Tuesday, March 01, 2011

A history of our own

Last night I was invited to attend the screening of a whole bunch of old 8mm home movies shot by my grandfather and grandmother of their family at various stages of their lives. It was an amazing opportunity to see what my father and his family were like, growing up, as teens, getting married etc. And it was AWESOME! And freaky at the same time...

It's hard to imagine that the people you've only ever known of as adults were once children and teens. I'd seen photos of them, but it's somehow difficult to imagine those still images of someone that you don't recognise as being of real people or even as the 'little' versions of the people you know now. One of the things that really struck me was seeing my father as a child, playing around on a beach. He looked just like in the photos, but he was alive, running around and obviously having a good time. And that kid, was my dad!

I realise how silly it sounds, but it's a difficult experience to put into words.

The other amazing thing was seeing how people's behaviour doesn't change over time! So many of the mannerisms of my fathers family in the films, as little kids, persist to this day! Small things like their posture or how they held their arms are identical and unchanged!

The other thing that I found very interesting was seeing how much my cousin looked like his father when they were both young! He and I were the only ones that agreed on this, but just because nobody else thinks so, doesn't make it not true!

Oh, and a lesson to all would-be home movie makers: When on holiday, don't bother filming the surroundings. In 50 years, nobody will care! Film the people! That's what we all want to see!

Some pictures from the night:

The 'cinema' complete with rows of seats and a screen! I'm not sure why my cousin looks so unimpressed...

Deciphering 50+ year old labels with obscure titles like 'Number 2'

A shot from the footage of my parent's wedding. Unfotunately phone camera's don't cope well with capturing the flickering images off 8mm film. You can just make out the shapes of some people in this one

Repairing the projector. This happened several times throughout the evening. Amazingly enough, none of the film burned out! I was under the impression that the 'burnout' was a common feature of screening such as this, and yet, not so much as a puff of smoke all evening! Our projectionist must have been a reel pro...(pun intended  )


Spear The Almighty said...

This is awesome. I have very little of my parents when they were young. I would give anything to see a video or something from those days with them in it!

Candice said...

He he... Sarah told me about the scenery footage! Somehow this all reminded me of our McGyver evening, with my sheet as the projector screen! :)