Monday, December 11, 2006


The film uses edited clips from Ivan Besse's amateur classic "South Dakota 1938 - 39" at Internet featuring in this installment Christmas on Main Street Britton, South Dakota. The clips are edited and timed to two songs by Lawrence, Ks. musician, Bryan Newbury; "Brewster County Breakdown" and "Beatrice" which makes a haunting image of a streetside musician singing of hard times.

According to a Dec. 9, 2006 interview with Aileen Besse:

Ivan Besse shot the originals for his then struggling Strand Theater as a production technique to "lure patrons" into shows. He then aired each Tuesday and Wednesday the faces of local Brittons during the hard times of the Great Depression.

Besse who passed on, Sept. 2, 2005 (born in a Dakota sodhouse July 4, 1907) sold the original 16mm reels during the theater's closure in 1985 for around fifty cents. According to his wife, Eileen Besse, the reels were then donated to the Prelinger Archives which placed some of the estimated 50 reels up on the internet into the public domain.

Ivan Besse worked at the Strand Theater for 66 years, starting in 1919 as a coal shoveler in the basement, he purchased it in 1950 and ran it till it closed in 1985.

Michael Caddell edited and produced this particular installment. He lives and publishes from Jefferson county, Kansas. He and Bryan Newbury are native Kansans and buddies who decided to make the ten minute tribute to "everyday" people having joy during hard times. Enjoy.

Peace and Freedom to all.

1 comment:

Emanuel Goldstein said...

I caught your bemoaning the foibles of the religios over at Red State Rabble.

Lets keep in mind that when atheistic philosphies have been in control, the results were the most barbaric in history.

Atheists who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.