Home Movies

The use of home movie footage has been a staple of both short and feature-length experimental and independent film for some time now, but it’s never before been used in such explicit ways to tell the story of a presidency, and a nation, as it is in two new documentaries. Our Nixon offers a fascinating look at Nixon’s presidency using Super 8 footage shot by convicted presidential aides H.R. Haldeman, Dwight Chapin, and John Ehrlichman, and will be presented by filmmaker Penny Lane. Cosponsored with the Dept. of Near Eastern Studies, Israel: A Home Movie traces the nation’s history from the 1930s into the 1970s with home movie footage narrated by its makers. The series begins with Sarah Polley’s fascinating exploration of her mother’s past, Stories We Tell, in which home movies are used in a provocative way. As further testament to the power and importance of home movies, there’s the documentary These Amazing Shadows, about the National Film Registry, which reveals that some home movies, like one shot in a Japanese internment camp, have been added to the Registry as a valuable piece of American history.

Finally, Cornell Cinema will host its first ever Home Movie Night (Fri Oct 11 at 7:30) when audience members are invited to submit their own favorite home movies for possible inclusion in a big screen show! We're looking for work on Super 8, 8 or 16mm, or VHS tapes—G and PG content only please!—in three to five minute segments. Each person is welcome to submit two such segments. VHS tapes should be cued to the desired segment or be labeled with time code of where segment(s) can be found. As we need time to prepare the films & compile the program, we need to receive your home movies in advance. Work can be delivered at one of these times & locations:

  • Wed Oct 2: 6–7:30pm:
    Willard Straight Theatre
  • Thur Oct 3: 10am–5pm:
    104 Willard Straight Hall
  • Fri, Oct 4 : 6–7pm:
    Willard Straight Theatre

An official Home Movie Night representative will log in your work and secure it. Then return on Friday, October 11 at 7:30pm to see your home movie on the BIG SCREEN!

©2012 Cornell Cinema, r.haarstad