“If you imagine the annual convention of the international Association of Moving Image Archivists – taking place in Austin Nov. 30-Dec. 1 – to be a gathering of fusty librarian types, think again.”
So begins Marjorie Baumgarten’s preview piece about the upcoming AMIA conference, touching down in Austin this upcoming week. Now, quite honestly, I’m disappointed that I’m gonna miss this while out of town. It sounds like some pretty fascinating and entertaining stuff. The headlining event will be a special screening of the once-lost Beyond the Rocks (1922) starring Rudolph Valentino and Gloria Swanson, on Dec. 1.
But, as the rest of Baumgarten’s article highlights, this event won’t be all academia and lectures:
“‘They’re the maddest of the mad, but incredibly knowledgeable,’ says Caroline Frick of the Texas Archive of the Moving Image and the local organizing committee. ‘The convention throws together archivists, private collectors, corporate guys – because this is cultural property – and everyone in between: historical societies, small production companies, and so on.’
Austin reaps the benefits, as several screenings are open to the public. One unique event is the Reels of Steel: 2005 Texas Showdown on Wednesday, 9:45pm, at the Alamo Drafthouse Downtown. Various archivists will show obscure short films and engage in an archivists’ version of a smackdown. One will emerge as the AMIA Emulsion Propulsion champ.”