The old saying goes, “If you don’t like Texas weather, stick around a few minutes.” From the lush Piney Woods to the arid Chihuahuan Desert, the state’s diverse climate landscape has been home to drastic meteorological extremes. While conversations concerning climate change continue to be at the forefront of political agenda and debate, this audio-visual history of Texas not only tells a story of survival and rebuilding but also identifies storms as sites of change within the state's economy, infrastructure, and local communities.
La Frontera Fluida - The Fluid Border
The Texas borderlands are an exceedingly varied and evolving space, one of perpetual conflict and social tension, bi-national negotiation and cooperation, and rich cultural diversity and heritage. At a time when issues like immigration and border security are of increasing political prominence, we must take a closer look at the region and the intersecting layers of discourse that shape its complex history. LA FRONTERA FLUIDA explores the Texas borderlands through its representation on film, drawing from newsreels, documentaries, educational films, and home movies to examine not only the varied experiences of its residents but also its place within the mythology of Texas.
A Journey to the Moon through Texas
The Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC) in Houston, now known as the Johnson Space Center, served as the focal point of activity for NASA's Project Apollo, the program through which the U.S.A. would land a man on the Moon. Thousands of NASA employees coordinated the design and testing of manned spacecraft components at the MSC and communicated this work via live broadcasts and films produced on site. The film artifacts featured in this exhibit document NASA’s progress towards achieving the historic moon landing to a degree that previously has not been available to the public. Though the majority were produced by NASA, also included in the exhibit are films shot by major contractors such as North American Aviation and Rockwell, home movies made by Texas families visiting the MSC, and even a star appearance by Doris Day.
Stereotypically associated with home movies or thought of as mere hobby, so-called “amateur cinema encompasses a wide-ranging array of film formats and genres, from simple “point-and-shoot” pieces to more intricate, creatively produced work. The story of amateur cinema in Texas, however, remains largely unknown as these films reside primarily in the private realm. The Texas Archive of the Moving Image is proud to showcase some of our favorite amateur films from across the state in Amateur Auteurs.
When Texas Saw Red
In November 2014, the world celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Only weeks later, the United States and Cuba announced that the two countries would normalize diplomatic relations after more than fifty years, suggesting that one of the last chapters of the Cold War may be closing. With the passing of these two events, TAMI selected highlights from its collection through which to explore the intricate, complicated history of the post-WWII period and the ways Cold War culture permeated Texas news, politics, home life, schools, careers, and entertainment. Join us for a peek behind the “curtain!”
Starring the Lone Star State
For over a century, Texas has served as a location for thousands of film productions, from independent features to Hollywood blockbusters. The state has also been home to some of cinema’s most influential players both in front of and behind the camera. In Starring the Lone Star State, the Texas Archive of the Moving Image leads you through highlighted films in our collection to explore the history of moviemaking in the state. Join us — it’s time for Texas’ close-up!