Amateur Movie Making

Amateur Movie Making

Aesthetics of the Everyday in New England Film, 1915-1960

Moving image works discussed in the anthology may be viewed here, organized by essay. To play, click on video’s center arrow. To make the video full screen, click on the four arrows in the lower right. All the works are silent, except for 5.1 Tea Party. Copies of most of the films are available in other forms for reuse and exhibition. If you are interested in a title, please contact


0.1 Esso Station

0.2 Clytie Holiday House

Part 1: Locating Contexts: Archive, Material, History, Place

1. A Place for Moving Images: Thirty Years of Northeast Historic Film / Karan Sheldon

1.1 Just Fences

1.2 Heron Island

2. The Technologies of Home Movies and Amateur Film / Dino Everett

3. A Region Apart: Representations of Maine and Northern New England in Personal Film, 1920–1940 / Libby Bischof

3.1 Cherryfield, Maine

3.2 Field of Blue

4. A Strange Familiarity: Alexander Forbes and the Aesthetics of Amateur Film / Justin Wolff

4.1 Naushon Island

4.2 Girls Dancing

Part 2: Creative Choices: Recovering Value in Amateur Film

Reflection 1. The Task at Hand: The Films of Ernest Stillman / Whit Stillman

PR1.1 Fishing for the Sacred Cod

PR1.2 Building Berry Cliff

5. Midway between Secular and Sacred: Consecrating the Home Movie as a Cultural Heritage Object / Karen F. Gracy

5.1 Tea Party

5.2 Billy Sterling

6. “All the Wonderful Possibilities of Motion Pictures”: Hiram Percy Maxim and the Aesthetics of Amateur Filmmaking / Charles Tepperman

6.1 The Sea

6.2 Scarf Dance

7. Comedic Counterpoise: Landscape and Laughs in the Films of Sidney N. Shurcliff / Martha J. McNamara

7.1 The Rise and Fall of Susan Lennox

7.2 Why do Oysters Perspire?

Part 3: Everyday Lives: Home and Work in Amateur Film

Reflection 2. Perspectives on the Home Movies of Charles Norman Shay, Penobscot Elder / Jennifer Neptune

PR2.1 Indian Island, Maine

PR2.2 Colorado Picnic

8. Not-at-Home Movies / Christopher Castiglia and Christopher Reed

8.1 New York Worlds Fair

8.2 Hunting

9. The Boss’s Film: Expert Amateurs and Industrial Culture / Brian R. Jacobson

9.1 Factory Gate

9.2 Galbraith and Dennison

Part 4: Families: Private and Public

Reflection 3. “The Ring of Time” in the E. B. White Home Movies / Martha White

PR3.1 Boy Reading

PR3.2 Brooklin, Maine

10. Opening the Can: Home Movies in the Public Sphere / Melissa Dollman

10.1 Hunting Trip

11. Layers of Vision in Amateur Film / Mark Neumann and Janna Jones

11.1 Paris, Maine

11.2 The Deerslayers