[spectre] new box set: Unseen Cinema: Early American Avant-Garde Film 1894-1941

Joel S. Bachar joel at microcinema.com
Mon Sep 19 17:32:03 CEST 2005

Unseen Cinema: Early American Avant-Garde Film 1894-1941
7 DVDs, 19 Hours, 155 Unforgettable films of Avant-Garde Cinema!

Catalog No. MC-448
2005, 19 hours
UPC: 014381059229
SRP: $99.99 (includes PPR)
Street Date: October 19, 2005
More info/to order:


This 7-disc box set containing 155 films, and running 19 hours represents
100 avant-garde, professional, and amateur filmmakers working before World
War II and is considerably refined from the touring film program. It is
curated by Bruce Posner and produced by film historian David Shepard, known
for his high-quality DVD restorations such as The Lost World, the Landmarks
of Early Cinema series, and many other cinema masterworks: The General
(Buster Keaton), The Birth of a Nation (D.W. Griffith), and The Chaplin
Essanay and Mutual comedies.

Posner and Shepard have worked with the finest archival prints available,
sometimes piecing together sequences from many different elements gathered
from around the world. Each of the seven DVD programs runs over 2.5 hours
and is ordered in themes and chronological date of production. Rare and
wonderful treasures are to be found on the DVD of Unseen Cinema.


. Picturing A Metropolis: New York City Unveiled, specially selected from
Unseen Cinema DVD box set, will also be released nationally as a single DVD.
The 26 short films depict scenes of New Yorkers among the skyscrapers,
streets, and nightlife of Manhattan during a half-century of progress, while
at the same time showing changes in film style and the history of cinema

. Ballet mecanique (Leger and Murphy, 1924) is drawn from the definitive
Frederick Kiesler print with the color inserts from the hand-colored copy at
the Nederlands Filmmuseum, and has been fitted for the first time ever with
the George Antheil score in its original instrumentation of 16 player
pianos, airplane propellers, etc.

. Twenty-four-Dollar Island (Robert Flaherty, c. 1926) is available in the
longest known version of the film made from excellent 35mm film elements
discovered at Gosfilmofond of Russia and Nederlands Filmmuseum with
introductory titles derived directly from Flaherty's own notes.

. Anthology Film Archives, under the direction of the legendary filmmaker
and archivst Jonas Mekas, reveals its vast holdings of unique American
experimental films with some of the DVD's rarest discoveries: films by Rudy
Burckhardt, Jerome Hill, Lewis Jacobs, Henwar Rodakiewicz, Seymour Stern,
Christopher Young, and many more..

. Warner Bros., Turner Entertainment, and Paramount Pictures opened their
studio vaults to offer excellent quality 35mm archive copies of works by
James Cruze, Busby Berkeley, Oskar Fischinger, Ernst Lubitsch, Paul
Burnford, and Slavko Vorkapich.

. The British Film Institute, Library of Congress, Museum of Modern Art, and
George Eastman House loaned pristine preservation prints of a variety of
late 19th century and early 20th century pioneer film titles by Edison
Manufacturing and American Mutoscope and Biograph Companies as well as many
one of a kind 35mm and 16mm films by avant-garde filmmakers Dudley Murphy,
Robert Florey, and Ralph Steiner.

. The complete works of abstract film artist Mary Ellen Bute are presented
in beautiful 35mm preservation prints along with numerous other
ground-breaking abstract animations by Alexandre Alexeieff, Francis
Bruguiere, Douglass Crockwell, Dwinell Grant, Francis Lee, Man Ray, Rrose
Selavy (aka Marcel Duchamp), Norman Mclaren, and George Morris.

. Renowned American collage artists and filmmaker Joseph Cornell is
represented by his brilliant film montages salvaged by animator Lawrence
Jordan and include The Children's Party, Cotillion, Midnight Party, Thimble
Theater, Carousel, and Jack's Dream (all films c. 1938- ) and several other
titles inspirational to Cornell's filmmaking.

. Vintage home movies of the 1920s and 30s by amateurs Elizabeth Woodman
Wright and Archie Stewart are transferred from the original 16mm picture
rolls held at Northeast Historic Films, Bucksport, Maine. While other
amateur films by Norman Bel Geddes, Lynn Riggs, Emlen Etting, John C.
Hecker, and Frank Stauffacher are presented off recently made preservations

. At least two-thirds of the program is silent. Unless the filmmakers wished
their work to be shown without music, all the silent films have been fitted
out with very nice music composed and performed by some of the world's best
silent film composers: Donald Sosin, Eric Beheim, Robert Israel, Rodney
Sauer, Neil Kurz, and Shane Ryan. Original music includes compositions by
George Atntheil, Marc Blitzstein, Alec Wilder, Jack Ellitt, and Cameron

. Introductory historical notes and filmmakers' biographies written by Kevin
Brownlow, David Curtis, R. Bruce Elder, Robert A. Haller, Jan-Christopher
Horak, David James, Scott MacDonald, Bruce Posner, David Shepard, Paul
Spehr, Cecile Starr, and 31 others and rare film and filmmakers photos in a
253-page picture gallery.

More info/to order:

Microcinema DVD
1706 Church Street, #1222
San Francisco, CA 94131
fax: 509-351-1530
orders at microcinema.com

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