Archive for the 'History' Category

Our tribute to Ray Harryhausen

Posted by on May 10 2013 | History, Motion Pictures

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Ray Harryhausen at the Dryden Theatre in 2004

The great Ray Harryhausen died on Tuesday. The pioneering animator and special effects artist visited us at the Dryden Theatre nine years ago this month to receive the George Eastman Honorary Scholar award. The house was sold out for this very special event. Harryhausen was a major influence on virtually every science fiction and fantasy filmmaker of the last 60 years. It was his imagination that created some of the most memorable and beloved creatures in the history of cinema.

Beginning with THE 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD he conceived ideas, drew conceptual artwork, supervised all animation sequences and served as co-producer of all his films. As John Landis pointed out in a Dryden interview only one week earlier, this fact makes Harryhausen that rare non-director to earn the designation of an auteur. It’s the realization of Harryhausen’s vision that you’re witnessing when you watch CLASH OF THE TITANS or JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS. Those are his films.

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Ray Harryhausen at the Dryden Theatre in 2004

Harryhausen was generous when he visited the Dryden. He signed autographs, posed for pictures and answered questions. His sense of humor put the audience at ease when he said
“Some people call me a geek. I don’t know what that means, but I guess it’s a compliment.”

He said that he will always be grateful to Kodak. When he got out of the Army he took with him 1000 feet of outdated Kodachrome stock that was going to be thrown out. He decided to try shooting some fairy tales and the color “still looks beautiful after all these years.”

It was the beginning of a legendary career in the movies.

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George Eastman Honored By Thousands

Posted by on Mar 14 2013 | History, House & Gardens, Other

Today we honor the memory and legacy of George Eastman. March 14, 1932george_eastman_1932

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Film Matters: Ain’t Nothin Like The Real Thing

Posted by on Aug 30 2012 | Exploring the Archive, History, Motion Pictures

The Dryden Theatre is a staple to film culture and motion picture history. The venue contains decades of memories among the walls, floors, and folding seats. The stories within the deep, curious cinema are many. The modest piano sits stage right, finely tuned and ready to go.  The hushed voices, watchful eyes, ears and smiles surround the box office just before a film begins.

So let’s talk 35mm – let’s talk depth of field, luminosity, purity and beauty. The Dryden screens 35mm almost exclusively (well, every once in a while we mix it up).  You won’t find DVD or Blue-ray here- only film–and oftentimes original. The George Eastman House collection is vast, as are our connections to fellow archives and studios, allowing the Dryden’s film series to be strategically crafted with thoughtful themes and chock-full with the best actors, directors and producers throughout history.

The next frontier for the Dryden is making members and the public aware of the magic of the theater. It is reminding patrons of the unique experience of watching a movie on the big screen shot on 35 or screening silent films with musical accompaniment. It is about the conversations before and after, and the community of this place. I’m proud to present to you a look at the Dryden Theatre and its importance locally and internationally. 
Meet Lori and Kolbe…

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Retina Camera Research

Posted by on Aug 13 2012 | Exploring the Archive, History, Photography

Some interesting research happening at Eastman House – David Jentz of the Retina Historical Society is here, along with co-researcher, Dr. Klaus-Peter Roesner of Germany looking at our Retina cameras, accessories, and literature in the collection. Mr. Jentz is a well known authority on the Retina camera and has lectured and published numerous articles.

Here are some examples of the cameras they’re spending time with.

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Marilyn On My Mind

Posted by on Aug 03 2012 | History, Photography

This weekend marks the 50th Anniversary Memorial for Marilyn Monroe. Below is a note from our Communications and Visitor Engagement Intern, Zachary Overacker featuring images from our Philippe Halsman collection.

Marilyn Monroe has been an American icon for generations. It’s been 50 years since she has passed – on Aug. 5, 1962 — yet she’s still on magazine covers, the center of the hit NBC show Smash, and becoming an icon to a whole new generation, again.
When you think about it, it’s kind of crazy that someone who passed away several decades ago can still be as relevant as Marilyn Monroe is today. Perhaps it’s because she was the first sex symbol and one of the first huge movie stars. Or, maybe it’s her aura, or her story and how human she was that makes her so popular and so important. I assume it’s a combination of all of those.

Currently in the Eastman House exhibition "See: Untold Stories" is Philippe Halsman's MARILYN AT THE DRIVE-IN, from the portfolio HALSMAN/MARILYN, 1952, printed ca. 1981 © Philippe Halsman

The other day in a store check-out line I noticed that not only was Marilyn on a magazine cover but she was on the majority of the magazine covers. After years of not understanding the obsession with Marilyn, I am starting to finally get it. It’s not just that she was beautiful; she was a huge persona but also human and complicated. She could be this sex icon and at the same time have the innocence of the girl next door. She was really the total package.

MARILYN WITH BARBELLS by Philippe Halsman, from the portfolio HALSMAN/MARILYN, 1952, printed ca. 1981 © Philippe Halsman

It is through this TV show that I’ve developed my interest in (crush on) Marilyn. I remember in grade school girls had pictures of her in their locker or notebook and though I thought she was beautiful I didn’t fully understand the fascination. Now that I better know her story I understanding why she remains iconic … and real.

Marilyn had a very vibrant side to her, but she was also lonely and had a lot of problems, perhaps stemming from her childhood. As an adult Marilyn had problems with drugs, as well as affairs. And yet when watching her movies or staring at her glamorous portraits, you may never know the sad side.

At George Eastman House, you can see her realness in a display of Marilyn photographs by Phlippe Halsman, part of the exhibition See: Untold Stories (up through Sept. 23). Whether it’s the photo of her lying down on a bench lifting weights or just one of her messing around listening to music, each photo is intriguing. I can’t think of anyone else even close to as photogenic as she was. - Zachary Overacker

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