Roughly a decade ago, filmmaker/professor/homesteader Melinda Stone started showing film archivists a tape she had acquired from a member of a San Diego filmmakers’ club that she had come across while she was working on her Ph.D. dissertation. The film was called “Multiple Sidosis” and the creator was Sid Laverents, one of the superstars of the film club scene. The film is a masterpiece of craftsmanship, involving special effects made almost miraculous by the fact that Laverents had created them all in his home. News of the rediscovery of the film spread like wildfire in the amateur film circles, and almost instantaneously “Multiple Sidosis” was named to the National Film Registry and UCLA embarked on a project to preserve a selection of Laverents’ films.
Sid’s films had hardly been forgotten among his cine club fans, however, since he had been screening them around the United States and selling them on VHS from his home. As remarkable as his films are, they are but one aspect of an amazing 100-year long life (he will reach the century mark this August) that he chronicled in his self-published autobiography The First 90 Years Are the Hardest as well as in his multi-part cinematic autobiography The Sid Saga.
Sid Laverents Online:
A page on Multiple Sidosis from the San Diego Amateur Movie Makers Club, Sid’s sadly defunct film club.
Melinda Stone on Sid Laverents.
A January 2004 article on Sid in the New York Times.
And, finally, a poor quality YouTube version: