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Paul Baker/the Gauntlet

Precious family time

Home movies double as found art

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Dust off the old eight millimetre prints because the faculty of communication and culture is inviting families from all across Calgary to raid their trunks and closets to find their own tiny pieces of film art. Home Movie Day is part of a larger global phenomenon created as a celebration of amateur films by local families, one in which Dr. Charles Tepperman, one of the organizers of the event, is especially familiar with.

"I went to the first Home Movie Day in Chicago in 2002 because a friend of mine was organizing it," explains Tepperman. "In Chicago, I helped to organize it for a few years, so I was involved in setting it up there. When I moved here, I thought, 'Hey, there's no Home Movie Day here! We should really have it.' "

Like the found art movement, this isn't as much an orgy of sinister voyeurism as much as an opportunity to see into other people's lives and check out how similar we are when it comes to the most mundane of habits.

"It's fascinating to look at other people's home movies and to see how they celebrated birthday parties, Christmas, summer holidays and rituals that you can compare to your own," Tepperman says. "Home movies are really beautiful. They're really surprising, there's always unexpected things happening. Even though, when you think of these movies, you think of pretty typical kinds of things, one of the fun things about Home Movie Day is that you never know what you're going to get. In addition to lots of interesting variations on the usual topics, we'll also get some things that we couldn't predict at all."

Home Movie Day takes place Sat., Oct. 18 with film inspection at noon and films starting at 2 p.m. in the Memorial Park Library.

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