Re: home movies and experimental film

From: Tom B Whiteside (email suppressed)
Date: Fri Jul 21 2006 - 08:18:47 PDT

I have always liked Alan Berliner's THE FAMILY ALBUM, basically one big
home movie, not only found footage ("other people's home movies") but
also communal in some way, very interesting. It's a one hour documentary,
follows the home movie form -- baby grows into toddler, into childhood, we
see the individual but also common experiences, family relationships,
exotic locations, common home movie moments, reflections on home movies.
Most people are familiar with his big documentaries, NOBODY'S BUSINESS and
THE SWEETEST SOUND, but Berliner also has a substantial body of work in
experimental film - LATE CITY EDITION, EVERYWHERE AT ONCE, more.
For what it's worth, I think that EVERYWHERE AT ONCE is one of the very
best experimental films to show to a "first time" audience, an easy
introduction to experimental film. And it holds up, too - bears repeated
viewing. In addition to being tricky and fun, it is also exquisitely
crafted, just like the rest of his films.

Does everyone interested in home movies know about Home Movie Day? The
fourth annual is August 12, somewhere near you. It's global - take your
home movies in for projection (if you wish) and preservation advice, or go
to watch other people's movies. Here in Durham, North Carolina you can
participate in Home Movie Day in the Rare Book Room of Perkins Library at
Duke University from 1:00 until 5:00. And if you can't make it all the way
to Durham, there's one in Raleigh, too. In Raleigh they play Home Movie
Bingo, so if you like games you should probably go there. But wherever you
are, look close to home - HMD happens in many places worldwide. It seems
that the website is down right now (what's with that?) but I'm sure you
can find more information soon.

        - Whiteside

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