My dad used to own a CD-Rom called Cinemania, a movie encyclopedia which was a major, major influence on my blossoming love of film. The foundation of Cinemania was a vast collection of movie reviews, most notably those of Leonard Maltin, Roger Ebert, and Pauline Kael. Among the films I first heard of through Cinemania was a 1960¹ film called The Sand Castle, described by Maltin as the story of a boy who builds a sand castle and imagines people living in it.
It was an interesting enough premise, and the fact that I’d never heard of the film didn’t hurt. Years later, remembering the film, I looked it up, only to find little trace of it online. I would continue to search, and was able to find the film’s soundtrack, but the actual film continued to elude me. I learned I could rent a tape of the film from the Museum of Modern Art for $45 (or buy it for $160!), but barring such an indulgence, the film seemed effectively out of my reach.
Then, Googling the film yet again, searching for whatever I could find about it, I discovered that the Jerome Foundation–devoted to The Sand Castle‘s writer-director Jerome Hill–had uploaded the film to Vimeo, ending my search. Finally, I had a spare hour², and finally saw the film I had so long wondered about.