50000 Films Found?

jeffrey isaacs jdi1 at midway.uchicago.edu
Sat Feb 12 16:23:57 EST 2005

Handling 50,000 reels has got to be a logistical 
nightmare. Won't it overwhelm the NFC just to 
move and store them in a temp/humidity controlled 
facility? Which raises a question I've long 
wanted answered - What do the NFC film vaults 
look like?


>On 2005.2.11, at 04:34 åþå“, tetsuwan at comcast.net wrote:
>>Wonder how long before the public gets to view any of these?
>Knowing that the National Film Center is 
>understaffed and underfunded, I would say it 
>could take years, if not decades before many of 
>these films can be seen. The NFC will probably 
>try to show some of the more famous works as 
>quickly as they can--perhaps in a year or so if 
>the condition is not too bad--but if there are 
>really several thousand titles here (I suspect 
>the "50000" indicates more the number of reels, 
>not titles), it will take them years just to 
>catalog them and try to do preservation work. 
>Also, we must remember that the NFC is still not 
>a research-friendly institution, and thus it 
>does not make these films easily available to 
>individual scholars. You thus might have to wait 
>decades before they decide to show one of the 
>lesser films in one of their public screenings.
>I might add that the Bunkacho currently has a 
>committee investigating the future of the NFC, 
>but as usual, there is not a single film scholar 
>on the committee--it's all people from the 
>Aaron Gerow
>Assistant Professor
>Film Studies Program/East Asian Languages and Literatures
>Director of Undergraduate Studies, Film Studies Program
>Yale University
>53 Wall Street, Room 316
>PO Box 208363
>New Haven, CT 06520-8363
>Phone: 1-203-432-7082
>Fax: 1-203-432-6764
>e-mail: aaron.gerow at yale.edu

Jeffrey Isaacs
Ph.D. student, University of Chicago

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