It's Your Story!
A genre that is often under-appreciated, overlooked, and thus under greater threat, home and amateur movies tell personal stories that simultaneously capture a shared social past. The selection below features familiar “ingredients”, like newborns and newlyweds, alongside shots of bombed-out houses, community cine club achievements, and short trick films; a beautiful showcase of the art of the amateur.
Early 1930s compilation captures Barbara’s first steps and tricycle rides, as well as interactions with relatives and the outside world. A touching glimpse of pre-war family life.
Barbara I domestic scenes
No home movie collection would be complete without a trip to the Zoo. How about Whipsnade in the 1960s? The tongue-in-cheek credits inform us that apart from the animals, the cast includes “er.. the wife?”
A cheerful amateur film made by the Brandon Estate Cine Club of the local residents’ annual summer day trip to Canvey Island. Watch out for the vertigo-inducing roller coaster POV shot!
Sun - Fun - Canvey
A light-hearted and romantic film of the wartime wedding and reception of Charles Holmes to Edith Frances Burgess in Kingsbury. The formal uniform of the wedding guests stands in contrast to their convivial behaviour – there’s plenty of laughter and a healthy dose of kisses, too.
Wedding of Frances Burgess and Charles Holmes at St Andrew's Church, Kingsbury, 8 July 1944
Adding a little bit of magic! Comic short by a prolific amateur London film-maker featuring a young witch and her attempts to pass an examination in spellcraft. A wonderful trick film.
A rare find amongst home movies, in which the universally-recognised footage of the new baby, pets and back garden activities is preceded by shots of WW2 bomb damage.
Bruce Robertson collection: Bruce Robertson Reel 1, Mitcham (1944-1947)