Reel in the Closet 2015
Distributed by The Clowder Group, 32TEN Studios, 3210 Kerner Blvd,San Rafael, CA 94901
Produced by Joseph Applebaum
Directed by Stu Maddux
Streaming, 70 mins
Date Entered: 06/22/2021Reviewed by Johnnie N. Gray, Technology Services Librarian, Christopher Newport University
This documentary focuses on preserving older home movies and archival footage that has been donated to various organizations and libraries to help fill in a moving picture history of being LGBT in the twentieth century. Some of the footage follows decades of a gay man and his partner as they throw parties and go on vacation. Still more footage was salvaged from a news reporter that consisted of unedited coverage of pride parades and protests. The home movies in particular show a rare side of gay life, which is, life at home. An important point is made when it is stated that the majority of the footage is from white males because they had the income to buy camera equipment, which could be quite expensive.
The documentary only briefly covers aspects of the digitization process and does not touch on conservation. Filmed well and covering an interesting topic, it fails to go in depth with the curation of all the various found media. It would have made for a more interesting viewing experience if it did show more of the technical side. Recommended for general viewing or anyone interested in the preservation of LGBTQ history.
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