Zoopraxographers

Library as Nursery

Is your library littered with old Easter basket grass, shredded newspapers and animal bones? Good, neither is the NYU's Bobst Library, but the twelfth floor window ledge outside the library where red tailed hawks Bobby & Violet have raised their baby, Pip, is kind of a mess. From the New York Times Hawk Cam, where city dwellers have been anxiously awaiting this proud day.

At 11:55 a.m. on June 23, the 49th day of her life, Pip the red-tailed hawk, reality star of the Hawk Cam, flew the nest.

She took off from her 12th-floor ledge at Bobst Library at New York University, glided across the southeast corner of Washington Square Park and down to the roof of Joseph and Violet Pless Hall, a seven-story building at 82 Washington Square East, perhaps 200 feet away.

“She was graceful,” the Hawk Cam chatroom regular Pon Dove reported from the field. “She just jumped and she just glided, as if she were aiming for that building.”

More from NYTimes.

Steve Fesenmaier, West Virginia Zoopraxographer - 1978-2008

Steve Fesenmaier will celebrate his 30th anniversary in West Virginia on Sunday, September 14th. Since he came to West Virginia from the University Film Society at the University of Minnesota, he has spent almost $2 million building the last 16 mm film library in the world, co-founded the WV International Film Festival, WV Filmmakers Film Festival, WV Labor Film Festival, and programmed WV films monthly since summer 2004 at his "own" 1950s restored movie theater in South Charleston. He has also worked on dozens of films including John Sayles' "Matewan," Mari-Lyn Evan's PBS series, "The Appalachians," and dozens more. He is now working on directing his first film on the Paint Creek/Cabin Creek Mine Wars of 1912-1913, the most important mine war of them all in Appalachia. He is a MLS librarian from the University of Minnesota, 1979. Read his short recollection at - http://thegazz.com/gblogs/wvfilm/2008/09/06/1978-2008-thirty-years-in-west-virginia/#more-1672.

Read his WV film blog for the largest newspaper in West Virginia at - http://www.thegazz.com/gblogs/wvfilm/

A librarian Who Does Stats AND Media

Steve Fesenmaier writes "A local reporter, Carolyn Harmon, e-mailed me about stories linked to Lincoln County, West Virginia, the birthplace of Chuck Yeager. I suggested several possible stories including the fact that his own mother watched the WVLC copy of "The Right Stuff" and WVLC has the official Air Force biography of Yeager. She decided to do a story about me instead....and for the first time, writing about both jobs that I do — as
Research Librarian and Media Consultant Librarian
.

Also check out
my own Charleston Gazette WV film blog"

Librarian Presents US and Appalachian Premieres

Steve Fesenmaier writes "Steve Fesenmaier, programmer of the WV Film Series for the South Charleston Museum since July 2004, a member of its board, and a member of the board of the West Virginia Labor History Association, has programmed the U.S. premiere of "Asturian US," a new documentary about people from the Northern province of Spain, Asturias, moving to West Virginia in the early part of the 19th century. Also showing is the Appalachian
premiere of "The Battle of Local 5668." Workerswere locked out of Ravenswood Aluminum, the oldest aluminum plant in the eastern US, by Marc Rich, a renegade billionaire pardoned by President Clinton on his last day in office. The South Charleston Museum and the WV Labor History Association are the co-sponsors of the premieres. In the past they have cooperated to show "The Wobblies" in honor of the 100th anniversary of the labor group, show films about WV mine disasters made by former undersecretary of Labor under Clinton, Davitt McAteer, along with a new film on Jack Spadaro, the subject of a 60 Minutes story about the Bush regime forcing him to retire early.

Fesenmaier provided research for both films, helping the filmmakers find both film and historical resources.

http://www.thegazz.com/guide/articles/Film/1938/Tw o+films+are+labors+of+love+from+workers'+view

http://thegazz.com/gblogs/wvfilm/2007/05/01/spanis h-film-on-wv-people-to-have-us-premiere/#more-111

http://thegazz.com/gblogs/wvfilm/2007/05/01/appala chian-premiere-of-film-on-ravenswood-lockout/#more -112"

Save and Burn to show in London Palestine Fest

Steve Fesenmaier writes "Thanks to an English library writer, I found out that the most interesting film about libraries that I for one have ever seen will be playing next month in London. You can read about the film and the amazing filmmaker, Julian Samuel, who has a great new website.

Here"

Review of library film "Remote Access"

Steve Fesenmaier writes "REMOTE ACCESS: Distant Libraries of the World.
24 mins. 2005
A film review by Steve Fesenmaier March 7, 2007

During the last 29 years I have tried to watch every film made by anyone promoting the use of libraries. I have screened them at our state library conferences, and even helped make the single most interesting film I have ever seen about libraries, Julian Samuels's "Save and Burn." (He has made two films on libraries "Burn" and an earlier one, "The Library in Crisis," both available from Filmakers Library.) The San Francisco Public Library has asked me to find an amazing film about the Bibliotheque Nationale made by Alain Renais and I once hoped to screen a series of films at The New York Public Library Donnell Library made by librarian filmmakers. (Plans fell through a year or so ago" .. I am not sure why..) -- Read More

New film blog by librarian in West Virginia

Steve Fesenmaier writes "I have been writing about West Virginia movies since 1978, first for The Appalachian Intelligencer, an indie newspaper, then The West Virginia Arts News, and since 1989 for West Virginia's largest monthly, Graffiti. It was purchased by Ogden Newspapers in December 2005, and reorganized with a new publisher in December 2006. West Virginia's largest daily, The Charleston Gazette, offered me a blog since no one covers WV films on a regular basis in any WV publication. http://www.thegazz.com/gblogs/wvfilm/

I also have published an annual list of new films on West Virginia and Appalachia, with postings at — http://www.ferrum.edu/applit/bibs/WVFilmIndex.htm

People from all over the world have contacted me because of this AppLit website including major filmmakers such as Lars Von Trier."

ALA- SRRT Hunger, Homelessness & Poverty Task Force List of Top Twenty Films on Poverty

Steve Fesenmaier writes "By Steve Fesenmaier with additions from the field Aug. 3, 2005

John Gehner, Coordinator of the ALA- SRRT Hunger, Homelessness & Poverty Task Force has asked me to create a list of "top 20 greatest films on poverty." I came up with the following list from my 30+ years as a professional film exhibitor, critic, etc. Please send me any films you think should be on the list....documentary or fictional...or short...or animated... -- Read More

Librarian Filmmakers Program Postponed

InfoWhale writes "Librarian Filmmakers Program Postponed
By Steve Fesenmaier Jan. 18, 2005

Thanks to a small article in American Libraries and several postings on media librarian listservs and LisNews, I discovered that there are indeed several librarians other than myself who have worked on films. Everyone knows that there are many librarian-turned-authors, receiving regular coverage in the library press. However, this is the first time that anyone has planned to present films by librarians-turned-filmmaker (or visa versa.)

My proposed program for New York Public Library's Donnell Library Center in New York City will NOT be taking place. Marie Nesthus, the director of the Media Center, told me that budget cuts have required that she make hard decisions on what to eliminate from this season's planned programming. The Librarian Filmmaker program has been postponed. Mark Syp, one of the librarian filmmakers, expressed an interest in doing something at his library, The St. Louis Public Library. I myself also plan on presenting such a program, either at one of West Virginia's two annual statewide library conferences, or at one of the other venues I program.

About half a dozen library staff members contacted me about their interest. Ms. Nesthus herself has a staff member who has worked on several films. Mr.William Sloan, Nesthus' predecessor at Donnell and semi-retired MLS librarian who ran MOMA's circulating film program for several decades, informed me that a new documentary about him will not be finished soon. Erik Barnouw, past director of film at The Library of Congress, produced a famous film called "Nagasaki-Hiroshima 1945" distributed by MOMA and still shown all over the world on a regular basis.

I was going to make my MLS thesis on video. I had taken a course on video production from the University-Community Video Center at the University of Minnesota and hoped to make a program on the many small presses in the Minneapolis area. I was hired by The West Virginia Library Commission right after completing course work so I had to move. I ended up writing two MLS theses - one was on cinema anti-therapy that was partially published in Film/Psychology Review and the other, accepted, was on 16 mm film selection policies.

Two films about librarians may be of special interest to anyone interested in librarian filmmakers. Julian Samuel, a Canadian filmmaker, has produced two films - the first is "The Library in Crisis" and the second, "Save and Burn," is a feature documentary about British and Arab libraries. ( I provided some research for the film and my review is posted at Counterpunch magazine - http://www.counterpunch.org/fesenmaier10022004.htm l.) Mr. Samuel has used experimental film techniques to explore many issues of contemporary librarianship and should be shown in every MLS school. I have shown "Crisis" at a state library conference and plan on showing "Save and Burn" this April at our statewide conference.

However, my original inspiration for the series, Jeremy Horton, who directed a Sundance quality film, "100 Proof," while still not located, did get Facets to sell his film, including a VHS copy to myself. Horton worked at the Lexington, Ky. library shortly before he made "100 Proof." I have been working on many films since I gained my MLS in 1979 and Became the director of Film Services in West Virginia, being the only MLS listed in the standard productions guides for Hollywood filmmakers. I worked on Les Blank's "In Heaven There is No Beer?" while in Minnesota, and was assistant director for an indie film, "The Book of Love,"(1973) directed by Julian Smilian who is a teacher at the famed North Carolina School for the Arts. Recently I worked with Lars von Trier who sent his researcher to WV from Copenhagen to investigate the life of young men growing up in coal camps. ( Thomas Vinterberg of "Ceremony" fame directed the film that opens this week at Sundance.) I have worked on at least 30 productions since 1978 including John Sayles' "Matewan" and Mari-Lynn Evans' three-part series, "The Appalachians," to be shown on national PBS in April 2005.

Here is some info on librarian-filmmakers who responded -

· Christine Wallace, presently working as a library technician while in MLS school, produced a short film in 2002 that was directed by her brother and shot in 35 mm.

· Marc P. Syp is the media director for St. Louis Public Library. He shot a promotional film for the city that can be seen at -
http://www.mstl.org Click on "Media" and then "This Is Saint Louis: Media Campaign." He also directed a mock documentary on a young man who wanted to become a
clown just like his grandfather in 1998.

· Jenni Matz worked on a film called "Abe Lerner: A Life In Books" which was produced for the NY Typophiles and which was screened at APHA-NE last fall. It is about the life of a book designer and editor. She is a Simmons MLS student.

· Michael Wilson was a library assistant at the University of San Francisco. He has a MFA and has been making films for several years, and his work has been screened throughout the US and the world at film festivals. He sent me a VHS copy of his excellent film on the wife of Eadweard Muybridge, "Flora's Film."

· Richard Rivera has written and produced documentaries for Discovery Channel and History Channel before he entered graduate school in Library and Information Science at USC.

· Ann Seidl is well known for her mind-blowingly entertaining slide show, "The Hollywood Librarian," about Hollywood portraits of librarians, has offered to show her slides and clips of the 35-mm feature documentary she is producing on the subject.

Like Ms. Nesthus, I believe that there are many, many more librarians Who have worked on films, or who presently are working on films - as researchers, as producers, as actors. One new MLS in West Virginia will be working for her old employer, ABC News, on the Bush II Inauguration in Washington, DC.

I hope other people who are interested will contact me at - fesenms@wvlc.lib.wv.us including Jeremy Horton, and one day soon there will be programs around the country showing how librarians can make films, not just distribute them."

Database as New Narrative Form

InfoWhale writes "Rory Litwin has posted an interesting article, stating that the database has replaced books and the cinema as the narrative form for our age.
He finishes with a great summation - " More importantly, Vertov is able to achieve something which new media designers still have to learn - how to merge database and narrative merge into a new form." As a media librarian for 25 years, I have been a leading proponet for "visual literacy." As I have written, librarians, and everyone else, live in an age that is even more controlled by images than computers. Library zoopraxographers rejoice! Here at
Library Juice"

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