Family Album, The
- Alan Berliner |
- 1986 |
- 60 minutes |
- B&W |
Rental Format(s): 16mm
THE FAMILY ALBUM is a one-hour experimental documentary film utilizing a vast collection of rare 16mm home movies from the 1920's through the 1950's. These home movies are exciting, authentic documents of American folk history and culture, taken from the personal vantage point of the amateur photographic eye. Subjects span the entire spectrum of the traditional home movie idiom, including mixed racial, ethnic, economic, and geographic sources.
The soundtrack for THE FAMILY ALBUM is composed of many oral history interviews, and a wide and electric variety of family audio recordings including birthday parties, weddings anniversaries, funerals, audio letters, music lessons... arguments in the kitchen.
Structured from birth to death, THE FAMILY ALBUM is a collage film that weaves its elements into a composite lifetime, passing through the celebration and struggles from childhood to adulthood, from innocence to experience. It is a universal yet intimate portrait of American family life, not scripted, not rehearsed, not immune to conflicts and contradictions underlying family life and its rituals.
"exerts a cumulative a considerable behavioral fascination."
-- J. Hoberman, Village Voice
"...a moving and universal celebration, a family album that provokes a warm shock of recognition."
-- Howard Aaron, Northwest Film and Video Center
"...the disjunction between soundtrack and image curiously heightens the reality and surreality of the home movie as a private dream.
-- John Hanhardt, Whitney Museum of American Art.
... Most of not all of the adults in the films are surely dead by now, forgotten, often almost unknown, yet visible in a flickering facsimile of life, waving and speaking to us from beyond this life in a kind of anonymous immortality."
-- Ted Mahar, Oregonian, July 4, 1987