Wednesday, June 25, 2003
Once in a thrift store I bought one of those things used to edit home movies that was probably made in the 40's. It consisted of a wooden slab, two holders for film reels, and an aluminum piece used to hold the film for splicing. Inside a compartment where the splices were done were many scraps of black and white and color 16mm film. I dumped them out and began holding the pieces up to the light one at a time. The scraps were mostly only half a frame and consisted of things like people at the beach, babies, grandparents, houses, dogs, horses, an African safari, cars, etc. The typical home movie stuff of an upper-class American family in the 40's-60's. But about a quarter of the scraps were from old black and white porno movies. The pornographic material was more than likely stuff bought under the counter rather than homemade, but mixed in with the other material, the fragments told a narrative about this family as detailed and varied as a novel.