This clip (5217) is part of The James Kilgore Film Collection: Four Decades of Innovative Amateur Filmmaking. The collection includes amateur narrative films and home movie footage shot by Nashville resident James Kilgore. Focus on very early WWII footage, family events and travels, footage related to the Methodist Church, and technical experiments in early sound and color. See http://nashvillearchives.org/avcc-research.html for additional information.
The Audiovisual Heritage Center (AVHC) is part of the Nashville Metro Archives. The project is funded by the Nashville Public Library Foundation and is located at the Nashville Public Main Branch in downtown Nashville, Tennessee.
The Audiovisual Heritage Center (AVHC) is founded to conserve, preserve and make accessible the moving image and sound collections under the care of the Nashville Public Library and to collect and care for audiovisual records vital to the history and culture of Davidson County and Middle Tennessee. The Center seeks to preserve and increase awareness of Middle South history and culture, create positive partnerships with other archives and the public, and support and contextualize artifacts and documents under the care of Nashville Metro Archives and Nashville Public Library.
Conservation and Digital Capture:
This collection was conserved and digitally captured through the 2017 Al Larvick National Grant awarded to Nashville Public Library by the Al Larvick Conservation Fund (ALCF) in partnership with its sponsor Pro8mm. For more information about the portion of this collection supported through ALCF, visit https://www.allarvickfund.org/james-kilgore-film-collection
Specifications: (covered under the ALCF grant)
Original format: 8mm, Super 8 film, (indicate whether silent or sound)
Digital format: Footage captured at 2k resolution of 2048x1556.
Length/feet or running time: Approx. 1550ft.
Nashville, Tennessee native and lifelong resident, James Kilgore (1919-2014) was an avid amateur filmmaker who began shooting film at age 14. He served in Italy during WWII and spent most of his post-war life working for the Department of Transportation and continuing to shoot home movies, and amateur travelogues and documentaries, and several narrative films throughout the following decades. Kilgore is believed to have been a member of the Amateur Cinema League, the oldest amateur filmmaker’s club in the United States and his zeal for the technology of film is evidenced by his use of sound and color film. Major themes in Kilgore’s work include short narrative fiction films, recordings of family travels and local events, documentation of his experience during WWII, and footage of his church’s works and activities.
(0:08) A waving blue banner for “Summer Lights: The Nashville Festival” (https://library.nashville.org/blog/2018/05/celebration-heart-and-soul-summer-lights-festival). Noises from the event can be heard throughout. (0:11) Overhead shot of the packed festival with tents, umbrellas and balloons sticking out of the large crowd. (0:18) A shot pans down from the top of the Tennessee State Capitol in Legislative Plaza (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tennessee_State_Capitol). It overlooks the whole event. (0:38) Overhead view of a large square pool and fountain. The camera zooms out to show the scale of the festival (a stage with seats is set up on the left).
(0:51) A man performs on a unicycle for the crowd. Another man (who appears to be a volunteer from the audience) tosses him 5 juggling pins. He mentions that “he’s never done this before.” He attempts to juggle them and falls off of his unicycle. He attempts it again and gets it right! (2:08) A bunch of families sit on the edge of the square pool with their feet in. (2:13) A shot pointing up at the top of a building where a large cloud blocks the sun.
(2:18) We see the Summer Lights stage from the position of one of the chairs. A band (“Dixieland Band”) which includes 4 horn players, a bassist, a drummer, and a pianist, perform beneath a glitzy sign and disco ball. They are playing a Dixieland version of “New York, New York.” The camera zooms and pans to each player as they perform. At some point, the clarinetist stands and takes a solo.
(4:59) A bunch of jellyfish-like balloons get released into the sky while people applaud. The camera follows them at they float up. (5:27) Hundreds of small multi-colored balloons float past a large black building. (5:36) The jellyfish balloons float behind a building, disappearing from sight. (5:46) Another shot of more jellyfish balloons floating in the distance.
(5:51) A woman in a red dress plays keyboard alone on stage, illuminated by a single spotlight. She’s playing Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm.” (6:45) It’s now nighttime and a full orchestra is performing onstage.