Six more films, from the NFPF’s ongoing partnership with EYE Filmmuseum in Amsterdam, are now available for online viewing in our screening room. These freshly preserved American silent films, unseen since their original release more than 90 years ago, are accompanied by new music from composers Michael Mortilla, Ben Model, and Stephen Horne, and by program notes from scholars and silent film experts. The NFPF-led project enabled three film archives to supervise the preservation of this set of sponsored films, travelogues, and comedies. The preservation and web presentation of the nonfiction films was made possible through a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, not only handled the preservation of two industrial films, but also provided program notes by its curators. The Dairy Industry and the Canning of Milk (1917) details the canning of condensed milk at Libby, McNeal and Libby’s state-of-the-art facility in Whitewater, Wisconsin. The film note is by Peter Liebhold, from the Division of Work and Industry. Making High-Grade Paper (Kalem Company, 1914) shows how the Strathmore Paper Company of Massachusetts made its celebrated rag paper. Helena E. Wright, from the Division of Culture and the Arts, provides the note. Music for both films is by Michael D. Mortilla.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences supervised the preservation of two travelogues. Flaming Canyons (1929), is a gorgeously stencil-colored depiction of the wonders of Zion, Bryce, and Grand Canyon National Parks. The score is by Stephen Horne, with a film note from Professor Jennifer Peterson of Woodbury University. A Trip Through Lassen Volcanic National Park (1918), tours California’s active volcano two years after the area was made a national park. Set to music by Michael Mortilla, its note is by outdoor guidebook writer Tracy Salcedo.
Two comedies were preserved under the direction of the Library of Congress. A Model Husband (1916), tells how the moral failings of a too-good-to-be-true spouse are unmasked by prohibitionists. Ben Model provides the music; silent film historian Steve Massa provides the note. Patsy’s Elopement (Lubin, 1915), is the ninth installment in the Patsy Bolivar series, featuring Clarence Elmer as the recurring hapless hero. Accompanied by Michael Mortilla’s score, the film has a note from film historian J.B. Kaufman.
All of these shorts survive thanks to decades of safeguarding by EYE. Fifty-six movies are being preserved through this collaboration between EYE and American film archives, and they will appear on the NFPF website as work is completed. Expect plenty more in 2018!