire endeavor.
Beach Hike shows Douglas and company starting at Lake Ozette and … Read more
The National Film Preservation Foundation is excited to announce that Scott Stuber, Head of Global Film at Netflix, has been appointed to the NFPF Board of Directors.
“We are extremely pleased to welcome Scott Stuber to the Board of Directors of the NFPF,” says Board Chair Grover Crisp. “With his support and advice, the Foundation will continue its core mission to preserve a wide diversity of American films from across the nation and make them available for study, research and exhibition. Without the commitment of individuals like Mr. Stuber, this would not be possible.”
As head of Netflix Films, Scott Stuber supervises the development, production and acquisition of the Netflix film slate, whose 2020-21 triumphs include Academy Award nominees Mank, The Trial of the Chicago 7, Da 5 Bloods, Ma Rainey’s Black … Read more
For Women’s History Month the NFPF is calling attention to the home movies of Cornelia Van Auken Chapin (1893–1972), preserved through an NFPF grant by the Archives of American Art, a unit of the Smithsonian Institution
Cornelia Chapin was a sculptor who specialized in creating stone and wood sculptures of animals through the direct carving method, which favored sculpting directly from life, without the use of models or casts. Artists in this movement, which rose to prominence after 1915, believed in the “truth of materials”—that a finished work of art should display the inherent properties of the raw material it was sculpted from. Very little period footage of artists engaged in direct carving exists, and during this period there was more documentation of male than female sculptors—these factors make Chapin’s home movies even … Read more
During a month that celebrates the history and accomplishments of African Americans, it’s more than appropriate to highlight Listen to a Stranger: An Interview with Gordon Parks (1973). Preserved through a 2019 NFPF grant by Washington University in St. Louis, this once-rare documentary honors an artist whose work in photography and film were equally groundbreaking.
Gordon Parks (1912–2006) trailblazed with his camera; starting at the Farm Security Administration he became the first African American staff photographer at Life magazine, documenting myriad aspects of American life during the onset of the Civil Rights era. By 1969 he had moved into cinema with The Learning Tree, adapted from his own novel, becoming the first African American to direct a major Hollywood studio feature. His next film was the seminal Blaxploitation … Read more