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Bibliography: Essential Texts for Folk Narrative (Film)

The Folklore Wiki > Publications and Communications > Subject Area Bibliographies: Essential Texts for Folk Narrative (Film)

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The following video suggestions have been contributed by Thomas C. Mould, who acknowledges the following contributors: Abbie Anderson, Matt Bradley, Cathy Brigham, Alan Burdette, Inta Carpenter, John Cash, Esther Clinton, Micheal Evans, Amy Goldenberg, Danusha Goska, Gregory Hansen, Peter Harle, Rosemary Hathaway, Greg Kelley, John Laudun, Elinor Levy, Jennifer Livesay, Liz Locke, Nan McEntire, Lee-Ellen Marvin, Fernando Orejuela, Judith Neulander, Kerry Noonan, Daniel Boyce Reed, Rhett Rushing, Beverly Stoeltje, Suzanne Waldenberger, Nan McEntire, Peter Harle, Inta Carpenter and Sandy Dolby.

All videos are 1/2 in. VHS unless otherwise marked.



art: 34, 39
ballad: 5
dance: 13, 26
drama: 19
festival: 2, 13
folklife: 7, 21, 24, 25, 28, 42
foodways: 2, 27
games: 29, 38, 41
local legend: 20
material culture: 13, 16
music: 2, 9, 13,17, 25, 26, 37, 39
myth: 33
oral history: 20
personal narrative: 20,21
proverb: 23
religion: 4, 19, 21, 42
ritual: 2, 13, 18, 19, 30, 31, 36
speech: 3, 27
urban legend: 8, 40

Concepts and Terms

categories of culture: 34
construction of folk group: 18, 21, 31, 36, 37
context: 9, 19, 23, 29, 35
cosmology: 30
covert/overt: 42
cultural salience: 26
culture area: 27
cultures in conflict: 9, 22, 42
enculturation: 21, 36
esoteric/exoteric: 3, 7, 17, 22, 42
fieldwork: 8, 24, 37
functionalism: 9, 35
gender: 11, 18, 36
genre: 2, 15, 34
hero-cycle: 33
performance: 9, 13, 17, 19, 26, 29, 30, 35, 38
specialty culture: 18
stereotypes: 1, 3, 7, 22
storytelling: 10a, 35
structuralism: 10, 33
subculture: 1, 11, 34
supernatural: 32
tradition: 15, 26
traditionality: 6, 10, 17, 26
variant/variation: 5, 20
worldview: 37, 39

Folk Groups

children's folklore: 29, 38
ethnic groups: 4, 13, 14, 22, 24, 26, 29, 35, 41
family: 4, 14
Indiana folklore: 7, 20, 28, 39
occupational folklore: 12, 28
student folklore: 7, 31
urban folklore: 34

1. ACTING OUR AGE (1987)
58 min. Color. Michal Aviad
(comes with 16 pp. booklet)
Distributor: Direct Cinema Limited
Available at: I.U. Media/Reserves

Summary: Introduces six women, aged 65 to 75, and through their stories
of personal struggle and triumph, dispels the myths and challenges the
stereotypes which have defined the image of old women in American
culture. Includes discussions of sexuality, being alone, financial
difficulties, and dealing with death.

Topic: construction of a folk group, stereotypes, subculture

Pithy bits, merits and uses: to discuss cultural stereotypes and
heterogeneity within a folk group. Film exhibits one case of an
"alternative" lifestyle: useful when discussing cultural universals and

58 min. Color. Les Blank
Distributor: Flower Films
Available at: I.U. Media/Reserves

Summary: Part 1 captures the music, food, and street celebrations that
typify New Orleans. Part 2 focuses on the annual revival of Black Indian
social and cultural traditions, featuring the Wild Tchoupitoulas and
other Black Indian tribes as they prepare for and celebrate Mardi Gras.

Topics: festival, ritual, foodways, music, genre

Pithy bits, merits and uses: good for showing variety of media and
genres of folklore in contact

(comes with guide)
56 min. Color. (3/4 in.)
Andrew Kolker, Louis Alvarez
Distributor: Center for New American Media
Available at: I.U. Media/Reserves

Summary: Portrays some of the interesting regional, social, and ethnic
differences in American speech, and the attitudes that people have about
these differences.

Topics: speech, esoteric/exoteric, stereotypes
Pithy bits, merits and uses: to discuss the subject of prejudice
(according to class and race) as evinced by speech.

4. AVALON (1990)
126 min. PG. Color. Barry Levinson
Distributor: Columbia Tristar Home Video
Available at: Blockbuster Video

Summary: Powerful but quiet portrait of the break-up of the family unit
as seen from the perspective of a Russian family settled in Baltimore at
the close of W.W.II. Initially, the family is unified in their goals,
ideologies and social lives. Gradually, all of this disintegrates;
members move to the suburbs and television replaces conversation at
holiday gatherings.

Topics: ethnic groups (Jewish and Russian American), family, religion

Pithy bits, merits and uses: looks at immigrant folklore. Maintenance
and change of traditions, both religious and familial. Scene in which
family patriarch tells family history around Thanksgiving table.

105 min. PG. Color. Robert M. Young
Distributor: New Line Home Video
Available at: Blockbuster Video

Summary: A tragic story based on one of the most famous manhunts in
Texas history. A Mexican cowhand kills a Texas sheriff in self-defense
and tries to elude the law, all because of a misunderstanding of the
Spanish language.

Topics: ballad, variation.

Pithy bits, merits and uses: shows ballad as a living, vital part of
life; connection between folklore and social (everyday) life. The film
can be considered as one more variant in the long history of this story.
Useful in connection with Americo Paredes's With His Pistol in his Hands
on which the film was based.

6. BILL MONROE: Father Of Bluegrass
90 min. Color. Steve Gebhardt
Distributor: Original Cinema
Available at: coming soon to I.U. folklore

Summary: A detailed portrait of the father of bluegrass music, including
interviews with Marty Stuart, Jerry Garcia, Paul McCartney, Emmie Lou
Harris, Vince Gill and Ricky Skaggs. Lots of great music including Elvis
Presley singing "Blue Moon of Kentucky."

Topics: music, traditionality

Pithy bits, merits and uses: shows how mainstream culture borrows from
folk traditions. Students are impressed with the mainstream stars that
pledge the debt and respect to a folk artist.

101 min. PG. Color. Peter Yates
Distributor: CBS/Fox Video
Available at: I.U. Media/Reserves

Summary: Centers on a group of four friends in Bloomington, Ind. The
town's youth are split between the students at Indiana University and
the locals, derogatorily called "cutters" by the collegians in reference to
the town's major industry, a stone quarry. A marvelously staged
climactic bike race brings things to a touching close.

Topics: Indiana folklore, folklife, student folklore, esoteric/exoteric,
stereotypes (Italian)

Pithy bits, merits and uses: Locations that I.U. students can relate to
as film was filmed in and about Bloomington. Can show Little 500 bike
race in film then discuss current traditions of students in class.

8. CANDYMAN (1992)
98 min. R. Color. Clive Barker
Distributor: Columbia Tristar Home Video
Available at: Blockbuster Video

Summary: This terrifying tale is an effective combination of American
gothic, academia, and urban squalor. A search for dissertation material
leads a folklore graduate student into gang-infested housing. There she
encounters the urban legend of Candyman, the son of a former slave who
was lynched and is now back with a hook and a vendetta.

Topics: urban legend, fieldwork

Pithy bits, merits and uses: main character is a folklore student. Can
use to identify the "tell-tale" signs of the narration of an urban
legend (structural, formulaic attribution, etc.).

(in Spanish and English. Subtitles)
58 min. Color. Les Blank
Distributor: Brazos Films
Available at: I.U. Media/Reserves

Summary: Features the music and culture of Mexican-Americans living in
southern Texas.

Topics: music, performance, context, functionalism, cultures in conflict

Pithy bits, merits and uses: cultures in contact. Regional music

(combo of three videos when used together, exhibit elite, mainstream,
and folk cultures)

Topics: cultural categories, structuralism, traditionality

Pithy bits, merits and uses: can also be used to discuss traditionality
of form, content, medium, etc.

A. Barney McCabe And Friends (1986)
Third of three stories:"Cindy-Ellie"
8 min. (entire tape: 30 min). Color.
Distributor: H.W. Wilson Co.
Available at: I.U. SLIS library

Summary: "Barney McCabe" is a cante fable (a story with a song in it)
about a brother and sister who are held captive by a witch... until
their three dogs come to the rescue. The third story, "Cindy Ellie", is a
contemporary black American version of Cinderella, set in the city of
Boston. The story is told by Mary Carter Smith.

B. Cinderella (1950)
76 min. G. Color. Walt Disney
Distributor: Buena Vista Home Video
Avaialable at: I.U. Media Reserves

Summary: Burdened with endless chores, Cinderella holds fast to dreams
of someday escaping her drudgery.

C. The Kirov Ballet (1986)
10 min. Color.
Distributor: VIEW Video
Available at: I.U. Media/Reserves

Summary: Excerpt from a performance of the ballet of Cinderella in a
collection of excerpts from ballet companies across the globe.

32 min. Color. Roberta Cantow
Distributor: Filmakers Library
Available at: I.U. Instructional Support Services

Summary: Captures images of laundry hung out to dry on clotheslines,
accompanying these images with the voices of women relating their
thoughts and memories concerning laundry, including both themselves and
their mothers. Presents clothes being washed and folded by women in both
urban and rural settings. Offers several emotions tied to laundry, which
can range from shyness, contentment, and happiness, to anger,
resentment, and bitterness. Reveals the values and social interaction that
clotheslines can encourage between neighbors. Portrays this common bond
of women across class and locale.

Topics: subculture, gender

Pithy bits, merits and uses: identifies folklore in an urban setting, in
a ritualized, daily chore.

154 min. PG-13. Color. Stephen Spielberg
Distributor: Warner Home Video
Available at: I.U. Media/Reserves

Summary: An uneducated woman living in the rural American south who was
raped by her father, deprived of the children she bore him and forced to
marry a brutal man she calls "Mister" is transformed by the friendship
of two remarkable women, acquiring self-worth and the strength to forgive.

Topics: occupational folklore

Pithy bits, merits and uses: One short scene of men working on a
railroad. An old man calls out lines of a song and the working men
respond with groans and the "clang" of their tools hitting the rail. Use
to discuss the function of folklore to alleviate tedium of work and
organize labor.

30 min. Color. Michael Farrell.
Distributor: Native American Public Broadcasting Consortium
Available at: I.U. Media/Reserves

Summary: Discusses and shows clips of the 1988 Omaha Indian Pow-wow.

Topics: dance, ethnic group (Native American), music, performance,
festival, ritual, material culture

Pithy bits, merits and uses: shows contemporary celebration of Native
American culture, battling notion that it has disappeared since the
coming of the white man. Also useful in linking material culture (folk
costume) with belief system and for discussion of space as ritualistic.

113 min. Color. Julie Dash.
Distributor: Facets Multimedia, Inc.
Available at: I.U. Media/Reserves

Summary: Tells the story of a large African-American family as they
prepare to move North at the dawn of the 20th century. Explores the
unique culture of the Gullah people, descendants of slaves who lived in
relative isolation on the
Sea Islands off the Georgia coast. As the generations struggle with the
decision to leave, their rich Gullah heritage and African roots rise to
the surface.

Topics: family, ethnic groups (Gullah)

Pithy bits, merits and uses: to show how intercultural conflict and
blending are manifested in a group's folklore.

180 min. G. Color. Norman Jewison
Distributor: MGM/UA Home Video
Available at: I.U. Media/Reserves

Summary: Tevye is a poor Jewish milkman with five unmarried daughters to
support in a village in Czarist Russia. With a sharp tongued wife at
home and growing anti-Semitism in the village, Tevye talks to God about
his troubles. His people's traditions keep him strong when his
existence is as precariously balanced as a fiddler on the roof.

Topics: tradition, cultural categories, genre

Pithy bits, merits and uses: the first 5 min. of the film shows a
romanticized version of Gemeinschaft that deals explicitly with
tradition (what it is, different kinds exhibited in different genres, etc.)

16. HANDCARVED (1981)
88 min. Color. Herb E. Smith.
Distributor: Appalshop
Available at: I.U. Media/Reserves

Summary: Follows Chester Cornett as he cuts down a tree on the site of
his family home in Appalachia, transports the wood to Cincinnati where
he lives, and builds an eight-legged double rocker by hand. Explores the
economic hardships facing many folk artists today.

Topics: material culture

Pithy bits, merits and uses: can be watched in conjunction with Michael
Owen Jones study on Chester Cornett.

17. HIGH LONESOME: The Story Of Bluegrass Music (1994)
95 min. Color w/B&W. Rachel Liebling
Distributor: Shanachie Entertainment Corp.
Available at: I.U. Media/Reserves

Summary: Evolution of the bluegrass style under gospel and country music
influences as typified by the career of mandolin artist Bill Monroe.

Topics: music, performance, traditionality

Pithy bits, merits and uses: good for discussing how a folk tradition is
born, develops and spreads.

35 min. Color. Bart Everson, Brian Jones
Distributor: Bart Everson
Available at: coming soon to I.U. folklore

Summary: Two I.U. folklore undergraduate students take a video camera
around campus and interview men about acceptable and unacceptable
behavior when using urinals. They also interview women, highlighting the
gender speicificity of the informal rituals surrounding the urinal.

Topics: esoteric/exoteric, gender, ritual, specialty culture,
construction of folk group

Pithy bits, merits and uses: to discuss the folklore, particularly
customs, that arise from an endemic but gender restrictive activity such
as going to the bathroom. Video deals specifically with how such
behavior is learned (informally). Very humorous.

19. IN THE RAPTURE (1976)
(a discussion film Rapture in the Family also available: I.U. Media
60 min. Color.
I.U. Afro-American Arts Institute
Distributor: I.U. Instructional Support Services
Available at: .U. Instructional Support Services

Summary: Documents a traditional black church musical drama portraying
man's struggle to resist the temptations of Satan and follow Jesus. The
drama combines an Everyman morality tale and a Passion play. The
performance was filmed in a church in Indianapolis.

Topics: religion, ritual, drama, context, performance

Pithy bits, merits and uses: first part of the film shows people
preparing to present the drama: useful for discussing context and
performance. Also, effective when used with companion video listed

56 min. Color. Greg Kelley, Rory Turner
Distributor: I.U. Folklore Institute
Available at: I.U. Folklore Institute

Summary: This video focuses on the folklore generated by the Big Tunnel,
a railroad tunnel located to the south of Bedford, Indiana. Though
interviews with local residents, the film takes a look at the variation
and popularity of a local legend.

Topics: local legend, oral history, personal narrative, Indiana
folklore, graffiti, variation

Pithy bits, merits and uses: Suggests the way places can be layered
with meaning. Combats stereotype that folklore is only a part of the lives of
"exotic" or old country people.

59 min. Color. Elaine J. Lawless, Elizabeth Peterson
Distributor: I.U. Instructional Support Services
Available at: I.U. Media/Reserves

Summary: Captures the faith and spirit of the Pentecostal religion and
portrays the importance of the church in the daily lives of members.
Focuses on Oneness Pentecostals in southern Indiana, showing worshippers
in three settings: a regular Sunday service, a gospel rock concert, and
a camp meeting revival. Shows women as the guardians of belief.

Topics: religion, folklife, construction of folk groups, personal

Pithy bits, merits and uses: Defines the concept of the folk group and
enculturation (showing how children learn their cultural values).
Prompts students to examine their own religious upbringing and enculturation.
Personal narratives of born-again experiences. Addresses the issues of
belief. WARNING: many viewers find some scenes disturbing such as a
small child talking in tongues. This film should be well-prefaced before

22. JUNGLE FEVER (1992)
131 min. R. Color. Spike Lee.
Distributor: MCA/Universal Home Video
Available at: I.U. Media/Reserves

Summary: A black architect begins an affair with his working class
Italian secretary. Their relationship causes them to be scrutinized by their
friends, cast out from their families and shunned by their neighbors in
this moving view of inner-city life.

Topics: esoteric/exoteric, ethnic group (Italian, African-American),
stereotypes, cultures in conflict

Pithy bits, merits and uses: shows two cultures in conflict in
contemporary and easily recognizable way.

23. LOVE AND DEATH (1975)
82 min. PG. Color. Woody Allen
Distributor: MGM/UA Home Video
Available at: I.U. (Kokomo); Blockbuster

Summary: Boris Grushenko, a timid soldier in the Napoleonic Wars,
becomes entangled in a plot to assassinate Napoleon and after a hilarious
confrontation with the Angel of Death, finds himself facing a firing

Topics: proverb, context

Pithy bits, merits and uses: there's a great 30 second clip about 2/3rds
of the way through the film where Woody's character engages in a proverb
session with Spanish royalty. Useful for discussion of the proverb and
context, particularly if addressed functionally.

24. MAN OF ARAN (1934)
84 min. B&W. Robert Flaherty
Distributor: Texture Films
Available at: I.U. Media/Reserves

Summary: Documents the continuous struggle the people of Aran face in
order to survive on these islands off the shore of western Ireland.
Shows how these people, despite the lack of soil on the island, have used
seaweed and soil from rock crevices to make artifical soil in order to
grow food. Dramatizes the skill of the men in their struggle to capture
the giant sharks which inhabit the waters surrounding the islands and
shows how oil is extracted from the shark and used as fuel by the

Topics: ethnic group (Irish), fieldwork, folklife

Pithy bits, merits and uses: can be viewed with "The Making of the Myth"
which shows how Flaherty took liberties with his facts in "Man of Aran."
Scholarship vs. aesthetic.

60 min. Color.
Distributor: Shanachie Entertainment Corp.
Available at: I.U. Archives of Traditional Music

Summary: Texas is rich in space and myth, in the 1920's, it had perhaps
the greatest cultural diversity of any southern state. East Texas is
not particularly the Texas of cattle, cowboys and wide open plains. It has
rich bottom land and cotton flourished there as did sharecropping.
There were plantations up and down the Brazos River. If Mississippi had its
dreaded Parchman Farm then Texas had the spectre of Uncle Bud Russell
and the Midnight Special. Both were equally feared by black men in Texas.
Yet within its borders, black music was vital and had a particular style
and sound all its own. In their video we will hear the music of Mance
Lipscomb and Lightning Hopkins - two of the greatest Texas bluesmen to

Topics: music, folklife

Pithy bits, merits and uses: connection between folklore and social
experience / everyday life.

(comes with 48 pp. guide)
81 min. Color. Michael Loukinen
Distributor: UP North Films
Available at: I.U. Media/Reserves

Summary: Shows the fiddling and dancing representative of the mixed
Indian/European culture which spread westward with the French fur
traders. Fiddlers and dancers share their recollections and discuss
their art. Various fiddlers play numerous traditional tunes.
Topics: ethnic group, performance, tradition, traditionality, music,
dance, cultural salience

Pithy bits, merits and uses: to discuss cultural salience: adaptation to
fit individual needs.

27. MY COUSIN VINNY (1992)
120 min. R. Color. Jonathan Lynn
Distributor: FoxVideo
Available at: I.U. Law Library

Summary: Two carefree pals mistakenly arrested and charged with murder
are defended by the cousin of one of them (Vinny), a former auto
mechanic of Brooklyn who just passed his bar exam after his sixth try. Vinny's
never been in court and this case quickly turns into a hysterical

Topics: speech, culture area, foodways

Pithy bits, merits and uses: especially useful in discussing regional
dialects. One scene about 3/4ths of the way through highlights
miscommunication because of dialect. Another scene within first 10 min.
shows main character encountering grits for the first time.

28 min. Color. Dillon Bustin
Distributor: Documentary Educational Resources
Available at: coming soon to I.U. folklore

Summary: This film documents Barnett Bass as he fishes for fresh-water
mollusks in the White River in southern Indiana, seeking gem-quality
pearls and the mother-of-pearl lining of the shells. The film depicts the local
jewelers, a pearl dealer, and a shell exporter. The Pearl Fisher explores
issues of technological innovation, international trade, and resulting stresses on the
environment. It suggests the traditional symbolic meanings of pearls:
immortality, purity, virtue, and trust, as well as the role of romanticism
in everyday life.

Topics: Indiana folklore, folklife, occupational folklore,

Pithy bits, merits and uses: to discuss the romanticism of folklore and
everyday life. Highlights folk technology.

29. PIZZA, PIZZA, DADDY-O (1968)
17 min. B&W. Bess Lomax Hawes
Distributor: U of CA-Berekeley Extension Center for Media and Independent
Available at: I.U. Instructional Support Services

Summary: Observes a group of fourth grade black girls on a school
playground in a Los Angeles ghetto as they play eight singing games.
Explains that the organization of the games is entirely the work of the
children and expresses their need for order, continuity, and
cooperation. Demonstrates the ring and parallel line game forms. Includes
the following games: My Boy Friend Gave Me a Box, This-a-way, Valerie, When
I Was a Baby, Imbileenie, This-a-way Batman, Mighty Mighty Devil, My Mother
Died, and Pizza Pizza Daddy-O, which deal with birth, death, love, work,
illness, and aging.

Topics: children's folklore, games, performance, ethnic group
(African-American), context

Pithy bits, merits and uses: to discuss context of a children's games.
There is a scene is which one girl questions another girl's competence
in her performance.

30. REPERCUSSIONS: A Celebration Of African-American Music (1984)
Recommended: Program 1: "Born Musicians"
Entire series: 420 min. Color.
Geoffrey Haydon, Dennis Marks
Distributor: Home Vision/Public Media Video
Available at: I.U. Media/Reserves

Summary: A series of television films describing the roots of popular
music forged in the Americas from the union of the Old World music of
Africa and Europe. "Born Musicians" focuses on traditional music from
the Gambia.

Topics: music, ritual, performance, cosmology

Pithy bits, merits and uses: examines the use of music in everyday life
as well as ritual. Includes interviews with griots on issues such as
cosmology and social roles of performers. Useful for teaching about folk
instruments as well.

31. SALAMANDERS: A Night at the Phi Delt House (1982)
15 min. (3/4 in.) Color.
George Hornbein, Ken Thigpen
Distributor: Documentary Resource Center
Available at: I.U. Media/Reserves

Summary: Shows members and guests of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity at a
party where the central amusement is swallowing salamanders.

Topics: construction of folk group, ritual, student folklore

Pithy bits, merits and uses: shows college fraternity as a folk group
(useful for reminding students they are the folk). Ritual and group
behavior (can speak of suspension of norms).

99 min. Color. Sergei Parajanov
Distributor: Tamarelle's International Films, Ltd.
Available at: Monroe County Library

Summary: Deep in the Carpathian mountains of Russia, a young man marries
a sensual woman he does not love, after the death of his true
sweetheart. The new wife seeks aid from witchcraft only to succumb to the
advances of a seducing sorcerer. The film's emotional atmosphere gradually
interweaves the burdens of a tragic past with a world of occult visions,
rendering revenge and death inevitable.

Topics: folkways, supernatural

Pithy bits, merits and uses: shows how folklore can be used as a
political and ideological tool. A vibrant and realistic (rather than
romantic) look at folklore.

33. STAR WARS (1977)
121 min. PG. Color. George Lucas
Distributor: CBS Fox Video
Available at: I.U. Media/Reserves

Summary: Young Luke Skywalker, spaceship captain Hans Solo, and two
droids team together to pursue Darth Vader and the Imperial Forces into
the far reaches of the galaxy in their attempt to rescue Princess Leia,
leader of the rebels fighting against the all-powerful, evil Empire.

Topics: myth, legends, hero-cycle, structuralism (particularly

Pithy bits, merits and uses: Especially effective with clips from
Joseph Campbell's Hero with a Thousand Faces. Scenes of Luke's discovery of his
burnt village, conversations with Ben Kenobi, Luke/Vader face-offs, etc.
can serve as effective illustrations of key elements or functions of
folktales, myths and legends. Can also substitute E.T., Superman, and
The Lion King, and employ texts such as the "New Testament" of the Bible
(Jesus as hero) or The Odyssey.

34. STYLE WARS (1983)
59 min. (3/4 in.) Color, B&W. Tony Silver
Distributor: see index under "Style Wars"
Available at: I.U. Media/Reserves

Summary: A documentary exploration of the subculture of New York's
young graffiti writers and breakdancers in the 1980s, showing their
activities and aspirations and the social and aesthetic controversies
surrounding New York graffiti. Dramatizes conflicts between graffitists
and the city, as well as among the graffitists themselves.

Topics: art, exoteric/esoteric, urban folklore, categories of culture,
genre, subculture

Pithy bits, merits and uses: relationship between different forms of
expressive culture (elite culture vs. folk culture). Exoteric vs.
esoteric. Shows graffiti, rapping, and break-dancing as a unified
exhibition of folklore, helping to illustrate the continuity between
genres (material, verbal, visual/kinetic). Useful for discussing
"artistic communication in small groups."

107 min. Color. Michel Loulergue
Distributor: Media Home Entertainment
Available at: I.U. Media/Reserves

Summary: A poor sugar-cane-plantation worker in Martinique makes many
sacrifices to ensure a better life, through education, for her
eleven-year-old orphaned grandson.

Topics: storytelling, performance, context, functionalism, ethnic group

Pithy bits, merits and uses: displays folklore in social life
(competitive). Highlight: performance of "crick-crack" strategy of
audience participation in storytelling.

36. TIGERTOWN (1986)
29 min. Color. Daniel Sipe
Distributor: New Dimension Media, Inc.
Available at: I.U. Instructional Support Services

Summary: Shows the town of Massillon, Ohio, where interest in the high
school football team (457 wins/32 losses since 1932) consumes the town
every fall. Explains how sports serve as an escape in this otherwise
dead midwestern steel mill town. Balances positive and negative viewpoints.
Shows a store that sells only souvenirs of the high school football
team. Concludes with several clips demonstrating the town's support for the

Topics: ritual, gender, enculturation, construction of folk group

Pithy bits, merits and uses: shows folklore in public display events of
a small town. Exhibits participant roles divided acording to gender.

29 min. Color.
Dillon Bustin and Richard Kane
Distributor: Documentary Educational Resources
Available at: coming soon to the I.U. folklore dept.

Summary: This is a moving ethnography of a southern Indiana
"old-time"/bluegrass band The Patoka Valley Boys. Each member of the
band is given five minutes of the film as "his own," creating a statement
about his life and his musical aesthetic during that time. By handing
the control of the film to the informant, folklorist Dillon Bustin has
constructed a refreshing documentary.

Topics: worldview, music, fieldwork, construction of folk group

Pithy bits, merits and uses: particularly useful for discussing how we
attempt to understand worldview through our fieldwork methods. Also
interesting in discussing the construction of a folk group that crosses
three generations.

38. THE WAR (1994)
126 min. PG-13. Color. Jon Avnet
Distributor: MCA/Universal Home Video
Available at: Blockbuster

Summary: Post-Vietnam war drama set in 1970 Mississippi centers on a
children's battle over a treehouse but becomes a sermon on love, death,
family values, pacifism, and the physical and spiritual wounds of war.

Topics: children's folklore, performance, games

Pithy bits, merits and uses: Has a number of examples of children's
games, particularly hand-clapping ones. Also, a scene in which a young
black girl tells off her teacher, exhibiting wonderful verbal

(1982) 30 min. Color
Dillon Bustin and Richard Kane
Distributor: Documentary Educational Services
Available at: I.U. folklore dept.

Summary: The filmmakers visits three older southern Indiana artists:
musician Lotus Dickey, local inventor Elmer Boyd, and artist Lois Doane.
His excursions bring the audience into the personal reflections of each
artist, exposing remarkable worldviews and stories of determination and

Topics: Indiana folklore, art, music, worldview

Pithy bits, merits and uses: discovers folklore among our neighbors here
in Indiana. Traces the continuity as well as the innovation of these
three artists, showing folklore to be truly dynamic.

97 min. R. Color. Fred Walton
Distributor: Columbia/Tristar Home Video
Available at: Blockbuster

Summary: Babysitter is terrorized by threatening phone calls and soon
realizes that the calls are coming from within the house.

Topics: urban legend

Pithy bits, merits and uses: to illustrate how folklore is often used as
a source for mainstream popular entertainment. Suggests the immutability
of folkloric themes (tale-types and motifs).

115 min. R. Color. Ron Shelton
Distributor: FoxVideo
Available at: I.U. Media/Reserves

Summary: Comedy about a pair of basketball hustlers- one black, one
white - who team up to play their way across the courts of Los Angeles.

Topics: construction of a folk group, ethnic group (African-American),

Pithy bits, merits and uses: playing the dozens, folklore of
sports/games, folk group. First 5 minutes of film shows crowds at
basketball courts at Venice beach as distinct folk group organized by a
game (that cuts across ethnic boundaries among others). Ballplayers
engage in playing the dozens -- some profanity.

42. WITNESS (1985)
112 min. R. Color. Peter Weir
Distributor: Paramount Home Video
Available at: I.U. Media/Reserves

Summary: While traveling with his recently widowed mother, Rachel Lapp,
a young Amish boy, Samuel, witnesses the murder of an undercover cop in
the Philadelphia train station men's room. Questioned by police detective
John Book, Samuel identifies a cop as the murderer. Corrupt police
pursue John who hides out with Samuel's family in Pennsylvania's Amish
community. A romance develops between John and Rachel but each stays in
their world following an attack by the crooked police.

Topics: religion, esoteric/exoteric, and folklife, covert/overt,
cultures in conflict.

Pithy bits, merits and uses: rural vs. urban cultures. Barn raising
scene for concept of community. Also, scene in which local cop (Harrison Ford)
is dressed like the Amish and is taunted by some townsmen. One of the
Amish men with Ford tries to hold him back saying "It's not our way,"
but Ford slugs the townie anyway saying "I know, but it's my way." This
scene can also be used to engender discussion of covert and overt culture
(Amish dress). Levels of adherence to Distinguish between formal laws,
mores and folkways.


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(812) 339-6584

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Beverly Hill, CA 90213
Fax: 562-373-48003

Ctr for New American Media
524 Broadway 2-4
New York, NY 10012

Columbia Tristar Home Video
Sony Pictures Plaza
10202 W. Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
Fax: 310-280-2485

Direct Cinema Ltd.
PO Box 10003
Santa Monica, CA 90410
Fax: 310-396-3233

Documentary Educational
Resources, Inc.
101 Morse St.
Watertown, MA 02172
Fax: 617-455-1460

Documentary Resource Center
106 Boalsburg Rd.
Lemont, PA 16851
Fax: 814-231-2360

Facets Multimedia, Inc.
1517 W. Fullerton Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614
Fax: 312-929-5437

Filmmakers Library
124 E. 40th St.
New York, NY 10016
Fax: 212-808-4983

Flower Films
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El Cerrito, CA 94530
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2121 Ave. of the Stars
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Los Angeles, CA 90067
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H.W. Wilson
950 University Ave.
Bronx, NY 10452

Home Vision Cinema
5547 N. Ravenswood Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640-1199
Fax: 312-878-8648

Indiana University Folklore Institute
504 N. Fess
Bloomington, IN 47405
Fax: 812-855-4008

Indiana University Instructional
Support Services
Franklin Hall 0001
Bloomington, IN 47405

MCA/Universal Home Video
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Universal City, CA 91608-9955
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Media Home Entertainment
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Native American Public Broadcasting Consortium, Inc.
Contact: Frank Blythe
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New Line Home Video
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Original Cinema
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13 Laight St.
New York, NY 10013
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Style Wars
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110 Cohasset Stage Road
Chico, CA 95926

Texture Films
5447 N. Ravenswood Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640
312-878-2600 ext. 380
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University of California-Berkeley Extension Center for Media and
Independent Learning
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UP North Films
visit their website to order:

VIEW Video
34 E. 23rd St.
New York, NY 10010
Fax: 212-979-0266

Warner Home Video, Inc.
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