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Bauer Family Collection | Bowling, Cincinnati, and Southern Vacations

A friend of mine inherited a sizable collection of 8mm home movies. Curious to have them digitized, but not having the spare time, he asked me to sort through and upload these films. They take place between approximately 1959 and 1963 and follow the young family as they vacation in Rock City, celebrate Christmas and Halloween in Cincinnati, and generally take in midcentury America. These films were in wonderful condition and the photographer did a decent job of focusing, although most of Ocean Shark is a closeup of a thumb.

This is probably the most complete collection of films I have to date. While I only have a vague ID on the stars of the films, there are certainly recurring characters and undoubtably a stylistic similarity throughout the years. The Bauers prove that babies were important even when film was expensive to develop. There are six films in here that include Christmas. Of course the focus is on the young children, but there's horseplay with the adults too. The grandfather takes out a toy pistol to shoot down the camera operator. One film, while labelled "Christmas", was certainly misrepresented. It's a beautiful summer day and a picnic is at hand.

MP4 | Webm

The films that quickly became my favorites were those of the UC parades. It seems like Homecoming or something, but modern-day parades up Clifton Avenue are nothing like this. It'd be a miracle if there was a single float! Yet in these videos, beautifully constructed floats with smiling blondes trot down the street with what one could imagine would be jubilent marching band tunes and school cheer. It's really films like these that make the rose-tinted glasses come down. If not for the strangely direct "bash their heads in!" float, I'd have thought this was filmed in some alternative world modeled after the 50's version of Hill Valley in Back to the Future. There's a gorgeous little view of Cincinnati in the first video below right before it cuts out

MP4 | Webm

MP4 | Webm

I invite you to explore these films. There are beautiful shots, even if some are a bit blurry when viewed full screen. Hopefully by the next time I get a big collection of films like this, I will have assembled by telecine. Pop over to my blog to see if I've made any headway. As of this entry I have not! Scanning 8mm makes me look goofy and pointing a projector into a DSLR doesn't change the interlacing issues. One day. One day.

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