Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Films From Home Movie Day - Vol 1 - Living Room Cinema|
Actor: Living Room Cinema Films
Director: Robbins Barstow;Jeanne Liotta;Kenny Shopsin
Now available from the Center for Home Movies, the Living Room Cinema DVD features 22 films that span nearly a century of social, personal, and filmmaking history. Many films include new commentaries from the filmmakers or... more »
Keris Nine | 03/23/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Some might find it hard to believe, but those old Super-8 home movies lying in the bottom of your box in an attic, unseen for years for the lack of equipment to play them, waiting for you to one day finally get them converted to DVD when you get around to looking into it, could now be a valuable document of a time long gone, of sufficient interest not only to be shown at Home Movie Days organised all across the world, but also worthy enough for a commercial DVD release.
This compilation is a 2-hour collection of a number of short pieces, few of them longer than 5 minutes long, shot in a number of media (9.5mm, 8mm, Super-8, 16mm etc.) by amateur enthusiasts from as far back as 1928 right up to 1998. Inevitably, most of the films are just what you would expect them to be, the home movies capturing significant moments such as wedding days, birthday parties, holidays, Bar Mitzvahs and even a placenta burial - films made by proud parents capturing personal moments with their young children to keep forever. Incidentally however, the films capture a sense of the time and place, particularly in the United States during the 50s and the 60s, and the lives, lifestyles and customs of ordinary people in a way that you won't see from commercially-made films of the period.
In addition, the films become historical documents that testify to the huge changes of the historical, geographical and social landscape that have occurred over our lifetime. One film shows San Francisco in Cinemascope in 1961, another immortalises the animated Christmas displays in the major New York toy-stores during the sixties, many of them capture fashions, architecture, historical buildings that are no longer there and some that haven't even been built yet. And not just the USA, but there are films from as far afield as Thailand/Siam in the 1920s, Havana in 1955 as it would have been known to Hemingway, and Japan in the 1970s.
Along the way there is much to consider in the variety of subjects, in the reminiscences of the narrators, in the very marks and decay of the sometimes decomposing film stock - all of the films, no matter how personal to the people in them, becoming strangely compelling when presented for viewing to the general public. And completely addictive also - you'll sit down to watch a few and find yourself swept along. It's likely to have you scuttling away to examine your own old photographs and home movies or maybe think about starting an archive anew, considering how those images will be looked upon 50 years from now, when the vast social changes are likely to be even greater than the scale of change captured here.
Despite the obvious limitations of the source materials and their storage, the quality throughout this DVD release is excellent, only one film showing signs of extreme decomposition, but being strangely beautiful for it. Many of the films have been given original music accompaniments - although some have their own original sound - but the natural way to view these is with the Commentary on, listening to the words of the people behind them. The DVD also includes a short feature on HMD screenings, while an accompanying booklet detailing how to organise a Home Movie Day reveals the rationale behind them and the associated difficulties of dealing with old materials."