Patricia Ledesma Villon: The Challenges of Home Movies & the Complexity of Asian American Representation

This episode is the official Home Movie Day episode and it is extremely exciting! As you may recall, other guests have discussed the critical value of home movies. The exceptional Snowden Becker  was a guest and she is one of the actual founders of Home Movie Day, Erica Lopez came on and spoke on her vital and unique work on Mexican home movies, and Lynne Kirste  was a guest and we examined the way classic Hollywood depicted themselves in the home movie genre and why those films are such incredible gems in their own right.

I couldn’t be more excited to have Patricia Ledesma Villon be representing and speaking about home movies for Home Movie Day, 2018. In my eyes, she is exactly what the archiving and library world should be embracing and looking for in their new hires and future generations. If you are an employer reading this, take my advice: the qualities Patricia has are those you want. Passion, honesty, conviction and dedication.

As she and I discuss on the show, home movies are not simple nor are they just about fun nostalgia. Many times they are incredibly challenging and they can produce great discomfort in the viewer. This is one of the very important aspects of this moving image genre.

When home movies are shown, class, culture and representation are key elements and should always be part of the presentation. Yet this is rarely done. Home movie texts can always be enjoyed on the basis of narrative or nostalgic pleasure- they are so much fun and so pleasurable to watch– but it does them a disservice to deny their complex historicism and social meaning. Patricia’s work as an intern with CAAM and her own archival scholarship stand out in this manner as she introduces powerful ways of examining these critical moving image works, especially vis-a-vis Asian American communities.

Finally, although we touched on the importance of hiring people of color during our discussion, Patricia emailed me afterwards to emphasize that we should highlight black, indigenous, queer and disabled archivists in our community, especially as we remember the cultural significance of Home Movie Day.

Her bio & some REALLY TERRIFIC links are below, as usual. Hope your Home Movie Day rocks!!

PATRICIA LEDESMA VILLON is an archivist based in Oakland, California. A Bay Area native, she has worked for several Asian media nonprofits in the area. Patricia most recently interned at the Philippine Film Archive (formerly known as the National Film Archive of the Philippines) where she digitally restored a short film submitted to the 2017 Short Film Festival of Switzerland. She is currently interning at the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) where she works on Memories to Light, a project preserving the home movies of Asian American families on Super 8, 8mm and 16mm formats. She received her B.A. in media from the University of California, Berkeley and is a member of Low Light Darkroom and Black Hole Collective Film Lab, a DIY member-run analog still image and motion film collective.

 
Here are some links:
 
About Low Light Darkroom and Black Hole Collective Film Lab: https://lowlightblackholelab.org/
 
About Memories to Light: https://caamedia.org/memoriestolight/
 
Kip Fulbeck’s home movie collection featuring Santa’s Village on Memories to Light: https://caamedia.org/memoriestolight/2015/12/30/throwback-thursday-kip-fulbecks-santas-village-visit-in-1972/
 
Dawn Bohulano Mabalon’s home movie collection featuring Stockton’s Little Manila on Memories to Light: https://caamedia.org/memoriestolight/project/bohulano-family-collection/
 
African American Museum & Library’s “Representing Ourselves: Black Home Movies for All Audiences” on Home Movie Day Saturday, October 20 from – 2:00-4:00pm: http://oaklandlibrary.org/events/african-american-museum-library-oakland/home-movie-day

 

 

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 13: Outfest Legacy Project Managers of Past & Present- Brendan Lucas, Taylor Morales & Alice Royer

Pride Month has been AMAZING.

To say that my guests have blown my mind would be an understatement.

If you haven’t gotten a chance to check out the episodes with Anne Kelly, Magnus Berg,  or T.J. Tallie, I highly recommend that you do so. I am terribly proud of the fact that I was able to document these incredible people who are making such a difference in our landscape and are such immense figures as far as the idea of Pride is concerned. I am personally proud to know them and call them friends and colleagues but I am inspired by their continued power and brilliance in a world and professional landscape that does not always welcome queerness.

Which leads me to this week and the Outfest Legacy Project. As a 2-time UCLA grad school alumna, one of the things that I love about that school is the preservation work they do on LGBTQ+ materials with Outfest. While I was in archiving school there, I really wanted to intern with them but that never happened. So next best thing: I go to the festival every year, I have volunteered with them and for the grand finale of Pride Month on Archivist’s Alley, I am welcoming three amazing colleagues on to speak about the Legacy Project, Outfest, their work and the film festival coming up in July.

I know I say this about every episode, but really- it’s a GREAT EPISODE. Check it out! Brendan, Taylor & Alice RULE!!!! Bios and pix below the episode link, as usual.

Bios:

Taylor Morales is the Production Art Librarian at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science’s Margaret Herrick Library where she manages and catalogs the Academy’s unique collection of production design drawings, costume design drawings, storyboards, and other artwork related to the motion picture industry. Taylor previously managed the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project for LGBT Film Preservation where she contributed to the restoration of her favorite film Desert Hearts (1985) in addition to preserving and screening many other archival queer films. She is now a proud member of the Legacy Project Advisory Council.

Here is a link to buy the Desert Hearts DVD and Bluray via Criterion:

https://www.criterion.com/films/29139-desert-hearts

Brendan Lucas attended UC Santa Barbara and the Moving Image Archive Studies Program at UCLA. He is currently the Legacy Project Manager for the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project, a joint effort between Outfest and the UCLA Film and Television Archive, where he supports the collection, documentation, preservation and exhibition of LGBTQ moving images. For the past 5 years, Brendan has worked at Deluxe Audio Services (formerly Chace Audio) where he has coordinated and written about audio restoration projects for film and television.
Born and raised in Northern California, he currently lives in Los Angeles, where he is always either interested in–or going to–events in and around his adoptive hometown.
Outfest LGBT Film Festival (July 12-22, 2018)
Outfest UCLA Legacy Project
Legacy Screening Series at the Billy Wilder Theater in Westwood (year-round)
Alice Royer is a film and media scholar, archivist, and programmer living in Los Angeles. She has very nearly completed her PhD in Cinema & Media Studies at UCLA, where she also earned an MA in Moving Image Archive Studies. Previously, Alice oversaw the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project as Legacy Project Manager from 2014-2016, during which time she was selected to serve on the Teddy Award Jury at the 2016 Berlin International Film Festival. She has been a longtime Assistant Programmer for Outfest, and has screened films for AFI FEST, and the Los Angeles Film Festival. And also she has a dog named Walter, whom she probably anthropomorphizes too much.
The following is a short featurette on the preservation of the 1919 silent film that she mentions having worked on during her tenure as Project Manager, Different From The Others (1919).

Episode 11: Magnus Berg- Transgender Identity in Cataloging, Power in Pronouns, and Ableism in Hiring Practices

So June is Pride Month. I decided that instead of twice a month, I would do a podcast EVERY WEEK, platforming a queer archive, preservationist or issue. So here we are again! I am really excited. So many critical issues & people to feature.

Last week you met my wonderful colleague and friend Anne Marie Kelly.  This week you will meet the amazing Magnus Berg.

Before ANYTHING I want to promote an event that Magnus is doing in San Francisco THIS THURSDAY the 14th at the place they are interning at, The GLBT Historical Society Archives and Museums. It sounds like the greatest event & if I were local I would sooooo be there! Go to this!!!!

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/playback-do-it-yourself-audiovisual-archiving-tickets-45600216475

 

When I first met Magnus at AMIA, I was instantly drawn to their amazing charm and appeal. As you will hear, they are intensely smart and HFS amazing. I wish that instead of this podcast, you could all be in a room with them. Being around Magnus is so much fun. Magnus is just…I can’t put words to it because they made me smile. And again, another wonderful Canadian gift!!

As I state in this episode, we are much stronger with trans archivists, archivists of color, differently abled archivists and marginalized archivists than we are without them. Much stronger. That *is* community, y’all. As Magnus and I work through issues of archival cataloging practices, hiring practices, film festival circuits and my desire to convince Martin Scorsese to donate all of his future funding to transgender film preservation, I think you will agree.

I hope you enjoy this episode.

BIO:

Magnus Berg is a MA candidate in the Film + Photography Preservation and Collections Management program at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. They have worked with audiovisual collections at Visual Studies Workshop, The Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, Ryerson University, and most recently The GLBT Historical Society Archives. Magnus is the current Co-Chair of the LGBT Committee for the Association of Moving Image Archivists and has presented on audiovisual preservation at Sexuality and Gender Studies and Archival Science conferences in Canada and the United States.

Episode 10: Anne Marie Kelly- the Power of Oral History, a Good Haircut and Preservation As a Political Practice

Not only will this be the 10th episode of Archivist’s Alley but it is also Pride Month. Therefore, this month I thought it would be wonderful to showcase some of the most exciting work and wonderful queer archivists in the preservation community. I hope that you all are as thrilled about it as I am. It’s going to be a Fabulous month, in every sense of the word!

Full disclosure: I was incredibly moved putting together episode 10. Anne Kelly’s work, passion and eloquence is inspirational. I first met her while she was writing an excellent column on Katherine Hepburn called A Year With Kate which we talk about a bit on the show. Thanks to TCM Film Fest, we got to hang out even more and shared such great times. You’ll learn how she moved from TCMFF and this incredible 52-week Kate Hepburn extravaganza to interning with the ultra brilliant Teague Schneiter at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to her current position as the Program Specialist for New Dimensions in Testimony at the USC Shoah Foundation.


But our conversation focuses on much more. We talk about the critical nature of oral history and the oral tradition. Genocide and the fact that it is still a problem. It is on-going and it has not stopped and that many simply associate the term genocide with the Holocaust and that continues to allow people, entire cultures, to disappear.

I talk to Anne about her identity as a queer woman in the archival landscape, community and the thing that has brought her and I together so strongly for so many years: our love for and belief in the revolutionary nature of memory work.

I am so excited to present this episode for you to kick off a month where we need to support and celebrate each other and erase erasure now more than ever.

Guest Bio:

Anne Marie Kelly is a Project Specialist at the USC Shoah Foundation. She is a recent graduate with her Masters in Cinema & Media Studies from USC with publications in The Cine-Files and Spectator. Anne previously worked in film sound restoration for Deluxe Entertainment and consulted at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Oral History Projects on the Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA Oral History Interviews collection.

Link to the USC Shoah Foundation: https://sfi.usc.edu/