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Films About Film in the Leavey Library (DVDs): History


American Cameraman
"Documentary on the career of cameraman William H. (Bill) Birch, 1919-2011 in broadcast news 1939-1970's period."

American Cinema
"An epic analysis of the American motion picture industry that combines rare archival film, key scenes from immortal movies, interviews with leading filmmakers and commentary from noted film scholars and critics."

The Animated Century
"Animated characters Professor Elderberry and Horace introduce clips from 160 animated films from 26 countries. They discuss the most significant animated films of the past 100 years."

Broadway Goes Hollywood: Musical Comedy in American Cinema
"Beginning with the release of The Jazz Singer in 1927, this program provides a detailed look inside that most distinctly American of film traditions, the musical comedy. Interviews with Cyd Charisse, famous for her starring roles in MGM musicals, and Hermes Pan, renowned choreographer and collaborator with Fred Astaire, help to illuminate the advent and evolution of the genre.

Casting By
"The surprising, never-before-told tale of the indispensable yet unsung Casting Director - Iconoclasts whose keen eye, exquisite taste and gut instincts redefined Hollywood

Casting Calls
"Does Hollywood's portrayal of villains reinforce racial stereotypes or does the industry give the public what it wants? This program explores the history of film's ethnic 'bad guy,' looking at sociopolitical and economic forces that create, perpetuate and rehabilitate these characters. Special attention is paid to current depictions of Muslims onscreen."

Cinema, Mon Amour
"...follows the story of Viktor Purice--manager, former projectionist and lifetime cinephile and his two loyal employees, Cornelia & Lorena, in their everyday battle to preserve Dacia Panoramic Cinema in Piatra Neamt--one of the last remaining cinemas in Romania today. Having lived through 'the golden age' of cinema, Viktor dreams of bringing back the good old glory days, yet struggles to keep up with the new harsh reality. In a theater that lacks heating and is slowly falling apart, with no support from the State who owns the place, it's almost a Don Quixote fight."

"[A] portrait of five obsessive filmgoers whose voracious appetite for films has consumed everything else is their lives. The 'cinemaniacs' have seen thousands of movies. They often cannot hold jobs and are on the verge of poverty, but absolutely must watch films day and night, no matter the cost. The 'cinemaniacs' reveal not only their lives, but their vast encyclopedic knowledge of cinema, from classic pre-code actresses to the least known science-fiction schlock as well as organizational techniques for coping with the complex scheduling difficulties posed by multiple festivals and special screenings of rarities."

The Dying of the Light
"Explores the history and craft of motion picture presentation through the lives and stories of the last generation of career projectionists. By turns humorous and melancholic, their candid reflections on life in the booth reveal a world that has largely gone unnoticed and is now at an end. The result is a loving tribute to the art and romance of the movies, and to the unseen people who brought the light to the screens."

Edison: The Invention of the Movies
"Commercial motion pictures were invented at the Edison Laboratory between 1888 and 1893. Perhaps none of the component parts were strictly new, but the ability of Edison and his staff to reorganize them for a specific purpose was an extraordinary cultural achievement. In 1894, Edison was the sole producer of motion pictures in the world. Many Edison films continue to be impressive as the company employed such accomplished early directors as John Collins and Alan Crosland."

From Caligari to Hitler
"Using a montage of footage from the highest quality restorations, Suchsland illustrates Siegfried Kracauer's 1947 thesis that the rise of Nazism is anticipated in many themes found throughout Weimar cinema, while situating Kracauer in the philosophy and histories of the time. Looking at films like Dr. Mabuse, The Gambler, Metropolis, The Golem, and many others, Suchsland tracks the concept of the charismatic villain bewitching the people."

Girl from God's Country: The History of Women in Film
" the untold story of the first female independent filmmaker and action-adventure heroine, Nell Shipman (1892-1970), who left Hollywood to make her films in Idaho. An unadulterated, undiscovered adventure tale of a pioneering woman who rewrote the rules of filmmaking, and, in so doing, paved the way for independent voices -- especially female voices in today's film industry."

Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the American Drive-In Movie
"Once a vibrant part of American culture, drive-ins reached their peak in the late 50s with almost 5,000 dotting the nation from big cities to small rural towns. Although drive-ins are experiencing a resurgence in the new millennium, today less than 400 remain. In a nation that loves cars and movies, why haven't they survived?"

Haunted Hollywood
"Explore the secret stories behind some of the big screen's most famous specters. Discover how the lights in one movie studio swing unaided from the rafters, and how in the bar of the famous Knickerbocker Hotel, objects move on their own and images of long-deceased stars appear and disappear at random. Whether a series of coincidences or the work of real spirits, Hollywood's historians and eyewitnesses explain why the glamorous ghosts of Tinseltown are unlike any others."

Hollywood contra Franco: A War in Hollywood
"Feature-length documentary about the impact and influence that the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) had in Hollywood film production during the years of strife and the evolution of Franco's image over various political periods: from the affection and support towards the Republican cause and the romantic vision of war by many liberal artists and creators, to the upholding Franco's in the '40s and '50s. This evolution is also narrated through the personal story of Alvah Bessie, a screenwriter, critic and journalist who fought as a member of the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War, and his close relationship with the modern history of Spain at different periods of his life."

Hollywood Singing and Dancing: A Musical History
"One of the most comprehensive films about the Hollywood musical ever produced. Screen and television icon Shirley Jones hosts this entertaining and historical document illustrated by extraordinary clips and fabulous interviews.

Hollywood Undressed: Looking for the Golden Age Costume Designers
"French actress Moon Dailly goes looking for the costume designers behind Hollywood's legendary clothes, such as Marilyn Monroe's white dress from The Seven Year Itch  or Humphrey Bogart's trench coat from

Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust
"This documentary examines the American film and television industry's response to the rise of Adolph Hitler and the Nazi persecution of the Jews before, during, and after World War II. Uses film clips, newsreel footage and interviews of filmmakers and Holocaust survivors."

Los Angeles Plays Itself
"Thom Andersen's landmark documentary explores the tangled relationship between the movies and their fabled hometown, as seen entirely through the films themselves. From its distinctive neighborhoods to its architectural homes, Los Angeles has been the backdrop to countless movies. Andersen takes viewers on a whirlwind tour through the metropolis' real and cinematic history, investigating the myriad stories and legends that have come to define it, and revealing the real city that lives beneath."

The Man Who Saved Ben-Hur
"One man's quest to learn more about his 89 year old cousin, Johnny Alarimo, only to discover that Johnny spent a dazzling career behind the scenes in Hollywood's Golden Age of Film as an assistant director on Ben-Hur. Alarimo shows his private collection of set photographs, recounts the time he went to the Isle of Capri with Rock Hudson and shares fascinating stories and anecdotes about his close friends and confidantes Elizabeth Taylor and Sandra Dee."

Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation
"Experience the wild and wonderful untold story of 'Ozploitation' films as you take a journey through the Australian genre cinema of the late '70s and '80s - the years when Australia got into gear and blew the world away with what they had to offer."

Red Hollywood
"A compilation of clips from over 50 Hollywood films by blacklisted screenwriters & directors, with expert commentary and other period footage."

Schlock: The Secret History of American Movies
"The wild no-holds barred independent American filmmakers of the '50s and '60s tell their own story in this critically acclaimed survey of exploitation and sexploitation filmmaking."

Seduced and Abandoned
"Follows actor Alec Baldwin and director James Toback as they pitch their film concept at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival providing a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to secure financing for their idea."

The Story of Film: An Odyssey
"...written and directed by award-winning film-maker Mark Cousins, is the story of international cinema told through the history of cinematic innovation. Five years in the making, The Story of Film: An Odyssey covers six continents and 12 decades, showing how film-makers are influenced both by the historical events of their times, and by each other. It provides worldwide guided tour of the greatest movies ever made; an epic tale that starts in nickelodeons and ends as a multi-billion dollar globalised digital industry. Described as a 'love letter' to the movies, Cousins visits the key sites in the history of cinemal from Hollywood to Mumbai; from Hitchcock's London to the village where Pather Panchali was shot, and features interviews with legendary filmmakers and actors including Stanley Donen, Kyoko Kagawa, Gus van Sant, Lars Von Trier, Claire Denis, Bernardo Bertolucci, Robert Towne, Jane Campion and Claudia Cardinale."

These Amazing Shadows
"Tells the history and importance of the National Film Registry, a roll call of American cinema treasures that reflects the diversity of film, and the American experience itself."