I LOVE home movies, especially Super8mm format. The bright flash attachment that blinds all who look towards the camera. The joyous repetition: my dad shot hours and hours of footage of us kids sledding down hills, jumping into lakes, riding up and down paths, and all holiday traditions (look at me, I’m a devil!). One home movie of Christmas morning starts out with a shot of my little blond sister’s birds-nest bed-head of hair, as she heads towards the pile of presents under the tree awaiting to be devoured. It’s brilliant!
Everyday life is an EVENT. I love how analog the whole process is, from the setting up the movie screen to the gathering the whole family around to watch, to the last frame as it gallops through the projector. This episode of This American Life is a classic and a riot and must-hear podcast for anyone who has relatives and/or a sense of humor.
If you’re not familiar with This American Life, it’s just about the best thing in America, if not the world. Hard to describe, as they admit themselves:
One of our problems from the start has been that when we try to describe This American Life in a sentence or two, it just sounds awful. For instance: each week we choose a theme and put together different kinds of stories on that theme. That doesn’t sound like something we’d want to listen to on the radio, and it’s our show.
So usually we just say what we’re not. We’re not a news show or a talk show or a call-in show. We’re not really formatted like other radio shows at all. Instead, we do these stories that are like movies for radio. There are people in dramatic situations. Things happen to them. There are funny moments and emotional moments and—hopefully—moments where the people in the story say interesting, surprising things about it all. It has to be surprising. It has to be fun.