Thursday, January 10, 2008

Rural artist's 1938 silent film about a day in his household is added to National Film Registry

What does "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" have in common with a silent, 12-minute movie by rural Kentuckian about a day in his household? They're among the latest 25 movies selected for inclusion on the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.

"Our Day" was made in 1938 by Wallace Kelly of Lebanon, Ky., at the geographic center of the state. "He made the movie using a 16mm camera at 457 W. Walnut Street in Lebanon," reports Stephen Lega of The Lebanon Enterprise. "Kelly was a prolific artist who lived most of his life in Lebanon. He painted, took photographs and wrote a critically acclaimed novel, Days Are As Grass, in 1941."

The film gained national attention through Home Movie Day, an annual event held in New York and other cities. In the Big Apple, "Wallace Kelly's daughter, Martha, presented two of his films, 'Our Day' and 'The Enterprise Goes to Press.' Wallace Kelly's brother, Oliver, served as the editor of the paper," Lega writes. (Read more)

The movie was praised for its sophisticated staging, lighting, camera work and editing. Dave Kehr of The New York Times, a member of the National Film Preservation Board, which picked the movies, called Kelly's picture "extraordinary" and said in his personal blog that it "displays a more sophisticated sense of mise-en-scene [staging] than the great majority of current Hollywood features."

No comments: