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Past Event Special Screening: Amateur Night: Home Movies from American Archives (2010)


David H. Jarret’s Butt Shakers (1961)

84 minutes, sound, 35mm ~ Directed by Dwight Swanson.

Produced by the Center for Home Movies with support from the National Film Preservation Foundation, the Louis B. Mayer Foundation, and Cineric, Inc.

Dramatic, funny, poignant and even strange, Amateur Night presents 16 amateur films from the collections of American film archives. Piecing together family moments, historical scenes, animation, drama, comic routines and travelogues dating from 1915 to 2005, this groundbreaking compilation demonstrates the eclectic array of entertainment, innovation and enlightenment found in home movies. Featuring films by average Joes alongside notables like Alfred Hitchcock, Richard Nixon, animator Helen Hill and Smokey Bear, Amateur Night adds to the images archival audio, commentaries from family members, and newly-recorded music, including an original score for the dazzling short Our Day by Rachel Grimes, formerly of the band Rachel’s. Of Pittsburgh interest is footage of a Hill District family’s house party from 1961. Blown-up from the original reels to 35mm, Amateur Night is a feature length big screen journey into the eclectic past of small-gauge filmmaking.

The film includes:
Welcome San Francisco Movie Makers [excerpt] (1960) by Dr. Frank S. Zach
Butt Shakers [excerpt] (1961) by David H. Jarret
Alfred Hitchcock home movies (1930) by Alfred Hitchcock
Baby Squirrel and Chicago Bus Ride (1927-28) by Stuart Dimond
Day on the Featherlane Farm: Meet the Neighbors (1948) by Mortimer Goldman
Naushon Sheep Drive (1915) by Alexander Forbes
Heart Mountain Relocation Center [excerpt] (1945) by Naokichi Hashizume
Last Great Gathering of the Sioux Nation (1934) by Arthur P. Howe
Innsbruck [excerpt] (1953) by Morris Margolin
Atom Bomb [excerpt] (1953) by Louis C. Harris
Fairy Princess (1955) by Margaret Conneely
The Coker Avenue Gang (1930) by C.C. Minnich
Smokey Bear home movies [excerpt] (1950) by Homer C. Pickens
Nixon Visits Idaho Falls [excerpt] (1971) by Nixon White House Staff
Lower 9th Ward (2005) by Helen Hill
Our Day (1938) by Wallace Kelly

35mm film print courtesy The Center for Home Movies and Cineric

Archivist/Director Dwight Swanson will be at the event in person.

Related Links

Amateur Night Official Site


Fifteen Minutes Eternal