In the fall of 1947, a small group of movie enthusiasts drew up extensive plans to establish a student film colony and club. Until that time, Harvard's undergraduate organizations had limited themselves to such fields as drama and journalism. Now, despite an apalling lack of funds or equipment, a bunch of artistic upstarts decided it was time to delve into a new medium.
After more than a year of production, and more financial trials and tribulations than a cross-eyed auditor, Ivy Films next week will preview its shoestring celluloid fantasy, "A Touch of the Times."
Although there is no running dialogue, "A Touch of the Times" does feature an original accompanying musical score. Composed by Nicholas Van Slyck, a former student, and played by a seven-man group recruited from the Boston Symphony, the music has been credited with "making" the movie. Recording sessions were completed just this past Monday night, and sound processing will be done later this week in Washington.
Despite a few false starts, Ivy Films has now signed contracts for complete world distribution of the film both for amateur and professional showings. Interest in the movie still unpreviewed by the public, has continued to mount ever since sneak showings back in February. At that time, Colliers and Life magazines both expressed interest in articles on the film club.
When "A Touch of the Times" returns with sound accompaniment next week, it will be readied for an October 14th preview at the University Theater. Life magazine has a photo feature ready for release next week, Colliers may come through with its article at almost any time, and already numerous movie and stage celebrities have promised to attend the premiere.
Meanwhile, the club has been constantly striving to keep from becoming too commercial despite its amazing success. This term, bolstered by more finances than ever before, Ivy will hold an extensive competition aimed at establishing a self-perpetuating film colony in the College. Tonight at 8 p.m. in the Lamont Forum Room, the first organizational meeting of the term will be held. Open to all men interested in associating themselves with Ivy, the club is this year dividing itself into two distinct groups.
Two Membership Groups
The production group will enter competitions for acting, producing, direction, and camera work, as well as business and public relations. The other division will be composed of associate members--students who have paid their $5 dues and who can take advantage of an extensive schedule of films to be presented throughout the year.
This film series represents one of a large group of projects on tap for members throughout the next year. Reuted from the Modern Museum of Art, this fall's program consists of a short survey of the film in America, beginning with "The Great Train Robbery" and running through "All Quiet on the Western Front." In the spring, classical foreign pictures from France and Germany, including "The Passion of Jean of Arc" and numerous German propaganda films, will be presented for the benefit of club members.