Local Sightings spotlight: Film Originals, The Work of George and Helen Smith


Every year the programmers here at Local Sightings include an evening of important historical interest from the Northwest we call Century 20. Last year it was In Partnership with Time and The Tribe and the Professor, two gems from the Ruth and Louis Kirk Moving Image Collection housed at the University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections. The 2007 festival featured The Bitter Ash, a hip 1963 feature from Canadian director Larry Kent, the story of a cynical working stiff and a struggling, self-deluded playwright whose lives collide. 2006 was the rarely-seen 1985 film Beacon Hill Boys about Asian-American teenagers growing up in south Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood in the 1970s.

This year’s Century 20 presentation is “Film Originals, The Work of George and Helen Smith.” George and Helen Smith made films together for over thirty years. George worked behind the camera as cinematographer and editor, while Helen wrote scripts for the nearly 40 titles they produced under the name Film Originals. Their films focused on a variety of topics including the rise of aeronautics in American transportation, the Northwest timber industry, and environmental conservation. Featured films from the George and Helen Smith Collection, recently acquired by the UW Libraries Special Collections, include Last of the Log Drives (1970), Flying Businessman (1953), Those Were the Days (1971) and Telephone Creek (1950). The screening will include program notes and comments from Hannah Palin, Film Archives Specialist.

This is likely your only opportunity to ever see these films, so don’t miss it.

Film Originals plays Local Sightings Monday, October 5 at 7pm.


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