"Grandpa has problems when he retires." Oldfilm.org
"Subtitled 'A Journey Through the Scrapbook and the Memories of Sid Laverents,' Saga is an oddball epic of amateur filmmaking — an oral history of one man's 20th century illustrated with family photos, various drawings and clippings and 16mm footage. Laverents recounts his past as if enthusiastically telling a tall tale to a child: Digressions and exaggerations pile on until they accrue into moments of acutely honest reflection on personal relations and historical events." LA Weekly.
"It has a story with titles in verse telling how the farm woman compared herself with the Duchess of Windsor and decides she prefers Pa to the Duke and her own simple tasks to the life of a Duchess." American Cinematographer, Feb. 1940, 87.
"'Santa Visits Elaine,' 16mm. in color, by John E. Pohl of Cicero, Ill., was the winner in the home movies class. The picture is finely done. It greets you with an unusually strong title when it flashes upon you on the screen. No filters are used. There are few characters in the story—as a matter of fact Elaine and her mother carry the greater burden of the cast. To be sure, Santa is in the limelight long enough to do a little tree and interior decorating. Elaine looks a trifle large to accept as gospel truth all the conversation sometimes handed to children about the comings and goings of Santa Claus, but the young lady does or is caused to do one good deed which may indicate one of two things: either she is going to do her utmost to entertain Santa while he is visiting that house or else she has a line on the habits of the male person who is in her mind slated to do the hanging. She very prominently places a bottle of beer and a large glass right where the visitor cannot miss it. Does he miss it? No, he does not. In spite of the obstacle presented by the phoney mustaches he gets around them." American Cinematographer, Jan. 1939, 17.
"'Slum Clearance' was in 8mm. It was a record of the tearing down of tenement houses of the old type and showing them replaced with modern apartment buildings. Mighty interesting characters were shown, occupants of the slum tenements, children, etc. A very colorful sequence was built up in the early part of the picture. The latter part of the film is given over to the new homes and to suburban homes where the more fortunate of the slum dwellers moved. A fine document and an interesting picture." American Cinematographer, Feb. 1937, 73.
"The Home Movie award went to [Joseph] F. Hollywood for his 8mm picture 'Two Kids and a Pup.' The subject was truly home movie in nature. A brief continuity that showed the pup being brought home; both boy and girl wanted it and finally a compromise where it is agreed one day the boy is to hove the pup and the next day the girl; the children thus to alternate for peace's sake. Then is shown how the boy plays with a dog. He goes to a wooded lot, pretends to be hunting, etc. The girl, however, treats the dog the same as she would a doll. Makes clothes for it, dresses it up and places it in the doll buggy. Then comes the day when the girl decides to cheat a bit and rushes home to be the first to have the dog. When the boy arrives she has the dog completely covered in the doll buggy. However, at the crucial moment it rears its head and the fight is on. The mother then decides to settle the controversy by having the children stand at one end of the yard while she takes the dog to the other end. They are to call the dog and the one to whom the dog goes is to play with it that day. They are set, the dog is let loose and just at that moment another dog passes by and the pup rushes between the children after the other dog and thus the story ends. Hollywood's cutting and photography were good. And the handling of the whole picture was highly commendable." American Cinematographer, Jan. 1937, 25.
"Land of My Dreams, Joseph J. Harley, ACL, will tell you, is a simple record of fun and friends. As such, it is an attractive piece of Kodachrome, colorful in its camera work, leisurely in its pace (400 feet, 8mm.) and frankly sentimental in its outlook. Lake Saranac and the Harley summer cottage comprise the land of Joe Harley 's dreams, although his myriad friends of ten years' standing play a large part in that Elysium. You see them throughout the film, going about their fishing and boating, picnics and swimming with an infectious zest and good humor. The record is climaxed with a detailed presentation of a grand communal party, at which each of the guests is required to put on some sort of skit or bit of entertainment." Movie Makers, June 1944, 246.
Note of warning: the "communal party" referenced in the description above includes a performance in blackface.
"“Think of Me First as a Person” is a short documentary about a boy with Down Syndrome. The footage was shot on 16mm in the 1960s by the boy’s father, Dwight Core, Sr. The filmmaker’s grandson, George Ingmire, completed the film forty years later. This film explores perceptions about Down Syndrome from multiple viewpoints: the boy, his sister and the father. The sincere tone and heartwarming narration by the father lends a remarkable poignancy to this film. The story that unfolds within this documentary is sure to shed light on both the struggles and blessings of raising a child with special needs." thinkofmefirstasaperson.com
""Our Day" is a smart, entertaining day-in-the-life portrait of the Kelly household, shown in both idealized and comic ways. This silent 16mm home movie uses creative editing, lighting and camera techniques comparable to what professionals were doing in Hollywood. His amateur cast was made up of his mother, wife, brother and pet terrier. "Our Day" also contains exceptional images of small-town Southern life, ones that counter the stereotype of impoverished people eking out a living during the Depression. The 12-minute film documents a modern home inhabited by adults with sophisticated interests (the piano, literature, croquet) and simple ones (gardening, knitting, home cooking). Kelly, a newspaperman, was also an accomplished photographer, painter, and writer. He began shooting film in 1929 and continued until the 1950s." Library of Congress (U.S.)
"Produced by Edwin S. Mayer, this 1929 amateur film documents life and work on the T-Half Circle Ranch near Sonora. Ranch hands first herd cattle for branding and de-horning. Then, they turn to working the sheep, sorting them into separate classes before shearing wool. Later, the ranch hands battle a prairie fire on the property. In addition to outlining ranch operations, Mayer also introduces his family and colleagues. At the conclusion, Edwin and his wife Minnie join another couple to explore Carlsbad Cavern in New Mexico. The cave is now the primary attraction of Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Please note, this film contains a racist joke regarding African Americans. The Texas Archive of the Moving Image does not condone this language, but presents the film as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as to claim this discrimination never existed" Texas Archive of the Moving Image.
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