You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2009.

Newly-opened at MoMA is the exhibit Into the Sunset: Photography’s Image of the American West, including selections from “Film Stills from the Sultan Family Home Movies.”

From Art Daily’s exhibit review:

The suburbs and their inhabitants have been a rich subject for photographers of the West, and included are Larry Sultan’s (American, b. 1946) “Film Stills from the Sultan Family Home Movies” (1943-1972), in which Sultan chose individual frames from his family’s home movies and enlarged them. Although the images feature the activities that epitomize suburban life, a sense of unease lurks beneath the surface of these images; cropped and grainy, they resemble surveillance or evidence photographs.

And from 1990, an interview with Larry Sultan in BOMB.

“The home movie stills were my point of departure. At that time in my life, I was obsessed with memory. I would watch my family’s movies, as a probe, kind of a petites madeleines.”

From the blog “Adventures in Super 8 and Regular 8 filmmaking, a guide to converting Fisher-Price Movie Viewer Theaters to show your own home movies.

Now, go buy one on eBay.

Update: It looks like the great Retro Thing blog did this same post (only better) last year.

A new documentary, to be release in the United States later this year, uses Polish home movies  shot by American Jews visiting relatives in the 1930s.

“Po-Lin, Slivers of Memory” was conceived by Polish camerawoman Jolanta Dylewska, who was inspired to make the 80-minute film after coming across one of the home movies in Jerusalem archives in 1996 while working on an earlier project.

“That movie had an enormous emotional value for me,” Dylewska said. “People in it reacted with great warmth to the camera because it was in the hands of a family member, a close person. The camera transported that warmth onto me, watching the film 60 years later.”


Source: Washington Post

Trailer (in Polish)

Legendary filmmaker and recontextualizer of home movies Péter Forgács will give a lecture on The Archaeology of Memory at the Jewish Museum in New York on March 18th.  The lecture is part of The Danube Exodus: The Rippling Currents of the River,  an “immersive installation about the displacement of ethnic minorities and the possible connections between them.”

Source: and The Jewish Museum

An African American amateur film collection that garnered a significant amount of discussion among the archival community sold for $60,000 at auction last week.

A collection of 29 vintage film reels detailing the lives of blacks living in Oklahoma during the 1920s was the rarest historical artifact Currie Ballard ever owned. After selling a copy of the collection to the Oklahoma Historical Society, Ballard allowed his most treasured possession to be auctioned. The reels brought $60,000 last week during an auction at Swann Auction Galleries in New York City.

Source: Daily Oklahoman and  New York Times

Opening next week at MoMA is Jan Sikl’s eight part series Private Century, including a Q&A with Sikl on March 9th.

Composed entirely of family home movies, still photographs, letters, and diaries dating from the 1920s to the 1960s, Private Century explores, in Chekhovian fashion, how sweeping historical events transform the private lives of ordinary people, and how small domestic pleasures can crystallize into profound and enduring memories.

Source: MoMA