Anthology Film Archives

THE AL LARVICK FUND PRESENTS: REGIONAL FILMS OF POLITICS AND PARODY

May 12 – May 25

THE AL LARVICK FUND PRESENTS
REGIONAL FILMS OF POLITICS AND PARODY
Streaming for free from May 12-25
Inspired by the legacy of Alfred Larvick, whose extensive body of 8mm home movies reflected his lifelong dedication to documenting the daily lives of his family and his North Dakota community, the Al Larvick Conservation Fund was created in order to preserve historical and cultural heritage through conservation, education, and the public accessibility of American analog home movie, amateur cinema, and community recording collections.

This online series celebrates the achievements of the Al Larvick Fund by showcasing a selection of regional films that have been preserved with its support. The series encompasses home movies created by U.S. servicemen stationed abroad, during and immediately after WWII; documentation of appearances by John F. and Robert Kennedy; filmmaker Jim Hubbard’s films of LGBTQ activism in the 1970s-80s; and the hilariously resourceful and inventive film parodies made by Tim Smith and friends (including future SIMPSONS creator Matt Groening) in the same period in Portland, Oregon.

For more info about the Al Larvick Conservation Fund, visit: www.allarvickfund.org. Special thanks to Kirsten Larvick, and all the participating archives and custodians

For a related program devoted to home movies and amateur filmmaking, see our concurrent virtual theatrical engagement of Gustav Deutsch’s final film, how we live – messages to the family (which begins streaming on May 19).

THE EVERYDAY ACTIVIST: HOME MOVIES AS POLITICAL ACTS, PARTS 1 & 2
Home movies and community recordings chronicle and personalize activism outside of news coverage or other narratives. Captured from the vantage point of support, resistance, or curious onlooker, these documents can be passive or active, but the exercise of recording becomes a political act in itself.

PART 1: AMERICAN MILITARISM: STATESIDE AND ABROAD
Servicemen of the armed forces reveal family and military experiences near and far, in times of both war and peace, through personal perspectives detailed with their 8mm and 16mm film gear. From the daily life of an Army officer overseas during World War II, to the family and travel experiences of an Airforce Colonel during the 1950s, this selection offers a glimpse of the “American Dream” through the lens of these hobbyist documentarians.

James Kilgore
YANK ABOUT ITALY, REEL 1
1940-45, 14 min, 8mm, silent. With newly recorded narration by James Kilgore’s daughter, Fay Kilgore.
Archive: Nashville Metro Archives. Conserved and digitally captured at 2K with support from the Al Larvick Fund and Pro8mm.
Nashville, Tennessee native and lifelong resident James Kilgore (1919-2014) was an avid amateur filmmaker who began shooting film at the age of 14. He served in Italy during WWII and spent most of his postwar life working for the Department of Transportation, continuing to shoot home movies, amateur travelogues, and documentaries, as well as several narrative films, throughout the following decades. He was a member of the Amateur Cinema League.

DONALD R. BYE HOME MOVIES
ca. 1950s, 15.5 min, 16mm, silent. With newly recorded narration by Donald R. Bye’s grandson, Graham Carroll!
Custodian: Graham Carroll. Conserved and digitally captured at 2K with support from the Al Larvick Fund and Pro8mm.
Donald R. Bye (1926-2021) was a retired United States Air Force Colonel, tax preparer, and lifelong amateur shutterbug. While stationed abroad in the 1950s he bought a 16mm camera and began making movies. Just short of a decade after the country’s surrender to the United States in WWII, Bye was stationed in Nagoya, Japan, where the U.S. took over a city airfield. Bye captured scenes around his house in Nagoya with his family and nanny, as well as tourist outings to some of Japan’s historic sites. Despite the then-recent violent history between the two countries, American influence is palpable within these scenes. Bye also records trips to Crete, Israel, and Egypt, as well as President Eisenhower on an airstrip in San Angelo, TX.


PART 2: THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL: THE KENNEDYS TAKE AMERICA
FILMS BY AUGUSTUS SASSA
Civilian and ardent Kennedy fan, Augustus Sassa followed John F. Kennedy, Robert, and their family through various public appearances in and around the northeast region of the U.S. Reflecting the perspective of a bystander, these recordings are at once intimate and distant, offering seemingly privileged access, while simultaneously demonstrating the divide between the public and the personal.

Custodian/Copyright: Ron Merk, The Metro Theatre Center Foundation. Archive: Academy Film Archive. Film-to-film preservation with support from the National Film Preservation Fund. Conserved and digitally captured at 4K with support from the Al Larvick Fund and Pro8mm.

JFK WITH EUNICE KENNEDY SHRIVER, 1960, SIOUX CITY, IA
1960, 2 min, 8mm, silent
Working the crowd, addressing the press, riding a donkey, and boarding the “Caroline” family plane.

WELCOME MR. PRESIDENT, 1962 [JFK takes the stage at Plan 7 housing development, Aliquippa, PA]
1962, 4 min, 8mm, silent
At the turn of the 20th century, a second wave of American immigrants were drawn to western Pennsylvania to take advantage of job opportunities at Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp. As a result, the town of Aliquippa grew into planned communities built by the corporation, officially titled the “Plans by J&L”. A total of 12 planned communities were built between the early 1900s and 1915, housing thousands of families from approximately 16 countries.

ROBERT KENNEDY ON THE MOVE ca. 1960s, UNKNOWN LOCATION
ca. 1960s, 4 min, 8mm, silent
Glad handing, signing autographs, and catching his flight.

MOURNING, 1963, WASHINGTON D.C., ARLINGTON, VA
1963, 8.5-min excerpt, 8mm, silent
The state funeral of John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the U.S., took place in Washington D.C. during the three days that followed his assassination on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas. Augustus Sassa was one of approximately one million people gathered around the route of the funeral procession, from the Capitol back to the White House, then to St. Matthew’s Cathedral, and finally to Arlington National Cemetery.

Total running time: ca. 55 min.

PLUS: Prerecorded Zoom Q&As with Fay Kilgore & Kelli Hix (Archivist and Program Manager at Metro Archives Audiovisual Heritage Center, Nashville Public Library); Donald R. Bye collection custodian Graham Carroll; and Augustus Sassa collection custodian Ron Merk (both Q&As moderated by Dwight Swanson).


THE EVERYDAY ACTIVIST: HOME MOVIES AS POLITICAL ACTS, PART 3:

MARCHES, KISS-INS, PROTESTS & CANDLELIGHT VIGILS: 30 YEARS OF ACTIVISM ON CAMERA BY JIM HUBBARD
Since 1970, activist and filmmaker Jim Hubbard has documented the fight for human rights and peace and advocated for LGBTQ pride – all from a grass roots point of view in and around New York and Washington D.C. His films, often hand-processed, document momentous and urgent issues with unique artistry and a profound intimacy with the subject matter.

Filmmaker/Custodian: Jim Hubbard. Conserved and digitally captured at 2K and 4K with support from the Al Larvick Fund and Pro8mm.

CANDLELIGHT VIGIL
1988, 8 min, 16mm, silent
Those left behind honor loved ones lost at the height of the AIDS crisis.

ALBANY ACTION
1988, 10.5 min, 16mm, silent
This demonstration by ACT UP in Albany, NY, took place on May 7, 1988, and was part of the ACT NOW National Spring AIDS Actions.

STOP THE MOVIE, (CRUISING)
1979, 12 min, 8mm, silent
This film chronicles the protests that aimed to disrupt the production of William Friedkin’s CRUISING, which was seen as misrepresenting LGBTQ culture.

ACT UP: KISS IN, APRIL 29TH, 1988
1988, 3 min, 16mm, silent
This film documents the same-sex kiss-in organized by ACT UP New York in order to call attention to AIDS-phobia and counter homophobic myths.

GAY PRIDE/GAY PRIDE RUN (1983, ’85, ’87, ’88)
1983-88, 8 min, 8mm & 16mm, silent
Highlights from Gay Pride activities during the 1980s in New York City.

Total running time: ca. 50 min.

PLUS: Prerecorded Zoom Q&A with Jim Hubbard and Rhonda Vigeant.


PARODY IS THE SINCEREST FORM OF FLATTERY: THE REGIONAL FILMS OF TIM SMITH
Between the late 1960s and 1980s, Tim Smith’s observations on the media of the day resulted in inventive satires shot with his father’s 16mm Bolex. Filming mainly in and around Portland, Oregon, Smith enlisted family members and friends, including SIMPSONS creator Matt Groening, as cast and crew. Smith’s father, Dr. Lendon H. Smith, featured in several of the films, was a pediatrician who advocated for nutrition-based remedies for a range of diseases and conditions. Dr. Smith appeared on his own syndicated television program and made guest appearances on local and national popular talk shows of the day.

Archive: Oregon Historical Society. Conserved and digitally captured at 2K with support from the Al Larvick Fund and Pro8mm, with the exception of DRUGS: KILLERS OR DILLERS?, which was digitally captured to 4K by Colorlab.

SALMON STREET SAGA
1970, 6 min, 16mm
A cautionary tale of gang recruitment, SALMON STREET SAGA boasts a cast including SIMPSONS creator Matt Groening and a soundtrack featuring Dick Dale & His Del-Tones and The Cheers.

THIS IS PORTLAND
1971, 6.5 min, 16mm
A take on the travelogue series, Don and Bettina, this film features Smith’s brother Duncan Smith.

DRUGS: KILLERS OR DILLERS?
1972, 9.5 min, 16mm. Abridged version.
This unforgettable anti-drug yarn, inspired by the educational films screened in high school health class, was made by Smith and Matt Groening in tandem, with Groening appearing on-screen.

THE CASE OF THE KITCHEN KILLER
1976, 21 min, 16mm
A re-imagining of the crime drama drawn from a story performed by actor/comedian Pat McCormick. The cast includes Tim Smith and his father, Dr. Lendon H. Smith.

INFERNAL VOYAGE
1980, 15 min, 16mm
An homage to Jacques Tati, with a cast including Smith’s father, Dr. Lendon H. Smith.

HYPERACTIVITY: THE FACTS
1982, 13 min, 16mm
Dr. Lendon H. Smith appears once again in this film about the evils of sugar-heavy diets.

Prerecorded Zoom Q&A with Tim Smith, moderated by Matthew Cowan (Oregon Historical Society) and Jed Rapfogel (Anthology Film Archives).

Total running time: ca. 75 min.

Upcoming Screenings

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