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The Chuck Olin Collection is comprised of films, videotapes and ephemera made by Chuck Olin from his work at two Chicago area film production companies from the mid-60s to the late 1990s: first with the Film Group/Mike Gray Associates and after 1974 with his own Chuck Olin Associates. Included are political documentaries made by the Film Group on the 1968 Democratic National Convention; television commercials for a variety of clients including Sears, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and politicians running for election; sponsored films for the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Medical Association, and Eli Lilly; educational films for Encyclopaedia Britannica; and a documentary by Olin on the Jewish Brigade in World War II.
In 2008, three experimental films made by Chicago-based filmmaker Don Klugman were preserved with the support of the National Film Preservation Foundation in 2008. NIGHTSONG is a portrait of the Chicago Near-North nightlife scene in the mid-1960s, centering on the struggles and romantic desires of an African American singer played by long-forgotten folk sensation, Willie Wright. I'VE GOT THIS PROBLEM traces the romantic relationship between a young man and woman (played by Klugman and Judy Harris) who meet in a downtown coffee shop. Their nonstop dialogue fluctuates between playful psycho-babble and sincere attempts to relay their innermost feelings. YOU'RE PUTTING ME ON seems to pick up the same couple (again played by Klugman and Harris) a few years later, as they attend a swinging bohemian party where they pilfer personal objects from the unsuspecting guests. The archival materials created from these three Klugman films comprise the Don Klugman Collection.
The JoAnn Elam collection primarily consists of films made by independent filmmaker JoAnn Elam. Elam primarily shot on 8mm film, although she did work extensively with 16mm, Super-8mm film and early video. A number of 8mm films have been printed to Super-8mm stock, and films like Rape (1977) and the unfinished Everyday People employed multiple formats (16mm, video, and 8mm). This collection also contains several historically important medical films made by James O. Elam, M.D., JoAnn Elam's father, which document his development of the "rescue breathing" technique and numerous other advances in clinical anesthesiology and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Additionally, there are at least two titles by experimental filmmakers and artists Dan Perz and Ruth Klasses. This collection is sponsored by Susan Elam, Kenneth Belcher and Sandy Ihm.
Photograph courtesy of the Morrison-Shearer Foundation © Morrison-Shearer Foundation, Northbrook, IL.
The Morrison-Shearer collection is an extensive collection of dance films, most of which were shot by Helen Balfour Morrison. Sybil Shearer and Jerry Lev, a Shearer Company dancer, shot a small number of the films. Most films were shot in Northbrook, IL at Shearer’s dance studio and the surrounding environs that include the neighboring golf course, Green Acres Country Club. Some of the 8mm films were shot in New York City. The collection features solo performances by Sybil Shearer, Shearer with her dance company, interviews with Sybil Shearer and some rehearsal footage.