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“Saving Private Reels: An International Conference on the Presentation, Appropriation and Re-contextualization of the Amateur Moving Image,” to be held in Cork, Ireland from September 17-19th promises to be one of the most significant conferences on amateur moving images in recent memory–if not ever. The program, which has just been posted [PDF], features a lineup that is a veritable who’s who of amateur film scholars.

Conference website

We don’t often post links to personal blogs here, but these posts about memories of life in Faith, North Carolina are a charming description of the role that making and watching home movies plays in personal and local histories.

Part 1

Part 2

Robin Hessman’s documentary, My Perestroika, about coming of age in the waning years of the Soviet Union, is making the film festival circuit.  The film makes extensive use of home movies from the 1970s and 1980s.  Hessman discussed the home movies in her interview with the CBC.

Q: How did you gather the home movies?

A: I was gathering through friends of friends. Someone would pass through a friend of a friend in the Metro a bag of films. Or someone would send them through their relatives off in Siberia in a train. I was asking anybody I knew. When I met Borya and Liuba Mayerson for the first time, after about two hours of conversation, I asked about the home movies, and Borya opened the closet and there they were. That was an incredible gift.

[His father] was an engineer. He was a fan [of making amateur movies]. He would develop them in the bathroom. He didn’t just film his own son. He would film all the kids on Communist cleanup day: the kids raking and cleaning the schoolroom and the assemblies.

Source: CBC

My Perestroika website

J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg are reportedly working on a home movie-inspired film called “Super 8.”

The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision blog got an early look at the preview and describes it as “quick, visceral and creepy,” though it doesn’t reveal anything concrete about the plot, which has been said to involve kids shooting Super-8 movies in 1979 and capturing something sinister on film. (The idea was inspired by Spielberg and Abrams’ discussions of their childhoods shooting home movies.) Despite this premise, SUPER 8 will apprently not be filmed in the handheld vérité style of the Abrams-produced CLOVERFIELD (which similarly began its buzz with a mysterious trailer attached to TRANSFORMERS).

Source: Fangoria