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I present to you the Project-A-Graph, an ill-fated film projector produced by Duplex Motion Picture Industries, Inc. in the early 1920s.

The Project-A-Graph

The Project-A-Graph projector ran 11.5mm wide film, akin to 9.5mm film – with the sprocket hole in the center of the frame to maximize the picture area.  It was just one offering among many similarly doomed film gauges intended to put a more affordable, standardized safety film (non-flammable) into schools and churches.  Unfortunately, it ran up against the efforts of Kodak, whose 16mm film quickly became ubiquitous across the land.

Below is a frame enlargement from a rare 11.5mm film containing promotional material about the Project-A-Graph and Duplex.  A few home movies also exist in a large collection, likely shot on a prototype camera.

11.5mm film frame

I have a few vintage addresses and photos of Duplex in Brooklyn and Long Island City, so I’ll spend some future Saturday finding out whether the original buildings still stand, or else pick up a few necessities in the Rite Aids that have replaced them.

Boing Boing featured our friend Robbins Barstow again yesterday, this time including an email that Robbins sent to editor Cory Doctorow following last week’s Boing Boing post.

The Smoking Gun reports on the mysterious 16mm Marilyn Monroe home movie.

A New York businessman’s claim that he recently brokered the $1.5 million sale of a Marilyn Monroe sex tape is belied by the very FBI documents the man has cited to support his bizarre and unsubstantiated story, The Smoking Gun has learned.  According to accounts spun out this week by collectibles dealer Keya Morgan, the purported film was sold by the son of a late FBI informant who had somehow obtained it in the mid-1960s.

Plus, a less controversial Monroe home movie from YouTube:

There is a long history of the retrospective medical uses of home movies in studying diseases of childhood, but since 1994 the Children’s Hospital Boston has been giving their patients video cameras in order to document their own lives.

The Video Intervention/Prevention Assessment (VIA) is a project of the Center on Media and Child Health. VIA gives video cameras to young people, asking them to teach clinicians about the realities of their illness experiences through the creation of audiovisual illness narratives. The VIA method has been applied to medical conditions such as asthma, overweight, spina bifida, sickle cell disease, cystic fibrosis, and HIV.

Senior Scientist on the project is visual anthropologist Richard Chalfen, author of Snapshots Version of Life, one of the landmark books on vernacular media.

This 2005 article in the Children’s Hospital Boston’s magazine describes the project further.

On Airport Way nearby, the line of century-old brick buildings that used to make the old Rainier Brewery now has a gap in it. Where the old brewery’s Stock House stood, bricks and wood are piled high after the century-old building was demolished in January.

Wright, an artist who organizes the neighborhood’s annual film festival, in which mostly Georgetown residents are lent Super 8 cameras to make short movies, captured the demolition as her entry this year.

Sines had the same idea when she decided to film Ed, who didn’t want his last name used. The idea is to document Georgetown now, as new developments threaten to turn the slightly run-down and industrial blue-collar neighborhood even more upscale than it has in recent years.

From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer

The latest entry in the Mortified Shoebox Show is a tribute to the Great American Teenage Filmmaker. In it, a 30 year old goes back to recover a script for a drama that he wrote and partially filmed but (due to technical difficulties) never finished. Now, fifteen years later, he finally realizes his interrupted masterpiece with the help of Elijah Wood, Kevin McDonald, and Curtis Armstrong.

Get Mortified


Jim Campbell, a San Francisco artist, takes portions of found home movies and pixelates them to create glowing and fogging images that shift across the wall. These works, called “Home Movies,” are comprised of grids of pulsing LEDs on vertical strings.

Campbell’s Hosfelt Gallery images and video.

San Francisco Chronicle article on a 2007 show.

Home Movies: the Band! [MySpace]

or, for you more modern types:

Home Video: the Band! [MySpace] [website]

A comedian who uses found home movies in his act and educates his audience about caring for their own films? Which way to Greeley, Colorado?

See the full story here.

Home movie comedian Christopher Gannon

Home movie comedian Christopher Cannon

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