Saturday, August 14, 2010


My sister sent me a box several years ago. It contained an old 8 mm camera and a projector along with another box of home movies. This was the camera and projector that my father used to shoot home movies of our family. The 8mm films were our home movies.I talked with my sister about maybe tranferring them to digital format. When I checked, the projector was broken and the films were fragile and damaged. The whole lot sat around until this summer. Since June, I have been repairing and splicing the films and repairing (rebuilding) the projector. I have roughly transferred clips some of the films just to check the quality.
Today I wait for a bulb, fuses and belts for the projetor. Later this month I should have the film restored.


I am clearing out my studio this summer. Making space for new projects. I came across this bin of old film from the 1960's and 70's. MY OWN FILMS!
I shot a dance film with Lamama trained actors in 1969 from which I saved out takes.  I shot a noir-ish black and white in Marblehead in 1970 which I never finished. I made a  one minute Western in 1973. I made a film for a sculptor in 1975. That film,(The Kinetic Sculpture of Franz Denghausen) is in the Library of Congress. Several others were shown in the early 70's at open screenings at MIT.
I am excited to find this stuff and somewhat puzzled. I wonder now why I put them all away. Maybe it was a sudden decision to move onto other things or maybe I had to make room for some project.
This rediscovery coincides with a fateful bit of coincidence.  In June, an old friend  gave me an old Bolex that he had uncovered clearing out HIS studio. It needed repair and I am shooting test rolls now. I have much more to say about this 16mm re-birth. It triggers something deep and natural in me that I had forgotten about. The anxious pleasure of exposing film is something akin to riding a bicycle in that you give over  and relinquish a degree of control in return for the excitement.