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Lost in Light is a videoblog about small gauge filmmaking featuring weekly posts of home movies, work by artists, articles by preservationists and film scholars, video tutorials and other film gems.

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Marking the first year

click image to view in Flash | Quicktime | MPEG-2

In this film full of delicious looking food, our contributor Ashima turns one year old. She tells us more:

My 1st year birthday party (1969) in Albany Village which is student housing in Berkeley, CA. My father was working on his PhD at UC-Berkeley (Industrial Engineering).

This was a typical Indian gathering, outside and with lots of food. Mama made a lot of the Indian food, but she got the cake and sandwiches catered. There were probably 30+ people in attendance.

There is a man holding me whose name is Russ. He was friends with my Leo Uncle. Leo and Ruth were two individuals who became like my Papa and Mama’s second parents in the US. We always had Easter and Thanksgiving with them when we lived in CA.

Anyway, Mama is wearing a sari that Papa gave her as a wedding gift. She still owns it! The two older girls are Raman (who lives in Detroit now) and Sunaina (not sure where she is now). Then, the other two babies I’m sitting with her friends I used to play with a lot. Mama couldn’t remember their names. The blue outfit I am wearing was sent to my Mama by her Mama. Ruth Auntie and my mama found the tights at a dime store called Kresge.

Interestingly, the Kresge dime store was the forerunner to the modern Kmart. Here are some fantastic recordings of the in-store background music to truly put you back in the 1960s Kresge experience. Read more about the history of the Kresge and Kmart stores here. And the Kresge Foundation website is here.

Click “MPEG-2” above for a high resolution version of this film and more from Ashima at the Internet Archive.

Fairyland

click image to view in Flash | Quicktime | MPEG-2

This week, a charming tour of one of my favorite childhood haunts in the Bay Area, Children’s Fairyland. Located near Lake Merritt in Oakland, California, this theme park based on children’s literature is still very much alive, and not much changed from what we see in this film, submitted by Ashima here in Grand Rapids.

Ashima has a few words to add:

Must be 1968 and my Papa is holding me in the beginning. Papa was always wanting to use his camera to take pictures and video of me. Mama said that they had planned to send them to India, but never did.

Here’s another great set of photos from this unique place. A fun YouTube home movie that takes us down the rabbit hole in the Alice in Wonderland section. Here‘s a current bird’s eye view of the park, and an aerial view from Google maps.

Click the MPEG-2 link above for a high resolution version of this home movie on the Internet Archive.