Amateur Filmmaking - The Home Movie, the Archive, the Web

Author(s): Laura Rascaroli


With the advent of digital filmmaking and critical recognition of the relevance of self expression, first-person narratives, and personal practices of memorialization, interest in the amateur moving image has never been stronger. Bringing together key scholars in the field, and revealing the rich variety of amateur filmmaking-from home movies of Imperial India and film diaries of life in contemporary China, to the work of leading auteurs such as Joseph Morder and Peter Forgacs-Amateur Filmmaking highlights the importance of amateur cinema as a core object of critical interest across an array of disciplines. With contributions on the role of the archive, on YouTube, and on the impact of new technologies on amateur filmmaking, these essays offer the first comprehensive examination of this growing field.


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Offers the first comprehensive survey on amateur filmmaking, from film diaries of life in contemporary China to the work of leading auteurs.

Amateur Filmmaking: The Home Movie, the Archive, the Web reinvigorates the ongoing discussion about domestic filmmaking in the light of recent shifts in technologies, socio-economic circumstances and ideas of personal space. With the rise of a new wave of practitioners and pro-sumers utilising digital technology and a new generation of intellectuals, this collection dynamises the home movie discourse, with the web mobilising the archive, articulating an intriguing relationship between current scholarship on personal filmmaking and this most quotidian and intimate form. -- Deane Williams, Associate Professor of Film and Television Studies, Monash University, Australia, and editor of the journal Studies in Documentary Film Hats off to Laura Rascaroli, Gwenda Young, and Barry Monahan for assembling fascinating highlights from their ground-breaking 2010 conference on amateur film, Saving Private Reels. Amateur Film: The Home Movie, the Archive, the Web features 23 essays that explore the diversity of the 'home movie' which span nations, genres, eras, aesthetics, and critical frames. This collection includes studies of some unlikely film figures like Errol Morris as well as largely unknown auteurs; it maps diverse visions of the past and future by examining pioneering 16mm and 8mm amateur films from Ireland, England, India, and China, to name a few; new archival practices; the latest YouTube viral videos as well as multiplatform experiments for Web 2.0. Writers are diverse in their origins, interest areas, and intellectual approaches. Some highlights include Richard Kilborn and Ruth Balint each writing on Hungarian archivist-filmmaker Peter Forgacs and Dominique Bluher on the prolific French filmmaker Joseph Morder. This collection leaves one hungry for more. As Marker might have asked, 'Will there be another collection?!' -- Deirdre Boyle, Associate Professor, The School of Media Studies, The New School, USA This volume, adding to the already rich field of amateur and home movie studies, takes the inquiry even deeper, proving once and for all that we as scholars, students, filmmakers, historians, and more, must take the amateur and home movie as a serious object of inquiry. With its far reaching, interdisciplinary, international approach, Amateur Filmmaking is a thoroughly engaging, readable, and invaluable resource. -- Alisa Lebow, Reader in Film Studies, University of Sussex, UK

Laura Rascaroli is Toyota Lecturer in Film and Media Studies at University College Cork, Ireland. She lectures on Italian film and television in the Department of Italian and on European cinema in the School of Languages and Literature. She is co-Chair of the Board of Film Studies and coordinates the MA in Film Studies. Gwenda Young is Lecturer in Film Studies at University College Cork, Ireland. Her work has appeared in a variety of national and international journals, including Sight and Sound; Popular Culture Review; Film/Film Culture; Film Ireland; Journal of Irish Association for American Studies. She has also contributed to radio programmes on the national broadcaster, Radio Telefis Eireann, and local radio. Barry Monahan is Lecturer in Film Studies at University College, Cork, Ireland. He has written on, and researched, the relationship between the Abbey Theatre and cinema from the beginning of the sound period until the 1960s, something he explores in his monograph Ireland's Theatre on Film: Style, Stories and the National Stage on Screen (2009).

Contributors Laura Rascaroli, Gwenda Young, Barry Monahan: Introduction. Amateur Filmmaking: New Developments and Directions SECTION ONE: REFRAMING THE HOME MOVIE 1. Roger Odin: The Home Movie and Space of Communication 2. Liz Czach: Home Movies and Amateur Film as National Cinema 3. Maija Howe: The Photographic Hangover: Reconsidering the Aesthetics of the Postwar 8mm Home Movie 4. Mark Neumann: Amateur Film, Automobility and the Cinematic Aesthetics of Leisure SECTION TWO: PRIVATE REELS, HISTORIOGRAPHICAL CONCERNS 5. Heather Norris Nicholson: Cinemas of Catastrophe and Continuity: Mapping Out Twentieth-Century Amateur Practices of Intentional History-Making in Northern England 6. Gwenda Young: Glimpses of a Hidden History: Exploring Irish Amateur Collections, 1930-1970 7. Annamaria Motrescu-Mayes: Uncensored British Imperial Politics in Late Colonial Home Movies: Memsahibs, Indian Bearers and Chinese Communist Insurgents 8. Karen Lury: The Amateur Film: From Artifact to Anecdote 9. Janna Jones: Starring Sally Peshlakai: Rewriting the Script for Tad Nichols's 1939 Navajo Rug Weaving SECTION THREE: NONFICTIONAL RECONTEXTUALISATIONS 10. Efren Cuevas: Change of Scale: Home Movies as Microhistory in Documentary Films 11. Barry Monahan: Creating Historiography: Alan Gilsenan's Formal Reframing of Amateur Archival Footage in Home Movie Nights 12. Stefano Odorico: "That Would Be Wrong": Errol Morris and His Use of Home Movies (As Metalanguages) in Feature Documentaries SECTION FOUR: AMATEUR AUTEUR 13. Richard Kilborn: "I am a Time Archaeologist": Some Reflections on the Filmmaking Practice of Peter Forgacs 14. Ruth Balint: Representing the Past and the Meaning of Home in Peter Forgacs's Private Hungary 15. Dominique Bluher: Necessity Is the Mother of Invention, or Morder's Amateur Toolkit 16. Dominique Bluher: Joseph Morder, the "Filmateur": An Interview with Joseph Morder 17. Laura Rascaroli: Working at Home: Tarnation, Amateur Authorship, and Self-inscription in the Digital Age SECTION FIVE: NEW DIRECTIONS: THE DIGITAL AGE 18. Susan Aasman: Saving Private Reels: Archival Practices and Digital Memories (Formerly Known as Home Movies) in the Digital Age 19. Patricia R. Zimmerman: The Home Movie Archive Live 20. Tianqi Yu: An Inward Gaze at Home: Amateur First Person DV Documentary Filmmaking in Twenty-First Century China 21. Lauren S. Berliner: Shooting for Profit: The Monetary Logic of the YouTube Home Movie 22. Abigail Keating: Home Movies in the Age of Web 2.0: The Case of "Star Wars Kid" 23. Max Schleser: Towards Mobile Filmmaking 2.0: Amateur Filmmaking as an Alternative Cultural Practice Bibliography Further Resources Index

General Fields

  • : 9781441191496
  • : Continuum Publishing Corporation
  • : Continuum Publishing Corporation
  • : March 2014
  • : April 2014
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 392
  • : Laura Rascaroli
  • : Paperback