Nov. 6, 1997
Vol. 17, No. 4

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    Glimpse of a bygone era

    Film seminar to screen restored early 20th-century documentaries

    Contrary to legend, documentary and ethnographic film did not begin with Nanook of the North in 1922. Several examples of even earlier nonfiction films will be featured in "Colonial Imaging: Early Films from the Netherlands Film Museum" on Friday, Nov. 21, and Saturday, Nov. 22.

    Presented by Cinema & Media Studies, DOC Films, the Consulate General of the Netherlands and Rabobank International, the program includes travelogues, scenics and actualities from around the world, including the American West, with a focus on the former Dutch East Indies (modern Indonesia). Most of the films date from before World War I, and many include early color processes. The films will be discussed in a symposium with representatives from the Netherlands Film Museum and experts in early cinema and postcolonial studies.

    Musical accompaniment will be provided by composer Sebastian Huydts on the piano and the Friends of Gamelan ensemble, who will perform traditional Indonesian music.

    A free screening of the 1995 film about the Dutch East Indies, Mother Dao the Turtlelike, will precede the program at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20, in the Film Studies Center, Cobb 307.

    "Colonial Imaging" will begin at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 21, in Max Palevsky Cinema, with "Looking Back," a program of early travelogue material, and "The Work of J.C. Lamster," which represents the Netherlands Museum's oldest film records from the former Dutch East Indies. Admission is $8, $5 for students with UCID, and $3 for DOC Films pass-holders. On Saturday, Nov. 22, the program will be held from 9 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. in Max Palevsky Cinema. Symposium discussion will follow "The Colonial Gaze at Home: Non-urban scenes from Europe and the United States," a program of rural and ethnic scenes from remote parts of Europe and the American West, and two films by Martin and Osa Johnson: Among the Cannibal Isles of the South Pacific (1917) and Simba: The King of the Beasts (1928). Discussion and screenings will continue from 2 to 4:30 p.m. in the Film Studies Center with a program of home movies from the Dutch East Indies. Admission to Saturday's events is free.

    For more information, call DOC Films at 702-8575 or the Film Studies Center at 702-8596.