You’ve seen them before — a sentimental moment where a character watches an old home movie of their loved ones. There’s something strikingly artificial about them. More often than not, these films within films don’t look professional, as the film stock is often grainy, and the camera is usually handheld. As such, home movies are meant to look as if an amateur made them, even though they feature professional actors.
And like films themselves, the home movie has come a long way — while home movies were once shot on film, they’ve since been made on camcorders and finally, on the modern mobile phone. This video essay examines the phenomenon of home movies within actual movies. Sit back, relax, and let the memories roll.
Before you go watch your old home movies, don’t forget to watch Fandor’s latest editorials, like Women in Film: Brie Larson, The Quiet Horror of “Innocence,” and Michelangelo Antonioni and the Space Between.