Kate M

On Film Preservation, and Going Rogue: A Not Quite Manifesto

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Dallas Video Fest is bound to have some interesting moments.

WFAA Archives, SMU Archives

Many noteworthy moments of Dallas history are being preserved as part of the CUL Digital Collections at SMU under the direction of Jeremy Spracklen. The curator’s attention to preserving moments that are attempting to be as diverse as possible is noteworthy.

(https://vimeo.com/161640404) WFAA News Clips and B-roll, ca. March 9-10, 1970

Life keeps backing me into a corner. And in that corner, is my art.

I am a renegade. I am an antihero. I don’t want to be. But I have been made into one by the actions of an entire society that will not have me, and there is no turning back now. I am . . . officially unhinged.

This is moment where I admit I am incredibly tired of sitting in at press roundtables, actively stopped from trying to connect with paying work, and tired of listening to “amazing men of art” who take way too much joy in describing his ordering an actress into a dumpster. Or calling Alfred Hitchcock, the abusive director “brilliant.” Chantal Akerman was brilliant. ¬†We could pay half as much attention to her. But because she was queer, and not admissible to the Mattachine Society, we don’t.

Hitchcock literally ruined a woman’s life because she would not obey. As men do. As I’m tired of experiencing.

This is where I don the mask, and then take off the mask, as many times as it takes. This is where I create and destroy the spectacle as many times as it takes. It will be undone, even if it is my undoing.

I have gone rogue. I will be immersed in deconstruction for as long as it takes.

The best moments, however, from the Dallas Video Fest publicity proceedings were well worth attendance, and were made possible by the work of 16mm film preservationist Jeremy Spracklen.

He is currently working on saving worthwhile footage from WFAA’s discarded footage from newscasts, that was left to rot under SMU’s football stadium for far too long. I must say that Spracklen, as a curator, is making some fantastic selections of what to make publicly available, though I wish he’d release some infamous Sadler “Texas Land Commissioner is Choking Me,” footage in the searchable archive. (Or tag it in a more searchable sense.) I am glad it has been saved for posterity.

I’d like to see more women in the archives as well, but the fact that they’re largely absent probably isn’t entirely if at all the preservationist’s fault.

One Response to On Film Preservation, and Going Rogue: A Not Quite Manifesto

  1. Kate M October 9, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    All footage and images attached under citation of: G. William Jones Film and Video Collection, Hamon Arts Library

    Reply

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