Home movies are important
1. Personal expression, not corporate expression.
2. Small-gauge cameras were almost everywhere and witnessed almost everything.
3. Cameras, extensions of hands and eyes, made fluid and often intimate records of daily life.
4. They often provide surprising and hitherto-unseen records of historically significant events.
5. They’re records of quotidian events that often escaped recording otherwise.
6. They document everyday rituals, ceremonies, and behavior; commonalities, but even more important, divergences.
7. Their ubiquity and sheer number (many millions) render them indistinguishable from the world they record.
8. No conventional film can ever be as unpredictable or violate received logic as much as a home movie.
9. Almost every one is a unique, unduplicated record of an unrepeatable moment. (Most exist as single copies.)
10. They present stories without the excessive narrativization plaguing feature films and current documentaries.
11. You think you’ve seen them before you start the projector, and afterwards you realize you really haven’t.
12. I can think of no other type of record I’d like to preserve en masse in a very cold and dry Moon-based vault.
13. Body language, lost landscapes, love & work, nature/culture, human/animal; all central themes are present.
14. Gestures at once banal and eloquent, puzzles of the obvious.
15. Movement and unpredictability plus Kodachrome are dinner, drink, and dessert all at once.
16. Easy to riff and describe, but enigmatic beyond description.
17. Archival films that leap over the class barriers that often limit the propagation of history.
18. They so eloquently show us what to celebrate and what we must put behind us, which are often the same.
19. They engender empathy for actual people rather than invented characters.
20. The introduction of cheaper 8mm film in 1933 enabled many working-class families to record their lives.
21. Showing and reusing them today invests audiences with the feeling that their lives are also worth recording.
22. Unwitting tools capable of linking past and future.
Tweeted one by one the evening of July 5, 2012; slightly edited July 6, 2012.