The Family Album

    • Alan Berliner
    • United States
    • 1986
    • 61 min
    • Retrospective: Alan Berliner
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    The Family Album is an experimental documentary compiled from 16mm home movies from the years 1920 to 1950. These family documents provide an exciting glimpse into daily life in America in the first half of the 20th century. The film looks like a collage that begins with birth and ends with death. All the important family moments file past, including weddings, Christmas, birthdays and holidays. The footage comes from families from all social strata, but the images are so characteristic and so recognisable as family scenes that it feels as if they depict a single family. The soundtrack reinforces this idea. Sound fragments from conversations at the kitchen table, parties, and children playing the piano add dimension to the images. Sound and image do not coincide, but complement each other. The people in The Family Album are anonymous and are probably not alive anymore, but it is precisely these amateurish films that can reproduce the time and the culture so perfectly.

    Credits

    • 61 min
    • color / black and white
    • 16mm
    Director
    Alan Berliner
    Production
    Alan Berliner for Experiments in Time, Light & Motion
    Editing
    Alan Berliner
    Screening copy
    Jane Balfour Services

    IDFA history

    2006
    Screened
    Retrospective: Alan Berliner

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    IDFA history