the rejected
June 17, 2015 5:41 AM   Subscribe

Oh my god, I cannot wait to sit down and watch this!!!
posted by mittens at 6:59 AM on June 17, 2015

That's amazing; thanks for the post.
posted by languagehat at 7:02 AM on June 17, 2015

I was only able to watch the first few minutes of this before heading off to work, but:

#1: This is amazing
#2: Margaret Mead's office is pretty amazing too.
#3: I wish they'd put it up on youtube because their stream kept crapping out on me and making the video seize up.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 7:13 AM on June 17, 2015 [2 favorites]

From the out article (this is almost funny)

"To wit, Call asks Fisher — who was previously married — if marriage was good for homosexuals. Not in the sense that we've become familiar with and on which the Supreme Court will soon decide, but as a "cover-up."

"A good many homosexual people would not be homosexual had they had a heterosexual experience earlier in life," Fisher begins, "but I certainly wouldn't recommend it as a cure for homosexuality.""

Oh boy, so of its time.
posted by marienbad at 7:24 AM on June 17, 2015

This is wonderful this has been found and shared with everyone.

I'd like to read more about how they found this thing. The first link says someone originally looked at the LOC but later it was found there "hiding in plain sight" or "behind the couch" both of which are really less than helpful. As a former Archivist, I kind of have a beef with stories about things being "lost" in archives. Often they are exactly where they are supposed to be, just no one has looked there before or written a news story about it.
posted by marxchivist at 7:28 AM on June 17, 2015 [11 favorites]

It sounds like they looked every but LOC, where it existed but in poor shape. Wikipedia has a page on this, including a section on the availability of the film, and the narrative there backs up this notion of finding at the Library of Congress, only after finding that the film was owned by WNET, which funded the film.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:40 AM on June 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

Also, I think the OUT article is incorrect in stating that this was the first documentary on homosexuality, unless they're discounting pieces produced in the 1950s as scare pieces rather than documentaries grounded in facts. (I'm guessing they're scare pieces, based on the program titles: "Homosexuals and the Problems They Present," "Homosexuals Who Stalk and Molest Our Children," "Introduction to the Problem of Homosexuality," and "Are Homosexuals Criminal?" for example.)
posted by filthy light thief at 7:45 AM on June 17, 2015

It sounds like they looked every[where] but LOC,

It may or may not be an error in the KQED article linked in the FPP, but that article clearly states that people did look at the LOC and didn't find a copy of the film:
But like many others, Connelly could not find a copy. He called archives and scholars and even went to the Library of Congress. All he found there was a transcript.
If I had to guess, Conelly looked for anything KQED-related and turned up the transcript; Cherian and Chehoski presumed that if he'd looked already, it wasn't worth looking again, but once they found out that WNET actually owned the film they realized he might have been looking in the wrong place:
Cherian and Chehoski then discovered KQED did not actually own the film. A New York TV station, WNET, did — it had provided the film’s funding. From there, the archivists learned that at least one physical copy of “The Rejected” did exist, hiding in plain sight. Cherian says, “There’s that cliched phrase, did you look down the back of the sofa?” AKA: the Library of Congress. Yup, it was actually there, buried in the archive.
That's a complete hypothetical on my part; I'd love to know why Connelly couldn't find it the first time and why Cherian and Chehoski were able to later. There's got to be interesting story that the KQED article sadly elides with 'hiding in plain sight.'
posted by cjelli at 7:51 AM on June 17, 2015 [3 favorites]

Diligent research uncovered the amazing possibility that a copy might quite by chance have been left with a little known organisation called the Library of Congress. After further sleuthing it was discovered that this organisation still existed in an almost undamaged form, and through a combination of lucky flukes and inspired guesswork it was possible to track it down. But would it still be operational...?
posted by Segundus at 10:29 AM on June 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

The "lost" film was found by a part-time library page as he was reshelving videos on the "Staff Picks for Summer Fun" video display. The Rejected should have been shelved in between Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Return of the Jedi but had been mishelved next to a copy of Gleaming the Cube II.
posted by marxchivist at 11:03 AM on June 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

I made time to watch the whole thing, and it is really amazing. Sure, a bit retrograde in places, but remarkably ahead of its time overall. The overall impression was a clear push for acceptance and equality, far ahead of what I would have expected in 1961. It's really compelling viewing.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 12:26 PM on June 17, 2015

I haven't watched it yet but did succeed in downloading it with youtube-dl. It took about 80 minutes to download a 60 minute video so yeah, their server can't keep up with streaming. It would be really great if this were on Youtube or some other better provisioned host. I don't feel it's right for me to upload it myself without a license.

Picture quality is pretty good although there's some VCR-looking tracking error in places. Sound quality is.. underwater. Would a 1961 documentary like this be shot on video or on film?

Just scanning through it, it's wonderful how serious and yet low-key everyone is on TV. A world before jump cuts.
posted by Nelson at 12:52 PM on June 17, 2015

Would a 1961 documentary like this be shot on video or on film?

Almost definitely film. If it was recorded on tape, it would have probably just been trashed/recorded over. Look up quad tape if you want more info on what the tech was like at the time.

That said, jesus christ someone rehost this. It's 100% unwatchable.
posted by emptythought at 1:16 PM on June 17, 2015

YouTube version here.
posted by pmg at 6:06 PM on June 17, 2015 [5 favorites]

This is fantastic! I love gay history; it's very easy to feel like before stonewall there simply wasn't any kind of gay community at all and that no one knew or thought about gay people, but in reality it's been a constant thread through history.
posted by bracems at 7:26 PM on June 17, 2015 [2 favorites]

I "remastered" the audio, because I *can't even understand what people are saying*.
Sent a link to the YT uploader, they can swap in my audio if they want..
Anyone else wanting clearer audio can just do a hacky "how quick can I click" sync between the orig (muted) video and my audio.
posted by Jack Karaoke at 3:29 PM on June 28, 2015 [2 favorites]

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