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On August 7th, UCLA will be celebrating Sid Laverents’ 100th birthday, with Sid in person (!) along with many other special guests. The event will feature screenings of two of Sid’s greatest films, a 35mm blowup of his masterwork MULTIPLE SIDOSIS, and Sid’s original 16mm print of his autobiographical magnum opus THE SID SAGA, a must be seen to be believed look at his eventful (eventful enough for three people, actually) life.

Details from the UCLA website (scroll down to August 7th)

Coming back to Miami on 8/8/08, the third Dixie Dingo festival, an innovative all super-8 amateur film screening.

This year, the cameras and film were distributed randomly to strangers throughout Miami … Each stranger was provided with a super-8 camera, a 3-minute film cartridge & a few weeks to shoot. The exposed film was then collected, processed and compiled onto a single reel without any editing beyond what was done in camera. The reel will be screened via old-fashioned projector with the help of Barron Sherer of Cinema Vortex at the Dorsch Gallery on August 8th at 8 pm. No one will view the films before the festival, not even the organizers or the filmmakers, we will all be virgins together. After the films are screened, the audience will vote for an Audience Choice Award Winner. The evening will conclude with a brief Q&A with the filmmakers followed by a dance party featuring DJ Lolo (Sweat Records) and an opportunity to mingle with the filmmakers and their guests.

More information at the Dorsch Gallery website

From a review of Neil Diamond’s performance in Chicago this week:

Diamond’s use of video material illustrated surprising restraint. Two screens flanking the stage projected film footage only twice, and each episode was emotionally engaging. The autobiographical ballad “Brooklyn Roads” was augmented with home movies from Diamond’s youth, and “America” was accompanied by archival photos and clips of immigrants arriving in this country.

Source: Chicago Sun-Times

Private home movies featuring Clark Gable, Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers, Marilyn Monroe and other Hollywood luminaries will screen at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ “Monday Nights with Oscar®” presentation of “Hollywood Home Movies: Treasures from the Academy Film Archive” on Monday, August 11, at 7 p.m. at the Academy Theater in New York City. The program will include commentary by family members of Humphrey Bogart, Gary Cooper, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Steve McQueen and Lauren Bacall, who will introduce their famous relatives’ home movies.

Press release

James Stewart edits a home movie, ca. 1938. Courtesy of the Margaret Herrick Library.

James Stewart edits a home movie, ca. 1938.  Courtesy of the Margaret Herrick Library.

Starting to make the rounds now is Home Movie, the new “reality horror” film by director Christopher Denham.   From the Fantasia festival listing:

The Poes are your average, middle-class American family, living in a remote area of upstate New York. Clare (Cady McClain) is a psychiatrist. David (Adrian Pasdar) is a Lutheran minister. Ten-year-old twins Jack and Emily (played brilliantly by actual brother and sister Austin and Amber Williams) are out of their minds. Clare recently bought a video camera to document her sessions, but neither parent can resist co-opting it to use for home movies. Everything we see is limited to what they have shot of each other. And it isn’t pretty … The children are utterly, irrevocably cruel–the very definition of the word “evil,” in fact–and there is absolutely nothing their parents can do except continue documenting their behaviour.

Two more blog reviews:

The Horror Section


And a podcast with Christopher Denham

Cheng Liechao is a projectionist in the mountainous area of Caijia Town of Chongqing, southwest China’s municipality.

“Since 1978, Cheng has projected some 400 films annually to mountainous villagers. Each time, he and his wife carrying projection equipment weighing more than 50kg, usually walk across several hills, measuring decades of kilometers, to a remote village. Despite of little earning and tough work, Cheng never has the idea to abandon it. He is proud of his job, saying as a projectionist he is responsible to bring happiness to local people.”

From the People’s Daily Online. More on Cheng here.

And from the blog, here is a rural projectionist propaganda poster image:


Each day countless stories unfold. Take a real life experience of your own and tell it in a way that only you can through the art of filmmaking. Make the ordinary magical, or the exotic familiar. Shock us, amaze us or
make us pause to reflect. The only rule is that it’s real.

PRIZES: The top three winning entries in each category will be presented at the First Person Festival of Memoir and Documentary Art at the Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia, PA, November 12-16, 2008.

$500 – 1st place category winners
$100 – 2nd place category winners
$50 – 3rd place category winners

More information at

While browsing a certain video sharing website, I came across a clip I had at one point last year decreed to be my favorite film on all of YouTube–then promptly forgot about.  “Home Movies” by the Brooklyn-based Amanda Monroe Finn is ephemeral, enigmatic and evocative (and those are just the “E”‘s), and is described by Finn as “putting myself into my family’s home movies from the 1940s and 50s.”  Her other YouTube film, “Super 8mm test footage” is as advertised, and has its own charms as well.

More short films can be found on her website

Here’s an annotated 4th of July parade from Dolton, Illinois, 1960.