Amateur film and the rural imagination
in Cinematic countrysides
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This chapter focuses on a few of the amateur films made in New England, a tiny fragment of the thousands of reels that survive in archives and attics throughout the United States and abroad. By examining a few of the amateur films, it also focuses on how the presence of the movie camera in various rural settings enabled people to both document and dramatise rural existence. In Maxim's hands, the amateur movie camera could enchant the rural as a place of magic, but it also showed how that enchantment was a property of a class. The chapter discusses four films, which offer a curious glimpse at how the rural appears as an imaginary site, a cinematic space where depictions of rural life are a product of the filmmakers' relationship to their subjects. The films are Snow White, Time Marches On, Movie Queen and Miss Olympia.

Editor: Robert Fish


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