September 8, 1994 |
For many years the idea of building a VCR with dual-cassette capability was controversial. Such a machine would make copying a tape extremely simple - too simple, in the eyes of the motion-picture industry, which feared widespread piracy. Now at least one company, Go Video, makes a two-in-one VHS unit, and the rampant copying of cassettes at home has not materialized. Perhaps copies are not so desirable now that top-drawer movies can be bought for less than $20. But now there's a double-cassette VCR with a better wrinkle.
October 13, 2011
GOT A PILE of home movies sitting in a shoe box that you haven't combed through in years? Get motivated this week and the Philadelphia Film Archivists Collective could make your day - and your family into "stars" - at their Home Movie Day screening on Saturday. A spin-off of the Secret Cinema screening series, the Archivists Collective and Home Movie Day abide by the same "if it's not shot on film stock, it's $h*#" code of aesthetic purity. That's to say, they're not interested in showing anything you might have recorded in the home videotape era, which won consumers' hearts from the mid-1980s forward and pretty much destroyed the Kodak-dominated 8 mm and Super 8 mm film business.
November 6, 2010 |
At this very nanosecond, some of the best films in the city, if not on the planet, are screening in the Loew's Philadelphia Hotel ballroom. There, movies left to decay in basements or put out on the street as trash have been restored, images crisp as this morning's cornflakes. On one screen, mischievous toddler John F. Kennedy Jr. tangles with Secret Service agents in Hyannisport, circa 1962. On another, boxer José "Chequi" Torres kisses his radiant bride, Ramona, at their Brooklyn nuptials in 1961.
January 31, 1988 |
Movies in three dimensions long have been dreamed about, but clumsy mechanics and less-than-lifelike visual experience have relegated 3-D to the sideshow of Hollywood gimmickry. Now home video is taking an earnest crack at it. It's no joke. Toshiba has built an actual 3-D home-video camera, which the company promises to have in stores by May. At $2,800, it may not rack up a lot of sales, but it's certain to create a buzz in electronics stores - and that may be the whole idea. It did succeed in attracting crowds of the curious when it was demonstrated to retailers and the press at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month.
October 23, 1998 |
A Letter Without Words is a love letter without equal. The 62-minute film, a profoundly moving collaboration between a filmmaker and the grandmother she never knew, launches the 18th season of the Jewish Film Festival at the Gershman Y on Saturday. In 1981, nearly 30 years after the death of her paternal grandmother, Lisa Lewenz discovered a cache of Ella Arnhold Lewenz's home movies made during the 1920s and 1930s. Ordinarily, this would be of little interest to anyone outside the immediate family.
April 10, 2005 |
Dean H. LeFavor, a beloved family doctor who made house calls in Palmyra in the 1930s, could have been a swell character in a Jimmy Stewart flick. At nearly every jalopy crash and house fire in the borough, LeFavor was the stout, dapper, bespectacled, cigar-smoking fellow, medical bag nearby, tending to the wounded. "Doc," as he was affectionately called, was on the scene when a Model T Ford went into a ditch and had to be pushed back onto the unpaved road by a group of head-scratching men. He was there when a North Carolina plane made an emergency landing in a bumpy field.
October 31, 2003 |
Calling all free-jazz fans. And all folks who recognized and understood the social chaos and racial upheaval of the '60s and '70s. And all people who have a keen eye for the low-budget sci-fi and blaxploitation efforts of the same era. And, finally, all lovers of the wild and wonderful world, or should I say universe, of Sun Ra. The 1974 film Space Is the Place returns to us earthlings this week in digital form. Restored to its original 82-minute length, with extras that include some rarely seen home movies, this film is all but guaranteed to put your brain in orbit.
April 8, 1999 |
In the time that it takes for yesterday's home movies to become tomorrow's historic footage, film decomposes, erasing images key to our culture. Yesterday, the Pew Charitable Trusts announced a $200,000 grant to preserve works at five federal archives, including informal footage of the Duke Ellington Orchestra at play and of Margaret Mead's fieldwork in Bali. "These are the ur- documents of jazz and anthropology," said Marian A. Godfrey, director of Pew's cultural program.
March 12, 2005 |
Everyone has a story. Home Movies, an evening-length piece from Everett Dance Theatre at the Painted Bride Art Center, makes that clear. Through dance, narrative, photographs, music - and, yes, home movies - the company's five cast members deftly tell their often funny, sometimes shocking, life tales. They are entertaining, thought-provoking and fast-moving. Bravell Smith sits behind a scrim lit to look as if he's sitting on the stoop of his childhood home as he talks of how he grew up too fast when his father got sick.
February 18, 1992 |
THE MICROWAVES MOVED Given human nature, it's inevitable that "virtual reality," the new electronics frontier that involves donning sensor-lined gloves and helmets to transport yourself into a computerized environment, will be used for sex. So says M magazine, which predicts that in about 30 years, you'll be able to slip into a lightweight bodysuit lined with tiny tactile detectors, plug your whole sound-sight-touch-telepresence system into...