Monday, December 12, 2005

t r u t h o u t - FBI Agents Lament: "Radical Militant Librarians"

At FBI, Frustration Over Limits on an Antiterror Law
By Eric Lichtblau
The New York Times

Sunday 11 December 2005

"While radical militant librarians kick us around, true terrorists benefit from Office of Intelligence Policy and Review's failure to let us use the tools given to us"
Washington - Some agents at the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been frustrated by what they see as the Justice Department's reluctance to let them demand records and to use other far-ranging investigative measures in terrorism cases, newly disclosed e-mail messages and internal documents show.

Publicly, the debate over the law known as the USA Patriot Act has focused on concerns from civil rights advocates that the F.B.I. has gained too much power to use expanded investigative tools to go on what could amount to fishing expeditions.

But the newly disclosed e-mail messages offer a competing view, showing that, privately, some F.B.I. agents have felt hamstrung by their inability to get approval for using new powers under the Patriot Act, which was passed weeks after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

One internal F.B.I. message, sent in October 2003, criticized the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review at the Justice Department, which reviews and approves terrorist warrants, as regularly blocking requests from the F.B.I. to use a section of the antiterrorism law that gave the bureau broader authority to demand records from institutions like banks, Internet providers and libraries.

"While radical militant librarians kick us around, true terrorists benefit from OIPR's failure to let us use the tools given to us," read the e-mail message, which was sent by an unidentified F.B.I. official. "This should be an OIPR priority!!!"

The bureau turned the e-mail messages over to the Electronic Privacy Information Center as part of a lawsuit brought by the group under the Freedom of Information Act, seeking material on the F.B.I.'s use of anti-terrorism powers. The group provided the material to The New York Times.

Congress is expected to vote early next week on a final plan for reauthorizing virtually all main parts of the law, including the F.B.I.'s broader power to demand records. President Bush, who has made renewal of the measure one of his top priorities, pushed again Saturday for Congress to act quickly.

"Since its passage after the attacks of September the 11, 2001, the Patriot Act has proved essential to fighting the war on terror and preventing our enemies from striking America again," Mr. Bush said in his radio address on Saturday.

While some Republicans and Democrats have attacked a brokered agreement reached Thursday because they said it does not go far enough in protecting civil liberties, the president hailed the agreement.

"Now Congress needs to finish the job," he said. "Both the Senate and the House need to hold a prompt vote, and send me a bill renewing the Patriot Act so I can sign it into law."

As part of the lawsuit brought by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a federal court has ordered the F.B.I. to turn over 1,500 pages of material to the privacy information group every two weeks.

An earlier collection of F.B.I. documents, released by the group in October, showed numerous violations of internal procedure and sometimes federal law by the bureau in its handling of surveillance and investigative matters. In some cases, for instance, agents had extended surveillance operations and investigations for months without getting required approval from supervisors.

In the most recent batch of material, an F.B.I. memorandum sent in March 2004 said the process for getting the Justice Department to improve demands for business records would be "greatly improved" because of a change in procedure allowing the bureau to "bypass" the department's intelligence office, which normally reviews all such requests.

But officials at the Justice Department and the F.B.I. said they were unaware of any such change in procedure and that all bureau requests for business record were still reviewed and approved by the Justice Department.

A separate e-mail message, sent in May 2004 with the subject header "Miracles," mockingly celebrated the fact that the Justice Department had approved an F.B.I. request for records under the so-called library provision.

"We got our first business record order signed today!" the message said. "It only took two and a half years."

In its latest public accounting of its use of the library provision, which falls under Section 215 of the antiterrorism law, the Justice Department said in April that it had used the law 35 times since late 2003 to gain access to information on apartment leasing, driver's licenses, financial records and other data in intelligence investigations.

But the department has said that it had never used the provision to demand records from libraries or bookstores or to get information related to medical or gun records, areas that have prompted privacy concerns and protests from civil rights advocates, conservative libertarians and other critics of the law.

Michael Kortan, a spokesman for the F.B.I., said the frustrations expressed in the internal e-mail messages "are considered personal opinions in what employees believed to be private e-mails not intended for large, public dissemination."

Mr. Kortan added that "the frustration evident in these messages demonstrates that no matter how difficult or time-consuming the process, F.B.I. special agents are held to a very high standard in complying with the necessary procedures currently in place to protect civil liberties and constitutional rights when using the legal tools appropriate for national security investigations."

A senior official at the Justice Department, who was granted anonymity because many aspects of the antiterrorism law's use are classified, echoed that theme. "For all the hand-wringing over potential abuses of the Patriot Act, what these e-mails show is that it's still fairly difficult to use these tools."

But Marcia Hofmann, who leads the electronic privacy center's government section, said the e-mail messages "raise a lot of unanswered questions" about the F.B.I.'s use of Patriot Act powers and its relations with the Justice Department. Without fuller answers, Ms. Hofmann said, a reauthorization of the law by Congress "would seem premature."

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 here my is brief attempt to blog regarding Anna's request that we all speak up about our internships/practica/jobs/what have you.

As a first year I wasn't in the practicum loop really but economics still applied and I had to find a student job. After a quarter of rejection (I can only assume that my resume was too random or something...dunno) and Amy's constant encouragement (thanks Amy!), I finally landed a job with the UCLA Libraries Oral History Project. I don't deal with moving images at all and actually don't even deal with the audio tapes of interviews. It has been a great experience though and, at least tangentally related to moving images. I correct/index/format and create tables of contents for oral history transcripts as an editorial assistant. There are numerous histories dealing with the motion picture industry. So far I've only worked on a few moving image related histories--among them the transcripts for video artists Chick Strand and Susan Mogul, as well as for a journalist who wrote articles on the making of "Salt of the Earth" and the Hollywood Blacklist.

I also just finished up a brief stint at the UCLA Film and Television Archive. I helped to scan the half-million or so notecards that serve as the catalogue to the Hearst Metrotone Newsreel Collection which was donated to the UCLA Archive in the 1980s (I think). Basically I would just sit in this little window-less, ventalition-less room with another scanner and the Archive's server, prep the cards (examine for tears, folds, staples, etc.), load piles of them into scanners, and then review the completed scans to make sure they looked good. The room would average about 81 degrees which would make the urgency of preservation all the more real (how can anything, inanimate or not, survive for long in such conditions?). My last day I scanned 15,050 cards and left the job with an odd feeling of accomplishment. I have always excelled at the menial and mundane.

So that's about it...this summer I'll eventually spend over a month working in Special Collections at the University of Washington (my birth place and college/first grad school) Libraries. I just visited them yesterday and am very excited. They have all sorts of great regional history/scientific/educational films--many of which have yet to be inventoried. In addition I'll be helping out with the Seattle edition of Home Movie Day at MOHAI. It is, I must say, a bit odd to be at UW once again (if I show up there next year as well I bet ya they'll start pursuing some sort of restraining order) but I've come to accept that I'm bound to end up haunting the place for life and figure I might as well start sooner rather than later.

I'm also working with some local historical societies in the south Puget Sound area, where I grew up, to evaluate their film--and will hopefully be able to put together a digital access copy as part of my portfolio.

So that's it..for now ;)

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The most challenging day at cataloging internship

Hi. This is Anna. It's been awhile but I thought I'd write about my last day at the UCLA Film Archive Cataloging Department. Why do the most challenging items to catalog appear on the last day of my internship? So, far I've had to rethink my approach to cataloging a sports show and the added entries have proved some what difficult to determine. Many of the rules established for bibliographic items just do not work with moving images as most of you are aware of. Also, determining the title of a news program, which appears simple, actually is not. A lot of things need to be considered before simply applying a title and also, as I have learned today, those titles may change.

Another challenge, figuring out how to cataloging a compilation of breaking news items. These are not excerpts. They are the items themselves. But how do you make a record reflect this? Are the notes enough? how many notes would a researcher be willing to wade through?

Overall, this has been a very wonderful internship. I have learned a lot from Martha Yee, Andrea Leigh and Robert Graves. I highly recommend this as a possibility if you want to intern. You not only catalog, but you also get to inventory and view the items. I worked mainly with Martha Yee and Dan Einstein, the Television Archivist, but you also get to interact and talk to everyone else here. It's a great environment and this has been the most professional internship I've experienced so far.

Also, they give out news awards for EVERYTHING. I can't even believe it. But I suppose, it's nice to be recognized.

Saturday, April 23, 2005


originally uploaded by Miss Martini.
On Wednesday, April 20th, AFI had a screening of "Don't Need You" a documentary on the Riot Grrl movement (United States) by Kerri Koch. It was great to be able to view a moment that changed many grrls lives. Whether you were deeply involved with the movement or were a fan of the music and supported these women by going to shows and buying their albums, if you were aware of what the Riot Grrls stood changed your life. This film reminded me of how wonderful and idealist we girls were and still are. Being able to see and listen to those involved and supporting the Riot Grrls, like Kathleen Hanna, Mark Anderson, Ian MacKaye, Corin Tucker, and Sharon Cheslow, explain the movement and how it changed and affect their views and roles on women in society was important to me.
It was amazing and hopefully everyone will have the opportunity to view this film. It was also interesting to see how many people have archived photographs, concert footage and posters from the time. There was footage from the first Heavens to Betsy concert, which was also viewed as Corin Tucker's first live performance. She also used footage from Bikini Kill's first D.C. performance which changed how people viewed women and music.
Kerri Koch and Sharon Cheslow were also in attendance and took part in a short Q&A. Also, the Arclight hosted a reception where Mika Miko performed. And from what I hear, the food was pretty great too.

Also, some of you might be interested in Kerri Koch's new project, a documentary on Latino/a Morrissey fans.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Submissions: Green Cine 2005 Online Film festival

I thought some of you might be interested in this:

The deadline is April 30th. Green Cine is an online movie rental company, similar to Netflix. The focus on more obscure titles and have a pretty great Anime collection. You should check out their website. I love their blog and also they have some interesting movie resources.

Good luck if you do submit anything.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Watch out for the Buddhist Palm!

I just got back from the premire of "Kung Fu Hustle" (
I have to say this is my favorite movie of the year. It was amazing. But since I'm not
a great reviewer I think you should read my friend, Jason's comments which probably
will be posted on

Everything about this movie was incredible...the story, the fighting scenes, the characters...

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

ProTek tour 2/24

I thought I would finally post about the ProTek tour at the end of last month. Rick Utley was very generous with his time and spoke to the small group of us there for at least an hour. He spoke about film preservation generally and a bit about the history of preservation. This included information on marketing and how studios began to find preservation profitable, including the rise of cable and video. He also spoke about the future of film preservation. It is not only important to know about film, it is increasingly important to be aware of digital elements. With the future of filmmaking leaning toward digital intermediates and digital projection/delivery, our generation of film archivists must be thinking ahead.

We took a short tour of the vaults. Much of the business done at ProTek is in storing films, including most of the original Disney animation negatives. They also parcel out preservation work to other labs. ProTek was started as a part of Kodak and is one of the sites of the AMIA Kodak Fellowship. The vaults themselves were very interesting. There is of course climate control and state of the art security and fire suppression technology. The shelves that hold the film cans are moveable. This way there is much better use of space than if they were affixed shelving. Each giant row of shelving can be moved to the side with the use of a hand crank.

After the tour Rick answered some of our questions and gave us some general advice for our studies/careers. It was a very informative visit. It is too bad that there wasn't a bigger turnout. Hopefully some of you will get another chance to go when things aren't so hectic.


Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Update on Screensound in Australia

I thought I would post this message sent by Mr. Ray Edmundson in regards to Screensound Australia.

4 January 2005

Archive Forum welcomes restoration and new vision

Archive Forum has welcomed the broad vision for the National Film and Sound
Archive outlined in various forums during December by its new director, Dr
Paolo Cherchi Usai.

The restoration of the Archive's original, self explanatory name - National
Film and Sound Archive - is a practical and symbolic step which accords not
only with international norms but also with the long-expressed advice of the
Archive's broad constituency. The change unambiguously re-asserts the
Archive's stature and mission and re-connects it with its own proud history.
The Forum applauds this move. To quote Dr Cherchi Usai: "it's exciting to
call the Archive with the old name again."

The other announced moves - which include enhancing the international
dimension of the Archive's collection, developing a curatorial staff
culture, responding to both the advantages and limitations of digitization,
and affirming the equal balance between the three archiving functions of
acquisition, preservation and access - are both strategic and
philosophically sound. "The declaration that all the Archive's functions and
leadership will remain firmly headquartered in Canberra, as befits a major
national institution, is also welcome news", said Archive Forum chair,
Professor Chris Puplick.

In welcoming these developments, the Forum also noted that the overarching
issues of the Archive's governance, autonomy and security remain unresolved.
Unlike its peers, such as the National Library and National Museum, the
Archive still lacks the essential status of an independent
statutory authority, a principle which until recently enjoyed bipartisan
support. As part of the Australian Film Commission (AFC) since July 2003, it
now operates under an Act which does not even recognize its existence as an
entity. The Forum will continue to urge the passage of appropriate
legislation and the Archive's separation from the AFC.


1 March 2005

New structure encourages depth of knowledge, says Forum

Archive Forum has welcomed the new organisational top structure for the
National Film and Sound Archive, unveiled by director Paolo Cherchi Usai
this week. The curatorially-based structure is seen as a significant
statement of values for the institution which should help to foster a richer
intellectual environment.    

The five Canberra-based curatorial divisions - moving images, sound,
documents, access/outreach and indigenous collections - give a welcome
elevation to the Archive's paper and artefact collections and recognise its
long standing focus on indigenous materials.  

"This is change for the better", said Forum Chair Professor Chris Puplick.
"It should encourage the deepening of knowledge and of the Archive's
intellectual life, making it a more authoritative national institution. It
should lead to better informed collection building, decision making and
policy development. We look forward with anticipation to the release of
further details."

The new top structure is seen as a response to issues raised in Archive
Forum's initial discussion paper, A time for review, released in May 2003.
Forum member Dr Deb Verhoeven recalled that the paper canvassed concerns
about diminishing staff knowledge, disposal of collection material and the
limited nature of many Archive publications. "We called it intellectual
ambience: a climate of rigour and in-depth enquiry. It should be
characteristic of the independent statutory authority which the Archive
needs to become".

The Forum added that curatorial principles applied to access as well as
collection building and preservation, and endorsed Dr Cherchi Usai's recent
commitment to equally support both traditional cinema presentation and newer
forms of digital access. It urged the Archive's parent body, the Australian
Film Commission, to honour the Archive's professional autonomy by affirming
this and the other commitments already announced by Dr Cherchi Usai.

A time for review can be accessed at

The members of Archive Forum are Dr Ina Bertrand, Anthony Buckley AM, Ray
Edmondson OAM (Secretary), Tom Jeffrey AM, James Malone, Dr Sigrid
McCausland, Sue Milliken, Michael Organ, Professor Chris Puplick AM (Chair),
Graham Shirley, Merle Thornton, Dr Deb Verhoeven, Dr Mike Walsh, Storry
Walton AM, John Weiley

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Marty Scorsese's Top 3 movies on a desert island

I just got back from seeing Martin "Marty" Scorsese speak at my employer's campus. So, while it is
still fresh in my mind I thought I should write some things.

So, his top 3 movies:

1) Vertigo
2) Fellini's 8 1/2
3) Il Gattopardo (The Leopard)
Then he threw in a couple more...
Cassavetes' Shadows being one of them...(which I believe, AMIA SC, MIAS and Melnitz Movies will be screening for
Steve Ricci's restoration course Spring quarter).

Scorsese discussed his influences, his experience with film making and the process of film making. He seems to spend a lot of time locked in a room, listening to music and focusing on whatever script he is working on. However, there was one question that related to what we at AMIA are interested in and that was his interest in film preservation. He discussed the formation of the Film Foundation and his interest in preserving what he described as "world history." He even mentioned Bob Rosen from UCLA as one of the catalysts to pushing himself, Steven Spielberg, Sydney Pollack and others to create the Film Foundation. His interest in preserving for historical reasons moving images (he did not mainly focus on films) is exactly what we want to do as film archivists.

He discussed the importance of preserving news reels, films, home movies and you could tell he is very passionate about it. Though for me, what we are doing is very important. It was nice to hear someone advocating all the time we are spending in studying and working in the field.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Godard's Masculine Feminine

Has anyone watched this movie?

I just watched it tonight at the Nuart. It was interesting. The sound was a little off at times
but it looked wonderful on the big screen. I think I may have lost some of the themes in the film...
Does that make sense? Maybe it was lost in the translation...But the ending was a bit strange, so it
returned to the first scene with "Paul" narrating. Then it there was an accident where he falls out
a window? If anyone has any thoughts on this film please let me know. This is my first time watching


Out Of The Past Screenings

Hi Everybody,

Steve Ricci, Director of the MIAS program at UCLA, has sent out
a tentative list for the restoration screenings. I have set up
a link on the AMIA website.

The student chapter, Melnitz Movies and the MIAS program are
sponsoring these screenings and it will be a great opportunity
to view some of films that have been restored.

If you want a list of the films please visit that AMIA Student
Chapter website and click on the link on the homepage.


Thursday, February 10, 2005

"Bride & Prejudice"

I just got back from watching this movie. I kind of loved it. It's a lot of fun and definitely makes you want to go home and break out in song and dance.

Also, I wanted to let everyone know about the Marlene Dietrich & Josef Von Sternberg films at the Egyptian.

Hopefully you can take time out to watch some of there.

Friday, February 04, 2005

The Pan African Film & Arts Festival

The Pan African Film Festival

The Pan African Film & Arts Festival
February 10-21, 2005
Los Angeles Magic Johnson Theatres
Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Keepers of the Moving Image

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Opinion Piece : "The Realm of The Unreal: the mystery of Henry Darger"

Directed by Jessica Yu, "The Realm of the Unreal: the mystery of Henry Darger," is a documentary on the life of Henry Darger, a janitor, who also turned out to be an artist and writer. Yu incorporates Darger's writings (from his 15,000 page novel "the Realm of the Unreal" as well as his own autobiography) with animated images of his art work to illustrate Darger's view of himself and the world that he kept at a distance. In one scene, a male voice, representing Darger, describes how he cried when he was a boy because it had stopped snowing, Yu uses one of Darger's art works of a little girl starring out the window watching the snow falling. It has been animated with the girl shown crying as the snow fall begins to stop. Images, such as these, incorporated with narrators reading Darger's words gives the film more emotional power.

Darger was viewed as being innocent, crazy, lonely, and eccentric. Though his neighbors helped him occassionally he remained a mystery to them and to us.

The film is now showing at the Westside Pavilion in West Los Angeles. The run time is 1 hr and 21 min.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Lisa Kernan's "Coming Attractions: Reading American Movie Trailers (Texas Film and Media Series) "

Lisa Kernan's new book on Movie Trailers is now available. I still have to pick a copy up but last Thursday, she read excerpts from her book and also discussed the publishing process at Melnitz Rm.1402. The excerpts she read have me intrigued and since she is also an instructor in the MIAS program, I think people show take the time to read it. The methodology she used to approach in the writing of this book is laid out in her introduction. Some of the ideas she spoke of were the role of movie trailers as it pertains to creating choices for the audience and also her use of rhetoric to explain the relationship between movie trailers and the audience. The book is broken down into 3 sections based on chronology as opposed to film genre. The excerpt she read was about the movie "Entrapment" starring Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones. She mentions how the trailers run on star power and also the underlying relationship between the co-stars and how the superimposing of words and the cuts to specific images of the stars, for example, Ving Rhames, draws the audience in to help with their choice of viewing the film.

If anyone else knows of any other good film studies books please let us know.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

"Taking Stock" - January 18th at AMPAS

The SMPTE committee will be having a meeting on Jan.18th at 6:30pm at the Linwood Dunn Theatre of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, titled "Taking Stock - Film emulsions today & tomorrow." They say they will be showing film clips and it would be interesting to see and hear them discuss the historical development of film stocks. For more information visit or email me at I can forward the detailed email to whomever is interested in it. For non-members it will be $10.00.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

More details about the Prelinger lecture

Rick Prelinger will be speaking on Thursday, Jan 27th at the GSEIS building at UCLA in Rm.111. It is the annual Lazerow lecture and will be held from 3 - 5pm. Also, if you are not a student you are welcome to attend. Parking is $7.00.

I hope that people make it out.

Sunday, January 09, 2005


originally uploaded by Miss Martini.
Testing how to blog using Flickr...

AMIA SC events

There are a number of events scheduled for the coming quarter. The board had a meeting last night and the minutes will be posted on the AMIA SC website once it has been approved by the board. The big news is that the student chapter meeting will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 19 at 1:30pm. Also, if there are people interested in attending the Rick Prelinger lecture on January 27th please let me know. And if you are interested in posting your thoughts on the blog that would be great.

Aside from that, the quarter is again looking overwhelmingly busy. I am focusing on taking courses in the Information Studies department instead of taking classes in the MIAS program. Hopefully, I will have time to see all of you during the quarter. Good luck with your classes.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

"Overlord" Screening Feb.4

Brian suggested that people check out "Overlord" because they
utilize a lot of archival footage. It will be screened at UCLA. Hopefully we
can set up a group to go view this.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Upcoming events

Winter quarter is starting January 6th and I just wanted to let you know about what's happening the next two quarter.

- Brian Drischell and Julie Kessler-Gumpert are working on screenings for Spring Quarter. It will be a joint effort with Melnitz Movies and the AMIA student chapter. If anyone is interested in helping out or have any film suggestions, contact Brian at There is a link to his email on the AMIA SC website.

- For winter quarter, I am setting up a tour of Pro-Tek Labs. Rick Utley will lead the tour and also tell us about issues in preservation. He is very knowledgable so I hope that you can make it.

- Rick Prelinger will be a guest speaker on Jan.27th at UCLA. It is sponsered by the Center for Evidence.

If anyone has suggestions for fund raisers please let us know.

Sunday, January 02, 2005


Hi Everybody,

so, I am trying to figure out how to use Flickr and how to utilize this blog. If anyone knows how to tweak this blog to show images from Flickr, would you be able to help me figure it out? let me know...

Anyway, there is a link..since i test if you want to look at some related and unrelated on the flickr link in that last post.



This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.