"The Big Red One" scribe Sam Fuller shows "How to Light a Cigar" in a 1945 film blending fiction and documentary made with other soldiers while in Belgium.
A recently restored film made by Fritz Heider and Marianne Simmel as a psychological test that asked subjects to narrate the feelings of simple shapes -- two triangles and a circle -- that go through an often hilarious "fight."
The Indiana University Libraries' Rachael Soeltje and Martha Harsanyi showed off one of the university's highest selling self-produced "educational" films, "Chucky Lou: Story of a Woodchuck" (1948), whose educational value (but not entertainment value) was brought into question.
Film historians Allyson Nadia Field (UCLA) and Jacqueline Stewart (Northwestern) presented UCLA's archive of films and ephemera from The L.A. Rebellion Project. The L.A. Rebellion, which produced films by film students of color in the late '70s/early '80s in Los Angeles, included Charles Burnett ("Killer of Sheep") and Julie Dash ("Daughters of the Dust"). From the collection, they showed Bernard Nicolas's 1977 first-year-of-film-school tribute to Black Power, "Daydream Therapy."
From the archives of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, historian Mark Quigley showed Rolf Forsberg's bizarre 1973 classroom discussion film "One Friday" about an imaginary siege by black nationalists on a lily-white suburb. Also from the ELCA archives was Frank Tashlin's mash-up of the tale of Jesus being pegged to the cross with the impending nuclear holocaust in 1947's "The Way of Peace."
When UC Santa Cruz prof Irene Luzstig became a mother, she became obsessed with culling eBay for historical films and video tapes about mothering. In her presentation at Orphans, she showed a series of films from around the world in the mid-20th century that told the history and methods of the Lamaze Technique. These films included to varying degrees the influence of Soviet practices on Dr. Lamaze's methods.
"The Florestine Collection," the unfinished film of animator Helen Hill, known among the DIY community for her self-published how-to guide "Recipes for Disaster," was shown with voiceover and added scenes provided by her husband Paul Gailiunas. The film is a celebration of New Orleans told through Hill's experience finding a pile of moldy dresses piled on the sidewalk. Through interviews with the family and friends of the then-deceased former owner of the dresses, Hill crafts a story that also celebrates this woman, her personality and her craft. The film went unfinished after Hill was shot dead in her home by an intruder.
After recently restored prints of her computer animation was shown at last summer's Flaherty Seminar, animator Lillian Schwartz (who did most of her work from within Bell Labs, despite rarely being employed by the company) is a true revelation. Five of her films, from 1970's "Pixillation" to 1974's "Galaxies," were shown to a captivated crowd. Schwartz, who was in constant contact with the Bell Labs scientists, often collaborated with them to animate their findings. She also was a co-developer of the computer language she used to do her animations. Schwartz also discovered recently that by using a 3-D viewing technology developed in 1990, her films acquire amazing depth; she now prefers her films to be viewed while wearing 3-D glasses.