Re: Maya's Haiti footage (was: Frameworker in the news)

From: David Baker (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Feb 24 2010 - 08:16:02 PST


Thank you for responding.
As you can tell it was not your blog per se that enticed me to ask the
(I am certainly one of the legion of anonymous audience members who
have gotten
the utmost pleasure from scrutinizing every inch of your website

Your title 'Academy Film Archive Preservationist" is what enticed me
to send a query your way.

Anthology is definitely the sole steward of the unedited Haitian
I have spoken with Andrew Lampert at Anthology. The impression I have
is that while this is a project
"in development" ,it has been so every year,year after year since it
left Maya's hands.

How to break the stasis this wildly consequential film has achieved,
and get it seen by the public?

Do you know of any precedent for restoration of material of this
consequence being shared by two archival institutions?

(If Maya could pick up and throw a refrigerator from one side of a
room to the other,
see: Stan Brakhage in Martina Kudlacek's In "The Mirrror Of Maya
Deren" then somebody
ought to be able make visible the woefully unseen unedited Deren
Haitian footage.)

Next stop Jonas,


On Feb 23, 2010, at 8:37 PM, Mark Toscano wrote:

> Hi David,
> Regarding Maya Deren's Haiti footage, I've heard the raw stuff is
> pretty amazing, but confess to knowing nothing about its
> preservation status or ownership beyond the assumption that it's
> controlled by Ito's estate. This is a question for Anthology, really.
> mark t
> --- On Thu, 2/18/10, David Baker <email suppressed> wrote:
>> From: David Baker <email suppressed>
>> Subject: Re: [FRAMEWORKS] Frameworker in the news
>> To: email suppressed
>> Date: Thursday, February 18, 2010, 10:57 AM
>> Mark,
>> A fascinating program for which one West Coast person
>> trapped in an East Coast persons body is envious.
>> Recently (January 26th) I was vexed by a film program at
>> Anthology in NYC.
>> A group from Danspace Project solicited a viewing of Maya
>> Deren's unedited Haitian Footage.
>> Initially they were eager to engage in a marathon viewing
>> of the entire four and a half hour (or thereabouts?)
>> extant reels. However they learned that the film is too
>> fragile to be projected . The group settled for a silent
>> 28min. on Beta,
>> and another 33 min. on dvd (half of which was actually
>> shown).
>> This is all there is to be seen at this time of Deren's
>> opus.
>> Some days later an article reported the event in the New
>> York Times
>> as a "dance review",
>> The scant yet spellbinding footage projected was utterly at
>> odds with the
>> Ito cut of this material known as "Divine Horsemen:Living
>> Gods Of Haiti"
>> Rereading Deren's Authors Preface from the book by
>> the same title suggested to me
>> that the entire "unedited footage" may in fact be the only
>> legitimate FORM
>> this film can take. What I saw effected me as powerfully as
>> anything I have seen
>> in thirty years of looking at experimental film,yet the
>> film is unprojectable,languishing
>> in the Anthology archive since 1972. Deren's intent
>> and orientation was explicitly that of
>> an artist.(My orientation is specifically
>> avant-garde/experimental
>> and it hit me like a lightning bolt.)I know with absolute
>> certainty Deren's footage
>> in its entirety is of the utmost consequence to
>> dancers,ethnographers and
>> scholars, not to mention artists.
>> Has anyone seen the unedited film in its entirety?
>> What can be done to remedy this grievous circumstance?
>> Can you help?
>> David Baker
>> On Feb 18, 2010, at 12:31 PM, Mark Toscano wrote:
>>> A good reminder that I've been awful about keeping
>> that blog active.
>>> To Jonathan for promoting Bordwell's blogging of my
>> visit: thtppppp.
>>> But I guess I'll use this opportunity to ask if
>> there's any topic/film/filmmaker I might work with that
>> anyone here would be curious for me to, uh, blog on on my,
>> uh, blog.
>>> I promise I'll eventually get to JJ Murphy's Print
>> Generation. My thoughts for it involve something kind
>> of elaborate (and I bet many of you can guess what I'm
>> thinking), so I might have to do some other entries in the
>> meantime.
>>> Mark T
>>> --- On Thu, 2/18/10, Jonathan Walley <email suppressed>
>> wrote:
>>>> From: Jonathan Walley <email suppressed>
>>>> Subject: [FRAMEWORKS] Frameworker in the news
>>>> To: email suppressed
>>>> Date: Thursday, February 18, 2010, 7:11 AM
>>>> I hope this little announcement
>>>> doesn't embarrass him, but Mark Toscano is
>> featured in David
>>>> Bordwell's blog this week. A very interesting
>> entry on
>>>> Mark's tireless efforts in preserving experimental
>> film:
>>>> I'm sure everyone already knows about Mark's
>> blog,
>>>> Preservation Insanity, but in case not, it, too,
>> is worth
>>>> following:
>>>> Happy reading,
>>>> Jonathan
>>>> Jonathan Walley
>>>> Asst. Professor of Cinema
>>>> Denison University
>>>> email suppressed
>> __________________________________________________________________
>>>> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at
>> <email suppressed>.
>> __________________________________________________________________
>>> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.
>> __________________________________________________________________
>> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.
> __________________________________________________________________
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.