2014 Summer Symposium
15th Annual Northeast Historic Film Summer Symposium
Visions of House and Home
Thursday, July 24 through Saturday, July 26, 2014
Wunderkino (“wonder-cinema”) are moving images that ignite our curiosity and engagement and help us to rethink questions of creativity, complexity, rarity and the multiple uses and understandings of amateur and non-commercial films.
“Wunderkino 4: Visions of House and Home" focuses on understanding how amateur and non-theatrical films offer insight into daily life, domesticity, and the quotidian activity that has often been dismissed as mise en scène. How does the performance of domesticity size or resize the frame? What activities define house and home on film? How do notions and conventions of home frame regions, communities, and people in amateur films, industrial films, and educational films? This year’s theme is an effort to draw upon the wide range of approaches that scholars, artists, filmmakers, and archivists bring to the study and use of amateur and non-theatrical film.
NHF houses a 125-seat cinema with 35mm, 16mm, video, and DVD projection. In 2013 Northeast Historic Film received the Silver Light Award from the Association of Moving Image Archivists for significant contributions to the field.
The NHF Summer Symposium is a multi-disciplinary gathering devoted to the history, theory, and preservation of amateur and nontheatrical moving images. For 15 years, the Symposium has been bringing together archivists, scholars, and artists in an intimate setting for three days of viewing and discussing lesser-known, amateur, and found films. NHF is located in Bucksport, a town of 5,000 on the coast of Maine. For a review of the 2012 Symposium by Leo Goldsmith, NYU, see the AMIA journal, The Moving Image, Fall 2013.
Presenters typically have 30-45 minutes in which to deliver their paper and engage in discussion with their colleagues. The symposium is open to archivists, artists and scholars from all disciplines. Please be advised that NHF is a non-profit organization. Unfortunately, we do not have resources to fund travel and lodging for conference presenters and participants. All presenters and participants must register for the symposium.
Anne’s original goal for the FIVE YEAR DIARY was to film herself every day in an attempt to lose weight, mimicking the work of a photographer whose work she had seen. Instead, she gained weight. The focus of the film expanded to other aspects of her life, before finally settling into a cyclical pattern documenting gardening, cooking, eating, weight loss and gain, family life, Anne’s mental illnesses and experience with mental health institutions, her cats, her work, her unemployment, her poverty, her obsession with Doctor Who (as portrayed by Tom Baker), her struggles trying to quit smoking, and her general views of the world. Large portions of the DIARY were shot in her apartment and in her childhood home (where her mother lived) in Framingham, MA, as well as at school and at work. During her lifetime Anne would perform with the DIARY films. Audio cassettes (wild sound recordings made by the filmmaker) accompanied the films, regardless of whether they had sync sound or not. Anne herself would also narrate from the audience, adding a third layer of sound. It has been reported she would sometimes add even more layers – playing a radio or second audio tape as well – creating a general cacophony that sometimes made much of the dialogue difficult to hear.
This very personal film somehow does not play as narcissistic or dull, and Anne’s struggles are engaging and compelling. Throughout the films she weaves humor, beauty, and an appreciation of the natural world into her life story that is rent with mental illness, depression, and loss.