Herskovits at the heart of blackness

This new documentary examines the role of anthropologist Melville J. Herskovits (1895-1963) in American history and asks important questions about the politics of scholarship and knowledge as a social construct. Herskovits, a controversial intellectual who became openly political, introduced African Studies into American academic establishment and started the first African Studies Center at Northwestern in […]

Maria’s Story and its role in the technological history of documentary filmmaking

Maria Serrano

Maria’s Story (1990, Monona Wali & Pamela Cohen, 53 min.) is a documentary portrait of Maria Serrano, a 39-year-old woman who is a peasant, mother, and guerrilla leader who at the time the film was made, had spent over a decade of her life fighting in the hills of El Salvador. Some might condemn the […]

Inventing the Movies

Inventing the Movies, book cover

Some of the things I love about summer are weekend trips to the Berkshires, taking time off for a vacation, and all that means more time available to read books. On my summer reading stack this year was an advance copy of Inventing the Movies, a new book by Scott Kirsner that takes you on […]

One from the vaults


In a recent search for other images I came across this. Tom Heitman, director of preservation and restoration at Cineric, Inc., showed me this can on a visit to the facility on May 20, 2002. This film has sections of cellulose triacetate film spliced with sections of nitrate film, both unstable materials in their own […]