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Quentin Tarantino

National Portrait Gallery
Quentin Tarantino is a filmmaker, screenwriter, and producer whose films exemplify pastiche—a key element of postmodern style—and anticipate remix culture. An outspoken and irreverent director, Tarantino grew up immersed in the film, music, and television of the 1970s, from Bruce Lee to Soul Train. Many of his films are stylish revenge narratives that combine elements of martial arts and blaxploitation films, biker films, and B movies. In an innovative move, Tarantino often writes scripts featuring cool, violent female protagonists on a quest for security, revenge, or redemption (Pam Grier in Jackie Brown [1997], Uma Thurman in Kill Bill [2003–4], the women in Death Proof [2007]). These films rarely indulge in social commentary. His style is his substance: Tarantino speaks the grammar of violence ingrained in American cinema, but by transgressing genre boundaries, he creates jarring, nonlinear narratives, as in Pulp Fiction (1994). His pulp thrillers suggest that the American collective unconscious is shot through with pop-cultural imagery awaiting interpretation.

Quentin Tarantino And Judd Apatow Agree: Kodak Film Can't Disappear—They Need It

Smithsonian Magazine

Like you and everyone you know, most movie and TV directors have given up film cameras and switched to digital. Almost all movies and television shows are recorded digitally nowadays, and as a result, Eastman Kodak has become the only company still producing traditional motion picture film, the Wall Street Journal reports. But Kodak, too, could go the way of recent competitor Fujifilm—it could cease to produce movie reel film altogether.

Some Hollywood directors are trying to stop this, however. As the Wall Street Journal reports, Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, Judd Apatow and J.J. Abrams are pressuring movie studios to try to help Kodak out. This will probably take the form of long-term commitments to purchase Kodak film, although details of the agreement are still being worked out. 

Whether or not directors will actually use that film, however, is another question. Film schools have almost entirely switched over to shooting digitally, most movie theaters only have digital projectors, and digital footage costs about the same as traditional film to produce (but requires much less effort to edit), the Journal points out. So while Hollywood types like the idea of having old-school film around, it's possible that in a few decades, no one will be willing to deal with the inconvenience of using that nostalgic medium—or will even know how to.

45 Pieces of Motion Picture Film by August Plahn

National Museum of American History
Forty-five short lengths of motion picture film created by August Plahn. The majority of this film is perforated 66mm nitrate motion picture film made by Plahn in his work on subtractive color motion picture filming and exhibition, but there are a few strips of 35mm film used in experimentation and one 9.5mm "home movie" in the collection.

The Early Color Cinema Equipment Collection [COLL.PHOTOS.000039] includes equipment, media and ephemera related to color motion pictures from the birth of the cinema to the mid twentieth century. This collection is comprised of 5 motion picture cameras, 3 movie projectors, more than 34 pieces of editing and other apparatus, more than 60 pieces of early color film and two notebooks illustrating the Technicolor process.

Reproducing natural color on film had been an industry goal since the earliest days of motion picture production, but it took several decades to perfect a technology for making movies in color. Motion picture directors often toned or hand-tinted monochromatic film in the industry’s early days to add life and emotion to their productions. Though movie producers continued to use toning and tinting, these costly and inefficient processes could never produce the full range of color that movie cameras failed to record. Therefore, innovators increasingly focused on the use of color filters during capture and projection to reproduce color detail.

Danish-American inventor August Plahn built and patented a camera and projector that split motion picture images through three color lenses using 70mm film. When the film, with three images printed across its width, was projected through the same colored filters, movies’ natural color was restored. The collection includes forty five short lengths of processed film and documents related to Plahn’s work as well as one camera, three projector heads and over seventy-five pieces of apparatus used by the engineer.

While Plahn had little success marketing his inventions, the Boston-based Technicolor Corporation effectively marketed their similar technology to become the industry standard. The color cinema collection includes four Technicolor cameras as well as over twenty-five pieces of equipment related to the Technicolor process and a book of photographs illustrating Technicolor film processing in a train car.

The Society of Motion Picture Engineers, the industry’s leading trade group, donated examples of a number of other early color film technologies, including Prizma, Kelley-line screen, Krayn Screen, Naturalcolor, Multicolor and Morgana color processes.

This finding aid is one in a series documenting the PHC’s Early Cinema Collection [COLL.PHOTOS.000018]. The cinema-related objects cover the range of technological innovation and popular appeal that defined the motion picture industry during a period in which it became the premier form of mass communication in American life, roughly 1885-1930. See also finding aids for Early Sound Cinema [COLL.PHOTOS.000040], Early Cinema Equipment [COLL.PHOTOS.000037], Early Cinema Film and Ephemera [COLL.PHOTOS.000038] and the Gatewood Dunston Collection [COLL.PHOTOS.000021].

D.W. Griffith

National Portrait Gallery

Elia Kazan

National Portrait Gallery

Otto Preminger

National Portrait Gallery

Hans Richter Self-Portrait

National Portrait Gallery

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy

National Portrait Gallery

Orson Welles

National Portrait Gallery

Orson Welles

National Portrait Gallery

Orson Welles

National Portrait Gallery

David Lynch

National Portrait Gallery

Guitar, Violin and Drum from animated film "Tubby the Tuba" by George Pal

National Museum of American History
This set of kettle drums with a cymbal and cow bells are part of the instrument ensemble made by George Pal and used in the 1947 production of Tubby the Tuba. The kettle drum is made of wood with a stretched leather top, and has two miniature brass cow bells and a brass cymbal attached. . In this short animated short film Tubby the Tuba , who plays with an orchestral ensemble that includes a double bass, a violin a clarinet, a flute, a bassoon, a trumpet, a trombone, a French horn, an oboe, a piccolo, a xylophone, cymbals, a piano, cow bells and kettle drums, is allowed only a one "Oom-Pah" note during the performance. But with encouragement from his friend the Bull Frog, Tubby finally gets his own solo like all of the other instruments. The film received an Academy Award nomination

George Pal was one of the pioneers of stop-frame animation, a painstaking process achieved by moving figures and shooting each change on a single frame of film in a series of progressive steps. For each frame shot, the head, arms and legs of the figures were changed according to the motions needed to create the illusion of movement.

George Paul (1908-1980) nee George Marczincsak, was born in Austria Hungary and studied architecture at the Budapest Academy of Arts. Limited job opportunities encouraged Pal to further his interest in human anatomy and he attended a local medical school where he studied kinetic motion—the energy of motion and the interrelationships between moving parts. This sparked Pal’s interest in animation and his studies served him well. He found work as a cartoonist for a silent film company in Germany and became known as animator, special effect designer and producer.

By 1933 fascism was on the rise and the Nazi regime was spreading its influence into Europe. Pal left Germany for Prague and later Paris where he opened his own animation studio. He disliked the flat 2-dimensional looks of the early cartoons and he began to create 3-d figures using carved wood with wire limbs that made for easy movement. Designed with multiple replacement parts, including heads, arms and legs, Pal created replacement parts that could be used interchangeably to create the impression of continuous, flowing movement. These puppets with no strings were named “Puppetoons”, a combination of the two words puppet and cartoon.

Pal finally settled in the Netherlands were he produced short films and commercials for products that were sold in England, France and the Netherlands. One of his first advertisements included dancing cigarettes.

.

In 1939, while Pal was traveling in the US lecturing at Columbia University, the Germans invaded Poland. Pal, his wife and son were granted asylum in the US and in 1940 he was hired by Paramount Pictures.

Pal had a long and successful career in Hollywood, and his work with the Puppetoons addressed a wide variety of topic including politics, fairy tales, and music. On average, the animated shorts lasted about eight minutes, and for each film, Pal created as many as 9,000 puppets with as many as 2-300 heads and appendages.

Pal was well known and respected for his work in feature films and was the first producer-director to combine animated puppets with human actors. He was awarded several patents for his creations and won eight academy awards for his work in film.

Cello from animated movie "Tubby the Tuba" by George Pal

National Museum of American History
This cello and its bow are made of wood and are part of the instrument ensemble made and used by George Pal in the 1947 production of Tubby the Tuba. In this short animated short film Tubby the Tuba , who plays with an orchestral ensemble that includes a double bass, a violin a clarinet, a flute, a bassoon, a trumpet, a trombone, a French horn, an oboe, a piccolo, a xylophone, cymbals, a piano, cow bells and kettle drums, is allowed only a one "Oom-Pah" note during the performance. But with encouragement from his friend the Bull Frog, Tubby finally gets his own solo like all of the other instruments. The film received an Academy Award nomination.

George Pal was one of the pioneers of stop-frame animation, a painstaking process achieved by moving figures and shooting each change of movement or expression in a series of progressive steps. For each frame shot, the head, arms and legs of the figures were changed according to the motions and expressions needed to create the illusion of movement. Pal was awarded an honorary Oscar in 1944 for "the development of novel methods and techniques in the production of short subjects known as Puppetoons".

George Paul (1908-1980) nee George Marczincsak, was born in Austria Hungary and educated at the Budapest Academy of Arts where he studied architecture. Limited job opportunities encouraged Pal to further his interest in human anatomy and attended a local medical school where he studied kinetic motion—the energy of motion and the interrelationships between moving parts. This sparked Pal’s interest in animation and his studies served him well when he went to work at a silent film company and became the head of the cartoon department. .

By 1933, fascism was on the rise and the Nazi regime was spreading its influence into Europe. Pal fled to Prague, and where he was known as an animator, special effect designer and producer and then Paris where he opened his own animation studio. He disliked the flat 2-dimensional looks of the early cartoons and he began to create 3-d figures using carved wood with wire limbs that made for easy movement. Designed with multiple replacement parts, including heads, arms and legs, Pal created replacement parts that could be used interchangeably to create the impression of continuous, flowing movement. These puppets with no strings were named “Puppetoons”, a combination of the two words puppet and cartoon. Pal finally settled in Eindhoven, the Netherlands were he produced short films and commercials for products that were sold in England, France and the Netherlands

.

On average, the animated shorts lasted about eight minutes, and for each film, Pal created as many as 9,000 puppets with as many as 2-300 heads and appendages. One of his first advertisements included dancing cigarettes.

In 1939, while Pal was traveling in the US lecturing at Columbia University, the Germans invaded Poland. Pal, his wife and son were granted asylum in the US and in 1940 he was hired by Paramount Pictures

.

Pal had a long and successful career in Hollywood, and his work with the Puppetoons addressed a wide variety of subject matters, including politics, fairy tales, and music. Pal was well known and respected for his work in feature films called Puppetoons, and was the first producer-director to combine animated puppets with human actors. He was awarded several patents for his creations and he was awarded eight academy awards for his work in film.

Pal was awarded an honorary Oscar in 1944 for "the development of novel methods and techniques in the production of short subjects known as Puppetoons".

Violin from animated movie "Tubby the Tuba" by George Pal

National Museum of American History
This double bass and its bow are constructed from of wood and are part of the instrument ensemble made by George Pal and used in the 1947 production of Tubby the Tuba.. In this short animated short film Tubby the Tuba , who plays with an orchestral ensemble that includes a double bass, a violin a clarinet, a flute, a bassoon, a trumpet, a trombone, a French horn, an oboe, a piccolo, a xylophone, cymbals, a piano, cow bells and kettle drums, is allowed only a one "Oom-Pah" note during the performance. But with encouragement from his friend the Bull Frog, Tubby finally gets his own solo like all of the other instruments. The film received an Academy Award nomination.

George Pal was one of the pioneers of stop-frame animation, a painstaking process achieved by moving figures and shooting each change of movement or expression in a series of progressive steps. For each frame shot, the head, arms and legs of the figures were changed according to the motions and expressions needed to create the illusion of movement. Pal was awarded an honorary Oscar in 1944 for "the development of novel methods and techniques in the production of short subjects known as Puppetoons".

George Paul (1908-1980) nee George Marczincsak, was born in Austria Hungary and educated at the Budapest Academy of Arts where he studied architecture. Limited job opportunities encouraged Pal to further his interest in human anatomy and attended a local medical school where he studied kinetic motion—the energy of motion and the interrelationships between moving parts. This sparked Pal’s interest in animation and his studies served him well when he went to work at a silent film company and became the head of the cartoon department. .

By 1933, fascism was on the rise and the Nazi regime was spreading its influence into Europe. Pal fled to Prague, and where he was known as an animator, special effect designer and producer and then Paris where he opened his own animation studio. He disliked the flat 2-dimensional looks of the early cartoons and he began to create 3-d figures using carved wood with wire limbs that made for easy movement. Designed with multiple replacement parts, including heads, arms and legs, Pal created replacement parts that could be used interchangeably to create the impression of continuous, flowing movement. These puppets with no strings were named “Puppetoons”, a combination of the two words puppet and cartoon. Pal finally settled in Eindhoven, the Netherlands were he produced short films and commercials for products that were sold in England, France and the Netherlands

.

On average, the animated shorts lasted about eight minutes, and for each film, Pal created as many as 9,000 puppets with as many as 2-300 heads and appendages. One of his first advertisements included dancing cigarettes.

In 1939, while Pal was traveling in the US lecturing at Columbia University, the Germans invaded Poland. Pal, his wife and son were granted asylum in the US and in 1940 he was hired by Paramount Pictures

.

Pal had a long and successful career in Hollywood, and his work with the Puppetoons addressed a wide variety of subject matters, including politics, fairy tales, and music. Pal was well known and respected for his work in feature films called Puppetoons, and was the first producer-director to combine animated puppets with human actors. He was awarded several patents for his creations and he was awarded eight academy awards for his work in film.

Pal was awarded an honorary Oscar in 1944 for "the development of novel methods and techniques in the production of short subjects known as Puppetoons".

Elia Kazan

National Portrait Gallery

Elia Kazan

National Portrait Gallery

Jack Nicholson

National Portrait Gallery

Something to Build On

National Museum of African American History and Culture
16mm color film directed by St. Clair Bourne and produced his production company, Chamba Productions, for the College Entrance Examination Board. The film provides various perspectives on the college experience and presents resources to encourage minority youth to attend college.

Consists of: 16mm Film (a).

2012.79.1.54.1a: 16mm film. Film begins with an introduction animated segment of a young black man walking down a city sidewalk and then entering a doorway with the word College written over it. A musical soundtrack accompanies the animation. He walks down the hallway past doors and a trophy case while the voiceover narration begins. The narration focuses on thinking about how to get started on applying for college. The animation sequence depicts the prospective student collecting paperwork and talking to the appropriate people to take to the door with a college sign next to it. The animated introduction ends and the film transitions to live action and the title of the film. A man runs out of a storefront across a parking lot to his car. The next scene shows a professor leading a class discussion in a classroom. Then there is an exterior shot of Nairobi College and the man from earlier in the film running in the front door. The college is located in a small house. The narrator introduces the college and the man joins the classroom conversation. The narrator introduces Nate Perry, the man that has been in the film, and he talks about enrolling in Nairobi College. The narrator explains that the purpose of the college is to teach leaders for non-white communities and break down the separation of the college and the community by holding classes in different locations. The next scene shows the Nairobi College Cultural Center and students playing music and dancing. The next subject of the film is California State College (California State University) in Los Angeles. The narrator discusses the importance of the college for the Mexican American community. There is a shot of the front door of College Recruitment for Educational Opportunity (CREO). The door also has a sign for Community Relations for Educational Opportunity (also CREO). People are shown walking into the office and talking to someone in the office and he answers questions about gaining admission to college. A man is shown talking outside and a group discussion ensues about confronting the power structure. An inside classroom discussion also shows students talking about similar problems as those in the outside discussion. The next scene shows New York City and the narrator begins talking about City College of New York in Harlem and the importance of providing both financial assistance as well as special counseling and tutoring. However, the narrator points out that black and Puerto Rican students demanded an open admissions policy. A group of students is shown discussing education issues and going back to the community to work and raise awareness. The narrator introduces Megan McLaughlin, and she describes through a voiceover narration the Search for Elevation, Education, and Knowledge (SEEK) Program. She is shown walking on sidewalks during the voiceover narration. The next scene features St. Petersburg College, and the narrator discusses attending a junior college before attending a four-year institution. Students share their experiences and how students can benefit from attending a junior college. The smaller classes are beneficial and the opportunity to balance home life with attending college are among those benefits. The scene is filmed inside of a moving car while Don Gekkins, director of the Service Center Program, talks about how the program works. The next scene shows him entering a classroom where children are reciting words displayed on cards held by a tutor from the junior college. Don Gekkins is then shown leaving his house with his two sons and playing with them. Gekkins, in a voiceover narration, describes growing up in a depressed area of St. Petersburg. The next scene shows a college marching band leading a parade down a street. The narrator discusses this parade in the context of a four-year university and the distractions of a four-year university, particularly sports events. The university being discussed appears to be Howard University in Washington, D.C. After footage of cheerleaders and a football game, a football player is interviewed about attending college on a scholarship. After the interview, there is footage of a football practice. The next scene includes an interview with Tom Nelson, a college graduate and ex-professional football player. The next scene shows two men picking up trash on the sidewalk, then some other men performing municipal trash service. There is footage of a college campus, probably Clark University in Atlanta, while the narrator discusses the main reasons for attending college. The next scene shows a woman walking on a sidewalk and into a building while the narrator begins a discussion about financial aid. The woman enters an office and talks to a financial aid officer while the narrator discusses the difference between types of financial aid. The next scene shows a student from Nigeria at Morehouse College in Atlanta, and he discusses studying science to bring back knowledge to Nigeria. The film ends with the narrator presenting a summary of what has been discussed, and there is a montage of images from the entire film.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

National Portrait Gallery
The manic face of Jack Nicholson in an Italian poster for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest encapsulated that wicked wink-and-grin personality that brought the actor cult status as film’s preeminent “bad-boy” antihero. In the 1975 dramatization of Ken Kesey’s best-selling novel, Nicholson played a minor offender who tries to outwit prison officials by pretending to need psychiatric care and is eventually lobotomized. The movie swept the Oscars, winning all of the major awards, including Nicholson’s first for Best Actor. Depicting Nicholson during a pivotal scene, this poster borrows the implications of Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1966 film Blow-Up in deploying multiple, expanding boxes to suggest the pulsations of electric shock treatment. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest coincides with efforts in the 1970s to advocate for the rights of mental health patients.

Elia Kazan

National Portrait Gallery

Harold Lloyd

National Portrait Gallery

John Gilbert

National Portrait Gallery
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