Oct 18, 2008

Happy Home Movie Day, Jack Dempsey

Now that Home Movie Day (Internationale) occurs near the date UNESCO recently established as the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage (October 27), the HMD movement is appropriately global in scope. Many of us are attending Home Movie Day events today, October 18, including we New Yorkers heading out to Anthology Film Archives' Maya Deren Theater (just a few dozen blocks down the East Side from the United Nations building).

At HomeMovieDay.com one reads that HMD is now established in sites such as Amsterdam, Buenos Aires, Berlin, London, Columbia [SC], Mexico City, Slovenia [!], Toronto, Milan, eleven locations in Japan, and Gerringong, Australia. The local events always have at least a few revelations, and sometimes major ones -- such as the discovery of Wallace Kelly's films (ca. 1929-50) and his masterpiece OUR DAY (1938). Shot in the town of Lebanon, Kentucky, the entertaining short 16mm film leapt onto the National Film Registry a few months after its appearance at Anthology. (With preservation and 35mm blow-up done by Colorlab.)

By the way, you can see the whole 16 minutes of OUR DAY online now, thanks to Martha Kelly and KET in Louisville. There's also a podcast of a TV segment about Wallace Kelly.

Here's to more amateur film discoveries and rediscoveries around the world this week. Thanks to the Center for Home Movies, with which the Orphan Film Symposium proudly associates.

By the way, did you know that Italy has a national preservation and archiving project that goes by the name Associazione Home Movies? (HomeMovies.it)

Or, did you know that in 1927, one could buy 16mm recordings of the Gene Tunney - Jack Dempsey heavyweight title fight, only 18 hours after the bout ended? It's true.