Amateur Movie Making

Aesthetics of the Everyday in New England Film, 1915–1960

Edited by Martha J. McNamara and Karan Sheldon

Foreword by Alice T. Friedman

Contributions by Dino Everett, Libby Bischof, Justin Wolff, Whit Stillman, Karen Gracy, Charles Tepperman, Jennifer Neptune, Christopher Reed, Christopher Castiglia, Brian Jacobson, Martha White, Melissa Dollman and Janna Jones

Published by: Indiana University Press

304 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in, 64 b&w illus.

  • Paperback
  • 9780253026163
  • Published: May 2017


  • Hardcover
  • 9780253025623
  • Published: May 2017


  • eBook
  • 9780253026446
  • Published: May 2017


A compelling regional and historical study that transforms our understanding of film history, Amateur Movie Making demonstrates how amateur films and home movies stand as testaments to the creative lives of ordinary people, enriching our experience of art and the everyday. Here we encounter the lyrical and visually expressive qualities of films produced in New England between 1915 and 1960 and held in the collections of Northeast Historic Film, a moving image repository and study center that was established to collect, preserve, and interpret the audiovisual record of northern New England. Contributors from diverse backgrounds examine the visual aesthetics of these films while placing them in their social, political, and historical contexts. Each discussion is enhanced by technical notes and the analyses are also juxtaposed with personal reflections by artists who have close connections to particular amateur filmmakers. These reflections reanimate the original private contexts of the home movies before they were recast as objects of study and artifacts of public history.