September 8, 2012 — Fashion Photos Discovered

Late tonight I am putting off writ­ing a pre­sen­ta­tion for upcom­ing Octo­ber events and brows­ing the won­der­ful pho­tos of Li Ling-Ai that Soft­film blog­ger Duri­an Dave dis­cov­ered in the LIFE pho­to archives.  These are all of a Unit­ed Chi­na Relief Fash­ion show in May 1941 and tak­en by Alfred Eisen­stadt (note KUKAN would pre­miere the fol­low­ing month in NYC — it must have been a heady time for Li Ling-Ai).

Photo of Li Ling-Ai at May 1941 fashion show for United China Relief

Li LIng-Ai mod­els tra­di­tion­al Chi­nese robe at May 1941 fash­ion show for Unit­ed Chi­na Relief.

 

Li Ling-Ai models Chinese gown for United China Relief fundraiser in 1941

Li Ling-Ai was one of the few Chi­nese mod­els at the fash­ion show.

 

Crowd view of the May 1941 fashion show for United China Relief

Crowd view of the fash­ion show helps pin­point the loca­tion.

I love see­ing this crowd shot of all the NYC socialites wear­ing their hats.  While view­ing these pho­tos, a bell rang in my head and I remem­bered some of my research at the Colum­bia Rare Book and Man­u­script Library.  A fash­ion show had been held at the Hotel Pierre.  Sure enough, I com­pared a cur­rent pho­to of the pent­house ball­room and the arch­ways are the same.  I got chills remem­ber­ing that I had been to a wed­ding at that same spot back in the 90’s.

Penthouse ballroom at the Hotel Pierre

The 3,500 square-foot dou­ble height ball­room today, pho­to from NYTimes online

 

I had no idea that Li Ling-Ai par­tic­i­pat­ed in the fash­ion show when I took those notes at Colum­bia a cou­ple of years ago.

Publicity photo of Li Ling-Ai, with K.T. Stevens, James Blaine, Lee Ya Ching, and unidentified Chinese woman

Li Ling-Ai, with actress K.T. Stevens, James Blaine, Lee Ya Ching, and uniden­ti­fied Chi­nese woman

Li LIng-Ai is seen here pos­ing with James Blaine, nation­al chair­man of Unit­ed Chi­na Relief and the pres­i­dent of Marine Mid­land Trust.  He was just one of the NYC CEOs that Hen­ry Luce recruit­ed to lead the huge fundrais­ing effort to aid Chi­na pri­or to WWII.

Li Ling-Ai posing for publicity photo at United China Relief fundraiser

Li Ling-Ai pos­ing for pub­lic­i­ty pho­to at Unit­ed Chi­na Relief fundrais­er

These pho­tos  bring this 1941 event to life for me in a whole new way.  How­ev­er, LIFE pho­tographs are noto­ri­ous­ly expen­sive to license.  So if I’m going to use them in the doc­u­men­tary, I’m going to have to have a fundrais­er myself.  Speak­ing of which… Be on the look­out for our Kick­starter launch in Octo­ber, and if you’re in Hon­olu­lu on Octo­ber 28, come to our “Night in Old Shang­hai” cock­tail par­ty ben­e­fit where we will pay homage to the efforts of these 1941 fash­ion­ista fundrais­ers.

Chinese inspired fashion in 1941

Chi­nese inspired fash­ion in 1941

Chinese inspired fashion in 1941

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August 10, 2012 — Li Ling-Ai 75 Years Ago

When I was invit­ed recent­ly to par­tic­i­pate in a con­fer­ence to com­mem­o­rate the 75th anniver­sary of the Nanking Mas­sacre this com­ing Decem­ber, I real­ized that the film KUKAN also cel­e­brates a whole string of 75th year anniver­saries.  Today hap­pens to be the day that Li Ling-Ai (aka Gladys Li) appeared on the front page of the Hon­olu­lu Star Bul­letin news­pa­per, laud­ed for her desire to fly a plane to sup­port Chi­na’s resis­tance to Japan­ese inva­sion.

Li Ling-Ai (aka Gladys Li) on the front page of the Star Bulletin.  August 10, 1937

Li Ling-Ai (aka Gladys Li) appeared on the front page of the Star Bul­letin. August 10, 1937

A month before this Amelia Earhart’s plane dis­ap­peared.  It’s a reminder that in 1937 air­plane flight was still rel­a­tive­ly new and few women were under­tak­ing the risky hob­by.

News­reel still announc­ing Earhart’s plight.

Fly­ing a plane is just one of the pio­neer­ing feats of Li Ling-Ai and what brought her to the atten­tion of the Adver­tis­er reporter Rey Scott who would even­tu­aly become her film­mak­ing part­ner on Kukan.

Also note­wor­thy is that the author of the Star Bul­letin arti­cle, May Day Lo, was one of the first Asian Amer­i­can female reporters on a major city news­pa­per.

Have any oth­er 75th anniver­saries to share?  Feel free to com­ment.

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July 24, 2012 — An Earfull At the Ear Inn

As the weeks wear on and I get clos­er to the dead­line for sub­mit­ting a grant appli­ca­tion to the NEA, I have peri­ods of doubt and won­der if it’s even worth it to try for such a pres­ti­gious thing.  And if I don’t get award­ed a grant what will it mean – that the project is unwor­thy, and I should give up?

Some­times fac­ing a lengthy grant appli­ca­tion makes you want to cut and run.

Glanc­ing through pic­tures I took in May I’m remind­ed that get­ting grants and mak­ing Art are two dif­fer­ent things.  These black and white snaps were tak­en on a hot sum­mer night when I joined my hus­band Paul and our friend Peer at one of NY’s old­est bars – The Ear Inn on Spring Street.

Photo of Paul and Peer at the Ear Inn

Paul and Peer at the Ear Inn

As I ate mus­cles at the bar and lis­tened to old-time jazz, a woman named Kate­ri­na intro­duced her­self.  She had an intrigu­ing accent and was very charm­ing.

Catha­ri­na is half Russ­ian half Greek.

Sev­er­al min­utes lat­er her friend Roland joined her – an artist, he showed her pho­tos of his lat­est work on his Iphone.The strik­ing shad­ows in his imagery prompt­ed me to talk about the ideas for shad­ow play I had in mind for FINDING KUKAN.

Designer and artist Roland Gebhardt

Design­er and artist Roland Geb­hardt

For some great use of shad­ows, you should see THE THIRD MAN, said Roland.  He sound­ed like he knew what he was talk­ing about.  When I got home I looked up Roland’s web­site – pho­tos of his per­for­mance pieces made me think of all the pos­si­bil­i­ties before me. The doors to cre­ation opened up a crack.

Image from Roland Gebhardt's Layers

Image from Roland Geb­hardts Performance/Installation “Lay­ers”

As I watched THE THIRD MAN for the first time the doors were thrown wide open.  Every shot was a com­po­si­tion­al gem and fired up ideas in my head for ways to visu­al­ize my own search.

 

Scene from THE THIRD MAN

An ear­ly scene from THE THIRD MAN — shad­ows and a great stair­well — 2 of my favorite things.

I’m hang­ing on to the DVD so I can watch it for the third time – a reward I’m going to give myself after get­ting that grant app fin­ished.  You DO need a lot of mon­ey to make movies, but you DON’T need a lot to enjoy the heck out of them.

Screen shots from THE THIRD MAN

Screen shots from THE THIRD MAN

Thanks to Roland Geb­hardt and the Ear Inn for remind­ing me of why I’m writ­ing grants appli­ca­tions in the first place.

Texting from The Ear Inn

The mys­te­ri­ous guy across the bar must be writ­ing a nov­el on his cell phone.

Whether it’s the bar, the gym, or the beach, we all need to leave the desk once in awhile to get a fresh per­spec­tive.  Where do you go when you need a cre­ative breath of fresh air?

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July 11, 2012 — Cheongsam Dreams

Li Ling-Ai, the Chi­nese Amer­i­can author who lured me into FINDING KUKAN, was known for always wear­ing a tra­di­tion­al Chi­nese dress known as a cheongsam (or qipao in Man­darin).

Photo of Li Ling-Ai in jade green cheongsam circa 1941

Li Ling-Ai in jade green cheongsam cir­ca 1941

I did­n’t always have an appre­ci­a­tion for the style since I asso­ci­at­ed it with my elder­ly grand­moth­er who lived with us when I was a teenag­er in the 70s.  Her old-fash­ioned Chi­nese ways and insis­tence on wear­ing a Chi­nese dress every­where was a cause of angst and embar­rass­ment to me at a time when appear­ing too eth­nic or Asian was just not the cool thing to do.

Photo of Polly Ching

My grand­moth­er Pol­ly Ching in front of Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty in the 1960s

But my atti­tude has changed over the years along with the fash­ions.  All the rage in the 20’s and 30’s when Chi­nese women were express­ing new­found free­doms, the cheongsam was banned in main­land Chi­na dur­ing the Mao era and lat­er con­sid­ered too old-fash­ioned by Chi­nese women who were going for more mod­ern West­ern looks in the 70s and 80s. Accord­ing to this excel­lent arti­cle by Babette Rad­clyffe-Thomas, sexy Chi­nese movies like IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE have recent­ly inspired a nos­tal­gia for the cheongsam.

movie still from IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE

One of the exquis­ite cheongsams fash­ioned for Mag­gie Che­ung by IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE art direc­tor William Chang

Madon­na, Nicole Kid­man and Kel­ly Pre­ston have all been caught wear­ing the style to glam­orous effect at red car­pet events.

photo of Nicole Kidman in cheongsam

Nicole Kid­man takes on the cheongsam

To hon­or Li LIng-Ai and the revival of the cheongsam (and also divert myself from writ­ing grant appli­ca­tions), I’ve been col­lect­ing cheongsam pho­tos on my Pin­ter­est board.  Here are some of my favorites.
— No con­tent found.
— Check your ID and board name.

Have a favorite cheongsam of your own?  Post in the com­ments or send me a link to your pin and I’ll put it on my board.

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July 8, 2012 — Kickstarter Plans Get Under Way

Well to off­set my ter­ri­ble expe­ri­ence of hav­ing my cam­eras and jew­el­ry ripped off, let’s talk about one of the lucky things that have hap­pened late­ly.  The new FINDING KUKAN teas­er has inspired sev­er­al amaz­ing women to vol­un­teer their tal­ents to help devel­op the film!  All amaz­ing cre­ative pro­fes­sion­als in their own right, Pamela Tong, Mag­no­lia Bar­rett, and Debra Zeleznik recent­ly gath­ered at my house to talk about how to get the film to the next step.  We were guid­ed by the great research vol­un­teer Notre Dame stu­dent Camille Muth did for us.

Robin Lung, Pamela Tong, Magnolia Barrett and Debra Zeleznik hold brainstorming session for FINDING KUKAN.

Robin Lung, Pamela Tong, Mag­no­lia Bar­rett and Debra Zeleznik hold brain­storm­ing ses­sion for FINDING KUKAN.

 

Right now our most imme­di­ate need is to raise fund­ing to com­plete the film.  So we are plan­ning a KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN to begin in OCTOBER.  Why Kick­starter you might ask?

#1.  IT WORKS.  Crowd­fund­ing– it’s what PBS and NPR have been doing for years — the phone in fund dri­ve for­mat where you get a nice lit­tle gift and men­tion on the show for mak­ing your dona­tion at a par­tic­u­lar time.  Kick­starter (admin­is­tered by Ama­zon) is just an online way of doing it and is struc­tured so that inde­pen­dent cre­ative types can have a ready made plat­form to launch their own crowd­fund­ing cam­paigns.  Check out a cou­ple of amaz­ing doc­u­men­tary cam­paigns here and here.

#2. GRANTS ARE GONE.  Well not total­ly.  I’ve been lucky enough to get a cou­ple of small grants in the past and will con­tin­ue to write oner­ous grant appli­ca­tions to try to cap­ture what lit­tle fund­ing is still avail­able to doc­u­men­taries — my Exec­u­tive Pro­duc­er Kim­ber­lee Bass­ford point­ed out that it’s eas­i­er to get into Yale Uni­ver­si­ty than it is to get most major film grants.  Even direc­tors with sev­er­al major PBS doc­u­men­tary series under their belts are find­ing it hard to make films with the tra­di­tion­al fund­ing avail­able in this tight econ­o­my.

#3.  IT’S FUN.  To learn more about Kick­starter I’ve donat­ed to a cou­ple of projects myself.  Donat­ing makes you part of a team and gets you emo­tion­al­ly invest­ed in some­one else’s cre­ative project.  It’s ener­giz­ing and inspir­ing to be part of a group effort to cre­ate some­thing of last­ing val­ue.  Plus there are some fun pre­mi­ums you can get for donat­ing.

Robin Lung and Debra Zeleznik discuss Kickstarter premiums

Debra sug­gests a cus­tom-made bracelet made of mah jong tiles as a pos­si­ble pre­mi­um — I LOVE IT!

 

Do you have any expe­ri­ence with Kick­starter or oth­er fundrais­ing efforts?  Can you give us some point­ers on how to run a suc­cess­ful fundrais­ing cam­paign?  Do you have an idea for a great pre­mi­um to give to future donors?  Don’t be shy!  We need all the help we can get.  Please let us hear from you!

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July 7, 2012 — Getting Ripped Off

The police warn about it all the time, hol­i­days seem to bring out the thieves in droves. Hawaii is no excep­tion and I found out the hard way on July 3 when our house was bur­glar­ized in broad day­light. Bad news — all of my cam­eras and jew­el­ry were stolen.

Shelf where the cam­eras used to be.

 

Good news. The com­put­er and hard dri­ves weren’t tak­en and the film and all my archival doc­u­ments and years of research remain intact.

These binders alone rep­re­sent years of research.

 

I am remind­ed of a North­ern Expo­sure episode where Mar­i­lyn Whirl­wind tells a sto­ry about a lucky sit­u­a­tion turn­ing unlucky and then lucky again. See tran­script of sto­ry here.

Let’s hope you nev­er have to fill out one of these.

 

I had a lit­tle mourn­ing ses­sion for each item I list­ed in the Police Report, espe­cial­ly pieces of jew­el­ry that my grand­moth­er had giv­en me.  But as I was writ­ing that up, friends from all over were respond­ing to my Face­book post about the inci­dent, offer­ing help, com­fort, loans of cam­era equip­ment, etc.  Read­ing those posts I real­ized just how lucky I was.

But how to pre­vent future loss­es?  Old fash­ioned safes might pro­tect jew­el­ry and cam­eras in the future, but what about those archival docs and film footage?  Is cloud tech­nol­o­gy a prac­ti­cal solu­tion?  Any­one have expe­ri­ence using tech­nol­o­gy to safe guard pre­cious pho­tographs or doc­u­ments?  Let’s hear your sto­ry.

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June 28, 2012 — A Visit to Yale and Chinese Exclusion

The recent FINDING KUKAN shoot at Yale Uni­ver­si­ty brought out the per­pet­u­al stu­dent in me.  You can’t help but be awed by the vault­ed ceil­ings and Knights of the Round Table atmos­phere of the Hall of Grad­u­ate Stud­ies where my inter­view with Yale Pro­fes­sor of Amer­i­can Stud­ies Mary Lui took place.

Photo of Yale Graduate Studies Building

Yale Grad­u­ate Stud­ies Build­ing on York Street

The build­ing reminds you how much his­to­ry has come before you and how much you are igno­rant of.

Photo of Robin Lung at Yale

Direc­tor Robin Lung at Yale

 

For­tu­nate­ly the halls of learn­ing at Yale are pop­u­lat­ed by peo­ple like Mary who ded­i­cate their lives to gath­er­ing knowl­edge and dis­sem­i­nat­ing it to peo­ple like me.

 

Robin Lung interviews Mary Lui for FINDING KUKAN

Robin Lung inter­views Mary Lui for FINDING KUKAN

 

In try­ing to under­stand the social cli­mate that prompt­ed Li Ling-Ai and Rey Scott to risk mon­ey and life to make KUKAN, Mary Lui remind­ed me that the behav­ior of Chi­nese Amer­i­cans like Li Ling-Ai was still gov­erned in part by prej­u­di­cial immi­gra­tion laws enact­ed against the Chi­nese — the most infa­mous one being the Chi­nese Exclu­sion Act passed in 1882.

Signature Page of the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act

Sig­na­ture Page of the 1882 Chi­nese Exclu­sion Act

Meant to keep cheap labor from enter­ing the US, the exclu­sion laws end­ed up doing much more than that. From restrict­ing the for­ma­tion of Chi­nese fam­i­lies, to ren­der­ing the few Chi­nese women around at the time exot­ic crea­tures with ques­tion­able back­grounds the Exclu­sion Laws had neg­a­tive reper­cus­sions on even the rich­est and most edu­cat­ed Chi­nese Amer­i­cans.  It’s no won­der that with so few Chi­nese Amer­i­cans around that stereo­types and mis­con­cep­tions about them would form.

Vintage Valentine Card

Vin­tage Valen­tine Card

 

I came back to Hawaii much bet­ter pre­pared to appre­ci­ate the his­toric bill recent­ly passed by Con­gress to offi­cial­ly apol­o­gize for the prej­u­di­cial laws that tar­get­ed Chi­nese and oth­er Asians in Amer­i­ca for over 80 years.

 

Judy Chu

Judy Chu intro­duced Apol­o­gy Bill for Chi­nese Exclu­sion Laws

 

One of the stereo­types I had about my own eth­nic back­ground was that Chi­nese don’t make waves and pas­sive­ly accept their fate, let­ting bygones be bygones.

Action Call Post­ed by the 1882 Project

The coura­geous efforts of peo­ple like Con­gress­woman Judy Chu and orga­ni­za­tions like the 1882 Project belie that stereo­type and bring a new val­i­da­tion to the his­to­ry of Asians in Amer­i­ca that will hope­ful­ly prompt more sto­ries about an era of exclu­sion that we still don’t know enough about.

Are there ways that exclu­sion laws have affect­ed your life?  Let us hear from you.

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May 5, 2012 — The Enchanting World of ShadowLight

I’ve always been entranced by shad­ows — the mag­i­cal play of light on the walls in the morn­ing and eerie shapes that your own body throws as you walk on the beach or side­walk.

Nobuyuki Taguchi photograph

Lon­don Street by Nobuyu­ki Taguchi

I was­n’t aware that there was a tra­di­tion­al form of shad­ow pup­petry per­formed through­out Asia until I saw the Zhang Yimou movie TO LIVE in which one of the main char­ac­ters is a shad­ow mas­ter (this is a great film BTW).

 

Photo of Chinese shadow figures

Tra­di­tion­al Chi­nese shad­ow play fig­ures

DVD Poster for TO LIVE

Zhang Yimou’s TO LIVE

The shad­ow pup­pet scenes were so hyp­no­tiz­ing that when I was strug­gling with how to visu­al­ize epic his­toric scenes in FINDING KUKAN in an eco­nom­i­cal way, the idea of using shad­ow pup­pets came up for me. I start­ed hunt­ing on the web for peo­ple who per­formed shad­ow pup­petry, and when I came across Lar­ry Reed & Shad­ow­light Pro­duc­tions’ THE WILD PARTY, I was real­ly blown away.

This was not the land of your grand­moth­er’s shad­ow pup­pets any­more. Live actors, con­tem­po­rary scenes, and shift­ing per­spec­tive lent a new dynamism to the pro­duc­tion that I instinc­tive­ly felt would be per­fect for what I want­ed to do in FINDING KUKAN.

photo of Larry Reed

Shad­ow mas­ter Lar­ry Reed

Hap­pi­ly Lar­ry was excit­ed about my project and has agreed to col­lab­o­rate with me on FINDING KUKAN. Lar­ry Reed is tru­ly a shad­ow mas­ter, hav­ing stud­ied and per­formed tra­di­tion­al Bali­nese shad­ow pup­petry for over 35 years. In the ear­ly 1990’s, Reed invent­ed an inge­nious shad­ow cast­ing method, which inte­grates the tra­di­tion­al shad­ow the­atre tech­niques, cin­e­mat­ic effects and mod­ern the­atre and dance styles. Watch for a sam­ple of Shad­ow­light’s inno­v­a­tive work from THE GOOD-FOR-NOTHING LOVER in the new FINDING KUKAN teas­er that will pre­miere next week.

Have ideas for cool ways of using shad­ows?  Please let me hear from you.

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February 15, 2012 — A Fashion Interlude

Recent­ly I had the good for­tune of meet­ing one of Ling-Ai’s nieces who had saved many of Ling-Ai’s papers and pos­ses­sions.  I am cur­rent­ly por­ing through doc­u­ments and pieces of paper, look­ing for clues that tell more about the mak­ing of KUKAN.  It can be a tedious job.  So I took an after­noon off to explore some of Ling-Ai’s fash­ion acces­sories that had been painstak­ing­ly packed away.  Ling-Ai had an obvi­ous flair for fash­ion.  And the vin­tage clothes lover in me went gaga as I opened this eye-catch­ing tres MOD turquoise hat box.  

Photo of Li Ling-Ai's Hat Box.

Li Ling-Ai’s Mod Turquoise Hat Box could be a fash­ion acces­so­ry in itself

 

The con­tents of the box did not dis­ap­point.  I dis­cov­ered three exquis­ite­ly craft­ed lit­tle num­bers.  A pink bro­cade small saucer hat with a stun­ning plume was my favorite.

Photo of Li Ling-Ai's Nick Savage pink brocade hat.

Plumed pink bro­cade hat by Nick Sav­age

 
I had a lot of fun imag­in­ing the type of occa­sion Ling-Ai chose to wear this hat to.
 
 
Photo of pink brocade hat.
 
Photo of Nick Savage pink brocade plumed hat owned by Li Ling-Ai
While pho­tograph­ing this hat, I noticed the amaz­ing crafts­man­ship that went into it’s con­struc­tion.
 
Photo of detail from pink brocade hat by Nick Savage

Detail of pink bro­cade hat.

A signed label was sewn into the inside lin­ing of the hat.  Nick Sav­age appears to be the tal­ent­ed milliner who made it.
 
Photo of inside of pink brocade hat
These next two pieces were also made by Nick. And are equal­ly exquis­ite.
 
 
Photo of gold ponytail hat by Nick Savage.

Gold pony­tail hat by Nick Savage.Gold-banded camel­lia hat by Nick Sav­age

 
 
 
Photo of gold-banded camellia hat by Nick Savage

Gold-band­ed camel­lia hat by Nick Sav­age

 

The lit­tle details are mar­velous. Check out the sep­a­rate braid­ed strands that start this gold pony-tail plume.

Photo of gold ponytail saucer hat by Nick Savage

 And the per­fect posi­tion­ing of the bro­cad­ed fab­ric.
 
Gold ponytail saucer hat by Nick Savage.
The camel­lia on this inven­tive piece was a lit­tle a squished, but I imag­ine it was pret­ty sump­tious when Ling-Ai wore it back in the day.
 
Photo of gold-banded camellia hat by Nick Savage
Gold-banded camellia hat by Nick Savage
 
I could­n’t find any infor­ma­tion on the inter­net about the tal­ent­ed Nick Sav­age.  But I did find a lit­tle label in the inside of this camel­lia hat. 
 
 
 It had a New York City address — 350 East 50th Street — from Google Maps it looks to be a build­ing just off Lex­ing­ton Ave.  If any fash­ion­istas have any more infor­ma­tion on him, please let me know.  I have Mr. Sav­age’s millinery gifts, Li Ling-Ai’s fash­ion sense and her niece’s fore­sight to thank for a won­der­ful after­noon spent in a world of gamorous fan­ta­sy. 
 
Black velvet rhinestone and pearl studded hat from Li Ling-Ai's collection.

Black vel­vet rhine­stone and pearl stud­ded hat from Li Ling-Ai’s col­lec­tion.

 
To top off my post I’ll leave with a few shots of anoth­er gor­geous top­per in Ling-Ai’s col­lec­tion (by an unknown mak­er).
 
 Detail of Velvet Hat
 

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February 19, 2012 — What do HUGO and FINDING KUKAN have in common?

Film Poster for HUGO

Mar­tin Scorce’s HUGO is a trib­ute to film pio­neer Georges Melies

 

Like many peo­ple who were charmed by Scorcese’s recent film HUGO, I had lit­tle knowl­edge of ear­ly film his­to­ry or Georges Melies before see­ing the movie, so I head­ed to the inter­net after­wards to find out a lit­tle more about him.

 

Photo of Ben Kingsley & Martin Scorcese on the set of HUGO

Ben Kings­ley (cen­ter right, as Georges Melies) con­fers with director/producer Mar­tin Scors­ese (far right) on the set of HUGO, from Para­mount Pic­tures and GK Films. Pho­to: Jaap Bui­tendijk.

 

Although Melies is rec­og­nized today as an ear­ly film inno­va­tor with a fab­u­lous imag­i­na­tion, he fell out of favor dur­ing his life­time and many of his films were melt­ed down or destroyed.

Still from Melies's THE MAN WITH THE RUBBER HEAD

Still from Melies’s THE MAN WITH THE RUBBER HEAD

 

While read­ing about Melies, I ran across Wikipedia’s list of Redis­cov­ered Films. Hap­pi­ly a cou­ple of Melies’s films from the 1890s have been redis­cov­ered in this cen­tu­ry.

 

Excerpt from Wikipedia's List of Rediscovered Films - 1890s

Excerpt from Wikipedi­a’s List of Redis­cov­ered Films — 1890s

 

Scrolling down the list, look what film shows up in the 1940’s … Rey Scott’s KUKAN!

 

Excerpt from Wikipedia's List of Rediscovered Films - 1940s

Excerpt from Wikipedi­a’s List of Redis­cov­ered Films — 1940s

 

And that’s the answer to a film triv­ia ques­tion that might some­day be asked on a game show in the far future – HUGO and FINDING KUKAN are both about redis­cov­er­ing lost films and for­got­ten film­mak­ers.

 

Georges Melies postage stamp

In 1961 the French gov­ern­ment issued a postage stamp in hon­or of Georges Melies’s cin­e­mat­ic con­tri­bu­tions.

 

Maybe some­day KUKAN, Rey Scott, and Li Ling-Ai will have a postage stamp ded­i­cat­ed to them too.

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