Amateur Night: Home Movies from American Archives

Dwight Swanson, of the Center for Home Movies, is a specialist in amateur film. Film archivist Pamela Jean Vadakan coordinates the California Audiovisual Preservation Project.

To commemorate Home Movie Day, a celebration of amateur films and filmmaking held at many local venues worldwide, we present a compilation of sixteen amateur films from the collections of American film archives. Framing a variety of communities, the home movie camera captures a range of emotions, from expectation to surprise to wonder. The San Francisco Movie Makers demonstrate the mechanisms of a 8mm Revere camera. The Jarrets dance pure joy at a Pittsburgh house party. Hitchcock directs a wave and a kiss from his wife. A newspaperman from Augusta, Georgia witnesses an atomic bomb test in Nevada. A fairy princess doll magically comes to life Christmas morning in Chicago. Featuring original narration, archival audio, commentaries from family members, and newly recorded music, Amateur Night includes family scenes and historic moments, and provides a fascinating history of small gauge filmmaking. Pamela Jean Vadakan

A booklet with full program notes will be available at the screening.

This year the Oakland Museum of California will host Home Movie Day.
Click here for more information on Home Movie Day.

This page may by only partially complete. For additional information about this film, view the original entry on our archived site.