City: Chicago, IL
Event Venue: lobby of the Portage Theater, Chicago, IL
Event time (screening): continuously from 2-6
Event time (inspection): continuously from 1-5
Total Audience: 15 or so
Number of people bringing films: 6.5. (three people/groups who weren’t us or the CFA - two anticipated, one couple not - brought films in. One guy brought in a non-home-movie VHS tape, so he gets a .5. Finally, all three volunteers who ran the event brought in films as well).
Films screened by Gauge:
8mm: 11 or so (all from anticipated film-bringer Neil except for one)
Super 8: 12 or so (many with sound!)
16mm: 6 or so (all brought in by Julian of NCFS and Anne of CFA)
Video: 1.5 (one guy brought in a short VHS tape about the dropping of the atomic bomb, which DID have certain things in common with home movies, but… That’s the .5%)
Volunteers: 3 - Julian Antos & Becca Hall from the Northwest Chicago Film Society and Anne Welles from the Chicago Film Archives
Special events/screenings: none / all of them.
Press (pre-event and post-event):
Not much in the actual press. All film stuff this week seems to’ve been overshadowed by the Chicago International Film Festival. The neighborhood paper published a little something, though. We also wrote a lengthy blog post about Home Movie Day, but we doubt that it did much to attract people; it doesn’t get much traffic: We mostly advertised the event through the program for our weekly “classic film series”, through pre-show announcements at the shows in the film series, and with posters arond the neighborhood.
On this page please describe films screened, making note of any exceptional films or films for future DVD compilations, as well as any films with unusual stories or strong audience reactions.
Films from Julian Antos:
Sadly underlit reel of 8mm found in Julian’s grandfather’s basement. Reel labeled -Girls Wrestling-. Too dark to really see anything, but some of the flashes of movement are very suggestive.
Hilarious 16mm reel of Grandpa Antos eating watermelon forward, then in reverse. Shot by a friend of his who was a successful amateur/industrial filmmaker (Julian Gromer).
16mm footage of Gene Autry rodeo at Soldier Field in Chicago. Then lots of flowers. Then a boat trip. Then shots around Aurora, IL. Waterfalls. Tractors.
Film from the Northwest Chicago Film Society:
8mm reel titled -Talman Girls Funny Formal 1956- - beautiful color. Big party full of people in costume - presumably Talman Bank staff (film was found in the booth at a little screening room that used to be in one of their bank branches, where NCFS used to screen things). Film gets weirder and weirder. There’s a talent show. There are some strange masks. By the end, people are smooching on the floor and the camera work is pretty disjointed.
Films from the mystery couple (wish we had gotten their names!):
Shots of Grandpa Mystery scraping ice off of the water system intakes in the middle of Lake Michigan. He actually lived out there for periods of time, back when the stations were manned at all times. (These little towers waaaay out in the middle of the Lake are pretty iconic. Anyone whose every spent any time on the lake front looking at things in the distance has wondered what they’re like up close).
Films from Mike:
Tons of Super 8 sound from the 1980s! Many shots of Mike blowing out birthday candles that aren’t his (they’re his little sister’s - she’s an opera singer now!) Cute. Also: a trip to Disney World.
Films from Neil:
Many reels of color 8mm. All family footage from the 1940s-1960s.
Lots of small-town parades in Iola, WI. Many children. Some wonderful shots of Neil’s grandparents, who were born in the 1870s! Neil remembers an incredible amount of detail about everyone and everything in the films - his narration was wonderful! His footage also included a very early trip to Disney Land.