Martor No. 20 / Year 2015
Author: Melinda Blos-Jáni
About the author:
Lecturer at the Department of Film, Photography and Media, Sapientia University, Cluj-Napoca
E-mail: blosmelinda at gmail dot com
Keywords: home movie, childhood, direct address, corporeality, immediacy, performance, mediality, intermediality, figuration
Ever since the emergence of the first technologies destined for amateur filmmakers, the most frequently recorded portraits in home movies have been children’s. This article analyses the characteristics of children’s portraiture in home movies, with special attention to their on-camera performance. Home movies can be seen as records of children’s bodily interaction with the filmic apparatus and, at the same time, with the media literacy of their filmmaker-parents. The everyday scenes of children performing awareness or non-awareness in front of the camera are dissected in this paper from a media-historical point of view: the analysis of a Transylvanian home movie collection is embedded in a discourse on media practices, on mediality and on processes that transform everyday reality into a corporeal image. The idiosyncrasies of the first Transylvanian home movies are incorporated in a discussion about early 20th century visual culture, in the context of which childhood gets to be constructed as an amateur moving image.
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