Films You Saw in School

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2 Films You Saw in School

3 ALSO BY GEOFF ALEXANDER Academic Films for the Classroom: A History (McFarland, 2010)

4 Films You Saw in School A Critical Review of 1,153 Classroom Educational Films ( ) in 74 Subject Categories GEOFF ALEXANDER Foreword by Thomas G. Smith McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers Jefferson, North Carolina

5 LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGUING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA Alexander, Geoff, 1952 Films you saw in school : a critical review of 1,153 classroom educational films ( ) in 74 subject categories / Geoff Alexander ; foreword by Thomas G. Smith. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN softcover : acid free paper 1. Educational films History and criticism. 2. Motion pictures in education History 20th century. I. Title. LB1044.A '523 dc BRITISH LIBRARY CATALOGUING DATA ARE AVAILABLE 2014 Geoff Alexander. All rights reserved No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying or recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. On the cover: Director Tom Smith makes a new friend while filming Encyclopædia Britannica s Looking at Mammals, 1967 (courtesy Isidore Mankofsky) Manufactured in the United States of America McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers Box 611, Jefferson, North Carolina

6 For Bill Deneen, Shanta Herzog, and Tom Smith, for your decades of dedication to educational film arts, and for being a valuable, consistent, and supportive sounding board. COURTESY BILL DENEEN William F. Bill Deneen

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8 Table of Contents Acknowledgments ix Foreword by Thomas G. Smith 1 Preface 5 List of Abbreviations 11 ONE Social Science and Geography Films 13 TWO History Films 80 THREE Science and Math Films 123 FOUR Arts and Crafts Films 169 FIVE Literature and Language Arts Films 195 SIX Sociodrama Films 223 SEVEN Foreign Language Instructional Films 237 Appendix A: 209 Films Available for Free Viewing Online 249 Appendix B: Requiem 256 Chapter Notes 257 Bibliography 263 Index 265 vii

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10 Acknowledgments Hundreds of individuals associated with the traditional and academic film worlds have given generously of their time in allowing me to formally interview them or have a simple phone conversation. Without them, there would be no book. The fact that I was able to finish it is a tribute in great part to the medical profession, and in particular to Drs. Gary Steinberg, Mike Kelley, and George Labban. The board of officers at the Academic Film Archive of North America has made my job easier and has contributed greatly to the saving of 16mm academic films. They get no remuneration and too- little thanks, but help immeasurably to keep the whole thing going. They are Scott and Debbie Edmonson, Dan and Karen Greenbank, Jerome Mallory, Robert and Kirtsen McGlynn, Barinda Samra, Michael and Caroline Selic, Iris Shimada, and Bruce Wakayama. History San Jose has been good enough to allow us to store more than 5,000 films in their collection center. This has made watching the films much easier because they are so near at hand. Thanks to Alida Bray, Jim Reed, and Ken Middlebrook. And thanks to the efforts of Thomas, Mark, and Kathy Peterson, who devised and built a retrieval system that allows us to find a film immediately. Many of the films discussed in this text can be viewed online, thanks to the efforts of Skip Elsheimer at AV Geeks. Devin and Marsha Orgeron at North Carolina State University are not only teaching about academic film in their classes, they are enabling their students to add to the research by interviewing academic film people. Devin and Marsha are young scholars developing even younger scholars. Thanks to them, research on the 16mm classroom film is becoming an even more open playing field. Bill Bowe at Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., Isidore Mankofsky, and Bill Pierce are due particular thanks for providing many of the photographs in this book. A special thanks goes to Rick Prelinger. I ve often joked that Rick is the only person who knows what the hell I m writing about. He vetted the manuscript of my last book and offered to do the same for this one. It was a trying and thankless task. In addition to having a background in film, he is conversational on a phenomenal number of subject areas. For a book like this, that covers films that address so many subjects, Rick s review of the manuscript was essential and critical. Film critic Richard Von Busack, who has been a supporter of the public shows we ve done at the AFA since our inception, read the manuscript for this book and provided valuable feedback. This book is dedicated to Bill Deneen, Shanta Herzog, and Tom Smith. Bill, who passed away during the writing of this book, was a tireless promoter, of doing whatever it took to keep these films alive, including sponsoring the digitization and uploading of important films to the Internet. He was an important filmmaker and the founder of the Learning Corporation of America. We spoke every week, and I ll miss his intelligence, drive, and ribald ix

11 x Acknowledgments humor. Shanta donated Milan Herzog s film collection to us, opening the door to his foreign language instruction films, which form an important element in this book. She worked with us to upload them, and serves as a constant supporter in the effort to ensure that 16mm classroom films are not forgotten. Tom Smith, a noted filmmaker and former general manager of Industrial Light and Magic, continues to promote older classroom films through presentations and speaking engagements. Most importantly, he s doggedly answered every one of my numerous queries with stories and anecdotes that open new doors and areas begging for more research, and does it with a critical eye as to how and why these films were produced. My final thanks goes to the individuals and institutions that saw fit to purchase my last book. Its success allowed this one to be published. Thank you, everyone.

12 Foreword by Thomas G. Smith We rented the back room in a noisy garment factory on the west side of Los Angeles to shoot scenes for Solar System (1976), a 20-minute educational film for Encyclopaedia Britannica. Star Wars had not yet been released; several artists who would later work on that revolutionary film contributed to our 16mm academic film. I had been producing and directing more than 50 educational films for 13 years, but shooting visual effects for Solar System was the most frustrating challenge of my career. A full day s shooting often yielded only seconds of usable material. There were often disasters when a whole day s filming was spoiled. One catastrophe was a tracking shot, frame by frame, toward our model of Mars. It took an entire day to move down our 30-foot track. The next day we saw a large cluster of fluffy lint from the nearby dress factory had floated down on Mars and ruined the end of the shot. We had to do it over again. On another occasion planet Earth, painted on a large wooden sphere, became overheated by our lights and began to ooze wood sap out of the middle of the Pacific Ocean. We had to repair the model and reshoot that day s work. When the film was done, I vowed I d never do visual effects again. However, two years later, the Solar System film I made for schools was my calling card, and George Lucas hired me to run his visual effects facility, Industrial Light and Magic. During the more than 20 years that followed, I worked with George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Jim Henson and Woody Allen. Although I had aspired to work on the big screen since I was a film student, in the end, making those short educational films was the most satisfying period of my career as a filmmaker. I probably never would have been able to work in film had it not been for an event that happened October 4, 1957, while I was a student at Northwestern University. The day it happened it seemed far removed from my future. That s the day the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, giving them the distinction of putting the first human- made object into orbit around the Earth. It shocked America and stimulated a vigorous national self- assessment. How could the Soviets be first in space? Weren t we smarter than they were? Why had we fallen behind the USSR in technology? Some placed the blame on our educational system. Others urged putting more resources into education, just as we spent more for military defense during the Cold War. Less than a year later, Congress passed the National Defense Education Act (NDEA), pouring billions of dollars into the U.S. educational system. By 1960 federal funding for education grew almost six- fold. The last time we had faced such an educational challenge was when the United States 1

13 2 Foreword entered World War II. Then the goal was to quickly and effectively train ten million civilians to be soldiers and workers to build the planes, tanks and guns the military needed. To do this we made movies to teach them quickly. That experience demonstrated that films accelerated training. Now we faced a similar challenge. As Geoff Alexander discussed in his initial book on 16mm educational film, Academic Films for the Classroom: A History, soon NDEA money became available for educational films, and the educational film business blossomed in the early 1960s. When I was discharged from my required enlistment in the military, Encyclopaedia Britannica Films was looking for screenwriters. Milan Herzog, head of EBF s production department, hired me. Thus I began a 15-year career making educational films. Thank you, Milan and NDEA. And thank you, Sputnik 1. The day I showed up for work, Milan handed me a list of EBF s latest films and told me to screen them. I sat for hours in a small screening room, stacks of film cans by my side as I ran film after film on a 16mm projector. I was astounded at the wonderful work that was being done by filmmakers all over the country. The films had certainly gotten better than they were when I was a kid in school. Though I considered myself an informed filmmaker, I had never seen most of these films or heard of these filmmakers. The reason? These were films were shown only in classrooms. Not only were they a treat for the eyes, they were honest and imparted a lot of information in ways no teacher possibly could in the confines of the classroom. Examples I screened included a trip to Asia, a close view of insects at work, crystals growing as seen through a microscope, and immersion in foreign cultures and language (Milan had just finished his French Language series, Je Parle Français, films shot in France showing the culture and teaching the language). Some films accelerated the action to show plants growing on screen. Some slowed the action with a high- speed camera so that something happening in a flash of the eye, such as the flapping wings of a hummingbird, could be studied in slow motion. I saw a whole new film world and felt privileged to be right in the middle of it. It was inspirational and I could hardly wait to get started. Within a year, I was not only writing scripts, I was directing my own films. In the post Sputnik days, hundreds of young filmmakers like me made academic films right out of film school, funded indirectly by the federal government. They revolutionized narrative film in much the same way that short- story writers had changed literature. Film scholars now see academic film as a new area of research, and are making an urgent call to save whatever films can be found. We lost a large percentage of silent feature films when sound came in. We thought they were outdated and unimportant. They were thrown away, plowed under in landfills. Now they are gone and we can t get them back. When I started as a young filmmaker at Encyclopaedia Britannica Films, it never occurred to me that I was joining an industry that would flame out in two and a half decades, making some of the best work extinct. The 16mm academic film flourished in the 1960s and slowed to an end in 1985 with the arrival of the VHS tape and the loss of government assistance. Geoff Alexander calls the films from this era the hidden corner of North American cinema. The organization he founded, the Academic Film Archive of North America, has been digitizing and uploading some of them to the Internet. The films were made by filmmakers such as John Barnes, who made films ranging from Shakespeare to Bill of Rights issues. He is probably the best unknown of these filmmakers, whose work is all too rarely seen today. Then there are the iconoclastic geology films by Bert Van Bork, who stood in the middle of hot lava and held the camera as molten rock flowed around his feet. Stan Croner and a small film crew spent two weeks with the two- fisted poet and author of Deliverance, James Dickey, resulting in

14 Foreword by Thomas G. Smith 3 the documentary film Lord Let Me Die But Not Die Out (1970). Producer/director Larry Yust made an outstanding series of short story film adaptations, the most notable of which were Shirley Jackson s The Lottery, and Ernest Hemingway s My Old Man. Films like these were not made for TV ratings and had no commercial motive other than to illuminate their subjects. When we talk about the aesthetic of films we think first of feature film, the movies designed to be shown first in theaters and then on the TV screen, and home media such as the DVD or online streaming. They usually tell a fictional story played by attractive actors. Budgets for features are about 1000 times those of our 16mm films. When I produced Disney s Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989), our budget of around $24 million was considered modest by Hollywood standards. Most of the films I produced for the classroom had budgets between $10,000 and $30,000. So it may seem odd to suggest that there were some things we could do in 16mm in 1970 that could not be done by feature films. Back then, the most common 35mm feature film cameras were the Mitchell or Panavision. They were wonderfully precise instruments but unwieldy without a crew. It required three or four technicians to simply lift them onto a tripod. At the same time, lightweight 16mm cameras such as the Éclair could be carried on the operator s shoulder with a battery belt for power. With sound recorded on a small tape machine, real life could be filmed as it unfolded. This would have been impossible at that time in 35mm. So partly because of the equipment limitations, 16mm and 35mm films became separate disciplines. Nontheatrical filmmakers were not necessarily better than the feature film artists, but their highly mobile equipment occasionally resulted in stunning work that could not be done in theatrical films. From time to time a true experience could be recorded, not one scripted in advance but captured as it unfolded. You can see this in Stan Croner s film on James Dickey, Lord Let Me Die But Not Die Out. Croner filmed unrehearsed exchanges that surprised even those who were being filmed when they saw the finished film. My film Newspaper Story (1974) captured unscripted exchanges as writers and editors of the Los Angeles Times rushed to put together a big- city paper while our camera chased after them. There was also the matter of filmmaker independence versus corporate control. While each day s work on Honey, I Shrunk the Kids was closely monitored by the Disney studio, once I got the green light to proceed, my 16mm films were free from oversight. Not until the film was edited would it be shown to the management, which had put up the money to produce it. At that time, changes were difficult, so tweaking was usually limited to changes in narration. While this arrangement sometimes resulted in unpredictable work, it often meant artistic freedom without a corporate stamp. Sometimes what we thought we were going to find while making a film was not really the way things were. Adjustments to reality were quickly made, conforming to the original intent. In the 1970s thousands of craftsmen and women were making these 16mm films. Then, suddenly, in the early 1980s it ended, almost overnight. Federal funding stopped and a TV set replaced the 16mm projector in the classroom. The doors to the Los Angeles public school film library were thrown open to anyone, and teachers were encouraged to take home all they could carry from the shelves. Los Angeles no longer had funding for staff to check films out and didn t want them returned. Soon the shelves were clear. In a few years, movies in the classroom were a thing of the past. Tons of films from libraries across the nation were discarded and buried in landfills, the same fate as befell the early silent feature films. Some of the unemployed 16mm filmmakers went on to work in television or on feature films, while many simply retired from filmmaking. It was over.

15 4 Foreword For years, film critics and scholars assumed that these films were only a sideshow for theatrical feature movies. Also, because the films didn t run on TV or in theaters, they were seldom seen and therefore of no practical interest to film reviewers and those outside classrooms. So educational films were judged unworthy of consideration by the print media. For these reasons they flew below the radar and only now are being given serious retrospective consideration. Due to their availability through Internet downloads, many of these films now have a larger audience than they had when they were distributed to schools and shown in classrooms. While I know there are thousands of movies from the golden era of the academic film worth seeing, who else knows about them? Who cares about them or can see them? Fortunately there is a small and growing community of active archivists and collectors, including Jay Schwartz (Secret Cinema), Rick Prelinger, Skip Elsheimer (A/V Geeks) and Geoff Alexander of the Academic Film Archive of North America. At the same time, academics such as historians Devin and Marsha Orgeron of North Carolina State University and Dan Streible of New York University offer classes that study the academic film. These film lovers have become archeologists, researchers, collectors and critics. Geoff Alexander, the author of this book and a leader in the effort to find, save, restore and disseminate the best work, has also taken time to seek key artists who still survive. This is Geoff s second book on the subject, a must read for those curious about this lost niche of motion picture history. This renewed interest pleases and astounds me. Thomas G. Smith was a 16mm filmmaker from 1965 to 1980 and feature film and visual effects producer from 1980 to 2002.

16 Preface In my previous book, Academic Films for the Classroom: A History, I described the history of the educational classroom film in North America, focusing on the companies that made the films, the filmmakers who created them, the public laws that created funds to produce them, and the mechanics of producing and distributing them. In this companion book, I delve into the films and subgenres themselves, offering something o a critique, rather than a history. I remain opinionated as to the relative merit of many of these films within both an educational and public film program context. During the writing of this book, I was conscious of the fact that many of those reading it would probably want to know just why I thought myself worthy to issue those glowing reviews and icy criticisms (I imagined the comments: I just love the music Disney uses in his films on animals just what makes you think you re the expert?! ). They d also want to know what objective criteria (if there ever were such a thing) I used in making those judgments. Fair enough. You re reading this book, and you deserve both. A bit of a background: I ve personally viewed approximately 10,000 of these films (derived from more than 200 educational film libraries) as a means of determining which would be shown publicly in the Academic Film Archive of North America s public film series and/or added to our database of academic classroom films. If we posit that the average length of each film is 20 minutes, it would total 3,333 hours. I ve watched every film mentioned in this book. Shortly, I ll describe how I ve arrived at the opinions I have regarding these films. But first, a little history. There were a tremendous number of 16mm classroom films produced and distributed prior to the advent of the VHS era, which occurred circa Film scholar Rick Prelinger surmises that there may have been 100,000 of them. For a number of years, it appeared that these films were becoming increasingly unavailable. Many were never converted to newer formats (e.g., VHS, DVD), companies that made them were falling out of business, and the consensus among many in the ed biz was that the content of these older films was no longer current or relevant. The advent of the new millennium changed all of that. With the increasing popularity of the Internet and the relative ease of digitizing and uploading content, many of these forgotten films came to be uploaded to the World Wide Web (nearly 200 of them are referenced, along with URLs, in the appendix of this book). Internet Archive users have uploaded hundreds of them, and there are countless more on YouTube, available for free public viewing, to name just two of the many entities engaged in uploading films for public viewing. Film scholars, media historians, educators, and parents seeking suitable educational content for their children are regarding these older films again with a new perspective. They found many of these films to be superior educational tools with relevant, interesting content, 5

17 6 Preface for adults as well as younger learners. Companies today such as Discovery Education, among others, are using streaming technology to make many of these films or parts of them available once more on a fee basis. Film and media historians, too, are taking a new view of academic classroom films. Scholars such as Rick Prelinger, Marsha and Devin Orgeron, and Dan Streible, to name just a few, are programming them for public viewing and writing about them in scholarly journals such as the Association of Moving Images (AMIA) The Moving Image. Individuals such as these and their number continue to increase are seeking to understand the social and historical context of these films, are investigating the history of this film movement, and are actively contacting the executives, producers, and filmmakers of these films in order to gain a perspective on this important, yet so long ignored, movement in film. They re racing against time, as many of these important people are reaching the ends of their lives (see the Requiem section in the appendix). Increasingly, much of the interest in older classroom educational films has been driven by home schooling. According to Dr. Brian D. Ray of the National Home Educational Research Institute, an estimated 1.73 to 2.35 million children (in grades K to 12) were being educated at home as of spring 2010, with yearly growth, predicted on past years, at an estimated 2 8 percent. These parents have increasingly turned to Internet- based educational content. Who are they? As Dr. Ray states, a demographically wide variety of people homeschool these are atheists, Christians, and Mormons; conservatives, libertarians, and liberals; low-, middle-, and high- income families; black, Hispanic, and white; parents with Ph.D.s, GEDs, and no high- school diplomas. 1 And they re not just focusing on school bus safety and hygiene films, either. Protein Synthesis: An Epic on the Cellular Level, a science film from 1971 directed by Gabriel Weiss, has more than 832,000 YouTube views. The films discussed in this book fall into the academic film subgenre of Educational Classroom film, rather than into the guidance film subgenre. The former were made in the broad subject areas of the arts and sciences; the latter, as the name implies, focused on behavior modification, whether it was dating, civics, hygiene, classroom behavior, you name it. To a great extent, film companies and filmmakers specializing in these disparate subgenres didn t mix. In particular, many academic filmmakers wouldn t make a guidance film, primarily, it seems, because guidance films were considered hokey, as the content was somewhat elastic, changing along with social mores and political exigencies. There were a few exceptions to the rule, such as Encyclopaedia Britannica Films Tom Smith, a filmmaker specializing in academic subjects who also made a well- regarded film on venereal disease, for example (Venereal Disease: The Hidden EB). But they are exceptions. To date, there has been little written in terms of comparative studies on academic classroom films, although reviews of individual titles were once quite common in the educational field. The Educational Film Library Association (EFLA), founded in 1943, provided useful reviews of academic films in publications such as Sightlines Magazine, the EFLA Bulletin, and EFLA Evaluations, until it went out of business in Landers Associates, through their Landers Film Reviews, also made a valuable contribution. What these reviews lacked was a comparative narrative. It was never the mission of these organizations to focus on film criticism, and most often the catalogue data on these films was taken directly from text provided by the production or distribution company. Teachers using these films, however, were often very opinionated as to the relative value of one film over another. As in my earlier book, there are opinions here. I used these films myself while delivering instruction to special education classrooms for junior high- age students. I reviewed each film before showing it, focusing on compelling content, effective storytelling, overall cinematic

18 Preface 7 technique, and content verisimilitude. Many of my students had attention challenges, so the films had to be engaging. Years later, we at the Academic Film Archive of North America began public film showings, comprising 412 shows and more than 1,500 films. I wrote film reviews for each program, which is the genesis of this book. So what criteria does one use when judging the relative educational merit of a given academic film? In the previous paragraph, I mentioned four factors I use in judging the value of an academic classroom film, with an eye to the attention challenges inherent to learners of all ages. Here s a passage from my previous book that describes a formal educational model that I think effectively sums up why those four criteria have value, within the structure of educational theory: There are many ways to judge the educational value of a film, but there may be none better than the taxonomy initially developed by Benjamin Bloom. Bloom s Taxonomy was introduced by the University of Chicago educational psychologist in 1956, and consists of three learning domains: psychomotor, cognitive, and affective. The latter two are extremely applicable to gauging the value of an academic film. In terms of the cognitive domain, we can ascertain if the material is relevant to the subject, presented in an easy- to-understand manner, and topically appropriate to the stated or implied learning objective(s). Learning objectives are often stated in the first minute or so of the film, and are commonly found listed on a study guide found in the film can itself, either glued inside the lid, or inserted as a stand- alone document. Much of the art and craft particular to academic film can be associated with the affective domain. Distilling the 200 or so pages of Handbook II: Affective Domain 2 into its simplest form, one must determine if, after seeing the film, the viewer has expressed an interest in learning more about the subject, is enthusiastic about its presentation, or perhaps even wants to see the film again. The wow factor is implicit in characterizing a film as being affectively successful or not. In viewing thousands of academic films, there have been many cases in which, as an educator, programmer, or archivist, I ve prioritized viewing an entire film series (Bruce Russell s Biological Sciences series comes immediately to mind) or the work of a particular filmmaker (for example, Bert Van Bork) based on the affective qualities of a single film. I therefore use the term affective occasionally in the text to indicate films that, in my opinion, are superior academic films that rise above the mundane and ordinary, and stand the test of time as interesting, even exciting, decades after their initial distribution. One also must be cognizant of the original educational objective of the film. I ve found it of value to determine if, even when viewed decades after its initial distribution date, the film can still enthuse and instruct viewers, thereby achieving its learning objective in an affective fashion years later. I call this latent objective value. One reason for considering this concept is that I believe film companies that today hold these old film properties may eventually consider using them again in repackaged form to serve again as valid educational tools. Some film companies clearly understood the value of presenting a topic in a form that would, to a certain degree, stand the test of time. At Encyclopædia Britannica Films, for instance, a certain degree of care was taken to ensure that students would not make fun of a film. Under the leadership of president Maurice Mitchell, music was eschewed for a number of reasons, one being that music could become quickly dated, and students would then relate to the film as being hokey, content and all. This issue of content verisimilitude prioritized the value of presentation in all of its facets, including writing, acting, direction, and sets, in part by trying to anticipate the potential criticisms of student- viewers and teachers. Dating from William Benton s days as president of EB Films, when he changed the company s newly acquired film entity from the name ERPI because he d once heard a student refer to it as burpy, the company had a thin skin when it came to laughter at the expense of any of its films. 3

19 8 Preface Most of the films I ve chosen to be included in this book were made from 1965 to 1985, which represents an extraordinarily progressive era in educational filmmaking. Films made in this era evidence a radical departure from those made prior to To a great extent, films made in this era are as fresh in content and presentation today as when they were made. As I discussed in my previous book, a number of legislative acts were largely responsible for this comprehensive change. Two of the most significant of these were the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965, and the Civil Rights Act of ESEA made millions of dollars available to schools for educational materials, which included films. Film companies created a whirlwind of new films, and hired young filmmakers, many with bold new ideas, to make them. ESEA created a climate in which progressive educators could create extensive new curricula, with the government paying half the cost. The impact of this act on the educational film community was astounding. EB Films revenues reportedly increased from $10 million to $30 million during the first year of ESEA funding. 4 Weston Woods Films Morton Schindel recalls paying more money in taxes after the first year of ESEA funding than the company had made during the previous ten years. 5 On the other hand, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, among other things, mandated that schools prove that they were actively engaged in desegregation procedures. Policed by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, school districts could not receive federal funds unless they provided documented proof that desegregation programs were either completed, or quantifiably underway. To a very large extent, this act encouraged educational film companies to make films depicting students of different ethnicities, with content appropriate for use in classes where diversity issues were taught and discussed. The films chosen for discussion in this book were selected because they were among the most commonly distributed films in North American classrooms. Many of them can still be found in older film libraries still archiving 16mm film. Others, as was stated earlier, are increasingly being made available on the Internet. While far from comprehensive, it is indicative of the tremendous breadth of classroom academic film in North America. This book has the goal of introducing the reader to these films, putting them into an educational context, and offering comparative, albeit critical, opinions. It serves as a resource guide for film and media scholars and historians, film librarians, home educators, filmmakers, and the millions of people who have access to these films on the Internet. It can be used as a field guide for programmers wishing to show these films, and will allow them to seek out films listed in this book of which they were previously unaware. It also provides a contextual document for scholars and historians determining threads and trends in the movement itself. Film and film history instructors will find in this book an important resource in designing curricula relating to this film genre. 6 And for the millions of people who can now view these films on the Internet, it serves as a historical document that will place these films in a comparative context relating to the educational classroom film movement that made a significant contribution to the art of cinema in the 20th century. For each film, I ve listed the title, the year of production or distribution, and the name of the filmmaker, when available. Production years can be problematic. Some films were originally produced overseas, while others were sold or licensed by the original production company for subsequent distribution by another company. In some cases, due to incomplete or missing credits, torn film, title changes, or versions edited from original material, I had to reply on distribution dates only. For this reason, the dates associated with films mentioned it this book are best seen as distribution dates, which correlate with contemporary catalogues and many film databases. A great example is the film Korea, distributed by Journal Films in

20 Preface as part of its Familes of the World series. This appears to be the same film as Children of the World: Korea, made by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, with a production date listed as Same film, but the latter title (with a production date listed two years after its distribution date!) was never distributed to schools in the U.S. So rather than mudwrestle in the quagmire of production dates, I ll stick with the year of distribution. Descriptions of the films run from longer explanations to brief mentions. In the latter case, they are included both as an indicator that the subgenre included enough films to be considered as such, and as a jumping- off point for future scholars wishing to delve further into topics for potential research. The subgenres of academic film I ve chosen to discuss in this book include Arts and Crafts, History, Literature and Language Arts, Science, Social Science and Geography, and Sociodramas. The first five subgenres were commonly classified in company and school district catalogues as a means to help instructors in those subject areas to choose films appropriate to the curriculum. The latter category, the Sociodrama, I ve defined as a separate category. Sociodramatic films represent dramatic themes based on societal change, and unlike the guidance film, many offer no concrete conclusions as to proper behavior, instead serving as vehicles for classroom discussion, in which each student may have a different view of the ethical elements of the story, and may reach a different conclusion, depending on his or her home situation, ethnicity, or social environment. They are among the most compelling academic films ever made. There s one more category I ve included as well: Foreign Language Instruction Films. These films have pretty much eluded the scrutiny of film scholars, but one aim of this book is to advocate their further investigation. These films often include interesting data on cultural mores of the time (interracial dating is just one thread), specific to the country in which they were filmed, and are time capsules, from a geographic perspective. By far the biggest chapter is devoted to Social Science and Geography films, and it appears first. Thousands of these films were made, and quite a number are interdisciplinary, often involving history and art. The second chapter involves films on History, which again includes films with some degree of social science orientation. The dearth of films on Asian history is reflective of the Eurocentric manner in which history was taught in North America during much of the 20th century. The third chapter concerns Science and Math films. In particular, biology and geology films reflected some of the most arresting visual imagery of any subgenre. Chapter Four is a review of many of the outstanding films devoted to the history and production of Arts and Crafts. Literature and Language Arts films are a particularly strong subgenre, and make up Chapter Five. Many of them are timeless cinematic documents that show no evidence of the era in which they were made. Chapter Six represents the Sociodrama film, a subgenre that is, to a large extent, unrecognized. To put it simply, they are guidance films without an outcome, often with unapologetic antiheroes as protagonists. They were the educational film world s way of doing away with the concept that students were, or should be, heterogeneous. As mentioned earlier, Foreign Language Instruction films, which make up Chapter Seven, are an important subgenre almost completely undiscovered by film scholars. The appendix includes nearly 200 films discussed in this book that can be seen, free of charge, on the Internet today. In the text, they are indicated by the use of sign given prior to their year of distribution. It s predictable that many more films noted herein will be uploaded in the next several years. This book is your key to exploring them, and ultimately, enhancing your own experience in viewing cinematic content that was truly revolutionary for its era.

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22 List of Abbreviations AFA: Academic Film Archive of North America AGC: Altschul Group Corporation AGI: American Geological Institute BBC: British Broadcasting Corp. BFA: Bailey/Film Associates CBC: Canadian Broadcasting Corp. CRM: A film company whose name was an acronym derived from the last names of its founders, Nicolas Charney, George Reynolds, and Winslow Marston DER: Documentary Educational Resources EBEC: Encyclopaedia Britannica Educational Corporation EB or EBF: Encyclopaedia Britannica Films EFLA: Educational Film Library Association ERPI: Educational Research Products, Inc. ESEA: Elementary and Secondary Education Act ESI: Educational Services, Inc. IFB: International Film Bureau IFF: International Film Foundation FWU: Institut für Film und Bild in Wissenschaft und Unterricht (Institute for Film and Picture, in Science and Instruction) LCA: Learning Corporation of America MACOS: Man: A Course of Study MIS: Moody Institute of Science NDEA: National Defense Education Act NET: National Educational Television NFBC: National Film Board of Canada NGEO: National Geographic NSF: National Science Foundation PSSC: Physical Science Study Committee SND: Screen News Digest SSR: Science Screen Report 11

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24 CHAPTER ONE Social Science and Geography Films I. An Overview of Social Science and Geography Films II. The United States a. European-Americans b. African-Americans c. Asian-Americans d. Latino-Americans e. Native Americans in the United States III. Canada a. Non-Inuit Indigenous Peoples in Canada b. Inuit and Northern Aboriginal films c. European Canadians IV. Latin America a. Mexico b. The Caribbean c. Central America d. South America V. Africa a. Southern Africa b. West Africa c. East Africa VI. The Middle East, North Africa, and Israel VII. Europe a. The United Kingdom and Ireland b. France c. Scandinavia d. Germany and Benelux e. Other European Countries f. Cold War on a Field Trip: The U.S. Classroom Looks at the Soviet Union VIII. Asia a. Central Asia and Asia Minor b. South Asia c. China d. Japan and Korea 13

25 14 Films You Saw in School IX. Southeast Asia X. The Pacific and Australia XI. People with Special Needs (physical and mental challenges and the homeless) XII. Films on Aging I. An Overview of Social Science and Geography Films Through around 1960, geography films, encompassing the complementary subject areas of geography and world culture, were concentrated mainly into three treatment forms: the Geographical-Industrial film, the Travelogue, and the Ethnological film. The increasing emergence of the latter, due to the transition from traditional social studies to the new anthropology- infused social science disciplines introduced in the mid 1960s, occasionally fanned the flames of controversy, suggesting, through programs such as the ill- fated MACOS (Man: A Course of Study) films, that humans in their primitive state were in fact much like ourselves. In due course, such ethnology- inspired social science films replaced the travelogue form as the choice of educators wishing to introduce students to unfamiliar cultures. For schools wishing to avoid potential battles with textbook- watchers and religious zealots, there was always the standby geo- industrial film, with its generally noncontroversial perspective view of the industry and customs of foreign lands. Social science courses occasionally included discussions on marginalized groups, such as people with special needs (e.g., people with physical challenges, the aged, and the homeless), and films on those subjects are included in this chapter as well. The three most common types of social science and geography films are discussed below, after which individual films are described, classified by continents, countries, and ethnicities, and people with special needs. The reader will also find information on other films with elements of social science in the chapters on History and Sociodrama films. The Geographical- Industrial Film Students wanting to know how fish are processed in Norway, bauxite is mined in Canada, or sheep are herded in New Zealand would have the choice of hundreds of countryspecific films in the geo-industrial genre. And there really was a formula, consisting of the following elements, usually in a set order: a map, agricultural pan shots, industrial/manufacturing shots, famous building shots, and transportation (auto, bus, etc.) shots. Many were narrated in monotone over non synch- sound footage, accompanied by a 1950s-style orchestral soundtrack often having nothing in common with music native to the given country. There were seemingly endless statistics on commerce and trade, pertaining more to facts and figures than on causes and effects. To liven things up, filmmakers might even throw in a couple of scenes of people in native dress, show what the locals eat, and include shots of a well- known beach or tourist attraction. In some of the more compelling films, the filmmaker would provide an insight into the political make- up of the country beyond the basics, describing conflict politically, socially, or economically (several of Bill Deneen s films fall into this category, featuring interviews with important political figures). As a rule, however, the majority of geo- industrial films were largely devoid of the passion necessary to produce an effective, interesting, and exciting experience for the viewer. One reason for the lack of political and social analysis in such films based on different

26 One Social Science and Geography Films 15 countries was the fact that filmmakers often had to submit their raw footage to countryspecific film organizations before it was allowed to leave the country. Many countries, China and Mexico being among the most notorious, had for decades insisted on inspecting exposed film, looking to expunge scenes considered to be bad for public relations, focusing particularly on social conditions, unpopular political groups, or people or actions considered offensive by the ruling régime. Most filmmakers concerned about losing film to censors would begin by smuggling in raw footage: what wasn t known couldn t be traced. Bill Deneen, who flew his own plane, took the films out of Mexico clandestinely. In Burma, another camera- shy country, Deneen instead used the services of a friend who was a commercial airline pilot to achieve the same ends. 1 Geo-industrial titles included films made on U.S. and Canadian states and provinces as well. The utilitarian titles of the films are indicative of the longevity of their shelf- life, for example Mississippi River: Trade Route of Mid- America (1963, Bailey, dir. Justin and Geraldine Byers), Inland Waterways & the Development of American Transportation (1956, EB, produced by Robert J. Longini), and Coronet s Canada s Provinces and People series (1973). Among the best films in this genre were the eight films made by Jon Wilkman as part of McGraw- Hill s twenty- part United States Geography series (1976), discussed later in this chapter in greater detail. Wilkman s films included interviews with workers describing their relationship to the economic, social, and political forces having an effect on their daily lives, eschewing the didacticism of other films on similar subjects. The Travelogue At the beginning was the travelogue, which gained popularity in the 1920s as common fare in feature film theaters, often accompanied by lecturing filmmakers. At times they were made by professional cinematographers such as Paul Hoefler, at others by increasing numbers of amateurs, typically travelers, explorers, scientists, and missionaries. 2 Human subjects from other lands, particularly in developing nations, were seen alternately as exotics, subjects for cultural curiosity, objects for occasional ridicule, or heathens ripe for conversion. In these early travelogues, rarely were such individuals portrayed as equals to their counterparts in civilized countries in terms of intellect, faculties for reasoning, or social customs. Their lifestyles in work or leisure were valued primarily as a measuring stick to compare their cultures with those of assumedly superior western societies. Films such as Paul Hoefler s Wild Men of the Kalahari Talking Picture Epics) treated indigenous groups as savage, primitive caricatures, devoid of culture or intelligence (noting the eating habits of the!kung Bushmen, the narrator states he doesn t chew, but simply swallows like a dog ). 3 Pith- helmeted adventurers would often show their films as accompaniments to their lectures, among the most famous of whom was well- known lecturer, author, explorer, and bon- vivant Carveth Wells (Blizzard on the Equator, 1929?, Leslie Films). Later achieving a degree of fame for supplying a talking bird for numerous Hollywood films of the 1940s, Wells made a tortuous expedition to East Africa s Ruwenzori Mountains to film Blizzard, and was also chartered to bring back a lion for the Milwaukee Municipal Zoo. In Blizzard, Wells relates to the inhabitants of the region as either social curios or exotic oddities, as capable of carrying their Western patrons on their backs while fording streams as they are of hauling enormous boxes of supplies up great treacherous heights. To be fair, Wells, who died in 1957 at the age of 70, was not overtly condescending in his narration, as were Hoefler & Co. Wells s easygoing manner was emulated by countless other swashbuckling

27 16 Films You Saw in School adventurer- hosts down through the years, who often appeared on the ubiquitous Saturday evening television travel programs. Hoefler and Wells certainly weren t the only film people plying the exotic explorer trade, and Africa wasn t the only continent open for business. In Hunting in India (1930?, Leslie Films, uncredited director), Sir Frederick O Connor, the British envoy to the court of Nepal, leads the film team on a tiger hunt, armed with 558 men and over 100 elephants. The colonialist orientation of the narration ( lazy fellows, as the natives are described) marks the film as an artifact of a bygone era, depicting a time in which tigers really did terrorize the countryside, picking out tasty human morsels at whim. A lighthearted early gem was Magicians of India Official Films, uncredited director), combining amazing magical feats from street fakirs, shot in real time with no edits, along with the ubiquitous khaki- clad investigator, peering under the eyelids of the performer to see what magic lurks there. Perhaps the best- known early filmmaker to view an ethnographic subject without a certain degree of self- righteousness or contempt was John Grierson s one- time mentor, eventual colleague, and sometimes bête noire, Robert Flaherty, whose trapper father had introduced him to the wilds of northern Canada. Flaherty, a hard- drinking storyteller with a flair for life, filmed Nanook of the North Revillon Frères), the story of a hunter and his small family, judged by Grierson to be the first documentary film to be made under severely challenging arctic conditions. The filmmaker found obtaining distribution to be problematic; after receiving several letters of rejection from U.S. distributors for a film that they felt would never sell, Flaherty began showing the film to enthusiastic audiences overseas, which in turn caused U.S. distributors to re- evaluate their position and begin distributing the film stateside. It became successful, captured the imagination of millions, and continues to be shown in schools and repertory cinema houses decades later. Some travelogue- oriented cinematographers created academic films out of material originally gathered for other uses. Filmmaker Julien Bryan founded the International Film Foundation (IFF). An evolution from earlier sensationalist films on ethnic peoples, Bryan s work, including Peoples of the Soviet Union (1946), based on travel footage he shot during a trip to the Soviet Union in the early 1930s, embraced their cultures and differences, identified the interdependencies of world cultures, and promoted the appreciation for diversity among peoples as a means to a greater understanding of the world as an organism which, due to increased communication and transportation, was becoming smaller. The travelogue, originally meant for general audiences, rather than academics, eventually evolved into purer ethnological forms, as defined by John Grierson shortly before his death in 1972: I always think of documentary as having certain fundamental chapters. The first chapter is, of course, the travelogue, that is, the discovery that the camera can go about it s peripatetic. The second chapter is the discovery by (Robert) Flaherty that you can make a film of people on the spot that is, you can get an insight of a dramatic sort, a dramatic pattern, on the spot with living people. But, of course, he did this in respect of faraway peoples, and he was romantic in that sense. The third chapter is our chapter, which is the discovery of the working people that is, the drama on the doorstep, the drama of the ordinary. But there is a fourth chapter that s very interesting, and that would be the chapter in which people began to talk not about making films about people but films with people. 4 The initial stages of the transition away from the strict travelogue included the work of Louis de Rochemont, who produced a series of ethnological films that became popular

28 One Social Science and Geography Films 17 in classrooms immediately after World War II, including Desert Nomads dir. John Ferno). The film was shot by Richard Leacock, whose first film, Canary Bananas, was made in 1935 when he was fourteen years old, but his desire to show a sequence of native women dancing was thwarted by a tribal taboo on village women engaging in this practice with men present. Exercising the creativity Leacock became noted for several years later as one of the developers of direct- cinema, Leacock engaged a group of local prostitutes to perform the dancing sequence which appears in the film. 5 A noteworthy film, Maya Are People Simmel- Meservey Films), was produced by adventurer- filmmaker Les Mitchel. In this film, Mitchel instructs the Lacandon people of the Yucatan on how to aim and fire weapons, took Chief Obregon K in for an airplane ride to view the ruins of Palenque, which he had never seen, and ended this magnificent and occasionally startling film with a call to shield the Lacandon from their exploitation by more modern neighbors. Mitchel s demonstrative capability reached high form when he illustrated how heat shrivels leaves of a jungle plant by exposing it repeatedly to a lit cigarette. Music, or lack thereof, goes a long way to establishing the credibility of a social science film. Good classroom films never need music to augment the story, unless, as with the case of ethnographic films, it s actually part of the story. Coming into fashion in the 1960s was didactic message music, with preachy lyrics, most often accompanying sociodramas and social documentaries. As quoted from my earlier book, author Stephen Mamber addressed the issue in describing Frederick Wiseman s usage of the song Sitting By the Dock of the Bay in his film High School (1969): Music employed in this fashion is akin to narration, and the direct expression of filmmaker attitude regarding his material by these means goes against the filming method. Above all, although the song may be thematically relevant it is structurally irrelevant. If one agrees that the song relates to other elements of the film, then one already sees what actually happened in this case, and there is no need to press it further through the use of the song [W]hen it is used, the filmmaker is in essence rejecting the complexity of his own material. 6 One of the beauties of Les Mitchel s film was its lack of formulaic music. Other traveloguers often destroyed the ambience of a good story through inappropriate narration or music, as was the case in producer M.J. Kandel s Canal Gypsies (1933, Ideal). Here s how one might have written a press release for the film: Thrill to the beautiful pastoral setting of England s Grand Union Canal, the delicate barges pulled by draught horses, plying their way leisurely through locks to the soaring strains of Danny Boy, played on the Hammond organ. There were, occasionally, pleasant surprises in travelogue films, musically and otherwise: Castle Films, whose series The Adventure Parade resulted in a number of sensationalist films on ethnic traditions and cultures, featured authentic music in African Pygmy Thrills prod. Eugene W. Castle), unlike other Castle films which utilized the pedantic orchestral scores that were more typical of the era. Although the continued use of the term these little men, and the embarrassing attempt to comically portray an older member of the group as a cynic, seem condescending to present- day sensibilities, the faithful recording of the building of a vine bridge 50 feet above the water is remarkable. At the top of a riverside tree, 150 feet off the ground, a vine is fixed to an ingenious boatswain s chair, and a member of the group is swung to a similar tree on the opposite side of the river. Over the next eight days, a complete bridge of several tons is built of vines, the crossing initiated by climbing either tree to the height of fifty feet. While such films represent proof that even sensationalist films of the era contained often superb ethnographic content, it also illustrates the frustration many of these

29 18 Films You Saw in School cinematographers may have experienced in seeing their work dumbed down for theatrical showing. Nevertheless, the documentary aspect of the footage is important, and represents an authentic if somewhat clumsy attempt to portray significant elements of faraway cultures. 7 Perhaps travelogue s biggest contribution to the process of making academic films was its glorification of the auteur, the one- person crew responsible for treatment, camera, sound, lighting, editing, and, much of the time, transportation. In foreign countries, these talents, as was mentioned earlier, were often augmented by a knack for bribing officials or smuggling film to avoid draconian censorship regulations. Often, local officials would assist the filmmaker by accepting a commission for allowing either the filming itself, or taking footage out of the country, a successful strategy provided that it didn t amount to paying a major part of the first year profits to well- placed authorities. 8 Being a one- person crew had its technical challenges, too, involving taking heavy- but-portable sound apparatus to location. Operating a camera had its own rigors. To take aerial shots, Bill Deneen flew solo, often steering the plane with one knee while balancing the camera out the window to get aerial shots. 9 Today, few of these one-man crew travelogue films can be considered classics, given their low budgets and more- often-than-not colonialist orientation. In viewing them with an understanding of the circumstances under which they were filmed, however, one develops an appreciation for the erstwhile adventurer- filmmaker, working with cumbersome equipment and operating under arduous physical and political conditions that oftentimes involved large risks. The Ethnological Film The ethnological film may be described as one in which different ethnicities, cultures, and social practices are described and/or analyzed, and differs from what today is known as ethnographic film. The term ethnographic means different things to different people, but Karl Heider, in his book Ethnographic Film, suggests that for a film to be ethnographic, ethnography must take precedence over cinematography. If ethnographic demands conflict with cinematic demands, ethnography must prevail. 10 This, clearly, was not the case with many of the fine films used in social science classes. Heider s book of 134 pages makes some cogent arguments as to what ethnographic film is; among them are an emphasis on a completed action, such as building a house, exemplified by Hermann Schlenker s Building a House: Bozo People (1977, IFF). For the purpose of this book, then, the term ethnological films will include all titles with themes relating to world cultures and people, while ethnographic is used for films in which anthropological study is its main objective. Readers wishing further enlightenment on the topic are encouraged to read the books by Karl Heider and Peter Loizos, respectively, listed in the bibliography. With the change in political climate brought on by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and ESEA, schools accelerated the acquisition of social science films that focused on world cultures and ethnicities, and the ethnological- based film began replacing the geo- industrial film as the curriculum changed from traditional social studies, to the new social science. Such a change was not without conflict; the socio- political-religious mores of North American society were in a state of flux, and increasingly, the twin themes of evolution and cultural identity occupied the hot seat at the nexus of education and organized religion. Nowhere did this conflict explode with an impact as dramatic as the introduction of a series of films on the Netsilik Eskimo, which formed the basis of the Man: A Course of Study series, a fifth- grade

30 One Social Science and Geography Films 19 curriculum commonly abbreviated as MACOS. Increasingly, religion- based conservative textbook watchers would place curricular material under scrutiny in their crusade to force school districts to adhere to faith- based philosophies similar to those in their churches. While film companies, careful about offending conservative districts in the Bible Belt, refused to make incendiary statements reinforcing the value of separation of church and state, some ethnological filmmakers such as Wayne Mitchell, who made over 70 such films, refused to pull punches, and were rarely without opinion as to the negative impact of organized religion, particularly when exported to indigenous cultures: As technology brings new tools and gadgets their language (with much of their culture) gets lost. Worst of all in my view, the missionaries corrupt them in a lot of ways. As they steal away their culture, the young people are neither fish nor fowl. They see magazine & TV pictures of the outside world, but have no way and no idea of how to get that kind of technological life. They end up drinking away their frustrations. 11 The backlash surrounding the introduction of MACOS to fifth- graders undoubtedly led to a climate in which critical discussion of religion was such a hot topic that many administrators avoided the flaming embers of controversy and potentially risking their careers by ordering films by well- known anthropologists such as Timothy Asch, Karl Heider, and David and Judith MacDougall. CREDIT: WAYNE MITCHELL Filmmaker Wayne Mitchell and family at a now- destroyed Bamiyan Buddha statue, Afghanistan.

31 20 Films You Saw in School All-in-all, the biggest story in social science films from 1960 to 1985 was that of the Netsilik Eskimos and MACOS, and a description of the program and the controversy surrounding it is essential to understanding the philosophies and limitations of film companies and filmmakers as they evolved through this important era in academic classroom films. Man: A Course of Study 12 As science and mathematics films began to make their mark on the post-sputnik classroom, social scientists as well began looking for ways to explain and introduce the world s cultures through cinema, and many felt that anthropologically themed films would be an understandable and effective means of conveying key cultural concepts. To that end, Education Services, Inc. (later known as the Education Development Center), was founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts, by Professor Jerrold Zacharias, initiator of the Physical Sciences Study Committee films. With input from experts at M.I.T. and Harvard, and funding by the National Science Foundation, 13 ESI launched a social sciences program intended to engage students a multimedia film effort in 5th-grade classrooms. Although several cultures were considered, only one group seemed to meet all the objectives of the scholars, 14 and thus was created the nine- part Netsilik Eskimo series, filmed in Pelly Bay, Northwest Territory, beginning in 1963, by director Quentin Brown and cinematographer Douglas Wilkinson (who had filmed the seminal Land of the Long and Angotee, 1952, both released by the National Film Board of Canada), with anthropologists Asen Balikci and Guy Marie de Rouselière. Kevin Smith, formerly of CBS Television, and who had produced the PSSC science series, was brought in as executive producer. 15 The team documented traditional Inuit customs, including seal hunting and komatiq (dog-sled) making, as they were before the coming of the missionaries and the use of rifles, generally given as having occurred in 1919 or so. Eventually, the team, which later included cinematographer Robert M. Young, shot over 180,000 feet of film. 16 Each film was non- narrated and non- subtitled, utilizing sound dubbed gratis by the National Film Board, in return for international distribution rights outside of the U.S., a cooperative venture that would make each film in the Netsilik series one of the most widely seen anthropological films ever made. 17 Each film consisted of recreated actions, based on interviews with Inuit who remembered how traditional tasks were performed and games were played, and the writings of Danish- Inuit explorer Knut Rasmussen. Many of the images are memorable: one hunter rolling on the ice to imitate a seal similar to the one he will shortly attempt to kill (At the Winter Sea Ice another fashioning his freshly caught fish into runners for the sled he has just made out of caribou antlers (At the Autumn River The films are outstanding documents in the non- narrated ethnographic tradition, filmed in conditions as cold as minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Some of the most powerful images were taken in the dead of winter, during the bitter cold short days, in which food is scarce, and the sharing of warmth, shelter, and sustenance define the essence of nobility in the human character. To aid in the educational objectives of the series, a curriculum for fifth- grade students titled Man: A Course of Study (MACOS) was created in 1963, and distributed to over 3000 schools in the United States. With one of its aims being the replacement of traditional textbooks with diversified media, MACOS materials consisted of nine teachers guides, thirty children s booklets, sixteen films, four records, five filmstrips, three games, fifty- four artifact cards, two wall- sized maps, a caribou- hunting strategy chart, a kinship chart, a sea ice camp chart, eleven enlarged photographs taken from the Netsilik films, several

32 One Social Science and Geography Films 21 poster- sized murals, and a take- apart seal. 18 Additional films in the curriculum included treatments on the social orders of salmon, herring, gulls, and baboons (e.g., The Dynamics of Male Bonding in a Baboon Troop, 1968, Educational Services, Inc., produced by Quentin Brown). The films quickly became controversial on several fronts. In the anthropology community, scholars were uncomfortable with the Flaherty- like recreations of events, preferring the content to reflect the contemporary, rather than the past. Textbook publishers, used to gaining the lion s share of funding for curriculum, saw this film- based course as yet another potentially alarming trend toward redirecting moneys away from books. There was some resistance in the educational community as well, for what Balikci cagily refers to as the vicissitudes of the extremely positive stereotypes of the Eskimos held by western peoples. 19 Simply put, many couldn t reconcile the cuddly, ever- smiling, media- bred Eskimo with the realities of survival in a harsh environment, which included infanticide and senilicide as means to control population in a food- poor environment. Fundamentalists became increasingly concerned that the curriculum preached secular humanism, which they interpreted as suggesting that environmental pressures, rather than the word of a deity, governed the morals and behavior of human beings. Finally, there were issues of course distribution and teacher training. Textbook publishers seemed a natural sales channel, but were reluctant to engage in the new process of printing, warehousing, and distributing the unfamiliar medium of film. They were uncomfortable with introducing a radical change to 5th-grade instruction, which traditionally taught U.S. history rather than anthropology. Publishers also were having a difficult time with the breadth of materials, which, it was estimated, would cost a district over $8 per pupil, as opposed to $1 per pupil for a standard textbook. 20 Teacher training was another potential headache for publishers, who, while comfortable with writing predictably competent teachers guides for new textbooks, would be working in the uncharted seas of teachers as facilitators, rather than instructors, as necessitated by the inductive- based materials. 21 Project editor Peter Dow further reflects on the discomfort many teachers experienced at the idea of teaching in a nontraditional format: Few elementary teachers in the 1960s had much formal training in anthropology, and most had been educated in a social studies tradition that views Western culture as the most advanced of civilizations. The Netsilik materials, on the other hand, were designed to illustrate that there is no discernible difference between the intellectual and creative capacity of Eskimos leading a traditional hunting way of life in the arctic and contemporary Americans. In MACOS cultural differences were treated as a reflection of environmental circumstances, the availability of information, and shared values. To impose the standards and values of one culture upon another, the course suggested, was to deny those people their humanity. This point of view challenged the deeply held belief in the notion of progress, particularly technological progress, or what is sometimes thought of as the advancement of civilization, regarded by some as central to understanding the American way of life. 22 Nevertheless, MACOS had been distributed on a small scale to two hundred classrooms, and some 6,000 students, who had heard about the curriculum by word of mouth and an inexpensive brochure. Because the funding agreement from the National Science Foundation mandated that ownership of the program be transferred to a commercial entity, however, the MACOS team embarked on an aggressive campaign to engage a distributor. From 1968 to 1969, the MACOS team visited 43 potential publisher/distributors without success, including Films Incorporated s Charles Benton, who nixed the plan on fears that the devel-

33 22 Films You Saw in School opers of the program might then not be as enthusiastic about their own proprietary new programs under development. Finally, in 1970, Curriculum Development Associates (CDA), led by president Willard Wirtz, a former secretary of labor, was chosen to publish and distribute the program. The relationship had its difficulties, leading to the estrangement of MACOS developers who wanted to continue with program development, as CDA wished to utilize its own staff for such purposes. In addition, the MACOS team, having developed and tested a proven regional method for instructing teachers on the use of the program and materials, found itself rebuffed by CDA management, who preferred its own home- grown methods. Concurrent with these challenges was the influence of religious organizations in many public school systems. Initially, the problem centered around the teaching of evolution. As author Dorothy Nelkin notes: Pre-Darwinian biologists based their science on theological assumptions. Science was rooted in religion; its purpose was to prove the existence of God, using as evidence the design and purpose in nature. Darwin introduced an explanation of biological change that excluded the necessity of supernatural intervention and incorporated elements of chance and indeterminacy. 23 In addition, inquiry- based instruction, in which students were encouraged to question what it meant to be human, was anathema to conservative groups, who felt that such instruction would invariably lead to the breakdown of parental authority, and ultimately, of society itself. For example, in the course of discussing animal behavior, the children are encouraged to ask difficult questions about human society. If salmon can survive without parental protection, why cannot man? What differences do parents make? What do you think are the characteristics of successful parents? What is the value of the group to the survival of its individual members? And what is the value of cooperation as opposed to competition? The course thus assumes a discernible continuity between animals and man that remains difficult for many people to accept. 24 In 1969, the California State Board of Education, stating that the creation of the world as told in the book of Genesis should have equal value to the teachings of Darwin, mandated that such stories be taught side- by-side with the theory of evolution. In 1970, Don Glenn, a Baptist minister in Lake City, Florida, obtained MACOS materials from his daughter s class, and, claiming that MACOS represented a hippy-dippy philosophy comprised of sex education, gun control, pornography, evolution and communism, led a campaign that drove out the course in the following school year. 25 In 1975, Arizona Republican Congressman John B. Conlan, a representative of the House Committee on Science and Technology, began a protracted campaign to remove MACOS from public schools, and at the same time discredit the National Science Foundation, which he saw as a catalyst for leftist educational programs. Political opportunists like Conlan, sensing a good way to pick up evangelical votes, picked a prime time for saber- rattling: Dorothy Nelkin notes as a contributing factor the tremendous upsurge of membership in fundamentalist Protestant groups such as Southern Baptists and Jehovah s Witnesses during the years 1958 through 1974, amidst the relative decline in membership of the more moderate Methodists and Presbyterians in the same time period. 26 From its first publication in 1970 through 1974, MACOS had been purchased by roughly 1,700 schools in forty- seven states, with sales at $700,000 per year, but 1975 saw

34 One Social Science and Geography Films 23 sales declining by 70 percent, a plunge from which it would never recover. The National Science Foundation, which had funded fifty- three projects to the tune of $101,207,000, 27 also fell under scrutiny in this increasingly conservative environment. MACOS did have its supporters, including Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts and Congressman James Symington of Missouri, but perhaps ultimately it failed because its developers lacked the political savvy of which its detractors were becoming so rapidly proficient. Ultimately, the finest epitaph for this noble experiment in education may have been voiced by the congressman from Missouri: I found the program both fascinating and worthwhile, and I wish my kids had had a chance to see it in their time. But it would be good for anybody to see. I remember during the Korean War we had the habit of saying, you know, just some Gooks over there. Kill a few Gooks. Well, the Korean people turned out in later times to have a rather wide variety of characteristics, and personality traits, and strengths and weaknesses, that made them almost seem like the human beings we are not so easily dismissed as Gooks. And I would have thought that, had a generation of Americans, prior to that war, been brought up with a chance to see, not just MACOS but other opportunities to review the cultural differences between people worldwide, [they] might not be that easily led into such a characterization. I wasn t opposed to our participation there, but even in war respect for humanity should outlast the killing. And I think a great nation like ours should try in every way to use its power and influence to share and revere a respect for humanity. 28 The controversy surrounding MACOS undoubtedly caused educational film companies to tread lightly through the fields of social science and anthropological subjects well into the 1980s. And although there were increasingly more ethnological films being made, not all ethnicities were necessarily being served equally. In addition to the dearth of pure anthropological films, social science teachers were also hampered by the fact that many areas of the world were not adequately addressed by the educational film production community in general. Helen W. Cyr, whose three annotated catalogues are indispensable to those wishing to acquire a comprehensive understanding of the breadth of ethnic, geographical, and travelogue films made on the subject of world cultures, discussed the production trends of organizations and companies making such films over a fourteen- year period in the introduction to each of the three volumes (each paragraph is keyed to the year it was written): (1976) The reader will find the majority of films cited herein to have release dates of the late 1960s or the 1970s, proof that film producers have been interested in Third World subjects in recent years. Unfortunately, production coverage is irregular. Although films about Afro- Americans or Native Americans, Japan, or Brazil exist, for example, few items are available on Latinos, Asian Americans, or countries such as Bolivia, Paraguay, or certain African nations. 29 (1985) In this book there are more films about Asian Americans than eight years ago, but the total output is still slight in comparison with the wealth of material about Native Americans and Afro- Americans. The relatively poor production achievement of films about Latinos, the fastest growing group of them all, is a serious lapse that must be remedied. 30 (1990) As in earlier editions, there is generous coverage of Afro- Americans and Native Americans. It is unfortunate that there are comparatively fewer productions about Latinos and Asian- Americans. Filmmakers have given more attention than ever to certain crisisridden countries, Nicaragua and El Salvador being two cases in point. Colombia and Panama are still not adequately represented. 31

35 24 Films You Saw in School Review of the Films It is worth noting that many films in the sociodrama, history, and arts and crafts genres had elements of social science in them. Judith Bronowski s fine films on Mexican artisans, for instance, told the viewer as much about the culture as about the art he or she created. The following films are listed here by virtue of the fact that their prime function as a film was to address the social sciences. II. The United States European-Americans Eight geo- industrial films written and directed by Jon Wilkman, as part of McGraw- Hill s twenty- title United States Geography series, were exceptional in their breadth, and are not race- specific. Wilkman, whose credentials included five years working under Burton Benjamin at CBS News, had honed his documentary skills as the co- writer of The Black Soldier (1968) in Perry Wolff s Of Black America series, before launching his own Eye on New York documentary series for CBS in For McGraw- Hill, Wilkman proposed to revolutionize geographical educational films by telling the story of the land through the stories of its people, in their own words, and was given the artistic freedom to accomplish his goal. The films involve people of several ethnicities. In Middle Atlantic Region (1976), for example, a black truck driver tells how racism affects his business, a satisfied white ad exec who wants her children growing up in New York City is juxtaposed with a struggling single black mother who argues the opposite opinion, and, in a nasty Philadelphia dump, a supervisor suggests the best alternative to dwindling landfill space is to fill northern Pennsylvania strip mines with urban trash, a solution he s confident will work for 40 years. Wilkman s subjects are not always articulate; they are the real, unpretentious, unrehearsed elements that determine the make- up of Wilkman s eight regions (the others are Southwest, Northwest, New England, Industrial Midwest, Northeast, Agricultural Midwest, and South Central) clearly, providing a discussion point, and making the series far superior to earlier attempts by educational film companies to convey the geographical contrasts that define the nation. In 1983, National Geographic distributed a similar- themed, ten- part series on various regions of the U.S., like Wilkman s focusing cultural as well as geographical elements of each region, but lacking the interaction with archetypes (e.g., Southwest, dir. Boyd Estus) that gave the 1976 series its unique character. Director Thomas G. Smith, who would later achieve his greatest critical success as the general manager of George Lucas s Industrial Light & Magic, was the creator of possibly the most comprehensive portrayal of American farm life in the academic film genre with his Farm Family series of , produced for Encyclopædia Britannica Films, and comprising four films comparing the impact of seasonal changes upon the Red Markham farm and family of Whitewater, Wisconsin. With the exception of Farm Family in Summer, each film is narrated in first person by a different family member. Farm Family in Summer, the only film told in third- person narrative, offers a fascinating look at the rural county fair culture, from preparing exhibits to friendly country huckstering, to harness races, to carny rides. Farm Family in Autumn is son Steve s first- person story of going back to school, sneaking a taste of mom s fresh- made jam, carving jack- o -lanterns, and

36 One Social Science and Geography Films 25 COURTESY BARINDA SAMRA ZARN Filmmaker Jon Wilkman (left) and Geoff Alexander. awaiting the arrival of the tanker truck which collects the dairy farm s output. Farm Family in Winter is told by Grandpa, who wrestles the hard- starting, gas- powered snow-buggy into action, then fetches the vet, who is prevented from reaching the farm road due to adverse conditions, in order to doctor a sick calf. Farm Family in Spring, narrated by son Dale, describes a trip into town to buy feed in country store, and a LaGrange 4H club meeting in which the children discuss the progress of their respective projects. The affection that the filmmaker had for the family is apparent, and seems to be reflected in the family s approach to the filmmaker as well, who made four visits to the farm to make these films, and who remains in touch with Dale Markham. The easygoing attitude the family has toward the camera is largely responsible for the charm of this series, a fascinating and refreshing look at a subject that was all too often didactic in the hands of other filmmakers. Director Smith had interesting reminiscences on the events surrounding the making of these films: The Farm Family films were planned as 2nd Editions. There had been a Farm Family series made in the 1940s in black and white. They were extremely didactic films guaranteed to put you to sleep as quickly as a stiff shot of pentothal. So I was asked to replace them with a new series in color. The first trick was to find a farm where I could film. Headquartered in Chicago, I set out to look in nearby Southern Wisconsin a two- hour drive from my home in Palatine, Illinois. I needed not only a good- looking farm but one with kids in elementary school the age of our target audience. It wasn t easy to find a combination of the two. I consulted with Farm Bureau Agents in several counties. I recall one farm we visited looked great from the outside. The Agent told me they had kids the right age. Then I

37 26 Films You Saw in School met the farmer, a handsome, husky fellow perfect type. We shook hands and it felt strange. Turned out he was missing two fingers on his right hand. I didn t want to have to explain the missing fingers in every film. I knew a lot of shots in the movies would be close- ups of the farmer s hands at work. So this farm was out. It took me weeks of looking. I drove past hundreds of farms and visited more than 30. I ended up in Walworth County in southern Wisconsin, a country where I had lived for one year when I was a kid. As we drove up to the Markham dairy farm, it looked pretty good. I met farmer Red Markham and his wife. Red had all his digits, a good smile, was a very tall and strong- looking fellow. His wife Eloise seemed to be all in one piece too. The kids were the perfect age but Red wasn t sure he trusted a city slicker like me promising to pay him some small fee to film his kids on his farm for a year. He had heard lots of sales pitches and figured this could be like one of those free vacation offers where they really only want to sell you a condo. We sat in his kitchen over coffee and I tried to persuade him but things weren t going well. To make a connection I mentioned that I lived in nearby Whitewater for one year when I was seven years old. That didn t make much of an impression on him. Then I added that my brother- in-law was from Whitewater too. Maybe he knew him Bud Ardelt. Red put his cup down and broke into a smile. Bud Ardelt is your brother- in-law? Turned out that Red and Bud played for four years on the Whitewater football team together and in high school were buddies. He shook my hand we had a deal. (Incidentally, well- known historian Steven Ambrose was also on that same football team.) It was only my second year at EBEC 32 and the four films were made while I continued to make other films on other subjects. I normally made about five or six, 12- to 18-minute films a year. We began filming with Fall. Then followed each season as it came along. Summer was the last. As you know from having seen the films, there was usually a thin plot running but what carried the show was showing the farming activities during that particular season. Fall was harvest, Winter not much happens but the kids have lots of fun in the snow and they cut their own Christmas tree. Spring is planting time and Summer there is the county fair. I don t recall why we didn t have a first- person narration for the summer movie. No one in the films was an actor and to get someone to read a narration was very difficult. I had to do it line- by-line and often would not let them see the words but rather read it to them and have them repeat it. I ve stayed in contact with the Markham family over the years. They have now retired from farming but the parents still live on the farm. The kids are all grown- up and most have kids of their own. None are farmers. As I mentioned, Red was a big guy over six foot five inches tall. His sons grew to be taller than he. One of the boys seen in the film, Dale, went on to be a college football star and briefly played for a pro team. He is now in his 40s. I think he works for a seed company. Pam studied nursing but now is raising her own family. We get Christmas cards from them every year and ten or fifteen years ago, I stopped at the farm, unannounced. They were just as friendly as they could be. We laughed and talked of the old days and funny things that happened during that year when I made the films. The film crew was normally about four or five people. I served as cameraman on a couple of the films but don t recall which ones. Arthur Bothham was the cameraman on the others including the Fall film. I was second unit on all of them running up to the farm to shoot one specific scene for a day with my Bolex and then returning home. There was no real Grandpa on the farm. The fellow who played Grandpa was actually our film s grip, Stanley Wallega. Stanley died about 15 years ago. 33 In a fascinating documentary of grit and determination, director Dick McCutchen s Wildcat American Petroleum Institute) follows two Oklahoma wildcatters as they prepare to sink an oil well. It wasn t easy, out in Garfield County, Oklahoma, either, as only one out of the nine wells they attempted was wet, and it took them 22 days and 6,750 feet to find it. Director Nicholas Clapp s The Great Mojave Desert (1971, NGEO/Films Inc.) was

38 One Social Science and Geography Films 27 an iconic exploration of some of the remarkable people living in the Mojave area. The film focuses on Shoshones, Basque shepherds, miners such as Bruce Menard at the Silver Queen, Billy Varga in Randsburg, and long- distance walker Colin Fletcher. Of particular interest is ballet dancer Marta Beckett and her Amargosa Opera House, in Death Valley Junction. The film contrasts nicely with an earlier film produced by Paul Hoefler, Death Valley Hoefler), a beautifully shot trip through the Death Valley of the late 1940s, including visits to the ghost town of Ryan, Zabriskie Point, the Harmony Borax Works, and Scotty s Castle. Another fascinating film that also combined lifestyle with work was Floating Logging Camp (1979, Perspective), directed by Carl A. Jones. Forty- five air- minutes outside of Ketchikan, Alaska, lies a nomadic village of loggers and their families. As the work moves to different localities, so does their village, moored offshore, and built of logs. These giant log rafts have houses, markets, and schools, in this fascinating look at people who embrace this uncommon lifestyle. Social science films often portrayed life in Appalachia as meager and subsistence- driven, focusing on the influence of coal companies and the consequential economic devastation caused by their departure. Such films were balanced by titles focusing on the positive musical, artistic, and cultural aspects of the region. Some of the material from the early to mid 1960s are somewhat propagandistic, such as Coronet s Life in a Coal Mining Town (1966, uncredited director), focusing on a happy family unit thriving in the sunny coal burgh of David, Kentucky. Here, Dad and Junior go to work in the mines as Mom and Sis concentrate on baking cookies. In a startling contrast that was more representative of school Appalachian fare, director George Golsuch s Christmas in Appalachia (1964, CBS News) noted the dreariness of the holiday season as host Charles Kuralt documented what was left of a once- thriving coal mining town once the company had taken the coal and left. A later film directly addressing the cause and effect of the coal industry itself was director Stephen Fleischman s West Virginia: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Coal (1973, ABC News). Three additional films depicted the toll on the lives of individuals, old and young. Todd: Growing Up in Appalachia (1970, LCA), directed by Herman J. Engel, is an exceptional and poignant story of poverty and morality. Producer Denis Mitchell s disturbing The Mountain People (1974, Granada TV/Wombat), involves a British crew on a forbidding visit with the angry citizens of Davidson, Tennessee. Focusing on southern Appalachia, the film provides a history of the coal and timber industries involvement in the area, and governmental and self- help programs to ease economic hardships. Director Maclovia Rodriguez s Linda and Billy Ray from Appalachia (1970, EB) follow an Appalachian family as they move to Cincinnati for economic reasons, and experience the challenges in transitioning from a rural to an urban lifestyle. Director Marjie Short s Oscar- nominated short Kudzu (1977, Pyramid) is a well- made, droll film on an invasive plant that has taken over hundreds of square miles of the Southern landscape. Jimmy Carter and James Dickey are both interviewed, the latter calling it a vegetal form of cancer. Spend It All (1971, Flower Films), directed by Les Blank, is a celebration of Cajun culture and music, featuring eating, tooth- pulling, hog- butchering, and the music of the Balfa Brothers, Nathan Abshire, and Marc Savoy, among others. A number of films focused on various religious groups. Director Alexander Von Wetter s With God on Our Side (1981, Phoenix) traces the beginning of the evangelical movement,

39 28 Films You Saw in School COURTESY ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, INC. Maclovia Rodriguez s Linda and Billy Ray from Appalachia (EB, 1970). concentrating on some of the major names that, during the ensuing decades, would change the public face of religion, as well as the fundraising activities that would cause it to become a significant force in American politics and public policy. Von Wetter refuses to use cinematic tricks to poke fun at individuals such as Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Jim Bakker, Robert Schuller, and Reverend Ike, preferring instead to allow them to explain their grandiose schemes in their own words (the visit to Falwell s money- counting office is memorable). The film also provides an evenhanded look at evangelical rock, mass baptisms, and drive- in churches. The Amish: A People of Preservation (1978, EB ), produced by John L. Ruth, explores the history of the Amish, focusing on contemporary life as well as the future paths that may be taken by the younger generation. Ken and Amy Stechler Burns s The Shakers: Hands to Work, Hearts to God (1984, Florentine Films) is a fascinating portrayal of a dying religion. Founded in 1774 by Ann Lee and eight followers, the Shakers grew to 6,000 people spread over 19 villages, consisting of people who embraced abstinence and a simple lifestyle. Because members were forbidden to reproduce, the group had dwindled to 12 individuals in two villages by the time this film was made. The film offers plenty of information about their unique architecture, furniture, crafts, and songs. In its poignant finale, a Shaker chair goes up at auction. In the mid 1970s, several educational film companies, realizing that many elements of traditional North American life were fast disappearing, made an effort to produce and dis-

40 One Social Science and Geography Films 29 tribute a number of films commonly featuring older people, showing how they carried on their trade or craft. ACI, run by the mercurial Stelios Roccos, distributed four of these in the Today and Yesterday: American Lifestyles series. Maple Sugar Farmer (1973, dir. Craig Hinde and Robert E. Davis) showed 72-year-old Sherman Graff using 40 gallons of maple water to make one gallon of maple syrup, then 11 pounds of syrup to make seven pounds of maple sugar. Eighty- year-old Bill Hafeman of Big Fork, Minnesota, builds a canoe from scratch, utilizing neither nails nor glue, in director Craig Hinde s Birch Canoe Builder Also in the series were two films by Philip and Gay Courter. Cider Maker (1975, ACI) visits Ellis and Ethel Apgar, who operate a 40-year-old cider mill, and who show how mash is made. Grist Miller (1975, ACI) features a Stillwater, New Jersey, family grinding and eating bread from its own mill, built in African-Americans In addition to the films on African- American history discussed in that section, several documentary and cultural films were commonly shown in classrooms. An early cinematic harbinger of some of the hard- hitting documentaries that would become available to schools in the 1960s was Crisis in Levittown Michigan Civil Rights Commission/Dynamic Films, dir. Lee Bobker and Lester Becker), describing the events surrounding the move of the middle- class Myers family into the formerly all- white Levittown, Pennsylvania, in August 1957, and featuring interviews with alternately stunned, hostile, and welcoming neighbors. Unfortunately, as Phoenix Learning s co- founder Barbara Bryant has noted, in schools with a preponderance of white students, films on African- American subjects were most often shown only in conjunction with thematic occasions, such as Martin Luther King s birthday, after which they were again relegated to the back shelves for the remainder of the year. One such perennial film was director Ely Landau s King: A Filmed Record From Montgomery to Memphis (1969, BFA) consisting of excerpts of speeches from Dr. King, juxtaposed with file footage. The film was distributed to classrooms in a 27-minute version, specially edited for schools from the original three- hour, Academy Award- nominated documentary. For teachers who chose to keep the realities of racial injustice in the forefront, however, hard- hitting films were abundant. One of the most memorable was Bill Jersey s A Time For Burning (1966, Quest Production/Lutheran Film Association), a direct cinema documentary, focusing on Pastor Bill Youngdahl of Omaha s Augustana Lutheran Church, and his attempt to persuade other white churches in Omaha to agree to join him in a program to promote racial understanding that would, in cooperation with black churches, coordinate home visits between parishioners of different churches and races. Youngdahl s efforts represented a small battle that turned into philosophical warfare between him and more xenophobic members of the white church council, who feared that blacks would, in return, take the step of attending white churches, resulting in the loss of white members. In keeping with the tenor of the times, council members also feared that black attendance at white churches would then encourage them to move to white neighborhoods, where, with two families per house, they would erode property values like the Mexicans. The fascinating view of the extreme conflicts within religious institutions is enhanced by the riveting characters, who, in addition to the outspoken and insightful Youngdahl, include a white minister whose approach to the issue evolves during the filming. A group of black men are visited in a barber shop, one of whom, barber Ernest Chambers, provides an articulate, powerful, and poignant perspective revisited throughout the

41 30 Films You Saw in School film, as he questions whether black aggression against the Vietnamese would be as valuable to the black community as would armed action against the white ruling class in the United States. A customer of his notes, A church isn t really a showcase for saints; it s a hospital for sinners. Youngdahl, for his part, continues to push for this small step of integration, hoping to forestall the potential violence he sees as a growing undercurrent in Omaha, but all does not end well for him, as he is forced to leave his congregation. The otherwise thoughtprovoking and poignant ending of this film is somewhat eroded by the insipid folk song (in this case performed by the Weavers Ronnie Gilbert) that accompanies the final footage, an unfortunate musical constant found in many social documentaries of the era. Youngdahl, who now lives in northern California, was the son of a three- term governor of Minnesota, and attended a seminary in New York, where he developed his ideas toward an inclusive church. Sent to Omaha by the Lutheran Church, Bill was admonished by his dad not to preach his first six sermons on civil rights (Bill responded with a promise to preach three only). The events shown in Burning led to his resignation from Omaha s Augustana Lutheran Church, and Youngdahl eventually landed in Berkeley, California, where he continued his activist- spiritualist role as an advocate for gay and civil rights within the church. Barber Ernest Chambers went on to become a well- known state senator from Nebraska. Ray Christensen, the churchman whose opinion changes radically during the film, developed a passion for cinema-vérité film, formed his own film company in Minneapolis (Charthouse Learning), and has made several noted documentaries. Bill Jersey s Quest Films continues to produce documentaries in Berkeley, California. The Augustana Lutheran Church, in the ensuing years, has become the progressive church Youngdahl was striving for, a leader in interracial spirituality. Lest the viewer be too judgmental on the white Lutherans who make up some of the more nervous church people in the film, the goal of the Lutheran Church in producing the film was to provide similar churches across the United States with a document that could be used to provoke discussion and spark dialogue within their own congregations as to the role of the individual church within a racially and socially diverse community. Decades later, the film remains a powerful statement and an important reminder of the ignorance and fear that form the foundations of prejudice and bigotry. Another fascinating and well- crafted documentary explored the culture of African- American domestic workers and its multifaceted relationship with the white upper class of New Orleans Garden District. In director Gary Goldman s Yes Ma am (1980, Louisiana Center for the Humanities), it becomes apparent early on that the sunny relationship perceived by white employers is not reciprocal. Goldman continues to probe, however, uncovering conflict between younger and older household technicians, as well as the somewhat surprising fact that communication between young white adults and domestic workers seems to be more cordial than that between these adults and their parents and siblings. Several of the relationships portrayed in the film are endearing and enduring (one maid has been with the same family for 55 years), but even so, others refuse to cross the line from employee- tofriend or family member, preferring instead to keep the roles separate. Yes Ma am provides more questions than answers; few stones are unturned, and those being interviewed seem uncomfortable, in their Southern sensibilities, at the prospect of lifting the lid off Pandora s box, regardless of their sense of injustice. Viewers too are left with a vague uneasiness that racial questions, which formerly may have been easy to address with pat answers and formulaic responses, are in reality more complex, as articulated so succinctly and emotionally by the workers and families alike. An exceptional first- person account of the African- American racial experience is found

42 One Social Science and Geography Films 31 in director Steve Heiser s Lee Baltimore: 99 Years (1976, EB), focusing on a farmer who here recalls the stories told by his mother, a slave. Baltimore discusses the value of hard work, the uselessness of a tractor to a poor man (a horse does better, because a poor man can t pay for fixing a tractor, and if the horse refuses to work, one can whup im ), goes to a sparsely attended country church, and tells fishing stories to a young relative. Baltimore accompanies his singing on guitar, and plays piano, which he taught himself at the age of 97. Director William Ferris s Two Black Churches (1975, Center for Southern Folklore) focuses on comparing northern and southern African- American religious practices, including sermons and baptisms, exemplified by the Rose Hill Church in Vicksburg, Mississippi, led by Rev. Isaac Thomas, and Bishop A. Coward s St. James Church of New Haven, Connecticut. Elements of African- American culture were addressed in two important films, both made in 1976: James Hinton s and Maurice Martinez s Black Indians of New Orleans (Calmalna Media Institute), and Sparky Greene s American Shoeshine (Titan Films/Perspective). The former takes place at Mardi Gras, featuring dozens of black Indian tribes, the members of whom, dressed in 80-pound costumes of elaborate headdresses and meticulously sewn gowns, parade down the streets of New Orleans. Groups such as the Yellow Pocahantas and White Eagles descended from antebellum indigenous tribes, and the filmmakers not only cover the pageantry, but address the traditional rivalries, jealousy and envy that accompany this rite as well. Director Sparky Greene s American Shoeshine (1976, Perspective), nominated for an Oscar in 1977, was a deep and entertaining introduction to the world of the black shoeshine artist. Featuring several shoe shiners, including colorful ex- boxer Beau Jack, the film celebrated the craft, showcasing practitioners wielding syncopated shoe rags and streetcorner philosophy, It remains a tribute to the rhythm and poetry of an important element of American life, and one of the more important films documenting the life of the black worker in the U.S. In the ensuing years since he hosted Black History: Lost, Stolen, or Strayed (discussed in this book s chapter on history films), Bill Cosby has become something of a beloved paternal figure. But in the seventies, the comedian began taking on the persona of an agent for social change, as witnessed by his earlier work in the first American television drama (I Spy, ) to feature a black actor in a lead role, making it the first interracial television drama, as well as two later significant classroom films. It could be argued that Cosby was the most popular African- American advocate for social change who was palatable to mainstream white America. His initial vehicle was comedy of a universal, non- racial flavor, different from previous comic/provocateurs such as Dick Gregory, whose politically insightful humor became less accepted by the white mainstream as his social activism evolved. Cosby, on the other hand, transitioned from his role as a comic and actor to that of advocate for social change by participating in educational films that, rather than attempting to change the minds of adults, were aimed instead at students who still might be in the process of forming opinions on race. There was nothing compromising in Cosby s style: as a narrator/host, his opinions are clear and occasionally acerbic. As a writer/performer/producer, he played the role of a racist of many colors in one of the more unusual and dark social films ever made, Bill Cosby on Prejudice KCET/Pyramid), directed by Cosby and Tom Mossman. Four years after the release of Black History, the actor here presents a fascinating monologue on bigotry in multiple dimensions, performing the role of racists of all colors and social classes. Cosby wears strange eye makeup resembling blinders, and set colors undergo a garishly continual change. The film begins with Cosby sitting alone on stage, to the music of bowed bass, as he launches into his first opinion: I ve never, to be perfectly frank, I ve never cared for

43 32 Films You Saw in School COURTESY ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, INC. Lee Baltimore: 99 Years, at the piano (EB, 1976). old people, most of em they take up space space that people could use. I m not in favor of killin em, but there should be some way we could get rid of em. This entertaining, unusual, and sobering film is experimental in its approach, and a radical departure from the comedic or narrative personae displayed by the actor in previous films. Another film similar to Prejudice in theme and treatment, albeit harsher in its presentation, is Harry Hurwitz and Arlan Gutenberg s Malice in Bigotland (1978, Esmeralda Films).

44 One Social Science and Geography Films 33 Forget the Charlton Heston introduction, or the rap sessions that serve as conciliatory bookends: the sideshow barker character played by Robert Staats is a snarling, nearly psychotic advocate for bigotry in his carnival House of Stereotypes. Unflinching at his use of politically incorrect racial terms, Staats displays blacks, Jews, and blondes as if they were slaves in a market, then takes us on a tunnel ride of hate through a horror show of real- life stills and action shots of people dead or in the act of getting killed, illustrating the ultimate result of prejudice. This graphically intense carnival ride was often in restricted use within school districts, sometimes requiring parental permission for its viewing. Perhaps to soften its strong message, the film ends with an instructor- led discussion session which perhaps makes the film more palatable for its day, but somewhat dulls the impact of what is one of the more disturbing performances given in any educational film. Asian-Americans As noted earlier by Helen St. Cyr, films on the Asian- American experience were far from prevalent. 34 Among this small group was Helen Jean Secondari s I m Going to Be the Lion s Head (1972, Xerox), the story of a San Francisco boy from Hong Kong wrestling with the task of melding the new world with the traditional one, featuring the Chung Ngai Dance Group. In describing the conflict between recent immigrants and those who had been established for several generations, Richard Patton s Bamboo, Lions and Dragons (NFBC, 1979) focused on the Chang and Lim families, and Doug Jung, the first Chinese- Canadian Minister of Parliament. Director Ken Levine s Becoming American (1983, WNET) follows the travels of a Hmong refugee family, from the Ban Nam Yao refugee camp in Thailand to their eventual settlement in Seattle. The film briefly discusses the history of Hmong involvement in the Vietnam war, and Hmong leader Vang Pao. For more films on the Asian- American experience, see the chapter on sociodrama films. Latino-Americans Like Asian- Americans, Latino Americans were not addressed in social science films to the extent of African- Americans, Native Americans, and European- Americans. Some of the earliest films focused on the agricultural/rural impact of Latino workers. In director Maclovia Rodriguez s Sheep Rancher (1967, EB), itinerant Mexican- American sheep- shearers are shown working in remote areas, processing 100 animals per day, while helicopters hover nearby, shooting predatory coyotes. The Mexican vaquero tradition is showcased in Bellota: Story of a Roundup (1969, University of Arizona/IFB), directed by Philip Spalding, a slice- of-life film dealing with the harsh realities of a challenging lifestyle. Producer Luis Valdez s I Am Joaquin Teátro Campesino) dramatizing the epic poem by ex- boxer Rodolfo Corky Gonzales, is generally considered to be the first Chicano film shown in public schools. Its poignant story begins with the invasion of the Spaniards, through lands lost to broken treaties, to the farm workers struggle, and the paucity of opportunities for young Chicanos. Director Sumner Glimcher s North from Mexico: Exploration and Heritage (1971, Gatewood Press) addressed Mexican- American cultural themes and issues historically from a broader perspective. This well- written (by Harold Flender, with script editing by film historian Erik Barnouw) film includes a short clip of César Chávez, and a closing credit to gay Latino author John (City of Night) Rechy.

45 34 Films You Saw in School Latino: A Cultural Conflict (1971, Arthur Evans Productions) directed by Brian Lewis, explores the world of Mauricio, a Salvadorean immigrant youth in the Mission district of San Francisco, and discusses the at times testy relationship between Spanish speaking people and the Anglo community. Filmmaker Les Blank, whose work often focuses on non European American traditions, was responsible for two outstanding films on the Chicano experience, Chulas Fronteras (1976, Brazos Films) and Del Mero Corazon (1979, Brazos/Visual Education Films). Both were produced by Arhoolie Records Chris Strachwitz. The former film concentrates on the norteña musical form, featuring, among others, the young accordion star Flaco Jiménez. The latter features Tejano musicians Andres Berlanga, El Conjunto Tamaulipas, Little Joe, Chavela, and Carlos Castillo, in a wide variety of popular styles. Blank s films include non- musical cultural sequences, from eating to parties. Director Skeets McGrew s Huelga! (1968, King Screen Productions) follows César Chávez and others as they strike for better working conditions, against California s San Joaquin Valley grape growers. McGrew presents both sides of the conflict, and shows scenes of labor camps, and laborers discussing the working conditions they strive to change. Native Americans in the United States Films on cultural, social, and political aspects of the Native American experience evidenced growing popularity after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Enough so, that Elizabeth Weatherford s Native American on Film and Video catalogue of 1981 included approximately 400 titles. In the introduction to the catalogue, Weatherford mentions that the majority of these were made between 1970 and Her catalogue includes films on indigenous subjects from all the Americas. Native American on Film and Video Volume II, co- authored along with Emilia Seubert and published in 1988, includes approximately 200 titles not included in the earlier work. Films on Native Americans in the United States, in comparison with contemporary classroom films based on indigenous subjects from the rest of the Americas, tended to be among the least engaging. One possible reason could be that North American filmmakers, perhaps acutely sensitized to the historically cavalier treatment of indigenous peoples, had a tendency to reduce editing to a minimum when allowing their subjects to tell their stories, resulting much of the time in rambling, talking heads documentaries. This was not limited to non- indigenous filmmakers, either. Films made by Alanis Obomsawin, a Canadian filmmaker of Abnaki descent, have similar challenges for viewers. 35 Tight editing is anathema to many Native films, as filmmakers took great joy in producing long takes involving individuals who had little screen presence, or were challenged in articulating their thoughts on camera (e.g., director Kathleen Shannon s Like the Trees, 1974, NFBC, or director Lawrence Levy s Ten Thousand Beads for Navajo Sam, 1971, Eccentric Circle). In And the Meek Shall Inherit the Earth (1971, NET), writer/producer Ann Delaney offers an undynamic, one- hour-long explanation of Menominee land concerns that might have been more interesting if shortened to one- half hour, excluding sequences. Examples of worthwhile cuts might have included the sequence in which toddlers curious faces invade the camera lens, and redundant explanations of issues that had already been made apparent to the viewer. Some filmmakers insisted on combining Native American themes with New Age mysticism, inspired by strains of insipid folk music. Director Sam Ellis s Navajo Moon (1983,

46 One Social Science and Geography Films 35 Multimedia Program Productions), for example, begins with a decent- enough premise, to film the Diné culture near Chinle and Window Rock, Arizona. The film becomes unhinged by the warblings of folksinger/narrator Rob Reider, whose music runs roughshod over the production, making the viewer feel trapped in a half- hour ride through the land of musical disenchantment. That said, there were some very good films in the Native American genre. In what may be director Bert Salzman s hardest- hitting film, Geronimo Jones LCA) addresses, in poignant fashion, the treatment of the Native American during the latter half of the 20th century. Geronimo is a Papago- Apache youth who has been given the gift of an amulet worn by his grandfather (played by Geronimo s actual grandson). In buying a birthday present for his grandfather, the boy trades the amulet for a TV, which he places before the grandfather. When Geronimo turns on the TV, a Western is on the screen, showing Indians being killed in battle by the U.S. Cavalry, as the two watch silently. Salzman s Matthew Aliuk: Eskimo in Two Worlds LCA), is discussed in the chapter on sociodrama films. As mentioned in the chapter on the arts on film, Bernard Wilets s Discovering American Indian Music (1971, BFA) features the music of nations such as the Ute, Seneca, and Navajo in traditional surroundings. Director Jay Kent s Abnaki: The Native People of Maine (1982, Centre Films) is a powerful film that describes the history of the Penobscot, Maliseet, Passamaquoddy and Micmac tribes, and discusses their efforts to regain land and to maintain language and tradition. CREDIT: LEARNING CORPORATION OF AMERICA Bert Salzman s Matthew Aliuk: Eskimo in Two Worlds (LCA, 1973).

47 36 Films You Saw in School CREDIT: LEARNING CORPORATION OF AMERICA Chief Geronimo Kuth- Li (left) and Martin Soto in Bert Salzman s Geronimo Jones (LCA, 1970). Director Tom Smith s The American Indian Speaks EB) features historically important Native Americans such as Chief Dan George and Lame Deer, focusing on three American Indian tribes and how they were evolving to maintain their cultures. Rev. Cliff Hill describes how the Muskogee Creek are fighting to maintain their language, and the Ceremonial Stomp Dance is shown. Medicine Man Lame Deer ( John Fire) addresses aspects of the Rosebud Sioux existence, and All- Indian Rodeo is shown, and the Wounded Knee massacre is discussed. Several members of Oregon s Nisqually tribe discuss the struggle to retain fishing rights, underscored by newsreel footage of tribe members fighting with federal authorities and being arrested. The film ends with shots of Native American steel workers building the Sears Tower, filmed by Smith, who climbed to a perch 86 stories high, accompanied by Caw Indian Jim Pepper s jazzy version of his composition Witchi-Tai-To. The making of the film was not without certain challenges, as director Smith writes: The Academy Award nominated actor, Chief Dan George, provided the voice for the Indian readings. Popular editor, critic and TV personality Clifton Fadiman was the film s

48 One Social Science and Geography Films 37 narrator. He was associated with EBF as a cultural consultant and for some reason became involved with the film. It seems so out of character for him. Nonetheless he graciously assisted in my getting this film past EBF management, who were bewildered by the movie. They expected a basket weaving and pottery making film shown where the Indians live, etc. They did not want a film raising all these embarrassing questions about the white man s treatment of the Native American the feeling at management screening was they didn t like what the film was saying but would be criticized if they censored it. To make the film, three of us traveled around the country. One of my key assistants was a young man named Bob Vineyard. Bob was a political radical and became more radical as he aged. Around 1983 (more than a decade after we made this film), he was so concerned about Right Wing dictatorships in Central America (can t recall which) that he traveled there and simply disappeared. Fadiman died in 1999 and Chief Dan George in Our collaborator was author Stan Steiner, who lived only tho the age of 62 (1987). He died while working at his typewriter. What a way to go. In 1970, John Adair from San Francisco State College and the University of Pennsylvania s Sol Worth provided Navajo individuals with cameras in order to record scenes from village life. Called Navajo Film Themselves (San Francisco State, 1971), the series consists of eight silent films covering areas from basket making to metal smithing. As mentioned in the chapter on the arts on film, Susie Benally s A Navajo Weaver (1966, NYU/MOMA) features her mother, Alta Kahn, preparing wool, then weaving at the loom. A number of films on Native American subjects from the pre 1965 era are worth noting. Indians of the Plains: Present Day Life (1954, Academy Films, uncredited director) visits the Blackfoot reservation at Browning, Montana. Included are sequences showing people working in the reservation towns, Blackfoot farmers at work, children going to the Mad Plume School, Mary Night Star tanning a hide and making a moccasin, and Chief Washakie and his wife making a war bonnet. Director Lawrence Madison s Pueblo Boy (1947, Ford Motor Company) features a boy of the Pueblo nation learning old traditions and modern ways of life. His family includes Tony White, who performs the hoop dance. Arthur Barr produced two films in 1955 that documented the bygone world of California s Yokut Indians, Indians of California: Village Life (Barr), and Indians of California: Food (Barr). The films were made in cooperation with Kern County Museum s Frank Latta, who had written the seminal Handbook of Yokuts Indians. Two employees of the museum, Pete and Clara Barrios, acted in the films. Clara Barrios s great- grandmother, Josie Atwell, also acted in the Food film as the woman pounding and cleaning the acorn meal. She lived in a reservation near the town of Lemoore, and served as subject matter expert. For the films, a mock village was created along the Kern River, where houses were erected, tule boats built, baskets made, and songs, stories, dances, and religious rites were recreated. The films are exacting documents, in terms of showing Yokuts crafts and practices. 36 Special mention should also be made of two other period films produced by Arthur Barr: Mission Life (Barr, 1960) and Rancho Life (Barr, 1992, revised). The former shows the grueling activity of making massive adobe blocks to build mission structures, while the latter illustrates the painstaking process of making a reata (lasso) out of cowhide. Director Kent Mackenzie s The Exiles (1961, McGraw Hill), a documentary filmed over a 12 hour period in Los Angeles, is one of the more powerful, engrossing films made on the Native American experience. Partly filmed in bars such as the Ritz Café, the film focuses on an environment largely devoid of hope, and ends with a fascinating powwow sequence on Hill X. In speaking of possible incarceration, one individual notes: Time s just time to me. If I can do it outside, I can do it inside.

49 38 Films You Saw in School III. Canada With a very few exceptions, all the films noted in this section were produced by the National Film Board of Canada (NFBC). Relatively few were ever shown in the United States. They are significant, compelling films, and many of them are functionally available for free viewing to non Canadian audiences for the first time through the NFBC s website. Back in my early days as a film archivist in the U.S., I was able to purchase approximately 700 reels of 16mm NFBC films after they were de- accessioned from an NFBC field office and sold to an individual in the U.S., whose wife demanded he sell the films after they d taken over the laundry area of their house. I was the beneficiary of her ire. I watched each film over a period of several months, and recognized that the Film Board had an exceptionally strong body of work that almost never appeared in U.S. classroom film libraries. I am reasonably sure that U.S libraries refused to buy them because they were convinced that Canadian content wouldn t be of much interest in U.S. classrooms. The themes, however, are universal, and the Film Board considered the craft of filmmaking to be an art form; the directing, editing, and acting in these films are superb. Non-Inuit Indigenous Peoples in Canada One earlier film that is commonly found in North American classroom film libraries is director Stephen Greenlees s Indian Hunters (1949, NFBC), a fascinating film in which two members of the Ottawa tribe paddle and portage a canoe to find food in the backwoods waterways of Québec. Cree Hunters of the Mistassini NFBC), directed by Boyce Richardson and beautifully filmed by Tony Ianzelo, shows the Cree making their seasonal return to traditional lands, building a lodge house, hunting beaver, and renewing their relationship with elements of their traditional past. Director Duke Redbird s Charley Squash Goes to Town (1969, NFBC/LCA) is a poignant, funny tale of a young boy ping- ponged from one politically correct environment to another, eventually casting them all aside as he achieves his own identity. The Film Board made many films on historical aspects of the native experience, but few may have been as powerful as the personal history of Métis filmmaker Gil Cardinal s Foster Child NFBC), in which the 35-year-old director makes an attempt to discover his past. He knows very little, only that he was left temporarily with a family as a foster child, and was never reclaimed by his mother. The film is unrehearsed and shot in vérité style, quite effective in Cardinal s trek from the social agency to several families that may or may not be the key to his past. His first glimpse of his biological mother through an old photograph is an unforgettable moment for the viewer, reminding the viewer of the power that a superior autobiographical film can convey. Inuit and Northern Aboriginal Films Film historian/producer/theoretician John Grierson credits Robert Flaherty s Nanook of the North Revillon Frères) as the first film that could properly be called a documentary (a word, incidentally, invented by Grierson). Prior to this film, ethnic peoples were shown in travelogue films as curiosities, seemingly devoid of personality or nobility. Flaherty, who filmed the Inuit in the Hudson Bay area explored by his adventurer father, showed the daily life of Nanook and his family as they brave the elements in their quest for survival.

50 One Social Science and Geography Films 39 Their unforgiving environment would soon claim the life of Nanook, who would be dead of starvation two years after the work was completed on the film bearing his name. Dances of the Kwakiutl Orbit Films), an anthropological film directed by William Heick, documents winter dances with magnificent masks and costumes, filmed in a traditional setting on northeast Vancouver Island. In director Doug Wilkinson s poetically tragic Land of the Long Day NFBC), we see Inuit customs of the Tununermiut group as they were in the early 1950s, with seal, narwhal, and whale hunting in Pond Inlet on the island of Alukseevee. The film focuses on a journey with Idlouk, the protagonist, through each month of the year. Life is not easy: several years after the film was made, Idlouk drove over a snowy cliff in what was considered a suicide. This film is not only a sobering look at the challenges faced by the Inuit, it is also a tribute to the filmmaker working in adverse conditions in which cameras freeze and weather is unpredictable. Several years later, director William F. Deneen filmed a similar scenario in his Eskimo Family EB) following the migration of hunter Anakudluk and family to traditional hunting grounds, near Frobisher Bay (Iqaluit) on Baffin Island. 37 Two notable films on the northern indigenous cultures located in the United States are included here for continuity. Disney s Oscar- winning Alaskan Eskimo (1953), directed by James Algar, featured the indigenous people of Hooper Bay, Alaska, and included scenes of sod house and boat building, filmed by Alfred and Elma Milotte. The Milottes lived in Hooper Bay for seven months while engaged in filming this visually stunning film, which COURTESY ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, INC. Anakudluk in director Bill Deneen s Eskimo Family (EB, 1959).

51 40 Films You Saw in School focused on the family of Koganak. In her analysis of the film, author Ann Fienup- Riordan notes two of the questionable elements commonly found in Disney s documentary films of the era: the condescending attitude toward the subjects, and the silly and inappropriate musical score: Another sequence shows Koganak s wife making akutaq, known as Eskimo ice cream. Again, the film emphasizes the primitive character of Eskimo habits: Add blubber and reindeer tallow to this savory sauce. Mix thoroughly and by hand. Add blueberries. Finally clean utensils thoroughly. This mess, ah, mixture is called akutaq blueberry ice cream with a fish flavor. It is appreciated by young and old alike, but only if you re Eskimo. Condescending as the narration is, the film has the distinction of showing the process of making akutaq for the first time. The soundtrack that accompanies the film is typical Disney. Crusader music accompanies a sled trip to get water and wood, and a battle theme plays in the background while the men try to corral a herd of reindeer. The blanket toss is accompanied by a steady boing, boing, boing. Disney Studios anticipated a problem in selecting a musical score to go with the masked dances. In August, the film s associate producer, Ben Sharpsteen, wrote the Milottes: It has occurred to some of us here that the material you photographed on the Eskimo ceremonial dances should be accompanied by a sound track which is enough like the original intonations so as to appear authentic. Therefore, we would like to inquire whether or not it would be possible for you to make a recording of their chanting and such music as is used for their ceremonials so that we could have the record here to study and possibly duplicate. (Sharpsteen to Milotte, August 13, 1946) Apparently the Milottes were unable to procure a recording with the requisite appearance of authenticity. The final accompaniment to the masked dances reminds one of movie Indians attacking Fort Apache. 38 Director Wayne Mitchell s Eskimos: A Changing Culture (1971, BFA), filmed more than ten years later, explored the new cultural realities for the villagers in Mekoyuk, Nunivak Island, Bering Sea. In this new era, children leave the village by plane to attend high school, and the reindeer industry is undergoing a technical and economic transition. Mitchell offers no omniscient answers, but instead offers opinions as well as questions from young and old as to how their culture is undergoing change. THE MACOS NETSILIK FILMS The Netsilik films themselves are among the most elegant educational fare ever made, non- didactic, and fine examples of inquiry- based curriculum. Fishing at the Stone Weir NFBC) follows a small nomadic group as it marches through mosquito- infested marshes to a traditional fishing area. Although the days are sunny, the on- screen written introduction informs the viewer that the average temperature is 40 Fahrenheit. Upon the party s arrival at the site, boulders are moved into a circle, and a hide tent is erected in its center. While the woman skins a ptarmigan, the two men stand in icy waters, hauling large, underwater boulders to form a continuous chain of rock. Eventually, fish are seen splashing against the stones, unable to cross, and the men spearing the fish with tridents. Afterward, the camera focuses on the creation of the trident itself, fashioned primarily from bones. Transition sequences consist mainly of establishing shots of tundra vistas, linking the traditional hunting duties of the men with the home- centered communal and personal tasks (preparing food, braiding care, caring for children) of the woman. One of the more astounding sequences in the Netsilik series occurs in At the Autumn

52 One Social Science and Geography Films 41 River Camp NFBC) as the fishermen wrap their catch in a lengthy, thin piece of hide, pour water on it to form ice, and meticulously add to the ice layer of this unusual elongated object. The viewer is curious: this process must be important, because the fishermen are laboring so heavily. Eventually, they cobble together two long hides full of fish and some antlers, and they soon have a serviceable sled in which the cargo is the conveyance. As might be expected, conditions were arduous for the crew. Since transferring a camera from the as minus 10 Fahrenheit outdoors to indoors would cause irreparable condensation damage to camera and film, cameraman Robert M. Young utilized two cameras, one exclusively for outdoor use, another for warmer temperatures indoors. 39 While many schools purchased films from the Netsilik series, it seems to be the case that many elected not to buy all parts of the multi- part films, some of which were three reels 90 minutes in length. Films in the series included At the Spring Sea Ice Camp (three parts), At the Winter Sea Ice Camp (three parts), Autumn River Camp (two parts), Building a Kayak (two parts), Caribou Hunting at the Crossing Place (two parts), Fishing at the Stone Weir (two parts), Group Hunting on the Spring Ice (three parts), Jigging for Lake Trout (one part), and Stalking Seal on the Spring Ice (two parts). POST MACOS NETSILIK FILMS Two derivative film projects emanated from the Netsilik series. One, apparently an attempt at reaching a younger audience, was Laurence Hyde s thirteen- part Tuktu series ( , NFBC), consisting of much of the same footage shot during Quentin Brown s earlier visits. Largely lacking the impact and grandeur of the earlier series, the Tuktu films are narrated by an actor playing the part of an elderly Inuit who describes events from his youth, accompanied by a musical soundtrack, in films such as Tuktu and His Eskimo Dogs NFBC). Several years after the initial films in the Netsilik series were shot, anthropologist Asen Balikci returned to the Pelly Bay area as a consultant to director Gilles Blais for his film Yesterday-Today: The Netsilik Eskimo (1971, NFBC), contrasting the life of the Inuit in government housing versus the old nomadic life. Among the most sobering images are of the family: the husband and wife no longer appear to laugh, joke, or play, and the child now hides in the corner from visitors. European Canadians An essential element of the mission of the National Film Board of Canada is to interpret Canada for Canadians and non Canadians alike. Among Canada s most profitable industries are timber and wheat, which were subjects commonly addressed in NFBC films. Grain elevators dot the landscape like huge wooden prairie dogs, the only things visible on the horizon for miles. Director Charles Konowal, in Grain Elevator NFBC), takes the viewer inside, to the dust and the noise and the mystery, showing how a single operator uses a pulley- operated non- electric elevator to ascend to the top of the structure, and outside, where the same man single- handedly moves a loaded boxcar solely with the aid of a modified crowbar. In Mac s Mill (1976, NFBC), director Robert Nichol visits Mac Armstrong s water- powered sawmill in Waweig, New Brunswick. It was built in 1909, and Mac shows how everything works. In the fascinating Log House (1976, NFBC), directed by Andres Poulsson and Michael Rubbo, Lionel Belisle builds a log house out of the trees he fells, in Morin Heights, Québec.

53 42 Films You Saw in School One of the most fascinating of the many films made by Crawley Films is director René Bonnière s The Jean Richard (1963, NFBC). Every winter, the fishermen of Petite Rivières, Québec, would gather together to build a vessel called a goélette. Hewed from trees growing on nearby hills, these large boats are built outdoors in extremely cold weather, using axes, adzes, and steam boxes to shape the timbers. When completed, these flat- bottomed craft trade along the St. Lawrence River, settling on silt at low tide in each village due to the lack of deep- water docking facilities. The film culminates in an energetic all- night accordion celebration prior to the launching. Director Guy Coté documents change in the Maritimes in Fishermen (1959, NFBC), in which trawling is pushing single- line fishing into the past, in the waters near Pennytoss and Petit- de-gras, Nova Scotia. In director Beverly Shaffer s Beautiful Lennart Island (1977, NFBC), ten- year-old Steven Thomas Holland s classroom is the small island off the coast of British Columbia he shares with his sister and parents. This tribute to the resourcefulness of generations of lighthouse keepers is hosted by Holland, who guides us to his places of play and reflection. Many of the National Film Board of Canada s most memorable films feature individuals with unique lives. Unfortunately, they were not widely shown in the United States. Director Eugene Boyko s remarkable Canaries to Clydesdales NFBC) traveled with country veterinarians Vic Demetrick and Reg Maidment on their appointed rounds. Here, they castrate a sheep, saw out a stillborn calf, remove porcupine quills from a dog s muzzle, and stick an arm up a cow s anal tract to remove a piece of metal. The cow becomes justifiably enraged, and angrily chases the vet around the pen. This fascinating film includes interesting banter between the vets, discussing their working relationship. I ll be dead or drowned before I quit! says ancient prospector Albert Faille, as he attempts to go upriver in the Yukon yet again in search for gold, in director Donald Wilder s mythic Nahanni NFBC). Either a tribute to man s perseverance or to his folly, Nahanni is one of the more unforgettable films ever produced by the Film Board. Director Lois Siegel has made a number of films on Canadians involved in unusual pursuits. Stunt People (1989, NFBC) profiles Marcel Fournier and four generations of Les Frères Cascadeurs. Smashing cars, catching fire, and falling off buildings are their specialties. The film shows how it s done, and how this tradition is handed down to younger generations. Occasionally, filmmakers would foray into the world of real teenagers and young adults. Bill Reid, a young long- haired adult filmmaker, hopped into his Volkswagen to film a return visit to his conservative suburban parents in Coming Home (1973, NFBC), revealing a startlingly dysfunctional family led by a father who initially cannot accept his son due to his long hair. Reid eventually cuts his hair to please his father, Bill Reid, director of Coming Home (NFBC, 1973). then finds that his hair length was PHOTOGRAPH BY LOIS SIEGEL

54 One Social Science and Geography Films 43 a non- issue, revealing the immense philosophical and psychological differences between the two. The Film Board was never shy about revealing Canada s skid row scene. The Agony of Jimmy Quinlan NFBC), produced by Janice Brown, Robert Duncan, and Andy Thomson, depicts the journey of one of the 5,000 people in Montréal s skid row; much of this isn t pretty, what with inner- city rescue missions, petty boozer jealousies, etc. There are elements of humor: in one sequence, the cameraman approaches a beat- up heap of a car sitting on blocks in a vacant lot; the doors open and the four inhabitants offer the crew a drink and begin a rousing, high- spirited song. Director Michael Scott s and co- director Marrin Canell s Whistling Smith NFBC) is an Oscar- nominated cinéma-vérité documentary of Sergeant Bernie Smith walking the beat in Vancouver s skid row. Known for whistling as he walks his beat, he befriends prostitutes, tells pimps to move along, and warns a customer, Hey, fella, you know that girl s a prostitute? Although citizens and Bernie Smith alike are, to a certain extent, playing for the camera, the proprietor of a Chinese restaurant is not, when he kicks out the entire film crew as well as Sergeant Smith for disturbing his customers. Director Michael Scott s Station 10 NFBC) was shot in a period of two months at Montreal PD s downtown Station 10 precinct. The viewer discovers a week- old suicide by rifle, the death of a fellow cop, an illegal arrest, and abuse hurled at the cameramen by those being arrested. The action shot in Montreal s demimonde is narrated without the benefit of opinion or apology in a drab but effective matter- of-fact delivery, spoken by Captain Jacques Cinq- Mars. The Film Board also produced oral tradition- style documentaries of the people of various ethnic and social groups within Canada, including two exceptional films by Ukrainian- Canadian director Halya Kuchmij. The Strongest Man in the World (1980, NFBC) is the story of Mike Swistun, once billed as Ringling Bros. Strongest Man, but soon called back to the farm, where he then lived for several decades under the strange death- shadow of his father. Swistun s now dilapidated farm serves as a metaphor for his personal history in this bittersweet story of failed ambition, as described by narrator Jack Palance. In Laughter in My Soul (1983, NFBC), 90-year-old cartoonist Jacob Maydanyk talks of his Ukrainian roots and fields a visit from an elderly churchman. Ted Baryluk s Grocery NFBC), directed by John Paskievich and Michael Mirus, visits the small grocery in northern Winnipeg. Baryluk discusses, through black and white still photos and his own words, the tremendous diversity of his tiny store s patrons, and expresses sorrow that his daughter doesn t want to run the store upon his retirement. Director Susan Trow, the product of an upper- class matrilineal family that extends 150 years into the past, investigates the changing social mores and attitudes of women in her family through old photographs in Just a Lady (1980, NFBC). Trow s directorial skill in editing and shooting the photographs is superb, and her analysis of the forces determining the decisions of her previous counterparts is compelling. Ultimately, her decision to break from tradition drives the film s final moments, in a revealing personal statement that provides the social and historical context to her chosen treatment. One of the more controversial films on female subjects in Canada was director Bonnie Sherr Klein s Not a Love Story (1978, NFBC), essentially the story of adult entertainer Lindalee Tracey, from a feminist perspective. The 69-minute film featured Tracey s nude act on one of its three reels, creating consternation at Film Board distribution points, as it was common for returned prints to be missing the reel showing her act.

55 44 Films You Saw in School The Film Board made a number of films on religious life in Canada. Director Colin Low s The Hutterites NFBC), filmed in a Hutterite colony in Alberta, discusses their work, religious principles, farming, and the fact that all property is held in common. Religion figures prominently in the life of Tony Ianzelo s aging father in Antonio (1966, NFBC), a portrait of an Italian immigrant who in many ways cannot adjust to the changes in family life that are part and parcel to life in a new country. In Seven Shades of Pale (1975, NFBC), director Les Rose introduces two generations of black families living near Weymouth Falls, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia. The interaction between the older people, who are churchgoers, and younger individuals, who identify with the Black United Front, provides a fascinating glimpse into intra- cultural relationships. IV. Latin America Generally speaking, two types of sociopolitical films on Latin American subjects were most commonly found in North American school film libraries: the travelogue, a sixties holdover from the earlier days of educational film; and the documentary, increasingly popular from the 1970s onward. Producer Sullivan C. Richardson s Rough Road to Panama Viking Pictures) documents Richardson s Pan American Highway Expedition of , the first of a two- part series describing the first successful attempt to drive an automobile from the United States to the tip of South America (the companion film was Rugged Road to Cape Horn). Here, Richardson and two companions (one of whom is Arnold Whitaker) explore the route that would eventually become the Pan American Highway. The going is rugged: at times, their Plymouth sedan is towed by men and burros through difficult terrain. On the way, they visit Mexico City and meet President Miguel Alemán, witness the pre Columbian site of Monte Albán, see Lake Atitlán in Guatemala, and view hat weaving in El Salvador. Filmmaker Paul Hoefler, whose failure to mention issues of separation in his South African films will be discussed later, again skirts political issues in Panama Canal (1962). His treatment suggests a nationalistic bias leaning toward a depiction of the Canal as an element of Manifest Destiny, while doing a credible job of showing the technical workings of the machinery. By contrast, Michael Halperin s Panama: Zone of Conflict (1975, Paramount/Oxford) provides historical data as well as differing U.S. and Panamanian views as to who rightfully should own the canal, in view of the previous 70 years of history. Halperin further addresses conflict within the U.S. itself, interviewing, among others, conservative Harry Byrd, and the more liberal Jacob Javits. Somewhat surprisingly, the U.S. State Department had two years earlier taken the forward step of producing and distributing From Where I Sit: Foreign Policy (1967, prod. Henry Strauss), an intelligent multicultural perspective on fishing rights in national and international waters. The title of the film derived from an insert consisting of an ingenious rotating sculpture used to separate segments of the program, appearing to be a chair in the forward view, but a disconnected series of horizontal and vertical bars when seen from any other point of view. There may be few indictments of the Reagan- era Latin American foreign policy in classroom film as powerful as Obie Benz s Americas in Transition (1981), an Oscar nominee for Best Short Documentary that year. Providing a historical perspective on the successes of previous U.S. administrations in destroying democratic governments in Guatemala,

56 One Social Science and Geography Films 45 PHOTOGRAPH BY LOIS SIEGEL Dancer Lindalee Tracey, the subject of director Bonnie Sherr Klein s Not a Love Story (NFBC, 1978).

57 46 Films You Saw in School Nicaragua, Chile, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic, Benz s film provides a scathing report on how the Reagan administration and the CIA continued to support right- wing death squads and undemocratic, right- leaning governments. Augmented by interviews with experts such as Murat Williams (former U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador) and writer Carlos Fuentes, it s surprising that this film, deviating as it does from the conservative political perspective inherent in many U.S. school districts, made it into American classrooms at all. 40 Another film that looked at US- Central American relations from a nontraditional perspective was Wayne Mitchell s Central America: History and Heritage (1985, BFA), which addressed the significance of the land reform movement, the roles of the Catholic Church and the Cuban government, and right- wing death squads. Mexico Due to its proximity to the United States, films on the country of Mexico were commonly shown in North American schools, especially in the southwestern states and California. Films made in the 1940s and 1950s are of particular interest, as they document ethnographic elements of the era. Director Willard Hahn s Mexican Village Life Hoefler) visits the village of San Diego de Tecoltepec, 6 miles from Toluca in central Mexico. Hahn focuses on the harvesting of maguey juice, the washing of clothes in a stream, and the town s water cistern, as the village has no running water. The villagers board a beautiful old bus to take their goods to the nearby market in Toluca, and walk home to avoid paying the fare of several centavos. Producer Ralph Adams made a number of travelogue- oriented films on Mexican themes. Maguey: Plant of a Thousand Uses Ralph Adams) describes the myriad products made from this plant, including fences, paper, tequila, pulque, needle, thread, and rope. In Fisher Folk of Lake Pátzcuaro Ralph Adams), Taracsan Indians, living on the island of Janítzio, are shown fishing with their butterfly nets, using a throwing spear to catch ducks, and going to market. Baja California: The Pacific Coast of Mexico Johnson Hunt Productions), produced by Silas Johnson, documents a remarkable trip down the Baja Peninsula. Here, Hunt travels from Ensenada to Cabo San Lucas, stopping at the waterless village of Magdalena Bay, Tortuga Bay, and the vineyards at Santo Tomás. El Cumpleaños de Pepita IFB, uncredited director, English title: Pepita s Surprise) transcends the didactic, and provides a glimpse into the Mexico that has, in many places, all too quickly disappeared. In this story of an Indian family, Pepita and her uncle travel to Lake Pátzcuaro and the island of Janítzio, get their pictures taken by an itinerant photographer, see local traditional Michoacán dancing, and attend a birthday party. By contrast, an upper- class family is shown in Guadalajara Family Hoefler), produced by Paul Hoefler. Here, the son goes to military school, the family attends a garden party, and they all go to a nearby lake, where father s got plans to put in a development project. In To Find Our Life: The Peyote Hunt of the Huichols of Mexico (1969, UCLA), director Peter T. Furst accompanies a group of sixteen Huichol Indians on their ritual journey to obtain peyote in the high desert country. The film shows how peyote is eaten and documents the trance which follows. Producers Thomas L. and Jacqueline K. Schmidt s Mexico: Giant of Latin America (1971, Le Mont Films) describes the economic and cultural challenges of the Mexico of the day. The film shows Norman Borlaug, who won the Nobel Prize for his research on better- yielding wheat, as well as a VW manufacturing plant, the Mexico City

58 One Social Science and Geography Films 47 subway, and a Mexican instrumental surf music band playing Davie Allan s Supercycle. The film ends with the election parade of president Luis Echeverría Álvarez. Market Place in Mexico (1974, FilmFair), directed by Severo and Judith Anne Perez, was filmed in the marketplace at Ocotlán, Oaxaca. It discusses the economics of the market, focusing on a serape maker, a potter and a rope maker, and links the contemporary marketplace to that of the Aztecs. The Caribbean Predictably, educational film companies reflections on Cuba, particularly in the earlyto-mid 1960s, were less than complimentary. Alan Landsburg s Fidel Castro (1962, McGraw- Hill) from David Wolper s Biography series, featured interesting early shots of Fidel and Batista, narrated with a distinct anti Castro edge by Mike Wallace, from the. script by Landsburg and Irwin Rosten. Fifteen years later was Arthur Holch s Cuba: The Castro Generation (1977, ABC News), more even- handed than the earlier film. Visually engaging, with narration by Howard K. Smith, this film takes us on a trip to the cigar factories of Havana, to the clinics and schools, yet still presents Cuba in a comparative light, contrasting it with its wealthy neighbor ninety miles to the west, rather than with regard to other Caribbean nations. Undoubtedly, such films editorial content helped to form opinions in the developing minds of the generation that would soon be in control of the wealthiest nation in the world; the question must be posed as to the breadth of their contribution to the mindset that continues to drive the economic boycott of a nation having the longest tenured leader in the Western Hemisphere. Opposite views did exist within the film community. Cuba and Fidel (1975, dir. Chris Burrill, David Davis, Saul Landau, Bill Yahraus/ Focal Point/Churchill), presents a visit with Castro, in which he discusses politics and takes the filmmakers on a journey to a small house for a friendly visit with various families, where he drinks, smokes cigars, and tells jokes. Bill Deneen made a number of films that featured influential leaders of developing nations. In Puerto Rico: Its Past, Present and Promise (1965, EB), he describes how Puerto Rico, with too many people and too few resources, created an industrial economy and emerged from colonial rule to self- government. Governor Luis Muñoz Marín here describes his Operation Bootstrap program, interviewed on- camera with director Deneen. Central America In Hill Towns of Guatemala (1942, U.S. Office of Inter- American Affairs), producer Ralph E. Gray visits several place in the Lake Atitlán area, showing the use of the backstrap loom and the hand- making of sisal rope in San Pedro, the town of Sololá, the market in Santiago, and the city of Chichicastenango. While National Geographic s Families of the World series was generally disappointing in terms of content, Central America (Nicaragua) (dir. Ettore Botta, 1987) in the series was a clear exception, as reminiscent of the style pioneered by Paul Saltzman. Here we follow the daily life of 12-year-old Oswaldo Gaitan of Masaya, Nicaragua, who shows us his simple and colorful home, his school, and his joy at learning how to paint, taught by local artist Don Jose del Carmen Suazo. El Salvador: A Nation of Change (1977, Screenscope, uncredited director) is a pre civil war film that focuses on the social and economic issues that are gripping the nation. Openair markets and the textile and shrimping industries are discussed.

59 48 Films You Saw in School Director Glenn Silber s Oscar- nominated El Salvador: Another Vietnam (1981, Catalyst Media) features many of the important political players in El Salvador, some of whom were assassinated after their interviews. The film includes U.S. Senate hearings, Salvadorean government officials, the killing of Archbishop Romero and the Maryknoll nuns, and Reagan s justification for U.S. involvement. 41 Director Wayne Mitchell s The Cuna Indians: Island Exiles (1983, BFA) explored a culture in which food, drinking water, and even soil have to be brought in by canoe from the Panamanian mainland by these independent people, who isolated themselves on the San Blas Islands for protection against political and social foes. Mitchell, who made a number of films on indigenous groups from around the world, also documented Panama s Choco Indians in Rainforest Family (1971, BFA). South America Films based on the culture and geography of South America spanned from didactic travelogues, to cultural and ethnographic studies, to films dealing with the harsh economic realities of an exploited underclass. Typical of the travelogue genre was The Andes Story (1954, uncredited director, Standard Oil of California), a Technicolor travelogue spanning several countries, that, while featuring beautiful photography by Willard C. Hahn, avoids mention of the social issues resulting from the economic virtues it extols, which would have been of greater value to teachers than just another film with pretty pictures. The treatment, corporate sponsor, and involvement of longtime associate Hahn, suggest the film might have been produced by Walt Disney confidant Paul Hoefler. Director Clifford J. Kamen s Peruvian Plateau: Problem of Industry and Transportation (1954, Hollywood Film Enterprises) discussed placer and industrial mining and the traditional and contemporary challenges of bringing metals to market in the Andes. He also visits the smelter at Arroya, railway switchbacks, and the small local spinning, weaving, and textiles industry. A later travelogue filmed in the Andes, consisting of a compelling story and footage, was producer Tony Morrison s Three Miles High BBC/Time- Life). The film was part of the BBC s Great Railway Journeys of the World series, written and hosted by Miles Kington. Here, world- class cinematographers Nick Lera and John Howarth travel with Kington from Huancayo to Huancavelica, bus to Cusco, train to Macchu Pichu, then again train to Puno, Lake Titicaca, after Cusco. The journey ends at Vilcha, Bolivia, where they find themselves in the middle of a coup. The musical soundtrack is performed by Jade Warrior. One of the first films seen in classrooms dealing with the enmity between Andean Indian groups and their mestizo overseers and landlords was Willard Van Dyke s So That Men Are Free (1963), made for CBS News 20th Century series, documenting the story of a ten- year-old effort led by anthropologists to provide 2,300 formerly feudal peasant farmers a land- based stake in their own country. In spite of the disconcerting orchestral musical score, the film is compelling, particularly in the testimony of former overseer Enrique Luna, who eventually befriended and assisted the campesinos who were his former adversaries. As evidenced by a film which appeared ten years later, Viracocha: Aymara of the Bolivian Andes (1974, dir. Hubert Smith, American University Field Staff ), the problem of ending the exploitation of indigenous workers was a challenging one, underscored by the naked exposure of the brilliantly ugly vérité encounters between the two sides, documented by Smith and producer Norman Miller.

60 Peter Pilafian s Master Weavers of the Andes (EB, 1977), filmed in the environs of Lake Titicaca, Peru. COURTESY ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, INC.

61 50 Films You Saw in School Some of the most memorable cultural films on South American subjects combined the richness of native crafts with the beauty of indigenous music. An exceptional example of this type of film is Peter Pilafian s Master Weavers of the Andes (1977, EB), an ethnographic look at weavers in the villages of the Lake Titicaca area, including Isla Taquile, with musical soundtrack by noted Andean performer Uña Ramos. On a simpler scale was Lee Bobker s Family of the Mountains: Peruvian Village (1971, Vision Associates/McGraw-Hill), a fascinating non- narrated film chronicling the quotidian events of water and wood gathering, cultivating land, and attending the local school, accompanied by a soundtrack consisting of Andean music played on guitar and harp. Other films, such as Highland Indians of Peru (1969, unknown director, Institut fur Films und Bild/Films Inc.), suggested a more balanced political approach in asking whether the people themselves were satisfied with the status quo. Paul Saltzman, whose World Cultures and Youth series of films ostensibly described children of different ethnicities learning the traditional arts and crafts of their regions, often included sequences introducing the viewer to the often harsh realities of indigenous communities. Julia the Gourdcarver (1978, Coronet) is the story of eleven- year-old Julia Sanabría, learning the art form from her Uncle Florencio. Saltzman refuses to gloss over the trying economic conditions experienced by the girl and her family, whether discussing their usual dinner of potatoes, or the fact that my father left us when I was very young, and never came back. Without being cloying or pedan- CREDIT: PAUL SALTZMAN Uncle Florencio and niece Julia Sanabria, in Paul Saltzman s Julia the Gourdcarver, filmed near Huancayo, Peru (Sunrise Films, 1978).

62 One Social Science and Geography Films 51 tic, the film addresses moral issues that are important to Julia, as she washes, pencils, and carves a gourd to sell at the Sunday market in Huancayo in order to be able to buy a sweater for her grandfather. This children s film is an exceptional one, offering simple and, at times, deceptively innocent answers to some difficult questions. A characteristic of several films on Spanish- speaking countries in the Western hemisphere was the use of flamenco guitar soundtracks. Producer Arthur Evans s South America: Market Day (1971, BFA), a nicely done overview of what is probably a marketplace in Bolivia, is accompanied by a flamenco soundtrack (the flamenco tradition never took root in the West). In addition to the Andes region, the Amazon provided another interesting locale for filmmakers. Director Francis Thompson s Amazon Family (1961, IFF) is introduced by a map by noted animator Philip Stapp, and focuses on the Serengueiros, jungle- based rubber gatherers who live near the Peruvian- Brazilian border. The work is arduous, involving hot, dripping rubber, ultimately carried on a worker s back to a waiting boat. Hand- processed sugar cane is also documented. Noted filmmaker George Sluizer s Raft (1974, Phoenix), filmed in Brazil s northeastern state of Maranhão, finds the caboclos building a raft of 8000 logs of balsa wood, then floating it down the Balsas River. This foot raft contains no nails, and becomes a floating compound, complete with livestock, for the workers and their families. They travel 700 miles in three weeks to the city of Teresina, to sell the wood which makes up the raft, as well as their animals, for under $20. In Ecuador: Land of the Equator (1964, prod. Thomas L. Schmidt, LeMont Films), a visit to a military academy in which cadets are given diplomas, then sent to the United States for further training, prompts the narrator to promise that they will return to make this a better place to live. Such statements, typical of many geographical- industrial films, inculcated, accidentally or on purpose, colonialist values held by U.S.-based producers, and suggested the acceptance of the oligarchic power structure by the people themselves. In similar fashion, Willard C. Hahn s beautifully photographed Paraguay: A New Frontier prod. Paul Hoefler) essentially ignores indigenous peoples, and instead focuses on a Mennonite cooperative farm in Filadelfia, and American Bob Eaton, who owns a cattle ranch and uses local Lingua vaquero herders. Eaton and the boys pack pistols to ward off rustlers as they drive their cattle toward Asunción, and display a hand- cranked radio bringing civilization to the wild Chaco. One suspects that there s more to this subplot of the story that the film doesn t unveil. The footage of a period streetcar in old Asunción adds a charming time capsule effect to the film. Some filmmakers suggested that social solutions that had been traditionally denigrated might, instead, have value when seen in a new context. Director Andrew Nemes s South America: The Widening Gap (1975, Audio- Visual Productions/McGraw-Hill) introduces the viewer to the promised land of the hillside barrios that expand the limits of urban areas, creating their own commercial districts in the process. This important film argues that with access to running water, some limited services, and electricity, there may be positive societal aspects to ad hoc squatter housing. Producer Len Brown s three- part Brazil series (1980, BBC/Films Inc.) addressed issues of class and society in three well- made films. Brazil: Progress Who Is It For? discusses the travails of lower- class workers at the FIAT plant in Belo Horizonte. Brazil: Skyscrapers and Slums investigates the lives of the poor in São Paulo, while Brazil: City of Newcomers focuses on issues associated with large- scale immigration to cities such as Belo Horizonte. Filmmaker Alvin J. Gordon made an interesting film shot in a little- known country, in

63 52 Films You Saw in School Leenya: Daughter of the Noble Blacks of Surinam (1973, Alvin J. Gordon). Leenya uses the term Bush Negro to describe her people, and describes elements of daily life, including peeling and detoxifying casaba, and making it into flour and bread. Other sequences include woodcarving and a school boat. Perhaps the best publicized anthropological films in the South American subgenre were those in the Yanomamo series, made by filmmaker Timothy Asch and anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon in Brazil and Venezuela. Ultimately, the films were questioned for their authenticity, and some of the personal motives and actions came under criticism as well. The Ax Fight (1975, DER) was one film under the spotlight, as indicated in a review quoted by Karl Heider: Shot in 1971, on Asch s second trip to the Yanomamo after Chagnon had spent three years studying them, 400 feet (10 minutes) of film was shot on a single 30-minute event. A quickly escalating melee among the residents and visitors in a Yanomamo village (southern Venezuela). More and more people get drawn into the fight, weapons become more serious, until one man is knocked out, and the fight simmers down. The major ethnographic approach: to present different ways of looking at a single event. Second: Selective analysis, Chagnon narrating, explaining events, use of slow motion and still frame. Third: Using kinship diagrams to explain relationships of different participants. Fourth: Edited version. In the first section, film stops but we hear voices of Chagnon, Asch, and Johnson discussing the event Chagnon s first information turns out later to be wrong. Cinematic features: Important model of different styles of presentation. Also, rare inclusion of anthropologists in informal reaction. (First section not quite unedited sound of ax blows added in lab.) Focusing questions: Is this just a loud swinging riot? Or are there rules and stages of conflict evident? What role do the women play? What sort of non- verbal behavior is important here? What conflict resolution mechanisms are available? What are the differences in the different versions? What slant does the final version present? Are other slants possible? Why was the first explanation of the fight wrong? [Reviewed by Patricia A. Klein and John E. Klein, AA 79:147, 1977]. 42 Chagnon was also accused of exacerbating a measles epidemic and having sexual relationships with his female subjects, charges which, after investigation, were found to be baseless. V. Africa Southern Africa The San, or Bushmen, of the Kalahari Desert have long been a group of interest to filmmakers, dating from the early Paul Hoefler travelogues. Avoiding the condescending attitude evidenced in Paul Hoefler s earlier approach, many subsequent filmmakers provided an insightful look at this resourceful and hardy people. Louis Knobel s Remnants of a Race (1952, Kalahari Films/EB) was a remarkable film for its time. In documenting these nomadic people of Bechuanaland (now Botswana), Knobel compliments their ingenuity in this arid terrain, while cameraman Harry Nel shows them hunting rabbit with a stick maneuvered down a burrow before digging it out at the opposite end, finding water in tiny well, then drawing it into an ostrich egg, making fire by rubbing sticks together, washing from shavings produced from a poisonous root, and pounding a melon into a porridge. Of special interest is John Marshall s The Hunters (1958, Films Incorporated), a study of the hunting practices of the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert. John Marshall was intro-

64 One Social Science and Geography Films 53 duced to Africa by his father Lawrence, founder of Raytheon Corporation, who had taken his family on trips to the Kalahari on four occasions between 1951 and 1958, in the process providing extensive documentation on this hardy and resourceful people. In this film, Marshall follows a small group as they hunt porcupine, mongoose, and giraffe, the latter providing their extended families with sufficient meat for nine days. An interesting follow- up film was made: Bushmen of the Kalahari (1975, dir. Robert M. Young, National Geographic/Wolper), showing Marshall returning to visit old friends, and join them on a 120-mile trek for water. In producer Paul Hoefler s South Africa (2nd ed., 1954), the issue of apartheid is ignored, and the film describes the good living conditions enjoyed by black miners (it s difficult to believe that Hoefler wasn t aware that black workers were housed in small concrete bins, hundreds of miles away from their families). Classroom film treatments of South Africa made a significant change, post Zulu life and village customers were explored in director Pierre Joubert s Amazulu: People of the Sky (1979, FilmFair), as told by an old chief in KwaZulu- Natal. Two films addressed the political and social issues engulfing the South Africa of the 20th century. The sobering Soweto (1976, Burton Fox productions) documents the culture and conditions of Soweto through David Goldblatt s powerful still photographs, accompanied by a soundtrack of bees and disparate voices. The viewer discovers that this area comprising one million people living in 27 towns was something less than the panacea envisioned by its apartheid architects. Producer Peter Davis s The Afrikaaner Experience: Politics of Exclusion (1978, United Nations/LCA) is an exceptional film, and although an indictment of the apartheid regime, provides a historical background necessary to the understanding of the Afrikaaner philosophy. South African filmmaker Tina Viljoen made two extraordinary films in 1983 for the National Film Board of Canada on the subject of changing social conditions in southern Africa. New Look for Naledi: Upgrading a Squatter Settlement describes a squatter settlement of 10,000 people camped on the outskirts of Gabarone, Botswana, with only twenty- four latrines and four water taps. Rather than bulldozing them out of existence, municipal officials instead painstakingly mapped the area, following the natural routes initiated by the settlers. Viljoen, whose father was an urban planner in Pretoria, offers a fascinating glimpse of inclusive government at work in solving a problem brought on by diminishing economic opportunity in outlying areas. In a similar vein, Lessons from Lesotho explores early failed attempts at public housing in Maseru. West Africa Director Julian Biggs s Family of Ghana (1955, Ghana Govt. Film Unit/ NFBC/ McGraw-Hill) is the tale of a coastal fisherman attempting to update the skills of his trade. The trucks portrayed in the film have terrific slogans painted on them too, from it pains you why, to Fear women & save your life. African Girl: Malobi (1960, Atlantis), directed by J. Michael Hagopian, focuses on the Ibo people, who live in the village of Issele- Uku, Nigeria. Here, they build mud and lath houses, carve stools, and harvest yams and pineapple. In Not Far from Bolgatanga (1982, NFBC), directors Barrie Howells and Michael Rubbo discover that standing warm water in the nation of Ghana is rarely a good thing: waterborne parasites abound as animals and humans use the nearest water sources available. The solution was to provide wells, but pumps break with continued use, and the infrastructure doesn t

65 54 Films You Saw in School exist to fix them. The film documents how the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) provided 2500 wells in five years, but the real story is how they integrated well culture into the village life of rural Ghana to affect a long- lasting solution. The cooperative film effort between CIDA and the NFBC suggested workable solutions to tough problems, and are fascinating documents relating to creative, workable ways to engage the input and assistance of local organizations of recipients to affect change that will extend beyond shortterm relief (see also the discussion of Mozambique: Building a Future, below). Filmmaker Hermann Schlenker made a series of eleven films for the international Film Foundation on the ethnicities of Mali called African Village Life. One of the most fascinating of them is Building a House (Bozo People) (1967, IFF). Here, the Bozo of Mali make exceptionally well- crafted homes out of local vegetation. Producers James Gibbs and Marvin Silverman s The Cows of Dolo Ken Paye: Resolving Conflict Among the Kpelle (1980, BFA) focuses on the village of Fokwele, Liberia, and a conflict involving the encroachment of cows belonging to one individual on the land of another. The ordeal of the hot knife test ultimately determines guilt or innocence. East Africa In 1959, social scientist Marshall Segall traveled to Uganda to study the effects of the breaking down of colonialism on the individual citizen. He chose to focus on the Banyankole group, and, although not a filmmaker, used a Bolex camera to make a record of his trip. The result, Gentle Winds of Change: Uganda Columbia U.) is a fascinating pastiche of social scenes, such as the making of plantain beer, a local wedding, and political commentary. Several years after the film was released, Segall joined a number of U.S.-based educators who sent a telegram to the Milton Obate- led Ugandan government, in protest of the arrest of liberal publisher Rajat Neogy. In response, the Ugandan government issued a statement breaking off diplomatic relationships between itself and Syracuse University, where Segall was teaching at the time. Director Charles Konowal s Mozambique: Building a Future (1987, NFBC) describes a significant problem. When the Portuguese left after independence was declared, every dentist in the country left there were hundreds, and they were all white. This catastrophic problem was solved in a unique way: CIDA (the Canadian International Development Administration) assisted the Mozambican government in selecting young people interested in dentistry. CIDA then flew them to Saskatchewan for training, which later included onthe-job training in arctic Inuit villages. After training was complete, the freshly minted dentists were flown home with portable dental kits. In one year, a horrendous potential calamity was creatively avoided. This film is not only powerful in the medical documentary sense: the interaction between the shy Africans and the mildly suspicious Inuit made for a wonderfully interesting social drama as well. Educator Norman Miller produced a number of films on African subjects, among them Harambee (Pull Together) (1974, Documentary Educational Resources), with cameraman David MacDougall, a story of the struggle of a small Kenyan community comprising mostly Boran tribespeople to deliver free education to schoolchildren. While the aims of the film are noble, its treatment is bogged down by acts that are unexplained (the giving of a fowl by one person to another appears to be significant, but the non Kenyan viewer would have a difficult time determining the reason), and a lengthy narrative sequence spoken by one of the children is difficult to understand due to inadequate sound quality and a thick accent, where subtitles would have been helpful.

66 One Social Science and Geography Films 55 CREDIT: PAUL SALTZMAN Slima Jumi caulking a new version of an age- old sea vessel in Zanzibar, in Paul Saltzman s Slima the Dhowmaker (Sunrise Films, 1978). Paul Saltzman s World Cultures and Youth series (known as Spread Your Wings in Canada) chronicles the transference of arts and crafts from one generation to the next within a given ethnic context. Of particular interest is Slima the Dhowmaker (Coronet, 1978), in which a boy of Zanzibar participates in the building and launching of a large wooden boat. The final scene, in which the boat is brought to water s edge, hauled by ropes pulled by villagers over a bed of horizontally placed logs, is one of the most magnificent in the genre. Accompanied by drums and dancers gyrating in colorful dress, the craftsmen finally launch their boat in a regal and joyous cacophony. Saltzman painstakingly sought out a community in which a boat was being built and worked with the villagers to ensure that each significant element of boat building was documented. When the boat could not be finished due to lack of funds, the filmmaker contributed financially so that the film would be finished. VI. The Middle East, North Africa, and Israel In 1978, producer/director Stephen Cross made a series of six films on the subject of Islamic cultural and philosophical influences on countries ranging from Spain to India. His Traditional World of Islam series, distributed by Landmark Media, was more than a simple treatise on a religion, and enhanced the concept by encompassing the art, architecture, and knowledge spread throughout the region by traders, travelers, and scholars. His films stand out for their breadth of focus and their magnificent cinematography, and are non- didactic interpretations of the fascinating world encapsulated within the Islamic dynamic. Two of the finest in the series are Nomad and City and Patterns of Beauty. The former begins with the traditional musicians of Marrakech, and increases its scope to include the rest of the

67 56 Films You Saw in School Magreb, the Levant, and Central Asia. The viewer learns, among other things, that the carpets made by their inhabitants are small because looms have to be portable. The cities of Sana a and the medina (old city) of Fez are described, and the film ends in a circumcision procession. In Patterns of Beauty, the richness of architecture and calligraphy are explored, the latter of which appears as a design element on everything from buildings to carpets. Islamic geometric designs are shown to beautiful effect in the cities of Bursa and Edirne in Turkey, Yazd and Ispahan in Iran, Agra in India, and in the Istanbul palace of Topkapi. Director Jim St. Lawrence made a series of fourteen outstanding films in the Middle East series (1984, TV Ontario/EB), produced by Denise Boiteau, consisting of a well- balanced cultural and historical perspective on numerous aspects of the area. Ancient and Modern: Fall and Rise of the Middle East provides an important overview, in particular of the religions of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, and how they affect change and continuity to the ongoing tensions in the area. Boiteau and St. Lawrence do a superior job of dissecting critical elements, including in such films as The Story of Oil: Chief Economic Resource, which provides both the history and economic impact of oil in the region, and Revolution: Iraq and Iran, which discusses the factors that continue to drive conflict between the two countries. Morocco: A Berber Portrait (1976, Films Inc.), produced by Leopold LaCroix, features magnificent cinematography by Jacques Madvo, and visits the four imperial cities of Fes, Marrakesh, Meknes, and Rabat. Director Peter Shatalow s Laroussie the Saddlemaker (1981, Sunrise/Coronet), in producer Paul Saltzman s World Cultures and Youth series, focused on the saddle- making industry in Fes, Morocco. Director Amiram Amitai s Taleb and his Lamb (1975, Barr) stars the young Taleb El- Oukhbi in a story of love, betrayal, and intergenerational conflict shot in the Negev desert. Hassan El- Afinish & family, also from the Bedouin Al- Rahmani tribe, appear as well, all accompanied by an exceptional musical score by Margalit Oved. The film is significant, as it may represent the earliest example of a film shot in Israel that embraced elements of Arab culture. Israeli home life is the subject of two fascinating films. The idea of one s children being taken care of for extensive periods of time by non- family members has generally been a difficult one for most Americans to accept, yet the Israelis have been doing it for years, as documented in producer Yehuda Tarmu s Family Life: A Kibbutz (1970, Film Associates). The film provides an overview of the kibbutz concept, combining interviews with birth parents and descriptions of the processes that advocate the kibbutz as an economically and socially viable social alternative. A more traditional approach to family life is documented in Israel, a film in National Geographic s Families of the World series, directed by Yves Gerard Issembert. Here, the father is an art professor in the U.S., the mother is a student and musical performer. A visit is made to the daughter s school, and various other aspects of Jerusalem are explored. Director Mark Dolgoy explores the lives of Jewish refugees from Islamic countries in Arab Jews (1976, Phoenix). This significant but little- understood population in Israel is discussed in historical and social perspective. VII. Europe The United Kingdom and Ireland Compelling, affectively interesting classroom films in the pre 1970 era regarding the U.K. were a rarity, while didactic and bland films, remnants of the travelogue era, such as

68 One Social Science and Geography Films 57 London: The City and the People (1965, Coronet), and United Kingdom: England and Wales (1965, Coronet) were found in multitudes of libraries. One interesting exception was director Leslie Daiken s One Potato, Two Potato (1958 British Film Institute), a somewhat somber documentary consisting of children s rhymes and games played in postwar England s bombsites, filmed in a setting reminding the viewer that the country was still deeply involved in recovering from urban destruction. In the English village of Greenmoor, director Dirk Campbell visited with Colin Taylor and his wife Sally, daughter Emily and the Birch family, in English Family: Life in Sheffield (1975, EB). This wonderful pastiche of country life includes a visit to Bob Birch s 800-yearold farm. Actor Douglas Campbell (Dirk s father) is staying with the family, while acting in The Persians, performed in Sheffield s Crucible Theatre. This film is a wonderful portrait of village life, and includes a Mini Cooper wagon, as well as visits to a steel mill, an old grinding mill, a traditional pub, and a one- room schoolhouse built into a former church. Director David Cons s The Wheelwright (1975 GBS/British Films), was produced by photo historian Gail Buckland for the Worshipful Company of Wheelwrights. Narrator Bernard Miles was a liveryman of the company, and he describes K.G. Potter, in the first part of the film, building a traditional wooden wheel, while in the latter part the manufacture of steel industrial rims, spiders, and hubcaps takes place without much human intervention. Director Carson Davidson s Railway with a Heart of Gold Carson Davidson Films) is an account of the Talyllyn Railway, a historic narrow- gauge slate carrier in Tywyn, Wales, and its operation by a preservation society who saved it from being sold for scrap. One of its engines is the oldest operating locomotive in the world. Opened in 1865, the Talyllyn railway was the first narrow- gauge steam railway opened specifically for industrial hauling by steam. Since the saving of the railway in the late 1940s, hundreds of individuals have been involved in keeping it running, and visitors are welcome to ride. Railway volunteers are classed in three groups: adults, adolescents, and children, and a significant number of marriages and children have happened as a result of the social interaction among society members. Director Tony Ianzelo s Bate s Car: Sweet as a Nut NFBC) is one of the most entertaining films ever made by the National Film Board of Canada. As we soon discover, Harold Bate is an eccentric British inventor whose old car runs on the material, which we soon find to be chicken droppings (the engine compartment is full of gauges, hoses, and pumps he invented, along with the digesters and other devices in his workshop). Bate also showcases his perpetual- motion bicycle, which the assistant cameraman rides but cannot stop (Bate never bothered installing brakes). Ianzelo s portrayal of this brilliant and singular inventor, accompanied by his sweet and comparatively normal wife, was shot in one day as a side job, while the crew had a non- shooting day while on assignment to make a film on a British royal topic. That latter film is forgotten today, while Bate s Car remains a classic. Comparatively few films on Irish subjects were distributed to North American schools. Director Patrick Carey s Oscar- nominated Yeats Country (1965, Aengus Films/IFB) focuses on the work of the poet, in a beautifully photographed and researched film. Director Walter Miller s The Orange and the Green (1969, NBC), profiles the history and flash points that exist in Protestant Ulster, featuring footage of Ian Paisley and former Ulster PM Terrance O Neill. John Huston s Dublin (1979, Nielsen- Ferns Ltd./LCA), directed by John McGreevy, presents noted director John Huston on a raucous tour of Dublin, with actor Niall Tobin taking on the role of Brendan Behan.

69 58 Films You Saw in School France Some of the most remarkable films on French culture derived from French language instruction films. One such early film was S. William Gumbiner s French Farm Family (1962), the English version of La Vie Familiale d une Ferme Française (1964) This beautiful film, shot in the Auvergne, near Lascaux, is more than an instruction film. Here, a man reflects on the joys of living on an old French farm, and his sorrow at seeing his son leaving it for the uncertain excitement of the city, a timeless theme that captures a France that is now lost. The chapter on Foreign Language Instruction Films discusses such films as these, including Milan Herzog s seminal and important Je Parle Français series of 120 films made in Many films on France commonly found in school libraries, somewhat surprisingly, concentrated on cuisine. Such films could be used in home economics, French language, even in a pinch in a history course. In 1978, writer/producer Michel Croucher made a series of seven films for the BBC, depicting vanishing or threatened ways of life in small French villages and towns, under the title The French Way. Goosey Goosey Gander (1978) explores the Perigord region of southwestern France, which is famous for its devotion to gastronomy and hunting. Here, those concerned with animal rights will be unhappy, as geese are shown being fattened to create paté. Croucher s approach is to visit small family farms, where geese are grown and dispatched in a non- factory environment. A particularly fascinating part of the film involves the use of pigs to hunt truffles. Croucher investigates the culture surrounding cheesemaking in Add Penicillin, Stir Well (1978). In the southwest of France, midway between Bordeaux and the Pyranees, sits the town of Roquefort, home to cheeses made from sheep s milk and mold. The fungus is grown on bread, then sprinkled on the raw cheese. From there, the cheese sits in a 43-degree-Fahrenheit cellar for three weeks, gaining character and substance. Croucher focuses on the vanishing life of the small cheesemaker, and mentions that regional authorities were miffed that he filmed the old family business, instead of the newer, more sterile, and larger factories nearby. As this poignant film points out, the authorities don t have much to worry about, as the old pastures are being forced out by a modern military mechanized range, and the old towns are being discovered by tourism, resulting in a conflagration of boutique businesses and expensive restaurants. Scandinavia Farmer-Fishermen (1948, United World), directed by Ronald Craigen, consists of a boy s first- person narration of the fishing culture of Norway. The boy and father return to farm during warm months; he and his sister tend flocks for the summer in a mountain hut, away from their parents. Many other adolescents do the same, making for great camaraderie in the mountains. In this beautifully photographed film, scenes include net mending, potato planting, weaving, the city of Bergen, and the village of Floro. Swedish documentarian Arne Sucksdorff made two films distributed by EB on the subject of Lapland, including Laplanders (1951, EB), an ethnographic study of these nomadic peoples as they drove, herded, and harvested their reindeer, narrated by John Barnes, and People of the Reindeer (Wind from the West) (1942, EB), an earlier look at Laplanders, discussing, among other aspects, stratified gender roles. Scandinavia: Norway, Sweden, Denmark EB), produced by Bill Deneen, provides contrasts and similarities among the three countries. In Norway, Deneen visits with a

70 One Social Science and Geography Films 59 COURTESY SVERRE SANDBERG Taking to the water in The Log Raft: A Norwegian Summer Story (BFA, 1971). fishing family from the small city of Alesund; in Denmark, with a farm family; and in Sweden, with the family of a glassworker. The countries are contrasted in terms of natural resources and reliance on trade. Producer Sam Bryan s Scandinavia: Unique Northern Societies (1976, IFF) provided a more comprehensive view of the area, including segments on the Lapps and Iceland. Bryan also discusses education and government, the high standard of living, and some of the challenges inherent in Scandinavian political systems. In The Log Raft: A Norwegian Summer Story (1971, Svekon/BFA), directors Karin and Sverre Sandberg relate the story of children who float out in a Norwegian fjord on a windy day and survive the suddenly changing weather, in a story of resilience and responsibility. Director Jorgen Roos s Knud (1966, Nunafilm) documents the life of Arctic explorer and author Knud Rasmussen. Utilizing old films and photographs, as well as interviews with people who knew him, Roos s fascinating film unveils the story behind the Thule expeditions and the qualities that made Rasmussen, of Danish and Inuit extraction, unique for his time. Germany and Benelux Holland s barge culture is the focus of director Jack Apon s Children of the Barges (1977, IFB), an idyllically beautiful non- narrated film shot aboard Amsterdam s Maarwijk barge, replete with engine room and other shots of bargeworks. Originally filmed in 1965, the film shows the children vacationing with their parents on another barge, attending school in winter, navigating canals, and shopping on a barge market, all to a jazzy musical score. Two remarkable films that described Dutch engineering projects were commonly found in North American school film libraries. Director George Sluizer s Holland: Hold Back the Sea (1967, EB) provides a tremendously interesting historical background to the Delta project,

71 60 Films You Saw in School including the diking of the Zuider Zee in the early part of the 20th century, the resultant polder farms created out of the former sea, and the devastating floods of Holland: Delta Project (Delta Phase I) (1962, Films Inc.), directed by Bert Haanstra, contains fascinating footage of the installation of undersea caissons as the foundation of a series of dikes that eventually would prevent the sea from encroaching on western Holland, the filling of part of the North Sea, and the village of Veere. Together with the previous film, it provides a comprehensive insight into one of the more unusual engineering projects in world history. Two fine geo- industrial films made by National Geographic in 1987, West Germany and East Germany (directed by Peter Von Zahn and Klaus Unzu, respectively), utilized architectural, agricultural, industrial, and political footage in a non- formulaic fashion to underscore challenges and characteristics of the nation in question. The East German film in particular is interesting, contrasting the beauties of Potsdam Palace, Leipzig, and Dresden, working women, and free health care, with its travel restrictions, and the 400,000 Soviet troops on GDR soil. Executive Producer Sidney Platt had originally intended to bring the fine Von Zahn film team into the East, but GDR authorities instead insisted on using an East German film crew, hence the choice of Unzu. Paul Saltzman s Steffan the Violinmaker (1978, Sunrise/Coronet) was a fascinating visit with a young man from Mittenwald, West Germany, learning an age- old craft. West German Family (1967, Hansom/BFA), made by an uncredited director, chronicles a visit with a working- class family in Zindelfingen, West Germany. The Mercedes assembly plant, where the father works, is shown, as is Mom and Dad s drive to Esslingen in a three- wheel car, entered by opening the front panel of the auto. CREDIT: PAUL SALTZMAN 16-year-old German instrument maker Steffan Keller crafts string instruments in Paul Saltzman s Steffan the Violinmaker (Sunrise Films, 1978).

72 One Social Science and Geography Films 61 Other European Countries Spain: Three of Its Faces (1963, Carl Dudley) explores three vastly different regions of Spain: Basque (Bilbao), Murcia (village of Fortuna), Castilla La Nueva (Toledo and Madrid), explaining their cultural, social, and economic differences. Most films on the subject of Spanish culture that appeared in North American film libraries were in the category of foreign language instruction films, and several are discussed in that chapter. In director Bill Deneen s Spanish Children EB), we witness the activities of a boy and his sister during harvest time in the Andalusían mountain village of Alora, 40 km north of Málaga, showing their life at home, at school, in the village plaza and in the orchards and fields. This whitewashed village with steep cobblestone streets was formerly home to Cervantes, and reputedly the birthplace of the Malagueñas style of flamenco music. The film depicts a life that no longer exists in much of southern Spain, and ends with a performance of a lively young flamenco dancer. Director Alessandro Blasetti s Fox Hunt in Italy (1953, EB, originally titled Fox Hunting in the Roman Campagna) displays the noted cinematographer Jack Cardiff s craft as he films horses racing down the Appian Way, past ancient ruins, in a hunt from which all foxes escape. Masterful horsemanship and pastoral views mark this as an exceptional classroom film of the era. John Barnes s Italian Family: Life on the Farm (1975, EB), profiles the life of a farm family on the shores of Lake Bracciano, north of Rome. In directors Robert Legrande and Jean Dasque s Ohrid Express (1965, Davidson), Petra Mihalowski considers himself to have a charmed life, being the conductor of the Macedonian narrow- gauge train, built in 1895, which runs from Presak to Ohrid. Its high- pitched, peaked wooden cars carry grain, its gondolas carry wood, and in the afternoon, passenger cars join up as well for the 3-hour, sixty- kilometer trip. Along the way, women in traditional clothing heat lake water in large copper kettles to do the laundry on the shore. Yugoslav Boy: The Story of Frane (1967, EB), directed by Niksa Fulgosi and Octavian Miletic, depicts the life of a boy from the island of Brac, focusing on its architecture, terraced farms, music, and customs. Frane s father, a seaman, goes to sea for two years to be able to afford to send Frane to sea captain s school. Director B.M. Marjanovic s Bird Fishermen of Macedonia (1965, Productions Unlimited) focuses on Macedonia s Lake Dojran, where cormorants wings are altered to enable them to chase fish into nets, rather than fly away with them. Peter Haramis remarkable film Anastenaria (1968, UC Extension) documents Dionysian worship in modern Greece, with lyre, drum, and fire dancing. Originally a Thracian custom, this event was filmed in St. Helens, Greece, and includes the slaughter and communal eating of a calf, a procession, and the final initiation dance. Cold War on a Field Trip: The U.S. Classroom Looks at the Soviet Union Julien Bryan was one of the few U.S. citizens allowed to film in the Soviet Union during the Stalin years, and most of the remarkable footage in Peoples of the Soviet Union (1952, IFF) dates from , ranging from a visit with psychologist Ivan Pavlov to ethnological footage taken in outlying republics. After the release of the film, Bryan received criticism at home for showing the abundance of the shelves in Soviet stores, allegedly filled by the government solely for the shooting of the film. Whether they were or were not remains conjecture.

73 62 Films You Saw in School As was discussed in the chapter on history films, most films available to schools in the pre 1965 era on the subject of Soviet Bloc politics and processes were originally produced by U.S. network television organizations and distributed to classrooms. In this era, Soviet authorities were reticent to cooperate with western film crews in the manner to which western crews were accustomed particularly in the case of what was filmed, and how it was edited. Director Nicholas Webster s Meet Comrade Student (1962, ABC/McGraw-Hill), an episode in the ABC Close- Up! series, addressed the Soviet primary, secondary, and trade school education system, introduced Young Pioneers, and discussed the emphasis on fitness and the comprehensive Soviet school day. When permission was granted by Soviet authorities, films were not easy to produce, with or without their assistance. Bill Deneen of Encyclopædia Britannica Films remembers taking thousands of feet of footage in the presence and with the cooperation of Soviet government officials, then having it taken away for processing, never to see it again. The film was never made. This wasn t the least of Deneen s worries on his visit to Russia: We were way up north in the Russian Arctic in Irkutsk. I was with Adlai Stevenson who was then on my Encyclopædia Britannica advisory board. It was the height of the cold war and the Russians did not welcome American visitors and often made things as difficult as possible for them. I was having an upset stomach and called the hotel doctor who briefly examined me and advised that we had best go next door to the hospital where he had some facilities. I was led into an exam room which looked rather like an operating room. Before I knew it a bunch of big Russian ladies in uniforms were stripping me naked. They pushed me face down onto a table and said that I needed an immediate hemorrhoid operation and strapped me down to the table. I began to scream NO NO. I have no rectal problems. I could see them getting instruments ready and one of them actually held up a large scalpel and showed it to me. I had never been so damned scared as Adlai Stevenson came bursting into the room. He angrily shoved the ladies aside, and unstrapped me from the table. I was naked, and no clothes to be found yet we kept running for the hotel next door. What was that all about? Just another one of the nasty we hate Americans tricks the Russians kept pulling all during our trip. 43 In the decade of the 1970s, The Soviet Union appeared to be somewhat more welcoming to Australian film units than their U.S. counterparts. Producers Tom Masefield and John Abbott of Film Australia made a comprehensive series of films directed by Arch Nicholson and collectively called The Russians, which was distributed to North American schools, among which was People of the Cities (1979, LCA). Here, visits are made with the family of a woman bus driver in Moscow, a dock foreman s family in Odessa, and a doctor s family in Soçi on the Black Sea coast. The venture was not without risk: despite the director s care in filming, a drunk person appeared in the dailies, and the crew was threatened with expulsion. Other films in the series were distributed by LCA and Journal Films, including People of the Country; Politics Soviet Style; Farming Soviet Style, and Working, Soviet Style (all 1979). The films address fascinating aspects of the Soviet scene, and are especially interesting in their attempt to provide an objective explanation of the interworkings of the Communist Party, from grassroots to the top echelons. By contrast, National Geographic s The Mighty Volga (1977, written by Irwin Rosten and Donald Cooper, uncredited producer), ostensibly a tour of the river, presents the occasional subjective remark on the Soviet system, describing the Soviet Union as a country which sanctions both religious freedom and anti- religious propaganda, and positing that

74 One Social Science and Geography Films 63 an atheist state seems to be creating its own deity in displaying the preserved body of Lenin to the public. Within ten years, presumably Geographic s tenor had changed, as if distributed Finnish producer Sauli Rantamaki s The Soviet Union (1987), a fascinating look at the Soviet Islamic Republics, originally filmed for Sektor Filmi Oy. The dark side of the Soviet satellite policy was explored, though with an absence of outright jingoism, in director Steve Walsh s Iron Curtain (Le Rideau de Fer) (1983, Agence de Films Techniques et d Information/EB), displaying and discussing barbed wire, barricades, and border control devices in Eastern Bloc countries. Films such as the propaganda- laden Candle in the Wind (1984, PACEM), directed by Michael Economou and Arthur Barron, were presumably the type of material that concerned the Soviets. Slickly produced, with narration by John Carradine, Candle is a fifty- plus-minute treatise against the Soviet government s policy on religion. Religious leaders, dissidents, ands émigrés are interviewed, accompanied in the film by footage of Russian Orthodox ritual and liturgical choral music. Those interviewed use terminology such as atheistic propaganda and Soviet anti- religious propaganda, but the filmmakers fail to provide a measured approach by engaging a Soviet official in discussion as to the reasons the government appears to perceive that organized religion has dubious value. A number of filmmakers produced films on more personal aspects of Soviet life, and these rare instances provided some idea of what people behind the Iron Curtain looked like, ate, drank, smoked, and did for the holidays. One of the more charming films in the genre was Laura Morgan s simple, home- movie-like tour through Russia, First Encounters: A Russian Journal (1978, LSM Productions), filmed without official permission. A more piquant look at life in the Soviet Union can be found in Martin Duckworth s superb Our Last Days Together in Moscow (1987, NFBC). As the film unfolds, the viewer so desperately wants to know more about pianists, lovers, and fellow travelers Pierre Jasmin and Kuo- Yen, as they end their personal and professional relationship as Kuo- Yen Lee competes for first prize in the 8th Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow. Told in second person by the emotionally free- falling Jasmin, the story operates both as a love story and as a metaphor for the conflicting conditions of decay and rejuvenation in Russia as well. As for the romance, she s obviously the one breaking it off, and we never know why, because the story s told through the eyes and letters of the romantically hopeful and myopic Jasmin. In the meantime, we see snapshots of their meeting years ago in Vienna, then vodka with friends; a visit to the home of a noted poet, more vodka with friends; a small gathering of piano players in a tiny Moscow apartment where they all play and drink. All the while, Kuo- Yen looks at Jasmin with boredom, joylessness, and reservation that is, when she looks at him at all. The massages and bright eyes are for the husbands of the other women, and while the viewer continues to wonder just what s going on with these two for the entire movie, it may ultimately be concluded that, as with many breakups, words are left unspoken, with neither party willing to articulate verbally that which body language has so nakedly shown to the camera. VIII. Asia Central Asia and Asia Minor Producer Larry Yust s Turkey: Emergence of a Modern Nation (1963) describes that nation s emergence from the Ottoman Empire, through Ataturk s reforms, to bemoaning a

75 64 Films You Saw in School modern nation. The footage was originally shot by Clifford Kamen but was largely unedited. Yust, who lived near the cinematographer, secured the footage, edited it, and wrote the script, a practice common at EB, in particular to films on geographical subjects. 44 Although school films on Iran were not all that common, the few that were available were notable for their focus on the architectural elements of the country. The remarkable Iran Pyramid), directed by feature filmmaker Claude Lelouch, was far more than a travelogue with pretty pictures, consisting of spectacular geographical and archaeological flyover footage interspersed with slice of life sequences, and with exceptional editing, juxtaposing the ancient and the modern. Some heroic equestrian footage of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, together with the royal receiving line, and a dramatic freeze- frame of the Shah s school- age son lead one to suspect that this was a sponsored film, and its relative dearth in educational film libraries could have resulted with the accelerating international dissatisfaction with the excesses of the Pahlavi regime. 45 The film remains a beautifully crafted, dynamic and moving one, with Lelouch favorite Francis Lai s musical score entrenched firmly in the early 1970s French pop genre, replete with wah- wah guitar. Another fine production focusing on historical cities such as Shiraz and Persepolis was the British- made Iran: Landmarks in the Desert (1973, uncredited director, Carlson/Centron). The Qashqai Nomads were the subject of several outstanding films, among which were Woven Gardens (1975, BBC/Time-Life), directed by David Collison and hosted by an enthusiastic David Attenborough, describing the nomads thriving carpet culture, with strong ethnographic and art elements, one episode of the BBC s Tribal Eye series of films. The Nomads of Iran (1976, dir. Russell Wulff, Oxford/Paramount) takes a different approach, investigating their transition from nomadic to village life. One half of the thought- provoking Two Grasslands: Texas and Iran (1970, LCA), directed by Georges Dufaux and Mark Harris, compares the grassland subsistence of the Qashqai with that of a rancher in San Angelo, Texas. Jafar s Blue Tiles (1978, Coronet) was directed by producer Paul Saltzman s wife Deepa, who later achieved distinction under her maiden name Deepa Mehta. This is the story of a boy learning to make glazes and tiles to repair a centuries- old mosque in the town of Soltanieh. The firing and glazing of the tiles, as well as their application, is fascinating, as are the events surrounding the transference of knowledge from one generation to the next, the cornerstone of all films in Canadian Paul Saltzman s World Cultures and Youth series (known in Canada as Spread Your Wings). An impressively compelling human story from Afghanistan is the Norman Millerproduced Naim and Jabar (1974, dir. David Hancock and Herbert di Gioia, American Universities Field Staff ). Essentially the story of a deep friendship between two adolescent Afghan youths, the film also captures the hopes of parents wishing to see their son escape the misery of a meager village existence, where Naim and his father cultivate only heat and dust in their sharecropped field that, in the best of times, would bear wheat. Here, the directors provide an ethnographic documentary that feels more like a drama than a social treatise, focusing on Naim s wisecracking braggadocio as he boasts about leaving the Tajik village of Aq Kupruk behind, and going to the big city of Mazar- I-Sharif for formal schooling, or Kabul for military cadet training. Naim laughs at the tears of Jabar, who cries at the prospect of losing the easy proximity of his lifelong friend. Overall, the dark cloud of fate casts shadows only occasionally broken by rays of optimism, in a film more reminiscent of the dramas of Satyajit Ray than the formal ethnographic documentaries for which this film company (American Universities Field Staff ) was best known.

76 One Social Science and Geography Films 65 CREDIT: PAUL SALTZMAN Paul Saltzman s Jafar s Blue Tiles, filmed in Soltanieh, Iran (Sunrise Films, 1978).

77 66 Films You Saw in School Director J. Michael Hagopian s Mountain Community of the Himalayas (1964, Atlantis) described the lifestyle of a mountain village, and methods of trade with neighboring districts. Another Hagopian film, Himalaya: Life on the Roof of the World (1968, Atlantis) describes the geology of the Himalayas, the cultural influence of Tibet as it relates to three communities: Buddhist Sikkim, the Hindu Ganges Canyon, and Islamic Kashmir. South Asia Saltzman made two outstanding World Cultures and Youth films on Indian cultures produced in 1976 and distributed by Coronet: Hasan the Carpetweaver, the story of a boy from Kashmir learning the craft from his grandfather in the family shop; and Gopal s Golden Pendant, a visit to the interesting world of home- based jewelry- making craftspeople in Jaipur, India. One of the more remarkable efforts in ethnographic filmmaking on the subject of India was undertaken by Joseph Elder, professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin. The South Asian Documentary Film Series consists of 34 films detailing urban and rural life, primarily in northern and southern India. Although several of the films were made in conjunction with the BBC, the most fascinating of them were made by non- professional student filmmakers such as Mira Reym Binford, Michael Camerini, and Ron Hess, from Elder s South Asian Studies department. Elder s involvement with India began in 1951, when he began a two- year stint teaching English there, under the auspices of Oberlin College. In 1961, he was hired to teach a Civilizations of India course at the University of Wisconsin, and soon, with $250,000 in annual funding, began the South Asian program. First- year students in the program were required to take a language course in Hindi, Telagu, or Tamil, and complete a field studies program in India during their second year. For some time, Elder had felt that U.S.-based students needed a visual curriculum to accompany texts, and therefore encouraged Michael Camerini to write a proposal for a film grant as his field study, which was eventually accepted by the U.S. Department of Education, resulting in the cinematically beautiful, largely unnarrated film Banaras (1970). While all of Elder s South Asian films are of interest, three of the most interesting are Bangladesh Nationhood: Symbols and Shadows (1975, dir. Michael Camerini/Mira Reym Binford), Courts and Councils: Dispute Settlement in India (1979, dir. Ron Hess), and Ajuba Dance and Drama Company (1979 dir. Ron Hess), Bangladesh presents a fascinating look at the founding and early years of this Bengali nation east of India, and presents the four principles of Mujibism, as defined by leader Sheikh Mujib Rehman: Nationalism, Socialism, Secularism, and Democracy. Camerini and Binford interview proponents of the principles and their detractors, who claim that, to a large extent, they were never put into practice. Shortly after the filming, Sheikh Mujib was assassinated. Elder has noted that the film was largely an unplanned one, consisting of leftover footage from another project. Camerini, its co- director and narrator, apparently was so disappointed at what he perceived as an excess of narration that he didn t bother to attend the film s opening. The film is both a valuable historical document and a timeless example of superior political filmmaking. Courts and Councils is a fascinating film juxtaposing three systems of justice. The Nandiwalla is a tribal council held among the Telugu- speaking bull- traders in Maharashtra, in which shouting, crying, and cajoling are part of the process, with banishment the most forceful punishment, and fines by group consensus the norm. When the fine is paid, part goes to

78 One Social Science and Geography Films 67 the Brahmin guru, who acts as ombudsman, the remaining 90 percent to civic projects such as cleaning the village well. The Nyava Punchayat is an informal court sanctioned by the government, suggesting compromise, rather than winner- take-all. Both seem preferable to the formal court system, a labyrinthine process that defies description. Ajuba is a dizzying series of vignettes describing slices in the life of a northern entertainment troupe. The artists can be of any caste or creed, and the company, under leader Bhaggal, performs Nautanki, a type of performance based on everything from the traditional royal courts to modern Bombay feature films. The company originates in Benares, and performances feature comedy, dance, and drama, accompanied by songs and Dionysian music, heavily favoring the double- reed shehnai. Hess visits the performers before the program as they rehearse and apply make- up, and films them during various portions of the show. Sri Lanka: Jewel of the Orient Bay Street Pictures/Centron), made by an uncredited director, offers an economic and cultural overview of the island from the perspective of tiny cottage industries. Gem mining, cinnamon processing, mask- making, spinning and weaving, pottery production, and pole- fishing are all essentially labor- intensive home industries. Sequences include Hindu fire- walking ceremonies and the Buddhist Parahera procession, with its torch- lit parades and decorated elephants. China China was voted into the United Nations General Assembly on October 25, The following year, Richard Nixon made his historic visit to China. Prior to that trip, very little of contemporary value pertaining to that nation was available in terms of classroom films. U.S. foreign policy had been so adamantly anti Chinese that Canadian authorities, in 1964, wary of stepping on U.S. toes, had prevented Donald Brittain s formidable biography Bethune NFBC) from being exported to the United States. Norman Bethune, a fabled Canadian physician, was, among other things, a prominent surgeon to Mao Zedong s revolutionary army. He died in a remote cave- based field hospital, after contracting a fatal infection due to lack of proper sanitary conditions. The fact that Bethune had operated under the flag of Communism was enough to cause concern in Canadian export circles that potentially infuriated conservative stateside politicians might, in response to Bethune, try to enact legislation damaging to Canadian commercial concerns in the U.S. This reticence to offend U.S. political interests was clumsy and unnecessary, most notably in the case of Bethune, proscribed from distribution in the U.S. by the Canadian Foreign Office, who feared that Bethune s communist sympathies would cause irreparable harm to U.S.-Canada relations during the Vietnam era. 46 Morley Safer s Red China Diary (1967, CBS/BFA), produced by Morley Safer, seemed to be essentially a hit piece on Communist China, focusing on the Red Guards and the Mao cult. Safer and cameraman John Baxter Peters visited Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, Canton, and Yunan, producing a film that was eerily predictive on an approach applied to the extreme several years later by Pol Pot in Cambodia. Noting that independent thought is a crime against the State, Safer does offer an insightful closing analysis about the failure of the U.S. and China s mutual attempts to understand each other. Swiss cameraman René Burri returned with Chinese footage that was made into at least two films distributed by EB in 1967, China s Villages in Change, and China: Portrait of the Land. EB was careful enough to include the following title card at the beginning of each film, hoping to disassociate itself from controversy:

79 68 Films You Saw in School The film you will see shows signs of progress in Red China today. But no film can adequately convey the human misery and suffering that have been the price of progress. No film can say to what extent progress has occurred as a result of, or in spite of, dictatorial rule or what the course of progress might have been in a China that was free. These questions must remain for you, the viewer, to speculate upon. The scenes contained in this film were photographed by René Burri, a Swiss cameraman, whose freedom of movement within China and access to its people were limited by the Chinese authorities. One of the first films to appear after the political thaw was China: An End to Isolation (1972, uncredited director, Filmfact/ACI), a rather dry interpretation of Maoist philosophy as it related to the economic life of the nation. A number of insightful films were made by producer Norman Miller for the American Universities Field Staff s Faces of Change series, on the subject of changing social, political, and cultural issues. Among the most intriguing were Island in the China Sea and Hoy Fok and the Island School (both dir. Norman Miller, 1974), focusing on life in the Soko Islands, Hong Kong Territorial Waters. In the former, farmer Ng Sing Yao compares his life with that of a fisherman, while fisherman Wong Fo Hei conversely discusses the advantages and disadvantages of his life versus that of a farmer. Two other films in the series addressed the economic changes that were redefining the small farm in Tsao Tun township, Taiwan: They Call Him Ah Kung, and People Are Many, Fields Are Small (both 1974, dir. Richard Yao- Chi Chen), both of which focused on the rising price and necessity of mechanized farming, and the lure of better- paying industrial work. Journalist Felix Greene contributed a seven- part series, One Man s China (1973, World Enterprises/Time-Life). One of these films is The People s Commune, written, photographed, and produced by Greene, as he explores three communes, describing work processes and the political system of each. INTO THE HEART OF THE DRAGON One of the BBC s finest contributions to the American classroom film was producer Peter Montagnon s The Heart of the Dragon ( ) series, in which a crack team of documentarists (Montagnon as well as filmmakers David Kennard and Mischa Scorer, and coproducers Patrick Lui, Nigel Houghton, and Alasdair Clayre) pursues the mysteries of China, as narrated by the refreshingly mellifluous off- camera narrator, actor Anthony Quayle. When the series was conceived in 1981, China was still officially off limits for Western filmmakers and, with the exception of major network news teams that were occasionally allowed to film historical spots (e.g., Forbidden City, prod. Lucy Jarvis, NBC News, 1975), access to people and institutions was severely limited. The concept of Dragon really began when co- producer Patrick Lui met with Nigel Houghton in Hong Kong, mentioned that he had several high level contacts in China, and wondered if it would be possible to produce a series of programs. Houghton advanced the idea to Montagnon. At the same time a new broadcasting entity, Channel Four, was just being launched in the UK, and was in need of programs. Lui, Houghton, and Montagnon then formed Dromelia, a corporation set up for the production of the series, and received funding from banker Stephen Keynes (son of the economist John Maynard Keynes). At this point Montagnon brought an old friend from his Open University days, Alasdair Clayre, into the production group, and the filming began. Heart of the Dragon is one of the most fascinating documentary series ever produced

80 One Social Science and Geography Films 69 on the subject of China. The director of each film in the Dragon series was deliberately chosen in an attempt to marry style with content, in which a lyrical theme would be matched to a director with a poetic style, whereas a director with a formal documentarist s approach would be chosen to direct a film on the subject of business or politics. The films comprise timeless vignettes that are interesting and relevant decades later, even given the tremendous changes in China which occurred in the interim. Among the most notable films of the series are Mediating (dir. Peter Montagnon) which shows the process of communal involvement in resolving individual marital conflict, and Working (dir. David Kennard). In the latter film, a locomotive factory in Datong is visited, and mine operations from the pre Mao era through the Japanese occupation are discussed, in a gritty, tough, and hard- hitting style. Not all of the Dragon films consists of such heavy fare. Eating (1983, directed by David Kennard) is a fascinating look at cultivating, preparing, and cooking food, including the means by which villagers utilize methane gas from underground pig refuse pits below their houses to power homemade stoves. Clayre, who would later take his own life after the failure of a later film production project, wrote an accompanying book providing wonderful historical background information to each episode. 47 Japan and Korea An early film on Japanese culture that remained in classroom libraries through the 1980s was Japanese Family (1950, IFF), directed by William James, focusing on the work of a Japanese silk weaver prior to World War II. The celebration of the New Year is shown, as are scenes from family life. Producer Ben Sharpsteen s Japan Harvests the Sea (1958, Disney) was a staple of hundreds of school film libraries, a timeless cinematic document that remained popular for decades after its release. The film chronicles twenty- four hours in the life of a Japanese fishing village, featuring the female Ama divers, pearl divers who harvest without the aid of breathing devices. The Oscar- winning film was retitled Ama Girls for theatrical release. In a fascinating ethnographic film, director Shinya Matsuoka s Canoes of the Ainu (1968, American Educational Films) visited the aboriginal citizens of the island of Hokkaido, witnessing their rituals, and documenting the building of their boats carved from trees. Director Bill Deneen made three interesting films on Japanese culture and society, all distributed by Encyclopædia Britannica Films. In Japan: Miracle in Asia Japan s rapid industrial growth and its impact on the domestic and international markets is discussed. Deneen shot the aerial shots himself alone, while piloting a single- engine aircraft, pointing the camera out the window. 48 Japan: Harvesting the Land and Sea (1963) explores how the country maximizes limited national land resources as well as a global fishing industry. Japanese Boy: The Story of Taro (1963) investigates the life of a school boy, focusing on his relationship with school and home. The film was not without controversy at EB. Taro s relationship with an older friend was called into question by EB Films president Maurice Mitchell, who noted that the close relationship was a clear case of homosexuality. Deneen questioned Mitchell as to his knowledge of Japanese societal relationships, and was evidently upheld at a higher echelon within EB, enabling the film to be distributed. 49 An important and fairly well- known documentary, providing a robust and balanced look at Japan was The Japanese (1969, prod. Igor Oganesoff/CBS), a fascinating study hosted by Harvard professor and ex U.S. Ambassador to Japan Edwin Reischauer, describing many aspects of Japanese culture, from bowing rituals, to the tea ceremony, to an analysis of puppet theater.

81 70 Films You Saw in School Japanese business practices were juxtaposed with those of the U.S. in director Wayne Smith s The Kyocera Experiment (1981, WGBH/LCA). The film describes Japan s Kyocera Corporation and its ceramic chip carrier manufacturing facility in San Diego, and how the parent company attempts to integrate Japanese management styles to engender loyalty and better production. Sequences include team building while drinking copious amounts of beer, contrasted with the whisking away of evil spirits from newly received industrial furnaces. Director Tony Hagiwara s Japanese Dialogue (1980?, Japan Media/Toyota) describes the challenges of western workers living in Japan, including a sequence discussing how hostesses are an expensive and essential part of business. Producer Gil Brealey s Human Face of Japan series (1982, Film Australia/LCA) contrasted the old and the new. In The Career Escalator and The Rice Ladle (both directed by Oliver Howes), the viewer is introduced to individuals as archetypes encased in a rigid social system, appearing to be unwilling or unable to exercise individuality at work, at play, or in front of the camera. In the latter, the older working woman of Japan is contrasted with rising pop star Fumiko Saweda, fresh out of the Watanabe Academy pop- mill. On the way, we meet department store greeters, flight attendants, and the less glamorous world of the server in a sushi establishment, as we re serenaded with koto and gagaku. Seemingly the possessor of marginal talent, Fumiko engages with an ice- cream company, which produces her megahit commercial Pop-Up Love Feelings, an annoying ditty cleverly designed to stay in the head of the viewer hours after the film has finished. Critical empathy seems to be the philosophy that guided filmmaker John Nathan in his Farm Song (1978, John Nathan), one in a series of Nathan- produced films called The Japanese: A Trilogy. Fluent in Japanese, Nathan here visits with the Kato extended family on their farm in northeastern Japan, uncovering wonderfully dramatic scenes, some personable, some heartbreaking. The gamut runs from drunken singing to celebrate a holiday, to ancient and new complaints of mother- in-law tyranny (complete with tales of the bride fleeing her new home), to the patriarch s continual praying that his son won t be killed in an auto accident. In addition to the obvious comfort that Nathan gained with the family, freeing them to expose bare emotions to a camera that obviously was no longer a stranger in the home, the filmmaker displayed affinity for the traditional music of Japan as well, mixing a rich pastiche of solo vocals with the music of New Music composer Toru Takemitsu. Nathan, following the suggestions of Japanese sociologist colleagues, never ended up showing the film in the village, as it was felt that the women would be ridiculed in the village for expressing their opinions so honestly and openly. Director Paul Saltzman s Yoshiko the Papermaker (1979, Coronet) is the beautifully filmed story of a young girl learning the craft of paper making in Iwamura, Japan, one of the more outstanding films in Saltzman s World Cultures and Youth series. One of the most insightful of the Korean films was the simply- named Korea Journal, uncredited director), one the titles in Journal Film s Families of the World series. Here, we experience a day with a 12-year-old girl, learning to dive on the island of Jeju (Cheju) as a haenyeo diver. These women dive 30 to 50 feet with no breathing apparatus and can hold their breath for 2 to 3 minutes. They hunt for seafood and seaweed, which they sell or bring home to their families. Haenyeo divers are disappearing from the Korean workforce. Young girls in today s Korea see no reason to become haenyeo, and the numbers of these divers, estimated to be 30,000 in the 1970s, today number approximately 3,000, most of them over 40 years of age. When the film was made, there was no indication that this tradition was nearing an end, and it stands as an important historical document as this cultural

82 One Social Science and Geography Films 71 element of Jeju Island comes to a close. In addition to the diving sequences, the girl is shown interacting with her family, focusing on showing respect to her aging grandfather. Unfortunately no filmmaker was credited. Korea: Rich Heritage, Land of Morning Calm (1979, Centron, uncredited director) presents a history of Korea through culture, mentioning along the way that moveable type was used in Korea 200 years prior to Gutenberg. A companion Centron film, Korea: Overview, the Face of Korea (1980) focuses on industrialization and modern times, including sequences of spirited bidding at a fish market and women divers on Jeju Island. Director Sarah Erulkar s Korean Spring (1969, Rayant Pictures) juxtaposes old and new Korean ways of life, discussing elements ranging from the petroleum industry, to geisha houses, to the haenyeo divers of Jeju. IX. Southeast Asia The nation of Burma/Myanmar has been largely off- limits to independent filmmakers for decades. Bill Deneen was one filmmaker who was able to make three films there prior to 1960, the first two under the auspices of a religious organization, the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), made to help secure funding for Father Cesare Columbo s leper colony. To make The Touch of His Hand Deneen traveled three days by bullock cart to the remote leper colony run by Father Cesare Columbo in Kengtung (Kyiang Tong), Burma. Intended to be used for fundraising, the film is a fascinating documentary about a humanitarian effort that would soon be terminated by the Burmese government. The film is a precursor to The Happy City which Deneen made on Father Columbo s mission approximately five years later. Although specific to the subject of Hansen s Disease (leprosy), the films include ethnographic, social, and military elements, and are a fascinating portrait of a corner of Burma as it was in the late 1950s. 50 Deneen s Burma: People of the River (1957) was filmed on the same trip as The Touch of His Hand, focusing on the market of Kyaing Tong, bamboo and teak harvesting, cloth weaving, and the docks of Rangoon. Performing a legerdemain that was familiar to educational filmmakers of the era, Deneen secured funding from PIME for the Columbo film of 1956, which paid for his trip to Thailand and Malaya as well, resulting in two films made for EB, Malaya: Land of Tin and Rubber (1957), and Thailand: Land of Rice (1957). Director Wayne Mitchell s Food of Southeast Asia (1966, Film Associates) was filmed in Thailand, and following the children of three families, it describes the fishing and canal cultures, the production of rice and vegetables, and the harvesting of fish. Southeast Asia Family (1966, Bailey), directed by Art Evans, visits a Thai family as they work in rice paddies with water buffalo, attend school, and visit the temple. One has to somehow admire director Don Shaw, who, as an independent, made the unusual Southeast Asia Story: Land (1964, Shaw Productions). At a time when educational film companies were loath to hire narrators with strong regional dialects, Shaw s heavy Bostonian accent describing the stoahs, mahkets, and rubbah production of Vietnam was unique. The film is politicized, alerting the viewer to the country s vulnerability to communism. Thailand (1976, Unicef/Journal, uncredited director) portrays a fisher boy and his family in Khlong Lung, a fishing village of 3500 people. The family of six has a beat- up boat, which gives out at the end of the film and has to be towed, in a sequence leaning toward the melodramatic. In another film in the World Cultures and Youth series, director Paul Saltzman s Lee s Parasol (1979, Coronet) investigates the beautifully painted parasols that are a craft indige-

83 72 Films You Saw in School CREDIT: PAUL SALTZMAN Lee Nakhampa paints a parasol in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in Paul Saltzman s Lee s Parasol (Sunrise Films, 1979).

84 One Social Science and Geography Films 73 nous to Bor Sang village, near Chiang Mai, Thailand. Lee s family is involved in the entire process: cutting large bamboo stalks, trimming shoots for the intricate pieces, making dye for the paper. As in many of Saltzman s films, there is drama here as well, as Lee s boss is faced with the prospect of having to give away Lee s first creation, which she had intended as a gift to a monk, to satisfy an important customer. 51 In Thailand: Life Along the Khlongs (1984, Handel), director Leo Handel visits a family that lives on the canals, focusing on their trip to a floating market, the water school bus and a water festival. Focus on Cambodia: Ancient Land, Troubled Land (1971, Hearst Metrotone News), a film in the Screen News Digest series, was a political time capsule showing Cambodia prior to the Khmer Rouge era. The film focuses on rise of Prince Sihanouk, and ends with Lon Nol s coup, with Sihanouk fleeing to China. Noted documentarist John Ferno s Nomads of the Jungle (Malaya) (1948, United World) was an ethnographic film narrated in the first person by a voice actor, portraying a boy of the tribe. Filmed in what is today Peninsular Malaysia, the film shows the harvesting of yams, banana, and palm. The nomads make a shelter, hunt monkeys with blowguns, and raft down the river to a small trading post. Director Frank Heimans s Island of the Spirits (1980, Wombat) displays preparations for the cremation of Prince Sudharsana of Bali, including the building of fantastic effigies and a nine- story-tall tower. In Serama s Mask (1979, Coronet), director Paul Saltzman. investigates the mask- making culture in the village of Saba in Bali. In Indonesia: New Nation of Asia EB), director Bill Deneen here visits important sites and describes the political, religious, and economic situation on the island. The filmmaker was hosted by Ubud s political leader Agung Jakarta Sulawesi Mas, who is interviewed in the film. Bali Today (1969, Hartley Foundation), directed by Irving and Elda Hartley, includes sequences of weddings and cremations, accompanied by Gamelan orchestras and temple singers. Margaret Mead discusses wood carvers, painters, dancers, rice, and temples. Producer Phil Agland s Creatures of the Mangrove (1986, NGEO) focuses on the ecosystem of Borneo: its mangrove trees with their roots above ground and salt- excreting leaves, proboscis monkeys, fiddler crabs, mudskipper, flying fox, cat snake, green heron, monitor lizard, otter, silvered leaf monkey, dog- face snake, weaver ants, archer fish, mud lobster, and mouse deer. Filmed on the island of Siarau in Brunei, the film offers exceptional night cinematography by Jim Clare. U.S. educational film companies commonly utilized independent producers or Australia/New Zealand- based companies to provide insight into Pacific cultures. Far from the travelogue- oriented fare of the 1950s and early 1960s was Don Whyte s Child of the Philippines: No Time to Play (1979, South Pacific Television/EB), describing the tough conditions for the average country child, who soon must give up school to help the family through economically adverse times. Director Gerald Green s Cave People of the Philippines (1972, NBC, Films, Inc.) was, chronologically, one of the most popular, most discussed, most denigrated, and most deaccessioned ethnological films ever made. In 1966, word appeared from the Philippines that a stone- age tribe had been discovered, interesting anthropologists worldwide, who applied en masse for permission to travel to Mindanao to conduct formal research on the group. The Tasaday had no notion of agriculture, wore few clothes, and subsisted mainly on stream animals and deer. A Filipino official, Manuel Elizalde, was the nominal discoverer of the group, and he closely guarded access to the Tasaday, allowing few news agencies and educational institutions to visit the group, and then always under the supervision of Elizalde and

85 74 Films You Saw in School a hand- picked translator. This film was made during this time of interest and discovery. Subsequently, rumors began surfacing that Elizalde had allegedly paid the tribespeople to remove their clothes for journalists. Soon, Elizalde was considered by many to be nothing more than a master hoaxer. His death in 1997 provided few clues as to his objectives. Information that has since surfaced perhaps sheds new light on his motivation and modus operandi. During the 1960s, international corporate interests began a policy of moving Mindanao indigenous groups off their ancestral lands in order to obtain logging, mineral, or agricultural rights. This was typically accomplished by a vanguard of Christian missionaries, followed in close order by hired thugs who would kill, burn villages, and otherwise subjugate the people, who would then flock to the new churches, where they would find food, clothing, and shelter. Elizalde had a known compassion for indigenous peoples, fought the church, and actually succeeded in having large tracts of land designated native areas, with little or no commercial activity allowed. Could it be that this master hoaxer, in drawing the world s attention to stone-agers, had crafted a master plan to use world opinion to salvage the native cultures of Mindanao? Controversy still surrounds the legitimacy of the Tasaday, but there appears to be evidence that Elizalde did not create a hoax. Nevertheless, virtually all educational film libraries de- accessioned prints of the film, and today, relatively few copies exist. X. The Pacific and Australia Director Robert Gardner s Dead Birds (prod. Harvard University Film Study Center, 1964, dist. Phoenix Films, 1968) is a cultural study of the Dani people. Gardner, an anthropologist, 52 traveled to New Guinea as a member of the Harvard- Peabody expedition of 1961, and filmed the Dani of Irian Barat, Indonesia. Here, he follows Weyak, a farmer and warrior, and Pua, who cultivates pigs. Filming prior to the Dutch pacification, Gardner is witness to battles, raids, rituals, and the everyday doings of mountain life. In Trobriand Cricket: An Ingenious Response to Colonialism (1976, Office of Information, Govt. of Papua New Guinea), director Jerry W. Leach made one of the more remarkable films ever to approach the subject of aboriginal adaptation of colonialist culture. The film was shot by cinematographer Gary Kildea. In the 1903, the English game of cricket was introduced to Trobriand Islanders of Papua New Guinea by European missionaries as a substitute for mortal combat. The islanders eventually took charge of the rule book, eschewing 12-man teams to allow for teams of unlimited size, allowing virtually every man in a given village to be a participant, as long as the number corresponded to a like number of men from the opposing village. Here, Leach focuses on a match occurring in the village of Kabwaku in September 1974, in which the visiting team engineers its own defeat to save face for the host village. An elaborate victory dance take place with every score and out, accompanied by exhortation songs, sometimes ribald, sometimes militant. In director Peter Dimond s New Guinea Patrol Australian Dept. of the Interior), Jim Sinclair treks over forbidding mountains to make western civilization s first contact with Papua New Guinea tribespeople. Margaret Mead s New Guinea Journal (1968? NET), directed by Craig Gilbert, shows the anthropologist returning to the village of Peri, on the island of Manus, Admiralty Islands, in The film focuses on Paliau, a leader who has united people speaking 600 languages, and Peranis, a younger leader who s not yet completely matured.

86 One Social Science and Geography Films 75 In Land of the Dying Ghosts (1960, Insight Productions/ABC), director René Gardi documents the Basel Museum s Sepik expedition to New Guinea s Maprik Mountains, along the Sepik River. Sequences include making a meal in canoe bottoms, rare New Guinea pottery, and village headmen, who are distinguished by Salvation Army caps (which they got from Australians), yam culture, an 80-foot-high woman sculpture, and a house of ghosts. Narrator Alfred Mueller states, What we fail to collect today, will be destroyed by insects and elements, and the films ends with the comment, The old ways are doomed. Will modern civilization bring greater happiness to the people? Only time will tell. Director Michael McIntyre s Man Blong Custom (1975, BBC, Time- Life) is one of the films in producer David Attenborough s Tribal Eye series. Here, Attenborough s team travels to Melanesia, for a funerary ceremony in Malekula, New Hebrides, with ritual objects such as skulls with skin replicated by painted clay. He also explores the Solomon Islands leafhunting culture, and the religion of Moro of southern Guadalcanal. Fa a Samoa: The Samoan Way (1971, Documentary Films), produced by noted anthropologist Lowell Holmes, included sequences involving building a guest house, making tapa cloth, and fishing, on the island of Ta u. Director Lee Sholen s Return to the Stone Age (1960, Insight Inc./ABC-TV) accompanies the Arnhem Land expedition, led by Charles P. Mountford, to the aboriginal preserves of Australia. The film juxtaposes native art and the art of the Stone Age, and discusses the aboriginal belief system. Sequences include children making toy boats, adults building canoes from bark and dug- out logs, skin painting, hunting dances, and echidnas and bats. The Last Tasmanian Ancestors (1977, CRM), directed by Tom Haydon, is a sobering film that examines the geographical and social history of this island south of Australia, and focuses on the work of early French anthropologist François Perón, and the later work of Rhys Jones and Jim Allen. The aborigines of Tasmania couldn t start fire, so instead carried it constantly; they ate shellfish, but no scaled fish. In 1802, when the British arrived, there were over 4,000 aborigines there, until, in what Jones characterizes as the most complete instance of genocide ever, they were all killed off. The line ended with Paganini, who died in Director Dean Semler s Saturday Film Australia) provides a 180-degree comparison of the Australian family, in this day in the life of a station family who visits the nearby town of Lake Cargelligo, New South Wales, pop 1,571. They re out for a day of fun after a week of work, and they buy ice cream, go to the barber, and have a beer. The soundtrack is terrific, featuring local music by The Melody Makers. XI. People with Special Needs (Physical and Mental Challenges and the Homeless) In the mid to-late 1960s, a new kind of film about (and occasionally by) people with disabilities began to appear, stressing the abilities of their subjects, rather than focusing on sympathy, as did many of the treatments in earlier years. The revised philosophical perspective was important not only in promoting the greater understanding of this world by others, but in shattering self- imposed barriers set up by the individuals themselves. Such films were among the most- viewed films in classrooms. Many remember viewing Leo Beuerman or A Day in the Life of Bonnie Consolo, although they often don t remember the subjects by name. School district libraries weren t always sure how to categorize these films in their catalogues, either. The 1994 Santa Clara Office of Education catalogue put them in both the Guidance-

87 76 Films You Saw in School General and Special Education categories. San Francisco Unified s 1997 catalogue had then under Handicapped. The St. Louis Public Schools catalogue listed them as Guidance- Values. The films were commonly shown in social studies classes, as were sociodramas on special needs people, which are discussed in the sociodrama chapter herein. Director Barry Spinello s A Day in the Life of Bonnie Consolo (1966, Barr) presented a woman born without arms, who goes shopping, makes meals, and discusses her children. It is narrated by Consolo, who considers her life simple and unremarkable, although, in one memorable sequence, she kills a fly by rapidly swatting it between her feet. A different approach was evident in the Oscar- nominated Leo Beuerman (1969, Centron), a collaborative effort of twelve different filmmakers. The film documents the life of a severely disabled man who, among other things, invents a cart that enables him both to become ambulatory and run a business. The mournful musical soundtrack and reverential tone of the narrator, though, lend an almost funereal quality to the film, making it something less than an uplifting experience, as evidenced by the closing line, spoken by the narrator: Leo Beuerman, homeward bound, on the 24,373rd day of his imprisonment. Director John Joseph s Gravity Is My Enemy (1977, Churchill), winner of the 1978 Oscar for Best Short Documentary, tells the story of an exceptionally talented artist, Mark Hicks, who as a child lost the use of his arms and legs as the result of a fall. Drawing with a pencil, brush, or charcoal clenched between his teeth, Hicks s works are startling in their complexity and execution, and the viewer becomes engaged in his world, one of daily physical challenges CREDIT: CENTRON FILMS, COURTESY Leo Beuerman peddles pencils and wristwatches from his specially designed cart (Centron, 1969).

88 One Social Science and Geography Films 77 juxtaposed with artistic triumphs. Another unforgettable individual with exceptional artistic ability is the subject of director Robin DuCrest s The Silhouettes of Gordon Vales (1980, Film DuCrest). Vales s learning disabilities are explained in the early part of the film, and very soon we learn that somewhere along the way, he picked up the art of creating silhouettes by tearing pieces of black construction paper. Vales s work is far from simple: the complexities of each portrait are astounding, providing a three- dimensionality rarely seen in the art form. In the final scenes of the film, Vales s complex, multi- character silhouettes are animated by pixilation. Producer Peter Rosen s A Little Like Magic (1984, KCBS/Carousel) is about an exceptional theatrical team. Here, Diane Dupuy directs Toronto s Famous People Players in a fluorescent, black- lit large stage featuring large puppet- caricatures of Liberace, Carol Channing, and other notables. The performer/manipulators are all developmentally disabled people, cajoled, entreated, and occasionally blistered by taskmistress Dupuy in an extremely funny, thought- provoking, and emotional film. Director Tony DeNonno s Itzhak Perlman: In My Case Music (1982, Arthur Mokin), on a basic level, could seem little more than a feel-good film about one of the world s great violinists and the polio he s had since childhood. On the other hand, the changes he s brought in terms of disabled access to concert stages, as well as audience spaces, are very real, as witnessed by his discussions with the designers of Toronto s Massey Hall at the blueprint stage. Mental challenges and homeless issues were a particular area of focus for the National Film Board of Canada. Two Film Board titles on the subject of families in distress provide an interesting and sobering counterpoint to Station 10 and Whistling Smith, two NFBC police- related films mentioned earlier. In The Things I Cannot Change NFBC), director Tanya Ballantyne visits the Baileys, a family of eleven on public assistance, a nonworking father, and a despondent mother pregnant with her tenth child. Over a three- week period, the filmmaker witnesses the father getting his nose broken in a fight over a six- dollar debt, subsequent police trouble, and the birth of a new child. The children acquire bread from a convent, the father opens the refrigerator to show two small pots containing the next day s breakfast, saying he ll steal to feed the family. The film provoked heated controversy when released. Ballantyne s intent was to expose of the lack of opportunity for the poor of Canada, but instead the film was widely criticized for exploiting the poor and uneducated. After distribution, the family was mocked by neighbors, and both Film Board founder John Grierson and noted producer Colin Low derided the film for exacerbating the family s difficulties. It would be nearly twenty years before Ballantyne made another film for the Film Board. This film changed the way documentaries about the poor would be made in the future at the Film Board, but the question remains: would the resultant censorship according to subject philosophy create more compelling films? The film is rarely shown today, and upon re- examination we ask ourselves if it s an anachronistic work that takes up a justifiably forgotten corner of documentary history, or if it s instead a no- holds-barred view at a world rife with too many excuses for bad choices made by individuals demanding the allencompassing right to make them. Another film on a similar theme is director Kathleen Shannon s Would I Ever Like to Work (1974, NFBC). The reality of this single mother s situation is sobering: seven kids, no job, and she can t afford child care anyway. She wants to work, if just to get away from her kids. Now in her mid 20s, she realizes she made many mistakes, but the futility of her situation is daunting for her, and troubling for the viewer. In All in the Same Boat (1979, Australian Film Commission/NFBC), director Deborah Kingsland s dark treatment of a familial

89 78 Films You Saw in School theme, mom complains that her infant and toddler have her climbing the walls. The volume of noise, tantrums, boredom, and her husband all contribute to her Valium habit, and she strikes out: by slapping around her children and joining a group of toddler- moms to talk about how vapid their husbands are and their joys in life ( I m on pills, she s on brandy ). Dad chimes in that he likes to watch television because it s stupid, then opines that he d be happy watching it all day. He then goes motorcycling with his buddy while mom struggles to bring groceries and two toddlers home on a crowded city bus. Mr. Nobody (1987), directed by Lyn Wright, consists of a fascinating visit with Jack Huggins, a compulsive hoarder who admits to having a bit of a problem, nothing unusual, really until the new neighbors moved in, and began noticing the aroma wafting toward their dream home. In this film, the municipal government attempts to fix the house and yard, while the department of social services tries to fix Huggins; he finally gets those maggots cleaned out of that quarter- sized hole in his leg, although the odor emanating from the justopened refrigerator door nearly kills the social worker first. Perhaps the most surprising thing is that Huggins is lucid, aware that he s got a problem, and is organized enough to have buried 75 cats in his backyard, as opposed to leaving their carcasses lying around. A thoughtprovoking film, Mr. Nobody eschews the black and white handling of issues concerning of the mentally ill and lives squarely in the hazy gray. Director Maurice Murad s Any Place But Here (1978, CBS/Carousel) visits Dr. Bill Werner, head of New York s Creedmoor Psychiatric Center. Instead of hiding the sins of publicly funded psychiatric care in large hospitals, Werner literally threw open the gates to Murad s crew, and let patients Eddie, Elaine, and Harvey guide them on a grand tour. Eddie especially is engaging and funny, and poignant at times, as he expresses his concern about becoming confined for so long that he will never be able to integrate himself within the community at large. Some of the clients are lucid, others are not, but all have memorable personalities. Perhaps the most interesting is Werner himself, who died shortly after this film was made. In his soliloquy on the subject of mental illness, he states that he s not sure how many of us, including himself, aren t psychotic when they re quietly being themselves. XII. Films on Aging Beginning in the 1970s, a growing number of films addressed the issue of the aging population. I Think They Call Him John (1970, dir. John Krish, Mass Media Associates) was one of the first. Filmed in the soft grays that can only be created by filming in a tiny, cementblock apartment on a dreary British winter s day, John lives out the last years of his existence. Here, we join him as he enjoys the major events of the day: making tea, watching television, and waiting for a letter from a sister who now lives abroad, and whom he hasn t seen in years. Poignant, sad, and powerful, the film illustrates the eventual rewards that wait for millions who worked hard all their lives in order to enjoy the fruits of retirement. On a more upbeat note was producer Arthur Mokin s Ruth Stout s Garden (1976, Mokin), an idea that germinated after Mokin s wife read about the octogenarian gardener in the New York Times. A visit to her farm convinced the Mokins to make a film, based on the life and philosophy of this iconoclast suffragette and political progressive, replete with tales of nude gardening, thus revealing the young, carefree girl still inside. Stout s funny, unassuming personality is in marked contrast to two other films made on the subject of older people, Jorge Preloran and Steve Raymen s Luther Metke at 94 (1981, UCLA) and John Hoskyns- Abrahall s Living

90 One Social Science and Geography Films 79 the Good Life (1977, Bullfrog), featuring 93-year-old writer Scott Nearing and his 74-yearold wife Helen. In the former film, Metke s constant religious references soon grow tiresome, and one gets the sense that his advanced age was the only criterion for making the film; and while the Nearings are interesting subjects, their platitudes are delivered without the warmth and humor of Stout. Two older people fight for the right to live (and perhaps die) at home in Richard Todd s touching and real portrayal of his grandmother in Nell and Fred (1971, NFBC). Nell is an animated, fun- loving, independent woman, who seems alternately exasperated with and compassionate to the hard- of-hearing Fred, as they both are given the opportunity of moving into a board and care residence for older people. Todd s juxtaposition of Nell s warm and homey current environment with the stark and Spartan existence promised by the new home provide a strong emotional context to the battle that is faced by countless numbers of aging people every year.

91 CHAPTER TWO History Films I. An Overview of History Films II. Prehistory III. Ancient Civilizations and Colonization IV. Pre-Columbian History, Spanish Conquest of the New World, and Modern Hispanic History V. Middle East, the Islamic World, and Israel VI. Pre-colonial and Colonial North America VII. Western Expansion, Civil War, and Reconstruction VIII. European History IX. World War I Through World War II Era X. Cold War and Vietnam War Era XI. African-American, Native American, Asian- American, and Canadian Historical Subjects XII. Bill of Rights, Civics, and the U.S. Legal Process I. An Overview of History Films The importance of the place of educational films on historical subjects in the context of inculcating attitudes, opinions, and actions cannot be overstated. A radical shift in the perspective of the history film in the U.S. occurred in the mid 1960s, after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed. As will be discussed in this chapter, there is also a fascinating world of films made in Canada that had a decidedly different take on U.S.-Canadian historical events, but it appears to be the case that relatively few of them were ever seen in U.S. schools (I haven t seen any of them appear in the dozens of classroom film collections in the United States which I ve reviewed). Ditto for films made by Mexican companies. From a U.S. perspective, it would seem that our students were shortchanged in terms of knowing through film how our neighbors reported and analyzed events which involved interactions between the two given countries. This chapter discusses pre- and post 1960s films on historical subjects, and includes those on pertinent legal issues, many of which stem from the U.S. Bill of Rights. After an initial description of the differences in pre 1960 era and post 1960 era U.S. history films, individual films will be discussed. The films in this chapter are primarily films of historical subjects. For a contemporary look at international social customs, see the chapter on Social Science and Geography Films. 80

92 Two History Films 81 The Historical Film in a Changing World Given that media in general has an inherent propagandistic element, the historical film was a reflection of the cultural message that was promoted by many school administrations in the pre 1960 era, reflecting to a very large extent a white, conservative, Christian orientation. The roles of African- Americans, Latinos, Asians, and women were largely left out of pre 1960 educational films. To sell to this audience of school administrators- buyers, educational film companies made U.S. and world historical films primarily from a Eurocentric perspective, in which non- subservient people of other colors were rarely shown, and contributions made by Arab, African, pre Columbian American, and Asian cultures and people either seldom discussed or completely ignored. In today s climate, many pre 1960 historical films can be viewed either as naïvely charming relics of a bygone era, or as intended agents of oppression. What is important to recognize is that, in the latter part of the decade of the 60s, the context in which historical films were distributed and shown within schools had begun to change, driven by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and several other acts of Congress which mandated the denial of, or assisted in the distribution of millions of dollars of, federal funds for the purchase of mediated instruction to schools adhering to desegregation laws. Interestingly, many of the landmark educational films of the era were produced by commercial television networks, edited for classroom use and distributed through standard film distribution channels. The impact of television on the school history film cannot be ignored, as many of the visionaries promoting progressive social programs and intelligent critical discourse through social films derived their paychecks by proxy from companies making laundry detergent rather than tax dollars doled out in Washington. Prior to discussing the films themselves, a few words on the subject of integration are in order. The Role of School Segregation and Integration in Educational Film With one or two notable exceptions, educational film on a national scale prior to the 1960s reflected to a great extent the conservative social and political mores of the deep South. One hears occasional stories about executives of educational film companies debating over whether to have two versions of a given film, one promoting a fair view of the melting pot, another catering to white Southern sensitivities. 1 As cited in my earlier book, filmmaker Tom Smith remembers fellow filmmakers being told to deliberately avoid having black children within the frame of a given shot, in order to accede to the demands of the Southern white film buyer. 2 In actuality, the single- print philosophy was the norm, and films on historical subjects made by educational film companies wishing to reap the most profit from a title with very few exceptions standardized on the tastes of conservative white Southern film buyers. Diane Ravitch, in The Troubled Crusade: American Education, , characterized the deeply ingrained Southern hostility to changing the racial status quo: White southerners liked to say that there were not enough troops anywhere in the world to make the South give up its segregated way of life. The southern way of life may have been incomprehensible to critical outsiders, but it was solidly entrenched in the folkways, mores, customs, and manners of the South. The southern way of life was at one and the same time enormously simple and enormously complicated: simple in that it was firmly grounded in the notion of the superiority of the white race and the subservience of the Negro race, and complicated in that it was practiced through elaborate, usually unwritten rules of behavior and etiquette. State and local laws segregated the races in schools, hospitals, transportation, hotels, theaters, and in most other public and private facilities, and absolutely banned

93 82 Films You Saw in School marriage between whites and nonwhites; un- written but well- understood race etiquette prescribed the deference that black people were expected to show to white people, such as entering a white person s home only through the back door or stepping off the curb to let a white person pass. White Southerners believed that theirs was a biracial culture, that whites and blacks were each evolving in their own way, and that this was best for both races. But the relationship was decidedly asymmetrical, for whites controlled all the instruments of public power and almost all of the instruments of private power as well. Not necessarily through state law, but certainly through state action, Negroes were disenfranchised and thereby left politically powerless; they were systematically excluded from jury duty; they lived in neighborhoods that were last to get paved roads, lights, sewers, and other public amenities; they went to schools with shorter terms and poorer facilities than those attended by whites; they were vulnerable to the whims of lawless whites, who could enlist the support of white police, white juries, and white prosecutors. 3 Institutionalized discrepancies in education funding between educational systems serving blacks versus whites was significant. In South Carolina of 1945, for example, with nearly equal numbers of black and white students, the state spent nearly three times as much on the latter; the value of white school property was six times the value of black school property, and the state spent 1 percent as much for black student transportation to schools as white. Often, textbooks used by black students were those discarded by white schools. 4 The groundswell of change began on May 17, 1954, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in Brown v. Board of Education, that state- imposed racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional, a far- reaching decision for the approximately 40 percent of students across the nation who were enrolled in segregated schools. This well- intentioned decision was watered down considerably on May 31, 1955, when the Court issued a decision that became known as Brown II, allowing individual school districts to set their own timetables for implementation of the ruling. 5 Southern resistance continued, as exemplified by the Southern Manifesto, a document declaring resistance to enforced integration, signed by 19 of the South s 22 senators, and 82 of its 106 congressmen. 6 Southern states enacted legislation that denied state funds to integrated schools, developed grants to be given to those who refused to attend integrated schools, and threatened to shut down schools 7 rather than integrate them. 8 Although some attempt was made to put teeth into the law (President Eisenhower finally sent federal troops to Little Rock, Arkansas, to counter the attempt by Governor Orval Faubus to keep Central High School segregated), state school adherence was dismal: by 1962, only the border states of Oklahoma, Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware, where 25 to 60 percent of black students attended integrated schools, were actively engaged in programs of desegregation. In eight of the southern states (Texas, Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Florida), two percent or fewer black students were enrolled in biracial schools, while in Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina, schools remained 100 percent segregated. 9 The ultimate solution to this resistance to change was the Civil Rights Act of 1964, an 18,000-word document signed by Lyndon Baines Johnson on July 2, 1964, with noted civil rights leaders Martin Luther King, Jr. and Roy Wilkins in attendance. The new law was empowered by an edict that denied federal funds to schools engaged in policies of segregation, and consisted of regulations addressing several areas of concern, the most significant element of which was, from a curriculum and film perspective, Title VI, which banned discrimination on race, color, or national origin in any federally assisted program. 10 With southern foot- dragging on the implementation of Brown fresh in the minds of the authors of the Civil Rights Act, the issue of rapid compliance

94 Two History Films 83 was sealed by the policing efforts of the Office of Education in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, charged with disbursing funding under the Act. In order to receive federal dollars, districts had to file one of three documents: an assurance of compliance with the current law, a progress report on current desegregation activities, or a plan that would guarantee full desegregation by Performance criteria mandated by HEW stated that if 8 to 9 percent of black students attended integrated schools in 1965, double that would be mandated for ; if the earlier figure were 4 to 5 percent, then triple that amount would apply. 11 By making good on the threat to withhold federal curriculum funding from segregated schools, Washington forced a significant change upon schools in the southern United States. In 1964, roughly 2 percent of southern black students attended schools with whites: by 1968, the figure had increased to 32 percent, and by 1972, 91 percent. 12 Because student demographics were now rapidly changing along racial lines, new curricula to serve the needs of a suddenly diverse district population immediately followed, buoyed by the different paradigms presented by a new generation of young, politically progressive teachers. Trained and hired under Title V of the Higher Education Act of 1965, these newcomers benefited from federal funds distributed under the Act, which allocated $36 million in 1966 and $64 million in 1967 to create a National Teachers Corps, chartered to work in areas with large concentrations of low- income families. 13 The need for educational films to serve teachers such as these and their diverse students was most immediately seen in a resurgence of films on the humanities, creating a rich social, political, and financial climate that led to a remarkably fecund environment for filmmakers such as John Barnes, Larry Yust, Bert Salzman, and Paul Saltzman, and a profitable era for companies such as Encyclopædia Britannica, Phoenix, Films Incorporated, and Learning Corporation of America. Such films often featured interracial or non- white casts, treating ethno- cultural themes, now eligible for additional funding through updates through the Ethnic Heritage Program, and the Indian Education Act both added to the Educational and Secondary Educational Act (ESEA) in Pre 1950 Historical Films: An Overview Prior to 1950, educational film companies, recognizing that good actors and decent sets required budgets greater than most were willing to provide, to a great extent abdicated the history market, leaving much of it instead in the hands of an organization called Teaching Film Custodians (TFC), a non- profit group organized to utilize edited versions of Hollywood films for the purpose of educating America s youth. Needless to say, verisimilitude was rarely the issue (it s doubtful whether academic subject matter experts were ever consulted during the scripting or filming), and Euro- Caucasian cultural bias was endemic, considering both the themes and perspectives chosen by major motion picture studios. This was undoubtedly a good deal for Hollywood, for in allowing selected films to be used free of charge, it would gather youthful mindshare for its stars and properties, as well as public recognition as do-gooders, assisting America s educators to enlighten youth. As educational tools, the films were inadequate; as cinema, they were uneven. Warner Bros., for example, contributed the pedantic and poorly acted Romance of Louisiana (1937, dir. Crane Wilbur, Vitaphone), a dramatic rendering of the events surrounding the Louisiana Purchase. A slight improvement is noted in Paramount s Communications Westward (1937, dir. Frank Lloyd), adapted from the feature film Wells Fargo, featuring better- than-average acting ( Joel McCrea), directing, and cinematography. Its portrayal of the Pony Express, the Gold Rush, and the advent of

95 84 Films You Saw in School the telegraph makes for exciting viewing, but also includes the gratuitous Indian- killing scene common in many big screen westerns. Later educational fare would produce many films on the subject of Spanish conquests in the New World, most of which seemed to feature Anglo actors in dark make- up. Teaching Film Custodians was there first, with Spanish Conquest in the New World (1947, dir. Henry King), derived from the 20th Century Fox feature film Captain from Castile, with the cast of Tyrone Power, Lee J. Cobb, and Jean Peters led by the credibly Hispanic César Romero playing the larger- than-life Cortez. Toward the latter part of its existence, TFC went beyond the film pool into television, extracting Great Gamble: Cyrus W. Field (1961, director uncredited), for instance, from an episode in the 1954 Cavalcade of America television series. In this yawn- inspiring film which, judging by the plethora of splices evidenced in one print, must have tortured many a poor student, the amateurish directing complements the sophomoric writing, perfectly suited to the ill- fitting beard and greasy wig worn by the actor portraying the man who led the drive to place the first trans Atlantic cable. In summation, TFC films were so pervasive that virtually every school district used them; educational film companies only began making historical films in volume in the late 1950s, when much of the TFC fare was considered by many educators to be a bit long in the tooth. Somewhat surprisingly, however, virtually every school district still had at least one or two TFC films in its catalogue well into the 1990s. Educational film companies had, to a certain extent, been making films on historical subjects all along, despite the wide swath cast across the historical film world by the Teaching Film Custodians (over 120 different historical and cultural titles were available through them). Much of the time films were made to fill specific educational niches, such as the films specific to the history of California made by Film Associates and Barr Films that addressed the standard history curriculum taught to every 4th-grade student in the state. Larger companies such as EB and Coronet, too, would produce the occasional film, concentrating mostly on the exploits of white males, while ignoring contributions made by women and nonwhites. 14 As indicated earlier, this was standard procedure; in particular, it was believed by many sales executives that the utilization of interracial casts would kill sales in the South, and that black historical subjects would be purchased only by districts with large black populations, typically the ones with the least amount of money available to purchase films. In fact, probably the single most important cinematic work that would ultimately effect significant change in the racial makeup of school film libraries came not from educational film companies, but from television, with executive producer Perry Wolff s Of Black America, a hard- hitting series of powerful documentaries distributed in 1968, which became a staple in many schools in the ensuing years. Even after the advent of this important series of films, educational film companies, always claiming to take the higher ground, academically speaking, in presenting a more historically accurate perspective, were still kowtowing to ultra- conservative school districts. Zelda Burnford, who wrote several of her husband Paul s historical films of the mid 1980s, recalled that when she tried to introduce, in a film on the Civil War, George Washington s excuse that owning slaves was appropriate due to God s providence, the owner of the film company in question ordered her to delete the comment, explaining that he wouldn t be able to sell as many copies by exposing our first president s linking of racism to religion. In most, cases, decisions such as these were made by executive producers whose names were rarely on the film. Looking at the Pollyanna- ish view of many of these films today, it is all too easy to point the finger at the filmmakers themselves, who often were little more than craft workers doing

96 Two History Films 85 the master s bidding, with little negotiating strength. The biases, half- truths, and outright lies evidenced in many of these titles must be analyzed, therefore, on a film- by-film basis, judged not only by decade of production, but with an eye toward the production executives making final decisions. Even so, the party responsible for the perspective in question is rarely unveiled, whether due to the absence of appropriate credits, the passing of the participants, the ravages of time on individual memories, or the revisionist balm of selective retrospection. Although not an educational filmmaker per se, one of the more erudite commentaries on the difficulties of negotiating with the people funding historical films was made by documentary and feature film director John Sayles in an interview with Eric Foner in the book Past Imperfect: History According to the Movies. In discussing the process of making Eight Men Out, his account of the 1919 Black Sox World Series scandal, he noted: One of the reasons it took eleven years was that I wanted to tell that story, Eight Men Out. Not One Man Out or Three Men Out and a Baby different versions, as the studio would say. The history said these eight guys threw the World Series, and I wasn t going to have a scene at the end where I froze the frame on somebody going, We re number one! From a stylistic perspective, historical films made by educational film companies from the 1950s through the mid 1960s were to a large extent predictable, dreary, and boorish affairs, treatments of which pretty much fell squarely into three camps: (1) dramatizations made especially for the educational market; (2) dour, plodding chronologies utilizing maps, engravings, paintings, and file footage; and (3) newsreel- based films produced by television networks or news organizations such as Hearst Metrotone. Examples of the first type were a staple of the Coronet films catalogue, which featured a plethora of films consisting of re- created daily life events utilizing actors in ostensibly period costume and facial hair, with voice- over narration. These uninteresting attempts at portraying otherwise exciting historical times never boasted director or acting credits (for which all involved were probably truly thankful), and included titles such as Life in Ancient Greece: Role of the Citizen (1959) and Chaucer and the Medieval Period (1957). Paralleling the fare of Coronet were similar treatments at EB, among them director Bill Deneen s Frontier Boy of the Early Midwest Settlers of the Old Northwest Territory, and Settlement of the Mississippi Valley (both 1962). Even in the 1970s, films such as Discovery of America: Westward Movement (1975, prod. Norman Foster, Handel) plied the tired names and dates historical film trade. There were exceptions, though so few that they re only a footnote though an important one in this early era. Director John Barnes s film career at Encyclopædia Britannica Films (EB) began as the writer for director Gordon Weisenborn s People Along the Mississippi a film that traces interactions among peoples and ethnicities along the river, and includes what may be the first sequence in classroom educational film showing peer interaction between an African- American youth and a Caucasian youth. Barnes s films The Pilgrims (1954), and Roger Williams: Founder of Rhode Island (1957, both starring Donald Moffat), emphasize the importance of separation of church and state (the latter film also expresses sympathy to the treatment of Native Americans). His 1957 film, Sir Francis Drake: Rise of English Sea Power, as mentioned in my earlier book, raised the hackles of southern educators by showing the peer relationship that existed between Drake and his black first mate. Such films are rare for the era, and would presage by a decade the social and political changes in the United States that would take the historical classroom film to its next evolution.

97 86 Films You Saw in School COURTESY ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, INC. The Pilgrims, directed by John Barnes (EB, 1954). COURTESY ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, INC. Donald Moffat (right) and an unidentified actor in John Barnes s Roger Williams: Founder of Rhode Island (EB, 1957).

98 Two History Films 87 By the late 1960s, classroom history films were changing due to two significant factors. School districts, having to adhere to the new governmental mandates in order to secure federal government funding, were in need of mediated content to serve a diversified, integrated student population. And a new generation of young filmmakers, reflecting the societal change influencing life in the United States, were enthusiastic about making a new kind of film that found instant audiences. The subclassification of films on historical subjects, which follows, includes examples of pre- and post 1960 era films. II. Prehistory Anthropologist Richard Leakey s work was profiled in a number of films shown in classrooms, including those in producer Peter Spry- Leverton s The Making of Mankind series (1981, BBC/Time-Life). One film in the series, The Human Way of Life, focuses on Homo erectus, filmed at Site 50, near Lake Turkaka, and the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert, Botswana, highlighting food sharing and the division of labor. A far more commercial treatment of Leakey s work was the Nicolas Noxon and Guy Blanchard- directed film Dr. Leakey and the Dawn of Man (1966, National Geographic). Homo habilis and Olduvai Gorge are discussed, in a film that was marred by corny anthropomorphic music, in this case by Leonard Rosenman, standard for the jointly produced David Wolper- National Geographic television programs of the era that were repurposed for the classroom. Other filmmakers chose to make prehistory films based on the availability of art and artifacts, with varying degrees of affective success. William Chapman, a Life Magazine correspondent who had never made a film before, carried cables, generators, and lights up the mountain and into the Lascaux Cave in the fascinating Lascaux: Cradle of Man s Art (1950, IFB). Producer Milan Herzog s Cave Dwellers of the Old Stone Age (1960, Tadié Films/EB) included re- enactments of Neanderthal and Cro- Magnon life in the Dordogne region of France, including examples of cave art. One film of marginal affective value was Prehistoric Man in Northern Europe (1961, Dansk Kulturfilm/EB, uncredited director), which used actors engaged in using artifacts housed in a Danish museum. III. Ancient Civilizations and Colonization World history, from the perspective of educational film companies, was primarily European history, although a smattering of African and Asian historical films were made, and a like number of pre Columbian films. A number of intriguing films were made on the process and effects of colonization. Among the most interesting were those in the dramatized Ten Who Dared (The Explorers, as it was known in the UK) series. Roman historical films, prior to the 1960s, were of generally two categories, either abridgements of major motion pictures, specially edited for classroom use, or recreations often utilizing poorly directed or trained actors, in occasionally shoddy costumes, reflective of the low educational film budgets of that era. A notable exception was Ray Garner s Ancient World: Egypt Archaeological Institute of America), which captured the majesty of pharaonic architecture, sculpture, and paintings. Garner s cinematography can best be described as luscious, particularly evident in a signature technique of his, consisting of a single shot of ruins, alternately light and dark

99 88 Films You Saw in School PHOTOGRAPH BY BRUCE HUNGERFORD, COURTESY GAY MACKINTOSH Director Ray Garner, filming The Ancient World: Egypt (Archaeological Institute of America, 1952), with his tripod and camera, perched on the knee of the colossal statue of Ramses II at Abu Simbel, Egypt, 1951.

100 Two History Films 89 as clouds pass. His prints still retain their beautiful color, due to his insistence on utilizing superior print stock. Garner, who lived from 1913 to 1986, was funded from 1938 to 1956 by the Harmon Foundation, founded by real estate developer William E. Harmon ( ) in 1922, as a means for the governess of his children, Mary Beattie Brady, to promote her passions, which included social reform and promotion of the arts. 15 Garner s first project was a series of films shot in Africa in 1938, focusing on native life, tribal customs, and the work of Christian missions. Garner made another outstanding film, Ancient World: Greece Archaeological Institute of America). In this cinematically arresting film, Garner used narration directly from translated texts by Hesiod, Pindar, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, Herodotus, Thucydides, Plato, and Plutarch, describing Crete, Knossos, Mycenae, and the sculptures of Athens. He is perhaps best known through a series of films made for NBC, including Greece: The Golden Age (1963). Director Bernard Wilets s Trial of Socrates (1971, Barr), one of his Man and the State series of films, features an uncredited Victor Buono, who gave a wonderful performance as the protagonist, based on the works of Plato, Xenophon, and Aristophanes, among others. Bill Deneen s Julius Caesar: Rise of the Roman Empire (1964), one of a series of EB shorts shot on the set of producer Samuel Bronston s epic The Fall of the Roman Empire (20th Century Fox), outside of Madrid. The scripts for all three films were co- written by Deneen and noted novelist and screenwriter Elmore Leonard. 16 Although the uncredited actor playing Caesar provides a somewhat wooden portrayal, the film itself is well- directed and informative, and the production is lavish. Deneen, in a letter to EB Films president Charles Benton, described how he was able to produce the film, and includes a cynical aside on the general quality of classroom films made about Rome: It seems to me that it is no longer possible for us to put on historical dumb shows with cheesecloth costumes and crooked wigs the idea to approach Bronston for the use of sets, costumes, etc., was born by a casual remark in the sky as the (Milan) Herzogs and Deneens were flying over Wisconsin. Over the roar of the engine, Milan said, I wish there were some way we could use the Bronston Roman Empire sets in Madrid. Paul Lazarus was at the time Executive Vice President of the Bronston organization, and when I approached him was in the process of preparing an educational kit for distribution to schools to help sell the feature. The timing was fortunate. I suggested that we advise on the preparation of the teaching kit (and distribute the film) at no cost to Bronston in exchange for the use of the sets, costumes, etc. The Bronston organization was also keenly interested in the prestige and approbation which the Britannica name would lend. Throughout the project, Sam Bronston, Paul Lazarus and others in the Bronston organization continued to feel that they were getting the best of the bargain, and we felt that it was a very fair arrangement. We could not have duplicated what Bronston gave us for over 3 million dollars. 17 Deneen s creativity in terms of the Roman series wasn t appreciated by everyone at EB. Upon seeing Claudius: Boy of Ancient Rome, Deneen reports that EB Films president Maurice Mitchell remarked, We don t make this Hollywood crap, we make educational films. And especially, we don t make films about Roman boys and their homosexual slaves. 18 Of the relatively few classroom films made on the subject of African history, two of the most notable were produced by Julien Bryan s International Film Foundation. In Africans All (1962, dir. Greg Knowles), animator Philip Stapp begins the film by spoofing popular misconceptions of Africa, from Tarzan, to tigers, to whites being cooked in a pot, before introducing the viewer to cultures such as Libya s Leptis Magna. In Ancient Africans (dir.

101 90 Films You Saw in School Sam Bryan, 1970), the viewer is introduced to Great Zimbabwe, Kush, and Axum, among other kingdoms, narrated by noted Swahili broadcaster Athmani Magoma. Colonialism, a Case Study: Namibia (1975, UN/Journal) is a fascinating film made by an uncredited director, profiling the colonialist history of present- day Namibia. The film focuses on the Herero- German War of , in which the Nama population was reduced from 20,000 to 10,000, the Hereros from 80,000 to 15,000 after the extermination order. Sam Nujoma of SWAPO, John Voerster, PM of the Union of South Africa, and the Ovambo tribe are also discussed. Producer Michael Latham s Ten Who Dared series (BBC/Time-Life) featured several fine dramatized historical films on Colonial- era themes, among them Charles Doughty 1877 (discussed in the chapter on social science films). Mary Kingsley 1893 (1976) dramatizes Mary Kingsley s 1893 journey along the Ogowe and Rembwe Rivers of Africa s West Coast, where she studied the native cultures of the cannibalistic tribes. Latham tells of the price he paid for insisting on filming on location: My most horrible experience was filming Mary Kingsley in Gabon. There were 60 people in the crew. To get to the leper colony of Lamborene, we had to get to a fleet of canoes to go to a Pygmy village one hour away. On the day we were flying out, permission to leave had been rescinded by President Bongo. I decided not to receive the message, and instead insisted on seeing President Bongo. It was a week before I could see him. Bongo finally relented by my supplication, Here s how two countries can work together for peace. In Henry Morton Stanley 1874 (1976), it was done in the Congo. After Scene 1, Take 1, everyone was arrested and deported. I m not sure why. 19 In both the pre- and post 1960s eras, films on the history of Asian countries were relatively few. Coronet s India s History series (1956), made in conjunction with Merrill Goodall, executive director of the India Program at Cornell, was exceptional. Film titles included Early Civilizations, Mogul Empire to European Colonization, and British Colony to Independence. Producer/director Wang- go Weng s Chinese History series (Chinese Institute in America 1976) consisted of ten compelling films, including China: The Golden Age, on the subject of Chinese expansion under the unified emperors of the Sui and T ang dynasties. The dearth of history films on Asian cultures is reflective of the Eurocentric emphasis on the teaching of history in those times. Interestingly, social science films from those years were replete with Asian subjects, and are discussed in the chapter on social science and geography films. IV. Pre- Columbian History, Spanish Conquest of the New World, and Modern Hispanic History The strong emphasis on European- American cultural and historical themes, reflecting the cultural background of film executives as well as their most affluent customers, resulted in relatively few films made on elements of pre Columbian and Hispanic history prior to the mid 1960s. Fairly typical of the fare made prior to this era was writer- producer Jackson Winter s Path of Columbus (1954, Simmel- Meservey), a didactic interpretation read by a theatrical Marvin Miller, who quoted the mariner as well as the king of Spain in a labored Spanish accent. The overwrought orchestral musical score intrusively drowns the beautiful black and white cinematography by Winter, many of whose films of foreign lands were eventually distributed by the enigmatic Paul Hoefler. Coronet contributed films such as Spanish Influences in the United States (1962, dir. John Running), an unspectacular, dry, and bizarre film that describes the Spanish origin of many common English words, then defines Spain s influ-

102 Two History Films 91 ence on American furniture by presenting a kitschy, heavy, wooden television console on a living room floor. Pre-Columbian historical films of the pre 1970 years, didactic reminders of rotelearning in naming places and dates, increasingly gave way to films reflecting an appreciation and enchantment for the grandeur of the art and architecture of early civilizations. An example of films of the earlier type was Coronet s Incas (1961, uncredited director), which, while noting the beauty of their pottery, weavings, and silverwork through still photography, attempted to give the viewer a sense of what life was like in Inca times through re- enacting the actions of priests by utilizing indigenous peoples in costume, appearing uneasy in their roles. What became of the empire is not mentioned in this eleven- minute film. One of the first films of the genre to ascend beyond the didactic was James Sage s Ancient Peruvian (1968, IFF), in which the architecture and archaeology of early empires was juxtaposed with the ethnographic elements of modern culture, interpreted by both the camera and Gerald McDermott s inspired animation. In a departure from the tired orchestral arrangements, or alternately, the inappropriate flamenco guitar musical scores that were common to such films, Peruvian featured a stunning soundtrack by Thomas Wagner, consisting of a percussion ensemble augmented by flutes and various other wind instruments, particularly effective during the animated sequences. McDermott, who, in addition to Philip Stapp, provided IFF with some of the most original and striking animation in the educational film world, was born in 1941, and began experimenting with film as an extracurricular activity while attending Detroit s Cass Technical High School. He made his first commercial film IFF) at the age of 19, an extremely complex animation short featuring 6000 animation cels presented in six minutes. Influenced by Klee and Matisse, McDermott used silkscreen and traditional painting techniques in crafting ethnographic folk tale animation shorts. Later traveling to Paris, he introduced himself to Henri Langlois at the Cinemathèque, who in turn sent him to Alexandre Alexieff, master of the pinscreen (a frame holding thousands of retractable pins which, when struck by perpendicular light from each side, would produce a three dimensional image based on the manner in which the pins were pushed from the opposite side of the viewer). Returning to the U.S., the filmmaker attended Pratt Institute in New York and began animating for Julien Bryan s International Film Foundation. He went on to make four more films under his own name on themes of ethnic mythology, often accompanied by Wagner s music, Sun Flight Anansi the Spider (1969), The Magic Tree (1970), and Arrow to the Sun (1973). Leaving film, McDermott concentrated instead on children s picture books, winning several Caldecott Awards for excellence in animation. Until his passing, McDermott continued writing and illustrating children s books, and served as Primary Education Program Director for the Joseph Campbell Foundation. Another exceptional animated treatment of a pre Columbian theme was Patricia Amlin s Popul-Vuh University of California), which utilizes the actual figures found in the famous Mayan codex, transforming them into flying images of color and depth. While McDermott s and Amlin s efforts represent the height of the animated form within the educational milieu, the apogee in cinematography was strikingly evidenced in the late James Freeman s breathtaking helicopter shots of Mayan and Aztec ruins at sunrise and sunset in Centinelas del Silencio dir. Robert Amran, Pyramid). With an English narration by Orson Welles (called Sentinels of Silence in its English version), the film won an Academy Award in 1971; of the two versions, the original Spanish- language version with Ricardo Montalban s narration better reflects the poetry of the camera work and rhythm of the film editing, and a knowledge of Spanish is not necessary to enjoy its beauty. Two addi-

103 92 Films You Saw in School COURTESY ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, INC. Cinematographer Jim Freeman taking aerial shots over Monte Alban in Centinelas del Silencio (Sentinels of Silence, EB, 1971). tional films worthy of note that also were commonly distributed in Spanish versions were La Historia de las Aztecas, and La Primera Ciudad de los Américas: Teotihuacán (both 1975, uncredited director, South Texas Multifilms/Films Inc.), interpreting the art, architecture, and archaeology of ancient cities, hosted in Spanish by a forceful Fernándo Pérez Del Río. Perhaps the most powerful film made specifically for schools on Pre- Columbian history was director Bert Van Bork s enchanting Mesa Verde: Mystery of the Silent Cities (1975, EB). Few could argue that this film sets the standard for the Anasazi aesthetic. Flying within impossibly narrow canyons to achieve dizzying shots of cliff dwellings, Van Bork burned through two helicopter pilots, one of whom quit in the middle of the shooting out of fear for his life. Van Bork s masterful shots were accomplished by removing the helicopter door, mounting the camera on a fixed mount, then directing the pilot through the headphone microphone to fly in various trajectories. As if the breathtaking displays of the terrain and dwellings aren t enough, Van Bork also begins some pan shots with abstract architectural designs abruptly jutting out from behind incomplete shadowy formations, resembling more a German expressionist painting than an ancient, deserted town built into the rock. The filmmaker tells an interesting story about the narrator of the film, Jack Palance. Contacted by telephone, Palance agreed to do the narration provided the script was acceptable, and, after reviewing it, suggested they meet at one of Hollywood s finest restaurants to discuss the project: Bob s Big Boy! 20 With Palance s dramatic interpretation of the text accompanied by the haunting percussion ensemble musical score by Hans Wurman, the film transcends the didactic historical, and transfixes the viewer instead by offering an in- motion armchair view of the extreme location these long- forgotten people chose as home.

104 Two History Films 93 Encompassing the pre Columbian, Spanish, and revolutionary eras, Fred Ward s Mexico: 12,000 Years of History (1970, Black Star), provides basic information on cultures such as the Olmec, Zapotec, and Maya, a rather lackluster reading, and surprisingly ends with Mexico as it stood in 1920, leaving the viewer to assume that nothing of interest occurred in the ensuing 50 years. In reality, the nationalization of oil wells and refineries, which took place in 1938 under the government of Lázlo Cárdenas, was a big story. One suspects that this fascinating story of the uneasy relationship between the U.S. and Mexico was, because of its decidedly non- capitalist outcome, determined to be too potentially detrimental to sales to conservative southern school districts to be included in what appears to be an unfinished film. Surprisingly, the subject is addressed head- on by the usually risk- resistant Coronet, in Mexico s History (1969, uncredited director). Beginning with indigenous groups, the 15- minute film also addresses Mexican historical figures of the 20th century, commenting that the nationalization of the petroleum industry caused great strain in Mexican- American relations. But in a broader view, for a nation long under foreign influences, such a move was perhaps a healthy sign of self- realization for Mexico. Mexico: The Frozen Revolution (1971, MPO Television), 21 directed by the ill- fated Argentinian Raymundo Gleyzer, 22 takes the approach that Mexico never achieved the promise she envisioned after the Mexican Revolution of The film addresses the history of Mexican politics, and discusses social forces and culture. Gleyzer discusses the 400 students killed by the Echeverría government in 1968, and focuses on the 1970 election. Very few films on the historical aspects of Central and South American cultures ever became staples of U.S. educational film libraries. In extremely rare cases, educational films made in Latin American countries would be made available to U.S. instructors, providing a different perspective of the history of the Western Hemisphere. Such a film was the Costa Rican- made Filibusters War: (1983, dir. Samuel Rovinski, ISTMO/McGraw- Hill). Crafted from a pastiche of early drawings, photographs, and recreations of battles, shot on location in Central America, this film tells the story of the American William Walker s several attempts to turn much of that geography into a satellite slave zone. The film suffers from an overabundance of stock shots from major motion picture studios, and confused graphics (San Francisco is to be found somewhere between San Diego and Los Angeles, according to the map made for this film, some 500 miles south of its actual location). Another somewhat befuddling historical element in Rovinski s effort concerns Walker, a proponent of slavery born in Tennessee, being introduced in the film to the tune of Henry Clay Work s Marching Through Georgia, a Union song celebrating Sherman s decidedly anti Confederate march to the sea. Few today recognize the name of one of the most famous people of his era, the scientist/explorer/naturalist/writer whose name graces so many areas and institutions in the Western Hemisphere. In Alexander von Humboldt 1799 (1976, BBC/Time-Life), director Fred Burnley and cinematographer Peter Bartlett here travel through the Orinoco in a dramatized film to document Humboldt and Aimé Bonpland as they collect 60,000 plants, chart 6,000 miles of terrain, and interact with the Yanomamo Indians. Filming conditions were arduous, and tragedy struck the film crew during the three- day filming of a sequence in a cave inhabited by guacharo birds. Massive clouds of guano dust caused by the disturbed guacharos was continually inhaled in close quarters, causing everyone to experience a high degree of lung distress. Burnley, not yet 40 years of age, returned to the U.K., and still complaining of breathing difficulties, checked into a hospital and died. While tissue samples were taken to determine cause of death, they shortly thereafter disappeared under mysterious circumstances, creating

105 94 Films You Saw in School an as- yet unsolved mystery, thus, it is rumored, preventing his survivors from being able to receive an insurance settlement from his employer after his death. 23 The enchanting Humboldt was one in producer Michael Latham s Ten Who Dared series, co- funded by the BBC and Westdeutscher Rundfunk. Distributed in the U.S. by Time- Life, it was known as The Explorers in the U.K., and consisted of ten dramatized adventures of various explorers dating from Columbus to Amundsen, each approximately 50 minutes in duration, and hosted by Anthony Quinn. Characterized by outstanding location cinematography using hand- held cameras, ethnographic elements, and narration based on actual diaries, the series consisted of a chronicle of travels in difficult- to-film areas on several continents. Ten Who Dared films rarely have happy endings, as evidenced by the death of the protagonists in the desolate and beautiful Burke and Wills (Australia), and the series is far better, in both cognitive and affective senses, than many other historical ed films of the period. Unlike many films available for distribution to schools, Ten Who Dared was originally developed for prime- time British audiences, and indeed, at a budget of roughly $10 million, was the most expensive series produced at the BBC at its inception. And then there is Anthony Quinn. In the original British version, David Attenborough served as the host, happily ensconced in a set consisting of rich walnut bookcases full of leather- bound tomes. But Attenborough was, at the time, little known in the U.S., and therefore Mobil Oil, who had licensed the series for its Mobil Showcase television program, scouted about for a more familiar face. In addition, the luxurious library set was also canned, Mobil feeling that American taste wouldn t relate well to the scholarly set. Quinn as host, directed in these new sequences by David Hoffman and Harry Wiland, projects his larger- than-life persona on screen, whether putting on a tie for the lady (in Mary Kingsley), or gesticulating wildly while describing the wanderings of Charles Doughty. Rather than detracting from the Latham- produced films, Quinn s introductions are an entertaining foil that essentially make each work two films in one. V. Middle East, the Islamic World, and Israel Although nominally a historical film, director David McCallum s Charles Doughty 1877 (1976, BBC/Time-Life) contains numerous ethnographic elements. In this, one of the most compelling of the Ten Who Dared series, the noted Arabist travels in a poetic haze of colors and cultures, accompanied by the singing, languages, and sounds of the Maghreb. Director McCallum (about his only directing effort to date) recounted that the filming was actually done in the El Foud area of Morocco, due the fact that much of Doughty s Arabia was engaged in military activity, and that many of El Fouad s homeless were hired as extras. 24 The idea of utilizing McCallum as a director was suggested to the BBC by producer Michael Latham, who had noticed that the actor always took a keen interest in camera set- ups whenever he was not on- camera himself. 25 Although Doughty s diaries are cited in the narration, the viewer is soon swept away in master cinematographer Fred Hamilton s Oriental fantasy world, which would appear to be a precursor of Bertolucci s film adaptation of Paul Bowles s The Sheltering Sky (1990), made some fifteen years later. A British series distributed by LCA, The Arab Experience, directed by Antony Thomas, comprised three strong films describing the history and culture of the Levant, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. The Arab Identity: Who Are the Arabs? included shots of pilgrims boating from Egypt to Jeddah, then traveling by crowded bus to Mecca, where filming at the

106 Two History Films 95 Ka aba was done by Muslim crew. There is significant historical footage of 12-year-old boys training to be Palestinian commandos in Lebanon, prior to the fall of Beirut, and magnificent shots of the chaos of 1 million people attending Om Kaltsoum s public funeral in Cairo. Of particular poignancy is the final sequence in Egypt: The Struggle for Stability (1975), in which a one- legged man joyously dances in the streets for money. The uncredited writer ends the film by noting, It seems as though as much as he had suffered, nothing had been taken away from him. For us, this was Egypt. The John Seabourne- produced Mideast series, created in Britain and directed by Richard Ashworth, consisted of approximately five films discussing economic development, the culture of Islam, art and architecture, and socio- cultural aspects of the region. Pioneers of Science (1978, BFA), in particular, is notable for tying modern accomplishments to a tradition of technological sophistication, from wind towers to underground water channels. Land and People (1978) featured exceptional cinematography by Sirtaj Alam Khan. In the pre 1970 era, relatively few films on Middle Eastern historical subjects were found in North American classroom libraries, and those that were, were predominantly on Israel. Beyond providing information on some of the events leading up to the founding of the state of Israel, they not- so-subtly promoted greater American financial support for organizations providing money and aid to Israel, and also more than occasionally effectively demonized Arab interests, and by extension, Arab peoples. The distribution of pro Zionist classroom films was an extremely effective public relations coup for organizations such as these, and combined with the general ignorance of Arab culture in American classrooms (the historical era once referred to as the Dark Ages was, in fact, the height of Arab contributions to the arts and sciences), served to foster a pro Israeli/anti-Arab orientation in many of the American children and adults who saw these films. Opinions often translate to votes, so it s worthy to question whether, if not how much, U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East in the last several decades was influenced to some degree by exposure to films such as these. In her insightful critique of Israeli film, historian Ella Shohat describes the impact of Zionist organizations such as the Jewish Agency and United Jewish Appeal in promoting propagandistic documentaries for internal distribution within Israel as well as overseas. 26 Characteristics of such films include a rousing film score comprised of choral versions of patriotic songs, a description of Palestine being a wasteland prior to the arrival of the Jewish pioneers, and the ignoring of the concerns, opinions, and occasionally even the presence of a large Arab population. By as late as the mid 1980s, when 16mm films were increasingly being replaced by VHS tapes, films of this nature were still in active circulation in U.S. schools. In director Marshall Flaum s Let My People Go (1965, Metromedia), horrifying footage of the Warsaw ghetto and concentration camps and accompanying narration urge the viewer to accept emigration to Palestine as the only acceptable choice to prevent future atrocities. Early agro- heroic shots of Israeli cultivation are reminiscent of Soviet propaganda films in terms of camera angle and accompanying music and narration. Curiously, the dynamiting of the King David Hotel described in the film, resulting in the deaths of 80 British soldiers, may strike the viewer as similar in nature to more recent terrorist anti Israeli footage from the region. The film ends with the planting of trees on barren land, in memory of the 6 million killed by the Nazis. In addition to several other groups, organizations thanked in the credits for contributing to the film include the Government of Israel and its Consulate in Los Angeles, the Jewish Agency, Central Zionist Archives, United Jewish Appeal, and Hebrew Union College.

107 96 Films You Saw in School Director Alan Landsburg s Ben-Gurion (1962, McGraw- Hill) is similar to Let My People Go in terms of use of file footage. This film was an episode in the well- known Biography series narrated by Mike Wallace, ubiquitously shown in classrooms, and continuing to be shown decades later in television syndication. Depicting the life and times of David Ben- Gurion, the film is liberal in its use of heroic music and its images of Arabs largely as horsebound marauders living in the past. And again, the viewer is exposed to shocking images of suffering as an effective precursor to accepting what some might term territorial encroachment as a workable solution. Unlike People, this film mentions that the Arab contingent left a significant UN meeting in protest of the decision to create a Jewish homeland in Palestine, but makes no attempt to explain the Arab perspective other than in simplistic terms. The credits mention that the film is produced in cooperation with United Jewish Appeal and the Los Angeles Bureau of Jewish Education. In terms of classroom films, treatment of Israeli themes began changed radically in the post 1970 era. Two examples of films that provided a balanced approach to Middle Eastern issues were indicative of the educational film industry s move away from films overtly propagandistic in nature. Producer Avrom Zaritsky s Sinai (1973, NBC/Films Inc.) provides a historical and contemporary overview of the political situation in the Sinai Peninsula, featuring the commentary of General Yitzhak Rabin and Egypt s Anwar Sadat. The Arab- Israeli Conflict (1974, Atlantis), produced by J. Michael Hagopian, describes the conflicting views of each side, discussing the modern era of the area Israel s independence, and refugee camps. For a discussion of more films on the Middle Eastern dynamic, see the chapter on social science films. VI. Pre- colonial and Colonial North America From a cognitive or affective perspective, outstanding films on Colonial- era topics made in the 1950s are difficult to find, so much so that any film going beyond names and dates is worthy of note. In viewing films such as American Flag: Story of Old Glory (1959, EB, uncredited director) and Colonial Family of New France (1957, Coronet, uncredited director), one is struck by the lack of credibility given to the politics, culture, and economic perspective of those perceived as being the enemy, whether it be Native Americans or the British. In such films (especially in comparison with the U.S. history films made by John Barnes, discussed earlier), mention is commonly made of freedom of religion without adding that the rights of practitioners of non Western religions are protected as well. The Bill of Rights is treated as a piece of parchment, rather than a living document that guarantees that the rights of free speech and freedom to assemble, par for the course for the era. As was the case with its historical films of any given era, Coronet contributed its fare of voice- over narration of re- enacted historical events, in American Revolution: Postwar Period and American Revolution: War Years (both 1975, uncredited director); these were tired, formulaic, and uninspired. Three films notable for describing the pre- colonial English emigrant experience were John Barnes s The Pilgrims (1954, EB, described earlier), and two films directed by Richard Marquand for LCA, The Puritan Experience: Forsaking England, and The Puritan Experience: Making a New World (both 1975). The latter two films, starring David Warner and Barnes favorite Michael Gwynn, are notable for fine acting, directing, writing (by William Darrid and Scot Finch), and cinematography (Peter Middleton). The first of the two portrays events

108 Two History Films 97 that take place in England in 1633; the second, describing the Massachusetts of 1640, makes a strong statement against the mistreatment of Native Americans by the new European inhabitants, as depicted by a young girl who contradicts Warner, her authoritarian father. Marquand s films were two in Learning Corporation of America s American History series, comprising approximately 38 films made on 17th through 20th century subjects. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation produced a number of outstanding historical titles, all filmed at its historical park. Director George Seaton s Williamsburg: Story of a Patriot (1957), starring a young Jack Lord, has been showing nineteen times daily over a 44- year period, to a total of 32 million viewers, and has been characterized as having had the longest run of any film in history. 27 Critic James Agee wrote the initial screenplay, but he died before it was completed, and playwright Emmet Lavery was selected to write a new script. Unlike Agee, who chose to present a story without well- known figures from history, Lavery s treatment included figures such as Patrick Henry and George Washington. The acting, directing, writing, costumes (by Kate Drain Lawson), and setting (Colonial Williamsburg) are on a par with a well- funded feature film. The overbearing Yankee-doodle orchestral musical score by Bernard Herrmann lacks subtlety and is in conflict with the mood of the film, tingeing this otherwise intellectually stimulating film with occasional Disney- like moods not in keeping with the gravitas of the respected historical park. Colonial Williamsburg made a significant number of films on Revolution- era subjects, from gunsmithing to Chinese wallpaper, directed by exceptional filmmakers such as Stanley Croner and Sidney Meyers. An important Williamsburg film that sometimes flies under the radar screen is Williamsburg Restored (1951), directed by Julien Bryan, focusing on the historical research and archaeological and architectural studies necessary for the authentic restoration and reconstruction of Colonial Williamsburg. Featuring footage of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and Dr. W.A.R. Goodwin as they plan the site, the film discusses the Brush- Everard House, the Governor s Palace (and the finding of a chandelier in Canton, China, to replace the lost one), Bruton Church, the Wren building, and the House of Burgesses. This Is Frederica (1979, uncredited director, U.S. Department of the Interior), hosted by actor John Ireland in period clothing, was shot on the ruins of an eighteenth- century British fort off the coast of Georgia. Since no standing structures remained, mock interiors were used as sets on the old foundations themselves, as actors cook soup over stoves, and discuss events on kitchen tables in the broad daylight. Although Ireland carries off his own part well, the film is marred by spotty acting on the part of the remaining actors, in concert with the cardboard- looking wigs which float disarmingly a quarter- inch or so above the foreheads of cast members. Far more engaging was Christine Dall and Randall Conrad s A Little Rebellion Now and Then (1986, Calliope/Churchill), a history of the troubled times of Filmed in Massachusetts Old Sturbridge Village and other period locations, the film focuses on Shays Rebellion, a farmer- led revolt against high property taxes resulting in forced auctions. Canadian filmmakers also made use of historical parks as settings. Director Albert Kish s Louisbourg (1972, NFBC) documents the history and reconstruction of a settlement on Cape Breton Island, built 1713, and razed by the British in The archaeology and technology used to return one- fifth of this town to its prime of 1744 is often fascinating, but the austere splendor of its bearing is broken by its new conquerors, busloads of screaming school kids the filmmaker felt it necessary to include every time the viewer gets too lost in reverie. Joan Henson s The World Turned Upside Down (1985, NFBC), filmed at King s Landing Historical Settlement in Fredericton, New Brunswick, is a dramatization of the events

109 98 Films You Saw in School chronicled in 11-year-old Hannah Ingraham s diary, describing the lives of persecuted British loyalists remaining in the former colonies during the years immediately following the Revolutionary War. With their possessions stolen by previously friendly neighbors, her family was forced by necessity to turn north to the wilderness and a new life in Canada. The film does not describe, however, the perspective of native groups who may have been displaced (or whose land may have been requisitioned) by the new northern settlers. Such a film is similar in thematic structure to earlier U.S.-made films such as Colonial Family of New France (1958, Coronet, no director credit), a non- synch sound film with the voice- over narration of a man who acts out the voices of a priest, a Native American, a voyageur, a farmer, and his young son. As with the later Canadian film, Family chooses to ignore the issue of how the native lost his land, but worse, shows him admiring the cross the young boy wears around his neck while telling him that as an adult, all the land will be his, whether as a farmer, voyageur, or priest. NBC s Project 20 series contributed Meet George Washington (1969, dir. Donald B. Hyatt), hosted by Melvyn Douglas and distributed by Films Incorporated. Washington s life is here told through letters, diaries, and paintings, but the overbearing orchestral score by Robert Russell Bennett dates the film, and renders it nearly unwatchable for viewers held hostage by overblown, patriotic musical scores. In the post 1965 era, several series produced by veteran ABC executive Robert Saudek for Learning Corporation of America enjoyed wide distribution to educational film libraries. 28 Saudek, who despaired at the use of the word educational to describe his work, feeling like many others that that label was the kiss of death, 29 may be best known for his Omnibus television series produced in the 1950s, bankrolled by the Ford Foundation. Robert Saudek was also the executive producer of the eighteen- part American History series distributed by the Learning Corporation of America (the educational consultant for which was Columbia University s James Shenton). In these films, Saudek utilized actors such as Michael Douglas and James Woods, and directors such as Richard Marquand and William Francisco in presenting film treatments of historical topics from early colonial times to the early twentieth century. Two films directed by William Francisco (both 1971, American Heritage/LCA) document the actual correspondence between Henry Laurens, first president of the Continental Congress, and his idealistic son John. The first, American Revolution: The Cause of Liberty is a film exceptional in story line, dialogue (written by David Wiltse), acting, and set design, focusing on the conflict faced by John Laurens when defending the colonial perspective in England, while personally mortified by the fact that his own South Carolina family owned slaves. The companion film, American Revolution: The Impossible War, continues the story as the younger Laurens (again well- played by a young Michael Douglas) joins the revolutionary army, and is felled in an ambush. Another fine Francisco film, Constitution: Compromise That Made a Nation (1974, LCA), makes skillful use of Rex Everhart s Benjamin Franklin as the catalyst who developed the bicameral legislature in The cinematography by Robert M. Baldwin, Jr. is stunning, and the writing (by William Darrid?) is exceptional. Two less effective presentations of Franklin, which were commonly found in school film libraries, were Handel Films Benjamin Franklin: Scientist, Statesman, Scholar, and Sage (1969, uncredited director), in which otherwise interesting shots of Franklin s possessions and inventions are usurped by the appearance of unnerving and somewhat macabre life- size wax figures, and director Edward Cahn s edited MGM production Servant of the People (1950), whose cheery, hail- fellow-well-met

110 Two History Films 99 Franklin smacks a bit too much of the intellectually light fare produced by major motion picture studios of the era. William Francisco s George Washington and the Whiskey Rebellion: Testing the Constitution (1974, LCA) is a most interesting treatment of the post Revolutionary era, portraying the rebels as oversimplified, unsophisticated drunkards, leaving the critical thinker to suspect that there may have been something other than alcoholism behind their political philosophy. By the 1980s, classroom historical films with bombastic Yankee Doodle soundtracks and non- synch footage of people in wigs were a thing of the past. Musical scores (when there were any) were much more subtle, and to a large extent, acted sequences were now replaced by well- done color drawings and photographs. Narrated text making reference to contributions by non- white-male participants in U.S. historical processes and events were now commonplace. British-born Paul Burnford, who achieved earlier recognition through his editing of Eisenstein s Qué Viva México (1939) and founding of Film Associates, made a film called Background of the Declaration of Independence (1985, Media Guild) which mentions that women often fought in Colonial battles in men s clothes, blacks contributed to virtually every skirmish (often on the British side, in exchange for their freedom), and that Indians fought bravely in an attempt to solidify their rights. These themes were considered unacceptable in previous decades by film companies wishing not to offend the traditional white school boards who authorized funding to purchase the lion s share of educational film. While Burnford s film offers nicely colored drawings of the era, some of the historical inaccuracies in the graphics border on being inexcusable; for example, an insertion of 150 frames (roughly six seconds) of the Alamo in a sequence on skirmishes in the 13 colonies, the presence of a Queen Anne Victorian house, and the depiction of what is purported to be Fort Ticonderoga as having Civil War- era construction and cannon (the same fort appears in Burnford s Background of the Civil War 1980, BFA as Ft. Sumter). To complete the confusion, Ticonderoga is shown moments later as a wood stockade, and a burning courthouse is shown upside down for 78 frames (roughly three seconds). Surprisingly, viewers seem to miss these inaccuracies, amidst the narration, music, and cannon fire, as proven by repeated showings to several acquaintances, and it is unclear today whether school authorities ever complained to the film company, or even noticed. Nevertheless, Burnford s colonial films, including Background of the Constitution (1982, BFA), are graphically and textually more interesting than similar- themed films of the previous decades. With his death (in 1999), we may never know the real story behind the spurious graphics that makes Declaration one of the more interesting films of the genre. In terms of musical scores, one filmmaker who refused to use music at all in historical films was a man who, interestingly enough, studied musical composition, and produced the well- known Discovering Music series, Bernard Wilets. Wilets, whose facility for writing debate sequences borders on genius, saw perhaps his greatest artistic successes in his Man and the State series, originally distributed by Bailey (BFA) in the early 1970s. Wilets s actors, reportedly recruited through southern California theatrical contacts, were superb, some of the finest to appear in educational films of any kind. Burke and Paine on Revolution (1973), arguably the most intriguing film in the series, consists of fine acting, stimulating writing, and a powerfully twisted ending, initiated when Burke and Paine, one a monarchist, the other a believer in democracy, attend a dinner party at the home of playwright Richard Sheridan. In the middle of the dinner, the servants take over the house, and upon the threat of

111 100 Films You Saw in School death, these friendly adversaries are forced to defend their philosophies. Their discourse is spirited, and finally, Sheridan lets the guests in on his own little joke, that it was he who put the servants up to the revolt, and that the farce was a little play for his own amusement. The Sheridan aspect was a master stroke by Wilets in gaining the attention of the viewer, which, by placing the lives of the debaters at stake, gives the film tremendous affective value. VII. Western Expansion, Civil War, and Reconstruction Two of the finer films on the Jacksonian era were Dennis Azzarella s Jackson Years: The New Americans, and Jackson Years: Toward Civil War (both 1971, LCA), two films in Learning Corporation of America s American History series. 30 In the former, Azzarella utilized the clever concept of a contemporary stage show, featuring short acted sequences and tableaux vivantes depicting events in the life of Andrew Jackson. In the latter, re- enactments describe events such as the removal of the Seminole Indians from ancestral lands, arguments for and against slavery, and Jackson s insistence on common values over pomp. The acting and directing in these films are exceptional, although actors are uncredited. These films were made for budgets of $25,000 each, 31 and probably, in order to conform to budget, utilized uncredited SAG and AFTRA actors at under- scale pay (a technique utilized by Bernard Wilets). Director Bernard Wilets made what was certainly one of the oddest takes on the United States Civil War film. Grant and Lee on the Civil War (1984, Barr) featured a mocked- up game show, complete with an applauding studio audience, called Risk Your Reputation, in which the two protagonists square off against each other, with the prize being the United states of America. The David Wolper- produced Surrender at Appomattox (1972, dir. Ed Spiegel), distributed by Films Inc., contrasted the personalities of Grant and Lee, with credible acting performances by Michael Fairman and Lary Lewman, respectively. On-the-spot interviews detract somewhat from the film, but are brief enough to be bearable. Perhaps the most influential historical film, from the perspective of contributing to documentary technique, would be City of Gold NFBC, dir. Colin Low/Wolf Koenig). Often cited as the first film to utilize zooming and panning over still photographs, the film juxtaposes historical stills with contemporary footage in chronicling the history of Dawson City, Yukon, as told by resident Pierre Berton. A far different treatment of a similar theme is found in Stanley Croner s The Gold Rush (1965), part V of EB s Westward Movement series. While other filmmakers tended to use drawings, photographs, and contemporary broadsides with voice- over narration, Croner instead hired a group of professional actors led by Gene Otis Shane and James Reader, playing the parts of two cousins trying to strike it rich, in a script written by James Christensen. The film is full of the harsh realities of life in the gold country, and its illicit pleasures as well, from the abandon of bathing naked in mountain streams, to the prostitutes and cardsharps who dissolve the profits of the protagonists faster than a sluice box sheds detritus. The arduous labor inherent in finding gold was reflected in the difficult task faced by set designer Bill Varney, who built a massive water wheel in frigid conditions, only to find, on the day of filming, that his work had been wasted through the actions of faraway bureaucrats who, in a decision made in Sacramento, diverted the river upstream away from the set. 32 Somewhat surprisingly, Coronet s Travel in America in the 1840s (1957, uncredited director) diverges from the mundane fare generally associated with that company in that era, in a poetic, somewhat pastoral diary of a young man taking stagecoach, canal boat,

112 Two History Films 101 steamboat, and train from the east to Illinois. Within the Civil War genre, Coronet, in 1983, attempted to modernize its 1963 Civil War films through revisions supervised by Mike Carlson. Civil War: Background Issues ( ), Civil War: First Two Years, and Civil War ( ) were decidedly less didactic than the earlier series. Abraham Lincoln was quite possibly the subject of more academic films than any other historical figure. A remarkable film from the otherwise drab 1950s era was Edward Freed s Oscar- winning Face of Lincoln USC), featuring professor and sculptor Merrill Gage creating a clay bust of Lincoln which ages as Gage describes the chronological events of his life. Gage, who had performed this lecture many times to students at the University of Southern California, is funny and engaging, as he slaps the ears on the head with abandon, changes hair styles with a flourish, and merrily adjusts the tie. The filming took place over three weeks, in which the crew was continually challenged to keep the clay soft enough, over this lengthy time, to remain malleable. Meet Mr. Lincoln (1959, dir. Donald Hyatt, NBC/EB) was a serviceable documentary utilizing period photographs, influenced by the moving lens technique pioneered by Low and Koenig in City of Gold. The film is unfortunately marred by Robert Russell Bennett s didactic musical score, reminiscent of a Boston Pops Independence Day concert. In fact, classroom films on the life of Abraham Lincoln almost invariably ended in hackneyed fashion, with his echoed words spoken against the backdrop of his statue in the Lincoln Memorial, to the tune of an orchestrated version of Battle Hymn of the Republic. Lincoln: Trial By Fire (1974, dir. Ed Spiegel, Wolper) ostensibly recreated the conflict between the deadly- cautious and nearly treasonable war tactics of General George McClellan, and his commander- in-chief. The film is hosted by Cliff Robertson and scripted by Ted Strauss; the acting is workmanlike, the first- person vignettes told by the principals facing the camera are interesting, but the subplot of the delivery of the Emancipation Proclamation is poorly integrated with the story, as if the film would have been incomplete without a nod to the slavery issue. It seems likely that the first cut of the film may have been seen by Wolper executives (and American Heritage Magazine, which funded the film) as offering too much on war tactics and conflict in leadership, and not enough on the social issues surrounding the war itself, requiring the less cohesive final cut. Worthy of note is Robert K. Sharpe s Great Debate: Lincoln vs. Douglas (1965, EB), a tremendously interesting film in which the austere set focuses attention on the dramatic tension between actors Hal Holbrook and Jack Bittner (as Lincoln and Douglas, respectively) as they debate using the text of the original debaters themselves. Mark Reinhart, in his encyclopedic Abraham Lincoln on Screen, notes that elements of Lincoln s speeches were actually taken from Lincoln s Peoria Speech, delivered four years prior to the debates. 33 In all probability, these were inserted by producer John Barnes in order to underscore Lincoln s strong thoughts on the slavery issue. In a yet different approach, Edwin L. Wilber s Abraham Lincoln: New Birth of Freedom (1977, Handel) utilized model log cabins, stationary clay figures, and period furniture and houses, in a somewhat confusing mélange lacking in visual continuity, topped off with you guessed it the predictable strains of Battle Hymn of the Republic. The difference in history curriculum emboldened by the Johnson administration is quite apparent in comparing two films thematically similar, yet made 18 years apart: Civil War: Its Background and Causes (1962, unknown director, McGraw- Hill) and Background of the Civil War (1980, dir. Paul Burnford, BFA). The former film addresses the differences between North and South as being economic in nature, a fundamental conflict of industry

113 102 Films You Saw in School vs. agriculture. Slavery is mentioned solely as a factor in the economic picture of the South, with a cursory mention of Stowe s Uncle Tom s Cabin the only overt reference to morality or racism. By contrast, Burnford s film of the same length discusses the terrible conditions of slave ships, black leaders such as Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman, and the importance of the Underground Railroad, while supplying economic information similar to that of the earlier film, which clearly was edited with the sensitivities and buying preferences of the Southern white school administration in mind. A graphically interesting treatment on a theme of U.S. history was Power and the Presidency (1974, prod. Jack Willis), a discussion of the of the Washington, Jackson, Polk, Lincoln, McKinley, and Theodore Roosevelt administrations. Narrated by George C. Scott, this film was originally broadcast by CBS News as part of an eleven- part series called The American Parade. What made Power (in its ½ hour school version distributed by BFA) exceptional was its creative pastiche of still photography, cut- out animation, and live action sequences, done by the Cinema Fair company team led by animation director Stanley Smith and art director Joanne Mitchell. The events making up the drama of each administration are presented in such a way that the constantly shifting plains of animation seem to represent a stage of moving sets, constantly in motion, edited in a remarkable series of rhythms by Larry Plastrik and Todd Martin. To illustrate the tremendous toll in human lives that was necessary to secure additional land for the United States, stills of countryside are rapidly interspersed with those of dead soldiers lying on a battlefield, each image being shown several times in a sequence lasting several seconds. Other films in the series weren t as affectively pleasing: The 34th Star (1974, dir. Robert Markowitz), a dramatized history of the farm culture of Kansas, seems to be little more than a made- for-tv vignette. Producer Robert Saudek contributed the 26-part Profiles in Courage series, consisting of thematic material that in many cases relied heavily on historical elements of the Reconstruction era, based on the book by John F. Kennedy. Many of the Profiles series are artistically spotty and intellectually uninspiring (e.g., President Grover Cleveland, George Mason, and Sen. Oscar Underwood), leaving the viewer somewhat unprepared for the surprisingly effective Edmund G. Ross (1964, dir. Gerald Mayer). Noted character actors Herschel Bernardi, Simon Oakland, and James Westerfield supplement Bradford Dillman s thought- provoking portrayal of the senator from Kansas who cast the final vote against Andrew Johnson s impeachment, opposing the Republican party line, and losing his political career as a result. Superb directing and writing (Andy Lewis) make this 50-minute film seem much shorter, although one would have liked to have seen the role of the tarty landlady (Arlene Martel) spiced up a bit. Why the great disparity in quality among the Profiles series? Saudek, unfortunately, is no longer alive to tell us, but LCA s Bill Deneen remembers the producer complaining amount the meddling of the network, which may have resulted in the diminished cinematic quality of many of the episodes. 34 The verisimilitude of Jesse Sandler s otherwise fine film on late- nineteenth-century American politics, William McKinley and American Imperialism (1970, Project 7), suffered from the disconcerting effect of the overwrought and silly disembodied off- screen voices depicting historical characters, a malaise common to many historical films made in the 1970s. Coronet s U.S. Expansion Overseas: (1958) wasn t much better, with its amateurish actors portraying period politicians. The tone of the film indicated that the United States saved Cuba and the Philippines from internal and/or external disorder by gunboat diplomacy, a point which Coronet attempted to ameliorate in its updated 1977 version. Rather than throwing out the dated earlier film and starting over, however, Coronet chose instead

114 Two History Films 103 to update it by tacking on the voice of a new female narrator to the end of the film, who then added that Filipino natives eventually regained their country through selfdetermination. This slipshod method of revising, in which outdated early film and narration were appended with new footage and new narration, obviously in philosophical conflict with the old, appears to be an attempt to save money by recycling, when in fact the earlier film should have been removed completely from the catalogue, and a brand- new version made to cover the material. A very good film with an uncommonly (for the era) effective use of music was director Ted Yates s Journals of Lewis and Clark (1965, NBC/EB), with soundtrack music that alternated between understated orchestration and subtle, almost reverential guitar, to complement the fine cinematography, juxtaposed with Lorne Greene s powerful narrative. One wishes the writer had been credited (Yates s name, incidentally, was also absent from the credits); he or she, in this film utilizing anonymous actors in non- dialogue recreation, described the sad fate of Indians who cooperated with explorers and settlers, the nearobliteration of the buffalo, the eventual industrial pollution of the West, and the end of American innocence, as the United States would henceforth never again be able to turn her back from the pains and responsibilities of being a world power. U.S. expansion into the Philippines was the focus of director William Francisco s The Lure of Empire: America Debates Imperialism, (1974, Robert Saudek/LCA). The congressional debate over the issue is described, as is the influence of the United States war with Spain over Cuba. VIII. European History Coronet s English History: Norman Conquest to 15th Century (1954, uncredited director), was typical of many pre 1960s historical films, a staid chronological treatment replete with standard shots of castles, the Domesday Book, and actors in costume. In the 1950s, as discussed earlier, John Barnes managed to rise above the mundane. His two- part Magna Carta (1959, EB: Part I, Rise of the English Monarchy; Part II, Revolt of the Nobles and Signing of the Charter), like the Coronet film, addressed the Bayeux Tapestry and Domesday Book, but had the added touch of verisimilitude by being filmed at Runnymeade, with plausible acting. As in his other historical films, Barnes added information of value to modern viewers, in this case the comment that the contemporary concept of individual rights evolves directly from the signing of the Charter. Barnes, of course, wasn t the only EB filmmaker treating historical subjects in the 1950s. In 1956 came the distribution of five films produced by Milan Herzog on Medieval Life, Medieval Guilds, Medieval Knights, Medieval Crusades, and Medieval Manor. These can be classified as transitional films, bridging the didactic, simplistic historical films common to the era, to the more sophisticated approach taken by Barnes. The on- screen text prefacing Medieval Crusades, for example, refers to the war against fanatical Muslims, yet also makes references to the depredations of the Crusaders in sacking the Eastern Christian capital of Constantinople, and refers to the intelligence, science, and social graces of the Arabs. It was virtually unheard of, in pre 1950 educational film, for any negative element of Christianity to be so openly addressed in a classroom film. Although it was filmed in authentic European settings, Herzog retains elements of the cheesecloth costumes and crooked wigs treatment referred to earlier by Bill Deneen.

115 104 Films You Saw in School CREDIT: ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, INC. Producer Milan Herzog flanked by two unidentified actors in his Medieval film series (EB, 1956). CREDIT: SHANTA HERZOG Producer Milan Herzog s Medieval series was filmed on location, often challenged by an inadequacy or lack of electricity to power lighting and sound. He used this truck with a diesel generator to solve the problem.

116 Two History Films 105 The Learning Corporation of America produced a number of well- acted and directed European historical films in its Western Civilization series, comprising approximately 16 titles. Two of these, Medieval England: The Peasants Revolt (1969, dir. John Irvin), and director Piers Jessop s Middle Ages: A Wanderer s Guide to Life and Letters LCA), serve as alternately sobering and whimsical bookends chronicling medieval times. The former, starring Anthony Hopkins and Edward Woods, tells the story of the insurrection of 1381, ending with the death of the revolutionaries on the gallows. Jessop s Wanderer s Guide treatment, on the other hand, is full of humor (some of it, wonderfully, on the dark side), and is a tour de force for the brilliant acting of Nicholas Pennell as Robert, a fun- loving, arty, bawdy, and roguish guide to the culture, politics, and mores of the year Athletic and erudite, Pennell stole kisses, ran from pursuers, and leapt obstacles as he engaged the viewer by proving that old times may not have been all that different from newer ones, seemingly encouraging individuality while perversely at the same time striving to crush it. Pennell, who for the following twenty years would be one of the Stratford Theatre of Canada s leading actors, was born in Devon, England, in 1939, and died in Ontario in 1995, two days after his witty, touching, and wistful farewell letter was delivered and read to his fellow Stratford COURTESY ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, INC. John Barnes (right) directs Alan Browning as King John in Magna Carta (EB, 1959).

117 106 Films You Saw in School actors. Director Jessop recalls several interesting moments surrounding the casting and making of the film: [Pennell] was very easy to work with, we agreed on the interpretation and the shoot really went without problems. You must remember that we were both very young and sort of helped each other through as Huston said, it s all in the casting, and Pennell was so obviously Robert that all I really had to do was get the camera in the right place. As you can imagine, the budget was low and we shot the picture in five days, six minutes of screen time a day! Most of the extras and crew were friends of mine who worked hard for little reward. The English producer was a fellow called John Seabourne, a rather stuffy but pleasant man of the old school, [who] had been an editor years before his father had cut silent pictures for Chaplin and he really did not want to know a great deal except that we were under budget. He actually played the knight in armour who gallops up to the pilgrims, his secretary being the other knight! In an early take he fell off his horse and injured his kidney against the hilt of the sword he wore resulting in a removed kidney and colostomy bag! 35 As one of the more memorable historical dramas made within the academic film genre, Wanderer s Guide also features a magnificent reading of Chaucer s Wife of Bath by Jessie Evans, CREDIT: LEARNING CORPORATION OF AMERICA A scene from Piers Jessop s Middle Ages: A Wanderer s Guide to Life and Letters (LCA, 1970).

118 Two History Films 107 and a portion of the medieval play Everyman, performed by John Barnes s stalwart William Squire. Bernard Wilets s Machiavelli on Political Power (1972, Barr) featured a debate between the political theorist and Lorenzo de Medici and his advisors. Jailed, tortured, and threatened with death, Machiavelli makes a superb defense of his teachings in a thought- provoking film that, affectively speaking, would be challenging to surpass in literary format. Director Dennis Azzarella s Galileo: The Challenge of Reason (1970, LCA), is a well- acted film featuring an uncredited actor depicting events in the life of the scientist and astronomer, as he is forced to renounce his beliefs before church authorities. Not all LCA dramatic historical films were as effective as Galileo or Wanderer s Guide. Napoleon: The End of a Dictator (1970, dir. Victor Vicas) appears to be a Hungarian production reworked by three writers in stylistic conflict. The unnamed actor playing Napoleon is wooden, the asides to the camera given by those playing dramatic roles ring false, and newsboys run amok in Paris crying Read all about it! in the best New York City tradition. Joan Micklin Silver s Immigrant Experience: The Long Journey (1972), with the immigrant dad getting wracked- up by an errant side of beef, is too much the melodrama, serving more the television side of LCA than the educational. A particularly fascinating film is director William Eddy s Bruges: Story of a Medieval City (1977, IFB) 60m, dir. William Eddy. This Belgian city was the 15th century center of finance and banking in Europe and exists to this day as something of a walking museum, refreshingly devoid of T- shirt shops and fast- food restaurants, instead carrying on commerce as it did in the past: selling chocolates, moules marinières, Trappist beer, and tapestries. Every five years the city engages in the Golden Tree Pageant, which recreates events centuries old. Director Eddy filmed the pageant, skillfully editing out shots of modern tourists, and the magic works, as one does get the sense of not being quite in this century. Al Andalus (1975, Dimensions Visual Productions), directed by Robert Frerck, describes the contributions of the Moors to the architecture and customs of southern Spain. The Outline History of Europe series, produced in Britain by Polonius Productions, with its color reproductions of engravings and paintings, was an improvement over most of the dramatized films on historical themes, although the narration was somewhat dry (e.g., An Age of Revolutions, 1975, dir. John Dooley). James Burke s well- written, ten- part Connections series consisted of thematic chronologies that crisscrossed cultures, processes, and individuals, in a dizzying array of interesting facts. Burke was born in Londonderry, Ireland, and received his M.A. in English from Oxford. He worked at the BBC as a documentary producer/writer beginning in 1966, and anchored the BBC s coverage of the Apollo moon flights. Connections was filmed in over 19 countries and 150 locations, and when shown in the United States on PBS, it achieved the highest ratings ever for a documentary television series. The Long Chain (1979, prod. Mick Jackson and David Kennard, BBC/Time-Life) was a typical film in the series, fusing together, in rough order, the Boeing 747, 6th-century Dutch fluyt ships, tar, slavery, coal gas, gas light, spices, mosquitoes, quinine, gin and tonic, artificial dye, fertilizer, acetylene, nylon, and plastics. The film displayed Burke s keen sense of outré humor, ending with a shot taken of a young woman in a dress riding on a roller- coaster, the frame suddenly freezing on her thigh, half- clad in a nylon fishnet stocking. All in all, the real adventure for the viewer of the Connections films is seeing where Burke goes as he connects the dots, and attempting to keep up with him on his fascinating path of thoughts and conclusions.

119 108 Films You Saw in School IX. World War I Through World War II Era The pre 1960 classroom was seemingly bereft of biographical films on political figures critical of anyone other than residents of Axis nations. Theodore Roosevelt: American (1958, Army Pictorial Service, unknown director) was a standard example, combining political cartoons, file footage, patriotic music, and still photos to paint a laudatory picture of the 26th president, while refusing to question his Latin American adventures and policy, which aggravated the state of distrust among Spanish- speaking peoples of the Western Hemisphere in a way that would last for decades thereafter. Films on Nazi Germany were common classroom fare, and Julien Bryan s Siege IFF) was one of the most sobering. When Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, Julien Bryan was reportedly the only American, and allegedly the only neutral filmmaker, in the country. He arrived in Warsaw in early September with a cache of roughly an hour s worth of 35mm motion- picture film. Given open access to the city by the mayor, he filmed day and night for two weeks, documenting Warsaw s destruction and Germany s inexorable advance. Back in New York, he assembled the footage into a ten- minute newsreel called Siege. Nominated for an Academy Award, it lost on the technicality that it had not yet been shown in public theatres. Among the most ubiquitous classroom films on World War II was producer Harry Salomon s The Twisted Cross (1956, NBC/McGraw-Hill). Utilizing scenes from captured Nazi footage, the film depicts the rise and fall of the Nazi empire. Salomon chose to emphasize the terror of the Reich, demonizing its leader and philosophy, yet offering few clues as to the reasons so many Germans ultimately embraced the National Socialist philosophy. Somewhat ironically, with rousing music, flames overlaying an image of the Führer superimposed over footage of defeated people, the viewer is treated to cinematic techniques similar to those advocated by Hitler himself, as embodied in Leni Riefenstahl s Triumph of the Will (1934). By contrast, films made in the 1980s routinely addressed multiple perspectives on historical events. Coronet producer/writer Don Klugman made two fine series of films completely revised from earlier Coronet titles, the three- part World War I (1983) and five- part World War II (1985) series. Made with the assistance of Stanford professor Gordon Wright, individual films such as World War II: The World at War looked at both causal relationships of conflict and questioned as well the effect of a perceived peace, going so far as to bring up the issue of the internment of American citizens of Japanese descent, and anti Axis racist propaganda on the part of the American press. Films depicting events from the early 20th century onward often made extensive use of newsreel footage. EB s American Foreign Policy series (e.g., Truman and Containment and Eisenhower and the Cold War, both 1981, prod. Creative Communications Inc.) featured Fox Movietone news clips and suffered from stilted narration and uninspired writing. Possibly the best of the historical series based on newsreel footage was AIMS Media s ten- part American Chronicles(1986), written and directed by Barry Clark, and produced by Michael Wright. Hosted and narrated by Eric Sevareid, and utilizing an original musical score, films such as Seeds of Discord attempted to explain, through cause- and-effect, the interrelationships of the disparate national and international elements surrounding the major events of the twentieth century. Eric Sevareid s final admonition on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, the legacy of that grave decision may well remain to haunt generations to come, in End of the Ordeal is indicative of the overall non- jingoist tone of the series. Included in

120 Two History Films 109 each film was a film guide for teachers, containing the objectives of the film, a synopsis, a timeline, and questions to ask both before and after the film. Other films in the series include Prelude to War ( ), Darkest Hour ( ), Turning Point ( ), Out of the Ashes ( ), Policing the Peace ( ), Age of Anxiety ( ), Fragile Balance ( ), and Between the Wars ( ). The Spanish Civil war was chronicled in War in Spain (1959, NBC, McGraw- Hill) in producer Burton Benjamin s compilation documentary, focusing on Francisco Franco, Spanish Republicans, the Lincoln Brigade, the involvement of Italy, Germany, and Russia, and the taking of Barcelona. The David Wolper- produced Biography series, hosted by Mike Wallace, was, in all probability, the most pervasive series of history films found in classroom libraries. Made by directors such as Alan Landsburg and Jack Haley, Jr., war- era subjects included profiles on historically significant individuals such as FDR, Woodrow Wilson, Herbert Hoover, Harry Truman, Chester Nimitz, Hitler, Josef Goebbels, Francisco Franco, Benito Mussolini, Josef Stalin, George Marshall, Mao Tse- Tung (Zedong), and post World War II David Ben- Gurion. Director Bernard Wilets conjured up two ghosts from the past that arrive in a futuristic setting, in which open- minded children contrast with the intellectually lethargic adults in Marx and Rockefeller on Capitalism (1977, Barr). After seeing the children react intellectually with the words of their new guests, rather than risk opening the Pandora s box of dissent, ruling forces instead choose to return the specters to their own age. One senses a certain amount of pain in the reflections of the American leader who presided over the Great Depression in Roosevelt and Hoover on the Economy (1976, Barr). As in the other films of Wilets s Man and the State series, exceptional writing augments the wonderful performances of the uncredited actors, who enliven the debate between the two men to such a degree that the film is as timeless today as when it was originally introduced. X. Cold War and Vietnam War Era Educational film companies made numerous films on U.S. and world history subjects in the immediate post World War II years. Standard treatments in the pre 1960 era reflected a pointed anti Soviet and anti- communist bias (for a discussion of films on the Soviet people, see the social science and geography films chapter). Many of such films today can be seen as propagandistic in nature, intended to inculcate a philosophical position with the use of such terms as iron curtain, domino theory, and communist sympathizers. One could surmise that such films did much to pave the way for the easy indoctrination of a generation of Vietnam- era soldiers, who learned to their dismay that the reality of the situation wasn t quite as simple as such films had perhaps led them to believe. Unlike mathematics and the sciences, in which teachers had to have some expertise in order to teach the subject material, history classes often were taught by teachers originally hired for expertise in other areas. In California, where I attended school, history classes were often taught by physical education teachers having little expertise in historical subjects (my own 11th grade history teacher referred to Papa Doc Duvalier s Haitian Tonton Macoutes henchmen as the Tonton Macooties ). The years immediately after World War II reflected a certain degree of guarded optimism, exemplified by two films made by animator Philip Stapp. Sent by the U.S. government

121 110 Films You Saw in School as a participant in the Marshall Plan with a specific mission to assist the French in re- gearing their animation studios, Stapp discovered a Europe much decimated by war, but in further danger of potential annihilation by nuclear weapons. Boundary Lines (1947, IFF) was the first Stapp- produced film emerging from his European period, and we see the emergence of two techniques that would come to fruition three decades later: the animated musical line, and the evolving animated scroll. The former, consisting of an animated line that rises and falls in conjunction with musical pitch, suddenly bursts in accompaniment to composer Gene Forrell s multiple voices. While never again appearing in Stapp s films, this technique reappeared in his two- dimensional multi- panel paintings of the 1970s, suggesting dance figures propelled by converging and diverging lines based on the structure of musical forms (earlier in his career, Stapp designed sets for dancer Martha Graham). In the latter sequence, an arrow is shot by a primordial hunter racing across an animated continuum of time, changing its payload to represent the armament of choice throughout the ages, and eventually ends as an atomic bomb, ready to descend on a city. The title Boundary Lines refers to the imaginary lines of prejudice that separate individuals, races, and countries, their legacy represented in the film by lynchings and concentration camps. Returning to the U.S., Stapp produced the equally alarming yet hopeful film, Picture in Your Mind IFF), replete with its lonely, Tanguy- inspired landscapes peopled with static figures casting long shadows across charcoal- colored plains. While taking the risk of leaning a bit toward didacticism, Stapp managed to urgently convey the thought that world destruction was not necessarily inevitable, provided that people embrace, rather than reject their cultural and racial differences. Picture is a unique document resulting from the sometimes dreamy, sometimes nightmarish vision of the artist in a war- torn land, with the specter of death hovering ever so slightly ahead. Cold War school films were all too often in the simplistic good guy- bad guy mold, and among the most pervasive of such films were those made as part of NBC s Project 20 documentary series (distributed to schools through companies such as EB and Films, Inc.), produced initially by Henry Pete Salomon, and later by Donald Hyatt. An offshoot of the Victory at Sea series made in the early 1950s, Project 20 films, made between 1954 and 1970, were thematic compilation documentaries, consisting of newsreel and historical footage, omniscient narration by Alexander Scourby, and bombastic orchestral musical scores by people such as Richard Rogers and Robert Russell Bennett. At the opposite pole from news documentaries like Fred W. Friendly s CBS Reports, which eschewed music and utilized homegrown footage and seasoned reporters in an attempt to establish a point of view through juxtaposition of facts and opinions, Salomon s technique relied instead on what could best be described as overwhelming emotionality. The titles themselves often signaled the fact that the perspective of the opposing view would not be given much opportunity for voice: Nightmare in Red (1955, dir. Henry Salomon, NBC/McGraw-Hill), was a severe indictment of Soviet politics, and to a lesser extent, culture. Producer Donald Hyatt took over the Project 20 reins upon Salomon s death in 1957, branding his own films with a technique borrowed from Wolf Koenig and Colin Low s City of Gold NFBC), which he called stills-in-motion, now a commonly used component of documentary film, in which the camera pans and zooms over a still photograph. Hyatt s Not So Long Ago: (1965, NBC/McGraw-Hill) described the short era between World War II and the Korean War, as narrated by Bob Hope. The viewer is again assaulted by Robert Russell Bennett s orchestral score as the troops return home, only to be faced with another menace: communists in Hollywood! We see a stern but watchful Richard

122 Two History Films 111 Nixon poring over evidence with a magnifying glass, as Hope denigrates defendants who refused to answer questions about party allegiance to the HUAC committee. Although made in 1965, the film ignores Nixon s dirty tricks in the Helen Gahagan election, the Checkers speech, or HUAC s contribution to the McCarthy era. While Salomon and Hyatt had their way with social and political librarians (almost every educational film library owned at least one of the above films), Hyatt was not so successful with school distribution of his biblical- referenced films (Coming of Christ, 1960; He Is Risen, 1962; Law and the Prophets, 1967, all NBC/McGraw-Hill), none of which appeared in the dozens of school film libraries with which I m familiar. One of the better films on the Korean War era was Truman and the Korean War (1969, LCA, uncredited director), with fascinating sequences devoted to Truman s relationship with Douglas MacArthur and the United Nations. The first films on the theme of the war in Vietnam were predictably hawkish. Why Viet Nam? produced by the U.S. Armed Forces Information and Education Service, compares Vietnam to Nazi Germany, and Ho to the Axis leaders of World War II. Focusing on LBJ s war policy, SEATO, and the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, it includes additional footage of Secretary of State Dean Rusk, and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. Two films produced by Hearst Metrotone News as part of the Screen News Digest series, made eight years apart, had radically different outlooks. Vietnam Report: Guardians at the Gate (1965) is a pointed example of a propaganda film. LBJ s address to high school students, reminding them of their service responsibility, begins the film. The narration discusses Ho Chi Minh s plotting and scheming, accompanied by a visual of Ho laughing. The film chronicles the history of U.S. involvement in Vietnam, the French debacle at Dien Bien Phu, and the régimes of Diem, Kanh, and Ky. Vietnam Epilogue: End of the Tunnel (1973) chronicled the history of U.S. involvement in Indo- China from the fall of Dien Bien Phu in 1954 to the Vietnam cease- fire agreement signed January 27, The film includes footage on the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, antiwar protests, Bob Hope entertaining the troops, LBJ declaring he will not run for office, Nixon s Vietnamization policy, saturation bombing, U.S. incursion into Cambodia, Dr. Spock, Kissinger meeting Le Duc Tho, and the ceasefire. 36 The most complete analysis of the Vietnam situation in terms of classroom films, though, would have to wait until 1985, when director Dennis S. Johnson s Vietnam Perspective was released by EB. Narrated by veteran newsman Bill Kurtis, the film went beyond the historical data and archival footage into a full- on analysis of why the war was unsuccessful, from a U.S. perspective, its major point being that the war was lost because South Vietnamese government regardless of the regime never had full support of its own people. Oratorio for Prague Films Inc.), also known as Seven Days to Remember, and directed by Jan Nemec, is a startling film that chronicles the events following the invasion of Czechoslovakia by Soviet bloc forces, numbering 500,000 strong, in August The film begins discussing the reforms promulgated by the Prague Spring, and continues with Soviet tanks entering the city. Director Bill Deneen, in his Hungary and Communism: Eastern Europe in Change (1964, EB), discusses the nation of Hungary, from pre- communism to contemporary times, as introduced by a professor at Boston University, who discusses the impact of recent history on three generations of his Hungarian family.

123 112 Films You Saw in School XI. African- American, Native American, Asian- American, and Canadian Historical Subjects By the early 1970s, driven by the inclusionary curricular standards mandated by the Educational and Secondary Educational Act (ESEA), the look of classroom historical films had begun to change, most notably in the large- scale distribution of films on aspects of the Hispanic- American and African- American experience, provided by producers as diverse as the U.S. State Department and CBS News. The National Film Board of Canada contributed vibrant histories of its own ethnic communities, from Chinese to Jewish to Ukrainian. Not only were the content and philosophy changing, but the treatments of the films themselves, formerly so formulaic, were undergoing transformation as well. 37 African-American History By far, the most powerful and perhaps the most pervasive film to reach the classroom on the subject of the history of black Americans was Black History: Lost, Stolen, or Strayed (1968, CBS/ BFA), produced by Andrew Rooney and Vern Diamond, and hosted by actor/comedian Bill Cosby. This film was developed by executive producer Perry Wolff as one of the seven- part Of Black America series. Xerox, which sponsored the initial television broadcast of the program, chose to air it without commercial interruption, and CBS, which had been concerned that many of the 200 network affiliates would elect not to carry the program, found that 165 did choose to, including all of its southern affiliates. The program was not without controversy: Lincoln Perry, better known as Stepin Fetchit, was incensed that he was portrayed in the less- than-favorable light of having kowtowed to racist film producers, and Shirley Temple quickly defended her films by saying that the relationships as depicted were merely echoed the reality of a previous era. 38 Wolff chose Cosby, the well- known co- star of the popular I Spy television series, as host due to a demeanor which proved to be equally engaging to black as well as white audiences. In the film, Cosby initially appears in a classroom, discussing little- known black inventors and the impact their creations had on America. Fueled by the powerful writing of Andy Rooney, the program becomes progressively more intense as the history and breadth of discrimination is revealed, as evidenced by the paucity of references to the positive contributions made by black scholars, scientists, and artists. Toward the end of the fifty- minute program, the camera visits the Philadelphia preschool organized by John Churchville, who prepared his young students to react verbally to any whites who would attempt to coerce them into a state of mental or physical servility. CBS, which had two years earlier purchased educational film company BFA, struck prints of the film for classroom distribution. It soon became a staple in virtually every school film library in the country, providing African- American students with an exciting, hard- hitting view of lost elements in their own culture, while giving students of other races a new perspective on lesser- known and important historical aspects of their nation. Today, Black History has lost little of its luster, a timeless film that played a large part in changing the teaching of history in the American classroom. Two other films in the Of Black America series warrant special mention. Producer Peter Davis s The Heritage of Slavery (1968) is a hard- hitting exposé of the master- slave relationship and its historical consequences. In Portrait in Black and White (1968, dir. Vern Diamond, prod. Jay McMullen), reporter Hal Walker investigates the prejudices inherent in both sides of the black- white continuum. Themes in the series are varied: producer Arthur Rabin s In

124 Two History Films 113 Search of a Past is a meandering journey without a climax, in which several young American blacks visit the nation of Ghana to discover their own perceptions about race may be as skewed as those of their white American counterparts. Much of the artistic and financial success of the Of Black America series derived from its nontraditional treatment, engaging and credible hosts, and provocative writing, the significance of which is well- illustrated by comparing it with a series of films done three years earlier, Milton Meltzer and Alvin Yudkoff s three- part History of the Negro in America series (1965, Niagara Films/McGraw-Hill). In keeping with the time- worn format used in many historical classroom films of the era, each film is punctuated by hackneyed patriotic background music crashing periodically to the foreground. The task of compiling large amounts of information into three twenty- minute films results in a slapdash pastiche of rapidly cut engravings, photographs, and broadsides. Occasionally, narrator James Earl Jones appears overwhelmed as he valiantly fights to maintain control over the sheer volume of data he s forced to convey in keeping with the timing of the visual material. Seen by today s viewers, these films are indicative of the era in which they were produced. Mention might have been made of tribal complicity in the African element of the slave trade, 39 or of the revulsion on the part of the British for the slave trade in general, a fact U.S.-made historical films dealing with the American Revolutionary War failed, as far as we ve seen, to ever mention. 40 In Miles of Smiles, Years of Struggle: The Untold Story of the Black Pullman Porter (1982, Benchmark), directors Paul Wagner and Jack Santino convey the riveting story of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. Founded in 1925 by A. Philip Randolph, it was the first large organization of black workers in the U.S. The film is more than just a story of the union: it is also an important oral document, narrated by 100-year-old Rosina Tucker, secretary- treasurer of the Women s Auxiliary, and tells the story of the founding of the Pullman Company in 1867, describes Randolph s struggles to organize the union, and questions the characterization of porters as Uncle Toms by various elements within the black community. Compelling interviews are conducted with people such as C.L. Dellums (uncle of Congressman Ron Dellums, and the last surviving founding member of the union), and E.D. Nixon, who was the organizer of the Montgomery bus boycott resulting from the Rosa Parks incident. Henry Hampton s Blackside Inc. was the largest African- American owned film company of the era, and produced the 14-part series Eyes on the Prize, televised on PBS, and distributed in 16mm format to schools. One of the most memorable of these outstanding films was Ain t Scared of Your Jails, Blackside), narrated by Julian Bond and produced by Orlando Bagwell. The story is harrowing, dynamic, and emotional, covering four related stories in the Civil Rights Movement: the lunch counter sit- ins of 1960; formation of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the impact of the Civil Rights Movement on the 1960 presidential campaign; and the freedom rides of 1961, including terrifying bus footage from Alabama, and scenes of arrests in Mississippi. WABC-TV producer Gil Noble created two powerful portrayals of individuals who generated much of the race- related press activity of the turbulent 1960s, each of which was distributed to classrooms, Malcolm X: El Hajj Malik El Shabazz (1975, McGraw- Hill), and Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.: An Autobiographical Documentary (1977, Phoenix). Each addressed issues that will forever be at the forefront of social and political liberation, and their lessons still apply in our own day. From an early life of petty crime taking him from pimping to prison, Malcolm X evolved to the point of being one of the more forceful voices of Black Nationalism prior to being killed during a speech at Harlem s Audubon Ballroom. Here,

125 114 Films You Saw in School Noble captures the rationalism and passion of a man who continually stated that his only goal was to see to it that the laws of the nation were enforced equally. Convinced of the inevitability of his early death, Malcolm refused to compromise or weaken his message, and his fiery speeches have lost none of their power in the several decades since his death. The film ends with Malcolm in an open coffin, eulogized by Ossie Davis. It s unfortunate that Powell, a larger- than-life figure who was responsible for much of the progressive legislation passed through congress in the 1960s, has been largely forgotten. Only the second African- American to be elected to the Congress since Reconstruction, Powell had, since the age of 21, followed in his father s footsteps as the pastor of Harlem s Abyssinian Baptist Church, the largest black church in the United States. A fascinating character who simultaneously worked backroom deals in Congress and thumbed his nose at the white power structure, Powell s political roller coaster ride included congressional censure, reinstatement by his constituents, and a final defeat by Charles Rangel in 1971, one year before his death. One of the more controversial figures of the 1960s, he was vilified for his widely known appreciation for beautiful women, as well as his conciliatory attitude toward radical black leaders (he invited Malcolm X to speak at Abyssinian, and defended the latter s insistence that black families acquire firearms with which to defend themselves). Noble s film, consisting of interviews with both Powell filmed one year prior to his death and his second wife (of three), pianist Hazel Scott, displays both the charm and fiery rhetoric of a man who was to change the face of racial politics in Washington more than perhaps any person before or since. Eloquent, witty, and more than occasionally brutal, the words of Powell and Malcolm, as evidenced in these films, reflect as well on the brevity of life. When asked about the impact these two films may have had in the classroom, Noble was noncommittal, voicing the frustration that important films such as these are typically shown only during the week celebrating the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., and thereafter are mothballed for the remainder of the year. 41 There are comparatively few films on the African- American experience in the Old West. Writer/producer Carol Munday Lawrence and director Robert Zagone offered a somewhat contemporary look at the contributions of the black cowboy in The Black West (1979, Nguzo Saba Films), a film marred somewhat by the when I was a kid sequence with an older cowboy and his grandkids, and the meandering soundtrack by folksinger Odetta. Native American History One of more notable films on Native American subjects in the pre 1960 era was Indians of Early America (1957, EB, prod. Nicholas Dancy/Robert Longini), made in authentic locales, with members of Iroquois, Sioux, Zuñi, and Pacific Northwest groups reenacting rituals. Director Richard C. Tomkins Ishi in Two Worlds (1967, Contemporary), based on the book by Theodora Kroeber, features historic footage of the last Yahi native American, discusses the circumstances surrounding the death of his tribe, and depicts his integration into the academic community in Berkeley. Modoc (1980, Educational Media Corp), directed by Peter Winograd, relates the gripping history of the 1873 Modoc war against the U.S., fought in the lava beds in northeastern California. Referring to the white settlers, the film states: They brought smallpox, whisky, and Christianity. Charles W. Nauman s Tahtonka: Plains Indians Buffalo Culture AIMS) describes the culture and history of the Plains nation, and destruction of buffalo herds. With the assistance of consultant Black Elk, the film discusses the Ghost Dance phenomenon and the massacre at Wounded Knee, among other topics.

126 Two History Films 115 Alistair Cooke s series America: A Personal History of the United States provided viewers with a perspective on history provided by a non American, one of which, director Tim Slessor s Domesticating a Wilderness BBC/Time-Life), describes how Manifest Destiny changed the West, including Native Americans fight to retain their lands in the face of encroachment by cattle, railroads, and European and American immigrants, punctuated by the Custer massacre and Wounded Knee. Asian-American History The Asian- American experience is significantly and notably underrepresented in classroom history films. One possible reason was that Asian- American concerns rarely made the newspapers read by those who ran the classroom film companies. Asian- Americans were not noted for protesting for equal rights, taking over Alcatraz, or striking against grape growers. This situation was somewhat mollified in the 1970s, as described in the chapter on social studies and geography films, but the fact remains that from a historical film perspective, they were largely ignored or forgotten. A made- for-television news special, The Nisei: The Pride and the Shame (1965, prod. Isaac Kleinerman), from the CBS 20th Century series, was probably the most commonly shown in schools. Heavily over- orchestrated, it was an impactful documentary decrying the treatment of American citizens of Japanese descent, focusing particularly on World War II relocation camps. A later film on the same topic is director Robert A. Nakamura s Wataridori: Birds of Passage (1975, Visual Communications), focusing on the stories of three Issei firstgeneration Japanese Americans who discuss their experiences, relating to their postinternment lives. Director Norman Foster s The Chinese- American: The Early Immigrants (1973, Handel) examined the life of the early Chinese in America, from railroad building, to the Gold Rush, to persecution. Sewing Woman (1982, Deep Focus Productions), a historical drama directed by Arthur Dong, combines old photographs and film footage from China with acted sequences. This story, based on oral traditions, is the tale of an immigrant woman s life, from her arranged marriage as a 13-year-old, to her job in a sewing factory in San Francisco s Chinatown. Canada The National Film Board made a number of films providing Canadian historical perspectives on national, international, and U.S.-Canada relations. Of particular interest to stateside viewers, the latter offer a fascinating perspective of how people from two cultural perspectives might view the same events differently. The sometimes uneasy political dynamic of U.S.-Canada relations was dealt with in more overt fashion through the plodding, encyclopedic, nine- part Struggle for a Border: Canada s Relations with the United States series, produced jointly by the National Film Board of Canada s Nicholas Balla and Ronald Dick. Covering the time period between 1490 and 1872, this ambitious attempt to explain the U.S.-Canadian historical relationship series was hosted by dapper J. Frank Willis, resplendent in French cuffs, suit, and black pocket square, who would emphasize a point of history by gesturing and toying with, and occasionally contemplating, his pipe. What s surprising, considering the years of production ( ), was that the one- hour films were in black and white (e.g., The New Equation: Annexation

127 PHOTOGRAPH BY LOIS SIEGEL 116 Films You Saw in School Donald Brittain, director of Bethune (NFBC, 1964). and Reciprocity, dir. Ronald Dick and Pierre L Amare), rather than color, displaying the contemporary paintings, etchings, and engravings in such a visually unstimulating light that the productions would seem to be more reminiscent of 1949 than The content, regardless of the production factors, is fascinating today to U.S. viewers, unused to hearing a Canadian perspective on border relations. In a film based on much later aspects of the relationship between the two countries, acerbic host Gwynne Dyer paints a glib, ironic, and, to a large extent, grim picture on the U.S. military s use or abuse of its friendship with Canada in Tina Viljoen s The Space Between (1986, NFBC). Not only does Dyer cast aspersions on Canada s unholy alliance with its neighbor to the south, his brutally frank comments are couched in an offhandedly humorous screen presence that s so casually cynical that one wonders if this film would have been shown in the U.S. at all. In fact, after its initial screening in Canada, Minister of External Affairs Joe Clark came publicly to the defense of the NATO alliance that the host derides. Dyer s visit to NORAD headquarters is hilarious in a black- humor sort of way, as we see Canadians in Colorado working merrily under the maple leaf with The Button close at hand. Unmasking the manner in which the U.S. was able to convince Prime Minister John Diefenbaker to accepting U.S. nuclear presence on Canadian soil is the main point of the film, a series of events, it is said, that ultimately doomed the Diefenbaker regime. Dyer and Viljoen, who are now married and living in London, continue to make films exploring what-if? scenarios involving national and multinational politics. Although made several years earlier, William Canning s Dief (1981, NFBC) today provides a poignant coda to the Viljoen/Dyer film, as the camera accompanies John Diefenbaker s funeral train as it slowly departs and turns toward the prairies. As townsfolk gather on platforms to bid adieu, his past simultaneously unfolds in intercut stills and archival footage. As was the case with several other Film Board productions (e.g., Bate s Car: Sweet as a Nut), producer Mark Zannis notes that there had been no original intention to produce such a film, but footage of Diefenbaker s funeral train proved too compelling to ignore. 42 Canadian history films included two outstanding films on historical aspects of medicine in Canada, Bethune, and Democracy on Trial: The Morgentaler Affair. A young filmmaker once said that when the late director Donald Brittain finished editing a film, there was practically blood dripping off the Steenbeck 43 ; the film he may have been referring to could easily have been Bethune NFBC). This powerful biography profiled the life and work of one of the great humanitarians of the 20th century, Dr. Norman Bethune, noted for his work during the Spanish Civil War and China during the Japanese invasion. He invented or redesigned 12 medical and surgical instruments, and created the world s first mobile blood transfusion service. This

128 Two History Films 117 haunting, sobering film is still unknown to most Yanks, as it was barred from release to the U.S. by the Canadian Department of External Affairs because it was deemed offensive to U.S. interests (Bethune died while assisting the forces of Mao Zedong). Particularly shocking to the viewer is the transformation of the carefree international bon vivant into a skeletal figure working to exhaustion, without supplies or protection, and finally lying on his deathbed while grieving soldiers file past, outside a cave- based field hospital in a lonely corner of China. Democracy on Trial: The Morgentaler Affair NFBC), directed by Paul Cowan, was yet another Canadian film based on the work of a physician that would find difficulty in being shown in the U.S. for political reasons. Dr. Henry Morgentaler served time in Canadian jails in the 1970s for staunchly defending the right of women to choose having an abortion. His denial of due process was a chilling reminder to him of life in Nazi Germany, where he was born. Director Cowan takes an experimental approach, in which the doctor portrays himself in a film that combines realistic reenactment of events as well as historical footage. This rich, multi- layered film underscores the courage of Morgentaler and the timelessness of the film, as numerous clinics serving the needs of women continue to close or terminate abortion programs every year. Never preachy, it s rather a story of one man s attempt to keep the government and religion from infringing on the doctor- patient relationship. Like Bethune, it s essentially a historical film based on medicine, societal transformation, and politics, and the fact that in all probability they were never shown in U.S. K-12 classrooms underscores the difference between Canadian and U.S. school film distribution politics. Director Boyce Richardson s For Future Generations NFBC) reveals a hilarious but poignant history of the Canadian national park system, utilizing lots of old promotional footage, originally produced to lure Canadians and Yank travelers. Not content to tell just another pretty story, Richardson also tells the sometimes sad and tragic tale of the people who were displaced when parks were established, and how updated philosophy has changed this policy. Parks Minister (and later Prime Minister) Jean Chrétien plays a prominent role in the film. XII. Bill of Rights, Civics, and the U.S. Legal Process Prior to the mid 1960s, educational films on civics and government were generally canned lectures which produced data for patriotic rote learning exercises, rather than attempts to stimulate the student s thought process through constructive criticism and discussion. Typical fare such as Coronet s flag- waving and didactic The Meaning of Patriotism (uncredited director, 1961) seems better suited for a meeting in a Moose Lodge than for a classroom. EB s Defining Democracy (1954), while not much better from a production perspective, is harder- hitting, equating the Ku Klux Klan with Hitler s rise to power in Germany, even going to the extent of showing an actor being fitted with a black hood and a noose. An interesting twist on the Establishment Clause was provided by the evangelical Moody Institute in Debt to the Past: Government & Law (1964, unknown director), which credits the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Israelites (who gifted us with God s law ) as providing the foundation for the U.S. Constitution. From 1965 through 1968, EB produced a series of films on great legal decisions called Our Living Bill of Rights, three of which were directed, produced, or co- written by John Barnes. In Justice Under the Law: The Gideon Case (1966, EB) Barnes reenacts the case of Clarence Earl Gideon, convicted of a crime in the absence of a lawyer, which he could not

129 118 Films You Saw in School COURTESY ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, INC. Clarence Earl Gideon, returning to prison for the filming of John Barnes s Justice Under the Law: The Gideon Case (EB, 1966). afford. Many of the principals play themselves, including Abe Fortas (former Supreme Court justice and, prior to that, the attorney who argued in front of the Court on Gideon s behalf ). Barnes was able to obtain permission from prison authorities to film reenactments, with Gideon present in the cell block, and told of the deafening applause given to Gideon by the convicts upon his return. 44 The filmmaker enjoyed working with Gideon, and remained in touch with Gideon for many years thereafter. Another important Barnes film was Equality Under the Law: The Lost Generation of Prince Edward County EB). Under court order to integrate high schools, the school board of Prince Edward County, Virginia, decided to close both high schools one black, one white and encouraged private enterprise to solve the problem by opening private schools. Recognizing that separate does not mean equal, the courts forced the local school board to reopen and integrate after four years. Some things took longer to change: white parents responded by holding a separate prom off- campus in a private club. One man interviewed on camera, an older white citizen, discusses his own past and prejudices, and points proudly to his son, who was the first white to graduate in the new ethnically mixed school. Many local people were interviewed by Barnes, elucidating on the fear of mixed marriages, the loss of tradition, and changing mores. Not all the films in the series were as affectively successful as Barnes s: Dennis Azzarella s The Schempp Case: Bible Reading in Public Schools (1968, EB) begins with a lengthy intro-

130 Two History Films 119 duction by the renowned educator Robert M. Hutchins, followed by a reenactment of events in the case, including the Schempp family at school and home, and episodes of the case as presented in the state court. The Schempp family doesn t play to the camera as well as Barnes s Gideon, and one gets the sense that Azzarella was so awed of Hutchins s reputation as an educator that he preferred to record, rather than direct him. 45 EB also distributed the pedestrian U.S. Supreme Court: Guardian of the Constitution (1973, dir. Ed Keen), an unexciting review of important historical decisions, accompanied by patriotic orchestral music and analysts speaking in monotone. Bernard Wilets, whose Man and the State series was discussed earlier, and who was also noted for his Discovering Music series for BFA, directed a series of twelve films in the Bill of Rights in Action series in the late 1960s and early 1970s for the same company, later revised by Barr Films in Unlike John Barnes, whose Bill of Rights films documented the actual court case with original participants if possible, Bernard Wilets would instead create a fictitious event to illustrate the point. Wilets elicited the assistance of Stanford University constitutional scholar William Cohen in determining the legal issues to be addressed in each film in the series. He then would coach the actors in a scriptless controlled improvisation environment, which he felt would provide a more spontaneous, realistic aspect to the performance. These films, therefore, never had a formal script, and the verbiage was largely worked out informally prior to the shooting of each sequence. 46 Equal Opportunity (1969, Barr) is the story of two workers, one black and one white, who are attempting to gain promotion into the job of a shop supervisor. All else being relatively equal, one is promoted primarily for racial considerations, while the other takes the case to the arbitrator. As with several of the other eleven films in the series, the filmmaker s writing makes such powerful arguments that in debate, the viewer constantly seems to be switching sides. Educationally, the film is an exceptional example of illustrating the emotional rather than abstract impact that Bill of Rights issues have on the learner. Actors Solomon Jones and Phil Richards were actually augmenting their careers in blue collar occupations at the time (Richards was a parking lot attendant), and Jones, a black man from the deep South, had such an easygoing manner that Wilets s advisors requested Jones be removed from the film, as his character was deemed too subservient. Wisely, Wilets kept Jones in the film, as his explanation of growing up in a sharecropper home, and thus having to leave high school prematurely in order to help support the family, is probably the most powerful element in the film (it was, in fact, Jones s own story). Actor Robert Kornthwaite, whom the filmmaker used in many films, is convincing in his performance as the lawyer defending the company, as was real- life lawyer and soon- to-be U.S. Attorney Andrea Sheridan Ordin. Rather than offering a concrete solution, this film ends with the question, How would you decide this case? as do the remaining films in the series. At their best (e.g., Due Process of Law, 1971, Freedom of Religion, 1969), these films feature accomplished actors and real trial lawyers arguing reenacted cases with vigor and purpose. The films were provocative: Wilets related that the showing of Freedom of Speech (1982) resulted in several violent incidents occurring in classrooms, regarding the appearance of Nazis in the films. 47 Churchill Films contributions to civics subjects included films in the Inside Government and Bill of Rights series. In the former series, George McQuilkin s Lobbying (1975) shows how real estate and environmental lobbyists vie for favor with California politicians, who include Senator and future assassination victim George Moscone and state legislator Barry Keene. Local Conflict (1975) documents a grassroots group stopping a neighborhood project

131 COURTESY ANNE MCMULLEN 120 Films You Saw in School in Playa del Rey, California (other films in this series are Legislator and Congressman). Speech and Protest (1967, dir. Pieter Van Deusen and fifteen others, including Les Blank) in the Bill of Rights series, featured classroom discussions, stop the projector sequences, and a mock demonstration. When compared with EB s treatments on constitutional subjects (which typically reviewed arguments put before the courts), or Bernard Wilets s films (which used actors to recreate courtroom discussions), Speech possibly as a result of large number of filmmakers engaged in this film lacks cohesion and focus. Others in the series include Interrogation and Counsel, Search and Privacy, and Justice, Liberty, and Law. The Nelson Company produced a series of films for Walt Disney Educational Media on legal issues, consisting of dramatizations broken up by occasional pauses with title- card questions such as What would you do? Director Philip Abbott s Who Will Be the Teacher (1982), features a well- directed troupe of child actors in a mock court case. While the actors are engaging, the plot itself, involving a boy who steals money from a teacher, then injures her arm when she resists, suffers from a possible lack of verisimilitude, as the boy is sentenced to after- school duty for a year. Far more effective are the Wilets films, in which no conclusion is addressed by the film, thus leaving the outcome of the issue to the student viewers. An approach similar to Wilets s was taken in A Model Trial (1970, prod. KPBS San Diego), in which the jury selection process, arguments from prosecution and defense, and instructions from the judge are illustrated by the actors, who, by their rather wooden actions, emulate well the real- life characters they portray on the screen. Pulitzer Prize- winning author Theodore H. White provided the impetus for four powerful films in the series The Making of the President, produced by David Wolper. Director Mel Stuart s The Making of the President, 1960 Xerox) focused on campaigning, conventions, and the final election, with footage of Kennedy, Nixon, Symington, Rockefeller, Lodge, Humphrey, and LBJ. An exceptional sequence shows future 60 Minutes producer Don Hewitt preparing the candidates for the Kenndey/Nixon debate. The subsequent films in the series (1964, 1968, 1972) are equally compelling. In producer Jay McMullen s Campaign American Style (1968), from the CBS Reports series, the premise is basic enough: a Democrat running against a Republican in a relatively minor race in the state of New York. Both candidates appear to be intelligent, personable, and ethical. The campaign of one of the candidates changes radically when advisors are brought in, and a new persona emerges, one who bears little resemblance to his former self. The film provides a shocking look at what goes on behind the election process, and features Jay McMullen. Sol Wachtler, future chief judge of the

132 Two History Films 121 PHOTOGRAPH BY LOIS SIEGEL Veronika Soul (left), director of Taxes: The Outcome of Income (NFBC, 1975) with Caroline Leaf, director of The Street (NFBC, 1976). New York State Appellate Court, who eventually served time for attempting to extort money from an ex- girlfriend while suffering from mental illness and overmedication. 48 From Peanuts to the Presidency (1979, Pyramid), produced by Charles Braverman, explores Jimmy Carter s race against Gerald Ford, detailing the early days of campaign, other contenders, and election strategies. Presidential Campaigning: (1971, New York Times) made by an uncredited director, compares the 1948 and 1968 presidential races, focusing on the campaigns of Truman and Dewey, and Nixon and Humphrey. Critical thought processes were the themes of several outstanding civics films of the era, including a film from the CBS Reports series, Case History of a Rumor (1963). Here, producer Gene DePoris investigates right- wing paranoia concerning the feared takeover of the U.S. by the United Nations. The flashpoint was Operation Water Moccasin, U.S. Army maneuvers scheduled to take place in the deep South. Fueled by a rumor that African troops were massing in the state of Georgia, thousands of individuals flooded political mailbags with letters and telegrams of concern. Reporter Roger Mudd and DePoris, interested in discovering the origins of the rumor, traced it back over several states to its surprising source. Of particular interest was the role of radio evangelist C.W. Burpo, who is seen during an actual broadcast, a bank of ten tape recorders in the background copying the show for radio stations nationwide. Perhaps one of the more difficult tasks facing the educational filmmaker was making

133 122 Films You Saw in School an interesting film on the subject of governmental financial processes and procedures. Animator Veronika Soul s Taxes: The Outcome of Income (1975, NFBC) showed that it could be done, in her interesting, funny, and informative film about how and why Revenue Canada collects taxes. Soul s visually stimulating short combined photographs and cut- out animation that, surprisingly enough, makes it appear to be fun to pay taxes, thus making the case that any subject can be entertaining in the hands of a motivated and creative filmmaker.

134 CHAPTER THREE Science and Math Films I. An Overview of Science and Math Films II. Physical Science III. Astronomy and Space IV. Math V. Chemistry VI. Earth Science VII. Ecology VIII. Biology IX. Genetics and DNA X. Microscopic Life Forms XI. The Human Body XII. Plant Life XIII. Animal Life XIV. The Ethics of Science and Medicine and Behavioral Psychology I. An Overview of Science and Math Films The history of science films in the classroom academic film genre is a rich one, primarily as a result of a funding emphasis on the part of the federal government that resulted in financial resources being readily available for schools to purchase mediated instruction in the sciences. Funded by curriculum grants to educational institutions through organizations such as the National Science Foundation and Ford Foundations, and acts of Congress such as the National Defense Education Act (NDEA, 1958) and the Environmental Education Act (1970), educational film companies found a ready- made, enthusiastic, and lucrative market, increasingly fueled by the federal government s desire to achieve, then maintain perceived primacy over the Soviet Union in science and engineering. While the successful launching of Sputnik in late 1957 set the wheels in motion for much of the publicly- sponsored windfall, the immediacy of improving science education and research in secondary schools had begun almost a decade earlier, with the National Science Foundation Act of The role of the National Science Foundation was significant, though often misunderstood: While the U.S. Office of Education, through the National Defense Education Act, funded new facilities, guidance, media development, language training, and scholarship aid, the NSF supplied the principal support for curriculum innovation. Unlike the USOE, the NSF 123

135 CREDIT: ISIDORE MANKOFSKY 124 Films You Saw in School followed a grant procedure similar to that used for scientific research, accepting unsolicited proposals submitted by academics and determining their merit through critiques supplied by scholars with backgrounds similar to the proposing individual or group. This peer review system had been designed to insulate scientific research from political influence and to provide the foundation with judgments based on scholarly merit alone, uncluttered by considerations of social benefit or marketing realities. 1 As early as 1956, Encyclopædia Britannica plunged headfirst into a multidisciplinary and comprehensive science curriculum under the guidance of producer Dave Ridgway, who developed a series of 162 half- hour physics films featuring University of California lecturer Harvey White (in the 1960s, another physics series would be supervised by Al Baez, father of folk singer Joan). Two years later came a chemistry series of 162 films, Chemistry: An Introductory Course, also produced by Ridgway, this time with the University of Florida s Dr. John Baxter as educational advisor. Similar in scope to the physics series, it was made in conjunction with the American Chemical Society. In response to the neglect of evolution theory in extant texts the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS) program was founded in fall 1958 by a group of biologists associated with the American Institute of Biological Sciences. Funded by $7 million from the National Science Foundation as one of a series of 53 science, math, chemistry, biology, and social science projects, the course aimed to assist instructors to replace the concept of science as a fixed body of knowledge with an inquirybased approach which favored problem solving over rote learning. BSCS was divided into three broad classifications: mo - lec ular biology, cell biology, and ecology. 2 John Baxter, host of the Chemistry: An Introductory Course series, conducts an on- camera experiment (EB, 1958). The BSCS series on biology (initially 78 films, spearheaded by Warren Everote, and coordinated by the University of Pittsburgh s Ralph Buchsbaum) would follow, as would another, the AGI series on geology (approx- imately 42 films, with subject matter expert John Shelton, and later William Matthews of the American Geological Institute). It s hardly surprising that, in making such films, filmmakers themselves became educated: cin - e matog rapher Isidore Mankof sky, who shot each film in the chemistry series, saw each lecture four times, prompting Baxter to offer the cameraman 12 university units on the spot if he d take and pass the final exam. 3 Science film programs were not free from controversy: it was the emphasis on evolution as a foundation of biological research

136 Three Science and Math Films 125 in the BSCS texts that revived the efforts by religious fundamentalists, moribund since the days of the Scopes trial, to insist on the inclusion of Bible stories in science classes. 4 In 1963, an NSF- funded social science program, Man: A Course of Study (MACOS), would again, in its discussion of evolution and cultural relativism, be accused by religious conservatives of promoting secular humanism, and thus send the educational world teetering on the brink of controversies involving the separation of church and state. 5 Fundamentalist individuals and organizations rarely hid their ultimate goal of establishing their own brand of religious dogma as the new law of the land and classroom. What becomes readily apparent, when reviewing fundamentalist salvos against science curricula, is that those most vociferous against the teaching of science are those least able to understand its discipline. Dorothy Nelkin, who has written extensively on the subject of the confrontation between science and religion, describes the fundamental principles upon which the modern concept of science is based: Science is based on the assumption that nature is comprehensible by objective observation. Decisions are based on the existence of an organized body of knowledge, and on an intricate network of procedures accepted by a community of scientists who share values concerning appropriate behavior and standards of acceptable truth. These values are founded on a view of science as an autonomous system distinct from political or personal beliefs. Robert Merton, whose work has laid the William Bill Matthews (top) and John Shelton,producers of Encyclopædia Britannica s AGI Earth Science series. AUTHOR S PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, INC.

137 126 Films You Saw in School foundation of the sociology of science, described these values as universalism (claims of truth are subject to impersonal criteria); communism (the findings of science belong to the community of science); disinterestedness (claims are based on the testable character of science); and organized skepticism (methodological and institutional mandates require suspending temporary judgments until beliefs are tested in terms of empirical and logical criteria). 6 Not all attempts at bringing religion into science curriculum were confrontational. Beginning in the mid 1950s, the Moody Institute of Science, an offshoot of the evangelical organization, distributed over 250 religiously- oriented science films to American classrooms. In addition, the early Bell System Science Series films were directed by Frank Capra with an avowed religious intent. Whereas many educational series remain in the memories of only a small number of individuals, few can forget the ubiquitous Bell System Science Series. Beginning with Our Mr. Sun, originally telecast on CBS in 1956, this series consisted of eight one- hour programs followed by one of one- half hour in length (the final eight programs were broadcast on NBC). The first eight programs in the series were hosted by perhaps the best- remembered individual ever to appear in an educational film, the bald, bespectacled Dr. Frank Baxter ( ), professor of English literature at the University of Southern California. As well- known for his stiff, cardboard- like suits as he was for his glib persona, Baxter had previous on- screen experience as host of two earlier series, Shakespeare on TV and Now and Then. The first four films in the series (Our Mr. Sun, Hemo the Magnificent, Strange Case of the Cosmic Rays, Unchained Goddess) were produced by Frank Capra, who agreed to take the job with the stipulation, agreed upon by AT&T president Cleo F. Craig, that the renowned director would be allowed to embed religious messages in the films. In a posture completely at odds with the letter of the Establishment Clause, and contrary to the objective sprit of the scientific process, Capra stated to Craig: If I make a science film, I will have to say that scientific research is just another expression of the Holy Spirit. I will say that science, in essence, is just another facet of man s quest for God. 7 Capra s religious messages, often incongruous to the content of the films, and insulting to the beliefs of teachers and students not enthusiastically embracing his particular theological dogma, would appear at different points in each film. Hemo the Magnificent dir. Frank Capra) opens with an on- screen quotation from Leviticus 17: For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and Our Mr. Sun dir. Frank Capra) begins in similar fashion with a quotation from Psalms, The heavens declare the glory of God. The religious perspective is taken to extremes in the latter, as Baxter, through the Capra- written script, tells the animated Sun, Man s greatest source is his mind God gave him that, not you! admonishing in advance young viewers who might dare to question the causal relationship between solar energy and the Divinity. Other dogmatic chestnuts in that particular film include, It s right that you should want to know, or the good Lord wouldn t have given you that driving curiosity, and the memory verse- like Measure the outside with mathematics, but measure the inside [a still shot of a cross is inserted here] with prayer. These statements are more reminiscent of lessons taught in Vacation Bible School than in a publicly- funded school system. In the Capra- produced Unchained Goddess (1958, dir. Richard Carlson), we again find Baxter, with director Carlson co- starring as the Fiction Writer, and a host of well- known voices including Mel Blanc and Hans Conreid, depicting animated weather gods led by the sexy goddess Meteora, who ultimately throws a stormy fit when Baxter turns down her proposal for marriage at the end of the film. In Goddess, Baxter explains weather concepts

138 Three Science and Math Films 127 through footage of meteorologists at work as well as the standard destructive tornado and hurricane shots. In addition to the typical Capra religious pitch (this time, quotations from the book of Job), the film introduces the viewer to bizarre concepts such as the possibility of steering hurricanes away from land by creating ocean borne oil- slicks and inducing oilbased ocean fires, about which Baxter notes: The possibilities are endless, the unanswered questions fascinating! No wonder more and more young students are turning to meteorology. Unchained Goddess was Capra s final film in the Bell science series, after which production was taken over by Jack Warner, who selected veteran producer/director Owen Crump ( ) to supervise the next four films in the series, Gateways to the Mind (1958, dir. Owen Crump), The Alphabet Conspiracy (1959, a film on language, directed by Robert Sinclair), The Thread of Life (1960, dir. Owen Crump), and It s About Time (1962, dir. Owen Crump). The final film in the series, the one- half hour The Restless Sea (1963), was produced by Walt Disney. Crump and Warner were hardly strangers. Shortly before the Second World War, U.S. Army Public Relations had contracted with Warner Bros. to make a series of films acquainting the general population with different branches of the military, a project supervised directly by Warner himself. He soon brought along Crump, employed as a writer at the studio, to research and write what became eight Technicolor shorts. After war broke out, Warner was commissioned as a lieutenant colonel in the Army Air Force, chartered with organizing the First Motion Picture Unit of the U.S. Army Air Force. Crump was commissioned a captain, and eventually became the Picture Unit s production chief. Military historian George Siegel described the first Warner- Crump project of the war: Of immediate necessity was the demand for a two- reel short subject aimed at speeding up enlistments in the Army Air Force Cadet Training Program. General (Hap) Arnold felt this to be the most urgent need since the Army Air Force, at that time, could not draft men for Cadet Training and was in a position where more than 100,000 young men must enlist voluntarily within a three- month period. Colonel Warner turned over all facilities of Warner Bros. studio to the project. Work was carried out on a twenty- four-hour basis. Owen Crump wrote and directed the film. Within fourteen days it was written, photographed, edited, dubbed, scored. Jimmy Stewart, then Lt. Stewart (later to become a Brigadier General Stewart), played the leading role. The picture was promptly released in most of the theaters throughout the United States. Its effect was immediate, intense. More than 150,000 enlistments were directly traced to the effect of the picture, which was called Winning Your Wings. 8 After the war, Crump returned to Warner Bros., but continued to work on military projects, including the Oscar- nominated documentary short One Who Came Back (1951, United States Department of Defense). Crump also directed the only 3-D war film ever made, which happened also to be the first film showing the fully- integrated U.S. Army, Cease Fire! (1953, Paramount), starring the ill- fated Pfc. Ricardo Carrasco. Wishing to tell the story of the Korean War from the soldier s front- line perspective, Crump picked actual soldiers to star in the film, with Carrasco taking the leading role, that of a soldier dying in combat on the final day of the war. All scenes, with the exception of the final death sequence, would be filmed on the battlefield as action occurred. Feeling guilty about leaving his friends to fight the war while he made a movie, Carrasco continually begged Crump to kill his character so he could resume fighting. Meanwhile, producer Hal Wallis had screened the rushes in Hollywood, saw the star quality in the 19-year-old private, and ordered Crump to put

139 128 Films You Saw in School him under contract with Paramount. When confronted with the news, Carrasco refused to sign the contract, and asked instead that his character be killed two weeks earlier than scheduled so he could return to assist his friends. The final death close- ups were shot on the morning of July 6, 1953, and Carrasco returned to his unit that afternoon. At 11:25 that evening, Carrasco was killed on Pork Chop Hill by a mortar blast. Wishing to save his mother from the agony of seeing her son die on screen, Crump hastily re- filmed the death scene using a stand- in in this, the last film the Department of Defense would ever allow to be filmed on the front lines of a war zone. From the perspective of cohesion, writing, and set design, Crump s Bell series films are far superior to those of Capra. For one thing, Crump largely downplayed religious references, and, progressing beyond Capra s general treatment philosophy of interacting animated characters with Dr. Baxter, added the actual set itself as a character, as evidenced by William Kuehl s sound- stage set for Gateways to the Mind and his madcap carnival- like set for The Alphabet Conspiracy 9 Gateways features cameramen, sound technicians, animators, and grips as they prepare to make a film with Baxter. Gaining ever- increasing interest in the subject matter, they relentlessly question Baxter as to the functions of the five senses, which Baxter relates to their own equipment: the camera for the eyes, the mixing board for the ears. The Thread of Life dir. Owen Crump), featured former Mouseketeer Don Grady as one of the talking heads occupying six contiguous television screens, whose personae fired a battery of questions regarding the origin of life to Frank Baxter. With Capra finally removed from the project, religious messages were now supplanted by healthy skepticism; when asked when life begins, Baxter replies We don t know that! a response that probably would not have been written into the script during the Capra days. While the subject matter in Thread consists of footage and discussion of genes, chromosomes, heredity, and DNA, the star of the show is, again, the dry and bemused Baxter, whose romantic side appears momentarily when he responds, And very fashionable! to a woman who has brought attention to her white forelock. Grady went on to a brief but recognizable career as Robbie in the popular television series My Three Sons. The final film in the Bell series, The Restless Sea (1964, dir. Les Clark), was produced by Walt Disney Productions, and was shortened to one- half hour. Although continuing the Bell tradition of animation mixed with live action, ubiquitous host Dr. Frank Baxter was nowhere to be found, replaced instead by the voice of actor Sterling Holloway as a water droplet. Its animation, particularly in the surrealist deep sea floor sequences, was superior to that of the Capra films, and certainly equal to that found in the Crump titles. In its explanation of core samples, wind movement, and composition of water, Sea provided a credible, if elementary, compilation of facts, accompanied by the usual annoying orchestral music endemic to Disney films, ultimately making the viewer long for the subtle musical elements of the Crump- era films. A later series of science films, refreshingly free from religious dogma, was Jacob Bronowski s The Ascent of Man series. Hosted and written by mathematician/scientist Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man was a thirteen- part series of one- hour lectures co- produced by the BBC and Time- Life, filmed by directors such as David Kennard and Adrian Malone. Released in 1973, Bronowski s intellectually stimulating commentary on the history of science represents a landmark in documenting the exploration of science in cinema. His Knowledge or Certainty (1974), directed by Mick Jackson, is a highly recommended and chilling account of the depravations of humankind in the absence of questioning, ending with a sequence filmed at Auschwitz, where several of Bronowski s family members perished.

140 Three Science and Math Films 129 The quest for improved science instruction would, throughout the sixties, seventies, and eighties, be detoured and occasionally derailed as curriculum developers and filmmakers struggled to remain independent from the religious orientation forcefully advocated by fundamentalist watchdog groups wielding ever- increasing financial and political power. Comparing the thematic philosophies inherent in the Capra and Bronowski films provides a valuable insight into the cinematic results of the behind- the-scenes battles that were, and continue to be, fought for and against the inculcation of religion into science curriculum. II. Physical Science Especially for non- science majors, physical science films have traditionally been among the least exciting educational titles, possibly because filmmakers themselves were so unfamiliar with the material that they took the suggestions of their subject matter experts and advisors and made films that were essentially canned lectures, and who, it would seem, had little expertise in presenting material in a visually interesting manner. Films such as director Hal Kopel s Explaining Matter: Atoms and Molecules (1958, EB), for example, while making heavy use of test tubes, Bunsen burners, and the periodic table, was devoid of imaginative photography or sparkling commentary. Although workmanlike on the cognitive level, such films were weak in the affective perspective, rendering them ineffective in terms of gaining the interest of students not initially drawn to scientific subjects. A similar problem existed with regard to EB s Physics: The Complete Introductory Course series, hosted by UC physics professor Harvey White. In films such as Algebra and the Powers of Ten (1957, prod. Dave Ridgway?), White has a wooden presence, continually looking offcamera, and occasionally misspeaking, as though his mind was elsewhere. This is particularly egregious, considering that the series, filmed as taught in the public schools of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was made for junior high and high school beginning algebra students, who might have profited to a greater extent from a livelier host. Possibly the material was too elementary for White, who might have been more animated if discussing areas less basic to him. Perhaps the most significant advance in the push to improved mediated science curriculum actually began in 1956 when a group of MIT scientists, under the leadership of physicist Jerrold Zacharias, formed the Physical Science Study Committee (PSSC). A component of the charter of the committee was to develop a teaching course and a series of films on the physical sciences. Initially funded by a grant of $303,000 from the National Science Foundation, PSSC was the NSF s first science curriculum development program ever (soon, the Alfred P. Sloan and Ford Foundations would join NSF to fund the series). Zacharias s educational perspective was to bridge the gap between scholar and teacher by bypassing the administrative establishment, which he felt had so badly eroded the needed link between scholarship and curriculum. Although the initial agreement to make the series included Encyclopædia Britannica Films, a clash between Zacharias and EBF president Maurice Mitchell scotched the deal early on, and Educational Services Inc. (ESI) soon took distribution responsibilities. PSSC educational materials available to schools included 60 films, three textbooks, and inexpensive lab experiments using everyday items. Noted filmmakers such as Quentin Brown, Richard Leacock, and Larry Yust made PSSC films, which were hosted by noted physicists such as MIT s Francis Bitter, Bell Labs Alan Holden, and the entertaining Pat-

141 130 Films You Saw in School terson Hume and Donald Ivey from the University of Toronto. Among the significant elements of PSSC films that make them noteworthy is their use of noted scientists as hosts, the fact that an entire curriculum including textbooks was created for them, and that they were the first post Sputnik science series to be sold into schools. To a very large extent, they influenced all other physical science film series that were to follow. Although a number of the films do not emphasize affective elements, several of those that do bear mention, including five made by Richard Leacock, interesting enough cinematically that they are of interest to individuals who don t have an active interest in physics, which can t be said of many of the other films in the series. Leacock briefly reminisced about his days making PSSC films: Zach [program director Jerrold Zacharias] tended to assign the subjects that were complex, as in this case, or those where the teachers were complex as with [Francis] Bitter, with whom Zach did not get along, [Eric] Rogers, at Princeton who was known as a star lecturer (he had been the physics teacher at Bedales, the school I was sent to in England). I think I was the only film maker around who had majored in Physics at College so, at least I knew the language. My favorites are Frames, Crystals, with Allen Holden of Bell Labs (one of the group that discovered [sic] the transistor), there is an extraordinary shot in that where we melted some Saylol (spelling?) crystals under the microscope and then let them grow; they go from blobs into perfect diamond shapes. Holden was a wonderful scientist and caused me to revise my opinion of Bell Labs, an extraordinary product of the world of monopoly! Coulomb s Law and another with Eric Rogers were more like filming a star actor doing his thing. At the end of the proof of the inverse square law (à la Cavendish) the young girl who we charged up with a couple of million volts to make her hair stand on end, is my eldest daughter, Elspeth. She is still mad at him because he promised to send her a Wimshurst Machine and never did. 10 A Magnet Laboratory ESI) featured the fabled and sartorially disheveled Dr. Francis Bitter of MIT 11 experimenting with powerful electromagnets, ultimately setting one experiment on fire, and quelling it with a nearby fire extinguisher. Breaking nearly every rule established for the relatively staid science community, Leacock, who himself studied physics at MIT, utilized the lab as a sort of constructivist stage, at one point breaking a researcher at mid torso in the upper right of the frame to linger for several minutes, rear- end to camera. Perhaps the most arresting moment of the film occurs roughly halfway through the film: the telephone rings, an offscreen voice says, It s for you, and Bitter, without missing a beat, responds, Tell em I ll call em back later. Leacock gives every physicist in the lab a personality, from the droll Bitter, to Beans Bardo, the wonderfully- named technician whose responsibility it was to crank up the 12-foot-high, twenty- foot-long generator to nearly explosive proportions while drowning out Bitter s attempt to explain what was about to occur. 12 Assistant Dr. John Waymouth is almost as funny as Bitter, exhorting Beans to fire when ready, maestro! before engaging Bitter in a duel of magnet power, culminating in the accidental calamity of catching the experiment on fire. The filmmaker fondly remembers working with Bitter, a constant thorn in the side of the staid MIT physics department, both in the lab and at departmental parties, often accompanied by his outspoken, flamboyant, and attractive wife, renowned for needling her husband s self- important colleagues. 13 Three other Leacock- directed PSSC films are worthy of note. Crystals (1958, ESI) features Bell Lab s Alan Holden s dry humor, describing his own private fun in growing crystals, diametrically opposed to the manic Princeton professor Eric Rogers hosting Leacock s Coulomb s Law ESI). Rogers is animated, continually removing and replacing his eyeglasses, ordering around lab assistants he forcefully breaks a glass test tube in the hands of an assistant to demonstrate the inelasticity of water and furiously pounding out equa-

142 Three Science and Math Films 131 tions on a blackboard (Leacock says the scribblings must have lasted 45 minutes, in what must be one of the more necessary cuts in the history of educational film). Rogers finally conducts an experiment with a young girl, placing her in a metal cage, which he then charges with electricity, demonstrating through the inverse square law that his assistant (Leacock s trusting daughter Elspeth 14 ) is not harmed by the charge. Utilizing a fascinating set consisting of a rotating table and furniture occupying surprisingly unpredictable spots within the viewing area, Leacock s Frames of Reference features fine cinematography by Abraham Morochnik, and funny narration by University of Toronto professors Filmmaker Richard Leacock with camera. Donald Ivey and Patterson Hume, in a wonderful example of the fun a creative team of filmmakers can have with a subject other, less imaginative types might render pedestrian. Others in the PSSC series aren t as successful, on an affective level: Herman Engel s Definite and Multiple Proportions (1960, ESI) is not nearly as quirky and fun as Leacock s films, and could have possibly been more effective as a teaching tool if half of its thirty minute length had been left on the cutting room floor, while Interference of Protons (1959, ESI), directed by Wallace Worsley, like many of the other films in the series, suffers from the lack of camera- presence on the part of its host. In a non- PSSC film, director Alex Strasser s Conquest of the Atom (1958, dir., Mullard Ltd./IFB), featured Sir John Cockroft describing how he and a colleague split the lithium atom by proton bombardment, and included descriptions of other nuclear experiments. Other historical physics films of note include The World of Enrico Fermi (1970, Visual Education Centre/Holt Rinehart), produced by Gordon Burwash and John Kemeny, a fascinating treatment of the life and times of the noted physicist, and director John McAulay s Herzberg (1979, Tournesol/NFBC), profiling the work of spectroscopy expert and 1971 Nobel Prize winner Gerhard Herzberg. Several short graphically oriented films made notable contributions to physical science curriculum. Animator Philip Stapp, armed with a grant from the National Science Foundation, and working with a team of physics educators including Alan Holden of Bell Labs, made what he considered his best film, Symmetry, a fanciful exploration of natural order Sturgis- Grant). In it, Stapp s stylized and pointillist- inspired abstract images dance in a surrealist floating world reminiscent of Japanese ukiyo-e illustration, the stage seen from three perspectives (overhead, direct, and diagonal), the figures continually rotating, dividing, and converging. Newer technologies were often introduced effectively in classroom films through laboratory presentations. Introduction to Holography EB), directed by Tom Smith, CREDIT: ANDREW BOYD

143 132 Films You Saw in School COURTESY ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, INC. Holography scholar Tung H. Jeong creates a hologram in Tom Smith s Introduction to Holography (EB, 1972). explored the scientific and artistic uses of the hologram. It featured a detailed laboratory setup that allowed noted holography scholar Tung H. Jeong to demonstrate how holograms were created. Directors André and Jacques Leduc s Zea NFBC), a film meant to challenge preconceptions, was a five- minute montage of shots made by cinematographer Eric Chamberlain on a 400-feet-per-second camera. The object in question is seemingly impossible to clearly identify, at times appearing liquid, at other times solid, and finally undergoing a metamorphosis into another difficult- to-determine object, ultimately unveiling itself as a kernel of popping corn under the action of oil and heat. Other nontraditional approaches to the physics film included director Dieter Franck s Questions of Time (1968, McGraw- Hill), utilizing animation and cinematic legerdemain to illustrate concepts of space and time, and Paul Buchbinder s Wondering About Sound (2nd ed., 1986, EB), showcasing the rap band Rant/Chant as they rhymed the science of sound in a fun, musical film for elementary students. III. Astronomy and Space A remarkable film on the subject of outer space is Universe NFBC), directed by Colin Low and Roman Kroitor. Poetically narrated by Stanley Jackson, this powerful

144 Three Science and Math Films 133 interpretation of what lies beyond the solar system was for years the Film Board s biggest selling film. The animation in the film is extraordinary, combining Colin Low s gorgeous hand- crafted planets with Sidney Goldsmith s painted sequences. The film begins and ends at the David Dunlap Observatory, Richmond Hill, Ontario, opening with the astronomer preparing the observatory and telescope, and ending with him wiping his tired eyes, then casting long morning shadows as he slowly makes his way to a lonely automobile at the upper edge of the frame. Producer Alex Haberstroh s A Trip to the Planets (1963, EB), takes the viewer on an imaginary space trip, and discusses the planets and solar system, in a film hosted by space advocate Willy Ley. In 1968 two landmark animated films simulated telescopic and microscopic travel, and both were presumably based on the same book, Kees Boeke s Cosmic View: The Universe in 40 Jumps, written in Judith Bronowski, working in the studio of Charles and Ray Eames, made a short film with an improbably long title, A Rough Sketch for a Proposed Film Dealing with the Powers of Ten and the Relative Size of Things in the Universe. Shortened in the catalogue to Powers of Ten: A Rough Sketch the film began with a photograph of a man lying on a blanket, dozing after a picnic on a Miami golf course. At the rate of change of a magnitude of ten every ten seconds, the camera distances itself from the subject, soon achieving a distance of 10, 25 well beyond the galaxy. Seconds later, the viewer is rushed back to the original view of the man, and then proceeds to enter the pores of his skin microscopically at the same time- to-distance ratio as before, finally resting on the nucleus of a carbon atom in the man s hand, at power. Made for the Commission on College Physics, each frame featured a running clock marking both the size factor and elapsed time, creating the dizzying but fascinating sense of being at the controls of a very fast and very small rocket ship, accompanied by Bronowski s narration and Elmer Bernstein s electronic comboorgan. 15 Similarly, Eva Szasz Cosmic Zoom NFBC) began with a recreational opening shot of a boy in a small boat, who rapidly diminished in size until the viewer suddenly encountered galactic bodies. Zooming back to earth, the film initially focuses on a mosquito s bite, then, like Powers of Ten, enters a drop of blood. An interesting treatment on outer space themes was Who s Out There? (1973, prod. Robert Drew Associates, NASA), hosted by the cigar- smoking Orson Welles, discussing his War of the Worlds radio drama, and featuring a discussion panel consisting of people such as Carl Sagan, Philip Morrison, and Ashley Montagu on the subject of intelligent life in the universe. By contrast, Hearst Metrotone News Stepping Stones in Space (1973), a film in the Screen News Digest series, provided a more historical approach, featuring Dr. Robert Hutchings Goddard s home movies, as well as shots of the German V2 rocket, a rocket sled, Sputnik, the chimpanzee Ham, Yuri Gagarin, and the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs. Director Tom Smith s The Solar System (2nd EB) took over a year to create, over 13 weeks to film, and utilized traveling mattes, with as many as five separate films running in the background, showcasing wonderful models and graphics. Once George Lucas saw the film, he hired Smith to direct the special effects team at Industrial Light & Magic, where he created special effects for the Star Wars films. Smith writes of the challenges of making Solar System: I made that film in 1976 with Richard Basehart as narrator and a classical music score recorded in the Soviet Union this was the film that turned my career toward visual effects. We shot it in a large rented space in the back of a West Los Angeles dress factory. We hung large black curtains to keep out light out from the factory but we could still hear the sewing machine whirring away behind the curtain. They were making bathrobes at the

145 134 Films You Saw in School time, out of fluffy material. It took months of preparation before we could shoot our first frame of film. We laid down a forty- foot stretch of track of parallel plumbing pipes and put down a camera support whose movements were on a geared guide so every increment of movement could be controlled with the turn of a wheel. Nearly all of the shots involved a moving camera. It was like animation with three- dimensional model planets instead of cell images. We found the best material for the planets was hard wood. So we hired a Hollywood cabinet shop to make nine spheres for us, about 18 inches in diameter. These were sanded and painted to match images in astronomy books and observatory photos. Shooting one frame at a time meant we never got more than a few seconds of film shot in a day. One long shot involved the camera moving in on Mars. The first long day s work was ruined. As the camera came in on the red planet, a large piece of fuzz came into frame, sitting on the planet. It had drifted down on the sphere from the dress factory. 16 Although potentially a tremendous source for information on U.S. space programs, films made by NASA were often of the didactic talking heads variety (e.g., Third Manned Skylab, 1973), and commonly unengaging despite the fact that they could often be interesting pictorially. By contrast, in one of the more enchanting films relating to the distances in the solar system, director John Randle s Exploring Space: The Solar System (1978, Coronet) represents the scale of the universe by spheres placed in a straight line along a series of farms in Illinois and Wisconsin. In the last shot, a helicopter takes an eight- minute flight from Pluto to the sun, flying over the bucolic countryside, hunting for the tiny spheres. Producer Chuck L. Finance made two films that were worthy of note for their exciting graphics from NASA s Jet Propulsion Laboratory: Inner Planets and Outer Planets (both Media Four/Stanton). The latter, with animated sequences derived from material found by radiotelescopes, is particularly interesting. Finance s Controversy Over the Moon EB) describes the efforts of scientists to determine the composition of the moon and how it affects the solar system, what meteors are made from and how craters are formed. The debate here, between geologists Jack Green, who advocates vulcanism, and Eugene M. Shoemaker, who advocates meteorite collision, is concerned with what caused the Copernicus carter. Finance s Moon: A Giant Step in Geology (1975, EB) visits scientists at work in Houston s Lunar Receiving Laboratory and utilizes animation in a film that engages in a discussion of how scientific information derived from lunar rocks will be used. The latter films were two in EB s AGI (American Geological Institute) Earth Science series of films from Encyclopædia Britannica, in which John Shelton served as the advisor. Carl Sagan s 13-part Cosmos series of 1980 was represented in classrooms through a series of eight edited 16mm versions of the longer films, originally shown on television, produced by the BBC and KCET. Each edited film had a length of 30 minutes or less, including films such as The Origin of Life (1980, KCET/Carl Sagan Productions), directed by David Kennard and Adrian Malone. Director David Fox s psychedelic space fantasy Omega (1970, Pyramid), while not scientific, was commonly shown in science classes as a means of provoking discussions on the place if any of humans in space. IV. Math For the most part, mathematics films were primarily aimed toward younger learners. One of the more ubiquitous was Disney s Donald in Mathmagic Land made by veteran Disney director Hamilton Luske. The film featured visually stimulating animation illustrating Pythagorean theory, the golden rectangle, and simple geometry, the latter

146 Three Science and Math Films 135 explained through the game of billiards. Clarence Nash s voice of Donald, however, is unintelligible in several parts of the film, which might have been welcome in the Capra- esque religious statement read by a non- duck narrator to end the film, a quotation from Galileo: Mathematics is the alphabet by which God has written the universe, the inclusion of which conveniently ignores the brilliant mathematician and physicist s persecution at the hands of religious authorities. For people in the new millennium, perhaps the best known of all math films were ABC s eleven- part Multiplication Rock series, an eleven- part series (# 1 and 10 were omitted), produced by illustrator/adman Tom Yohe, as part of the Schoolhouse Rock television series. 17 The films were known for their humorous street- wise animation and snappy music and lyrics, written by jazz musician Bob Dorough. The tunes were sung by jazz singers Dorough, Blossom Dearie, and Grady Tate. Yohe, along with co- creative director George Newell, had originally been asked by David McCall of the McCaffrey & McCall advertising agency, to set multiplication problems to music, because McCall noticed his son could easily remember lyrics to songs by the Rolling Stones, yet couldn t remember multiplication tables. A coworker of theirs suggested they pitch the idea to the young director of children s programming for ABC, Michael Eisner, after consulting with animation legend Chuck Jones, who bought the idea immediately. 18 Each of the Multiplication films (e.g., I Got and Naughty Number featured visual stimuli such as balloons, jacks, and bubble gum, that appealed to young viewers, but included urban elements as well, such as billiard balls, multiringed hipsters, and camels bearing oil and spices. They became the genesis of Schoolhouse Rock, a series of 37 television segments produced between 1972 and 1980, addressing disparate subjects such as science, grammar, and ecology. 19 From an adult perspective, perhaps the most interesting film in the series is The Good Eleven because of a well- hidden hint at a sexual escapade about to occur at 11 P.M. At 55 seconds into the film, the following images appear in order: the number 11, a woman troubadour serenading with guitar against the wall of what appears to be a darkened hallway, a door suddenly opening next to her, the woman peering inside the door, a heart slowly taking up the full screen, then followed by a simple X which fills the screen. Because the sequence only takes up 8 seconds, this adult- themed joke might be lost to most children and many adult viewers. Nevertheless it s there, in certainly one of the few instances of goodnatured adult ribaldry appearing in films made and distributed for children. The combination of Dorough s music and Yohe s animation is so compelling that other animated math films seem tame by comparison (e.g., Place to Place, 1972, dir. Mitch Rose, Xerox). 20 Several other films series were commonly found in school libraries, among them EB s 10-part Math That Counts, Paramount s Mathematics for Primary, Journal Films eight- part Beginning Mathematics, and Xerox s nine- part Exploring Mathematics. The EB series, while uneven, did contain gems such as Banana Fever (1975, uncredited director), a William Van Horn- animated ode to short division, co- written by math consultant Diane Resek, in which jungle animals puzzle over bananas which mysteriously fly away on their own, stolen by an invisible force that is ultimately foiled when the animals deduce that it cannot steal bunches that are only divisible by the integer 1. Mathematics for Primary, produced by Lawrence Levy and Anna Keating (1978, Paramount Communications) consisted of four films (Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division), featuring interesting pixilation of everyday objects sorted into groups corresponding to the lesson at hand, but the shopworn puns delivered by Dick Orkin s voices were tiresome, and unlike Multiplication Rocks, were challenging films for adult teachers to enjoy. Journal s Beginning Mathematics series of approximately seven

147 136 Films You Saw in School titles featured corny films such as Fractions (1974?, prod. Reinald Werrenrath), in which great fun is made with grimacing chimpanzees eating wax candles from a birthday cake. Elementary Mathematics for Teachers and Students was a series of 42 films made for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics by Davidson Films for General Learning Corp. In films such as Fractions and Rational Numbers (1970, produced by Jack Davidson), nontraditional ways of teaching math are explained to teachers by Michigan State professor Lauren G. Woodby, then demonstrated in actual classroom use by San Francisco State University professor Joseph Moray. While such teacher ed films were never shown to students, films such as these were important contributors to ongoing teacher learning and curriculum development. Between Rational Numbers: Knights (1970, General Learning/Davidson) was one example of a film made for students, with cartoon figures illustrating a fable in which a mathematical formula had to be solved in order to determine which knight would inherit the kingdom. Directors Bruce and Katharine Cornwell are primarily known for a series of remarkable animated films on the subject of geometry. Created on the Tektronics 4051 Graphics Terminal, they are brilliant short films, tracing Klee- like geometric shapes to intriguing music, including the memorable Bach meets Third Steam Jazz musical score in Congruent Triangles IFB) and Journey to the Center of a Triangle IFB). The Cornwells made a total of eleven mathematics films for IFB, and at least two more for BFA. For the Mathematical Association of America in conjunction with Stanford University, a number of films were produced at the Cornwells studio for the MAA Calculus series, under various directors. One of the best- known of these films is director H.M. MacNeille s animated film Theorem of the Mean Policeman (1966). 21 Directors Norman McLaren and Evelyn Lambart s Rythmetic (1971, NFBC) consisted of cut- out animation accompanied by a synthesized soundtrack based on audible pops synchronized with the appearance of individual numbers. V. Chemistry Chemistry films are most comprehensively represented through several series of films, and included textbooks and other ancillary materials. The massive Chemistry: An Introductory Course series of 1958 consisted of 162 halfhour films, produced by David W. Ridgway, hosted by University of Florida Professor John F. Baxter, and photographed by Isidore Mankofsky. The genesis of the series was a conversation between Alvin C. Eurich, executive director of Ford Foundation s Education Division, and EBF Vice President of Production Warren Everote. 22 The Ford Foundation had already agreed to fund the Physical Science Study Committee (PSSC) series, a project intended to replace EB s physics series, but one which had been turned down by EBF president Maurice Mitchell because of a disagreement with PSSC developer Dr. Jerrold Zacharias. This time, EB agreed to do the chemistry project. Although the films were a success educationally, EB found that sales were poor, as few schools could afford to buy each of the 162 chemistry films. Instead, the series was mostly bought at the district level, and the films were loaned round- robin to individual schools. When ESEA funding became available to schools in the mid 1960s, schools now had money for the series, but it had already been superseded by the Ford Foundation- funded CHEM Study series begun in 1960, developed by Nobel Prize- winning chemist and University of California at Berkeley Chancellor Glenn T. Seaborg.

148 Three Science and Math Films 137 COURTESY CHARLES L. FINANCE Filmmaker Charles L. Finance (left) with Nobel Prize winner, discoverer of plutonium, and developer of the CHEM Study series, Glenn Seaborg, during the filming of Transuranium Elements (Davidson Films, 1962). They are standing next to the Heavy Ion Linear Accelerator (HILAC). The 80 films in the Chemical Education Material Study (CHEM Study) series of 1962 were made by companies such as Davidson Films and Wexler Films, and were distributed by the University of California. Seaborg had preceded EB Vice- President Warren Everote in the chemistry department at UCLA by one year, and although they were good friends, Everote enjoyed reminding Seaborg that he d stolen producer Dave Ridgway from him, as Ridgway had left EBF to become the new CHEM Study producer. 23 Seaborg described the fascinating process of developing CHEM Study, its objectives, and its academic success: One evening near the end of 1959, l was met at the Washington airport, upon arrival from the West Coast, by a zealous group who had a visionary plan to press upon me. Bradford R. Stanerson, Harry Kelly, and Arthur Roe, representing the American Chemical Society and the National Science Foundation, whisked me off to the Cosmos Club, where they described their idea for a new high school chemistry course, and persuaded me to assume the responsibility for its development. Although my heavy schedule as Chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, and numerous other commitments should have made me decline this added responsibility, the unusual circumstances of our meeting and the ardor of the group led to my somewhat bewildered acceptance. This was the birth of the project whose history is so ably told in these pages by the participants themselves. My acceptance of the responsibility for this project was contingent on its obtaining the services as Director of my long- time friend and a master teacher, J. Arthur Campbell, of Harvey Mudd College at Claremont, California. Art immediately accepted this assignment, and

149 138 Films You Saw in School we agreed that the project should have a second center at Harvey Mudd College, in addition to the one at the University of California, Berkeley. It was he who suggested the descriptive name for the project the Chemical Education Material Study, or, briefly, the CHEM Study. The general objectives of the Study were to develop new teaching materials for the high school chemistry course, including a textbook, laboratory experiments, and films. The more specific objectives were to diminish the then current separation between scientists and teachers in the understanding of science, to stimulate and prepare those high school students whose purpose was to continue the study of chemistry in college as a profession, to encourage teachers to undertake further study of chemistry courses geared to keep pace with advancing scientific frontiers, and thereby improve their teaching methods, and to further even in those students who would not continue the study of chemistry after high school an understanding of the importance of science in current and future human affairs. It was decided from the first to have the course be strongly based on laboratory experiments and be applicable to all students who take high school chemistry. Another basic tenet was that liaison with the other high school chemistry project, the Chemical Bond Approach (CBA), would be set up and maintained in order to achieve maximum benefits from having two courses. In February 1960 l wrote to the initial proposed contributors describing the project and our tentative, very ambitious, time schedule. Shortly thereafter, in a move that did much to insure [sic] the success of the undertaking, Art Campbell and I had lunch with George C. Pimentel at the Faculty Club in Berkeley and succeeded in persuading him to take time from his very productive research to serve as Editor of the CHEM Study textbook. It is just possible that my role as Chancellor helped induce a Berkeley faculty member to accept this demanding assignment. A measure of the project s success is the wide adoption and use of these materials in the nation s high schools and their direct and indirect influence on the content of numerous recent texts and laboratory manuals that have been prepared by many authors. Another measure is the many foreign- language translations of the written materials and films. An interesting sidelight is that the income from the materials has exceeded the support funding from the Federal government; CHEM Study is in the unprecedented position of more than paying for itself. CHEM Study has made it necessary and possible to upgrade much of the teaching of college chemistry an effort that is still in progress in order to meet the requirements of the better- prepared incoming students. It has widened the interest of college and university teachers in the problems of high school teaching. And it has put many high school teachers in closer touch with their collegiate and university colleagues. The high school teachers presence on the writing teams served to keep the materials understandable and to assure the teachability of the course. 24 McGraw-Hill also entered the chemistry fray with its Basic Chemistry series of 31 films. Titles included Temperature and Matter, directed by Herman J. Engel. Engel, best known as a documentary filmmaker, is thought to have directed each film in the series, and also directed at least one film in the PSSC physics series, Definite and Multiple Proportions (1960). It can be argued that these earlier chemistry series were so comprehensive that educational film companies saw little need to update the material as time marched on. Ancillary educational materials that accompanied the films were expensive to produce initially, and could only be accomplished with the financial assistance of some of the foundations and institutions mentioned. While CHEM Study films were commonly found in educational film libraries as late as the 1990s, the earlier Chemistry: An Introductory Course films were not, either having been replaced by the latter series, or never having been ordered in the first place. Today, films in the earlier EB series are nearly impossible to find.

150 Three Science and Math Films 139 VI. Earth Science Although earth science films many of them on geological subjects had been common in classrooms from the early 1960s, their massive proliferation in the post 1970 era is directly related to the Environmental Education Act, passed by the U.S. Congress on October 20, 1970, in response to testimony given in hearings that the nation s natural resources were being rapidly depleted and/or destroyed. As defined in the act, environmental education consisted of a process dealing with man s relationship with his natural and manmade surroundings, and includes the relation of population, pollution, resource allocation and depletion, conservation, transportation, technology, and urban and rural planning to the total human environment. Funding of $5 million was initially allocated annually to be used in programs including mediated instruction, allowing for an increase of up to $25 million by Classroom interest in earth science and ecology as areas of study was heightened as a result, and schools continued buying films on these subjects at a healthy rate well into the 1980s. Several of the more exceptional earth science films of the pre 1970s era were made by Canada s National Film Board. Director Dalton Muir s majestic Face of the High Arctic NFBC) was an awe- inspiring flyover visit to the remote Queen Elizabeth Islands. The terrifyingly lonely and beautiful desolation dramatically captured by cameraman Muir was augmented by writer Strowan Robertson s poetic description of the terrain. Muir s Biology: High Arctic Biome (1959, NFBC) is equally deserving of praise, as was directors Roman Kroitor and Hugh O Connor s Above the Horizon (1964, NFBC). In the latter, through dramatic time- lapse photography and nerve- wracking stunts on the part of those being filmed (e.g., sitting in a glass bubble while being exposed to lightning, or flying into the eye of a hurricane), the viewer is introduced to concepts such as cloud and geyser seeding. All three films were produced, or co- produced, by O Connor, an unassuming man who would later be murdered in Jeremiah, Kentucky, by a deranged septuagenarian landlord, angry that his shacks were being filmed for an NFBC documentary. 26 In contrast to many Canadian geological films of the era, pre 1960 titles made in the U.S. were often dry and seemingly uninspired. Water Movement in Soils (1959, dir. W.H. Gardner and J.C. Hatch, Washington State University) was a half- hour film consisting of an ant farm- like apparatus containing various soil stratifications, including clay, sand, and loam, through which water was poured, and recorded by time- lapse cinematography. The conclusions were interesting, but poor editing resulted in an overly long film that could easily have been halved in length. Gardner and Hatch were not without humor, however, as suggested by the photograph of the scantily- clad bathing beauty holding an umbrella, drenched in the ant farm in the final experiment. Encyclopædia Britannica s earth science films in the pre 1960 era weren t much better. Paul Burnford s effective cinematography in Face of the Earth (1953, EB) was crippled by an inappropriate orchestral score more in keeping with Disney than EB. In the post 1960 era, EB s science films became more compelling as a number of excellent filmmakers contributed important titles to its catalogue, including Stanley Croner, Tom Smith, John Walker, and Larry Yust. Best known for his exceptional films on literary subjects, Yust cut his teeth on scientific subjects, often with the assistance of subject matter expert Al Baez (father of folk singer Joan) in the late 50s and early 60s. Yust s The Bending of Light (1961, EB) utilized mirrors and a camera obscura, accompanied by a ragtime musical score. Perhaps the most significant EB science series from a visual perspective was the excep-

151 140 Films You Saw in School tional 42-film AGI/EBF Earth Science series, made in conjunction with the American Geological Institute as part of the Earth Science Curriculum Project. These well- photographed films were developed with the cooperation of geologists John Shelton and William H. Bill Matthews III. Cameraman Isidore Mankofsky, who filmed much of the series, mentions that location shots were often selected during airplane flights taken with pilot Shelton (e.g., Beach: River of Sand, 1968, dir. Warren Brown), which explains the ever- present aircraft drone added- in for aerial shots in the Shelton films. 27 Shelton received his Ph.D. from Yale in 1947, wrote the textbook Geology Illustrated, and taught geology at Pomona State College. In the early 1960s, EB asked the American Geological Institute to invite several key geologists, one of whom was Shelton, to a twoweek conference in Illinois, for the purpose of determining subject matter for a series of proposed films. During the conference, Shelton compiled a list of ten guidelines for the production of a successful film, which included the eschewing of musical accompaniment in favor of natural ambient sounds. As a result of the acceptance of these guidelines, he was elected by his colleagues to act as the liaison between the geologists and EB. Soon thereafter, he signed a contract with EB to be the chief scientific advisor on the project. In producing a film, Shelton would call on a colleague with expertise in a particular field (e.g., glaciology, tectonics), assist in writing the script, and pilot the rented Cessna 170, 180, or 210 highwing aircraft for aerial shots. In shooting, cameraman Isidore Mankofsky removed the front passenger s seat, and used a specially- made camera rig that was fixed to the sliders. Shelton had designed a replacement door for the Cessna that would telescope outward, allowing Mankofsky s camera to shoot geological formations directly below the aircraft. When the rough cut was finished, Shelton would convene geologists and EB executives to watch the CREDIT: ISIDORE MANKOFSKY Geologist John Shelton prepares a sandstone surface for filming in director Charles L. Finance s Rocks That Form on the Earth s Surface (EB, 1964).

152 Three Science and Math Films 141 CREDIT: ISIDORE MANKOFSKY Producer Stanley Croner and cinematographer Isidore Mankofsky (behind camera) filming in Beach: A River of Sand (EB, 1968). They arrived on the beach in the aircraft, which was also used for aerial shots. film and suggest last- minute changes, the execution of which would often keep him up until the early hours of the morning. I put my heart and soul into those films, recalled Shelton. In one incident, he related how he and producer Stan Croner spent several frustrating hours trying to determine the proper narrative ending for director Warren Brown s Beach: A River of Sand EB), in which the shooting script shows dredging taking place along urban beaches to remove sand which in actuality had been already carried away by the longshore current: I woke up in the middle of the night, and remember scribbling down what would be the final line of the film: Man now has to do what nature did before. 28 Much of the success, from a cinematography perspective, of the 60s 70s era AGI films was due to the extraordinary talent of Isidore Mankofsky, who delighted in the occasional cinematic trompe-l oeil. In What Makes Clouds (1965, dir. Warren Brown), Mankofsky lies somewhere between Magritte and Dalí, with a clock reflected in dish, some time- lapse clouds, and a seemingly colossal droplet- covered pitcher of water standing, like an Oldenburg sculpture, against the deep azure sky. The most visually arresting of the AGI series were the subjects filmed by Bert Van Bork, whose sometimes taciturn, occasionally mercurial, and ultimately precise methodology and presence generated as much or more controversy within EB than any other filmmaker ever employed there. Possibly the most daring cinematographer/producer to ever work in the 16mm educational genre, Van Bork rendered stunning camera work defined by superior

153 142 Films You Saw in School color, design, and perspective. His story is a fascinating one, not only in terms of his own personal history, but of his multi- dimensional relationship to many different art forms as well. Born in 1928 in Augustusburg, Germany, Van Bork studied in the Academies of Fine Arts in Berlin, Leipzig, and Dresden, interrupted by his internment in a concentration camp. After his release, he began producing stark two- dimensional woodcuts, often made from the pine remains of destroyed buildings and old furniture, of intense and terrifying beauty, depicting a Berlin struggling with an uncertain future. In 1954, he moved to Chicago by way of New York, working in oil on canvas as well as drypoint, displaying an influence of German expressionism in his portrayals of the landscapes of the American Southwest and cityscapes of Chicago. By this time, Van Bork had become an accomplished still photographer as well, and received the National Award for Outstanding Photography in Germany in In 1957, Van Bork was hired to produce films for Encyclopædia Britannica, and soon became noted for both his stunning geological studies and for his daring in obtaining footage under extremely arduous volcanic conditions. Heartbeat of a Volcano (1970, EB) is one of the more remarkable volcanic films ever made, a twenty- one-minute trip to hell in the fast lane. Van Bork visited the big island to film the muttering Kilauea, with the intent of showing geologists using seismographs and geotometers, and perhaps get some shots of the degassing process at the vents. Instead, as the ground base geologist yells into the short- wave: She s going wild, she s going wild! With spectacular night shots of a giant firefall twice as high as Niagara Falls, glowing lava streams and tremendous explosions, Van Bork burned up two pair of shoes as he hung close to the cataclysm to film the eruption of Kilauea. These spectacular shots were planned the day before the explosion, as Van Bork and assistant cameraman Ulf Backstrom reconnoitered the volcanic area, marking exit routes with white tape for nightfall exits, and noting the loca- COURTESY ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, INC. Towering lava fountains and enormous rivers of lava flowing into the sea were filmed by Bert Van Bork for Heartbeat of a Volcano (EB, 1970).

154 Three Science and Math Films 143 tion of lava vents. In one scene, geologists are shown fleeing the approaching lava, but the camera remains steady: Van Bork, his eye glued to the camera, was prevented from pitching forward into vents and calderas by the steady hand of Backstrom, holding tightly to the back of his belt. Van Bork made two other significant volcanic films. Volcanoes: Exploring the Restless Earth (1973, EB) was an excursion from Paricutín to Vesuvius to the newly- formed island of Surtsey, on an increasingly terrifying and beautiful excursion to lava streams, fountains, and fumaroles. Fire in the Sea (1973) was a non- narrated cinematic poem, shot in Hawaii. Van Bork made a number of other films in the AGI series. These included Daybreak (1975, EB), a dramatic fly- over of the area surrounding the Monument Valley, and San Andreas Fault (1974, EB), documenting fault lines through aerial cinematography, from San Jose s Almaden Vineyards to the San Juan Bautista Rodeo grounds. Overall, the AGI series is both informational and entertaining, and often spectacular in terms of cinematography. A curious exception to the overall quality of the series was Giancarlo Lui s Reflections on Time (1970), a strange three- part stop-the-projector film that combined Grand Canyon geology with JFK assassination stills, that one senses was snuck into distribution beyond the eyes and ears of EB s usually meticulous review committee. Nine years later, Lui would achieve notoriety for directing the sex scenes in producer Bob Guccione s Caligula (1979). The National Film Board of Canada s perusal of interesting scientific subjects did not abate in the post 1960s era. Directors James de B. Domville and Joseph MacInness s Subigloo (1973, NFBC) was a fascinating study of scientists and engineers laboring under severe conditions to place a plastic domed laboratory forty feet under the surface of cold Resolute COURTESY ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, INC. Unidentified camera team filming director Giancarlo Lui s Reflections on Time for EB s AGI/Earth Science series (1970).

155 144 Films You Saw in School Bay. Cutting through four feet of ice and manually placing six tons of pig- iron on the dome s perimeter to prevent it from shooting to the surface were just two of the challenges faced by divers who utilized oxygen from their bottles as an extra insulation layer in their dry suits. When in place, the sub- igloo resembled a glowing landing module on a lunar landscape, lending a poetic touch in keeping with the legacy of Roman Kroitor and Colin Low s film Universe NFBC). The physics of interlocking snow crystals comes into play in director Harold Tichenor s Snow War (1979, NFBC), as Parcs Canada and Canadian Forces team together to predict avalanches and proactively create them by shooting howitzers at mountainsides at Rogers Pass, Glacier National Park, British Columbia. Rock, Ice, and Oil (1984, NFBC), produced by John Foster, was a compendium of scientific studies carried out within Canada s Arctic Circle, hosted by John and Janet Foster, who accumulated wonderful footage of the expansive, colorful scenery as they met geologists, botanists, and ichthyologists. The affective value of the film was exceptional as scientists passionately described their specialties: mapping the continental shelf, lead- zinc mining on Little Cornwallis Island (Polaris Mine), growing an arctic fresh vegetable garden, and basking under the midnight sun in an arctic oasis on Ellesmere Island (Alexander Fjord). Several other film companies contributed notable geological films, including BFA, Coronet and Stanton. How We Know About the Ice Ages (1985, BFA) was a fine film by Pete Matulavich, exploring the process by which glacial action creates moraines and deposits erratics (large boulders). Larry Pont s Earth: Discovering Its History (1976, Coronet) features engaging professor Charles Shabica driving his mid 60s VW bus, climbing rock faces, and describing ancient beaches. Understanding Our Earth: Rocks and Minerals (1977, uncredited director), released the following year by Coronet, also features footage of Shabica, but does not include his voice, which results in the film being less interesting than the previous film. One of the more visually stunning geological films was Crystals: Flowers of the Mineral Kingdom (1983, Stanton). Here, cinematographer Ken Middleham s tour de force was a riot of geometry, movement, and color, providing an aesthetic beauty that geological or lapidary museums, relying on static displays, would find difficult to match; the film borders on abstract art, as crystals grow, multiply, and change shape, edited in a rhythm so seamless that it remains a landmark in the science film genre. A number of films explored subterranean and underwater geology, including Paul Burnford s Caverns and Geysers (1982, BFA), consisting of exceptional footage shot by the director, John Slaven, and Paul Crawford. An earlier film, Robert Dierbeck s The Trembling Earth (1967, NET), provides a fascinating glimpse of geologists at work in a laboratory 1850 feet below a New Jersey zinc mine, where, at Columbia University s Lamont Geological Observatory, sensitive instruments record earthquakes thousands of miles away. One of the more extreme geological films, in terms of affective value and danger to the participants, was Lee Tepley s Fire Under the Sea: Origin of Pillow Lava (1971, Moonlight Productions), filmed underwater off the coast of Hawaii s big island. To capture the formation of pillow lava, Tepley, Gene Rugroeden, and a crew of diver- cinematographers are assaulted by tumbling clunks of volcanic debris as they explore vents of red- hot lava, exploding and imploding inches away from their hand- held cameras. At one point, a diver is hit in the back by a forcefully extruded chunk of rock, while others poke the emerging lava with spears and hammers, seemingly comfortable in the 110 waters. 29 Many films focused on seismic activity and plate tectonics, which had superior affective value (explosions, eruptions, etc). Among the best were Not So Solid Earth (prod. William H. Terry, NET/Time-Life), a history of the plate tectonics theory, beginning with the work

156 of Alfred Wegener, taking the viewer on board the Glomar Challenger, then visiting earth core repositories, where geologic history is unveiled. The Nova series of films, made initially by the BBC, were co- produced, and later made, by Boston s WGBH. Distributed to schools by Time- Life, they were intellectually stimulating and visually interesting. Message in the Rocks (1979, prod. Alec Nisbett) featured interviews with many leading British geologists in their labs and in the field, discussing plate tectonics, different types of rock, and mountain and continent building. Tools such as the X- ray and mass spectrometer were introduced as age measurement technologies. An explanation of the latter technology was available in an earlier, non Nova film, director Mallory Pearce s Mass Spectrometry (1971, John Wiley & Sons), an informative, yet Three Science and Math Films 145 Filmmaker Bruce Russell with his invention, the DiscoveryScope. somewhat dry effort explaining how the spectrometer works, and describing the kinds of information that the instrument yields. Whether due to lack of creativity, ennui on the part of the filmmakers, or the traditionally low budgets provided for the subject, films on the use, reading, and making of maps for primary- grade learners were, for the most part, dismal affairs, consisting of maps, lines, and protractors explained by an off- screen narrator, as was the case with both Map Skills: Understanding Latitude (1971, Coronet, dir. James J. Cullen), and Maps and Their Meanings (1969, Academy Films, uncredited director). There is at least one exception, director Rick Harper s Meadowlark Lemon Presents the World (1984, Pyramid), in which the Harlem Globetrotters star presents a funny, corny, and ultimately charming view of his planet. For secondary viewers, the choices were greater, although one suspects that the very good films on maps made by the NFBC, by virtue of their Canadian orientation, were unfortunately overlooked by stateside film librarians. Two of the finest are To Make a Map (1977, NFBC), directed by Douglas Cameron and Ted Parks, showing how maps are made of cold Baffin Island, and director Guy Dufaux s Charting the Frozen Sea (1983, NFBC), in which the CSS Hudson carries out its mission to map the Beaufort Sea before the winter sets in. The film features exceptional animation by Daniel Langlois, with lurid neon sea lane indicators and remarkable exploded terrestrial diagrams. 30 Atmospheric Science was the name of an exceptional series of eight films on weather distributed by Coronet, including two visually astounding films made by Bruce Russell, Clouds and Precipitation and Violent Storms (both 1986). In the former, time- lapse cinematography shows the formation and dispersal of clouds, while the latter film includes a visually arresting lightning storm compressed into several seconds, again through time- lapse cinematography. While earth science films were primarily focused on the geology of the planet, the emerging field of ecology was the basis for a number of films looking not only at interrelationships of systems, but at the potential or real danger of their disappearance as well. CREDIT: BRUCE RUSSELL

157 146 Films You Saw in School VII. Ecology Ecology films ranged in subject matter from save the animals to save energy films. The best of them were thought- provoking, intelligent discourses on the consequences of acting before first reflecting on the possible far- reaching results of the action. The less successful were preachy and didactic, and the toughest to endure were those accompanied by sappy folky- type musical soundtracks. Occasionally, eco films could be faulted for talking down to the audience to such a degree that they were almost unwatchable for any age group. Director David H. Vowell s Say Goodbye (1971, Wolper) was difficult enough to get through considering the folky theme tune by Dory Previn and the phlegmatic narration of pop- poet Rod McKuen; of the film itself, it s hard to tell which is worse, the recreated scene depicting the shooting of a mother polar bear and cubs that never really occurred (although the eco- helicopter that scared the bejeezus out of them during the filming was certainly no recreation), or the slow- motion killing of a prairie dog in all its gory detail. In the former scene, dripping with melodrama, the viewer is assaulted with the recurring image of all- of-a-sudden alone polar bear cubs, as the image is replayed over and over again (as we learn thorough the credits, mom and cubs are actually alive and happy). In the prairie dog sequence, whether the animal was killed at the behest of the filmmaker, or whether the crew just happened by with a motion picture camera, the gratuitous violence was wholly unnecessary to get across the point, and brought up instead a completely new moral question asked by probably more than one viewer: if you re close enough to film it, aren t you re close enough to stop it? A far superior film on the subject of humankind s impact on endangered species was director Robin Lehman s non- narrated 1975 Academy Award- winning short film, The End of the Game (1975, Phoenix). Lehman provides a series of interesting shots of animals, accompanied by his own electro- acoustic music score consisting of real- time, as well as speeded- up sounds of animals, ethnic music, and human voices. Toward the end of this half- hour film, guns are cocked, shots are heard, and animals disappear from the now barren terrain. The next several shots show various species fleeing from our point of view, and finally, time- lapse cinematography shows shadows growing longer over rocky outcrops overlooking an empty world. Lehman is not only one of the finest cinematographers in the animal genre, but the inventiveness of his music scores stands far above most of the music used in educational film. Although synching up with on- screen animal motion, Lehman is never condescending or over- obvious, as is the fault with so many of Disney s animal films accompanied by their anthropomorphized musical scores. Director Stan Minasian s Last Days of the Dolphins? (1975, Environmental Defense Fund) also makes a cogent argument for a quick decision on the plight of marine mammals without plunging into bathos and folk music while doing so. Director Jim Dutcher s exceptional photography was showcased in Water, Birth, the Planet Earth (1984, Coronet). This two- part series (comprising The Land and The Sea), investigated the habitat of water and shore creatures in close- up shots of crabs devouring tadpoles, frogs consuming mosquito larvae, and various forms of single- celled sea animals. Dutcher s choice of Pachelbel s overplayed Canon as the musical score, however, was an unfortunate one, causing untold viewers sleepless nights, doing everything in their creative powers to get that repetitive ditty 31 out of their heads. Pachelbel Canonitis was also a large part of the undoing of Dewitt Jones s John Muir s High Sierra (1972, Pyramid), a nicely filmed journey through Yosemite, augmented by historical photos and passages from the naturalist s diaries; neither Mike Isenberg s lavish score, nor the seemingly hesitant narration by the uncredited speaker, serve to help the film evolve beyond being a

158 Three Science and Math Films 147 travelogue full of pretty pictures. By contrast, the visuals and music are equally effective in producer Hugh O Connor s Face of the High Arctic 1958), with the terrifying and drastic loneliness of director Dalton Muir s phenomenal cinematography punctuated by Robert Fleming s stark and powerful French horn laden musical score. Eco films crossed over and through many disciplines in order to achieve the objective of giving the viewer the tools to be able to explain why seemingly disparate elements were actually an interrelated process. Two films distributed by LCA in 1970 were very good examples of blending the ecological with sociological: Two Grasslands: Texas and Iran (directed by Georges Dufaux and Mark Harris) and Two Deserts: Sahara and Sonora, directed by Andrew Nemes. In the former, the Qashquai rug culture of Iran is contrasted with the Dub Jones farm near San Angelo, Texas; in the latter, farming in California s dry Imperial Valley is compared to the challenges of daily existence in Saharan Africa. Several eco films expressed a Back-to-the-Earth approach, addressing alternate forms of energy, eco- friendly building materials and processes, and conservation of resources. Bullfrog Films, primarily dedicated to producing ecology films, made two of the more memorable and popular films of this genre, Living the Good Life (1977, dir. John Hoskyns- Abrahall), and director Daniel Hoffman s Toast (1974). In the former, we visit writer/economist/ philosophers Scott (93 years old) and Helen (74) Nearing, emphasizing their pay as you go approach, a return to basic, fundamental economics. They d been homesteading for 45 years when Hoskyns- Abrahall filmed them at Forest Farm, on Penobscott Bay, near Harborside, Maine. The latter film painstakingly records the myriad forms of energy used in creating a piece of burnt toast. Two of the more remarkable films expressing the Back-to-the-Earth philosophy were Ruth Stout s Garden (1976, prod. Arthur Mokin) and director Tony Ianzelo s Bate s Car: Sweet as a Nut NFBC). The protagonists of these films, Stout and Bate, advocate self- sufficiency. The latter s use of chicken manure to power his automobile, and the sequence involving his perpetual- motion bicycle, are memorable. Complementing such films, which showed how some people practice an eco- friendly existence, were films more technological in nature, describing current and potential alternative energy sources. One of the more notable of these was director Bert Van Bork s Energy from the Sun (1980, 2nd ed., EB), showcasing large solar boilers located at remote desert locations. Director Stanley Croner s Salt Marsh: A Question of Values (1975) deserves mention for its advocacy of ecological ethics and superb photography by Rick Robertson. How serious was the need for students to be aware of ecological issues? Concurrent with the eco- movement was its reactionary counterpart, in the guise of films providing heavily biased data coming from the public relations desks of corporate business interests. Consider Land (1976, prod. Mike Jackson, Playback Associates), a film that hails westward expansion by glorifying open- pit mining and logging of forests, lauding the settlers while failing to mention that the land they seemed to consider a birthright was, in fact, occupied by indigenous tenants who were cheated of, or forced off, their land. This film is part of the five- film American Enterprise series sponsored by Phillips Petroleum, each hosted by William Shatner, who plays the part of a different character in each film. VIII. Biology Encyclopædia Britannica Films comprehensive Biology series, begun in 1956, became a staple in science curriculum. It was led by chief advisor Ralph Buchsbaum, a zoology pro-

159 148 Films You Saw in School COURTESY BARINDA SAMRA ZARN Author Geoff Alexander (left) with Ralph Buchsbaum, producer of EB s Biology series. fessor at the University of Pittsburgh, who had gained fame through his pre- college textbook, Animals Without Backbones, written while teaching at the University of Chicago. 32 First published in 1938, the book remains fascinating reading decades later, not only for its content, but also for its extraordinarily beautiful Art Deco and Japanese- inspired scratchboard illustrations, created by his sister Elizabeth Buchsbaum. In one astounding example, the cycle of flatworm parasitism in humans is illustrated by a worker gracefully planting seed stalks in a rice paddy, while human fecal material, used for generations as fertilizer, slowly descends into the paddy, where the eggs of the blood fluke are ingested by snails, ejected as worms, then enter the skin of its human host. In terms of the text, Ralph Buchsbaum dances between the poetic, glib, informative, and downright moral: [T]hese dried and bleached (coral) skeletons are beautiful but they give about as good an impression of the exquisite beauty of living, expanded corals as one would get of the beauty of a woman from her whitened bones [photograph caption, following p. 102]. Because of their ability to go for months without food, planarias (flatworms) make ideal household pets for people who are too busy or too absent- minded to keep an exacting animal like a canary [p. 113]. There is a tendency among most people to look upon parasitism as an aberrant way of life and upon parasites as being somehow immoral or at least less respectable than their free- living relatives. But since there are more parasites than free- living individuals, a parasitic existence must be considered a normal way of life. Who can say that the parasite, the very existence of which depends upon doing as little harm as possible to its host, is a less considerate creature than the voracious carnivore, which kills its victim outright? [p. 150]. Most people insist they are revolted by the long legs and hairiness, but no one on record

160 Three Science and Math Films 149 has ever objected to these same characteristics in a Russian wolfhound [a photo caption, on the subject of tarantulas]. [Mosquitoes are] indirectly responsible for more deaths than any other agency, including war. Means of control are well known in most cases but are not applied on a wide enough scale because men spend too much time fighting each other instead of their real enemies, the insects [photo caption]. Ralph Buchsbaum was born on January 2, 1907, in Chiquita, Oklahoma Territory, where his father was a practicing physician. He obtained a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, and made his first film, Sand Dune Succession (unknown company) in He enlisted with the Army after Pearl Harbor, learned to fly, taught enemy aircraft recognition, and eventually was transferred to Air Force Intelligence at #10 Broad Street in New York, where he worked with the Arctic- Desert-Tropic Information Service. Here, he wrote descriptions of islands where U.S. troops were to invade, discussing the beaches, landing conditions, vegetation, and poisonous fish. After the war, he began teaching at the University of Pittsburgh. After being engaged by EB s Warren Everote, Buchsbaum began a weekend commute between Pittsburgh and Evanston that would encompass fifty visits, allowing him to write film scenarios and edit rough cuts on Saturdays and Sundays. The filming itself was made at universities suggested by Buchsbaum, and done by various EB producers, including Bert Van Bork and John Walker, who would return partially competed films for Buchsbaum s weekend reviews. Buchsbaum was paid a flat fee of $50 a day for his work, an arrangement he later rued accepting in lieu of royalties, which, in retrospect, would have been more profitable, in view of the sales success of the series. 33 Viewed today, the films occupy a transitional stage between the extremely didactic early academic science films of the 1940s and 1950s, and the spectacular cinematic work of the likes of Bert Van Bork, Ken Middleham, Bruce Russell, and Georg Schimanski in the mid to-late 1970s. Their value lies mainly in their comprehensiveness. The flat narrative style in common practice during the 1950s and early 1960s at EB unfortunately diminishes much of the affective value of the cinematography (e.g., Origin of Land Plants: Liverworts & Mosses, 1963, produced by John Walker). Nonetheless, many films featured sequences that could, on occasion, be shocking, as in director John Walker s Segmentation: Annelid Worms, (1961, EB) showing leeches sucking on a man s eyelid. One of the more interesting films in the series was Bert Van Bork s Cave Community (1960), another uncomfortable- to-dangerous assignment that other filmmakers might have refused outright. Van Bork relates an interesting series of events surrounding the making of the film. Arriving in McMinnville, Tennessee, the town nearest to the Cumberland Caverns, the crew stopped at a hamburger stand for lunch. Sorry, no more hamburgers, they were told, even though other patrons were eating. Suspicious that those in the film crew were government agents looking for illegal stills, the small community agreed that no one was to cooperate with Van Bork. Needing several local workers to assist in helping to carry, lower, and raise the equipment from the cave, the filmmaker was refused personnel by the local employment office. Van Bork eventually overcame this problem by hiring a team of black workers, who were disconnected from the community power structure. Upon emerging from the cave, Van Bork and the workers were pelted with stones from angered residents. The filming itself was arduous, too: first, Van Bork lowered himself by rope so he could film the others descending, then he and the others crawled through passages so narrow they had to remove their belts and pants to get through. Electricity was cabled from the surface, enabling

161 150 Films You Saw in School them to generate enough light to succeed with the slow ASA 10 film stock which was standard in Cave Community is a transitional film, containing elements of static 1950s-style educational filmmaking, including elementary graphics and a stilted narrative. It also includes sequences that are precursors to the more modern era of academic filmmaking that was to follow, exemplified by the closing shot, silhouetting the large, looming human shadow figures slowly walking off- frame, casting their spectres against the sides of the cavern. This shot provides a German- Expressionist hue which seems more out of Fritz Lang s M than a biology series funded by EB. A brilliant and bizarre example of an offbeat biology film was Cory Lu s Nematodes (EB, 1973), filmed partially in the lab of the California Institute of Technology s Richard Russell. Lu chose to juxtapose footage of toys with the actions of the earthworm, in one instance, following the coupling of toy train cars with a sequence of mating. In the final sequence, the earthworm is strangled by a nematode- eating fungus, prefaced by a shot of a Raggedy- Ann doll hanging from a noose. The musical soundtrack consists of Mozart s Ah! Vous derai- je Maman (K. 265), better known as Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. The avant- garde jazz soundtrack was a keynote in director Tom Smith s Food from the Sun EB). This film on the subject of photosynthesis featured music by uncredited musicians that today appear in all likelihood to be the noted Art Ensemble of Chicago. About the music, Smith notes: COURTESY ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, INC. Bert Van Bork (center) and Arthur Botham (right) filming Cave Community (EB, 1960), along with unidentified others.

162 Three Science and Math Films 151 It was a group of perhaps five or six musicians led by a pianist. The pianist prepared the piano inserting things over the strings, etc. (It was a good Steinway I rented for the occasion and brought to our small sound studio.) There was no written music. I projected the sequences where I wanted music and they improvised as it ran. I probably projected it four or five time and they dabbled with various approaches. Then we recorded it. We may have done a few takes before we were satisfied so it was a fun evening of images and sounds. IX. Genetics and DNA Commonly, films on the subject of genetic characteristics, while informative, lacked a strong affective presence, as was the case with director John Armstrong s Structure of Protein (1970, BFA) and Genetics and Plant Breeding (1970, BFA), directed by David Morphet. On the other hand, one of the strangest, most fun, and perhaps most unforgettable films in the science genre was Robert Alan Gabriel Weiss s Protein Synthesis: An Epic on the Cellular Level Harper & Row), produced by University of California at San Diego chemistry professor Kent Wilson, and choreographed by Weiss s future wife and 1969 America s Junior Miss, Jackie Benington. After a short description of the interaction between stars 30s Ribosome, mrna, and Initiator Factor One by Stanford s Paul Berg, the camera moves to an open field at Stanford University, where 200 students, fortified by complimentary wine, begin a Bacchanalian dance replicating the process of DNA formation. Benington kept some degree of order by making sure that each string of processes was led by a student in the advanced modern dance program at the university, but clearly the dancers are barely controlled, spurred on by a free- music band of musicians, who, clearly inspired by their philosophical and geographical proximity to both Haight- Ashbury and the Merry Pranksters La Honda, perform a raucous piece called the Protein Jive Sutra. In addition to being a superior example of affective filmmaking, this is a landmark film defining the early 1970s San Francisco Bay Area art, performance, and alternative lifestyles culture. Weiss, a multifaceted individual who eventually became a doctor of internal medicine and led a twenty- piece jazz band, stated thirty years later that perhaps the most satisfying element about the film is how well the biological model presented in the film held up over the ensuing years. 35 Director Ronald Fouracre s The DNA Story (1976, Media Guild) documents the efforts of James D. Watson and Francis Crick to solve the structure of DNA. Watson and Crick, who engage in a spirited dialogue, are the stars of the film, and judging from the ebullient musings of Crick, major facets of their work were determined in tearooms and pubs. Next to Crick, Watson seems neatly buttoned- down, except for his hair, which grows more unruly as the film progresses, finally resembling the rambling DNA model that brought the two to fame (director Fouracre probably recognized a comic element in this, as he went on, several years later, to direct an episode in British comedian Benny Hill s television series, Benny Goes Bonkers). The film addresses hard science as a detective story, fought by gumshoes in labcoats instead of trenchcoats, clipboards instead of snubnose.44 specials. Along the way we meet important players such as Maurice Wilkins, who left the world of nuclear weaponry, and discover his professional battle with Rosalind Franklin at King s College. Linus Pauling muses on his wrong- way path down the polypeptide chain, and mentions a head cold he acquired prior to vitamin C. In Danish director Ove Nyholm s Children of the Future (1984, EB), the scientific and philosophical challenges of genetic engineering are presented through artistically beautiful models of DNA and cellular structures, probed by what might appear

163 152 Films You Saw in School to be a laparoscopic camera. Several experts in the field are interviewed and discuss their work in this engaging film. X. Microscopic Life Forms The filming of minute life forms through the light microscope is known by three nearly interchangeable terms: photomicrography, photomicroscopy, and cinemicroscopy. One of the earliest cinematographers working in this realm was renowned still photographer Roman Vishniac. Director Arthur Zegart s The Worlds of Dr. Vishniac Educational Testing Service) focuses on his technique and philosophy, showing his Arriflex photomicrography setup in his New York City lab, and making the point that the cinematographer exclusively films live animals, returning them to their point of origin after filming has been completed. 36 Building on the initial work of Vishniac, three individuals figure prominently as producers of many of the more notable photomicrography films of the decades of the 1970s and 1980s: Bruce J. Russell, Peter Boulton, and Georg Schimanski. Russell taught biology for six years, and was hired as a subject matter expert for a series of film loops shot by Bert Van Bork for EB. Recalling the project, Russell stated: I knew virtually nothing about filming techniques when we did the project, but after two weeks of watching Van Bork work, I knew quite a bit. His first foray into film was a brief stint as a cameraman for Oakley Thorne in Colorado, shooting stock footage of water weasels. Thorne soon lent him his Bolex camera, allowing Russell, along with associate J. David Denning, to film a series of 15 films on protozoa, Inhabitants of the Planet Earth, for Ward s Natural Sci- CREDIT:ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, INC. Cinemicrographer Roman Vishniac at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, 1963.

164 Three Science and Math Films 153 ence. Russell s BioMedia company was founded in 1973, and after the Inhabitants series was finished, Russell entered into a production agreement with Coronet films, in which the filmmaker would be paid $10 per foot of finished film. Beginning with his 1978 film Life in Lost Creek (Fresh Water Ecology), Russell would go on to create some of the most astoundingly beautiful science films ever made (Coronet sold an estimated 1000 units of each title every year, at roughly $200 $400 per unit). 37 In titles such as Molecular Biology and Behavioral Biology (both 1981, Coronet), Russell combines engaging informational content with spectacular color microphotography. Perhaps his most significant affective film is the almost psychedelic Imaging a Hidden World The Light Microscope Coronet), in which the filmmaker shows the student how to produce, under a conventional microscope, brilliant color and luminous renderings of biological animals through the manipulation of gels and lighting. Russell, one of the few educational filmmakers who continued to be successful into the new millennium, continued to produce biological titles in video format. He was the inventor of the DiscoveryScope, a hand- held field microscope with a pond water reservoir and camera attachment, that has been sold to thousands of schools and students across North America. In Great Britain, Peter Boulton s Boulton- Hawker Films, a family- run organization consisting of son David, graphics- designing daughter Anne Rea, son- in-law Nigel Rea, and cinematographer Rosemary Cizmowska, was making exceptional biological titles that were distributed in North America in Benchmark Films 12-part Modern Biology series. Fungi (1983) is full of attention- getters, including a close- up of a particularly virulent fungal growth on someone s large toenail, and features an exciting keyboard soundtrack by Andrew Hellaby, CREDIT: BOULTON- HAWKER FILMS Peter Boulton s time- lapse studio.

165 154 Films You Saw in School reminiscent of Manfred Mann s Earthband of the mid 1970s. Fungi and Man (1983) goes beyond the didactic, showing nasty mold on kitchen foods, as well as the reactions of the disgusted homeowners prior to introducing the brilliantly photographed molds. Characteristics of all Boulton scientific films include spectacular cinematography (volvox, in Protista: Protozoa and Algae, 1981, is breathtaking), creative graphics and engaging narration. The Benchmark series also included at least one film by the brilliant German microcinematographer, Georg Schimanski, Slime Molds: Plasmodial and Cellular (1989), made originally for FWU, and edited for the U.S. market by Benchmark s Mike Solin. 38 Schimanski, also a master of slow- motion cinematography, made significant films such as The Housefly (3rd ed., 1982, EB), Seeds Scatter (1984, Churchill) and The Tree (1977, NFBC). Director Bert Van Bork s Protists: Form, Function, and Ecology (2nd ed., 1986, EB), like many of his other films, had elements of shock value mixed with pure science: in this case, he shows a worker removing clumps of partially digested food from a window surgically implanted in the rumen of a cow, strenuously wringing the liquid from the material into a bucket, then examining the existing protists under a microscope. In addition, the film shows the death of a paramecium killed by a nutrient- poor environment, and focuses attention on the plethora of protists living in intestinal tracts. Chick Embryo: From Primitive Streak to Hatching (1960, EB), produced by David Ridgway, is notable for the interesting time- lapse and microphotography sequences by K.T. Rogers, showing the evolution of a chick from its most fundamental element. Producer William Peltz Amphibian Embryo (Frog, Toad, Salamander) (1963, EB), also showcases K.T. Rogers s beautiful slow- motion photomicrography in the cell division sequence. XI. The Human Body Prior to the early 1970s, films on the human body tended to be laden with didactic narration and ho- hum graphics (e.g., Your Voice, 1949, uncredited director, EB Films), but with the advent of newer viewing technology, including endoscopes and electron microscopes, a fascinating world of viscera, blood highways, and full- service waterworks became graphically apparent to learners. One of the earliest classroom films to show the advances of photographic technology was The Incredible Voyage (1968, prod. Isaac Kleinerman). Produced as an episode in CBS News 21st Century series, this visually exciting endoscopic journey through arteries, stomachs, and trachea also featured a spectacular electronic music score composed by Otto Luening and Vladimir Ussachevsky. Utilizing newer medical imaging technologies, the films produced by Charles Finance for EB beginning in the late 1960s provided exceptional classroom content on both a cognitive and affective level. The pink, pumping lungs jutting out from the open incision and the endoscope s travel through the lungs in Respiration in Man (1968, EB, dir. Frank V. Robinson, prod. Charles Finance) would virtually guarantee the attention of any audience, although the carbon dioxide experiment on the sedated dog would probably not pass muster in today s more sensitive climate. Similarly, the fascinating work of Dr. Wilfred Mommaerts at UCLA, activating frogs muscles to study the work of fibrils under the electron microscopic, is viewed in Muscle: Dynamics of Contraction (1969, EB, prod. Charles Finance). Another Robinson- Finance collaborative film, The Work of the Kidneys (1972, EB), provided views of exposed kidneys, augmented by intelligible, professional drawings. EB was known for its graphically arresting work on human body films. In Ears and

166 Three Science and Math Films 155 Hearing (2nd ed., EB, 1969), director Richard Barlow and producer Charles Finance created a visually compelling series of sequences on the subject of the inner ear. In addition to illustrating the workings of the ear through Gerald Williamson s glowing, glass- like model of the cochlea, the film showed close- ups of the hammer, anvil, and stirrup, gleaned from cadavers. In another sequence, the EB team filmed a delicate operation as seen through an endoscope, in which a defective stirrup is replaced with a metal prosthesis. Several EB films on the subject of the human body were made under the direction of director Bruce Hoffman and animator David Alexovich. Hoffman, who self- effacingly credits his rise at EB to nepotism, 39 combined intellectual curiosity and humor in reworking many older EB titles into exciting new editions. Hoffman s Skin: Its Structure and Function (1983, EB) featured exceptional animation by the team led by David Alexovich, augmented by beautiful electron- microscopic close- ups and sight- gags that explain what makes some people smell badly. Other notable titles produced by Bruce Hoffman include Blood: The Microscopic Miracle (1983, EB), The Human Brain (1983, EB, winner of the EFLA Blue Ribbon award), and The Digestive System (1981), which, although starting off slowly, provides startling knowledge about the function of the spleen, gall bladder, and appendix, and the awful truth about the toxic stomach gases. Alexovich s work is stunning in the EB Biology series, both in his animated introductions (which feature a spine being stretched and plucked like a cello string), and his use of the multi- plane animation stand, allowing the viewer the pleasure of wandering over, around, inside and outside nerve ganglia (Nervous System, 1981, EB, prod. Cheryl Jefferson). The elementary market for young learners was well served by Nicholson- Muir Productions I Am Joe series, consisting of eleven droll, yet enlightening films on aspects of the human body. Based on a number of articles by J.T. Ratcliff originally appearing in Reader s Digest, these titles cleverly combined live action, two- dimensional animation and clay animation, and were produced over a period of roughly twenty years. Films in the series included Eye, Foot, Hand, Lung, Heart, Kidney, Liver, Skin, Spine, and Stomach. The earlier films in particular were of interest due to the animation by Clokey Productions. In I am Joe s Heart (1971, Pyramid, dir. Nick Nicholson) Art Clokey, best known for his Gumby syndicated television series, created a spectacular clay beating heart, augmented by interesting stop and reverse- motion cinematography, set against a Dalíesque surrealist landscape. Clokey produced animated sequences for at least several of the other early 1970s Joe films. In the 1980s, several of the titles, including Heart, were revised, and judging by the publicity stills for the later iterations, Clokey s sequences might not have been retained. The latter films, even with the apparent absence of Clokey, are still noteworthy. Director Randy Wright s I Am Joe s Ear (1986, Pyramid) illustrates the workings of the inner ear, with dad s increasing deafness adding an element of human interest. Notable for the exceptional anatomical drawings by Wendy Vanguard, director Tom Lazarus s Muscle: A Study of Integration (1972, CRM) discussed the internal workings of muscle tissue and its biochemical integration with other structures. XII. Plant Life Filmmakers working with plant subjects prior to 1960 must have known that students watching such films might have a short attention span, given the relative inactivity of the subject matter. Perhaps that s the reason so many of them have an anthropomorphic character,

167 156 Films You Saw in School like EB s The Dodder (1931, uncredited director). Amidst beautiful time- lapse cinematography, the plodding narrator insults this intelligent parasite with a fondness for the flax stem, calling it this evildoer truly a villain of the plant world which serves no useful purpose as it merrily entwines itself, dancing round its maypole of a host. Bert Van Bork made several outstanding films on the processes by which plants grow, among them Photosynthesis (3rd edition, 1981, EB) in which a negative placed on a leaf produces a positive image, a film far more effective at presenting the concept than Coronet s relatively flat Photosynthesis: Biochemical Process (uncredited director), released in Moving beyond the cell- and-photosynthesis emphasis of many of the biological films, several titles made on the subject of the aesthetic beauty, behavior, and uses of plants themselves are worthy of mention. Alan Root s treatments of African animals and ecosystems, discussed below, have rarely been equaled. In addition, his Baobab: Portrait of a Tree (1973, Benchmark) is a one- hour, endlessly fascinating investigation into the insects, birds and animals that thrive on, in and around this giant of the sub Saharan landscape. Also worth noting is producer Mike Rosenberg s Amate: The Great Fig Tree (1986), in which photographers Richard Foster and Derek Bromhall explore the howler monkeys, iguanas, and wasps that inhabit this arboreal home in Belize. Not all plant films were entirely scientific in nature; Neill McKee s Bamboo: The Miracle Grass (1987, NFBC) explored its economic and cultural importance as well to the nations of China and Thailand Time-lapse cinematography lent itself particularly well to films on plants, compressing months- long growth cycles to mere seconds. Three of its most notable exponents were Peter Boulton (How Plants Climb, 1975, Boulton- Hawker/IFB), Georg Schimanski (Seeds Scatter, 1984, FWU/Churchill), and Ken Middleham. Carnivorous Plants (1973, dir. Thomas Stanton) superbly shows off Middleham s startling cinematography, replete with slow- motion bug captures and devourings, in livid (might we say lurid?) color. Stanton and Middleham collaborated on another outstanding film in 1985, Seeds on the Move, featuring a remarkable time- lapse sequence in which fungal spoors are released in clouds produced by droplets of water falling on the pod in which they re contained. The harvesting of plants was the subject of two fascinating documentaries. Director Robert Lang s Fragile Harvest (1986, NFBC) describes how the interdependency of wheat seed varieties is being threatened by the acquisition of family- owned seed companies by petrochemical companies. The film points out that the economic, cultural, and nutritional aspects to the weakening diversity of world wheat production are formidable, and pose questions pertaining to the interrelated issues of culture, sustenance, and business. The Taste of Tomorrow (1980, NFBC), directed by William Canning, describes food and eating trends in North America, and includes several appearances by the dry and witty Dr. Ross Hume Hall from McMaster University, who delights in spilling junk food on his desk before denigrating the contents. The film also includes a wonderful sequence on tea tasters. XIII. Animal Life The manner in which animal subjects were treated thematically in the educational film varied widely from the anthropomorphism of Disney, to the analytical approach favored by researchers such as George Schaller. Looking at these films unveils a fascinating chronology that parallels the philosophical approaches chronologically made by humans interfacing with

168 Three Science and Math Films 157 the animal kingdom. The films are a record at times an indicting one of alternating respect and abuse, sometimes colored with the silliness of Mickey- Mousing musical accompaniment, or the coolness of the scientific method. Many of the most compelling of these films, which included the work of Peter Chermayeff and Alan Root, largely left the viewer alone with the animals, to make his or her own conclusions. This type of film became more progressive moving into the 1970s, reflecting the emergence of the ecological and preservation movements in North America, and the escalation of the value of non- human species in the minds of humans. With several exceptions, among them being the films of Arne Sucksdorff, pre 1960 films on animal subjects were more than occasionally sensationalist in nature, often portraying animal subjects as deadly, anti- human, or bizarre. Killers of the Insect World (1939, Woodard Production/Teaching Film Custodians), made by an uncredited director, utilized insects as gladiators in a specially lit arena, pitting spiders against scorpions, then scorpions against each other in a deadly match of tiny titans, in a film promoted as educational fare. Other treatments derived from notoriously inaccurate adventure travelogues, a particularly odious example being Killer Gorilla United World/Castle, unknown director), focusing on a gorilla hunt culminating in the killing of an ape that had been dead for several days, its belly ripped open from port to starboard. If its fly- encrusted mouth could have spoken, it might have told of the awful job its dispatchers must have had, lugging its carcass from one spot to another for camera set- ups, as it heated up under the stifling Congo sun. Noted Swedish documentarian Arne Sucksdorff s well- made films on animal life were popular in both schools and theaters in the 1940s and 1950s. Much of Sucksdorff s childhood was spent in solitary journeys in the woods, and while a youth, he developed an expertise in taming wild animals. He began making films in 1941 after achieving success as a still photographer. Refusing to hide the harsher aspects of nature, Sucksdorff was accused of deliberately creating events that led to predatory actions, the beneficiaries generally being his own tamed pets, or wild animals he had befriended through occasional feeding, such as the wild owl who, used to the presence of the filmmaker, hunted and devoured a mouse that the filmmaker had produced from his pocket and placed near the foot of a tree, on cue. Sucksdorff viewed the elements of hunting as an essential part of nature, preferring to portray the realistic aspects of life and death. After World War II, the filmmaker concentrated on ethnographic and social subjects (in 1948 his Rhythm of a City won the Oscar for best documentary short subject). He eventually moved to Brazil, directing a film school and showing increasing concern for the plight of indigenous rain forest people. The versions of his films distributed American schools suffered to a certain extent from the juvenile narration added by Encyclopædia Britannica, who envisioned elementary, rather than secondary school markets for them. Nevertheless, with Sucksdorff s exceptional camera work and superb editing, they are important films within both ethnographic and nature contexts. Perhaps the most notable of them was Gray Gull the Hunter (1944, EB). Shot on the island of Karlsoarna, this dramatic interpretation of marauding sea gulls robbing the nests of murres to devour their young was noted by contemporary critics as symbolic of the Nazi plunder of Europe. Sucksdorff, in denying that this had been his intention, refused to be offended by such theories, noting that only dead films lacked variation in interpretation. 40 Other Sucksdorff films distributed by EB include The Bear and the Hunter (1955, EB) and Adventures of a Baby Fox: A Story in Rhyme (1955, EB), a rhymed adventure concerning a fox who eats bird eggs and insects, probably a variation

169 158 Films You Saw in School of Sucksdorff s A Summer s Tale (1941). In the latter film, Sucksdorff s opening images are reminiscent of Monet s impressionist waterscapes, juxtaposed later with an expressionist treatment of a derelict barn, whose decayed wood is broken by jagged shafts of sunlight. One of the most justifiably recognized filmmakers on animal subjects was Londonborn and Kenya- bred Alan Root, who produced intellectually stimulating, beautifully photographed, and well- written films, many of which were produced by Britain s Anglia group and distributed in the U.S. by Benchmark Films. 41 His Mysterious Castles of Clay, an Oscar nominee for best documentary short of 1978, describes the ecosystem of African termite mounds, with fascinating visits by an aardvark (who makes a meal of them), ants (who kill them), and elephants (who, by using the mounds for a scratching post, destroy their homes). Castles carries the characteristics similar in all Root films: understated narration, little if any, music and length of sufficient duration to adequately treat the subject, typically one hour. Root s close- up lens provides a fascinating look inside the termite mound. Mzima: Portrait of a Spring (1983) shows off his facility as an underwater cinematographer, transforming the hippopotamus lumbering gait into graceful sub- surface movement more akin to flying. Otters and fish become partners in a ballet, but Root again returns to the transitional death theme, as the crocodile savagely twists off and devours part of a leg of a submerged impala kept in his private larder. One of Root s most compelling films is Kopjes: Islands in a Sea of Grass (1985). The first half hour or so of the film introduces the viewer to the different animals inhabiting these rocky hills in the West African savanna, including the black eagle, hyrax, caracal, and lizard. Root s camera soars high above the plain, hunting for nesting spots, searching for hyrax; in slow motion, it captures the caracal s six- foot leap to catch a bird attempting to fly away. Root is no stranger to the danger of the savanna. In one sequence, he s close enough to the lion that we re sure it can smell the cinematographer, who, undaunted, concentrates instead of the lizards that dart across the beast s body, snatching away flies before being swatted themselves; hidden in a small cave, the porcupine lumbers by the camera, close enough within the confined space that the viewer wonders how Root didn t get plugged. By the end of the film, the hand of humankind is introduced, from rock painting on the kopjes to the granite outcroppings that, when struck, produce a gong- like tone, providing a musical ending for the film, transitioning from a series of single notes to a larger composition for rock gong performed by Marc Wilkinson. Kopjes is more than a great animal film; it illustrates the magic that can occur when a filmmaker of vision is given the time and wherewithal to create a cinematic poem, and is one film to which subsequent films on a similar theme may be compared. Root s filming is often made under dangerous conditions; he had a hole ripped in his leg during an underwater hippo attack, was bitten by a leopard and a gorilla, and has suffered bouts of malaria and river blindness. Here, he describes the loss of a finger: I was bitten on the r.h. index finger when handling a very big Puff- Adder. I was in the Meru Nat Park, about seventy five mins flight from Nairobi. I had been bitten in the past by a burrowing adder and had the antivenin, and knew I might be allergic the second time around, so held off any injections. However, halfway to Nairobi I was vomiting and fainting so I had 20ccs of antivenin intramuscularly. On arrival at the hospital I was semi- conscious in fact from an allergic reaction to the antivenin not because of the bite. They had been told only that I had been bitten, so gave me another 20ccs of antivenin intravenously. This triggered anaphylactic shock, which very nearly killed me. I was resuscitated but the local damage around the hand was huge, and I lost the finger and a lot of the use and mobility of that hand. I ve had to move some of the buttons from the right hand control to the left so I can fly the helicopter! 42

170 Three Science and Math Films 159 Another important series of animal films completely eschewed narration, allowing the viewer to enjoy the subject itself without the benefit (or detriment) of commentary. Making two expeditions to Tanzania s Ngorongoro Crater (1971 and 1984), Peter Chermayeff returned with difficult- to-shoot footage of a host of fauna, and, in his Silent Safari series (EB), chose the sounds of the animals themselves for the audio track, accompanied by nothing more than a solo guitar, which, at least initially, appears incongruously out of place. Fading in and out at will, these two disparate elements actually work quite well together; and by the end of each film, the guitar is barely noticeable. The films themselves are wonderful works of art, simple, yet powerful. Chermayeff, now the well- known architect of several municipal aquariums (Baltimore and Lisbon, among others), was accompanied by a different wife on each trip, and borrowed Hugo van Lawick s Land Rover, camera, and cook each time. While all of the films in the series are worth viewing, perhaps Ostrich (1984, EB), showing mating and courtship rituals, and Wildebeest (1984, EB), showing a live birth and an infant escaping playful lions, are the most fascinating. The desire to attribute human characteristics to animals has spawned a whole school of animal- oriented filmmakers, the most notable of which were the Disney Studio, Jane Goodall and, to a certain extent, Jacques Cousteau. Walt Disney s foray into the wildlife world reportedly started with his visit to a camera store in Alaska run by amateur cinematographers Alfred and Elma Milotte, with the end result being the thirty- minute, Oscar- winning short directed by James Algar, Seal Island (1953). In the ensuing years, Disney would produce a stream of anthropomorphic animal pictures, among the most notable of which were the titles in the True-Life Adventure and White Wilderness series. The latter series consisted of three short films abridged from Disney s Oscar- winning documentary White Wilderness (1958): The Arctic Region and Its Polar Bears, Large Animals of the Arctic, and The Lemmings and Arctic Bird Life. These films, like many other Disney animal films, were noted for their corny, overly orchestrated music scores (usually by Oliver Wallace) and funny themes surrounding the alleged human attributes and actions of the animal subjects, who often appear to be manipulated by the crew or in postproduction. In director James Algar s The Living Desert (1953), for example, an optical printer is used in the scorpion square- dance sequence to synchronize forward and backwards movements to conform with the musical score. Only Mickey Mouse is missing. 43 Perhaps the most infamous instance of Disney s cinematic artifice can be found in the White Wilderness film Lemmings and Arctic Bird Life (1958, dir. James Algar), in which the animals appear to be propelled from land into a body of water. In fact, they were herded over the cliff by crew members, as cited by several sources, and close viewing of the film shows that several of the animals seem to be attempting to scamper away in the opposite direction. The idea of mass suicide among lemmings is no longer accepted by the zoological community, and still more lore suggests that the animals were conveyed overland to a staging area from which they were pitched into water. Some contemporary critics assailed Disney for showing the violent aspects of life in the wild. In Large Animals of the Arctic, a large hungry wolverine scampers up a tree to feast on a hapless young osprey, while in Jungle Cat of the Amazon (1960, directed by James Algar, a jaguar makes a nice meal out of a peccary. Perhaps critic Richard Schickel said it best, particularly in his analysis of the musical aspect of this particular body of work: The charge that he excessively emphasized the violence of nature does not stand up nearly so well as the charge that he prettified it. Nature is, after all, violent, and all one can say about his handling of life and death struggles is that it is quite wrong to make a tarantula or

171 160 Films You Saw in School a snake into a heavy, even by implication. There is no moral hierarchy among the species, and the business of cuing response through music, narration, or film editing that leads to this sort of ranking by the spectator is reprehensible. Just as bad is the business of reducing to a joke a mating ritual, or a young bird s attempt to master flight, or a young animal s first experience of the hunt. None of these matters, to put it simply, is funny to the participants, and they would not seem funny to us if we were to observe them unedited, with our own eyes, in the field. They become jokes only when the creatures are anthropomorphized for us by the film maker. The business of individualizing animals not only falsifies our understanding of them; in the last analysis, it cheapens experience, substituting patronization for the sense of awe that the truly sensitive observer feels in the presence of nature s enigmas. 44 Primatologist Jane Goodall, along with her husband Hugo Van Lawick, made a number of animal films commonly found in school film libraries. Probably the most financially successful of the Jane Goodall- Hugo van Lawick films dealt with primates (Introduction to Chimpanzee Behavior, 1977, Wolper/NGEO, produced by Randall Morgan). Many of the Goodall films have characteristically overbearing musical scores, as with Leonard Rosenman s ponderous music in Jane Goodall and the Baby Baboons (1974, edited from the motion picture Miss Goodall and the Baboons of Gombe). It s hard to buy the anthropomorphic slant of director Van Lawick s The Wild Dogs of Africa (1983, Swan Productions/Metromedia), and one soon tires of Goodall s cloying narration, and balks at the predictable happy ending, which arguably out Disneys Disney. While it s easy to appreciate the fine work Goodall has done to alert humankind to the plight of animals, her films, it would seem, hold up better as examples of propagandistic fare than they do as examples of scholarly filmmaking. A number of films commonly found in school libraries were made on the subject of experimental research, or outright experimentation, on animals. The most benign involved studying animal behavior in its natural habitat, while the darkest involved using live animals in laboratories to test behavioral theories. Such films could be used in a number of different curricular settings. A module on the subject of animal parenting might involve films describing animals who reach adolescence without parents (Life of the Sockeye Salmon, 1977, Journal, dir. Wilf Gray), with attentive parents (The Herring Gull: Social Organization in the Breeding Colony, 1983, Institut für film und bild/eb, dir. Reinhard Witt), or even surrogate parents crafted from mechanical devices (Animal Behavior: The Mechanism of Imprinting, 1977, Coronet, uncredited director). The latter, based on the work of ethologist Konrad Lorenz, includes sequences in which baby ducks bond with a balloon, a toy locomotive, and a toy duck, believing each to be their respective mothers. The Riddle of the Rook (1973, McGraw- Hill, produced by Dieter Franck and Christopher Parsons) described the behavior of the bird, considered to be a pest in farm communities, and efforts to limit its population. Franck also produced director Hugh Falkus s Animal War Animal Peace (1969, Time- Life), a study in aggressive territorial behaviors on the parts of herring gulls, squirrel monkeys, and stickleback fish. Biologist George B. Schaller, noted for his work in changing the perception of gorillas, produced Mountain Gorilla (1959, Penn State), describing, through a one- year pioneering study, the social organization and migration patterns of gorillas, filmed in their natural habitat. Another film on a similar theme is producer Quentin Brown s Dynamics of Male Bonding in a Baboon Troop (1968, Educational Services, Inc.), which investigated topics such as the use of food to determine male primacy. Controversial psychologist Harry F. Harlow s work in sensory deprivation of rhesus monkeys was documented in director Harold Mayer s Mother Love (1960, CBS News/Carousel). The film is uncomfortable to watch, including sequences

172 Three Science and Math Films 161 such as mother deprivation studies conducted using surrogate mothers constructed of wire and cloth. 45 The thirty- six episodes of the Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau series were available to schools in both one hour and half- hour versions. The films often utilized underwater equipment either wholly or partially designed by Cousteau, and were beautifully photographed, primarily shot by son Philippe Cousteau, often accompanied by Jean Renoir s son Jacques. In director Marcel Ichac s Legend of Lake Titicaca (1969, Metromedia), Cousteau and the 17-person crew of the Calypso leave the research ship in port and travel by train, accompanied by one- person submarines, in their quest to discover the reason native fish were dying in the highest navigable lake in the world. Two concurrent research projects involved discovering the effects of high- altitude diving and determining the presence of pre Columbian architecture and artifacts. Unable to move through the reed- enriched surface, the team discovers the value of centuries- old technology: utilizing boats made out of reeds, they now travel with ease, eventually landing on the banks of a small village of shy occupants, built on a bed of reeds. The film eventually focuses on the two- foot-long toads that inhabit the lake, which Cousteau surprisingly discovers crawling along the 400-foot-deep lake bottom. The overuse of music, often the Achilles heel of animal films, is generally kept in check by Walter Scharf, although he condescendingly uses a baritone sax to Mickey-Mouse the movement of a toad, similar to his use of a bassoon to accompany the waddle of a walrus in producer Andy White s Smile of the Walrus (1972, Metromedia). While the Cousteau films generally eschew the anthropomorphizing elements that bedevil many other animal films, the latter film finally buckles under the melodrama of the baby walrus separated from his mother, who then takes on a Calypso diver as a surrogate parent. While the sequence is cute, its length detracts from oceanographic and anthropological premises on which the film is based. The one- half hour adaptations of Undersea World were not as affectively and cognitively successful as the one- hour versions. The Unsinkable Sea Otter (1971/1975, Churchill Films, unknown director) shows interesting footage of swimming otters, but the scientific reason for the voyage is not fully explained and the viewer is forced to wait in ignorance until two thirds of the film has elapsed, at which time we discover that their survival is at stake. The editing is abrupt, and no end- credits are given. Sea Otter, however, does contain an alarming note, sounded among Leonard Rosenman s ocean of flutes that accompany otter- events. Narrator Rod Serling, from Douglas Muir s written text, tells of Cousteau s efforts to befriend an otter named Esprit, one of a group who instinctively take evasive action, and who are still suspicious of man. Soon, the otter is literally eating out of their hands. Later, Serling tells us, the Calypso crew is distressed to learn that Esprit has died of gunshot wounds because he had learned to trust and forgotten that all men are not worthy of trust, a somewhat poetic excuse that allows them the convenience of forgetting that it was their training that had led to the death of the animal. Though the work of Cousteau has undoubtedly brought greater understanding of the fragility of ocean ecosystems than ever before, the tragic hubris of anthropomorphism probably has no greater example than in this film. Director Robin Lehman made four films on sea life, at least two of which were extraordinary, in terms of cinematography and sound. The eerie, beautiful, and Oscar- nominated Nightlife (1975, Opus/Phoenix) featured nocturnal undersea creatures, and Undercurrents (1973, Opus/Phoenix), with its engaging musique- concrète musical score by Michael Fano and Jacqueline Lecompte, showed fascinating scenes of underwater life. Canadian filmmaker Wilf Gray made a number of memorable films on animal life and

173 162 Films You Saw in School nature. For Northwest: Mountains to the Sea (1977, Journal), Gray spent two weeks in the wilderness, filming (among other things) baby bears whose cries sound eerily like those of human babies. Gray s Northern Lakes (1978, Journal) featured Canada goose, owl, and beaver, while Voyage to the Arctic (1978, Journal) retraced George Vancouver s trip through the Inside Passage aboard the trawler Nathaniel Bowditch, as it churns into LeConte Bay to view the glacier, then moves onward to Ketchikan. COURTESY ELIZABETH SCHWARTZ Charles and Elizabeth Schwartz carrying film equipment to location in Puerto Rico.

174 Three Science and Math Films 163 Filmmakers Charles W. and Elizabeth Schwartz made 24 films on nature, most of which were produced for the Missouri Department of Conservation. From 1949 through 1978, Charlie and Libby Schwartz wandered through much of North America, Hawaii, and the Caribbean on arduous expeditions, carrying cumbersome camera, sound, and blind gear, filming birds, mammals, and reptiles. Typical of their work is Bobwhite through the Year (1953), an exceptional work that is detailed, well- shot, informative, and creative. Elizabeth Libby Schwartz recalls their early days in film: [The] equipment was archaic by today s standards. For example, [the] camera speed was too slow for synchronized sound or slow motion action. The cameras were spring- driven (wound up like old- fashioned alarm clocks), which meant they often stopped at an inopportune time. Sound was recorded on a microphone placed near the booming ground but this was powered by a large generator 400 feet away (because of the noise it made). Blinds of many different designs were used including some with two- way glass for observation. [Our films] all consumed time because we portrayed each species throughout an entire year of its life. The best way to do this was to film one picture while we edited the picture we had filmed the year before. Thus, our life became divided into sunny day work (filming) and rainy day work (editing and other indoor projects). Each night we d listen to the weather forecast that followed the 10 o clock news on the radio (later TV) and then decide on our program for the next day. 46 Walter and Myrna Berlet s films on birds are particularly fascinating. Walter Berlet began experimenting with 8mm film while operating a dry goods store in Casper, Wyoming, and performing occasional lectures for the Audubon Society. His first film, The Living Wilderness, was made for the Society in While in Casper, he met Myrna, a Minot State University biology major intending on teaching as a career. She soon changed career paths, and they became an inseparable film team, with Walt doing camerawork, and Myrna writing most of the scripts and handling the lion s share of the editing. One of their more memorable films is The Great Blue Heron Story (1989, Berlet), the filming of which necessitated their building a 60-foot-high camera scaffold adjacent to a nest. Since most rookeries are much higher than that, they had scouted several sites before finding one located in a Lake Erie marsh subject to constant flooding, resulting in stunted tree growth. The scaffold is shown in the film, and the process of making the film is briefly discussed. Ornithologist Olin Sewall Pettingill, Jr. was known for making outstanding films on bird life. His Birds of the Inland Waterways Coronet) showed the belted kingfisher in underground nests, along with glossy ibis, avocet, red- backed sandpiper, Canada goose and several members of the heron family in their native habitat. A number of the BBC s Horizon series of films appeared in the US, distributed by Time- Life, one of which was producer Tony Edwards Bird Brain: The Mystery of Bird Navigation (1974, Time- Life). This fascinating study of bird navigation tracked birds by radar and airplane, and included an interesting sequence showing an experiment using translucent contact lenses to disorient birds. Films on insects evidence a somewhat different cinematic approach than those made on the subject of other animal forms. Less lovable or easily anthropomorphized than mammals and more potentially insidious than sea creatures, insects were often filmed emphasizing their dinosaur- like or destructive qualities. One such film was Dutch documentarist Bert Haanstra s The Rival World (1955), produced by Shell Oil, which described the impact of insects on the quality of human life (a special interest of Shell s Chemical division, which manufactured insecticides). Here, a pilot purposely flies into a huge cloud of locusts meas-

175 164 Films You Saw in School uring 23 miles long by 5 miles wide to deploy airborne insecticide. The sound of locusts smashing on windshield of the aircraft was made by dropping peas on a plastic sheet stretched over the strings of grand piano. The Australian filmmaking team of cameraman Jim Frazier and British- born writer/narrator Densey Clyne formed Mantis Wildlife Films, a company specializing in insect subjects, such as Now You See Me, Now You Don t (1977, Mokin), on the subject of insect camouflage, Blueprint for Survival (1981, Mokin), and the beautifully photographed Desire of the Moth (1984, BBC). An exceptional cinematographer, Frazier also became notable for his invention of an innovative award- winning swivel- tip camera lens marketed by Panavision. The story behind the invention of the lens is indicative of the challenges faced by filmmakers specializing in wildlife subjects: About the mid 70s, I realized the shortcomings of conventional cameras and lenses. For instance, a good example would be having to get down on the ground with a small insect or spider, and to get low angle I would have to dig the camera into the ground and that wasn t something that the spider really enjoyed. I thought it s better to be able to somehow sit the lens on the ground and keep the camera out of the hole so I started literally gluing mirrors to sticks and suspending them out in front of the lens and trying to get that low angle look but I then faced another problem, [as] I was also trying to put the animal in its environment to show where it lived, because macro photography puts everything in focus but [on] a very narrow plane sometimes you could get a portion of the insect in focus but not all of it, but I was wanting to extend that even further and show the trees in the background, or where it lived, in focus. I had at that stage bought a little lathe and a milling machine and a few other bits and pieces and I literally set about putting the combinations that I d come up with into my own housings and while they were very primitive. I was able to get extraordinary looks which became, I guess, a signature to the sort of films that I was making. [This new lens is] longer than normal lenses physically it s about two feet in length. There s a good reason for this it allows you to get into places. Now on the end of it there is a swivel tip, there are two axes of swivel which allows you without moving the camera to be able to turn the lens and point it at any direction covering almost a sphere. Secondly, because of that swivel you need to correct the image and so I designed an image orient device, in other words an image rotator, so inside the lens is a piece of glass that can totally spin the image around the full 360 degrees the third feature of this lens is the very deep focus that I have come up with. I stumbled on a working combination that gave an extremely deep focus look and that was exactly what I was looking for, so [with] my little insect on the ground it was then possible to see the trees in the background in relation to it. 47 After receiving a three- page contract from Panavision, Frazier retained a lawyer who drafted a new 30-page document, asking the manufacturer to sign a non- disclosure agreement and meet on neutral ground (Hong Kong). Frazier now receives a royalty on every rental in the world of his lens, which far beyond the world of insect films, is estimated to be used in one out of every two commercials made in the U.S., and in feature films, including director James Cameron s Titanic (1997): [T]he shots are extremely effective because the lens entered the realm of miniatures and special effects. Instead of building huge ships in a lot of cases for a lot of shots they actually used small ones and, because it keeps everything in focus, it imparts a feeling of gigantic type proportions. 48 Frazier was not the only exciting nature cinematographer working in Australia: consider Phil Simon s The Mysterious Bee (1981, Films Inc.). Clad only in shorts and sandals, Simon

176 Three Science and Math Films 165 who wrote, hosted, and produced the film holds a clump of 10,000 bees in his hands, while others crawl up his legs, in search of their queen. Eventually, in an extreme act of self- sacrifice, he allows himself to be stung in an extreme close- up to show how a stinger enters the skin and continues to pump poison after the bee is dead and fallen to the ground. Director John Barnes s Social Insects: The Honeybee (1965, EB) describes the caste structure of the colony. The work of ethologist Dr. Karl Von Frisch was profiled in The Language of the Bee (1965, Moody), including his interpretation of the waggle dance. Noted for films for young learners on the subject of insects, director Norman Bean made a series of ten titles in his Backyard Science series. His exceptional insect close- up cinematography involved refrigerating insects prior to shooting, which allowed for detailed shots of moving body parts, yet slowing their metabolism so they wouldn t fly or jump away during filming. Bean s finest films capture fascinating elements of the insect world, occasionally drifting to the macabre. Spiders: Backyard Science (1978, BFA), for example, features a close- up of spider fangs that continues to mortify schoolchildren and adults alike. Like those of other many other educational filmmakers, Bean s films were revised every few years, and a comparison of each revision reveals fascinating elements indicative of the changes in film treatment styles that had taken place in North American society between each iteration. The 1967 ten- minute version of Bees: Backyard Science, for instance, differs from its thirteen minute 1978 revision (both BFA), revealing a change from a somewhat stilted narration CREDIT: ISIDORE MANKOFSKY Host Dr. Alfred E. Emerson (back to camera) reading script from a TelePrompTer, assisted by director John Barnes (left), Bert Van Bork (center), and uncredited assistant (right) in Social Insects: The Honeybee (1955, EB).

177 CREDIT: ISIDORE MANKOFSKY 166 Films You Saw in School style to one decidedly warmer, accompanied in the latter version by a jazzy electric pianoguitar-flute soundtrack, as juxtaposed with the music- free treatment of the first. The 1978 film adds several points of interest, showing the harvesting of honey, from smoking the hives to using centrifugal force to extract it. Even more extreme is the difference between the 1975 and 1992 versions of Ants: Backyard Science. The former has a musical soundtrack performed by a chamber group of bassoon, flute, bass clarinet, clarinet, and harp, its script narrated by a male voice. In the updated version, the chamber musicians are supplanted by a Philip Glass- like synthesized musical score, and the male narrator changed to a female. In addition, there is now an admonishment to the youth building his own ant farm, to be careful of the sharp edges of the glass. Both versions, incidentally, warn curious students of the pain of ant stings, and both also contain shots of ants eating the secretions from the posteriors of their aphid slaves, important in augmenting the affective value of this elementary- age science film. A series of films similar to Bean s Backyard Science titles was producer Fred Ladd s Animal Families series (Barr, 1986), consisting of footage obtained from Video Japonica made by uncredited filmmakers. While the series includes films on mammals such as cows and pigs, the strength of the series is in the close- up and photomicrography sequences in films such as Firefly, Praying Mantis, and Cicada. In producers Gerald Thompson and E.R. Skinner s Insect Parasitism: The Alder Woodwasp and Its Enemies (1968, EB), remarkable sequences are shown in which the wasp drills a hole in a log and deposits its eggs, after which four different kinds of bugs use its developing offspring for a number of tasks. Director Georg Schimanski s Housefly (1982, EB) films these insects flying in place, and in startling micro- photographic sequences, shows them feeding off glass- top tables. Extreme close- ups display minute details of hairs and orifices. Director Steven Katten s Fruit Fly: A Look at Behavior Biology (1974, CRM) discusses a number of aspects of the subject, including genetic mutations and homosexuality. The visuals, in - cluding electron microscope shots and the camera work of Larry Logan and Isidore Mankof - sky, is exceptional. Vampire (1979, Cinematographer Isidore Mankofsky shot everything from insects, to science, to dramas, to fires at Encyclopædia Britannica Films. BBC/Films Inc.), produced by Adrian Warren, describes vampire bats of Trinidad. Here, they

178 Three Science and Math Films 167 approach their donkey prey on wing and on foot, biting them on their heels, then continuing to follow these tethered and tormented creatures as they wander in circles. Humans then work to catch the winged mammals, poison them, then go to their cave to collect the dead. Films on prehistoric animals were popular subjects for school- age children. One of the more interesting of them was producer Wah Chang s Dinosaurs: The Terrible Lizards AIMS), featuring clay- animated beasts moving about their environment. Claymation whiz Will Vinton s Dinosaurs (1980, Pyramid), featuring chalkboard- to-clay animation, was less successful than Chang s earlier effort, primarily due to the disconcerting and incongruous wiseacre school- kid voiceovers. Argentinian filmmaker Jorge Preloran s Dinosaurs: The Age of Reptiles (1979, Phoenix) featured paleontologists engaged in making a museum model of a dinosaur, after pointedly noting possibly in response to religious textbook watchers increasing influence in science curriculum that dinosaurs and people did not occupy the earth simultaneously. 49 Director Lauren Dunbar s A Whopping Small Dinosaur (1987, Harbinger/Coronet) visits with a group of paleontologists in Arizona s Painted Desert, as they remove the bones of the Triassic. The film shows how the remains are prepared for shipment to a museum, catalogued, and reassembled. XIV. The Ethics of Science and Medicine and Behavioral Psychology Nearly all science films were largely about doing, science with seemingly very little concern about ethical issues inherent in the application of science s findings. To this end, the National Film Board of Canada s producer Wolf Koenig developed Discussions in Bioethics, a series of eight films dealing with ethical questions faced by scientists, biologists, and medical personnel, in which human life is, or could be, at stake. Each film was approximately 15 minutes long in order to allow time for classroom discussion, was rehearsed and shot in four days, and edited in two weeks, for a budget of $100,000 Canadian per film. Issues such as a patient s right to die, abortion, biological warfare, and deciding which of two ill patients would merit the one hospital bed were addressed by the series. Clear answers were never provided, as the end of each film could be written by anyone engaging in post- film discussions. In Family Tree (1985, dir. Norma Bailey), Cedric Smith and writer Lindalee Tracey are cast in a tale of an abusive mother, pregnant again. Her doctor agonizes over the future of the baby, and questions whether he should sterilize her without her consent. The most poignant of the series is Jefferson Lewis s Happy Birthday (1985). Broke but fundamentally happy, the parents of a two- year-old stage a birthday party for her. Two older guests show up, an executive with a multinational corporation, and his wife, with good news about a job offering for the out- of-work chemist father: a job that pays well, working for a U.S. company specializing in germ warfare. The conflict between success and perceived failure is told in the faces, words, and gestures of the husband and wife, as the grandfatherly exec dons a party hat and plays with the children. Bioethics was essentially a collaborative effort, similar in philosophical approach to the Unit B films made thirty years in the past, described by Koenig: None of us was a raving genius. All of us were, in some way, incomplete. Tom [Daly] knew that and encouraged us to work together. It was the lame man, blind man thing. We all compensated each other for our shortcomings. Nobody ever said it was my film. It was always our film. 50

179 168 Films You Saw in School Today, Koenig lives far enough from the city that an occasional bear will ring his doorbell ( After that, I m not going out for walks alone much, these days ). But he continues to frame his thoughts and musings in cinematic terms, producing continual ideas for short, poignant, powerful films: There s such a need for films on the process of aging. I remember the day I had to take my father to a retirement home. It was his last day in his own home, and I shaved him, and put a hat on him. Before we left, even though his thoughts had not been too focused recently, he managed to make his way back to his bedroom, where he sat on the bed, wrapped his arms tightly around the bedpost, and just looked at me. And that s how the film ends. 51 A number of important films on the subjects of behavioral science, physical science, and biology were made by the southern California- based CRM Films, an offshoot of Psychology Today magazine. One of CRM s more creative treatments is found in producer Carole Hart s Information Processing (1971, CRM), which features conversations at a mock cocktail party created by improvisational actors, observed from a control booth. Comedian David Steinberg serves as the film s host and adult film star Uschi Digard contributes a memorable and somewhat startling appearance and performance. CRM s large production budgets allowed them to hire professional talent and create movies within movies, and other expensive and affectively valuable cinematic legerdemain. Learning (1971, CRM), directed by Carole Hart, included a very funny sequence directed by Carl Gottlieb, mocking up a silent film called How Francis Learns, in which the child develops a rabbit phobia in youth, and recovers as an adult, surrounded by Playboy bunnies. Another notable CRM film was director Richard Miner s Memory (1980, CRM). Behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner was the subject of several films distributed to schools, among them A World of Difference: B.F. Skinner (1979, WGBH/Time-Life), directed by Veronica Young, and Conversation with B.F. Skinner (1972, CRM), produced by Peter Jordan.

180 CHAPTER FOUR Arts and Crafts Films I. An Overview of Arts and Crafts Films II. Two-Dimensional Art III. Crafts and Artisans IV. Sculpture V. Architecture VI. Photography VII. Filmmaking VIII. Music IX. Dance and Pantomime I. An Overview of Arts and Crafts Films In her essay titled Museum at Large: Aesthetic Education Through Film, Katerina Loukopoulou describes the evolution of the educational art film in the twentieth century: The use of the comparatively new medium of film for the remediation of the older media of painting, sculpture, architecture, and other high arts is of special interest to the historiography of the educational film in the United States. With its roots in the photographic reproduction of works of art, the film on art developed in tandem with changing attitudes about the place of the visual arts in education, culture, and society. Similarly, films about the visual arts gradually shifted away from their initial specialized function to record and dramatize exhibitions in the 1920s and 30s and became a legitimate genre that aimed to advance aesthetic education from the late 1940s onward. It was after World War II that film was propagated as the ideal medium to carry the visual arts out of the museum, the artist s studio, and the gallery to new locations, such as educational institutions (mainly art schools), nontheatrical venues, and, momentarily, even commercial cinemas. Better than photographic reproductions and slide shows, which fix images, film was regarded as an exciting new way to analyze paintings and works of sculpture in order to reveal their plasticity and in the case of the latter their three- dimensionality. The camera s mechanical eye could do more than the human eye: it could dismantle, resize, and synthesize works of art as well as shift from a bird s-eye view to a worm s-eye view of a sculpture across a single edit. 1 The aesthetic education that Loukopoulou discusses didn t just include paintings and sculpture, either. A number of art forms commonly resulted in academic films shown in the classroom, including filmmaking, photography, arts and crafts, architecture, dance, and music. And in considering what the movie camera could do to dismantle, resize, and synthesize 169

181 170 Films You Saw in School the art form, one can identify a dramatic exemplar in filmmaker Clifford West, who used his camera the way an artist uses a brush, creating at times a myopic eye- view that emulated the kinetic manner in which an individual views a static work of art. These films, like the arts and crafts they portray, are often interdisciplinary in nature. Art films aren t always that easy to classify into well- ordered categories. Painting, drawing, and etching typically fall into the Two-dimensional Art subchapter, but sculpture, commonly in the form of bas- reliefs, often integrates each or all of those techniques. The sculpture of Isamu Noguchi appeared in at least one Martha Graham dance film, and Sam Maloof s furniture designs are decidedly sculptural, only two examples of many in which films can be categorized in more than one classification. Art films cross over broader genres as well. Films such as Elliott Erwitt s Glassmakers of Herat (1979, Benchmark) are as ethnographic as they are art- related. It could easily fall into either category. A significant number of films on art were made available to classrooms in 16mm format. Films on Art, a source book published in 1977, suggested that more than 2,000 were made, and winnowed its selections down to Another source index, published two years later, listed some 900 films on crafts alone. 3 Both of these sources eschew how-to films on making arts and crafts, concentrating instead on the culture, history, and work involved in producing arts and crafts. These do not include films on music and dance. Given that considerably greater numbers of 16mm classroom films were made through roughly 1985, any attempt to complete a comprehensive master list would be daunting, and probably incomplete. With this challenge inherent to the world of films on the arts in mind, I ve classified films on art into eight categories. In each, I ve noted selected films as representational of the types of films on the arts common to academic film libraries in the 16mm era. II. Two- Dimensional Art While school films on science, literature, and historical themes made quantum leaps in visual, cognitive, and affective quality from 1960 onward, the same cannot necessarily be said for film treatments of artistic subjects, which, practically as a whole, already reflected superior quality in those three areas, dating back to the 1940s. I suspect that the reason for this was the natural affinity of many cinematographers and writers toward fellow artists; in being closer philosophically to the subject matter, their emotional and professional involvement may have enabled them to have a more effective say- so in producing and directing a film than they would have in, say, a science film in which their own professional expertise was further removed from the subject matter at hand. The single biggest change in art films, moving into the 1960s, was the global move toward color film prints, effecting a broad change in the presentation of films on arts to crafts, music to dance, architecture to sculpture. Films on Art Technique and Style Films on two- dimensional art may be divided into two broad categories, those devoted to a group of artists, and those devoted to individuals. In the former category: artists would typically be grouped by collection, era, or discipline. One of the more entertaining collection films was Ken Rudolph s Gallery (1971, Pyramid), in which 2,000 images from the history of painting and its evolving techniques and genres are projected machine- gun-like in just over seven minutes to the tune of Walter (Wendy) Carlos s synthesized musical score.

182 Four Arts and Crafts Films 171 The same year, Paul Burnford s Art, People, and Feelings (1971) also presented several sequences of rapid- fire paintings over narrated text, but the effectiveness of the art experience was curiously marred by the incongruous inclusion of a young couple walking on the beach to begin and end the film. Some films dealt specifically with either how to or basic theories of color, design, and form. In a series of thirteen films made by Encyclopædia Britannica Films from 1946 to 1957, titled Eliot O Hara Art, the New England watercolorist illustrated numerous techniques. In Painting Reflections in Water, for example, he begins by painting the complete sketch, blocks out the composition in charcoal, applies the water with a broad brush, then adds the waves and shadows to complete the picture of the harbor of Gloucester with its fishing boats. Paul Burnford s Discovering Form in Art (1967, Film Associates) was typical of many art technique films, showing simple objects with shadowing, scored to a bizarre soundtrack mix of baroque, ethnic, and elevator music. In the all- too-brief six minutes of an earlier Burnford film, Color (1954, EB), magical things occur: broad swaths of abstract colors and shapes coat the screen, accompanied by an equally abstract soundtrack, dissonantly played by Werner Bracher moving an object across piano strings to create an autoharp- like ambience, an artistic multimedia forerunner to a 1960s psychedelic light show. Noted American painter Wayne Thiebaud made a historically significant series of nine films distributed by Bailey/Film Associates from 1955 to 1961, titled Cardboard Melodrama; Creating Cartoons; Cubism; Design; Expressionism; Impressionism; Make a Movie Without a Camera; Non- Objective Art; and Surrealism, combining history, technique, and hands- on experience on the part of the viewer. One of the more ubiquitous films on the process of creativity was Saul Bass s Why Man Creates (Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical/Pyramid) which won the Oscar in 1968 for best documentary short. The film is an often amusing mélange of animation, photographs, and vignettes, offering a historical perspective on creativity throughout the ages. Films on American Artists: Series and Anthologies Some of the more interesting films on individual artists were produced in the mid 1960s by Lane Slate at National Educational Television, and distributed to schools in 16mm format. Slate s nine- part USA: Artists series of films, made in conjunction with brother Mallory Slate, profiles contemporary artists of the era, in a style that is stark, slimmed down, and austere, in keeping with the abysmally low NET budgets. In Jasper Johns (1966), Slate s camera visits the artist s home in Edisto Beach, South Carolina, joining him as he paints with pigment mixed with molten wax, before turning to gallery owner Leo Castelli, who discusses the compelling nature of the work of the artist. Jim Dine (1966), clearly agitated for most of the film, chain- smokes, discusses the ugliness of his art, and introspectively confesses his concerns of the connection between his artistic and personal life. Jack Tworkov (1966, dir. Lane Slate) was an abstract expressionist whose work is less known today than in his lifetime. From the luxury of looking several decades into the past, we now see this film as a bittersweet reminder that significant numbers of artists managed to carve a niche for themselves without gaining the critical support needed to compel publishers of art books to include their work. Another significant chronicler of the 1960s progressive art scene was Michael Blackwood. Born in Breslau, Germany (now Poland), in 1934, Greenwood eschewed college to apprentice as a cameraman and assistant editor at NBC, participating in NBC s Elder Wise

183 172 Films You Saw in School Men and Project 20 series. He formed his own company in 1966, specializing in films on the arts. In New York School (1975, Blackwood), the viewer is immediately drawn to its utter lack of pretense, and the avoidance of much of the artbabble so commonly encountered in museum catalogues and wall placards. Here, the artists themselves articulate the importance of conveying an emotional feeling on the canvas, and discuss the means of employing the medium, their influences, and how and why they paint the way they do. The filmmaker captures all in encyclopedic fashion, unfolding a world that evolved from surrealism to action painting and beyond. In this film, an animated Jackson Pollock changes to his paint- encrusted work his shoes, mad- scrambles over floored paintings, then peers through a clear horizontal canvas of Lucite, attacking the camera rapid- fire with black paint. The voice- over consists of what may be the only recording of his voice ever made, and is the centerpiece of a remarkable film containing interviews of his wife, painter Lee Krasner, and artists such as such as Adolph Gottlieb, Philip Guston, and Robert Motherwell. An earlier Blackwood film, American Art in the 60s (1971) explores through interviews the leading lights of the movement in art that immediately followed abstract expressionism, encompassing Pop Art, Minimalism, color- field painting, hard- edged abstraction, and happenings, drawing a basic division between the East Coast and West Coast art scenes. It forms a cinematic encyclopedia of the art that graced the walls of virtually every major museum and private collection of modern art in North America, featuring artists such as Bob Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, and Larry Rivers, gallery owner Leo Castelli, critic Clement Greenberg, and artist/musician John Cage. Film anthologies of artists occasionally were grouped by ethnicities. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has long been an exponent of the African- American art experience, and in director Carlton Moss s LACMA- produced film Two Centuries of Black American Art (1976), the viewer discovers early artists such as Benjamin Banneker, artists of the Harlem Renaissance, and latter- day painters such as Aaron Douglas and Jacob Lawrence. Directors Donna and Bob DeWeese, in Dawn Riders: Native American Artists (1976, Lodestar), feature Plains artists Woody Crumbo (Kiowa), Blackbear Bosin, and Dick West, who utilize pure color and line, eschewing shadows. Sociological and historical aspects of the art are discussed, with startling examples from the Philbrook Art Center and Gilcrease Museum collections of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Exhaustive is the only word that adequately describes the comprehensive Art In America series written, directed, and produced by Irene Zmurkevych, and distributed by Handel Films ( ). Each of the estimated nine films consisted of a mind- numbing number of film clips and pictures describing varying schools, persons, and images particular to the given theme of the program. In The 20th Century (1976, part III of the series), a dizzying array of art is rapidly shown and discussed in brief, from the 1913 Armory Show to Pop, Op and Minimalism. A merry- go-round of musical styles and instrumentation accompanies the narration, leaving the viewer feeling somewhat shell- shocked by this film, which ultimately has questionable cognitive value, but tremendous affective appeal due to its something for everyone approach. Occasionally, classroom films would cross the barrier of church- state separation, and Ken Meyer s Profiles in American Art series of approximately seven films produced from 1981 to 1983, is an example from the world of art. The artists Meyer chose to exemplify were typically of the Western genre, allowing Meyer the license to include some better- than-average cinematography of desert vistas, accompanied, generally speaking, by overbearing orchestral gems as odd as the Strauss waltzes in Conrad Schwiering (1982) and as shopworn as the

184 Four Arts and Crafts Films 173 Battle Hymn of the Republic (Edward Fraughton: Of Horsemen and Heroes, 1983). Religious messages, in the words spoken by the artists themselves, are embedded at various places within the series, as in the Schwiering film, which begins with a prayer. I suspect these films didn t sell very well, considering the intended buyers, art teachers of the 1980s, were typically exposed to non- conformist art in their own university studies. The artists in Meyer s series are representational, the film treatments lean toward didactic patriotism, evidenced by elements such as the austere narration by Alexander Scourby, and Edward Fraughton s carving out a bust of Ronald Reagan (rarely a darling of any art department), following an establishment shot of Mount Rushmore, accompanied by an orchestral version of Battle Hymn. Films on North American Artists: Individual Artists Charles Burchfield: Fifty Years of His Art (1966, University of Arizona), made by an uncredited director, features his vibrantly exotic nature scenes evoking German Expressionism, his wallpapers and fabrics. Thomas Hart Benton s Sources of Country Music (1976, Pentangle), directed by John Altman and Mary Nelson, presents the mural by Benton, commissioned by the Country Music Hall of Fame. He begins with a sketch, makes a highrelief clay model of the characters, then paints it, accompanied by a lively country music score. Featuring exceptional camerawork by David Gulick, director Janice Broderick s Charles M. Russell: An American Artist (1982, Barr) portrays Russell as more than just another cowboy artist, reflecting his exactitude and sensitivity. June Steel s Kienholz on Exhibit (1969, Contemporary) focuses on the work of the artist, who moved to Los Angeles in 1953, where he began making a series of bas- reliefs with found material. Prior to his death in 1994, he was primarily known for his Assembly Art sculptures, consisting of mannequins, stuffed animals, and pieces of clothing, focusing on subjects such as controversial as bordellos, back seat sex, and abortion. Steel s extremely entertaining film consists of audience reactions to a Kienholz exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which includes his well- known pieces The Birthday, Back Seat Dodge, and Roxy s. Director James Wong Howe s exceptional film Dong Kingman Contemporary) shows the Chinese- American artist at work in New York s Chinatown. Perry Miller Adato s Georgia O Keeffe (1977, Films Inc.) is a magnificent film that travels with the artist ( ) as a young woman, from Alfred Stieglitz s studio, to the Southwest, to conversations with Juan Hamilton, and includes rare home movies. She discusses her philosophy on nature and painting and her relationship with the equally interesting Stieglitz, a major force of 20th century photography. In Grant Wood s America (1983, International Film Bureau), director Catherine Allen discovers the work of the painter of American Gothic to be surprisingly interesting and varied. Jackson Pollock: Portrait (1984, Cort Productions) presents an overview of the artist s work, supplemented by interviews with Lee Krasner and John Cage, among others, in a film directed by Amanda C. Pope. Several notable films on the subject of Mexican artists were found in many school libraries. One of the most fascinating was director José Pavón s Posada Film Images). José Guadalupe Posada ( ) was a Mexican political and social satirist, known for his engravings and broadsides, pillorying the excesses of the regime of Porfirio Díaz. His graphical invention, the Calavera de la Catrina, has become iconic in Mexico, portrayed in print and sculpture. This film provides a history of this important yet somewhat neglected artist and his times. Producer Bert Van Bork s Siqueiros, El Maestro: The March of Humanity in Latin America (1969, EB) discusses the largest mural ever painted, the work of David

185 174 Films You Saw in School Siqueiros at the Poliforum in Mexico City. In The Orozco Mural: Quetzalcoatl Brandon Films), director Robert Canton visits the important fresco painted by José Clemente Orozco at Dartmouth College in The National Film Board of Canada was neither as prolific nor as selective in its films of Canada s artists as it was with its writers (who are discussed in another chapter in this book). The choice of some of its subjects is curious. Take Mountain: The Work of James B. Spencer (1977, dir. James Littleton), for instance: even Spencer admits that the mammoth, multistory photo- realist painting that is the subject of the film is the biggest paint- bynumbers I ve ever done, and that s just about what he does, taking a photograph, penciling out the contours on massive canvases, then filling in the blanks. On the other hand, the evolution of the Canadian abstract movement is wonderfully told in Murray Battle s cinematic biography of Jack Bush (1979, Cinema Productions/NFBC). Displaying a filmed interview of the late painter on a flatbed editor, the camera moves from the editing room into the picture itself, pulling out again occasionally to witness comments from noted critic Clement Greenberg. The affective value of the fifty- seven-minute film, however, is somewhat diminished by a lengthy and tedious visit to a gallery replete with Bush s paintings, in which the usually opinionated artist seems to crawl into a shell when in the presence of the critic. In Paul-Émile Borduas: NFBC) director Jacques Godbout reveals the life of the Quebecois surrealist/expressionist, told in his own words, accompanied by a terrific flute/clarinet soundtrack by Maurice Blackburn. Borduas, who lived in Canada, France and New York, died in his prime, and his engaging and powerful work remains fascinating, and little known. Films on European Artists Filmmakers in Benelux countries produced notable films on artists that remained in school film libraries decades after their initial release. Two remarkable Belgian films that were commonly found in educational film libraries were Henri Storck and Paul Haesaerts s exceptional Rubens (1947), and the latter s Visite à Picasso (1950, Art et Cinéma), featuring a dark and moody artist painting on clear glass at his home in Vallauris. Titan: the Story of Michelangelo (1950, Contemporary) was originally made by Swiss director Curt Oertel in the late 1930s, captured by U.S. forces from German hands, then eventually reworked by noted ethnographic filmmaker Robert Flaherty. Han Van Gelder s Adventures in Perception (Escher) (1971, BFA) was a beautifully crafted film relying on the three- dimensional drawings of M.C. Escher, and was an Oscar nominee in 1971 for Best Documentary Short. In Paul Delvaux dans son Atelier (1978, IFB), Henri Storck produced a poetic film featuring the well- known Belgian surrealist in his studio. Dutch- American painter Willem De Kooning was profiled by director Charlotte Zwerin in De Kooning on De Kooning (1982, Direct Cinema). Here, producer Courtney Sale visits with the artist and wife Elaine, and intersperses old film clips and photos with contemporary interviews and paintings. The beauty of De Kooning s work is stunning, the color is magnificent, and yet we see the beginnings of the artist s descent into his final world of dream, leaving us with a feeling not unlike that which one has after seeing Richard Avedon s shocking photographs of his dying father. Filmed tours through Europe s great museums allowed students to see not only the art itself, but allowed them the experience of visiting large public exhibition spaces as well. An exceptional example was Golden Prison: The Louvre (1966, dir. John Sughrue, Jr., NBC

186 Four Arts and Crafts Films 175 News), a Gallic tour through the history of the building and collection by a pithy and aristocratic Charles Boyer. Although Nathan Kroll s El Prado: Masterpieces and Music (1967, Harry Jaffee Enterprises) provides examples of the work of three artists only El Greco, Velásquez, and Goya their paintings are accompanied by live performances by four notable 20th century Spanish musicians, three of whom perform in the Prado itself. Andres Segovia s stilted narration is reminiscent of the stuffy old part of Madrid where the museum is located, and the guitarist, whose playing was already several years beyond its prime, was perfect as a living link to Spain s past. There were, however, tour de force performances by pianist Alicia de Larrocha (powerful interpretations of compositions by DeFalla and Granados), singer Victoria de Los Angeles, and flamenco cantaor Roque Montoya contributing a portion of a martinete, brilliant and terrible in its interpretation, filmed originally for television s Bell Telephone Hour series. Charles Boyer, host of The Louvre: Golden Prison (EB Films, 1966). The white line in the photograph is in preparation for its editing for use in a film catalogue. On the subject of the art of Spain, one of the more curious biographical interpretations of an artist is reflected in the otherwise interesting Goya (1975, distributed by Macmillan), in which the iconoclastic chronicler of some of the most disturbing aspects of the Spanish wartime experience at the hands of Napoleon (in his Disasters of War series) was ironically heralded by writer/director Michael Rose as an advocate of the message of Christianity. Encyclopædia Britannica Film s John Barnes combined his passion for history with his love of the arts, exemplified by two films, The Renaissance: Its Beginning in Italy, and Leonardo Da Vinci: Giant of the Renaissance, both released in In the former, Barnes and cameraman Michael Livesey dollied through deeply shadowed interiors, juxtaposing foreground architectural and design elements with background sculptures, niches, and high and low reliefs. Describing the contrast between the relative austerity of the art of the Middle Ages and the flowering of the Florentine Renaissance, the film was reinforced by an insightful study guide consisting of an abstract of the film, a discography of the film s music, and a complete 122-scene shooting script, listing tilts, pans, close- ups and long shots, along with the elapsed footage for each scene. An interesting and unique body of work was filmed by painter Clifford West, whose 27 films on artists and aspects of art history made between 1958 and 1981 utilize the camera COURTESY ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, INC.

187 176 Films You Saw in School to sweep and zoom around a sculpture or painting much like the eye of a viewer does. The technique is controversial, as establishing shots may appear only at the end of a film, causing the viewer to deal with the power of the art, rather than its immediate context. Some of his films, such as Romanesque Churches in Northern Italy (1965?, Film Images) rely less on this serpentine technique, and are more formal in treatment. West s films are unique documents of Italian church interiors never filmed before nor since, and his special dispensation from the Vatican apparently angered the high priest at the cathedral of Padova, who allowed West one hour per night for five nights, barely time enough to capture the images sculpted by Donatello. 4 To shoot his films, West would often make use of ladders, a 9mm wide- angle lens, and sculptor Franco Roselli, who, armed with a portable light, would follow and anticipate West s often rapid movements over the art. Although appearing in the permanent collections of more than 150 museums, and having his work championed by art historian H.W. Janson, among others, West s work, ranging in subject matter from Florentine architecture to Edvard Munch, remains difficult to find, and worthy of a fresh look. Johanna Alemann is believed to be the first woman filmmaker, operating as a sole proprietor, to run an academic film company in North America. Her focus was mainly on art. Her Europe in Transition: The Late Middle Ages Alemann Films) describes how the Crusades, the Black Plague, and moveable type evolved Europe through the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, as presented by the art of the era. Her Nature as Impression Alemann Films) highlights Alemann s painterly use of the camera to record nature scenes that she turns into cinematic impressionism. She includes an analysis of Impressionist paintings as they relate to color and shading in nature, focusing on Impressionists Manet, Monet, and Renoir, and Post- Impressionists Cezanne, Seurat, and Van Gogh. Chuck Olin s Palette of Glass: American Windows of Marc Chagall (1977, Charles Olin) describes the design and development of the artist s stained glass windows at the Art Institute of Chicago. Chagall applies the grisaille to these 8 30-foot windows, made in Rennes by Charles Marq. With a spirited narration by Vincent Price, Simon Schiffrin s Chagall, the 1964 Oscar- winner for best short subject, is another valuable cinematic document that puts his work in historical perspective. In Matisse: A Sort of Paradise (1969, Arts Council of Great Britain), co- director (with John Jones) and noted art scholar Lawrence Gowing utilizes striking Technicolor pastiches of numerous paintings, blazing an evolutionary path through the artistic life of one of the great artists of this century. The musical score consists of the music of Eric Satie, played by pianist Aldo Ciccolini. Memories of Monet (1984, Spadem), produced by Meredith Martindale and Toby Molenaar, boasts breathtaking color cinematography, and I was curious enough about it to ask cinematographer Toby Molenaar how she did it. I found her at her Long Island hideaway, ready to leave for France, where she s restoring an old mill, and she gave up the secret: Just pointed the camera and took a light reading, she said. Born in Rotterdam, the maker of only one other film (but the author of numerous books of still photography), she somehow captured what every other filmmaker working in the color medium has tried to accomplish: bombastic colors with a translucency that seems more akin to stained glass than to traditional film. The film chronicles painter Lilla Cabot Sargent s years at Giverny, , in which her memoirs, written in 1927, describe Monet, his garden, and fellow painters. Molenaar s interpretation of Monet s garden serves as evidence of the tremendous inspiration Monet derived from it; lulled by the beauty of the film, we found it difficult after a while to separate the outdoor shots from the canvases themselves. Director Gene Searchinger is another exceptional cinematographer, whose In a Brilliant

188 Four Arts and Crafts Films 177 Light: Van Gogh in Arles (1984, Equinox) expands Van Gogh s brushstrokes to huge proportions, and, while maintaining the color, adds just enough shadow to highlight the relief, so thick that it looks like icing on a cake. Director Helmut Herbst s Germany-Dada: An Alphabet of German Dadaism (1968, Universal) details the movement, which is historically credited as beginning in Zurich in 1916 at the Cabaret Voltaire. Artists include Hugo Ball, Tristan Tzara, Kurt Schwitters, and Hans Richter, among others. Raoul Hasmann reads his letterist sound poems and Richard Huelsenbeck is interviewed. The film ends poignantly with the auction of Tzara s estate. The Reality of Karel Appel McGraw Hill), directed by Jan Vrijman, features lots of action painting and a fashion show in a junkyard. The soundtrack is exceptional, with musiqueconcrète by Appel and Dizzy Gillespie s jazz. Appel notes: If I paint like a barbarian, it s because I live in a barbarian age. III. Crafts and Artisans Traditionally overshadowed by the popularity in schools of art films on painting, films on crafts experienced something of a renaissance in the 1970s, with a debut of the International Craft Film Festival, sponsored by New York State Craftsmen, Inc. This nonprofit organization was responsible for publishing a resource guide, edited by Kay Salz, in 1979, Craft Films: An Index of International Films on Crafts, comprising some 900 films. 5 Earlier, I mentioned the challenges of interdisciplinary crossover. Here s how Salz addressed this challenge in the preface to her guide: For the purposes of this Index, crafts has been defined as anything that is handmade or the process of making things by hand. For this reason, the Index does not include films on filmmaking or animated films that use craft materials, such as clay, but that do not deal directly with the crafts that employ these materials. The Index does include bread- baking, where the process is similar to making ceramics, and the process of print- making which often involves other crafts such as wood carving, dyeing, and calligraphy. Because there is a fine line between craft and art, many films are included which can be said to overlap these areas and, perhaps, bring them closer together. The films included here show the artists at work, giving the viewer in sights into their working processes and philosophies. Through these films something is learned both of crafts and craftspeople. A number of films, especially history and social studies curriculum films, are included even if crafts are shown only as a part of the contents; it seemed valuable to see crafts in some context in order to show how they were and often still are a part of a total culture. In this vein, ethnographic films comprise part of the Index. Often made by anthropologists in the field, these films are generally short, often silent records of people performing a single craft, such as weaving or boat- building, that is integral to their way of life. Such productions are designed not only to document a specific activity, but to compare and contrast the performance of the same activity by different groups or tribes. 6 So there you have it: crafts films can include bread- making, sculpture calligraphy, and ethnography. But not clay animation. 7 The book you re holding contains separate entries under sculpture and ethnographic subjects, but crafts really is a decent catch- all for items crafted by hand. And bread- making isn t all that far- fetched, since I ve included a film on gardening.

189 178 Films You Saw in School Woven and Sewing Crafts In Elmer Albinson and Harry Webb s Homespun (1955, IFB), Mandelina Oberg from Deerwood, Minnesota, cuts, cards, spins, washes, dyes, and weaves wool from her Angoran goat, all with tools and looms handmade by her woodworking husband Robert. Why does she do this? Swedes like to be busy, she says. A later film, Quilts in Women s Lives (1980, Ferrero), directed by Pat Ferrero, documents visits with six quilt makers of varying ages, with personalities as large as the quilts themselves. From the Sol Worth and John Adair- produced series of films, Navajo Film Themselves, Susie Benally s A Navajo Weaver (1966, NYU/MOMA) is a silent film, showing her mother, Alta Kahn, preparing wool, then weaving at the loom. Latin American textiles were recognized by classroom film predominantly in the 1970s. Peter Pilafian s Master Weavers of the Andes (1977, EB) was an ethnographic look at the weavers surrounding Lake Titicaca, Peru, accompanied by music by Uña Ramos, from Takie Island. Ñandutí: A Paraguayan Lace (1978, IFB) was a compelling film made by Annick Sanjurjo and Albert Canciero. Meaning cobweb in the Guaraní tongue, this textile is shown in its complexity, accompanied by music from Juancito y Los Tricolores del Paraguay. Director David Collison s Woven Gardens (1975, BBC/Time-Life), part of the Tribal Eye series, discusses the rug- making culture of the Qashkuli clan of the Qasquai nomads of Persia, in their 300-mile yearly journey from Shiraz to winter camping grounds. A village wedding is one of the highlights of this compelling film. Canadian filmmaker Donald Winkler, in addition to his outstanding films on writers profiled elsewhere in this book, made two notable films on crafts for the National Film Board of Canada. Bannerfilm (1972) featured banner maker Norman Laliberté, cutting and sewing his creations. In Praise of Hands (1974) focuses on hand- crafted materials, including rare footage of the makers of Ocumichos, fantastic devil- characters of Mexican mythology, made of ceramic. Woodcrafting A number of films on woodcrafting are worth noting. In Wooden Box Made By Steaming and Bending (1963, UC Berkeley), producer Clyde B. Smith describes how boxes were used by the Kwakiutl of the Pacific Northwest to store everything from food to funerary items, and includes footage made by a team of anthropologists from U.C. documenting craftsman Mungo Martin as he painstakingly shows how to make a watertight box out of a single piece of wood. In Bill Reid NFBC), director Jack Long notes that British Columbia jeweler Reid had a dream of carving totem poles as a means of replacing those in native villages that had fallen into an unrecoverable state of disrepair. This film shows how the pole is created, and includes the ceremony of raising it in Skidegate, Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia. An earlier film, Henry Cassirer s Buma: African Sculpture Speaks (1952, EB), featured noted author Lewis Jacobs s beautifully photographed West African masks that tell stories of the cycle of life. Perhaps the most prolifically distributed mask film of them all was F.R. Budge Crawley s The Loon s Necklace Crawley Films/EB), depicting masks made by Canada s Inuit. In spite of its didactic narration, this film has possibly won more awards than any other Canadian film, and has been seen by an estimated 33 million people. A native tale told through masks borrowed from the National Museum in Ottawa, the film in some ways is reminiscent of director Robert Wiene s 1920 classic The Cabinet of

190 Four Arts and Crafts Films 179 Dr. Caligari, with ghost- like figures suddenly appearing against a stylized expressionist set painted by cameraman Grant Crabtree. Director Tony DeNonno s It s All One Family: Knock on Wood (1982, DeNonno) tells the story of Mike and Ida Manteo, who, between 1922 and 1981, made 500 marionettes, all 50 to 100 lbs. each. Here, we see them in their tiny New York City workshop and theater, owned and operated by members of their own family, as they talk about, and to, their wooden friends, and perform marionette plays in the original Italian. Woodcrafting films occasionally drifted into the domestic realm. In Log House (1976, NFBC), directors Andres Poulsson and Michael Rubbo document Lionel Belisle building a log house out of the trees he fells in Morin Heights, Quebec. Sam Maloof: Woodworker (1973, ACI) visits the furniture maker as he discusses his work, philosophy, and lifestyle, in a film directed by Maynard Orme, with a jazz score by Willie Ruff. Director Paul Eide s Halvor Landsverk: Woodcarver (1973, University of Minnesota) shows the artisan making a kubbestol, a traditional Scandinavian chair. Built out of a single basswood log, each one takes 100 to 200 hours to make. Accompanied by the nyckelharpa keyed fiddle, Landsverk explains how it s done. Director Frank Gardonyi s African Craftsmen: The Ashanti (1970, Bailey) features wood carving, as well as weaving and dyeing, and cloth printing. Ashanti stools are prominently featured, as are the making of ceremonial robes. Scott Barrie s Bookwright (1983, Afterimage) visits the noted Canadian book craftsman Gerard Brender à Brandis, who weaves, makes paper, engraves, then stitches a book. The film portrays a solitary individual consumed by his work. While Linotype machines perhaps may not easily be included in the crafts classification, there is an element of that in David Loeb Weiss s Farewell Etaoin Shrdlu (1978, New York Times), documenting a process of putting print to paper that was already a process of the past. On July 2, 1978, the last hot lead edition of the New York Times rolled off the presses. Weiss, a proofreader for the Times, documented the phasing out of this historical process, and what impresses us now, beyond the Ludlow machine (which casts the lead at 535 degrees), the Linotype machine (operated for the last time by Carl Schlesinger, who also narrates the film), and the presses, is the incredible noise generated by all these people and devices. The process of change is both fascinating and sad, and the new computers seem baleful in the fluorescent lights of the new composing rooms. The film is as much about the passing of the mechanical age as it is about the evolving craft of printing, as told by those who were there that day. Metal and Glass Like many other crafts genres, films on the subject of glassmaking were often offered from three perspectives: those of the ethnographic, industrial, and academic filmmaker. The ethnographic approach suggests that the manufacturing of glass objects can be of cultural as well as utilitarian value, and typically shows the technique in chronological detail. In Robert Haber s Genii of the Glass (1978, Phoenix), Muhamad Gazazz, glassmaker of Jerusalem, recycles auto gears for molds, old motor oil to fire his stove, old dirty bottles for glass, and lets nothing go to waste, using the glass furnace to heat his food as well. He discusses his hard childhood of servitude, and offers his hopes that his children will attend medical school to escape poverty and be able to care for their mother, while understanding the need to become versed in their father s craft as well. In Glassmakers of Herat (1979, Benchmark) well- known still photographer Elliott Erwitt trains his cinema camera on some of the oldest

191 CREDIT: GEOFF ALEXANDER 180 Films You Saw in School Carson Kit Davidson, maker of films such as 100 Watts 120 Volts and 3rd AVE. EL. continually- operated traditional glassworks in existence, a fascinating look at an Afghan family still making glass by crushing rock and vegetation, and blending them to make blue glass. From an industrial perspective, Bert Haanstra s Oscar- winning Glass Cinetone/EB) exhibits the classic Dutch sense of humor as he pokes fun at automation while juxtaposing it with traditional techniques, accompanied by a spirited Dutch jazz soundtrack featuring Theo Loevendie with the Quintete Piw Jacobs. Carson Davidson, on the other hand, admires the beauty of robotics in the mechanized production of Duro- Test light bulbs in 100 Watts 120 Volts Texture), filmed as a dance to the tune of a Brandenburg Concerto, as choreographed filaments, glass, and metal combine in a dynamic finale. Wilhelm Nassan and John Durst s Miracle of Glass (1975? Lucerne) offers a straightforward, academically oriented historical treatment, interesting nonetheless in showing age- old techniques applied by modern glassmakers. Cooperage (1975, NFBC) was a fascinating film directed by Philip Borsos on the intricate craft of making of wooden barrels at Sweeney s Cooperage in British Columbia, which he followed in 1979 with the acclaimed Nails (NFBC), contrasting the crafting of hand- made nails with the assembly- line production of their steel and galvanized counterparts. For a more individualized look at the craft, director Gene Bjerke s Cooper s Craft (1967, Colonial Williamsburg) illustrates the steps in the ancient art of barrel making, as demonstrated by craftsman George Pettengell, who constructs the most difficult product of his trade, a wet barrel. Focusing on log selection and dressing among other steps, the film notes that the wood was initially seasoned for three months, and the finished cask will endure 30 years of use. Colonial Williamsburg made a number of other films on Revolutionary- era crafts, among them Gene Bjerke s Gunsmith of Williamsburg (1969), with blacksmith, machinist, foundryman, woodworker, and engraver Wallace Gusler, who manufactures a rifle of the 1770 period completely by hand, a process taking him 300 hours to complete. The crafts films made by U.S.-based Judith Bronowski in Mexico for her company, The Works, constitute a body of work remarkable in breadth of subject matter and depth of characterization, and deserve special mention. Woodcarver Manuel Jiménez (Artesano de Madera, 1977), papier- mâché artist Pedro Linares (Artesano de Carton, 1975), weaver Sabina Sanchez (Artesana Bordadora, 1976), and fireworks- maker Marcelo Ramos (Artesano Pirotécnico, 1980) are shown in their homes and workshops, surrounded by

192 Four Arts and Crafts Films 181 (AUTHOR S PHOTOGRAPH) Judith Bronowski and two alebrijes made by Pedro Linares, Artesano Cartonero. family members. Made in both English and Spanish versions, they are ethnographic time capsules of historically important artisans, made before they achieved fame. Pottery A number of exceptional films on pottery, many of which focused on Mexico and the Southwestern United States, were staples of school libraries. Producer J. Donald McIntyre s The Hands of Maria Southwestern Educational Films) profiles san Ildefonso artisan Maria Martinez, as she fashions large Jemez pottery pieces with coiled ropes of clay. Mexican Ceramics Bailey), produced by Reino Randall and Richard Townsend, was a highly informative, well- made film, focusing on four geographical areas: (1) Coyotepec, (2) Metepec (the art of Timotéo), (3) Tonalá (the work of Señores Palacios and Galván), (4) Puebla. Here, we see low- fire pottery making as it was done by primitive methods before the potter s wheel, and the manufacture of the beautiful blue and white Talavera and polychrome highfire pottery of Puebla. Producer Orville Goldner s Doña Rosa: Potter of Coyotepec Goldner) features Doña Rosa de Nieto, from San Bartolo Coyotepec, Oaxaca, Mexico, showing her making an olla, and firing her creations in an underground kiln. Fabricantes Mexicanas de Ollas Bailey), produced by Stuart Roe, depicts the making of ollas, large earthen jars, featuring Carmen Portillo of the Mayan village of Ubalama. The clay pots are first covered with boards and branches, then fired above ground. Bert Van Bork made two outstanding films on arts and crafts of the Southwest. Indian Artists of the Southwest (1972, EB) featured Acoma pottery, Zuni and Navajo silver, weaving in Monument Valley, and Hopi Kachina dolls. A companion film, Indian Art of the Pueblos

193 182 Films You Saw in School (1976, EB) includes pottery, basketry, weaving, stone, silver, and Kachinas, made by modern artists using traditional themes. Village Potters of Onda (1966, Edith Sperry), directed by Edith Sperry, describes the life and work of the Japanese folk potters in Onda, a village in the mountains of North Central Kyushu, Japan. Their techniques are more than 250 years old, originated in Korea, and utilize seven glazes. Nine families in the village make pottery, firing the kiln every two months, using the technique of uphill stoking of progressive kiln chambers. IV. Sculpture This fascinating category of art films resulted in a significant number of films, many of the most interesting of which included footage of the artists at work. The Inuit area of Canada is particularly rich in sculpture, and one of the earliest films commonly found in school libraries is Legend of the Raven (1958, Crawley), probably directed by an uncredited Judith Crawley, based on a story by Pitsulak, of Cape Dorset, Baffin Island. The film is especially notable for its stone sculptures, all from the collection of historian James Houston, who is credited with developing the craft of stone carving among the Inuit. Here we have a raven by Putaguk (probably Tookikalook Pootoogook), a woman by Oshawetuk (probably Peesee Oshuitoq), a man by Akiaktashuk, all from Cape Dorset, plus a seagull by Isa Smiler, Port Harrison (Inukjua). Another film focusing on the sculpture of Inuit carvers was John Bassett s Noah (1973, ACI), focusing on the work of Noah Nuna of Frobisher Bay (now Iqaluit), Baffin Island. The bizarre ending sequence of the film contains shots of department store mannequins, possibly a commentary on the machine- like sameness of much non- aboriginal work. Don McBrearty s Joshua s Soapstone Carving (1981, Coronet), another film in producer Paul Saltzman s World Cultures and Youth series, was far more effective on several levels. Levi Qumaluk, its featured artist, was considered an exceptional artist, and the film is valuable as a documentary of his work and methods. The film also features Inuit laugh-singing performed by two female singers, and ethnographic elements of Inuit culture are emphasized, in the form of a meal consisting of a seal carcass spread out on cardboard in front of the kitchen sink. Films on sculpture were generally based on one artist, and films on multiple artists are somewhat rarer. In Brancusi Retrospective at the Guggenheim (1970, dir. Paul Falkenberg and Hans Namuth, Film Museum at Large), the artist s work is showcased at the museum, and includes his delicious quote: Only Africans and Rumanians know how to carve wood. Director Warren Forma profiled Reg Butler, Barbara Hepworth, Kenneth Armitage, Lynn Chadwick, and Henry Moore, at their homes and studios, in Five British Sculptors Work and Talk (1964, Forma Arts), a film that is increasingly important from an art history perspective. Alexander Calder was the subject of a number of academic films. Jean Painlevé s Le Grand Cirque Calder 1927 featured the sculptor s miniature circus, as did Calder s Circus Contemporary). In the latter, director Carlos Vilardebó films the sculptor at his home in Saché, France, where the gruff and funny artist hosts, in French and English, a circus consisting of his small wire, cork, and cloth sculptures. They perform to the tune of Opposite: Clifford West filming Bronze: River of Metal (OIP Films, 1972).


195 184 Films You Saw in School Mrs. Louisa Calder s Victrola, attended by a small but raucous audience. This documents some of Calder s finest work, which he stopped formally exhibiting when it filled 5 valises. Mobile by Alexander Calder (1980, National Gallery of Art, dir. Robert Pierce) showcases Calder s large mobile in the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art that presented design, engineering, and installation challenges unpredictable at the time. Architect I.M. Pei and engineer/artist Paul Matisse collaborated with the artist, in this last film involving Calder personally, who died before his sculpture was installed. In Harry Bertoia s Sculpture Film Images), director Clifford West treats the sculpture more like a lunar landscape, its purposely out- of-focus impressionist framing suddenly giving way to a sharper, still- abstract representational image, accompanied by Bertoia s own musique- concrète score (it was the filmmaker who suggested that the sculptor bang on his work with metal objects with microphone present). West s Bronze, River of Metal OIP Films) looks at the art of casting Renaissance bronzes as a historian, appreciator, critic, and craftsman. This film traces bronze from its discovery in Mesopotamia in the third millennium BCE to the 20th century. The film begins with historian Bruno Bearzi showing Donatello s modifications, and his 14 separate castings, on the colossal bronze of St. Louis of Toulouse at the Museo dell Opera. Then, a visit to the Hades- like Fonderia Ferdinando Marinelli, where four workers prepare casts for the lost- wax process, then laboriously hoist the heavy, molten bronze crucible, and carefully pour off its terrible contents, to a soundtrack of ambient noise made by sculptor Harry Bertoia. Finally, the director turns to the past, through the doors of Ghiberti in the Baptistery of Florence. Bronze smithing in Western Africa was the theme of director David Collison s Kingdom of Bronze, one of the films in the BBC s Tribal Eye series, produced and written by David Attenborough, and distributed in North America by Time- Life. Filmed in Benin, Nigeria, the film discusses Nigerian lost- wax bronze casting, derived from the Yoruba tribe. Metal was obtained by the Oba (traditional king), who traded slaves for it. The modern Oba, his harem and palace, are also shown. Folk sculptures were documented in the studios of sculptors as well. Robert Fresco s Steady As She Goes (1981, NFBC) shows George Fulfit putting his 136th ship into a bottle, manned by 107 toothpick men. Michael Jean Cooper: Sculptor (1979, Artistic Film Productions) depicts Cooper s elaborately carved, shaped, and polished wooden motorcycles and pistols, his subtle sense for pornographic humor, and his passionate belief that his handmade vehicle will actually be roadworthy, in a film by Robert L. Burrill. In some cases, art films were of particular value in showing installations, exhibitions, and public venues that no longer exist. Richard A. Reynolds s Mudflat (1980, Reynolds) is a powerful example of the latter. In the era in which the film was made, artists would walk around the muck at the edge of San Francisco Bay in Emeryville, and build sculptures from driftwood and found objects on the flats that drivers would enjoy as they motored south on the old highway. Grabbing material off someone else s work was considered fair game and part of the fun, and contributed a kinetic dynamic to the ongoing display. Soon, highway authorities determined it was a danger due to drivers slowing down to look. Today, the place is a park and the sculptures are gone. Reynolds documents the building of what was there in time- lapse sequences showing their kinetic element, augmented by Erich Seibert s musiqueconcrète score. On a similar theme, in Sculpture: Kitsch Catch or Creative Space? (1976, Document Associates/Hobel-Leiterman Ltd.), the uncredited director documents Robert Smithson building his Spiral Jetty, Christo s attempts to curtain the Colorado River, and Vito Acconci discussing performance art.

196 Four Arts and Crafts Films 185 Directors David and Albert Maysles and Ellen Gifford s amazing Christo s Valley Curtain (1973, Maysles Films) documents the construction of the curtain, made of nine tons of orange nylon polyamide fabric. This massive sculpture stretched a full quarter- mile and was suspended from four steel cables 365 feet above Rifle Gap, Colorado (pop. 2,150). Director Michael Blackwood films the curious and sometimes contentious reactions of public officials and private citizens in Christo: Works in Progress (1978, Michael Blackwood Productions). Featuring the Bulgarian- born artist and his French partner Jeanne- Claude, the films details the remarkable challenges of nature, including wind and arduous geographical elements. Installations include (1) Wrapped Girl, London, 1963; (2) Packed Kunsthalle, Bern, Switzerland, 1968; (3) Wrap-in Wrap- out, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Feb. 1969; (4) Wrapped Coast, Little Bay, Sydney, Australia, 1969; (5) Wrapped Monument Vittorio Emmuele, Milan, 1970; (6) Wrapped Marcus Aurelius Wall, Rome, 1970; (7) Valley Curtain, Rifle, Colorado ; (8) Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties ; (9) Wrapped Walkways, Loose Park, Kansas City, V. Architecture Director Herbert Mayer- Franck s The World Saves Abu Simbel (1967, McGraw- Hill), is a UNESCO film describing the moving of the colossal upper Nile statues to a higher altitude, necessitated by the construction of the High Aswan Dam. Lacking the financial and technological means to perform the task alone, many world governments cooperated in this Herculean effort to save this work, built in the lifetime of Ramses II, from inundation. Among the most impressive engineering aspects to the operation were the sawing and transportation of some 2000 blocks of 10 to 40 tons each, and the building of a cofferdam to protect the work site. The study of Gothic cathedrals was a part of the curriculum in history and art classes. Director John Barnes made two significant films on the cathedrals of France. In making Chartres Cathedral (1963, EB), he spent six weeks in filming, and in a conversation with the author, noted that much of that time was spent eating in wonderful restaurants, which is, after all, one of the great joys of filmmaking in France. This tour de force of architectural filmmaking is an essential introduction to one of the world s best- known buildings, with commentary by critic John Canaday. Barnes s Art of the Middle Ages (1963, EB) functions as a companion piece to Chartres, focusing on the architecture of French cathedrals at Conques, Autun, Chartres, Amiens, and Rheims. Yves Leduc s St-Urbain de Troyes (1972, NFBC) visits this French cathedral, started in 1262, featuring exceptional camerawork by André-Luc Dupont, who uses dolly shots and incamera-editing. Inside the cathedral, director Leduc allows the sound of the street traffic and voices to accompany the stunning visuals. In Exeter (1972, NFBC), directed by Gerald Budner, the English cathedral is viewed by the filmmaker as a living entity rather than a historical relic. Showcased, along with architectural detail, is the pomp of the Church of England. Director Ira Latour s Antonio Gaudí (1965, Media Film) is a well- made compendium of Gaudí buildings, including the Casa Milà and Sagrada Familia, and the Parc Güell. John Ringling s Ca d Zan (1973, AIMS), directed by Ann Zane Shanks, tours this Xanadu- like palatial home in Sarasota, Florida, one of a series of 15 films made by Comco Productions and distributed by AIMS in the American Lifestyle series, documenting the mansions of the titans of the American business world.

197 186 Films You Saw in School COURTESY ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, INC. Director John Barnes (left) and writer/host John Canaday discuss the filming of Chartres Cathedral (EB, 1963). In Conversation with Frank Lloyd Wright (1953, NBC/EB), producer Ben Park features the architect turning the tables on young interviewer Hugh Downs, who all of a sudden becomes the interviewed. Charles and Ray Eames made a number of films on art subjects, and House: After Five Years of Living (1955, Eames), a tour through and around their house, built from 1949 to 1955, details the exterior, interior, and various objects. Richard Bigham s Caring for History (1980, Balfour Films/Phoenix?) documents the processes used to restore England s historical architectural icons, including Fountains Abbey, Hadrian s Wall, Chiswick House, and Conway Castle. VI. Photography With the ever- increasing popularity of photography as an art form, school film libraries enhanced art curricula by obtaining films on historically significant photographers. One

198 Four Arts and Crafts Films 187 seminal film directed by Willard Van Dyke, The Photographer (1948 United States Department of State), was made originally for the U.S. Information Service to show overseas. It featured photographer Edward Weston introducing his technique and philosophy, at home, on location, and in the darkroom. Weston is shown driving his woody station wagon and setting up in locations such as Yosemite, Zabriskie Point, Rhyolite, and Monterey. An important series of films on photographers distributed to schools was National Educational Television s five- part series Photography: The Incisive Art, each of which featured the photographs and critiques of nature photographer Ansel Adams. Among the finer films in the series were two directed by Robert Katz: Points of View (1959), in which Adams describes his philosophy in choosing and shooting an old house; and Photography as an Art (1960), in which Adams takes the viewer on a photographic tour through Yosemite National Park. In Eisenstaedt: Germany (1981, Perspective), director David Hoffman follows the 83- year-old Alfred Eisenstaedt as he returns to the land of his birth, discusses his beginnings, takes photos, and visits filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Director John Korty s Imogen Cunningham, Photographer (1970, American Zoetrope) shows Cunningham at home with her photos and opinions, in an intriguing personal portrait. In a well- made film on an influential early photographer, director Lewis Jacobs celebrates the work of the noted Civil War- era photographer who trained the first combat camera crew, in Mathew Brady: Photographer of an Era (1976, Texture Films). VII. Filmmaking Some of the most fascinating films in the arts genre were those made on the subject of making films: and somewhat surprisingly, a number of them were quite commonly found in film libraries in schools without a film studies program. There are two classifications of such films, those specific to the making of a particular film, and those showcasing film technique in general. Encyclopædia Britannica made several films on filmmaking specific to particular EB films and directors, of significant interest today due to the onscreen presence and thoughts of directors such as John Barnes and Larry Yust. Yust s Directing a Film: Ionesco s The New Tenant features the director sharing philosophy and technique. Editing a Film: Synge s The Well of the Saints by the same director, juxtaposes edits from the points of view of different characters, as edited by Peter Parasheles. In Story into Film: Clark s The Portable Phonograph director John Barnes discusses the challenges of working a short story into a film, focusing on continuity and dialogue. Director Bill Brame s Practical FilmMaking (1972, Julian Films/EB) describes preproduction planning and production techniques, including casting, cost- saving measures, and camera techniques, made while filming his feature film Miss Melody Jones (1972). In Sixty Second Spot (1973, Pyramid), director Harvey Mandlin goes through the process of making a commercial in the Mojave Desert, focusing on the relationships between the producer, director, advertising agency, and actors. In The Magic World of Karel Zeman Kratkyfilm/McGraw-Hill), director Zdenek Roskopol shows the Czech maker of puppet- and special- effects-laden feature films and his emphasis on optical effects, including trick photography and moving glass figures, from his films Prehistoric Journey (Cesta do praveku, 1955), The Fabulous World of Jules Verne (Vynález zkázy, 1958), and Baron Munchausen (Baron Prásil, 1962).

199 188 Films You Saw in School Films describing animation techniques by filmmakers were important cinematic documents as well as fascinating glimpses into the inner workings of animation studios. In Ink, Paint, Scratch (1979, Little Red Filmhouse), director Robert Swarthe, whose films include Unicycle Race (1980, UCLA Theatre Arts), describes the process of working on transparent leader, and shows how it can be done using materials commonly found in classrooms. Directors Paul Burnford and Jerry Samuelson provide an encyclopedia of animation techniques, including flicker filming, cut- out animation, pixilation, kinestasis, and time- lapse, in Frame by Frame (1973, Pyramid). Two films in particular highlight techniques used in clay animation. Director Will Vinton s Claymation (1978, Billy Budd/Pyramid) shows how Vinton goes about making a clay film, including basics such as choosing clays and dyeing. In Frog and Toad: Behind the Scenes (1985, Churchill), director John Mathews shows how he makes armatures, animates puppet motions, and uses multi- prism cameras and revolving sets. His techniques are arduous: it took him one year and 25,000 frames to make the film Frog and Toad are Friends (1985, Churchill). Filmmaker Norman McLaren s work was wonderfully documented by the BBC s Gavin Millar in The Eye Hears, the Ear Sees (1970, NFBC), the only interview/documentary made of McLaren in his lifetime. Here, he accompanies McLaren driving his VW (missing a headlight) around Montréal, visits the lab, and films the animator inking on transparent film, discussing soundtracks without musical instruments, and describing his pixilation techniques. Excerpts from some of his animated films are included. VIII. Music Somewhat surprisingly, a number of pre 1955 films on classical musicians survived in school film libraries through the 1980s relatively undamaged, which is not the case for many films made in that era on other subjects. One guess as to their longevity is that they were shown periodically only by music instructors, who tend toward conservatism of instructional material, which in many cases includes musical instruments. Two Ignacy Jan Paderewski titles from 1938, Paderewski Playing and Paderewski: Lizst s Second Hungarian Rhapsody (Official Films), are 10-minute films believed to have been edited from director Lothar Mendes s film Moonlight Sonata (1937, Pall Mall Productions). José Iturbi, Part I Artists Film Production) and Part II were directed by Reginald LeBorg. The first film features Iturbi on piano, playing Albeniz and Chopin, while the second film s highlight is a Rameau Baroque piece played on a two- manual harpsichord. In director/producer Paul Gordon s Yehudi Menuhin (1945, Official Films), the violinist plays Gypsy Airs, opus 20, by Sarasate, with Adolf Baller on piano. Chopin s Waltz in E minor, the Mazurka in A minor, and the Paganini- Lizst La Campanella were performed in Sascha Gorodnitzki, Pianist (1946, Pictorial Films), directed by Israel Berman. Today, it s difficult to imagine, but there was a time when the major television networks programmed recitals, and chamber and orchestral music in prime time. Television executives in that era believed television should elevate taste and appreciation for the Arts. Fortunately, a number of such programs were distributed to schools in 16mm format by educational film companies, Encyclopædia Britannica Films among them. One of the more remarkable examples was Wanda Landowska at Home (1953, NBC/EB), produced by Caroline Burke, and originally aired as part of NBC s Conversations with Elder Wise Men series. The film is historically significant. By the time she died in 1959 at the age of 80, she had single- handedly

200 Four Arts and Crafts Films 189 reintroduced the harpsichord to the concert stages of the world, had generated a resurgence of interest in baroque music, and had solidified the position of women in the male- dominated world of the performance hall. She was a fine writer and a gifted teacher, and after being uprooted by two wars in Europe, found a home in Lakeville, Connecticut. There she was interviewed for the film by her recording supervisor, Jack Pfeiffer, who continually seems at a loss for words when talking with this funny, erudite, and charming performer. Her performance at the high- powered, dual- manual Pleyel harpsichord (which she assisted in designing) is stellar; in demeanor, one can t believe she was 74 years old at the time this was filmed. Landowska was far from a martinet as a teacher, and she addressed one of her books to youthful performers, those who search and wait, often discouraged by the tyranny of virtuosity. Ironically, according to filmmaker Carson Davidson, who wanted to use her music for his film, the Oscar- nominated 3rd AVE. EL AIMS), she conveyed through her agent that she had only seen one film in her life, disliked it, and only through Davidson s persistence (and $200, all I had at the time, says Davidson), finally allowed him to use a recording of her for the film. 8 In the mid 1960s, CBS introduced Leonard Bernstein s Young Peoples Concerts series (e.g., What is a Concerto?, 1965, dir. Roger Englander), many of which were distributed as 16mm kinescopes to schools. 53 concerts in all were televised by CBS from 1962 to Many of these early films on classical music tended toward formulaic presentations, in concert halls or studios, with traditional interpretations. Director Jeremy Marre, who later made a video series on world music, Beats of the Heart, reinterpreted the classical music film in his Great Composers series, produced by John Seabourne. In Johann Sebastian Bach (1973, International Film Bureau), he presents Larry Adler playing Bach on a harmonica, a Bachinspired rock band, and a synthesizer, along with luminaries such as Desmond Dupré and George Malcolm. Other films in the series include those on Chopin, Debussy, and Mozart, the latter featuring Prof. Hermann Aicher s Salzburg Puppet Theatre. Director John McGreevy s Glenn Gould s Toronto (1979, Nielsen- Fern/LCA) is one in the Cities series of films, which tours various cities, accompanied by well- known inhabitants. Here, Gould plays a bit early in the film (complete with wig, makeup, and frock coat), then takes the viewer on a bewildering tour of his city, in a film as bizarre as it is wonderful. The National Film Board of Canada made several notable films on classical music subjects, including Wolf Koenig and Roman Kroitor s Glenn Gould Off the Record and Glenn Gould On the Record (both 1959). Gould was an eccentric individual as well as a world- class keyboardist. Director Martin Duckworth s Our Last Days Together In Moscow (1987, NFBC) is a remarkable documentary that features Taiwanese pianist Kuo- Yen at the 8th Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow, and details both the competition and the break- up of her personal relationship with pianist Pierre Jasmin, in a poignant and fascinating film. Jazz music was underrepresented in school film libraries, probably as a result of the reticence of educational film companies to produce films featuring African- Americans, a topic I addressed in my earlier book. While the Civil Rights Act of 1964 began to change this somewhat, jazz music rarely seemed to make it through the filter. One exception was Duke Ellington Swings through Japan (1964, CBS News), directed by Peter Poor. Here, CBS News 20th Century team follows the noted bandleader on a three- week tour through Japan, accompanied by musicians including Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney, Cat Anderson, Russell Procope, Sam Woodyard, and Lawrence Brown. A number of films were made on the subject of folk and country music. The Center for Southern Culture s American Folklore Films and Videotapes annotated index of 1976

201 190 Films You Saw in School includes some 1800 titles, many of them on folk music. Among folk and traditional music films commonly found in American schools was Say Old Man Can You Play the Fiddle? (1973, UC Extension), directed by Bess Lomax Hawes and Barbara Lapan Rahm, which features fiddler Earl Collins, accompanied on guitar by son Richard Collins, filmed in Earl s house in Downey, California. In director Gene Dubray s Sourwood Mountain Dulcimers (1975, Appalshop), dulcimer maker and player I.D. Stamper of Thornton, Kentucky, teaches young John McCutcheon of Dungannon, Virginia, how to play it, slowly at first, then returning to play a hot hammered dulcimer by the end of the film. In Free Show Tonight (1984, Smithsonian/Benchmark), directors Paul Wagner and Steven Zeitlin investigate the vanishing world of the country traveling minstrel show. The film features barker and medicine huckster Fred Foster Doc Bloodgood, Diamond Tooth/Walking Mary McClain, Guitar Slim, fiddler Homer Pappy Sherill, and Julian Greasy Medlin, who manage to put together one last performance in Bailey, North Carolina. A poignant tale is revealed by a husband- and-wife minstrel team who used to perform in blackface, but discontinued the act after a large number of blacks walked out on their performance one evening. There s a good deal of America in the medicine show, and a good deal of the medicine show in America, states one performer, in what is ultimately more an elegy than a promotional pitch. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation produced a number of outstanding historical titles, all filmed at its historical park. The Music of Williamsburg (1960), directed by Sidney Meyers, and written and co- directed by Stanley Croner, was a non- narrated film on the different kinds of music by whites and by blacks that might have been heard in Williamsburg, Virginia, in It s particularly noteworthy in that it shows African- Americans as gifted people making music in the 18th century, unheard of in educational films of that era. Croner enlisted the help of well- known ethnologist and folk music collector Alan Lomax, who chose the music and enlisted the musicians. Director Les Blank has made dozens of films on folk music traditions that were distributed to schools, among them The Blues According to Lightnin Hopkins (1969, Flower Films), Chulas Fronteras (1976, Flower Films) on Norteño music from Texas, and Spend It All (1971, Flower Films), celebrating Cajun music and culture. 9 La Plena (1966, Community Education Division of Puerto Rico), a film about Puerto Rican mountain music, was directed by Amilcar Tirado. Born in 1922 in Coamo, Puerto Rico, Tirado made more than 30 films, from features to documentaries. This rare Spanishlanguage film was made for the Puerto Rican government, and focuses on the bomba and plena song forms, and on the mountain jíbaro culture in which they thrive. Several sequences stand out in this important film. In one, a musician (Sindo Mangual?) reads a paper, writes a song about the story he s been reading, then his whole band sings it, with accordeón, güiro, y ritmo. Tirado also visits mural painter Rufino Tufino, who uses a 16mm film can as a palette, and a visit a cuatro maker s shop. Singer Pete Seeger was involved in a number of films on music. Among them were Music from Oil Drums Folkways), directed by Toshi and Pete Seeger, encompassing a visit to steel drum players and makers in Trinidad, and the animated Gene Deitch- directed film The Foolish Frog Weston Woods). In Alberta, Canada, The Badlanders are group of old- timey country musicians who have been playing in provincial dance halls since the 1930s. In director Tom Radford s Every Saturday Night (1973, NFBC), they talk philosophy and booze, and host a hoe- down. Local teenagers are interviewed in the film, none of whom care very much for the event or the music.

202 Four Arts and Crafts Films 191 Director Bernard Wilets s Discovering Music series, distributed by a number of firms, including BFA, was perhaps the most popular introduction to world music in public schools. Discovering American Indian Music (1971) included music from the Navajo, Seneca, and Ute nations among others, and was highlighted by a hoop dance performed by George Flying Eagle of Taos. It wasn t all traditional, either, as evidenced by the modern percussion ensemble led by a Cherokee, Louis W. Ballard. Discovering the Music of Africa (1967) presented Robert Ayitee, a master drummer of Ghana, and his associates as they demonstrate bells, rattles and drums. The film describes how these are used in Africa today both as musical instruments and, in the case of the drums, as a means of communication. Other films in Wilets s series include Children s Chants and Games (1972), Discovering American Folk Music (1969), Discovering Country and Western Music (1976), Discovering Dynamics in Music (1968), Discovering Electronic Music (1983, featuring a Fairlight synthesizer), Discovering Form in Music (1967), Discovering Melody and Harmony (1967), Discovering Mood in Music (1968), Discovering the Music of India (1969), Discovering the Music of Japan (1967), Discovering Jazz (1969), Discovering the Music of Latin America (1969, including pre Columbian music and the work of Villa- Lobos), Discovering the Music of the Middle Ages (1968), Discovering the Music of the Middle East (1968), Discovering Russian Folk Music (1975), and Discovering Stringed Instruments (1968). Animated musical films were quite common in classroom film libraries, including Pete Seeger s The Foolish Frog, mentioned above. Two other films of this type are worthy of note. Director Ward Kimball and C. August Nichol s wonderfully nutty, Oscar- winning Toot, Whistle, Plunk, and Boom Disney) was just about crazier than anything else coming out of the Disney studios in that era. It is timeless, and also the first animated cartoon filmed in Cinemascope. A relatively little- seen film is the U.S., Street Musique NFBC) was a masterpiece of transformational animation, in which live action morphs into moving art. IX. Dance and Pantomime Dancer Martha Graham s work was a foundation of dance films in school libraries. Dancer s World Martha Graham (1957, Contemporary) featured Grahm s commentary illustrated by examples of her concepts, performed by her company, in a film directed by John Houseman. Director Alexander Hammid s Night Journey (1960, Bethsabee de Rothschild/Rembrandt Films) featured Graham s compelling treatment of the Oedipus story, with dancer Bertram Ross, sets and costumes by Isamu Noguchi, and a musical score by William Schuman. It wouldn t be surprising to discover that the most- viewed dance film of all time might be director Norman McLaren s Pas de Deux in which slow- motion images are replicated in gradual degrees on an optical printer, accompanied by Romanian panpipe. McLaren wasn t the first filmmaker to take an extraordinarily creative approach to animating a dance film. The Sorcerer s Apprentice Weston Woods), directed by Edward English, features the agile and physically animated Lisl Weil, a dancer who often performed in New York with friend Tommy Scherman and his Little Orchestra Society. She was also a splendid charcoal artist, and later, a noted author of books for children. Here, accompanied by Sherman s musical interpretation of the Paul Dukas classic, she soars across the screen, drawing abstract characters on a massive blank board in a timeless, exuberant film that juxtaposes wonderfully with the better- known Disney treatment of the same musical theme in Fantasia (1940, Disney).

203 192 Films You Saw in School CREDIT: GEORGE KACZENDER Director George Kaczender and dancer Margaret Mercier discuss a sequence for the film Ballerina (NFBC, 1963).

204 Four Arts and Crafts Films 193 In addition to the McLaren s Pas de Deux, the National Film Board of Canada made several other dance films of note. The hauntingly beautiful Ballerina (1963, NFBC), directed by George Kaczender, takes a day- in-the-life approach to prima ballerina Margaret Mercier, who travels from high- profile performances to evenings curled up in a chair at her parents home, reading a book. In between, she transverses the cold winter canyons of downtown Montreal, seemingly insignificant beneath cinematographer Guy Borremans s tall, unforgiving skyscrapers, icy gray weather, and biting contrasts of light and shadow. Director Cynthia Scott s Flamenco at 5:15 NFBC) was an Oscar- winning treatment of Spanish dance, shot in a studio in Montreal, featuring dancers under the tutelage of a Russian émigré. Three films on the African- American dance experience were commonly found in school film libraries of the mid 1970s, showcasing the talents of three of the finest black dancers of the 20th century: Arthur Mitchell, Judith Jamison, and Honi Coles. The Tap Dance Kid (1979, LCA), directed by Barra Grant, was a film for young learners, featuring an exceptional cast of actors led by tap dancer Charles Honi Coles, based on the story Nobody s Family is Going to Change by Louise Fitzhugh. The film is not merely the story of a child s desire to tap dance, but offers a critique of an upwardly mobile urban black family that strives to rise above the racist past by eschewing an artistic tradition often associated with minstrel shows. Like many of the LCA films of the era, the ending is a bit too smug, yet Tap Dance cannot be easily dismissed as feel- good drivel. Its realistic portrayal of an intra- familial conflict particular to black families was perhaps the first educational film to introduce such issues to school- age white viewers, while providing black children the benefit of seeing a family that might be not unlike their own. In Rhythmetron: Dance Theatre of Harlem with Arthur Mitchell (1973, Capital Cities Broadcasting), director Michael Fruchtman features the effervescent Mitchell first teaching a group of young dancers in the Harlem church basement he used as a studio. He then demonstrates African movements relating to classical, neoclassical, and modern dance to a group of students in Philadelphia, and finally showcases highlights from Fête Noire, Biosfera, and the third movement of his ballet Rhythmetron. Director Stan Lathan s Alvin Ailey: Memories and Visions (1974, Phoenix) focuses on principal dancer Judith Jamison (who took responsibility for the company after Ailey s death in 1989) in excerpts from Blues Suite, Lark Ascending, Cry, Revelations, Mary Lou s Mass, and, A Song for You. Experimental ideas in contemporary dance were shown in Procession: Contemporary Directions in American Dance (1967, UC Extension) by an uncredited director, featuring the Ann Halprin Dance Group. Halprin stretches the boundaries of the art form, incorporating performance, gymnastics, and general exploration, redolent of the San Francisco art scene of the era, accompanied by Morton Subotnik s electronic music score. A young Daria Halprin performs, who several years later would co- star in director Michelangelo Antonioni s feature film Zabriskie Point (1970). In a relatively unknown yet important film, director Hilary Harris broke down a single 50-second dance sequence into shots taken from various angles in 9 Variations on a Dance Theme Radim). Here, dancer Bettie DeJong of the Paul Taylor Dance Company is filmed over the period of one year, in 25 separate shooting sessions. Ethnic dance was included in a large number of geography and social science films, discussed elsewhere in this book, but mention should be made her of one such film wholly dedicated to the art form, director Wayne Mitchell s Ethnic Dance Around the World (1983, BFA), focusing on New Zealand, Japan, Bali, Taiwan, Bora Bora, the Philippines, Korea, Vietnam, New Guinea, Peru, Mexico, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Russia, Romania, and Afghanistan, detailing the history and cultural elements pertinent to each dance.

205 194 Films You Saw in School CREDIT: BILL PIERCE Director John Barnes and Marcel Marceau during a break from the filming of the Art of Silence series (EB, 1975). The art of pantomime was explored in the exceptional the thirteen- part Art of Silence series in conjunction with Marcel Marceau, combining the art of a superior filmmaker with that of perhaps the finest pantomime artist of his generation. The introductory film, Pantomime: The Language of the Heart (1975, EB), is an explanation by Marceau of the art of pantomime, its history and its art. Subsequent films in the series, such as the sobering Youth, Maturity, Old Age (1975, EB), are introduced by a Marceau sans make- up, sitting in front of his dressing- room mirror, explaining the story of each pantomime. Barnes clearly had fun making films with the witty Marceau, as attested by the filmmaker s amusing caption to a still production photo showing Barnes washing the soles of Marceau s feet prior to the filming of a studio sequence: Hands on again, me washing the soles of Marcel s shoes. Amused him no end a director stooping so low? I reminded him that Jesus had washed the feet of the poor. He said that considering what I was paying him, he qualified. (Marcel never talks on stage, and never stops off- stage, in several languages.) 10

206 CHAPTER FIVE Literature and Language Arts Films I. An Overview of Literature and Language Arts Films II. Filmed Adaptations of Literary Works, including Prose, Poetry, and Journalistic Themes III. Filmed Adaptations of Dramatic Works IV. Non-narrated Short Dramatic Films V. Filmed Biographies of Authors VI. Filmed Interviews and Interactions with Authors I. An Overview of Literature and Language Arts Films The films discussed in this chapter include filmed adaptations of literary works, including non- narrated short subjects, poetry, and journalistic themes, filmed biographies of authors, filmed interviews with authors, and filmed adaptations of dramatic works. One of the more interesting comparisons between pre 1960 vs. post 1960 educational film can be made in the area of literary and language arts, in terms of overall cinematic quality as well as breadth of subject matter. In reviewing pre 1960 era titles, it seems apparent that film companies evidenced a general reluctance to go to the expense of producing films that would require the use of better actors and professional set design. In many cases, school film libraries of the era often relied on the ubiquitous (and often poorly crafted) edited versions of Hollywood pictures distributed by Teaching Film Custodians. Among the earliest examples of educational film producers moving beyond the standard commercially originated theatrical fare were the engaging films made by EB s John Barnes in the late 1950s. In the 1950s, educational film companies in the United States began acquiring dramatic content from sources overseas, commonly from France, which included several well- known non- narrated short dramas, director Albert Lamorisse s The Red Macmillan) among them. The trend of acquiring European- made dramatic films increased through the next several decades: Clown LCA), directed by Richard Balducci, was one such film that appeared in virtually every educational film library. Coming on the heels of public programs such as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965, educational film companies increasingly created their own literature films, often relying the old technique of repurposing material found in feature films. Decades after the aforementioned efforts put forth by Teaching Film Custodians prior to World War II, two companies experimented with abridging major motion pictures for use in the classroom. LCA s Bill Deneen hired a Toronto firm (Visual Consultants, with Jim 195

207 196 Films You Saw in School Hanley as one of the partners) to create non- hosted/narrated films of approximately 15 minutes in length from parent corporation Columbia Studios for the Searching for Values series. In this fashion, To Sir with Love was edited to become Spaces Between People (1972), showing poignant moments from the film in an elegantly seamless edit that stands surprisingly well on its own, and thus becomes a worthwhile vehicle for classroom discussion. Some of the other titles in this extremely interesting series were Politics and Power and the Public Good (1972, from All the King s Men with Broderick Crawford), and The Right to Live Who Decides? (1972, from Abandon Ship with Tyrone Power). LCA also distributed the Great Themes of Literature series, hosted by Orson Welles, each episode featuring a thematic treatment of one aspect of the human condition. Two of the most notable were Authority and Rebellion (1973, from Edward Dmytryk s Caine Mutiny), and Power and Corruption (1971, LCA, from Roman Polanski s Macbeth). It would not be difficult to argue, however, that among the best examples of this extremely rich aspect of the world of educational film were the remarkable dramas made for EB by John Barnes and Larry Yust (the latter in Clifton Fadiman s Short Story Showcase and Short Play Showcase series). Treatments consisted of the drama itself as well as an accompanying ten- minute film detailing an element in the treatment of the film s creation, consisting of a critique hosted by analysts such as Charles Van Doren. Two compelling films on language arts that fall into the general language arts category are The Alphabet Conspiracy and The Strange Case of the English Language. Director Robert Sinclair s The Alphabet Conspiracy (1959, Bell Telephone) is the only Bell Science Series film CREDIT: LEARNING CORPORATION OF AMERICA Jon Finch and Francesca Annis in the LCA adaption Power and Corruption, from the Great Themes of Literature series.

208 Five Literature and Language Arts Films 197 to explore a subject not specifically related to a traditional hard science, the study of language. Frustrated by the ambiguity inherent in the English language, the Mad Hatter (played by Hans Conried) and Jabberwock attempt to destroy Language by lighting an explosive charge under the world s great literature. On a fantastic, enlarged cartoon library set designed by William Kuehl, they convince a young girl to join their conspiracy, when Dr. Frank Baxter as Dr. Linguistics arrives to illustrate the value of the written and spoken word. Guests range from jazz trumpeter Shorty Rogers, who banters in beat phrases, to psychologist Keith Hayes, whose research on chimpanzee communication was made with chimp family member and guest Viki. While The Alphabet Conspiracy can be characterized as a great children s film that adults may like as well, producer Andy Rooney s The Strange Case of the English Language (1968, BFA) is a funny, occasionally acerbic film for adults that also has appeal to bright kids. Rooney was a magnificently witty writer whose script was perfect for host Harry Reasoner, who was theatrically adept at interpreting irony, amusement, and intellectual bewilderment. One of the many highlights of this film is an unforgettable interview with actor Peter Ustinov, who mimics American speech patterns. II. Filmed Adaptations of Literary Works, Including Prose, Poetry, and Journalistic Themes Two series of films on literature set the standard for academic classroom film libraries: Robert Geller s American Short Story and EB s Short Story Showcase. A former literature teacher, Geller wrote a proposal to the National Endowment for the Humanities to fund a series of films based on great works of American literature in honor of the bicentennial. Eventually encompassing seventeen films of up to 55 minutes in length, each film boasted exceptional acting, directing and script, with hosted introductions by alternately Colleen Dewhurst and Henry Fonda. Although featuring the talents of many well- known actors, each film in the series had a total budget of under $250,000. The films gained additional exposure when later telecast by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Geller later went on to teach screenwriting at Columbia University and eventually took the position of chairman of the English department at Antioch College. The American Short Story films displayed a wide range of emotional and intellectual content, such as Willa Cather s very dark Paul s Case (1980, Perspective), directed by Lamont Johnson, featuring Eric Roberts in his first cinematic role, as a dreamer who steals and leaves for big city, only to commit suicide. Racism and domestic violence are treated graphically in writer Horton Foote s Barn Burning (1980, Perspective), directed by Peter Werner and starring Tommy Lee Jones, in a terrifying portrayal of an ignorant and frustrated man consumed by hatred. Three of the series were based on stories by African- American writers, the most memorable of which was director Stan Lathan s treatment of Ernest J. Gaines s The Sky is Gray, in which a mother and son place pride above need in order to present a dignified face to their white neighbors. Other social themes were addressed in subject areas such as aging (The Jilting of Granny Wetherill, 1980, dir. Randa Haines), jealousy (Golden Honeymoon, 1980, dir. Noel Black), prejudice against immigrants (Displaced Person, 1976, dir. Glenn Jordan), and war (Parker Adderson, Philosopher, 1977, dir. Arthur Barron). The most memorable films in the series have an elegant, understated subtlety, while the near- misses often appear to be tenuously dangling over the cliff of overt commercialism. The power of

209 198 Films You Saw in School director Joan Micklin Silver s otherwise fine treatment of F. Scott Fitzgerald s Bernice Bobs Her Hair (1976), for instance, is diminished somewhat by the use of Dick Hyman s trite cartoon- like Roaring Twenties music in its most reflective scenes. Encyclopædia Britannica s twenty- film Short Story Showcase series was coordinated under Clifton Fadiman, with films directed by Larry Yust and John Barnes, among others. Ten of the films consisted of the stories themselves, each being augmented by a companion Discussion of film, describing elements of the story, the philosophy of the writer, or other cinematic facets (e.g., A Discussion of Shirley Jackson s The EB, dir. Larry Yust), or cinematic concerns, in films such as Yust s Directing a Film: Ionesco s The New Tenant EB), which was picked up by the Directors Guild for use in training seminars. Fourteen of the films were directed by Larry Yust, maker of perhaps the most comprehensive body of literature films in the educational genre. Yust, whose father Walter was the editor of the Encyclopædia Britannica, was exposed to films (and filmmakers) at an early age, when his father took him to Hollywood on a business trip for the purpose of collecting data on the film industry for the encyclopedia. Later attending Stanford University as a theater major, Larry developed an interest in set design, lighting, and directing for the stage. He then worked in summer stock, municipal theaters and television stations in Albuquerque and Tijuana. After military duty at the Army Pictorial Center in Long Island City, he went as a civilian to direct television programming in the color studios at the Walter Reed Army Douglass Watson as the general receives a shave in director Arthur Barron s Parker Adderson, Philosopher (Perspective, 1977).

210 Five Literature and Language Arts Films 199 Hospital. He went from there, via nepotism, to EB Films. He left EB to work as line producer for Saul Bass on films for Eastman Kodak and United Airlines shown at the 1964 World s Fair in New York. He formed his own production company to make the Huck Finn and Showcase series of films for EB. Yust s films are superbly directed, written and edited, with exceptional cinematography, in most cases, by Isidore Mankofsky. Of special note is Yust s treatment of Josef Conrad s The Secret Sharer (1973, EB), which stars David Soul in a self- analytical peek into the mind of a troubled sea captain. Mankofsky s day- for-night shots combine with dimly lit interiors and stark shadows to convey the mood of the main character, who hides a male stowaway in his cabin. 1 Some viewers, seeing Secret Sharer in more recent times, have suggested that this might possibly be the earliest educational film to address gay thematic material, but Yust refutes this idea. It is an intriguing film, with the accompanying Discussion film hosted by the erudite and once controversial Charles Van Doren, whom Yust characterizes as one of the most brilliant people with whom he ever worked, on- screen or off. As one of the more CREDIT: ISIDORE MANKOFSKY David Soul (right) in Larry Yust s adaptation of Joseph Conrad s The Secret Sharer (EB, 1973).

211 200 Films You Saw in School notable contestants in the notorious quiz shows of the late 1950s, Van Doren had won $129,000 on NBC s Twenty-one show, but was accused by a losing contestant of having been given at least one of the answers in advance. Although denying the charge at the time, Van Doren ultimately acknowledged that indeed the accusation was true, as reported by Robert Slater in his book This Is CBS. 2 His well- written and insightful short commentary to Sharer is an important key to understanding the nuances of Yust s subtly intriguing portrayal of a haunted individual. Yust s best- known film is his adaptation of Shirley Jackson s The Lottery EB), filmed in the small town of Fellows, California. Today, Fellows lies forlornly somewhere along the two- lane meandering strip of blacktop known as Highway 33. Just a few houses dot the sparse townscape in which remnants of foundations and iron- pipe fences are encased in a variety of overgrown weeds. One of the few remaining residents eyes passing cars warily as he hoses down his pickup truck in the dying December light, curious as to what would bring anyone new to visit a town long past its glory, if in fact that word was ever used to describe Fellows. In 1969, however, it was a small town populated by agricultural and oil workers who joined Yust s crew as extras for a film that has become legendary as one of the best- selling (and most controversial) educational films ever made. Jackson s dark story of publicly enforced murder was nearly kiboshed by ranking Encyclopædia Britannica Films executives, who considered Yust s adaptation a little too realistic for the classroom. With sterling performances by William Benedict (as Old Man Warner) and cinematographer Isidore Mankofsky (who managed to get a workable print in spite of uncooperative weather conditions), The Lottery remains one of the more memorable films of the era, and, although EB never publicly released cumulative sales statistics, is considered by many past EB employees to be their biggest seller ever. Although not formally part of the Short Story Showcase series, Yust s three part series based on Mark Twain s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1965, EB, consisting of The Art of Huck Finn, Huckleberry Finn and the American Experience, and What Does Huckleberry Finn Say?), is a compelling combination of acted sequences and an on- camera discussion hosted by Clifton Fadiman, 3 who begins the series with a discourse on the use of the word nigger. This was a prescient concept, as Twain s novel would be banned by numerous school districts in the 1990s for its use of the word. Fadiman also hosted director John Barnes s treatment of Charles Dickens s Great Expectations (1962, EB), which included an introduction to the craft of novel- writing as part of the four one- half-hour films. As with other Barnes films, the Dickens series features superb acting (personified here in a cast that includes Old Vic actors Mark Dignam and Michael Gwynn), thematic (as opposed to chronological) exposition, and transitional dollied or panned segues from the host to theatrical sets. The Dickens series was one of a series of ten episodic treatments on different themes of the humanities made by the filmmaker between 1959 (Oedipus) and 1970 (Shaw vs. Shakespeare). Barnes s Dickens series includes four films: The Novel: What It Is, What it s About, What It Does; Early Victorian England and Charles Dickens; and Great Expectations, Parts I and II. In working with Fadiman, Barnes once stated that if the engaging and esteemed man of letters had his way in Barnes s films on literature, he would have been on camera the entire time. 4 In The Novel: What It Is, What It s About, What It Does (1962, EB), we have an idea of what this would have looked like, as Fadiman spends a disproportionate amount of time on- camera, as compared with the team of readers and actors that contribute to the film. Barnes s more egalitarian approach is apparent in the other three films of the series, which

212 Five Literature and Language Arts Films 201 frankly are better films from an affective perspective. Still, this film has merit, intellectually, as a discussion of the elements that make up a novel: plot, characters, setting, and form (horizontal, vertical, convergent). Examples are read and acted from Melville, Austen, Dylan Thomas, Thornton Wilder, and Dickens. Early Victorian England and Charles Dickens (1962, EB) is an overview of the novel and the social and political milieu in which it took place. CREDIT: ISIDORE MANKOFSKY Actors in Larry Yust s The Lottery (EB, 1969) included residents of Fellows, California.

213 202 Films You Saw in School COURTESY ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, INC. Clifton Fadiman, host to numerous humanities films made by Encyclopædia Britannica Films. Written by Fadiman, this film discusses squalid working conditions, the wide gulf between rich and poor, and statespeople such as Benjamin Disraeli and Queen Victoria. Barnes brilliantly introduces theatrical vignettes to illustrate the points, utilizing outstanding actors such as Michael Gwynn and Mark Dignam in dual roles. The treatment of the novel itself follows in the next two reels, and Barnes makes a startlingly clever transition to them: at the end of this film, the camera dollies into a theatrical set, with lighting, grips, and even the director present on set, making final adjustments; moving forward, the camera closes off the wings, and non- acting personnel leave the sound stage; the clapboard is struck, and suddenly we ve left the on- screen discussion of the historical and social elements that led up to the novel, and have traveled into the world of cinema, a transition that remains one of the most spectacular vignettes in Barnes s work. The novel itself is played out in the final two films of the series, Great Expectations, Part I and II (1962, EB), a theatrical tour de force, directed by Douglas Campbell and John Barnes, featuring John Stride as Pip, Judi Dench as Estella, Rosalie Crutchley as Miss Havisham, the ever- fascinating Mark Dignam as Magwich, and the extraordinary Michael Gwynn as Joe Gargery. An earlier and important series on the subject of Dickens s writing was producer Desmond Davis s Tales from Dickens, a fourteen- part series filmed in Great Britain with the cooperation of the Dickensian Society (1959, Transcription Holdings Ltd./Coronet). Although the acting, with luminaries such as Robert Morley and Mark Dignam, is first- rate, the episodes suffer from the lack of a societal and story perspective provided by the contemporary Barnes/Fadiman series. A Christmas Carol (1965) is a fine adaptation of the wellknown story, introduced by Frederic March in a set consisting of the study in which the author did much of his writing, and starring Basil Rathbone as Scrooge. Another important film in EB s Short Story Showcase is director John Barnes s The

214 Five Literature and Language Arts Films 203 COURTESY ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, INC. Mark Dignam (right) as Magwich in John Barnes s Great Expectations series. Portable Phonograph (1977, EB), an adaptation of the short story by Walter van Tilburg Clark. Here, a Debussy piece played by Walter Gieseking becomes the vehicle that allows four lovers of the humanities, shivering together in a cold post- apocalyptic shack of sandbags, to mourn over lost art and loves gone by. The value of the film is in the affective: Barnes forcibly illustrates, through flashback sequences and close- up shots, how the humanities music, painting, literature, and theater are perhaps the most enriching of all human endeavors. Their ultimate and devastating loss is elucidated with pathos, intelligence, and force. It s a paean to romanticism, and critics may fault its decidedly Western orientation in its choice of which literature and music was determined to be worth saving in the apocalypse. It reflects the classical intellectual climate of its day, as was fashionable in the University of Chicago/EB milieu, and it s doubtful as to whether any two critics of this Western viewpoint would be able to agree on how to fix this cultural bias, subjective as it is to time, place, and perspective. Story Into Film: Clark s The Portable Phonograph EB) is the tenminute companion film to Phonograph, in which the director describes the challenges and thought processes that contributed to adapting Clark s short story to the film version.

215 204 Films You Saw in School COURTESY ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, INC. (Left to right) David Buck, Michael Gwynn, William Squire, and Philip Locke in director John Barnes s The Portable Phonograph (EB, 1977). Two films on the subject of romanticism are worthy of note. The team Helen Jean and John Secondari made some of the more memorable educational films of the era, and Romanticism: Revolt of the Spirit (1971, LCA), from LCA s Western Civilization series, is one of them. Here, wonderful on- location footage accompanies a well- thought-out explanation as to the causes and effects of this era, so influential to the art and music of contemporary and subsequent generations. A magnificent foil to the Secondari treatment of the same subject is John Barnes s The Spirit of Romanticism (1977, EB), in which Tim Piggott- Smith stars as an irascible and somewhat insufferable Lord Byron. Bernard Wilets, better known for his Bill of Rights and musical films, directed and produced nine titles for Encyclopædia Britannica s Bernard Wilets Literature Series, including a treatment of Faulkner s The Bear (1980, EB). Filmed at the late author s home in Oxford, Mississippi, Wilets s film captures the essence of place through the use of believable actors amidst a text which demands that the viewer become intellectually engaged with the film in order to uncover its thematic relation to Keats s poem Ode on a Grecian Urn. One of the filmmaker s biggest challenges, incidentally, was in earning the trust of the townspeople of Oxford, several of whom felt used by Perspective Film s Barn Burning production team a year earlier (several local people had lent family heirlooms for set decor, which were either never returned, or finally sent back after much cajoling). 5 Wilets s adaptation of Poe s The Cask of Amontillado (1978, EB), instead of utilizing live- action sequences, focused on action created by the camera zooming and panning across William O Connell s expressionistinspired two- dimensional paintings, reminiscent of another fine, similar adaptation of an equally- macabre theme, directors Paul Julian and Les Goldman s treatment of poet Maurice Ogden s The Hangman (1964, Melrose/McGraw-Hill). Wilets, one of the very few academic

216 Five Literature and Language Arts Films 205 filmmakers who controlled the rights to his films, also distributed his films on literature through Barr Films. Director Alan Beattie s Oscar nominee Doubletalk (1976, LCA) investigates two worlds, in this case, the juxtaposition of opposing thoughts and words, as a young man meets his first date s parents, and unspoken thoughts blend audibly with less- than truthful banter. Two other dramatic films on interpersonal relationships are worth noting. Based on a story by Raymond Carver, director Steven Condiotti s Why Don t You Dance? Third Man Productions) tells the tale of a man putting his possessions up for sale in his yard and encountering a stranger who could or could not be in his future. In director Allan Kroeker s The Pedlar (1982, NFBC), a farmer tries to push his pregnant daughter onto a peddler, who is increasingly desirous of settling down. The story, based on A Place of One s Own by W.D. Valgardson, is scored with compelling Ukrainian music by Bill Prokopchuk, Nick Kowalchuk, and Andy Yablonski. From the short story by Sinclair Ross, director Bruce Pittman s Cornet at Night (1984, Atlantis/CBC) echoes the milieu of the Canadian prairies, in the story of a boy who chooses an itinerant, consumptive musician as a farmhand, in an attempt to gain a perspective on what lies beyond the farm. Two exceptional dramatic films on musical performance are worthy of note. Director Giles Walker s The Concert Stages of Europe (1985, NFBC), from a short story by Vancouver Island writer Jack Hodgins, is a dramatization of his devastatingly satirical look at the delusions of grandeur fostered by the unrealistic expectations of stage parents. Here, a mother browbeats her son into enlisting in a talent search. The film boasts superb writing and directing, and a refreshingly unpredictable ending. Adapted from an Appalachian folk tale, director Gary Moss s Old Dry Frye (1985, Georgia State University) is the story of a Southern preacher, home- cooked chicken dinners, and a corpse, punctuated with an exceptional string band musical score by Tomas Valenti. An interesting twist on adapting a novel in documentary format was found in producer Arthur Barron s The Great American Novel series, consisting of Steinbeck s Grapes of Wrath and Sinclair Lewis s Babbitt (both 1967, CBS News). In the former film, rather than following the Steinbeck characters as they trek across the Southwest, cinematographer Walter Dombrow documents the travel of a real migrant family as it relocates from rural Tennessee to an uncertain future in Chicago, punctuated by remarkable white country- preaching sequences. Later, Barron admitted that he had hired a man to play the part of the protagonist (the man, Chuck Geary, would later be cast by Haskell Wexler for his 1969 feature film, Medium Cool), that he in fact was living in the destination city already, and, while shown to be looking for a job, was, in fact, already employed. Barron donated the car used in the film to the man, a noble gesture that still, perhaps, leaves the viewer uncomfortable with the lack of verisimilitude in this film narrated by actor Richard Paladin Boone. 6 Babbitt, Sinclair Lewis s tale of an outwardly successful businessman, is presented as an investigation into the service club culture in Duluth, Minnesota. Actor Pat Hingle recites a speech given in the book by businessman George Babbitt, rife with knee- jerk platitudes spoken word- for-word to a group of businessmen who were told that they d be listening to a fictional speech written by Lewis and filmed as part of a CBS News presentation. Not surprisingly, several business leaders embrace the speech with the same honest enthusiasm so derided by the author, while others, in the more interesting moments of the film, question the social value of money as it relates to a person s worth, and whether having sex with a woman other than one s wife is morally reprehensible.

217 206 Films You Saw in School Dramatized Films on the Literature of War Classroom films based on fictionalized stories of war were among the most shown in classrooms. They were inherently multi- disciplinary, and teachers used them in English, social science, history, and even art classes. And that s not at all surprising, considering the post 1960 era, from an educational perspective, was laden with war news, information, and propaganda. Many students of that era were soon going to have to make a decision to sign up for an increasingly unpopular war that might very well cost them their lives. Few teachers didn t have an opinion on Vietnam, or war in general. School administrators had their opinions on Vietnam as well, and often they reflected a more conservative philosophy than that of instructors. A great many teachers, therefore, wishing to engage their students in discussions about war and Vietnam, yet not wanting to antagonize administrators, found dramatized films about other wars to be an effective vehicle for classroom discussion. The Civil War- inspired writings of Ambrose Bitter Bierce, in particular, provided a rich body of material for filmmakers, and were the focus of several of the most popular dramatized war films of the era, five of which are of particular note. French director Robert Enrico created a trilogy of films based on Bierce s poignant Civil War stories. An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge Films Inc.), winner of the Oscar for Best Short Subject in 1963, was found in virtually every school library. This chilling story of a spy about to be summarily executed explores travel through time and space, as he breaks free from his constraints and flees home, uncertain of freedom or death, accompanied by the dramatic effect staccato drumbeats of increasing intensity and volume. Enrico s Chickamauga Contemporary) is a grim tale of a boy playing soldier among the dead, then returning to find his home burned and mother killed. The final film in Enrico s trilogy, The Mockingbird Films Inc.), is the tale of a Union soldier who unwittingly kills his twin brother, who fought for the Confederacy. Two additional films based on Bierce s writings were commonly shown in classrooms. Coup de Grâce (1978, Barr), directed by Jack Sanders, is a sardonic film about a soldier who is forced to consider a decision to kill his mortally wounded friend. Director Arthur Barron s Parker Addison, Philosopher (1977, Perspective) is a well- crafted treatment of the story of an acerbic spy taunting his executioners. Directors Denis and Terry Sanders s Oscar- winning A Time Out of War (1954, Carnival) explored the tentative, but increasingly friendly interaction between three soldiers patrolling opposite sides of a river on a blistering hot day. Their bantering from hidden positions results in an agreement to a momentary truce, in which they trade tobacco for hardtack, learn each others names, and trade insults on the nuances of fishing. Their idyllic pause is broken by an unforeseen object caught on the fishing line, leading to a poignant and thought- provoking conclusion. Two powerful stories from a later war were directed by Montenegran filmmaker Predrag Golubovic, whose dramas Silences (1972, Zastava/Contemporary) and Joseph Schultz (1973, Wombat) explored both the nobility and futility of compassion in times of war. The former, based on an event that occurred in 1941, is a poignant tale of a good deed gone bad, in which a Serb fighter initially takes pity on a wounded foe, then, in shock, enters his own village in ruins, still smoldering from the Nazi attack in which his patient had obviously participated. Joseph Schultz conveys the drama of an incident occurred July 19, 1941, in Orahovica, Yugoslavia, the death of a 714th Wehrmacht soldier who was killed by his commander for refusing to execute unarmed civilians. Ever the documentarists, the Nazis took actual photos of the incident, which the filmmaker skillfully juxtaposes with acted sequences.

218 Five Literature and Language Arts Films 207 One of the most powerful philosophical films on the topic of war to be distributed to schools was writer/producer Andy Rooney s An Essay on War (1971, EB). The film was controversial prior to its arrival at EB: it had been deemed too hot at CBS News, which had originally funded production, and it was immediately picked up for airing on public television by National Educational Television s Al Perlmutter, who also hired the writer to provide on- camera essays on The Great American Dream Machine. What had ruffled feathers at CBS was Rooney s questioning of patriotic values, his thoughts over old men sending young men to die, and the idea that each side in the conflict responded to similar deities, regardless of outer trappings. Rooney s final, acerbic comment noted that the triumphant soldier often mistakes the exhaltation of victory for a taste of what things will be like for the rest of his life and they are only like that for a very short time. Editor Bob Forte s memorable editing sequences included a series of quick juxtapositions of marching soldiers from many different armies, a not- so-subtle message to the young American contemplating war service that, rather than expecting glory on the battlefield, he or she might instead represent just another number on an age- old roll call. Encyclopædia Britannica secured distribution rights for the classroom, but, sensing an upcoming fight on their hands with conservative educational buyers, added a disclaimer at the beginning of the film which ended: Encyclopædia Britannica Educational Corporation distributes this film of one individual s interpretation of some aspects of war in the hope that it will stimulate discussion and insight about war and the nations and the people who wage it. CREDIT: ISIDORE MANKOFSKY Scott McCartor (left) and James Edwards in director Larry Yust s Huckleberry Finn series (EB, 1965).

219 208 Films You Saw in School Films on Journalistic Themes This small but fascinating subgenre of educational film included a number of films that were either biographical or procedural in nature. Among the most popular were director Jack Hunter s Mencken s America (1964, WJZ Baltimore) and I.F. Stone s Weekly (1973, Open Circle), directed by Jerry Bruck, Jr. Born in 1880 into a loving, relatively wealthy family of cigar manufacturers, Mencken was one of the brightest stars of the journalistic scene; he was anti- religion, cynical of politics, and an abuser of medical quackery. While Hunter s treatment is somewhat dry and chronological, the viewer does get a feel for how news and opinion were expressed and received before the advent of broadcast media. On the other hand, Bruck takes advantage of having a live subject, the mercurial journalist who described himself as a Jeffersonian Marxist. Isidore Stone founded a bi- weekly newspaper in 1953, dedicated to weeding through the information ignored by major news media in order to report the behind- the-scenes machinations of the Federal government. Stone stepped on toes big and small, offending everyone from his printers to Walter Cronkite, LBJ to Richard Nixon, and to the National Press Club (where he was barred for inviting a black journalist in 1941). Bruck s insightful film follows Stone as he goes about the daily task of reading news, putting together the paper, and performing mailing duties. His circulation director and wife Esther, and journalist Carl Bernstein, provide candid views of Stone, who retired the Weekly in This film is a compelling tribute to a brilliant contributor to progressive political thought, as well as an important reminder of the value of a contrarian press. Working journalists were highlighted in three films made by WNET- NY and distributed by EB as part of the Writers Writing series, two of which were exceptional on both the cognitive and affective level. Directors Ellen Hovde and Muffie Meyer s Pieces of a Puzzle (1985, EB) told the story of Courtland Milloy of the Washington Post as he examined the contrasting sides of an urban eviction story, illustrating the importance of a disinterested perspective. Of equal interest, though on a much different theme, was director Charlotte Zwerin s treatment of the evolving professional relationship between 19-year-old boxer Elvis Yero and 87-year-old philanthropist/activist Elizabeth Virrick, as profiled by Miami Herald reporter Madeleine Blais in Telling an Old Story (1985, EB), which emphasized the importance of being able to change the direction of a story as facts evolve. Films on Poetry Among the most compelling films on poetry were those in which living poets recited their works and described the elements in their lives contributing to their art. Two such films, among the relatively small number of films detailing the work of African- American writers and poets, display the rage, beauty, and power embodied in the work of a large group of important and all- too-often neglected chroniclers of 20th-century America. In director Aida Aronoff s Gwendolyn Brooks (1967, NET), the 1950 Pulitzer Prize winner reveals the lighter and darker elements of the black urban and suburban experience, describing her relationship to kitchenette apartments and reading from powerful pieces such as The Ballad of Rudolph Reed. The writer adds an insightful perspective on the differentiation between loneliness and alone. James Baldwin s Harlem (1964, Metromedia), directed by Don Horan, is one of the two films in producer Arthur Barron s My Childhood series. Here novelist, essayist, and poet Baldwin describes a bleak childhood, an unresponsive father, and his equal uneasiness with American blacks and whites.

220 Five Literature and Language Arts Films 209 COURTESY ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, INC. Boxer Elvis Yero in the corner in director Charlotte Zwerin s Telling an Old Story (1975), part of EB s Writers Writing series. Perhaps no film captured the short continuum between beat and hippie eras better than Peter Whitehead s thirty- four-minute Wholly Communion Contemporary), which chronicled a legendary poetry reading at London s Royal Albert Hall in 1965, featuring luminaries such as Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Adrian Mitchell, and sound poet Ernst Jandl. Roughly halfway through the film, brouhaha ensues over the length of time it takes Harry Fainlight to read his poem, threatening to break the event down into a great anarchic, pandemonious mess. Whitehead later wrote that it had been shot with one camera (a tripod was not allowed), so he followed the wandering poets all over the hall, shooting a four- hour performance with one hour of film. His synch sound was lost in the cavernous hall, and the final mix was dubbed from the neck microphones of the poets. His personal coda to this very important film was a poignant comment on the veracity of film: Anyone seeing the film who thinks that he has seen the truth about what DID happen, is deluded. 7 Speak White NFBC), directed by Pierre Falardeau and Julien Poulin, consists of a powerful reading of Michèle Lalonde s acerbic poem, in French, by Marie Eykel. Disturbing images of the Ku Klux Klan, wars, and poverty are contrasted with those of elegance and dissipation, accompanied by Poulin s musique- concrète musical score. Director David Myers s In a Dark Time (1964, Contemporary) features poet Theodore Roethke reciting in a corner wing chair, engulfed in shadows. Roethke s animated delivery has tremendous affective value, as evidenced by his singing in front of the fireplace, cigar in hand, in his sprechenspiel delivery of an Irish pub song he d crafted. Two important films which utilized the voices of poets no longer living were director Harold Mantell s e.e. cummings: the Making of a Poet (1971, Films for the Humanities), and The Days of Dylan Thomas (1965, McGraw- Hill), directed by Graeme Ferguson, both of which made heavy use of period photographs to illustrate the lives of the poets, as well as the era in which they lived. The

221 210 Films You Saw in School Thomas film consists of black and white still photos of the writer taken by producer Rollie McKenna and other notable photographers, interspersed with strong narration and excerpts from Thomas s own Caedmon recordings. Occasionally, films would utilize visual imagery to augment the words of the poet, a practice fraught with the ever- present and lurking dangers of cloying predictability and insipid sentimentality. Three remarkable films managed to avoid the didactic. The enchanting Morning on the Lièvre (1961, NFBC), directed by David Bairstow, depicted, through Stanley Jackson s recitation of the poem by Archibald Lampman, the languor of a fall day, beginning with the foggy, leaf- strewn, half- hidden banks of the Lièvre River in Québec. The opening shot of W.B. Yeats: A Tribute (1950, Brandon), directed by George Fleischmann and John D. Sheridan, consists of his coffin riding on the bow of a ship, returning to Ireland. This brooding but fairylike film visits Yeats s Irish haunts, with examples of his prose and poetry. His poetry is accompanied by scenes from the Sligo countryside, Dublin, London, and Drumcliff Cemetery, where Yeats s headstone reads: Cast a cold eye on life, on death, Horseman Pass By. Director Patrick Carey s Yeats Country (1965, IFB) consists of Yeats s writing, a discussion of his life and times, and wonderful footage of Ireland. III. Filmed Adaptations of Dramatic Works In addition to the Short Story Showcase series mentioned earlier, EB also produced the Short Play Showcase series, consisting of three films directed by Larry Yust. In a remarkable CREDIT: ISIDORE MANKOFSKY Director Larry Yust.

222 Five Literature and Language Arts Films 211 adaptation of Thornton Wilder s The Long Christmas Dinner (1975, EB), Yust uses elements reminiscent of Japanese Noh theater 8 to represent the passage of life over a dinner that spans years and generations. Entrances are made through a bright doorway, while departures indicating death take place through a pall- shrouded portal. To assist the actors and crew with the continuity of this poignant and powerful story, Yust shot the film entirely in sequence. 9 Also noteworthy is Yust s interpretation of John M. Synge s story of simplicity CREDIT: ISIDORE MANKOFSKY Peggy Weber and Jack Aronson in Larry Yust s The Well of the Saints (EB, 1975).

223 212 Films You Saw in School and greed, The Well of the Saints (1975), in which an economically disadvantaged blind couple is granted the temporary gift of vision, allowing them to see the folly of the human condition and gain insight into their own souls. The element of magic in the story is emphasized by Yust s Oz- like soundstage, featuring elaborately painted backgrounds and cameraman Isidore Mankofsky s ethereal lighting setup. It s challenging to categorize producer Arly Paris s fascinating Gandhi: A Profile in Power (1976, LCA), a startling dramatization of an after- death conversation between Louis Negin as the martyred philosopher and Patrick Watson as his questioner. The film is equal parts history, literature, and philosophy; the set is completely bare, with a background of hazy half- light, the camera hand- held as the actors walk together, discussing Gandhi s sexuality, nonviolent philosophy, relationship with colonialism, and death. The dialog between the two actors was wholly improvised, buoyed by Negin s stellar performance as he accelerates his tone in accusatory fashion to cover Watson s momentary pauses. The constantly moving camera, changing dialogue, and characters in motion provide momentum to a film that triumphed over what could have been predictably austere, an intimate fantasy walk with a man who figured prominently in the history of two continents. Director Jeffrey Young s The Stronger (1969, Doubleday) is a powerful adaptation of August Strindberg s one- act play, featuring Viveca Lindfors in a dual role as the rejected wife, discussing her marital relationship with her mute rival. James Rieser s well- crafted cam- COURTESY ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, INC. Director John Barnes (left) discusses a sequence with actors Paul Sparer and Frances Sternhagen for A Doll s House (EB, 1967).

224 Five Literature and Language Arts Films 213 erawork cleverly allows Lindfors to juxtapose a purely visual character with that of her verbose counterpart. Unlike other filmmakers who directed or produced films on dramatic works for the classroom, director/producer John Barnes specialized neither in complete works nor truncated versions. Instead, the films were a curriculum unto themselves, concentrating as much on the themes as on the story itself. In dissecting the different approaches taken by Chekhov and Ibsen, he effectively utilizes the techniques that define his style, such as mixing the chronology to expose thematic material, and panning from the active soundstage to the adjacent off- set host, then breaking the action to allow the host to describe the playwright s intent. The two films discussed below are essentially bookends, utilizing the same host as well as many of the same film techniques. A Doll s House, which makes reference to The Cherry Orchard, is in particular one of the more stunning treatments of a theatrical presentation ever filmed. COURTESY ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, INC. Maureen Stapleton (center) in director John Barnes s The Cherry Orchard (EB, 1968).

225 214 Films You Saw in School In A Doll s House (1968, EB), Barnes, in a powerful series of thematic variations on Henrik Ibsen s play, shows alternate scenes discarded by the playwright, juxtaposes the playwright s treatment with that of a similar theme from Shakespeare, and moves the play forward in time from 1880 to Superbly cast and directed, Frances Sternhagen and Paul Sparer offer startlingly powerful portrayals of the couple whose illusions are exposed as the result of a good deed gone wrong. Staring at us through thick glasses and wringing his hands, host Norris Houghton would never fly in today s TV America. Representing something akin to a Greek chorus, this omniscient academic, eschewer of popular convention and carrier of the tale, elucidates these dead and dying characters, bridging their disparate scenes, and providing cohesion. In The Cherry Orchard (1967, EB), host Norris Houghton explains Chekhovian concepts such as interior action, as a stellar cast, including Maureen Stapleton and Donald Moffat, performs excerpts from the play in the adjacent set. The film actually comprises two discrete elements: Chekhov: Innovator of Modern Drama, and Comedy or Tragedy?, each of which also includes details from the life of the playwright and period photographs. Shakespearean Themes The plays of Shakespeare were among the most challenging subject matter for the educational filmmaker, charged with the duty of interpreting the theatrical brilliance of the Elizabethan playwright and elucidating 16th-century English for secondary students. John Barnes s three interpretive series, based on Hamlet, Macbeth, and George Bernard Shaw (known collectively as Shaw vs. Shakespeare, again discussed in the Barnes chapter earlier) CREDIT: BILL PIERCE Richard Kiley and Suzanne Grossman centerstage, in John Barnes s Shaw vs. Shakespeare (EB, 1970).

226 Five Literature and Language Arts Films 215 are not only the most substantial treatments ever done on Shakespearean themes, they are among the finest films ever made in the educational genre, and were included among most educational film libraries that included material on Shakespeare. Barnes s initial Shakespearean series, Hamlet (1959, EB), was hosted by Yale English professor Maynard Mack, with actors directed for the stage by Douglas Campbell, headlined by a riveting Peter Donat as the increasingly vicious and tormented protagonist. This film is composed of four one- half-hour segments, each treating a different aspect of the play, with commentary and analysis by Mack, supported by acted sequences. The films comprising the series are: The Age of Elizabeth, What Happens in Hamlet?, The Poisoned Kingdom, and The Readiness is All. Barnes s remarkable Macbeth series (1964, EB) comprised three short films: The Politics of Power, The Themes of Macbeth, and The Secret st Man. Here, each half- hour film consists of a series of separate but eventually interconnected ideas, illustrated by acted sequences, and hosted by the erudite, engaging Douglas Campbell. Continuing the elements of staging legerdemain first used in his Great Expectations series, Barnes begins the initial film with a stand- up introduction by Campbell, then pans to the soundstage, as a stagehand directs the carbon- dioxide canister toward the area that will be occupied by the three witches. Later, host Campbell walks in front of the actors, who freeze in a 38-second tableau vivant, and delivers a prologue describing the action that will shortly occur. The action resumes, only to stop again as the camera moves in a 90-degree arc, now following the host. As Macbeth falls increasingly into despair, faces begin to appear to him as distorted specters in fun- house mirrors. In 1969, Barnes filmed his magnum opus, the Shaw vs. Shakespeare series. In terms of the melding of concept, originality, writing, directing, and acting, the three- part series must be considered as one of the most important classroom academic film series ever made. Shaw vs. Shakespeare is a critique of Shakespeare s characterization of Julius Caesar, as seen from the eyes of playwright and commentator George Bernard Shaw, played by Donald Moffat, who also took on the role of Cassius. In addition to exploring the character of Caesar, Barnes wanted to emphasize the importance of George Bernard Shaw as a critic as well as a playwright. Peering backward in time (Shakespeare s Julius Caesar was written in 1598, and Shaw s Caesar and Cleopatra in 1898), the Irish critic here questions, chides, and excoriates Shakespeare for the way in which he treats the personality of Caesar. Unabashedly proclaiming his own brilliance, Barnes s Shaw provides insightful and witty examples juxtaposing the imperious character of his Caesar with the seemingly ineffectual one written by his older- by-three-centuries counterpart. Even Barnes s viewing audience is challenged by the acerbic Shaw, in the opening of the initial film: Now, may I say that you are free to disagree with anything I say about Shakespeare; but since you undoubtedly do not know his plays as well as I, your disagreement is likely to be on very shaky ground indeed. The Shaw films are alternately funny and intellectual, a brilliantly written tribute to two magnificent playwrights, with Moffat, who himself saw Shaw as his own alter- ego, as an impressively skeptical host. The way Barnes was able to finagle superior production assets seemingly out of thin air is dramatically illustrated by the story surrounding the underpinnings of Shaw, which began when the director got word that a highly touted and heavily funded Broadway musical, Her First Roman, starring Richard Kiley and Leslie Uggams, had failed miserably and was canceled after its initial three performances. Barnes called the show s producer, wanting to purchase the costumes:

227 216 Films You Saw in School He said, How much do you have to spend? I told him a figure, and he said, Well, the costumes are yours. Anything else you want? And I said, Yeah, the props, the settings, the hangings. He asked me how much more I had in my budget, and I told him a ridiculous figure, and he said, Come over and you can have anything you want. Well, the wreckers usually come to a show like that when it closes, knock everything down, break it into pieces and burn it up. I arrived when they arrived, and it was like presiding over the liquidation of an Egyptian dynasty. I got three moving vans and filled them with stuff and we got started immediately on our production. When we finish our film we expect to sell the stuff. 10 Barnes paid $3,000 for everything. The wigs alone had been sold to the original producers for $25,000, so a guess of up to several hundred thousand dollars for the entire set is probably not out of line. As the coup de grâce, Barnes hired the Caesar of the play, a suddenly outof-work Richard Kiley, as the protagonist. Uggams was presumably unavailable, and Suzanne Grossman, a young actress recruited from Douglas Campbell s Stratford Festival Company in Canada, was cast as Cleopatra. Recognizing that they were about to distribute a unique series of films, EB s marketing department produced an 8½ 11, glossy 26-page booklet to accompany each film, complete with the actors script and the filmmaker s statement of purpose and production notes. Shaw vs. Shakespeare comprises three films: The Character of Caesar 1970, EB), Shakespeare s The Tragedy of Julius Caesar 1970, EB), and Shaw s Caesar and Cleopatra EB). Several films on Shakespearean themes were concerned with staging and rehearsal. In director Amanda C. Pope s Stages: Houseman Directs Lear (1975, Texture), noted actor and director John Houseman leads his Acting Company, painstakingly blocking the action, and engaging in initial and dress rehearsals through final performance. In Borrowed Faces (1979, McGraw- Hill) director Linda Moulton Howe visits the 1979 Colorado Shakespeare Festival during tryouts. Dozens of actors vie for roles in three plays, several of whom are the subjects of this engaging documentary, in which actors are interviewed before, during, and after their auditions. The most interesting portion of the film revolves around the round- table discussion among the three directors as they discuss the candidates, one of whom, one director suggests, may have to change careers due to her high cheekbones. A somewhat unusual and ultimately less satisfying film was Shakespeare and His Stage: Approaches to Hamlet (1975, Films for the Humanities), directed by Harold Mantell. At the outset it showcases the talent of actor Stephen Tate, who plods so slowly through the rehearsal that the filmmaker has chosen to intersperse his attempts at mastering the role with clips of successful screen versions by Olivier, Barrymore, and Nicol Williamson. Much of the film involves Tate meandering about the set, miming the actions while he reads the words offscreen. IV. Non- narrated Short Dramatic Films An interesting cinematic amalgam falling into the nexus between the literature and sociodrama films were a series of often compelling nonverbal story films, many of which were made by French filmmakers and distributed to schools through North American film companies. Among the earliest of these was director Albert Lamorisse s The Red Balloon Films Inc.), featuring the director s young son, whose relationship with a singleminded balloon soon involves all the other balloons of Paris. The camera work by Edmond Séchan, who manages to conceal the apparatus for controlling the balloon as it travels

228 Five Literature and Language Arts Films 217 through the streets and passages of Menilmontant, is superb. Séchan himself directed three memorable films in this genre: The Golden Fish (1959, Films Inc.), String-Bean (Le Haricot, 1964, McGraw- Hill), and One- Eyed Men Are Kings (1974, McGraw- Hill). The Golden Fish, produced by Jacques Cousteau, is the story of a lonely immigrant boy who develops a magical relationship with a fish he buys at a fair. In String-Bean, a very old woman, living in a bleak flat with no running water, raises a small plant from seedlings, carries it to the Tuileries gardens, and replants it. Caretakers eventually throw it away, viewing it as a nuisance to their landscaping, but she sees this and salvages the seeds from the dying plant, and grows a new plant again in her tiny room. In the Oscar- winning One-Eyed Men Are Kings, a henpecked husband finds new joy in his unhappy world by gaining sympathy as a blind man, a farce which ends when he is returned home by his new friends. The environs of Paris provided the background for several other outstanding non verbal films. Director Claude Pinoteau s Boy Alone (1969, Contemporary) offers a slice of life in the day of a boy who finds solace in the company of the Tuileries pigeons, while rejecting the attention and company of humans. Clown dir. Richard Balducci, LCA), according to LCA president Bill Deneen, was the best- selling film ever distributed by that company. On the surface, it s a cute kid (Gilou Pelletier) and lost dog story, in which the boy, upon finally finding his dog, relinquishes him to a blind man. Filmed by Guy Suzuki, whose wellplanned setups take advantage of the geometry of the many staircases and paths of Montmartre, the story takes on additional beauty by virtue of its ambiguity: is the boy s act one of extreme generosity, or instead, had the boy borrowed the blind man s dog, who eventually found its way back to his master? The streets of Paris were used by Claude Lelouch as the main character in his visually arresting Rendezvous c était un rendez- vous, Pyramid). Having rigged a camera to a Mercedes, Lelouch drove through pre- dawn Paris in what appears to be a wild tour through well- known sites in the form of a frantic nine- minute race to a meeting with his wife at Sacre Coeur, overlooking the city. The director uses a Ferrari for the soundtrack and accelerates the speed of the film in a wonderful work of cinematic sleight of hand, delivering the impression to the viewer that car is racing through urban streets as if they were a race course. Director Georges Spicas s Le Plât du jour (1972, Carousel) is a non- narrated series of hilarious vignettes taking place in a terrible French restaurant, starring the animated Max Durand. VI. Filmed Biographies of Authors Director Edwin L. Wilber s Edgar Allan Poe: The Fever Called Living (1979, Handel), is a rather straightforward chronology of the cities and houses inhabited by the writer, interspersed with examples of his writing amidst paintings by Hieronymus Bosch and others. Of particular interest is the appearance on camera of noted Poe scholars, although one wishes they had been given the opportunity to speak. Producer Sloane Shelton s Millay at Steepletop (1976, Phoenix) directed by Kevin Brownlow, features color home movies taken at poet Edna St. Vincent Millay s house, as well as interesting footage of her sister Norma puttering around the garden smoking cigarettes and reminiscing. Less satisfying, from the aspect of continuity, is Jim Case s film on Henry David Thoreau, The Captain of a Huckleberry Party (1976, KRMA- TV, Denver). Here, the viewer is shown old photographs of people and houses, but never told who they are or what they represent, confusing in view of the constant stream of recitation. Finally, Thoreau s prose is read over a scene in which smog- belching

229 218 Films You Saw in School automobiles bearing Colorado license plates vie for freeway space, somewhat odd for a subject so historically linked to New England. Coronet Films Mark Twain Gives an Interview (1961, unnamed director) is performed in witty and engaging fashion by Hal Holbrook. Instead of having the talented Holbrook engage the viewer in monologue, the film is marred by the unfortunate choice of having offscreen people ask questions, which hurts the momentum of the film, and frankly, the offscreen children beginning each question with Mr. Twain? is annoying. In spite of this, Holbrook s ability to re- start after the interruptions is remarkable, and his commentary on the pleasures of cigar smoking, and his poking fun at parents is delightful. Director Alan Landsburg s George Bernard Shaw (1962, Wolper) characterized Shaw, the critic, novelist, and playwright, as chastised, vilified, and ultimately revered before he died in 1950 at the age of 94. Although finally a victim of his propensity to clown, this Wolper- produced film in the well- known Biography series is notable for its footage of the man himself in action, allowing viewers to judge for themselves how well John Barnes captured his spirit and demeanor in his Shaw vs. Shakespeare EB) series, mentioned earlier. In producer Fred Sharpe s The Authors series, distributed by Journal Films, both Herman Melville (1978) and Stephen Crane (1978) suffer from the characteristics director Lee Gluckman has chosen to emphasize in each character: the hacking, annoying, tubercular cough of William H. Macy s Crane, and Richard Kuss s constant and equally annoying bellowing as Melville. The films are otherwise well- written and -acted, although the soft focus cinematography is disconcerting. By contrast, a far more effective treatment of the actor-as-author film is director Richard Marquand s Ernest Hemingway: Rough Diamond (1977, AD Carl- COURTESY CHATSWORTH AND AV CARLSON Larry Hoodekoff, in director Richard Marquand s Ernest Hemingway: Rough Diamond (Centron, 1977).

230 Five Literature and Language Arts Films 219 son/centron), which is set in Cuba, 1951, as the writer is in the midst of writing The Old Man and the Sea. Larry Hoodekoff plays the irascible, self- doubting Hemingway with panache and feeling, and the unresolved sexual tension between him and Susannah Fellows (playing a young master s candidate) propels the short film forward, with Marquand s skillful directing allowing her to achieve a decent degree of character development in a very short amount of on- screen time. Elaine Stritch plays an opinionated, scolding, and funny Gertrude Stein to Kenneth Nelson s young Hemingway, making this film exciting in plot and directing, and exceptional in the strength of its actors. Ultimately, the film is Hoodekoff s, whose Hemingway is memorable and oddly moving. VI. Filmed Interviews and Interactions with Authors James Dickey: Poet; Lord, Let Me Die But Not Die Out (1970, EB), directed by Stanley Croner, covers James Dickey s barnstorming- for-poetry tour. He reads Buckhead Boys at DeKalb College, where he uses the phrase take a shit, a colloquialism voiced for perhaps the only time in an academic classroom film. On the tour, he carries his bow and arrow around the country, discusses hunting deer, poetry with poet Robert Lowell in New York City, and his writing style with students at Cape Cod Community College. In director Richard Slote s Tennessee Williams: Theatre in Process (1976, EB), the playwright oversees his play The Red Devil Battery Sign, and engages in a press conference, rehearsal, the opening, and a rewrite. The film features Anthony Quinn, Claire Bloom, Katy Jurado, and Annette Cardona. COURTESY ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, INC. James Dickey in director Stanley Croner s James Dickey: Poet; Lord, Let Me Die But Not Die Out (EB, 1970).

231 220 Films You Saw in School In director Terry Sanders s Story of a Writer: Ray Bradbury Wolper), a selfeffacing Bradbury is shown hacking away at stories in his basement, visiting a rocket site, and undergoing a strict editing process in his living room joined by fellow writers. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.: A Self- Portrait (1975, Films for the Humanities), directed by Harold Mantell, features the noted author of Slaughterhouse Five talking of his youth, literature, and life. In producer Edward R. Murrow s Carl Sandburg Discusses His Work (1961, CBS/Coronet), Sandburg, noted for being a cantankerous interview, obviously loved Murrow, who spent a day with the historian- poet at his farm in North Carolina. At Connemara (now a national park), mounds of ephemera are strewn through every room, and this film documents it in its most pristine form. In its day, goats were given free rein inside the house, but were apparently shooed out during the filming. In director John Durst s Conversation with W. Somerset Maugham (1960, EB), filmed five years before his death at age 95, the physically deteriorating author speaks in labored fashion. In this interview, hosted by friend and New York Herald- Tribute literary critic Alan Pryce- Jones, Maugham sits on the verandah of his Cape Ferrat home, discussing his pals Shaw, Kipling, Wells, and Sinclair Lewis. Director Richard O. Moore s Eudora Welty (1975, Perspective) is an insightful and charming interview with the lively author, who reads for a spell, then talks about the South. In Writing: An Interview with Irving Stone (1976, Coronet), directed by Doron Kauper, the author of books about Van Gogh and Michelangelo, among others, offers a fascinating view of the time- consuming and difficult process of writing, and chronicles his arguments with his collaborator, wife, and editor Jean Stone. One of the more fascinating series of films on the subject of writers of books was Weston Woods s Signature Collection of films produced by Morton Schindel, in which noted authors and illustrators discuss the philosophy and mechanics of putting together children s picture books. One of the liveliest films in this series was director Gene Deitch s Tomi Ungerer: Storyteller (1981, Weston Woods). An engaging and funny man, Ungerer is noted for his references to dark subjects in his children s books. He discusses his fear of the dark, how children enjoy the terror in his books, and takes absolute joy in being an iconoclast. Not a word is mentioned about the fact that he s also one of the world s most ribald adult cartoonists in this insightful and humorous interview with cartoonist Deitch. In Gene Deitch: The Picture Book Animated (1977, Weston Woods) the eponymous director and creator of the Mr. Magoo and Tom Terrific animated characters describes the painstaking process of animating a picture book for film, and creating its music. In a fascinating YouTube excerpt from the film, Gene Deitch on adapting Maurice Sendak s Where the Wild Things Are YouTube), Deitch discusses the challenges in bringing Sendak s book to screen. In producer Morton Schindel s Maurice Sendak (1965, Weston Woods), the author reveals that he began his Caldecott winning book Where the Wild Things Are in 1955, but it wasn t completed until As the film shows, Sendak is a perfectionist, who built elaborate wooden toys as a child (he shows us a few of them here), and counts Francisco Goya as one of his bigger influences. Although Schindel s insightful interview is not available for internet viewing as of this writing, the film version of the book Where the Wild Things Are Weston Woods), directed by Gene Deitch and produced by Morton Schindel, is. In Morton Schindel: From Page to Screen (1981, Weston Woods), producer, host, and Weston Woods founder Morton Schindel describes how a book is transformed into a film. In addition, we see Gerald McDermott, author and Caldecott winner, reading from his book and film Arrow to the Sun Texture). The National Film Board of Canada is justly famous for its animation and documentary

232 productions, but less known is its significant body of work on Canadian authors. Generally, U.S.-based film companies have done poorly by comparison in documenting the people whose writings make our lives richer though fact, fiction, or fantasy. Living in the shadow of the giant to the south, many Canadian writers are unknown to residents of the States, although their appeal is universal. Perhaps the most amazing aspect to these films is the force of the personalities of the subjects themselves, and one s discovery of a persona that might never have been encountered without the Film Board s mandate to present Canadians, a people with distinct cultures and personalities, to themselves and to the world at large. As a whole, the writers depicted in the series are engaging, thoughtprovoking, fun, and perhaps, in their own fashion, a bit melancholy as well. Director Donald Winkler s exceptional Earle Birney: Portrait of a Poet (1981, NFBC) features the amazing 76-year-old Birney reciting his sound poetry in a college class, performing with the percussion ensemble Nexus, and Five Literature and Language Arts Films 221 Don Winkler, director of Earle Birney: Portrait of a Poet (NFBC, 1981). reading from his epic poem David. More bittersweet is Alden Nowlan: An Introduction (1984, dir. Jon Pederson). Filmed shortly before his death, Nowlan here recounts his boyhood of poverty in the Maritimes, and how it shaped his poetry, in an extremely moving film about a man known as well for his plays, novels, and short stories. In The Apprenticeship of Mordecai Richler (1986, dir. Alan Handel), one of Canada s best- known writers shows that he suffers no fool gladly, offending talk show hosts, fans, and fellow alumni from his old secondary school alike. Here, we see film clips from screen adaptations of his best- known books, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (starring with Richard Dreyfuss), and Joshua Then and Now (with James Woods), both directed by Ted Kotcheff. Though Richler s works were at odds with many in the Canadian Jewish establishment, we see them as universal in nature, and the man, who spent 20 years in London before returning home, is clearly an individual always spoiling for a good fight. Also of note is Caroline Leaf s remarkable transformational animated film based on a Richler story of passage, The Street NFBC), utilizing the media of colors and oil on glass, and discussed in the chapter on the sociodrama film. An impressive film which serves as a bookend to the Richler film is director Alan Handel s The Lonely Passion of Brian Moore (1986, NFBC), which establishes the fact that the Belfast- born writer of Catholics, Black Robe, and The Luck of Ginger Coffey is as at- odds with the Catholic establishment as Richler is with its Jewish counterpart. Moore, who retained his Canadian citizenship despite having lived in Malibu for years, is an erudite and dry humorist and observer; in this film, we travel with him to Belfast for a picketed book- signing, where he s joined by his disapproving and humorless Catholic brother. He reads from his PHOTOGRAPH BY YVES RENAUD, COURTESY DON WINKLER

233 222 Films You Saw in School works and relates tales of his working relationship with Alfred Hitchcock (for whom he wrote the screenplay for the film Torn Curtain), all accompanied by a terrific jazzy musical score by Chris Crilly. The Canadian prairies are largely ignored by U.S.-based filmmakers, with towns like Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, where the deep gold of the grain rises to greet the luminous blue horizon, unbroken, no matter how many times you spin around to try to find a hill out there somewhere, napping. In view of one of the mandates of the Film Board that Canada should be interpreted not only to other Canadians, but to everyone else in the world as well its prairie films are doubly important. Two outstanding literature films that portray an essence of that world are director Robert Duncan s Margaret Laurence: First Lady of Manawaka (1978, NFBC), and director Harvey Spak s Wood Mountain Poems (1978). Writer of novels such as Stone Angel and The Diviners, Laurence lost both parents by age 10, then lived with her 82-year-old mortician grandfather, an experience which left her with a lifetime of nightmares. This insightful film provides a glimpse of past and present prairie life in visits to her childhood home of Neepawa, Manitoba. Wood Mountain Poems portrays another side of prairie life, as poet Andrew Suknaski, from Wood Mountain, Saskatchewan, writes about the loneliness of the prairie. Here, his friends slowly shake their heads, describing how he pursued a woman over hill and dale for months, and came back empty- handed. Spak s filmmaking is as poetic as the subject itself, whether documenting an ancient Romanian ritual held each New Year s Eve, or visiting a grave site marked by little more than a rough- hewn cross dangling from a barbed- wire fence to record the thoughts of a poet mourning a lost friend. In order to better address the shorter viewing time required by school classes, the Film Board offered one- half-hour versions of many of its one- hour films on writers, which allowed for discussion in the minutes of allotted time. Often, the original, longer version was a radically different film from the abridged one. In the one- hour Hugh MacLennan: Portrait of a Writer (1985), for example, director Robert Duncan emphasizes the Scot- Presbyterian outlook that colored the writings of MacLennan, and which made him a controversial figure to French Canadians at odds with English Canada. The half- hour version (The Canadian Observer: An Introduction to Hugh MacLennan), however, virtually ignores this element, thereby evading much of the controversy that surrounded the man given credit for writing the first truly Canadian novel, Barometer Rising, in Also missing from the shorter version are the interviews in which the author sports one of the more eccentric suits ever worn by a film subject. Additional Canadian writers meriting Film Board titles include Irving Layton, Margaret Atwood, Jack Hodgins, and W.O. Mitchell.

234 CHAPTER SIX Sociodrama Films I. An Overview of the Sociodramatic Film II. Sociodramas on the Aged III. Sociodramas on Ethnicities IV. Sociodramas on Teen Angst V. Sociodramas on People with Special Needs I. An Overview of the Sociodramatic Film Prior to the mid 1960s, fictional school films based on social themes (termed guidance films by the classroom film industry) most commonly dealt with alcohol, civics, dating, driver safety, health, and occasionally, familial challenges. 1 Dramatic themes based on racial issues were virtually unknown. Films on intergenerational conflict most often were prejudiced in favor of the parental generation. The advent of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, were keys to evolving classroom films on societal issues from the button- down, predicable- ending guidance films to the modern sociodramatic film. These acts, along with the emergence of young filmmakers, resulted in films encompassing racial, age- related, and inter- or intra- cultural thematic material. They were interdisciplinary in the sense that they emphasized concepts commonly taught in history, literature, and social science classes. Unlike their guidance films predecessors, sociodramas rarely had neatly wrapped- up endings, instead leaving closure up to the audience. It would not be far- fetched to posit that Italian neorealism films, with their lack of conclusive endings, had influenced many of the younger filmmakers making sociodramatic classroom films. In most cases, the length of sociodramatic films was thirty minutes or less to allow time for adequate discussion in a 55 minute class. They are, from an affective perspective, among the strongest educational films ever made; many are timeless, from a topical as well as cinematic perspective. There were occasional pre 1960s precursors to the great sociodramas of the 1960s and 1970s. Gordon Weisenborn s People Along the Mississippi EB, written and photographed by John Barnes), discussed earlier, may be the first nationally distributed educational film to embrace the interaction of races and cultures in the United States. Other filmmakers were also gingerly stepping into the racial arena, albeit less directly than Weisenborn and Barnes. Director Paul Burnford, between his tenure at MGM and his founding of Film Associates, directed a classroom film with an interracial cast of children, Skipper Learns a Lesson Sid Davis Productions), in which a prejudiced white dog changes his tune after finding himself accidentally splashed with black paint. 223

235 224 Films You Saw in School CREDIT: LEARNING CORPORATION OF AMERICA (Left to right) Dodi Pinero and Paul Sorvino in Bert Salzman s Angel and Big Joe (LCA, 1975). Many of the most notable sociodramatic films were produced by the Learning Corporation of America. LCA s Learning to Be Human and Searching for Values series of films were ubiquitous, and included well- known titles such as director Barbara Loden s unsettling The Boy Who Liked Deer Don Thompson s That s My Name, Don t Wear It Out (1975), and Bert Salzman s Angel and Big Joe. Born in New York City in 1931, Salzman was already a successful graphic artist before embarking on a career as a filmmaker when, in 1970, LCA s executive producer Linda Gottlieb asked him to choose three ethnic groups as focal points for his first LCA films. Salzman directed and wrote eight films in the series, four of which are memorable and infused with elements essential to great film of any genre: pathos, passion, and humor. A philosophical man whose films often reflected the bittersweet elements of his own childhood (he was placed in an orphanage by his father, who refused to raise him as a single parent), Salzman s best known film is Angel and Big Joe An Oscar winner for Best Live- Action Short, the film stars Paul Sorvino in a story about a Puerto Rican migrant boy having to make a tough decision to co- run a business with a valuable new friend, or follow his farmworker parents to a new crop and an uncertain future. II. Sociodramas on the Aged From the mid seventies onward, issues concerning treatment of the elderly, both in a societal as well as medical sense, were addressed by the edfilm community as sociodramas. Two of the most notable were and Bert Salzman s Shopping Bag Lady and director Dianne Haak s The Lilith Summer (1976, AIMS). Salzman s film illustrates how a young girl

236 Six Sociodrama Films 225 breaks away from her peers in order to show compassion for an elderly homeless woman (played by veteran actress Mildred Dunnock) whom she had previously mocked. Visiting her in the hospital, she notices old photos and theatrical advertisements in the woman s bag, and learns she was once a beautiful young aspiring actress. The hospital visit becomes a rite of passage for the girl, who, seeing something of herself in the unfulfilled aspirations of the older woman, may no longer be able to join in on the cruel taunts of her peers. In Haak s film, a young girl reluctantly agrees to attend to an active, funny, and wise older woman as a day job in order to make enough money to buy a bicycle. Gradually, she realizes that the two have much in common, but the nondemonstrative nature of both of these people prevents the acknowledgment that their relationship has evolved. The poignant ending provides a social lesson (the bittersweet ending of the film is intensified by the knowledge that the actress playing the older woman, died several months after the film was made). 2 The Detour (1977, dir. Shelby Leverington), a pet project of Phoenix Films VP Barbara Bryant, portrays the quest of an older woman to die with dignity. This radical film was shot from the perspective of the woman who is never seen on camera as she battles ineffectual nurses, terrible food, and devices that prolong her pain and suffering. In one of educational film s more memorable scenes, a smarmy chaplain asks her to indicate on her ever- present chalkboard (she can no longer speak) if he could bring her anything, to which she responds the name of a long- lost lover. When the chaplain asks why, she writes copulation. Novelist Françoise Sagan directed a poignant drama of the differing perspectives of romance between the old and young in Encore Un Hiver (1975?, Editions A.L.M./Films Inc.), in which an older woman and a younger man sit on the same park bench, independently waiting for their lovers. He seems none too interested in his paramour, relating to her potential arrival as a minor event, serving as little more than a casual affair interrupting his daily routine. Hers is married, and they ve been meeting once a year, over a number of years, at the same time and place. His lover arrives, and they hurriedly rush off; her lover is late, and she becomes visibly worried. When he finally arrives, we are faced with questioning our own beliefs on issues such as happiness, duty, and survival. Ultimately, younger viewers were left to consider whether unrequited love and relationships of convenience were concepts than span generations as opposed to being particular to a certain age. The concept of jealousy, often attributed to the ignorance and insecurity of youth, forces the conflict between James Whitmore s possessive elderly husband and his gregarious wife in Noel Black s fine adaptation of Ring Lardner s Golden Honeymoon (1980, Perspective). The uncomfortable subject of memory loss, whether willful or due to trauma, is addressed in director Mitch Mathews s Piece of Cake (1980, Australian Film Commission/ LCA). Mathews s alternately funny and dark treatment utilizes the theme of a duck stolen to be eaten for dinner as a means to explore how an otherwise lucid older person copes with the loss of a prematurely departed daughter. Similarly, Mel Damski s The Lost Phoebe (1974, Perspective) addresses the issue of an elderly man who believes his dead wife is still alive, distressing the townspeople. Becoming further disoriented, he dies alone on a riverbank, in a film that makes the viewer painfully aware of dementia. A particularly fine dream sequence depicting the tricks played by memory is found in Randa Haines s version of Katherine Anne Porter s The Jilting of Granny Weatherall (1980, Perspective), a poignant story of a woman who carries the bitterness of a failed relationship with her to her death. One of the more unusual films distributed by EB defies categorization, and consists of the story of an older woman who seemingly forgets a wrapped package in a vegetable market. In An Autumn Story: Mrs. Pennypacker s Package (1967, dir. Maclovia Rodriguez), the protagonist elicits

237 226 Films You Saw in School the assistance of several city service personnel to retrieve her package, only to leave it again on a railway platform as she departs on a train. Initially, the viewer may feel Mrs. Pennypacker s memory is slipping. Midway through the film, however, the sealed, seemingly airtight package is revealed to contain a small live dog, lending an uncomfortably dark aspect to the film. Animator Caroline Leaf s alternately funny and poignant The Street NFBC), based on a short story by Mordecai Richler, is an Oscar- nominated short that concerns a young girl s bewilderment at the illness, death, and life of her grandmother, utilizing a compelling and fascinating oil- on-glass animation technique. III. Sociodramas on Ethnicities Sociodramas on Americanresiding ethnicities did not come into prominence until the 1970s. Geraldine Fitzgerald in director Randa Haines s The Jilting of Granny Weatherall (Perspective, 1980). Prior to then, the immigrant experience was primarily addressed, in limited form, through history films. Story of an Immigrant (1944), abridged from an MGM feature called An American Romance, featured unaccomplished actors sporting woeful attempts at foreign accents, acting out a farcical love story having only a superficial connection with thematic interpretation of immigration issues, multiculturalism, and international politics. Much later, Golden Door (1972, Hearst Metrotone News) described the immigrant experience by juxtaposing old and new photos of Ellis Island, the latter taken during the era in which the dilapidated, abandoned facilities were left to rot. Unfortunately, colored gels were used to enhance the black and white photographs, somewhat marring the visual appeal of the story. Immigration (1974, Sandler- Wald/McGraw-Hill, uncredited director) was a powerful treatment citing the history of immigrants and how prejudice against a given group was often transferred by them to another ethnic group, although the one nation under God statement at the end belies a fundamental misunderstanding of the concept of religious tolerance on the part of the filmmakers. The Robert Churchill- produced Land of Immigrants (1966, Churchill), while thematically and musically very strong (with music by West Coast jazz stalwarts Buddy Collette and Fred Katz), featured visually unstimulating cartoon characters as ethnic archetypes. A superior film in the immigration genre was Ben Maddow s Storm of Strangers (1970, ACI, narrated by Herschel Bernardi), recalling the reminiscences of an elderly Jewish man

238 Six Sociodrama Films 227 comparing the residents of Delancy Street in 1910 with new black and Hispanic immigrants living in the same neighborhood today. The advent of the sociodramatic film represented a different way of telling the immigrant story, and allowed filmmakers to deal with subjects particular to immigrant families integrating themselves into mainstream American culture. As an example, career options for women in the 1960s and 1970s were still, in many areas of the country, limited to teaching, secretarial work, nursing, and homemaking. Changing the mindset of boys and girls to accept and indeed to advocate more robust career choices for women was the charter of many educational filmmakers in the decade of the seventies. Addressing these issues through film was a challenging task in an era in which the face of America was changing through the influx of new ethnic groups and traditions, single- parent families, and the growing insistence by adolescents that their opinions be heard and choices respected. Two of the more effective examples of this type of film have settings in ethnic milieux: Hal Weiner s Black Girl (1980, Screenscope) and Michael Ahnemann s Siu Mei Wong: Who Shall I Be? (1970, LCA). In the former, an adolescent girl struggles to overcome both the jealous efforts of her uneducated sisters and the oppressive pessimism of her mother in her quest for a career as a dancer. She eventually leaves home toward an uncertain, but somehow more self- assured future. Ahnemann s film concerns the future of a Chinese- American girl who wishes to take a ballet class, which is in conflict with the Chinese language lessons which her parents feel are more important. Writer/Director Barra Grant s The Tap Dance Kid (1979, LCA), based on the book Nobody s Family Is Going to Change by Louise Fitzhugh, certainly contained some of the most direct verbiage relating to children who were suffering from parents who felt their children weren t living up to their lofty expectations. Danielle Spencer, in the role of Emma, the pre- adolescent daughter of an upwardly mobile urban black family, wishes to eventually become a lawyer, like her father. Her father, who struggled through law school by joining his own family s tap dance act, refuses to let his son join a musical play starring his brother (Honi Coles), and is offended by both his brother s continued passion for performing, and the interest of his son in continuing in the dancing tradition, perceived by the father to be linked to the times when non- white-collar professions were mostly unavailable to blacks. Emma, though, fights for her brother s right to choose a career that he wants, and states the argument in a form of communication preferred by the father (Charles Blackwell): The Constitution does not limit happiness to grownups. We re just the same as you inside we ve got feelings and ideas and dreams just like you. We re human beings, and you treat us like nothing, just because we re short. You ve forgotten what is was like when you were a child, and grown- ups treated you like you weren t even there. Didn t make you happy, did it? Later, the plain, chubby Emma responds to her good- looking mother s lecture on dietary matters: I m fat and I m smart. I may not get thinner, but I m sure gonna get smarter. The Algeresque ending is perhaps a bit too smug, when compared to other LCA titles of the era (e.g., The Boy Who Liked Deer), many of which were more based on realism than fantasy. Nevertheless, Tap Dance has value in terms of opening classroom dialogue on a number of topics, including self- perception, body awareness, parental expectations, and the emerging black upper class. In the 1970s, sociodramas on the Native American experience began appearing as well, in films such as Annie and the Old One (1976, dir. Ted Abenheim, Greenhouse/BFA), the story of a young Navajo girl coming to grips with the impending death of her grandmother

239 228 Films You Saw in School that seems excessively melodramatic. Bert Salzman s Geronimo Jones LCA), on the other hand, was the harder- hitting story of a Papago- Apache youth who had been given the gift of an amulet worn by his grandfather, played by the great- grandson of Geronimo. In the process of buying a birthday present for the grandfather, he trades the amulet for a television set, which he places at the foot of his bed. When the youth turns on the TV, a classic cowboy and Indian drama is re- enacted on the screen, with the Native American once again falling victim to the bullet of the white man. The pain of the moment is instantly reflected in the eyes of the man, while the realization of what he has just done painfully dawns on the boy. Perhaps Salzman s strongest film, from an ethnographic perspective, was Matthew Aliuk: Eskimo in Two Worlds LCA), in which the protagonist s Uncle Isak comes to visit the family in Anchorage after undergoing harsh and unfruitful hunting conditions in the North. Uncle Isak s challenges in dealing with a more structured environment presents the Aliuk family with a new series of questions, and Matthew must give up his prized huskies in order to assist his uncle in returning to a more comfortable social environment. Salzman refuses to sugarcoat the ending, choosing to leave Matthew sad and disappointed, allowing the audience to determine for itself how Matthew related internally to the concept of familial sacrifice, reminiscent of the ending of Geronimo Jones. Director Seth Pinsker s Overture: Linh from Vietnam (1980, LCA) treats the subject of conflict among different ethnicities, as a group of Chicano boys acts out adult prejudices against a Vietnamese immigrant girl. Interestingly, the mothers of one of the boys and the Asian girl work in the same white- owned sewing shop, and see themselves increasingly as allies rather than adversaries. It s a shame that the director of Side By Side: Prejudice (1980, Agency for Instructional Television) wasn t credited: this Virginia- produced story involves a Chinese girl who accidentally discovers her white girlfriend is not going to invite her and her date to the after- prom party because her boyfriend insists on going to an all- white country club; the acting and direction are superb, as is the purposely ambiguous ending. Making a poignant statement about prejudices against other races that immigrant parents might inculcate in their own children, director Noel Black s Reflections (1975?, Pyramid) tells the story of an innocent friendship between two children of opposite sexes, abruptly brought to a halt by the Hispanic parents of one child and the Asian parents of the other. In the final scene, the Hispanic girl carries on surreptitiously by flashing mirrored sunlight reflections across the street through her forbidden friend s bedroom window, his hands moving slowly and deliberately across his table, pushing his small mirror onto the floor, where it smashes to pieces. The camera settles on his face, conflicted in sadness, resignation, and lost hope. An extremely powerful sociodrama dealing with issues of racism was director Michael Toshiyuki Uno s The War Between the Classes LCA). To illustrate the negative aspects of racism, a high school teacher divides the class into two colors, one representing the ruling class, and the other the underclass. Predictably, tensions mount among the classes as the superior color continues the oppression outside of school. In a fascinating subplot, Amy, a young woman of Japanese ethnicity ( Jan Gan Boyd) is dating a wealthy white boy, and is suddenly ashamed of her articulate gardener father. While the protest which ends the film is perhaps unrealistic, the films serves well as a vehicle for class discussion, and uncovers well the underlying thoughts and emotions which promote racist actions. The film is based on a game developed by Occidental College professor Ray Otero, and is reminiscent of the experiment run by Riceville, Iowa, third grade elementary school teacher Jane Elliott, in which she separated students by eye color and immediately rewarded the good color, and chastised the bad color. As noted in a prescient earlier documentary, Eye of the Hurricane

240 Six Sociodrama Films 229 (1971, dir. William Peters, ABC), the hurt felt by the children discriminated against is apparent immediately, and the viewer is temporarily relieved when, on the following day, roles are reversed. While Uno s film finishes on a somewhat forced note of optimism (part of a Martin Luther King speech), the darkness of Peters s film lingers, perhaps conveying a sense of psychological terror as well. Changing lifestyles and newly defined family units were introduced to classrooms in films such as Conrad Rothmann s Evan s Corner (1969, BFA), the story of an African- American youth who discovers the value of selflessness while trying to maintain his own individuality in a crowded apartment in a black, working- class urban neighborhood. Although director/writer Joan Micklin Silver s story is nonsensical, the urban setting in which The Case of the Elevator Duck (1974, LCA) takes place conveyed the normalcy of single- parent families, daycare centers, and well- run multi- racial housing projects, seen by Silver as the elements of stability in the life of a well- adjusted urban youth. Many sociodramatic educational films stressed the value of individual responsibility, as well as owning up to the consequences of one s actions. Some were preachy and simplistic, others were often painfully unforgettable, such as The Boy Who Liked Deer (1979, dir. Barbara Loden, LCA), an unsettling film involving a boy who embraces the vandalism that ultimately causes the death of the deer he loves. An intriguing film addressing social status and changing family dynamics was Paul Stone s My Father Sun Sun Johnson (1975, BBC/LCA), shot in Jamaica, and replete with the patois, culture, and music of that country. Unfortunately, the melodramatic death- by-fire of the boy s father, and the resulting act of the mother leaving her lover seems too contrived, leaving the viewer little room to think about ethical rights and wrongs amidst the presence of divine retribution. IV. Sociodramas on Teen Angst As opposed to the predictably didactic material often covered in U.S.-made films for and about teens in trouble, the National Film Board of Canada took the approach that angst can be an important element of the process by which an individual learns to live in a changing world. Emerging sexuality, a sense of independence, and poor or absent parenting may all contribute to the alienation portrayed by teen actors in the Film Board s teen- oriented sociodramatic films, which generally ended without offering fixed conclusions or value judgments. Two Canadian filmmakers in particular who stood out as exceptional exponents of the sociodrama were Wolf Koenig and George Kaczender. Producer of 159 films for the National Film Board of Canada, Koenig was described by filmmaker John Spotten as the most brilliant mind at the Film Board, who could have more original film ideas in thirty seconds than others might have in years. 3 Koenig was born in Dresden in 1927, but his parents moved to Canada in 1937 when it became apparent that life would be unbearable in Nazi Germany. Joining the prestigious Unit B film cooperative in the mid 1950s, he joined with Film Board luminaries such as Roman Kroitor, Colin Low, and Stanley Jackson to participate in some of its most significant films. Of particular interest are two sociodramatic series of films, Wednesday s Children and Discussions in Bioethics. Produced in 1987, Wednesday s Children is a series of six films on the subject of adolescents living in an at-risk environment. Broken homes, sexual abuse, teen angst, and homelessness are the themes of this group of fictitious and fascinating young people. Never judgmental, the films were made to promote classroom discussion, and run between thirteen

241 230 Films You Saw in School and seventeen minutes in length. The films were made after discussion groups with Canadian teens were conducted and filmed, and each cost roughly $200,000 to make. 4 They also raise provocative questions as to the complex series of events that make up the adult, especially interesting to those who themselves didn t grow up in a fairy- tale world. Directed by six different directors, all the films bear the indelible stamp of producer Koenig. Wednesday s Children: Jenny (1987, dir. Patricia Phillips) is the story of a jaded and rebellious teen with a penchant for self- destructive acts. Her life at home is a prison, with a molesting father, a resigned, nagging mother, and a tattletale sister on the verge of being victimized by the father. In director Cedric Smith s Wednesday s Children: Robert (1987), the protagonist doesn t like mom s boyfriend, and fantasizes about the girl at the corner store. In a brilliantly directed carnival- like montage, Robert sees himself as the way he wishes others would, as the solution arrives in the form of a car with the keys left in the ignition. Koenig also produced a series of eight films, Discussions in Bioethics, intended to be shown to medical and science students, but to have broad interdisciplinary appeal as well. They are discussed in the chapter on science films. After spending seven years editing Film Board titles in the fifties and early sixties (e.g., filmmaker George Kaczender wrote and directed several of the most compelling films ever produced on the important and challenging subject of young people in transition. Using extreme, oblique camera angles, expressionist use of light, shadow, and architectural forms, tight editing, and forays into surrealism, the Hungarian- born director s films are so powerful that Phoebe (1964), The Game, and The World of Three (both from 1966) were considered political propaganda by elements within the Johnson administration. The U.S. Department of Justice, in its attempt to block distribution of these films in the U.S., decided that strong- arm tactics were in order, as described by author Gary Evans in reference to latter- day ecology films, but pointing to three Kaczender films made more than a decade earlier: Politics intervened in the wake of absurdity. The United States Department of Justice issued an order, in 1983, under the provisions of the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, requiring the American distributors of this [nuclear disarmament film If You Love This dir. Terre Nash] and two other Film Board films, Acid Rain: Requiem or Recovery [1981, dir. Seaton Findlay], and Acid from Heaven [1981, dir. George Mully], to register as agents of a foreign government. Distributors were to label these as political propaganda and to report who was seeing them. The law had been all but ignored for decades, until the Americans threatened to apply it to several Film Board sex- education films in the late sixties, Phoebe, The Game, The Merry Go Round [1966, dir. Tanya Tree], and The World of Three, because United States conservative influences opposed the use of films in sex education. At that time, the Department of Justice had asked five American distributors for information about the Canadian agency and had begun to determine if they were required to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of Before the matter got out of hand, External Affairs probably resolved the affair quietly with the Americans, and the films were distributed freely. 5 Kaczender s Phoebe (1964) was the first half- hour drama produced by the Film Board, and is its second best seller of all time (U.S. distribution was eventually picked up by the Learning Corporation of America). 6 Here, adolescent Phoebe has just become pregnant, and deals with confusion, school, boyfriend, and parents. In portraying a young woman still sexually engaged with her boyfriend and unashamed of her pregnancy, the film angered religious elements in the U.S. State Department. Although the memories of this situation among at least two of the people involved in the story (Kaczender and LCA president Bill Deneen)

242 Six Sociodrama Films 231 CREDIT: GEORGE KACZENDER Director George Kaczender (second from left) and actress Dona Saunders in Phoebe: A Story of a Premarital Pregnancy (NFBC, 1964). are hazy, the sex scene taking place in the automobile has been removed from every U.S.-distributed print I ve seen. Winner of five international awards, Kaczender s Fellini- esque drama speaks to adults and adolescents who choose or are forced by circumstance to swim against the stream. Kaczender s You re No Good features Michael Sarrazin in his first dramatic role as Eddie, who steals a motorcycle, then finds neither understanding nor compassion from friends, his girlfriend, or the police. As with other Kaczender sociodramas, this one has a terrific period music score from the Mersey Brothers. The Game (1966), also directed by Kaczender, is a story of boy/girl mating rituals, and the resulting peer pressure for a guy to conform and perform. Kaczender s cinematography is exceptional, utilizing geometric aspects of cityscapes as abstract sets, and the use of the wide- angle lens to emphasize isolation. Films about infants can be excruciatingly boring, even when done by the Film Board. Kaczender s World of Three (1966) is a film of startling beauty and mystery, as the viewer adopts the visual, spatial, and auditory perspective of a young child. The camera tracks at a height of roughly two feet, and words from adults are jumbled in the sound mix, imitating the confusing mélange of words and sounds that present a particular challenge to children of that age. We explore the world around us, and can t quite comprehend why those bigger people have the rules they do. As with the other Kaczender films, Three brings the viewer into the perspective of the protagonist. Although the cast is not credited, it is stellar: dad is

243 232 Films You Saw in School CREDIT: GEORGE KACZENDER (Left to right) Director George Kaczender, Michael Sarrazin, and Sallie Sales discuss a scene in You re No Good (NFBC, 1965). actor Peter Donat, mom is actress Michael Learned, and their three- year-old son Lucas (who would eventually become a filmmaker) is the boy. Kaczender practically lived with the family for three weeks in order to get it right, and Lucas still remembers how difficult it was to break a vase as instructed, having already learned that breaking things was wrong, and remembers his mom telling him that even though she might yell at him, it was only playing. Provocative, entertaining, and never cute, this is film is equally interesting as a drama or a tool for parenting. Kaczender, who blissfully was never informed by the Film Board that his films were alternately blacklisted or censored for distribution in the States, eventually left the Film Board in 1972, started an independent production company, and began making films for the Learning Corporation of America. Kaczender later became a presence in the feature film industry as well, both as a director (In Praise of Older Women, 1978) and as a member of the selection committee for foreign film for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Three more sociodramas from the Film Board are worthy of mention. Mort Ransen s No Reason to Stay (1966) features halting but sincere acting from Raymond Wray and Cathy Wiele, adding verisimilitude to an adolescent s tough decision on whether to drop out or stay in school. Writers Ransen and Christopher Nutter craft a story replete with the daydreams and hallucinations resulting from being taught and lectured by ineffectual teachers and counselors. It s worth noting just how revolutionary such films were considered by the educational establishment in EB s William Benton, who so readily fought reactionary elements in his ill- fated fight against Senator Joe McCarthy, could barely contain his rage when confronted with the idea that Ransen s film might be distributed by EB. The firestorm

244 began when then EB VP of Production Bill Deneen included it in a package of films shipped to the senator to view at home. In a letter written to EB Films president Warren Everote on April 5, 1967, and copied to Deneen and Maurice Mitchell, Benton complained: [Y]ou must look at the film from the Canadian Film Board called No Reason to Stay. This is about a high school dropout. In Canada. It has a wonderfully provocative opening and many exceedingly good shots. The film in its way is extraordinary it is moving, it is powerful, and it builds up to a sensational climax. But why on earth are we distributing it? For whom is this film designed to be seen? All the teachers in the film are portrayed as rude, stubborn, dull, and tedious, pedantic to an extreme. In other words, the dropout, who gets high marks, just can t stand the boredom of the classrooms. He daydreams. He makes love to a girl. He stamps his feet and gnashes his teeth. I contend he s a neurotic. Why produce a film telling children that their teachers are no good? Why sell a film which tells children that they re wholly warranted in rebelling against the stupidity of the teachers and in dropping out of high school? I am indeed astonished that the Film Board of Canada even made such a film. Why did they make it? Why are we distributing it? Deneen responded: A great many films have been on this subject. Most seem to use the economic argument in students to stay in school. Most seem to tacitly assume schools are magical places which, along with the diploma, pass out the keys to success in life. No Reason To Stay is the first film, to my knowledge, that looks at some of the psychological reasons for dropouts among high achievers and this has apparently become a serious problem. Too often, we tend to think of the dropout as the lethargic, pimply, D- type nincompoop, when in fact a large number of dropouts are bright, often highly sensitive kids like the boy in the film. No Reason to Stay is aimed at this kind, at his teachers and parents, perhaps more at the latter. One educator put it to me this way, The beauty of this film is that it shows us the other side of the problem. We re always blaming the kid for dropping out, but part of that blame must be borne by school and teacher. Benton remained unconvinced: Six Sociodrama Films 233 [W]hy are we distributing a film which, as you put it in your memo, is an indictment of the educational system? He may feel the lack of anything meaningful in his education. What good does it do to encourage other children to reach the same conclusion? Acting on the theme of this film, all bright and imaginative children would promptly drop out of high school. I do not like what I saw. 7 Barely two months later, Deneen resigned from EB, and shortly founded the Learning Corporation of America, whose films included a number on the subject of alienated youth, along with many other properties licensed from the National Film Board of Canada. Ransen s No Reason to Stay, incidentally, as well as many of the Kaczender films, were produced by John Kemeny, who, in addition to Kaczender, Nicholas Balla, and Albert Kish, were part of a group of Hungarian expatriate producer- directors who were responsible for many starkly beautiful and thought- provoking Film Board titles of the mid 1960s. Balla produced director John Howe s provocative Jamie: Story of a Sibling (1964), a day- in-thelife drama of a middle child, squeezed between the academically perfect older sister and the cuter younger brother, shot from the perspective of the protagonist. As Jamie strives to achieve and maintain an identity, he is suspended between the intellectual blindness and emotional immaturity of his young parents, with no way out. An exceptional sociodrama

245 234 Films You Saw in School from an Alice Munro short story, Thanks for the Ride (1983, dir. John Kent Harrison) is a poignant tale of class and culture in which wealthy boys do some slumming with local girls in a resort town while on a summer vacation, reinforcing the despair inherent in one of the girls, and provoking both guilt and a certain amount of self- loathing in one of the boys as a result of the date. The Film Board also produced at least one animated sociodrama on the theme of teen angst, director George Geertsen s Diploma Dilemma (1987), featuring an animated boy and girl, buffeted by adults, procedures, and conventions, as they attempt to find their way to an unknown future, in a film at once exciting, scary, and honest. Some sociodramas were less than successful in terms of content or presentation. Jeff Brown s Oscar- winning Molly s Pilgrim (1985, Phoenix) was a story revolving around a Russian immigrant girl who was taunted by another student. The teacher of the class takes this opportunity to show, with the help of a Russian doll made by the girl s mother, that today s immigrants shared the same characteristics as yesterday s pilgrims. One of Phoenix Films more popular titles, Pilgrim has generated over $1 million in revenue, and has gained accolades, particularly for the easy manner in which a teacher may conform a traditional holiday to his or her lesson plan, utilizing the film to underscore the melting pot concept. Others, however, feel that, in demonizing the protagonist s young nemesis, the film does little to help the learner to understand the reasons behind her prejudicial attitude, and while everyone s all smiles at the end of the lesson, very little satisfaction is achieved for viewers wanting to see some real resolution to the issue of changing attitudes that is the theoretical linchpin of the film. Gratuitous villainization is also the undoing of director Michael Scott s The Red Dress (1978, NFBC), the story of a beer- swilling social worker who buys the handmade coat off the Indian father s back, then attempts to rape his daughter. One of the more curious sociodramas of the era was the Brigham Young University produced Johnny Lingo dir. Wetzel O. Whitaker), the story of a Pacific Islander who is lauded for making his new wife feel a greater sense of esteem by virtue of his having bought her for eight cows, when one would have been acceptable. While laudable for dealing with the issue of the self- esteem of one s partner, the film is disturbing in its not- so-subtle message that women are chattel. Father Ellwood Bud Kieser s Paulist Productions produced Insight, a series of sociodramas based on morality and ethical issues, not all of them overtly religious in nature. The films were well- directed, and featured actors such as Martin Sheen, Carol Burnett, Walter Matthau, Ed Asner, Jack Klugman, Bob Newhart, Ron Howard, Gene Hackman, and Emilio Estevez. One of the most compelling films in the series, director Mike Rhodes s Every Ninety Seconds (1982), describes a situation in which the manager of a television station is faced with the dilemma of allowing a reporter to report on sensational rape cases, or respect the privacy of the individuals involved. V. Sociodramas on People with Special Needs Sociodramas often addressed issues encountered by people with physical challenges. Don Thompson s That s My Name, Don t Wear It Out (1975) fits into the classic LCA mold: a recalcitrant boy (played brilliantly by Michael King), the product of a broken home headed by an abusive father, becomes a reluctant companion to a non- hearing boy with severe speech difficulties. Together, they face the similar challenge of having parents who don t understand them. By the end of the film, the boys, while not interacting as deep friends, seem to have established a common bond, with the ultimate outcome left to the imagination of the viewer.

246 Six Sociodrama Films 235 CREDIT: LEARNING CORPORATION OF AMERICA Joey Davidson (left) and Michael King in Don Thompson s That s My Name, Don t Wear It Out (LCA, 1975). One of the better- known films on the subject of hearing- impaired people was Larry Elikann s Mom and Dad Can t Hear Me (1978, Time- Life), more notable for the fine acting of 18- year-old Rosanna Arquette in the lead role, than in the film s melodramatic story line, intelligently absent from the Thompson film made three years earlier. Director Fern Field s highly irreverent A Different Approach (1978, South Bay Mayor s Committee for Employment of the Handicapped of Southern California) was a hilarious spoof on feel-good PWD (People with Disabilities) films, starring a very young Michael Keaton in the role of a director who has a great idea on making a film on the subject of disabled people: a choreographed, wheelchair- riding chorus line, singing about the joys of hiring the handicapped. Carroll O Connor, Jim Nabors, Martin Mull, Ed Asner, and Norman Lear make guest appearances in this funny, satisfying, and non- cloying film. Another notable drama was made by a filmmaker who himself had a more personal relationship with the disability in question, Mark Alan Kaplan s Voice in Exile (1986, American Film Institute/Barr),

247 236 Films You Saw in School the story of a high school student struggling to overcome a seemingly insurmountable stuttering problem. While the predictable ending creates no surprises for the viewer, Kaplan, himself a stutterer, created a nightmarish external perspective of the inner world of the protagonist, exemplified by a sequence in which the protagonist falls from an impossibly high balance beam amidst cacophonous sounds. The sociodramatic film also made occasional forays into the world of mental illness. One of the more outstanding films in this genre was Gene Kearney s dark and moving tale of a boy s progression into a self- enclosed world, Silent Snow, Secret Snow Macmillan), adapted from the Conrad Aiken story. At first, Paul seems abstractly fixated by dark objects on fields of white, which we soon discover is symbolic of his retreat into a world in which all familiar objects are covered by snow, as he becomes more withdrawn from his parents and the world at large. Disturbed by their son s distance, his parents call a doctor in an attempt to determine reasons for his behavior, which prompts Paul to flee upstairs to his room, which he now sees as a snow- filled haven, a fortress to which he can withdraw and fight against those who lack the clarity of vision to see the beauty of the world he has created and chosen. Eschewing the didactic, Kearny tells the tale visually from the boy s perspective, rather than relying on heavy dialogue or narration, choosing to portray the boy as a protagonist, rather than a pathological subject. In style and content the film is reminiscent of the youth- in-angst sociodramas directed by George Kaczender for the National Film Board of Canada during the same era. Critics such as Lee Bobker have taken issue with Kearney s use of unskilled actors and the over- emphasis on the blank stare of the protagonist, and even the possibility that it may take a viewer more than one sitting to see all of the nuances in the film. On the other hand, one could argue that the stilted acting reinforces the distance Paul feels from those nearest to him, and forces the audience to participate in the discomfort that ultimately becomes alleviated by the fantasy of snow entering the boy s cocoon- like bedroom in the final scene of the film.

248 CHAPTER SEVEN Foreign Language Instructional Films I. An overview of the Foreign Language Instructional Film II. French Language Instructional Films III. German Language Instructional Films IV. Spanish Language Instructional Films I. An Overview of the Foreign Language Instructional Film In terms of the schoolroom longevity of classroom films, there s nothing briefer than the life of older- version foreign language instruction films. Curriculum changes and edition upgrades contribute to the demise of these older films. When they are de- accessioned, they, along with textbooks and ancillary materials, are thrown in the trash. It s as if they had never existed. Encyclopædia Britannica Film s 120-episode French language instruction series of films, Je Parle Français, distributed in 1961, is a great case in point. The films are remarkable time capsules of life in France as it was in 1960, and were removed from distribution when they were supplanted by EB s updated Je Parle Français series around School districts soon de- accessioned the earlier films, along with the ancillary materials, including books and audio tapes, upon acquiring the updated series. Today, it appears that not a single 1961 film or book from the series has survived in any educational film library. And with the disappearance of the series, an important cinematic document of the life, culture, and social customs of the era has gone with it. This presents a challenge for any historian wanting to research the story behind the making of these films. Like the films, the producer of the Je Parle series, Milan Herzog, is gone too, hanging in there until age 101. Subject matter expert LaVelle Rosselot, upon whose teaching methods the films were based, died at the age of 50, a victim of a tragic farm accident. Not even Otterbein University, where she taught, has any of her films, or the ancillary materials associated with them. She left no familial descendants, apparently. It s as if this scholar, one of the leading lights of 20th century foreign language instruction, had never existed. Three groundbreaking foreign- language instruction series of films were made by EB in 16mm format in the 1960s: Je Parle Français, La Familia Fernández, and Emilio en España. They were all produced by Milan Herzog. Films in each of these series have almost entirely disappeared from media libraries, and were apparently discontinued by EB from approximately 1977 onward. They represented a revolution in terms of how foreign language instruction was taught in North America. Departing dramatically from how foreign languages had 237

249 238 Films You Saw in School COURTESY ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, INC. In the film Le Mont Saint- Michel (1961), from the EB series Je Parle Français, Margot, played by Ghislaine Dumont, writes a letter in which she describes Mont Saint- Michel, while sitting in a café. In the background, lunch is being prepared, while interested local citizens and tourists investigate and walk into the set. Producer Milan Herzog is wearing a white hat in the left of the frame. been previously taught, the EB series consisted of video- audio-lingual instruction (VAL), a term coined by Charles Benton, in which films would be coordinated with audio tapes and visual aids, including filmstrips. The series were based on a continuous narrative, with the same characters appearing in each series films. They were well- directed, well- acted, suggested some degree of character development, and were intended to impart important elements of the culture, as well as the language. When I began my research into 16mm classroom academic film in the early 1990s, the 1961 edition of the Je Parle Français series of films had already disappeared. I only became aware of these films when Milan passed away in 2010, and Shanta Herzog began donating his film collection to us here at the Academic Film Archive of North America. Milan never threw anything away, and a number of Je Parle Français films, stored in various nooks and crannies at his home within view of the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles, began turning up. Upon viewing these films, I realized I was looking into a time machine, and therein lies part of the remarkable story of many of the most compelling foreign language instruction films. They re undervalued, they re quickly discarded, and they disappear. Media historians and scholars have ignored them, but it s not completely their fault: many of these films functionally no longer exist.

250 Seven Foreign Language Instructional Films 239 And that s the reason these films warrant their own chapter. It is hoped that scholars and historians will begin looking at what s still available, and educators won t de- accession older foreign language instruction films and texts so readily. There is a dearth of scholarship on the subject of foreign language instruction films, a relatively unknown area of classroom cinema worthy of a dissertation. At the Academic Film Archive of North America, we ve begun to put some of them online for free viewing, and the URLs to them are listed in this book. By providing a synopsis and history of several of the most significant series, this chapter provides a short framework toward that outcome. This discussion will include series made on French, German, and Spanish language instruction, distributed to North American schools. II. French Language Instructional Films Prior to the groundbreaking Je Parle Français series, a number of French instruction films could be found in North American school film libraries. Quelle Chance Gateway Film Productions/IFB), made by an uncredited director, is filmed in the charming village of Vaires- sûr-marnes. An auto accident occurs, and everyone leaves the restaurant to watch the aftermath. In their absence, a wandering accordionist and two children polish off the food and drink from everyone s table. The French sense of justice is secured, and the children are led away, holding their bellies. L Entente cordiale Gateway Film Productions), made by an uncredited director, was one of the Beginning French Conversation series, and portrays a slice of life that is rapidly disappearing in many French villages, in this case, the traditional French corner market, with its harried proprietor. CREDIT: SHANTA HERZOG Je Parle Français producers Milan Herzog (pictured) and André Tadié compiled a master chart detailing elements of the 120 films in the series, including location, décor, actors, directors, dialogue, and set equipment.

251 240 Films You Saw in School Je Parle Français series (1961, EB) The Je Parle Français series of French language instruction films was filmed in and produced by Encyclopædia Britannica Film s Milan Herzog in conjunction with Otterbein College professor LaVelle Rosselot, and Georges Matoré, Dean of the Language and Civilization Dept., Sorbonne. Rosselot was the prime educational consultant and curriculum developer for the film project. Herzog recalls the genesis for the series, as well as the process for selecting Rosselot as the subject matter expert: This French language project was probably the largest single production Britannica ever undertook 120 lessons on film, with dozens of actors and travel to a variety of locations over at least half a year. Even the origins of the project are unusual. We heard at a convention that a French teacher at a small Ohio college founded by French Huguenots, used film to train military officers in French before they were sent to posts in Algiers. It was a complete immersion course. I went to investigate and saw Professor Rosselot teach and heard her students speak. The film she used was her personal creation very clever but amateurish. I was fascinated and persuaded our management to finance a much expanded French language project. Professor Rosselot took a year s leave of absence, and I became the producer of the series in France with a French crew. 1 Rosselot s father was a history professor at Otterbein, and her brother Gerald was one of the founders of Scientific Atlanta. She makes at least one appearance in the series as herself in COURTESY ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, INC. Crew and cast filming in countryside for the film Chaumont in the Je Parle Français series. Annick Jorré Allières is in the white dress; the others are unidentified.

252 Seven Foreign Language Instructional Films 241 lesson #7, Pouvez-vous Me Dire. Referring to the same episode, noted academic filmmaker and later head of Special Effects for Industrial Light & Magic Tom Smith writes: In lesson #7, I dubbed the voice of the fellow coming down the stairs carrying a tennis racket. Hi Chris, see you later. The French actor playing the role had a bad accent when he spoke English so Milan used me. 2 The films were made by Tadié-Cinema in France, and distributed by EB in The camerawork was by Georges Strouvé and Jacques Duhamel. There were 120 films made in the series, most of which were between 4 and 8 minutes in length. No film was longer than 10 minutes in duration. There were 62 speaking roles in the series and a crew of 16. The acting team was stellar, and included Claude Mansard (as Monsiuer Euvrard), who appeared in François Truffaut s The 400 Blows (1959) and Shoot the Piano Player (1960), and Jean- Luc Godard s Breathless (1960), and Ghislaine Dumont (as Margot), who acted in Jean Renoir s Picnic on the Grass Le déjeuner sur l herbe, and Renoir s TV movie Experiment in Evil Le Testament du Docteur Cordelier (both 1959). Unusual devices were used filming, including a small deux chevaux automobile pushed by grips to film a tracking scene in Le Mont Saint- Michel Producer Milan Herzog enjoyed including local people hovering around the sets, for example including tourists and citizens in the letter- writing and lunch scene in Le Mont Saint- Michel. The series represented a revolution in terms of how foreign languages were taught COURTESY ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, INC. Actors Jean Landret and Ghislaine Dumont during the filming of Le Mont Saint- Michel in the Je Parle Français series.

253 242 Films You Saw in School through film. Previously, such films served solely as augmentation to traditional language texts. The Je Parle Français curriculum, on the other hand, was based on the films, with eponymous textbooks that reproduced the actual film scripts and contained lessons making specific script references. Settings include Paris, plus the chateaux of the Loire, Versailles, and Bretagne. From a historical perspective, the films are compelling cinematic works depicting the France of 1961, and in particular, the cultural rites in Bretagne. Automobile traffic, by today s standards, is practically nonexistent. The films include wonderful fashions and automobiles (e.g., the magnificent dress worn by the wife in the Chaumont film, and her arrival at the chateau in a Simca Aronde 1300 Deluxe coupe), and family members smoking cigarettes in the films. The story line revolves around travels through France. Continuity is provided through the interactions of niece Margot, played by Ghislaine Dumont, Mon Oncle, played by Jean Landret, and Anne, a Québecoise. 3 Several films stand out. Chaumont filmed at the famed chateau on the Loire, begins with a home scene where the husband enjoys a cigarette. His wife is dressed in a magnificent high- fashion dress, and the cinematography is stunning. Le Palais de Versailles showcases the palace of Versailles. Austere in its grandeur, this most Gallic of films make precious little use of language, in detailing the interior of the palace of Versailles. Here we visit the Hall of Mirrors, Louis XIV s bedchamber, and numerous interior details, and end with hollow footsteps echoing below the grand staircase. The visually arresting Carcassonne and L Abbaye provide wonderful cinematic documents of Carcassonne and Mont St.-Michel, while Les Menhirs provides a view and discussion of the prehistoric stones of the Druids in Bretagne. It is the folk- COURTESY ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, INC. In the film Le Mont Saint- Michel from the Je Parle Français series, actors Jean Landret and Ghislaine Dumont walk Mont Saint- Michel s causeway, in a tracking shot made from a Citroën 2CV deux-chevaux, pushed by three grips.

254 Seven Foreign Language Instructional Films 243 loric films of Bretagne that are perhaps the most fascinating of the lot. Le Pardon shows the Benediction of the Sea festival, with traditional dress and music, and a wonderful sequence of the blessing the fleet of fishing boats. Fête Folklorique attends a parade in Bretagne, with bagpipes, traditional dress, and a round dance, again accompanied by bagpipes. In La Ferme niece, aunt, and uncle drive to visit friends in an old- world country farm. Two films, in particular, are small but important documents of simple life. In Le Camping young women ride their bicycles to a picturesque bluff overlooking a small vineyard, with the castle of Carcassonne in the distance. They unload their camping equipment, cook dinner, pitch the tent, and settle down for the night, in the most idyllic film of the series. And in La Tour Eiffel we see a brief glimpse of producer Milan Herzog enjoying a drink with a female acquaintance. An interesting anecdote involving this series revolves around Herzog as being the first user of the sych- sound Nagra tape reorder. As Herzog tells it: As I was to work in France for a long period of time, my wife wanted to take a long visit in Zagreb with her family. We decided to send our daughter, Tanja, to a Swiss summer school which was recommended to us by a friend, the retired Swiss consul, who had served in Zagreb and who now lived across the street from the school in the Lake Geneva region. It turned out to be an important decision for our production. COURTESY ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, INC. In the film Fête Folklorique from EB s Je Parle Français series, actors Ghislaine Dumont and Jean Landret (on the left), meet traditional dancers from Bretagne, who perform a round dance, accompanied by chanter and bagpipes.

255 244 Films You Saw in School As I was returning from the school, I noticed that the street below was Rue d Etang. This sounded familiar to me. Why? I remembered that the well- known inventor of a very modern, portable sound recorder, a Mr. Kudelski, had his workshop on that street. I walked around and found the place. I had seen a small Kudelski recorder used by journalists in Germany and heard that he was about to release a larger, portable machine for recording in synchronicity with a film camera. It is difficult to explain what this meant for me and my project. Try to imagine the equivalent a lightweight laptop computer instead of the much larger tower computer. The sound equipment I had for my giant project was very large and heavy, and I was about to produce 120 short films with dialog, all over France, Switzerland, and Belgium! I entered the building and met the secretary. She confirmed that the first Nagra had been tested and approved, but was promised to a German company. I tried to get to see the boss, but was told that he was in the hospital where his wife was giving birth to their first child. She called in Kudelski s second in command, a Polish technician, who received me cordially and heard my reasoning why I should get Nagra No. 1 and not the Germans. The secretary and the technician promised to talk to the boss about my needs, and if he agreed, they would let me know in a couple of hours. I left and went to a flower shop where I selected a glorious bouquet to be sent to the hospital immediately with a letter of congratulations from me. Later I returned to the workshop, and got the good news. The recorder was mine. Return tomorrow, they said, but I decided that there will be other clients after the Nagra, so I wrote a check for $1,000 then and there. The sale was sealed. 4 The Je Parle Français films of 1961 were originally released in black and white as well as Eastmancolor, which eventually color- shifted to red. If found today in educational film COURTESY ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, INC. Actors Ghislaine Dumont, far left, Jean Landret facing her, with unidentified crew members, shot at Clédon, Finistère, Bretagne, during EB s Je Parle Français series.

256 Seven Foreign Language Instructional Films 245 libraries, no unfaded color prints would exist. Milan Herzog, however, retained several color Kodachrome prints, including L Abbaye, La Ferme, Le Camping, and Les Menhirs, which have been uploaded to the Internet Archive during the completion of this book (see the appendix for related URLs). In 1970, a second- level series in French instruction was launched by EB, called Je Parle Français Deuxième Degré, Nouvelle Édition. These are essentially travelogues, with no continuous narrative. Distributed in red integrated plastic cans, the total number of films is unknown, and there are no production credits listed in the films themselves. In 1974, an updated edition of the first- level French instruction series called Je Parle Français Premier Degré, Deuxième Édition was distributed by EB, essentially replacing the 1961 edition. Executive producer Edward F. Frank Wilgocki, Jr. produced the 20 films in the series (Herzog was given producer credit, probably honorific, as he was no longer at EB), made jointly by EB and Tadié-Cinema. One major difference in the updated series was the inclusion of thematic material relating to another racial group with ties to French culture. In director Jean Leduc s Une Recette d Abidjan (1974, EB), an African couple from the Ivory Coast hosts their friends, a Frenchman, and Englishman, and a German woman, in their Parisian apartment, cooking a native meal. The Frenchman, formerly a teacher in the Ivory Coast, brings a 16mm projector and a home movie to the dinner, which shows cooking, industry, and educational sequences (an algebra class) from the Ivory Coast, narrated by the CREDIT: SHANTA HERZOG Producer Milan Herzog (second from left), and actors Jean Landret and Ghislaine Dumont (fourth and fifth from left) during the filming of EB s Je Parle Français series in 1960 (others unidentified).

257 246 Films You Saw in School guest. The friends become so caught up in discussing the culture of the Ivory Coast that the dinner is burned beyond hope, and they all repair to a Parisian retaurant specializing in Ivory Coast cuisine. Toute la Bande Series (Scholastic) Toute la Bande was an exceptional 13- part French language instruction series of 1970, created by language educator Mary Glasgow and produced by Donald Carter. 5 Each film in the series consists of a light drama, sequentially beginning with the arrival of a student from Dakar, Senegal ( Elisabeth, as played by future French voiceover star Marie- Christine Maik Darah), into the home of the Ermont family in France. As the series evolves, character development emerges, as crusty brother Victor becomes attracted to Elisabeth, putting his arm around her as they go for a stroll (Vacances en Bretagne, dir. Pierre Sisser), and dancing with her in the highly charged discotheque atmosphere of the final film in the series, Bon Anniversaire! (dir. Jacques Soumet). Although only hinting at their romantic involvement, the series introduces the concept of interracial dating as a norm, in possibly its earliest portrayal in a classroom academic film distributed in North America. The series is notable for its exceptional directing, by Sisset and Soumet, and fine acting, featuring wonderful stock French actors such as Zappy Max, and future notables, including Emmanuel Dechartre. III. German Language Instructional Films The Goethe Institut- Bavarian Radio co- production Guten Tag series, distributed by the International Film Bureau in 1970, consisted of two iterations, the eponymous blackand-white series produced in 1964 and 1965, and a color series produced the following year, Guten Tag, wie geht s. Each series consisted of twenty- six 15- minute films, was witty and charming, and consisted of funny minidramas embracing multi- ethnic and multi- cultural values. From the earlier series, So Ein Zufall! IFB) addressed the issue of a young African woman integrating herself into the German university system, replete with a crazed trombone player, and loads of helpful university personnel and students. The earlier series also introduced quasi- surrealist sets of small houses and giant alarm clocks (the latter in Ich Suche Ein Zimmer; Ich Repariere Meinen Wecker Selbst!) as introductions to linked thematic material. The latter Guten Tag, wie geht s series, John W. Oller, prime consultant for EB s La Familia Fernández (1963) and Emilio en España series (1964). COURTESY JOHN OLLER, JR.


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