Discovering Paradise in Pictures

These home-made films incorporate avant-garde strategies and techniques to achieve a true sense of cinematic intimacy. Glimpses of life caught unawares are found in the home movies of Elizabeth Woodman Wright, Archie Stewart, Frank Stauffacher, and John C. Hecker. Poetic lyricism finds a voice in city symphonies: Lynn Riggs and James Hughes' A Day in Santa Fe (1931) and Rudy Burckhardt's Haiti (1938). Professionally minded films, like Theodore Case's sound tests (c. 1925) and Lewis Jacobs' Tree Trunk to Head (1938), operate from a similar home-spun perspective of sincerity. Joseph Cornell offers an enigmatic but lovely homage to childhood with Children's Trilogy (c. 1938).

7 Case Sound Tests (c. 1924-25)—Theodore Case & Earl Sponable
Windy Ledge Farm (c. 1929-34)—Elizabeth Woodman Wright
A Day in Santa Fe (1931)—Lynn Riggs & James Hughes
4 Stewart Family Home Movies (c. 1935-39)—Archie Stewart
Children’s Party (c. 1938)—Joseph Cornell
Cotillion (c. 1938)—Joseph Cornell
The Midnight Party (c. 1938)—Joseph Cornell
Haiti (1938)—Rudy Burckhardt
Tree Trunk to Head (1938)—Lewis Jacobs
Bicycle Polo at San Mateo (1940-42)—Frank Stauffacher
1126 Dewey Avenue, Apt. 207 (1939)—John C. Hecker

Year: 1924-1942
Running time: 175 minutes
Contents: 20 Films
Format: B/W & Color;
Sound & Silent
Region: 0
Available as part of 7-disc box set

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"What are home movies doing in an avant-garde program? A good deal—those who are familiar with Rene Magritte’s or Man Ray’s amateur films know precisely how important home movies inspired visual artists working in the medium."
–Frankfurter Rundschau

is one of a seven-DVD series exploring American avant-garde cinema from 1894-1941. Presented by Anthology Film Archives in association with the British Film Institute, Cineric, Film Preservation Associates, Deutsches Filmmuseum, George Eastman House, The Library of Congress and The Museum of Modern Art.

"Unseen Cinema defines the term avant-garde with the same playfulness with which many amateurs approached the new budding medium."
–Frankfurter Allegeneine Zeitung

"Mekas’s diary films and Andy Warhol’s cinematic epics are the direct descendants of home movies made by the early amateur Archie Stewart—one of the discoveries of the series. With a 16mm sound camera, Stewart created a colossal monument of family conversations rescued in fleeting moments in front of the camera."
–Frankfurter Rundschau

Films preserved by
Anthology Film Archives
Case Research Lab Museum
Lawrence Jordan
The Library of Congress
New Mexico State Records Center and Archives
Northeast Historic Film
Orgone Archives

Music by
Neal Kurz
Robert Israel
Rodney Sauer
Donald Sosin

Notes by
Dominic Angerame
Aram Boyajian
William Butler
Bradley Eros
Lawrence Jordan
Lewis Jacobs
Jeanne Liotta
Stephanie Przybylek
Karan Sheldon
David Shepard
Cecile Starr

Curated by Bruce Posner
Produced for DVD by David Shepard
Released by Image Entertainment

Sponsored by Anthology Film Archives, New York, and Deutsches Filmmuseum, Frankfurt am Main.
Made possible in part by Cineric, Inc., Eastman Kodak Company, and Film Preservation Associates, Inc.

Special Contents of this Edition © 2005 by Anthology Film Archives