In 1985, after seeing the enthusiastic response to their documentary reconstruction, From Stump to Ship: A 1930 Logging Film, David asked the fateful question, “Let’s do another program like that one! I wonder who has all the old film?” It was a natural assumption because one expects that it’s all somewhere, if you cared to find it. Maybe the University, the Maine State Library or Archives. And television stations save their old stuff, don’t they? But the answer wasn’t so clear. Maybe institutions had a few boxes of film but they didn’t have equipment to show it, or staff with time to figure it out, or a budget. So, film was scattered all over, but no one was paying attention to it. And it was deteriorating and being thrown away.
Northeast Historic Film (NHF) was founded in 1986 to preserve and make available the moving image heritage of northern New England. What do you find in a regional film archive? Is it interesting? Important?
Moving images, whether on television, in the movies, or on the internet, are ubiquitous and powerful. They can educate or be used for creative expression and communication. They can enliven, uplift, persuade, or delight. Brought closer to home they can document your life, work, family and community. They can reveal changing fashion, developing technology, attitudes evolving over time.
Each session of this colloquy will explore an area of NHF’s collection:
1. The Birth of Film
2. The Rise of Home Movies
3. Maine’s Connection to the World
4. Television Comes to Maine
David Weiss is the co-founder and executive director of NHF and will present some of his favorite finds. He will also share how the collection is used and how things have changed since the Covid-19 pandemic (True Crime, anyone?).
Sign me up!