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The Film of Her
A Film by Bill Morrison
Music by Bill Frisell and Henryk Gorecki
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"Morrison's THE FILM OF HER is based on the story of a Library of Congress clerk who saved a vaultful of paper reels, documenting the earliest days of cinema, from the incinerator. A gorgeous tribute to the art form's origins, this 12-minute short is anchored by the memory of this man, who has had fixed in his mind since boyhood the image of a woman he saw in an early porn film. THE FILM OF HER is what drives the clerk to save the films, this collective memory, and it also serves as the focal point for Morrison's thoughts on personal experience and the happenstance of history. Drawing comparisons between the primordial ooze and the elemental flicker of a light projector, or between Lumiére babies, magic la Meliés, and the gears of industry, Morrison reminds us that even the most brilliant and brave creations begin as cherished ideas nurtured in dedicated imaginations and subjected to the whims of chance."
—Hazel-Dawn Dumpert, LA Weekly

"A contemporary standout...Bill Morrison's The Film of Her deftly combines documentary, fiction, and found-footage collage to tell the story of the unsung clerk who saved the Library of Congress' paper print collection from certain destruction." —Amy Taubin, The Village Voice

"Morrison's masterpiece may be his latest work, The Film of Her, a love lyric to cinema spunout of the true tale of a Library of Congress clerk, one Howard Walls who in 1939 single-handedly prevented truckloads of the very earliest films from being burnt for space. In Morrison's fantasia, the clerk is reimagined as a dreamer besotted with the visage of the star of an early porno flick, motivated into archival overdrive in hopes of seeing 'the film of her' again...." —Gregg Rickman, SF Weekly

"If the only existing record of past events is destroyed, what happens to their historical representation? This film takes off from a particular moment in 1939 when a clerk at the Library of Congress discovered the paper print collection in the archives, saving it from incineration. Scores of images are rescued, events remain documented, and history is preserved, including a short piece called The Film of Her. Or is it? Which film is the real The Film of Her is left up for grabs in this lyrical experimental documentary." —Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Taylor, Pacific Film Archives

Official Selection, 1996 Festival dei Popoli, Italy
Official Selection, 1997 Dublin Film Festival, Ireland
Winner, Gold Award, Experimental Film: 1997 Houston Worldfest Film Festival
Official Selection, 1997 South Beach Film Festival
Winner, First Place, Experimental Film: 1997 USA Film Festival
Official Selection, 1997 Washington DC Film Festival
Official Selection, 1997 Impakt Film Festival, The Netherlands
Official Selection, 1997 European Media Art Festival, Germany
Official Selection, 1997 Seattle International Film Festival
Official Selection, 1997 Sydney Film Festival, Australia
Official Selection, 1997 International Hamburg Short Film Festival, Germany
Official Selection, 1997 Message To Man Film Festival, St. Petersburg, Russia
Official Selection, 1997 4a Mostra de Video Independent, Barcelona, Spain
Official Selection, 1997 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Czech Republic
Official Selection, 1997 Melbourne International Film Festival, Australia
Official Selection, 1997 Edinburgh International Film Festival, Scotland
Official Selection, 1997 Short Film Festival of Drama, Greece
Official Selection, 1997 Aspen Film Festival
Official Selection, 1997 Le Giornate del Cinema Muto, Italy
Official Selection, 1997 Siena Short Film Festival, Italy
Official Selection, 1997 Leeds International Film Festival, England
Official Selection, 1997 Mostra Internacional de Cinema Sao Paulo, Brazil
Official Selection, 1997 St. Louis Film Festival
Official Selection, 1997 Shorts International Film Festival, New York
Official Selection, 1997 Stockholm International Film Festival, Sweden
Winner, Best Experimental Film, 1997 Sinking Creek Film Festival
Winner, Gold Award, Experimental Film, 1997 New York Expo Film Festival
Official Selection, 1997 Margaret Mead Film Festival, New York and Berkeley
Official Selection, 1997 London Film Festival, England
Official Selection, 1997 Rotterdam International Film Festival, the Netherlands
Winner, Juror's Choice Award, 1997 Black Maria Film Festival
Official Selection, 1998 Portland International Film Festival
Winner, Silver Conch Fiction Award, 1998 Mumbai International Film Festival, India
Official Selection, 1998 Double Take Documentary Film Festival
Winner, Best Documentary, Mediawave Film Festival, Hungary
Official Selection, 1998 Viper International Film Festival, Switzerland
Official Selection, 1998 NYF/VC International Shortfest, The Museum of Modern Art
Official Selection, 1998 Coté Court, Festival du Court Métrage, France
Official Selection, 1998 Norwegian Short Film Festival, Norway
Official Selection, 1998 Naples International Film Festival, Italy
Official Selection, 1998 Vital Animation Festival, England
Official Selection, 1998 The Robert Flaherty Film Seminar
Official Selection, 1998 Los Angeles Short Fest
Official Selection, 1998 Short Cuts Cologne, Germany
Official Selection, 1998 The Hamptons International Film Festival
Official Selection, 1998 Festival de Cine de Alcalá de Henares, Spain
Official Selection, 1998 Zurich Experifilm Festival, Switzerland
Official Selection, 1998 Tel Aviv Festival of Silent Film, Israel
Official Selection, 1999 Shortfilm, Milan, Italy
Official Selection, 1999 Orphan Film Symposium
Official Selection, 1999 Asbury/Manhattan Film Festival
Official Selection, 1999 Moxie Awards, Santa Monica Film Festival

12 minutes
Release: 2012
Copyright: 1996
DVD Sale: $Please inquire

Subject areas:
American Studies, Cinema Studies, Cultural Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Film History, History (U.S.), Media Studies

Related Links:
The Films of Bill Morrison

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