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Jul 14

Written by: clientadmin
7/14/2011 2:42 PM  RssIcon

From July 28 through July 30, Northeast Historic Film in Bucksport, Maine is hosting its 12th Annual Summer Symposium: “Das Wunderkino: A Cinematic Cabinet of Curiosities.” With presentations on peepshow phenomenology, magician/taylor/filmmakers, laryngoscopes, amateur-made trick films, 1980s Australian youth culture, and much more, this is a conference that sounds like it will mentally transport participants even farther than the 227 miles it takes to get there from Boston.

LEF grantee Jane Gillooly will be presenting excerpts from her source materials for The Suitcase of Love and Shame, a film she’s making using found reel-to-reel audiotapes that document an illicit love affair between two Midwesterners in the 1960s.

More on  this year’s theme:

Die Wunderkammer (German for “the wonder-room” or “the miracle chamber”) was merely one incarnation of the phenomenon of the “cabinet of curiosities” that first appeared in Europe in the 16th century. The cabinet of curiosities was based in the collection of objects, specimens and artifacts that inspired curiosity and wonder, and sometimes defied the terms classification. In many ways, the Cabinet of Curiosities was a precursor to the modern museum.

The 2011 Northeast Historic Film (NHF) Summer Symposium revisits the idea, collecting and displaying the “unusual” with a conference theme aimed to create a cinematic cabinet of curiosities. Although amateur films are often conceived of as mundane visual accounts of family vacations and birthday parties, those scholars, archivists, filmmakers, and documentarians who study amateur films know otherwise.

The theme of the NHF symposium considers the broad and unusual dimensions of amateur film: how amateur and non-commercial films are a source of curiosity and wonder that inspires attention and inquiry, and how amateur film struggles with the familiar and powerful traditions of cinema studies that often overshadow our understanding of non-conventional and non-commercial film. Das Wunderkino (“the wonder-cinema”) represents a desire to examine and discuss moving images that ignite our curiosity and engagement, and help us to rethink questions of creativity, the unusual, the bizarre and the unexpected found in amateur and non-commercial films.
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- Nellie

New England