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Stories from the cabinet

Flirting with the camera shyly, shifting one’s weight clumsily from one foot to another, a girl who is sunbathing on a neighbouring towel in a mere second long shot, and an overloaded Zastava 101 car, taking a family to Lignano on a hot Sunday in July 1976. Small 8mm and Super8mm reels reveal short and mainly transient, but definitely intimate, scenes of domestic life. Small gauge cameras were reasonably priced and very handy devices, which were used (mostly) by fathers to document their children growing up, travels and family rituals, by which film as a medium entered private family life. The predecessors of later video and digital cameras and today’s smart phones for the first time in history documented the aging of a particular generation in the form of moving images, thus consolidating the practice of continuous film recording of daily routines.
Impressions from our parents’ youth which have been preserved on celluloid film stock usually lie forgotten around the corners of attics ever since the family analogue film projector has ceased to work. The later generations now usually let 8mm reels remain forgotten or, in the belief that they will never get a chance to watch their films again, throw them away together with clutter from the attic. As a response to the very weak representation of home movies within the history of Slovene film making, Slovenska kinoteka initiated the project Stories from the Cabinet, which aims at the revival of home movies. When home movies enter the collection of Slovenska kinoteka, they are immediately placed into climate-controlled vaults in order to secure their long-term maintenance, while the owners of film reels receive their digital variants in exchange.
FeKK welcomes this archival initiative and joins the project by including home movies into the crevices of this year’s programme. Rediscovered and digitized 8mm film reels will be presented on the big screen as a particular form of short film with its own rhetoric – that which uncovers distinct intimacy and unpredictability. Re-edited fragments of home movies will be screened before several film programmes and shown as integral wholes which you wouldn’t want to miss. Let yourself be astonished by the jewels from the treasuries of others’ family memories!

Nadja Šičarov