Some of the records in our database link to videos that you can watch. Click on the films below.
"Columbia College student film about a young man receiving and responding to his Vietnam draft card." Chicago Film Archives
"This amateur film chronicles several young ranchers in their day-to-day activities. The film is divided into six chapters, each highlighting a different theme. Setting the scene with shots of a river bend and surrounding cliffs, the movie shows two young men skipping stones by a creek. After playing around with rocks and a rope swing, they drive back to 141 Ranch. At the ranch, they take care of their cattle and spend quality time grooming and riding their horses. The last chapter introduces a strange boy, who startles one of the ranchers as he washes a frying pan outside. The film ends with the young men riding their horses towards the camera" Texas Archive of the Moving Image.
"University of Illinois Chicago (UICC) student film that documents the Chicago Fire Department house and fire officers of 158 West Erie Street. Images of the officers at work and play are interspersed with portraits of the firehouse, which is located in Chicago's River North neighborhood." Chicago Film Archives
"University of Illinois Chicago (UICC) animated student film about being drafted to the Vietnam War." Chicago Film Archives
"Plays out at an amateur level Jean-Luc Godard’s dictum that all a film needs for a plot is a woman and a gun. This is how Margaret Conneely says The ’45 came about: with a prop and an actor. From these elements she crafts a mischievous and entertaining film about a woman willing to employ any means to send away the man who comes looking for her husband with a gun." Chicago Film Archives
"Abstract Patterns is a two-minute abstract film by Sol Falon of Teaneck, N.J. - a beautiful "shorty" of color and design that is fast moving and stimulating" PSA Journal, Nov. 1969, 56; "A short amateur experimental film featuring mid-century paintings from Pablo Picasso, Wassily Kadinsky, Piet Mondrianand Joan Miro. Disributed by the Society of Amateur Cinematographers (SAC)." Chicago Film Archives
"This experimental film, made by Kenneth Anthony in the late 1960s, records the story of Adam and Eve. It opens with chimpanzees and recreates Michaelangelo’s The Creation of Man. The production follows the traditional telling of the Biblical creation story. Eve accepts an apple, gives it to Adam, and God rebukes the two humans. The rest of the film is a collection of shots: a protest march, a swimsuit competition in a beauty pageant, a demolition derby, a Foreign Legion ceremony, indications of space exploration, and a photography exhibit, among others. These shots may not have been filmed by Anthony and may have been stock footage as they appear to include words in French. According to Anthony, the film was meant to be projected on multiple screens. It seems likely that the story of Adam and Eve would have been on a main screen with the shots from the latter half of the film projected onto accompanying screen or screens" Texas Archive of the Moving Image.
"An eight week Western camping trip in the summer of 1936 by seven boys from the Hartford, Connecticut area, under the leadership of Ken Strong, a Hartford Seminary graduate. Filmed by then teenage amateur movie maker Robbins Barstow (1919-2010)." Center for Home Movies.
Watch: via Archive.org
"In the summer of 1978, Robbins Barstow and his wife Meg, of Wethersfield, Connecticut, USA, took a four-week East African Safari Tour to Tanzania and Kenya, sponsored by the New York Zoological Society. This African wildlife adventure film includes scenes of 53 different species of animals and birds, filmed in the wild, among them Elephant, Giraffe, Rhino, Hippo, Lion, Leopard, Zebra, Wildebeest, Cheetah, and Impala." Archive.org
Watch: via A/V Geeks (Archive.org)
"Details a journey from New York to Lagos and beyond the interior of Nigeria. Footage includes shots of daily traditional life in the village and concludes with a battle scene between two tribes brandishing spears and bows and arrows." Chicago Film Archives
"Silent film set in a small African village. The King takes his young son, the Prince, on a journey to teach him lessons on how to be a great leader by showing appreciation and care for the people they rule. The King guides the Prince to help care for the ill suffering from leprosy, learn skills like farming the land, making clothing and building shelter, and enrolls him in school to get an education and learn religion. The film shows many skills and medical processes of African villagers in detail from start to finish." Chicago Film Archives
Watch: via Archive.org
"“The Air Evac Story, or: Better You Should Walk?” is a humorous amateur film that spoofs the United States Air Force’s medical evacuation services. Starring members of the 14th Aeromedical Transport Squadron, the film begins at squadron headquarters at Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio. It then follows crew members on their daily mission to transport patients, making stops in El Paso and Brackettville. While the voiceover narration commends the squadron for their professionalism, their comedic actions throughout the film tell a different story. Of particular note is a cameo by none other than John Wayne. Charles F. Curtis, a cinematography engineer with the Air Force, made the spoof with his crew around the same time that Wayne was in Brackettville shooting The Alamo (1960). Curtis helped design a working camera track system for the blockbuster film, and Wayne agreed to make a brief appearance in the Air Evac Story as thanks" Texas Archive of the Moving Image.
"All In A Day - Consistently good photography marks this humorous document of the trials and tribulations that beset a man who goes fishing despite the objections of his wife. Overruling his wife's plea that he take her to visit her mother, the man sets out on his trip early the next morning. His first disappointment comes when the pal who was to accompany him bows out. Setting out alone, trouble comes in bunches. He gets a ticket for speeding, then a flat tire, and when he arrives at the lake selected for fishing, the boat is flooded with water. After bailing it out, the man rows out on the lake, forgetting his lunch, tackle, etc., and he must return to shore - further building up his state of high dudgeon. Before night falls, he's fallen in the lake, not to mention the fact he caught nary a fish, so he returns home a sadder but wiser man. But even then, his troubles are not over. His wife, who promised he'd 'be sorry' for going on the trip, locks him out of the house. In the closing scene he finds solace in his little son, who remains his only friend. One outstanding feature of this film is the maker's ability to cut scenes as he shoots. Result is each scene dovetails snugly with the next, and this greatly simplified, we are sure, the task of editing the film." American Cinematographer, May. 1952, 211.
Watch: via the University of Utah
"Between 1877 and 1885, an English photographer, Eadweard Muybridge, conducted detailed experiments analyzing human and animal motion using rapid photography. In 1968, John Straiton took the published works of Muybridge and created from them a fascinating and hilarious film. A tribute to the serious maker of the first nudie before the invention of movies." Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre.
Watch: via YouTube
"Another Happy Day" was the winner in the home movie classification, the prize going to T. Lawrenson of Dundee, Scotland. Mr. Lawrenson is a member of the Institute of Amateur Cinematographers of London. Also is he a veteran of the American Cinematographer's contests, having been one of the three major prize winners of 1935. Also is the chief actor in the home movie a veteran, a child who now has reached seemingly the mature age of four years, and who of course was but two when he made his debut on the home movie stage in 'Happy Day.' He is a black-eyed, camera-unconscious and personable youngster, who proceeds on his lawful occasions in complete indifference to a live lens." American Cinematographer, Jan. 1938, 27.
"An amateur film made by and starring the husband and wife duo, John & Evelyn Kibar. After receiving numerous travel brochures in the mail, the Kibars begin reflecting on all the possible destinations they could visit - including Colorado, Bryce Canyon National Park and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Actual travelogue footage shot by the Kibars acts as our reflective imagery, while title cards with dialogue are dispersed throughout the film." Chicago Film Archives
"Aqua Viva, as its name suggests, is a study of water in motion. To state it thus baldly, however, cannot reveal the true cinematic beauty of Allan Hammer's swirling patterns of light and shadow, executed with consistent success under the most difficult exposure conditions. Yet more important than Mr. Hammer's technical competence is his imaginative perception of small moments of great loveliness. Such scenes, however, because of their very delicacy, tend always to lose their effectiveness in large doses. Aqua Viva as a production leans toward excess length." Movie Makers, Dec. 1950, 466.
Travelogue that visits tourist destinations across several countries in South America.
Watch: via UC San Diego Library
"In May-June 1988, Robbins Barstow and his wife Meg, of Wethersfield, Connecticut, USA, made a six-week trip around the world. Places visited include Hawaii, Austrailia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, India, and London, England." Archive.org
Watch: via A/V Geeks (Archive.org)
"A compilation film documenting the many Augustas--streets, storefronts and cities from Montana to Maine--that Scott Nixon encountered as a traveling salesman based in Augusta, GA." Moving Image Research Collection, University of South Carolina
"John R. Kibar has taken the subject of recording the hues of a fall countryside and has lifted it above the familiar medley of garish color. With an interesting variety of viewpoints and an artist's eye for compositions, he has achieved the flowing, rhythmic mood of nature in her most popular season for color filmers. Particularly in shots of trees reflected in streams and the sprightly dancing of golden leaves in the wind has Mr. Kibar surpassed the usual run of nature studies. Autumn Glory is replete with movement, but closeups of a colorful branch of berries or stocks of thistle against the sky serve as punctuation for the longer sequences. A human touch is added by including an artist in occasional shots, as he sketches the scenes shown in the major part of the film." Movie Makers, Dec. 1946, 486.
Watch: Via Chicago Film Archives
"Travel through the Balkans." UC San Diego Library.
Watch: via UC San Diego Library
"Scenes from general life in Barbados." UC San Diego Library.
Watch: via UC San Diego Library
"An amateur film made by and starring the husband and wife duo, John & Evelyn Kibar. Title cards with dialogue are dispersed throughout the film." Chicago Film Archives
"Produced several years before the historic Stonewall uprising for LGBT rights in 1969, director Nikolai Ursin's gently-activist short Behind Every Good Man (c. 1967) provides an illuminating glimpse into the life of an African-American trans woman. In strong contrast to the stereotypically negative and hostile depictions of transgender persons as seen through the lens of Hollywood at the time, the subject of Ursin's independent film is rendered as stable, hopeful and well-adjusted. The resulting intimate portrait serves as a rare cultural artifact of transgender life and African-American life in the U.S. at the mid-century," UCLA Film & Television Archive.
Watch: UCLA FTVA on Archive.org
"A silent documentary that follows a group from Central Cinematographers as they view, discuss and shoot films. The process of filmmking becomes transparent as the actors are seen alongside the equipment that lights and films them as well as the large number of people that are needed to prepare for a scene." Chicago Film Archives
"An experimental film about a boy owning a bicycle and learning the proper safety rules on the road." Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research
Watch: Via archive.org
"A short mystery film from members of the Amateur Cinema League. A group of relatives gather in a haunted house for the reading of a will. Someone among them knows a secret about the house, and uses stories about the Black Widow to try and scare everyone away. In the end, their identity is revealed and all the secrets come to light. Title cards narrate the dialogue." Chicago Film Archives.
Watch: via Chicago Film Archives
"Handsome and hard hitting, Bold Badmen is a Western filmed as Westerns should be filmed — without romance, without singing, but with plenty of shooting, plenty of horsemanship and plenty of very tough looking and acting characters. Casimer V. Zaleski knows that movement makes a movie. Bold Badmen is crammed with both kinds — physical and cinematic. Unfortunately, the physical condition of the film (which was inexcusably scratched and dirty) did much to restrain the enthusiasm of the judges for a melodrama of real power." Movie Makers, Dec. 1949, 468-469.
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