Lynne Kirste- Home Movies at the Academy and the Brilliant Power of Representation

Welcome to Season 2! I am so excited to begin this season with my friend and colleague Lynne Kirste of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. While many of you may only know the Academy for That Awards Show, this institution does way more. Lynne is only one of many other wonderful humans that I know and treasure there. But what she does is (to me) particularly special and unique which is why I was so excited when I was able to welcome her to the program and why she is the first guest on this new season!

Last season we spoke about the topic of home movies with the illustrious Snowden Becker and the fabulous Erica Lopez, these women are critical engineers of the home movie world and introduced major discussions that I invite you to revisit if you have not listened to those episodes. The home movie/amateur film genre is one of the most critical areas of our profession.

Here we go a step further into our classical film past. What Lynne Kirste does at the Academy as the Special Collections Curator is truly mindblowing. I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I enjoyed spending time with a woman who I consider to be a true mentor and, like Snowden and Erica, is one of the great talents of our moving image archive world. Below the podcast link you will find her very rich bio and some great links! Please check them out!


Lynne Kirste Bio:

Lynne Kirste is Special Collections Curator at the Academy Film Archive, where she cares for materials that include the Archive’s extensive collection of home movies. She joined the Archive staff in 1997 after earning her MFA in Film Production from UCLA. Lynne believes it is crucial for archives to collect, preserve, share and provide access to moving images by and about people who are not well represented in mainstream media. Lynne has spoken about this topic at the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival, the Outfest Fusion Festival, the Stan Brakhage Symposium, the Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, the Society of
Cinema and Media Scholars conference and many other forums. Lynne is passionate about sharing material from the Academy’s collection. She has curated over twenty home movie programs and presented them with live commentary to audiences at a wide range of venues, including the Academy’s Linwood Dunn theater, the Turner Classic Film Festival, Walt Disney Imagineering, the historic Old Town Music Hall, the British Film Institute and the Archivio Nazionale del Film di Famiglia in Bologna, Italy.
Lynne’s publications include articles in Mining the Home Movie, edited by Karen Ishizuka and Patricia Zimmermann, and the Cinema Journal. She provides commentary for a home movie selection on the DVD set Treasures V: The West, produced by the National Film Preservation Foundation, and talks about LGBTQ home movies in the documentary Reel in the Closet.
Lynne is proud to be a member of the Outfest Legacy Advisory Council and of the Association of Moving Image Archivists, where she chaired the LGBT Committee for several years.

Links mentioned in the show & other recommendations to check out!!!!

Japanese American National Museum Home Movie Collection

JANM’s main website

http://www.janm.org/

Home Movie Clips from JANM’s Collections

http://www.discovernikkei.org/en/nikkeialbum/albums/270/

This link takes you a page featuring the Dave Tatsuno Collection Album (plus a list of other JANM home movie collections on the right side of the screen under the heading “More albums by HNRC.”) You can’t click yet on the large image in the player. There is a text description below that image. Below the text you will see the “Slides in this album” thumbnail photos. Click on any thumbnail photo and it will link you to the actual home movie clip that you can now play in the viewer. After you’ve loaded one clip, you can click on the numbers above the screen to see the next clips.

You can click on any of the other collection albums to view their clips.

It’s easy and totally worth it!

Latinos and Latinas in Hollywood

Hollywood Home Movies: LA/LA Special Edition (2017 Academy program)

This review discusses the program’s content and points about Latinas and Latinos in Hollywood.

http://www.thevintagecameo.com/2017/10/hollywood-home-movies-lala-special-edition/

Negro Leagues Baseball

Kansas City Monarchs vs. Indianapolis Clowns, featuring Reese “Goose” Tatum

https://www.filmpreservation.org/preserved-films/screening-room/t1-negro-leagues-baseball-1946

Complete footage and information from the National Film Preservation Foundation site.

Satchel Paige pitching for a team of Negro League ballplayers in an exhibition game against Major League players in 1948.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyjLJ96iFBM

Click “read more” on the YouTube page for an excellent description of the footage.

LGBTQ Home Movies

Trailer for Reel in the Closet, a documentary about the historic value of LGBTQ home movies with some amazing clips.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9yiA-SRjgw

Outfest Legacy Project for LGBT Film Preservation

https://www.outfest.org/about-the-legacy-project/

Mona’s Candle Light Bar – a “bohemian” bar in San Francisco, circa 1950 – preservation of home movie with sound (very rare to find an early sound home movie) that features drag king Jimmy Reynard and singer Jan Jensen.

https://archive.org/details/monasCandleLightCa1950s

People with Disabilities in Film

Interview with Marlee Matlin (2017)

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-et-mn-marlee-matlin-oscars-20170202-story.html

Think of Me First as a Person

This wonderful home movie/documentary by a father about his son who has Down Syndrome is on the National Film Registry.

http://www.thinkofmefirstasaperson.com/film.html

https://amateurism.wordpress.com/2010/02/14/preserving-think-of-me-first-as-a-person/

 

Episode 6: Erica Lopez- Mexican American Home Movies, Being “Seen,” and Gauging Class in Amateur Films

The best thing to come out of the last election was that I met Erica Lopez.

As you’ll learn about in the first few minutes of this week’s episode, we met at the AMIA conference in Pittsburgh, PA. It was November of 2016.


 

 

The sad thing was that the actual conference was amazing. Some of the best panels I’ve ever experienced at AMIA. But we were all so goddamn numb because of the election results that we were somewhere between zombie, “Is this real life?” and wanting to go to sleep forever or the next 4 years (whichever came first).

But I met Erica Lopez and her badass partner-in-archivey-action Caroline Oliveira and I was so thrilled. These women were my kinda ladies!!!!! These women were still students and considerably younger than me but I was so excited to find women who were just as passionate about the field as I was in a positive and pro-active way!

Obviously I kept in touch with both women.

Erica got in touch with me earlier this year and told me what her thesis was going to be about and I was floored. Her title, as presented at the end of March, is Mi Voz: Latin@ Self-Representation in Home Moviesand this was the description that was posted in the schedule for NYU MIAP thesis presentations. “The portrayal of Latin@s in the media has been constructed by stereotypes that attempt to suppress their voice. This thesis will focus on home movies of Latin@s, primarily on Mexican-American/ Xican@ communities. These movies challenge, threaten and question stereotypes of  Latin@s because these are images of self-representation. This thesis will look at different collections of home movies, specifically looking at the content, film format, the year they were shot and the year they were acquired in a cultural institution. The thesis will also consider how this community is represented in metadata since Mexican-American, Latin@, Hispan@, and Xican@ are labels that connote problematic issues. The thesis will end with a case study on The Fuentes Collection of home movies, which has been added to the National Film Registry’s list. After giving an historical background of the Fuentes family, I will discuss how they represent life in a border-town-space.”

I genuinely love home movies but let’s get real: the ones that most people see and the stereotype of the “Home Movie” is pretty damn white.

Home Movies are not white. Looking at those in the US, they are African American. They are Japanese American. They are Mexican American. They are Italian American. They are Pilipino American. So why do we just imagine blond babies toddling by the Christmas tree while Dad drinks a beer when we consider the “home movie”?

Erica Lopez is subverting the dominant paradigm by saying: I’m looking at Mexican Home Movies, movies that people have been ignoring. Films that have been sitting there because they are of people of color, cultures who have systematically disparaged and considered “less than” by a structure that still requires fixing. Erica Lopez is a critical scholar in this area. She did exactly what archival professionals are supposed to do: she saw a void in our field and said, “Oh hell no. I’m gonna fix that!”

Full disclosure: Erica is one of my best friends. So of course I’m going to say amazing things about her. But I wouldn’t go out of my way to praise her scholarship or social justice passion if it wasn’t present. That would not fit my ethical guidelines for myself and how I live my life.

I invite you to listen to this podcast that I did with a woman who continues to impress me the longer I know her. I think you’ll enjoy it.

I know we enjoyed doing it.

Erica’s Bio:

My name is Erica Gloria López. I am a graduate student at NYU Moving Image and Archiving Preservation program. I’ll be graduating this May, hopefully, so the pressure is on to join the ‘professional’ world is scary, for many reasons, and obvious ones. Growing up in a Mexican family, living in America, was an experience that with time and experiences, has influenced my life. I never thought I would be an archivist, let alone, ever imagined finishing school at my age, 35, since I did not go to college after High School. I was too busy going to punk shows and dancing to 80s music in Downtown LA. But, for some odd reason, I stumbled across this program. It’s been one of my biggest life challenges, and the most rewarding.

Check out The Fuentes Collection:  http://www.texasarchive.org/library/index.php/Category:The_Fuentes_Collection

 

Episode 3: Snowden Becker – Home Movies, Archives and Law Enforcement

It’s been a supercharged few weeks hasn’t it, friends?

Yeah.

I thought about delaying this episode a little longer because of the current climate and because of how hot everything is right now around discussions of people in positions of authority and guns and the madness. But since I don’t readily have a episode with a validly angry amazingly powerful teenager on hand, I think going with this episode is actually quite important and after careful consideration, it’s a good time for it.

Snowden Becker is probably one of my favorite women in the archiving field. The tragedy of this podcast is that you can’t see how INSANELY stylish she always is. This woman has the best shoes EVER and snappy outfits to match. She looks like she stepped right out of a George Cukor movie.

Then she begins to discuss a topic and it’s just as well-put together as the ensemble she showed up in. This is a woman who doesn’t bullshit, is constantly learning and teaching, and doesn’t waste time on subjects or interests that are not somehow connected to the idea of Being Better.

I was initially nervous when I heard that Snowden was working with the police on her examination of body worn cameras, since I firmly believe that established law enforcement in the US is structured in a way that favors Rich White Straight Men, causing People of Color to fear for their lives on a daily/hourly/minute-by-minute basis.  My conversation with Jarrett Drake on the last episode spoke to this when we chatted about his experiences with the on-campus guards.

THAT SAID, what Snowden is doing here is absolutely essential. While the subject sparks more emotions than an entire Beyonce album, the one thing to keep in mind is assessing this work needs to be done separately from having feelings about it. Both can (and should) be done, but one of the most useful aspects of this project is that, as Snowden says in this episode, she is leveraging her privilege to get something really accomplished here. AND IT IS VALUABLE.

I was incredibly lucky to have had Snowden as a professor. Her continued support has been invaluable to my career. She regularly and consistently makes it a point to lift others up, especially younger people just beginning in the field. Her work is not limited to the law enforcement examinations as you will see. In my opinion, her work is pretty limitless

Fun Snowden Becker Fact: She can knit like crazy, while asking challenging questions to a speaker at a conference who really did not see it coming. I’VE SEEN HER DO THIS. IT IS MAGICAL.

I highly recommend that you visit her website, follow her on Twitter and ask her any questions you wish to. She’s 100% one of *the* most approachable people.

Her current bio:

SNOWDEN BECKER has been a leader in the field of media archives and preservation for over fifteen years. She is a co-founder of the international Home Movie Day event and the non-profit Center for Home Movies, which was awarded the SAA Hamer Kegan Award for archival advocacy in 2017. She holds a BFA in Printmaking from the Maryland Institute, an MLIS from UCLA, and is completing a PhD in Information Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Her dissertation, “Keeping the Pieces: Evidence management and archival practice in law enforcement” is based in part on fieldwork in the property room and major crimes unit of a Sheriff’s office central Texas. Other recent projects include the IMLS-funded “On the Record, All the Time” National Forum on preservation and data management needs for police body-worn cameras (more info at http://is.gseis.ucla.edu/bodycams/). Becker manages the MLIS program in the Department of Information Studies at UCLA, and regularly teaches workshops and graduate courses in heritage preservation, media collections administration, professional development and portfolio design.

Web: http://snowdenbecker.com
Twitter: @snowdenbecker