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Friday 22 October 2010

At the Movies


Image, Source: intermediary roll film

Tulare County, California. Farm Security Administration camp. At the movies: photo by Russell Lee, February 1942

Parables about a Kingdom of Hell whose ruler is not so much a Father of Lies as a Father of Wishes

-- W.H. Auden, in The Dyer's Hand (1962), on the novels of Nathanael West

Culture is one of the two or three most complicated words in the English language. This is so partly because of its intricate historical development, but mainly because it has now come to be used for important concepts in several intellectual disciplines and in several distinct and incompatible systems of thought.

The fw is cultura, L. from colere, L. Colere had a range of meanings: inhabit, cultivate, protect, honor with worship...

-- Raymond Williams, Keywords (revised edition, 1983)

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

Movie theatre, Chicago, Illinois: photo by John Vachon, July 1940

Image, Source: b&w film copy neg. from file print

Blue island, Illinois. The Senise family going to the movies: photo by Jack Delano, February 1943

Man in front of movie theatre, Waco, Texas: photo by Russell Lee, November 1939

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

Saturday afternoon movie crowd, North Platte, Nebraska: photo by John Vachon, October 1938

Image, Source: intermediary roll film

Tulare County, California. Farm Security Administration camp. At the movies: photo by Russell Lee, February 1942

Photos from Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection, Library of Congress


Ed Baker said...

The Badman of Brimstone


when is was knee-high-to-a-hoppergrass

I cut my back teeth on these cowboy movies... all day at the Atlas Theater up on H Street
for thirty-five cents if'n you were short and fifty cents if you were over the tape...

I saw this Wallace Berry film and most all of his

either at the Atlas or on my little tv...

here is trailer for this movie as on the poster..



Look at all those kids looking at the screen in Tulare County, where are they now? ? ? - - -


grey whiteness of fog against invisible
ridge, golden-crowned sparrow’s oh dear
in foreground, sound of wave in channel

light behind which forms are
lost, not in painting

themselves, different series
of which, with itself

grey-white clouds against green of ridge,
wingspan of gull flapping across channel

Carol M. Highsmith said...

Thanks, Tom, for showcasing my images.

Carol M. Highsmith

TC said...


Thank YOU, the privilege (and pleasure) is all mine.

If you ever get time to look back through the last three months of this blog, you'll see I've been working with the wonderful legacy of photos left behind by the great FSA photographers.

At one point I put up excerpts from a long interview with Dorothea Lange, done shortly before her passing. In the course of that interview, she lamented the fact that the FSA photo survey had been discontinued. I'm sure she would have been gratified to know that, even as she spoke, there was someone about to come along who would be picking up that torch.

Carol M. Highsmith said...

Tom, I will be adding images constantly to the Library of Congress copyright-free for all to use. I just finished Washington, D.C. neighborhoods. I plan to work in three states every year for the next 16 years. You can email me anytime if there is something you are looking for that I might have. I have traveled America for 30 years. What you see on the Library of Congress site is just the tip of the iceberg. Love your blog.

Carol M. Highsmith

TC said...


Your great generosity, like your photography, knocks me over. Well, that doesn't take much these days... but quite seriously, what a truly abundant blessing.

I'm guessing you were too modest to leave a comment on a post with your own photos -- ah, modesty, that beautiful lost virtue -- but it's been very good to hear from you.

(You mention e-mailing, but I couldn't find a contact address at your blog; maybe I'm missing something -- ? -- if so, it would certainly not be the first time.)

In a too-small return of acknowledgment, you might be interested to see that there are now comments on your work both at the bottom and at the top of the discussion thread here.

(Your work's been everybody's discovery of the month, I reckon.)