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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

Twitch

And a podcast with Christopher Denham

Currently on the festival circuit is Must Read After My Death, Morgan Dews’ troubling portrait of his grandmother’s life, assembled from home movies, snapshots and Dictaphone recordings.

Los Angeles Film Festival review from Cinematical.com

Trailer from official website

Phyllis and Harold is an astoundingly frank journey through a disasterous 59-year marriage. Drawing on a lifetime of her family’s home movies and interviews made over 12 years, filmmaker Cindy Kleine mixes reportage, cinema verité and animation to uncover family secrets and tell a story that could not be shown publicly as long as her father was still alive.

From a review of the documentary Autism: The Musical:

The parents of five autistic children in Los Angeles contributed home movies and divulged their feelings upon discovering their children’s brain disorders, social difficulties and behavioral challenges. Filmmaker Tricia Reagan is inconspicuous, maintaining a hands-off style as the individual stories unfold enroute to putting on a show.

Film’s website

Two new documentaries incorporating home movies:

Chris and Don: A Love Story [Trailer] [Website]

Surfwise [Trailer] [Website]

Watching home movies in Paris, Texas (1984).

Or: watch just the home movies

“Home Movies that Come Back to Haunt Us”

Though it was as diverse as ever in its programming of movies from everywhere and about, seemingly, everthing, this year’s well-attended Hot Docs International Documentary Festival, which wrapped on Sunday night, was for me something of a primer on the shape of docs to come–that shape being defined by the wild proliferation of consumer-level audiovisual technology over the last half-century and our impulse to record our lives as a method of either verifying or coping with it.

JB of the blog The Phantom Country reviews the plethora of documentary at Toronto’s Hot Docs festival that have home movies and home video at their cores.

French soccer star Vikash Dhorasoo has completed his first film, shot in Super 8, titled Substitute. It will be released on May 9.

“In the summer of 2006, a friend of the French international footballer Vikash Dhorasoo gave him a Super 8 camera and told him to film what happened to him in the next few weeks. From the start, Dhorasoo couldn’t seem to get the hang of the camera: everything he shot, including himself, was slightly out of focus. Like Robin Williams’ character in Woody Allen’s film Deconstructing Harry, Dhorasoo became a bit of a blur. It wasn’t – or so you might think – a propitious start to a film-making career.”

The full Guardian article is here.

Péter Forgács, media artist and filmmaker, came to New Haven tonight to screen Wittgenstein Tractatus (1992) and Angelos’ Film (1999), sparking this post to mention his new YouTube channel. Clips from nearly all of his movies are up.

The Devil and Daniel Johnston, the 2006 documentary on musician and artist Daniel Johnston, featured footage of the playful and imaginative home movies Johnston made as a youth. Seeing the film left me wanting to see much more of these. Luckily, the DVD of the movie includes several of his early films as extras.