You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2008.

From the Orillia Packet & Times, in Orillia, Ontario:

In Jack Grant’s extraordinary home movies, Orillia of the 1920s bursts into life – a biplane buzzing the Champlain monument, circus elephants and monkeys parading up Mississaga Street, and men in knickerbockers and high boots competing in wild log-rolling contests on Lake Couchiching.

“If a picture is worth a thousand words, a film is worth a million,” said Anita Miles, collections manager with the Orillia Museum of Art and History. “To have footage like this from the 1920s is mind-boggling.”

In 2003, almost 50 of Grant’s 16-millimetre films from the 1920s to the 1950s were donated to the museum. Recently, the movies were transposed to a digital format to create a 3 1/2-hour DVD called “Grant’s Films: A Film Diary of Orillia, 1928 to 1954.”

Further evidence that everything used to be better:

The Birthday Cakes of the Past Flickr group.

Some home movies, they make me want to open a mutual fund. Like these home movie reenactments produced by Mr. Big Productions and available for licensing through Getty Images.

The Zapruder Film of the Kennedy assassination is almost certainly the most famous home movie ever made.

But Abraham Zapruder was hardly the only person shooting home movies that day in Dallas.  Here, then, is a YouTube film festival of some of the other Kennedy assassination home movies.

Mark Bell

Charles Bronson

Jack Daniel

Elsie Dorman

Robert Hughes

George Jefferies

Jack Martin

Maria Muchmore

Orville Nix

Patsy Paschall

Tina Towner

Plus, a Dallas TV interview with Abraham Zapruder, soon after the shooting.

From the blog Paleo-Future: in 1925 Cecil B. DeMille sees a bright future in amateur filmmaking:

“It is not at all beyond the range of possibility, and to me it seems probable, that within the next 20 years some householder with absolutely no studio training will produce a screen masterpiece, with no stage except that of his own parlor, dining room or bedroom.” Cecille DeMille, the Los Angeles producer, declared today in an exclusive interview.

“So one sees that as a prairie woman in Nebraska may produce the greatest novel of the year or a man in the mountain wilds of Montana compose the best musical composition of a decade, so may an ordinary householder produce a motion picture far superior to all others.”

From the BBC:

An amateur cameraman filmed the earthquake in the mountains outside Chengdu in China and fled on his motorbike.

John Dkar, a Peruvian long-term resident of the city of Chengdu, was on a weekly motorcycle trip with friends at a mountain resort just outside the city when the quake struck.

Among the many new documentaries that incorporate home movies, there’s one titled Son of Rambow out now. From Wikipedia: 

“Set in “a long, hot summer in the early ’80s”, the film is a coming-of-age comedy. It tells the story of two schoolboys who are inspired by the film Rambo: First Blood to make their own action adventure film, which they hope will win them a young film-maker competition. Neglected youngster Lee Carter (Will Poulter) — the worst-behaved boy in school — has access to the home video equipment used by his bullying elder brother’s video pirating enterprise.”

The movie’s site is here

CNN reports that Amy Winehouse will not face legal proceedings despite an incriminating piece of amateur video.

Police started investigating her in January after obtaining a leaked home video that showed her smoking something in a glass pipe minutes after she was heard saying she had just taken six tablets of the anti-anxiety drug Valium.

The Sun, Britain’s top daily tabloid, made the 19-minute video public. It said the video was shot in Winehouse’s East London home.

From YouTube user Maude 17

First, I filmed the polaroid screen which reads the Polavision Land camera phototapes. Theses cassettes are some memories of my father; it goes from 1978 to 1988. Then , I filmed myself on mini-DV in rather similar situations.

The Wikipedia entry on Polavision

The New York Times on how the Battle at Kruger amateur video went viral, and then mainstream.