I had a few minutes of down time this afternoon, so I hopped over to the Texas Archive of the Moving Image to see if any Dallas films of note had been added to the collection since last I looked in December. Which is when I came across the film you see above: a 1973 short film called Sometimes I Run about Stanley Maupin, who worked for the city of Dallas Public Works Department flushing downtown's streets at night. You read that right.
The TAMI page says it was uncovered in the Dallas Municipal Archives, and the great John Slate at Dallas City Hall confirms: TAMI only recently took the city's 16mm print and digitized it, because Slate knew it was something worth preserving. But he didn't know till today how valuable the film is: It didn't take much digging to uncover its mention on Folkstreams, which says that director Blaine Dunlap -- who was among the filmmakers of the magical, mysterious musical Big D -- lost all of the original film elements during Hurricane Katrina.
Says the site, he "thought that all that remained of his film was this transfer," which, says S.E. Media Preservation's Vimeo page, is a 1982 Beta dub. But Folkstreams says Dunlap recently came across two 16mm prints in the collection of the South Carolina Arts Commission and "hopes to do a film restoration from these prints." Slate says he hasn't heard from Dunlap, but "if the city can help, that'd be great."
I can't believe I've never seen this. Schutze and I just spent the last way too long engrossed in it. It's as if Robert Drew came down here, decided to shoot a doc downtown, stumbled across the most interesting man he could find and set it to a film-noir score. Expect at least 38 more items about this in the next three days. Or not. But I do owe Oscar-winner Ron Judkins a call now. And the number I have in Irving for a Stanley Maupin is disconnected. Well, hello, obsession.
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