Treasures From American Film Archives - Encore Edition
DVD | Box Set
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For the first time ever, America's film archives are joining forces to release their most exciting, unseen treasures on DVD. The 50 films in this four disc set have been meticulously preserved by eighteen of the nation's premiere archives, including the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian, the Museum of Modern Art, George Eastman House, UCLA, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Featuring numerous supplements and produced by the nonprofit National Film Preservation Foundation, "Treasures from American Film Archives" shows the amazing variety of films made from coast to coast over the last 100 years. With narration by Laurence Fishburne, this set is an absolute must for film collectors! Films include: Groucho Marx's home movies (1933, 2 min.), D.W. Griffith's "The Lonedale Operator" (1911, 17 min.), the earliest film version of "Snow White" (1916, 63 min.), "The Fall of the House of Usher" (1928, 13 min.), "Negro Leagues Baseball" (1946, 8 min.), "The Autobiography of a Jeep" (1943, 10 min.), Joseph Cornell's found footage film "Rose Hobart" (1936, 19 min.), "Returning on the Zeppelin Hindenburg" (1936, 7 min.), the early 2-color Technicolor feature "The Toll of the Sea" (1922, 54 min.), the William S. Hart western "Hell's Hinges" (1916, 64 min.), the first commercially-shown U.S. film "Blacksmithing Scene" (1893, 1 min.), plus silent features, documentaries and newsreels, avant-garde shorts, early animation and special effects films, home movies, and much more. Visit http://www.filmpreservation.org/ for a complete listing of all films included.
- 50 films preserved by America's premier archives
- 11 hours on 4 DVDs
- Digitally mastered from the finest sources
- 4 illustrated booklets with film notes and credits
- Newly recorded musical scores
- Over 300 interactive screens about the films and music
- Essays about the archives, narrated by Laurence Fishburne
- Playable worldwide
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Even though some of this has become YouTube fodder, there is noting like the quality of these transfers.
The beauty of 35mm film when properly transferred will make a viewing of these films seem like new no matter how many times you may have stumbled over them by now.
Those first Edisons look spectacular here. There are 4 features in the set and one is in beautiful 2 strip Technicolor.
Every wonder what would happen if Groucho were to direct a silent film? Wonder no more as there is one of his home movies here that he obviously planned out and shot with his family.
Then there is the ultra creepy 1928 surreal FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER in pristine quality. So much more. Even some good cartoons!!
It was re-issued in 2005 as the "Encore Edition".
The words "Encore Edition" appear on the right front cover of the box, above the fourth Lincoln.
The difference is that the original edition came with a 130 page softcover book;
Each of the 4 DVDs in the "Encore Edition" comes with its own booklet (26 to 30 pages).
Content is identical to the original.
More conveniently packaged.
Dealers tend to confuse the two editions.
The original edition usually costs more.
Save your money and get the "Encore Edition".
[for ease of navigation, read the review through to the end, then come back and click on the links]
Original Edition: Treasures from American Film Archives: 50 Preserved Films
Encore Edition: Treasures From American Film Archives - Encore Edition
also in this series:
Volume 2: More Treasures from American Film Archives 1894-1931
Volume 3: Treasures III: Social Issues in American Film, 1900-1934
Volume 4: Treasures IV: American Avant-Garde Film, 1947-1986
Volume 5: Treasures 5: The West, 1898-1938
Volume 6: Lost and Found: American Treasures from the New Zealand Film Archive (Silent)
Volumes 1-3 are alarmingly expensive.
Shop around - I found some bargains on Ebay.
I hope all three will be reissued someday, but I don't have any inside information.
Volumes 4-6 are more reasonably priced.
Volumes 3, 4 and 5 were logically assembled around a common theme.
The others are jumbles of unrelated stuff.
Messy, but fun.
Volume 3 "Social Issues in American Film" looks interesting (it includes some early gangster movies), but it's the hardest to find.
Volume 5 "The West" is a real bargain, and a good place to start.
Volume 4 "Avant-Garde Film" doesn't appeal to me at all.
ACADEMY FILM ARCHIVE, ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURES ARTS AND SCIENCES:
1. Luis Martinetti, Contortionist (1894, 1 minute), kinetoscope of the Italian acrobat made by the Edison Co.
2. Caicedo, King of the Slack Wire (1894, 1 minute), the first film shot outdoors at the Edison Studios.
3. The Original Movie (1922, 8 minutes), silhouette animation satire on commercial filmmaking, by puppeteer Tony Sarg.
4. League Baseball (1946, 8 minutes), footage featuring Reece "Goose" Tatum, the Indianapolis Clowns, and the Kansas City Monarchs.
ALASKA FILM ARCHIVES, UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA AT FAIRBANKS
5. The Chechahcos (1924, 86 minutes), first feature shot entirely on location in Alaska. This is a melodrama set during the Alaska gold rush with some great scenery included.
ANTHOLOGY FILM ARCHIVES
6. Rose Hobart (1936, 19 minutes), artist Joseph Cornell's celebrated found-footage film that mainly takes footage from Hobart's film "East of Borneo", combines it with some other scenes, and winds up as a surreal short.
7. Composition 1 (Themis) (1940, 4 minutes), Dwinell Grant's stop-motion abstraction.
8. George Dumpson's Place (1965, 8 minutes), Ed Emshwiller's portrait of the scavenger artist and his home.
GEORGE EASTMAN HOUSE
9. The Thieving Hand (1908, 5 minutes), special-effects comedy.
10. The Confederate Ironclad (1912, 16 minutes), Civil War adventure with the heroine saving the day.
11. The Land Beyond the Sunset (1912, 14 minutes), social problem drama about a tattered newspaper boy who yearns for a better life.
12. Snow White (1916, 63 minutes), live-action feature of the Brothers Grimm tale starring Marguerite Clark.
13. The Fall of the House of Usher (1928, 13 minutes), avant-garde landmark created by James Sibley Watson, Jr., and Melville Webber from Poe's short story.
JAPANESE AMERICAN NATIONAL MUSEUM
14. From Japanese American Communities (1927-32, 7 minutes), home movies shot by Rev. Sensho Sasaki in Stockton, California, and Tacoma, Washington.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
15. Demolishing and Building Up Star Theatre (1901, 1 minute), the time-lapse demolition of a New York building, preserved from a paper print.
16. Move On (1903, 1 minute), Lower East Side street scene, preserved from a paper print.
17. Dog Factory (1904, 4 minutes), trick film about fickle pet owners, preserved from a paper print.
18. Princess Nicotine; or, The Smoke Fairy (1909, 5 minutes), special-effects fantasy of a tormented smoker, by the Vitagraph Company.
19. White Fawn's Devotion (1910, 11 minutes), probably directed by James Young Deer and the earliest surviving film by a Native American.
MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY
20. Cologne: From the Diary of Ray and Esther (1939, 14 minutes), small town portrait by amateur filmmakers, Dr. and Mrs. Dowidat.
MUSEUM OF MODERN ART
21. Blacksmithing Scene (1893, 1 minute), first U.S. film shown publicly.
22. The Shoe Clerk (1903, 1 minute), comic sketch with celebrated early editing.
23. Interior New York Subway, 14th St. to 42nd St. (1905, 5 minutes), filmed by Biograph's Billy Bitzer shortly after the subway's opening.
24. Hell's Hinges (1916, 64 minutes), William S. Hart Western about a town that earns its own destruction.
25. The Lonedale Operator (1911, 17 minutes), D.W. Griffith's rescue drama, starring Blanche Sweet.
26. Three American Beauties (1906, 1 minute), with rare stencil color.
NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION
27. We Work Again (1937, 15 minutes), WPA documentary on African American re-employment, including excerpt from Orson Welles' stage play of "Voodoo Macbeth".
28. The Autobiography of a Jeep (1943, 10 minutes), the story of the soldier's all-purpose vehicle, as told by the jeep itself.
29. Private Snafu: Spies (1943, 4 minutes), wartime cartoon for U.S. servicemen, directed by Chuck Jones and written by Dr. Seuss.
30. The Battle of San Pietro (1945, 33 minutes), celebrated combat documentary directed by John Huston.
31. The Wall (1962, 10 minutes), USIA film on the Berlin Wall made for international audiences.
NATIONAL AIR AND SPACE MUSEUM
32. From The Keystone "Patrician" (1928, 6 minutes), promotional film for new passenger plane.
33. From The Zeppelin Hindenburg (1936, 7 minutes), movies by a vacationing American family made on board 1 year before its destruction.
NATIONAL CENTER FOR JEWISH FILM
34. From Tevye (1939, 17 minutes), American Yiddish-language film, directed by Maurice Schwartz, adapted from Sholem Aleichem's stories.
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN HISTORY
35. From Accuracy First (ca. 1928, 5 minutes), Western Union training film for women telegraph operators.
36. From Groucho Marx's Home Movies (ca. 1933, 2 minutes).
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY
37. From Beautiful Japan (1918, 15 minutes), early travel-lecture feature by Benjamin Brodky.
NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY
38. From La Valse (1951, 6 minutes), pas de deax from George Balanchine's 1951 ballet, featuring Tanaquil Le Clercq and Nicholas Magallanes and filmed at the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival.
39. Battery Film (1985, 9 minutes), experimental documentary of Manhattan, by animator Richard Protovin and photographer Franklin Backus.
NORTHEAST HISTORIC FILM
40. From Rural Life in Maine (ca. 1930, 12 minutes), footage filmed by Elizabeth Wright near her farm of Windy Ledge, in southwestern Maine.
41. From Early Amateur Sound Film (1936-37, 4 minutes), scenes of family life captured by sound-film hobbyist Archie Stewart.
PACIFIC FILM ARCHIVE
42. Running Around San Francisco for an Education (ca. 1938, 2 minutes), early political ad, shown in San Francisco theaters, that helped win approval of local school bonds.
43. OffOn (1968, 9 minutes), Scott Bartlett's avant-garde film, the first to fully merge film and video.
UCLA FILM AND TELEVISION ARCHIVE
44. Her Crowning Glory (1911, 14 minutes), household comedy, with comic team John Bunny and Flora Finch, about an eight-year old who gets her way.
45. I'm Insured (1916, 3 minutes), cartoon by Harry Palmer.
46. The Toll of the Sea (1922, 54 minutes), Anna May Wong in an early two-strip Technicolor melodrama, written by Frances Marion.
47. The News Parade of 1934 (10 minutes), Hearst Metrotone newsreel summary of the year.
48. From Marian Anderson: The Lincoln Memorial Concert (1939, 8 minutes), excerpt from a concert film, reconstructed from newsreels, outtakes, and radio broadcast materials.
WEST VIRGINIA STATE ARCHIVES
49. From West Virginia, the State Beautiful (1929, 8 minutes), amateur travelogue along Route 60.
50. From One-Room Schoolhouses (ca. 1935, 1 min), amateur footage from rural Barbour County.
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