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The Documents: Letters, Program Notes, and Reviews from the Cinema 16 Files: Part II: Fall, 1952 - 1966

From: Wide Angle
Volume 19, Number 2, April 1997
pp. 1-187 | 10.1353/wan.1997.0007

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Wide Angle 19.2 (1997) 1-187


Note to the Reader

[Part II of Cinema 16: Documents Toward a History of the Film Society continues where Part I left off, beginning with the events scheduled for fall, 1952. For background and context for what follows, see Wide Angle, Volume 19, No. 1 (January 1997).]

As Cinema 16 grew and became more stable, a scheduling rhythm developed. Each year, two regular series were announced: the Fall Series (four events) began in October and ended in January; the Spring Series (three events) began in March and ended in May. In addition, beginning in 1951, the film society also announced special events. While the regular programs were presented several times, in several different theaters, special events were shown only once or twice. Announcements that special events would occur in the near future were made in the fall or spring brochure, and sometimes reannounced in the subsequent brochure. Beginning in fall, 1961, the film society announced an entire year's program in the fall brochure.

The complete schedules, including descriptions of films, are included here. The listing is organized by season (until 1961-1962) and includes both the regularly scheduled series and the announcements of upcoming special events. The listings have been simplified and regularized. Only the monthly dates for regular presentations are included. All film titles are italicized, and capitalized according to current conventions. To enhance readability, we have eliminated the subheadings often supplied in the brochures ("A Cinema 16 Premiere: U. S.," "The Classic Comedy"...) and have revised the graphic layout of the programs -- while trying to maintain something of the feel of the Cinema 16 brochures.

We have done our best to create some sense of the look of the letters to and from Vogel and of the other documents, though we have justified margins left and have indicated new paragraphs with a double-space, regardless of how the writers presented their texts. But we have otherwise retained the writers' idiosyncrasies of grammar, usage, punctuation, capitalization, spelling, and graphics, in order to provide a more complete sense of the period during which Cinema 16 was active. When letters, or additions to letters, are handwritten, we have indicated this with a [hw], and when we have abridged a complex letterhead, as we have done consistently with Frank Stauffacher's letters from the San Francisco Art Institute, we have used a [...] in the heading.

In order to suggest the "narrative" of Cinema 16's development and demise, we've organized the documents, like the schedules, chronologically. After 1955, as the special events scheduled evolved to include periods when regular presentations were not scheduled, all the special events for the coming fall, winter, spring were listed after the regular fall schedule, and spring special events were reannounced in the spring brochure (from time to time, the announced dates would shift). Here we list the fall events, followed by all the special events announced for that year, followed by all other documents from fall and winter, followed by the spring events (in a single instance -- 1952-53 -- we include both the fall and spring special event announcements, since there are substantial differences.

When it seemed useful, I have included brief explanatory notes. All letters from Amos Vogel to filmmakers (and others), and all program notes written for Cinema 16 screenings, are reprinted by permission of Vogel.

Thanks again to Amos and Marcia Vogel for their constant cooperation; and to Ruth Bradley and Wide Angle, for seeing the value in documenting this crucial institutional history.

Fall 1952/1953

Programs Fall 1952/1953

October 1952

Trance and Dance in Bali Margaret Mead
An authentic, unstaged film record of the famous Balinese ceremonial dance drama, including the Kris ritual and actual trance seizures. A dramatic glimpse into the mind of primitive man, produced and narrated by the famed anthropologist. Balinese music and chants.

Recent Work of U. P. A.
The best new cartoons by the producers of Columbia's Gerald McBoing-Boing, who are revolutionizing the American cartoon field, including their celebrated Man Alive (recently featured in LIFE). Last season's showing of UPA's earlier work was one of Cinema 16's most popular programs.


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