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Cinéma Vérité 

Wednesday, Aug 8 2007
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Watching old home movies is a bittersweet experience — one moment you're in stitches at some forgotten fashion faux pas and the next you're stunned into silence by a long-gone relative strolling across the screen. It's a whole different deal when the flicks are from somebody else's family, and that's the beauty of Home Movie Day, an annual international celebration of the quirky art, history, and behavior captured by amateur filmmakers over the years. The accumulated imagery of ordinary Americans is often the subject of jest and derision, but it's a valuable adjunct to the official record of newsreels and news footage, and it deserves to be preserved. So the heart of Home Movie Day is given over to inspecting, cleaning, and projecting films rescued from basements and garages. (Be sure to RSVP at archive@sfm.org, and bring a hanky, if you want to drop by with a few reels.) The evening brings a curated, two-hour program of vintage San Francisco celluloid that's likely to make you nostalgic for an era you didn't live through. An improvised screening and reception follows, concluding the festivities and sending movie buffs home inspired to document their little corner of society.

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Michael Fox

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