LEONARD WOOD SIZEMORE’S COLD WAR FAMILY CAMPFIRE

Leonard W. and Gisella Sizemore in Milan, Italy, 1947.

Leonard W. and Gisella Sizemore in Milan, Italy, 1947.

 

Conservation & Capture

Original format: Super 8 & 8mm film, silent.

Digital format: Footage captured at 2k resolution of 2048 x 1556.

Length/feet or running time: Approx. 2300 ft

Circa: 1956-1981

Status: Conservation & scan completed by Pro8mm. Archive.org upload coming soon.

 

Grantee

Lillian Sizemore was born and raised in Northwest Indiana.  She is the middle child of Leonard and Gisella Sizemore, both highly visual people who instilled in her a love for art, details and high design. Lillian’s interest in photography and film was fostered by her father, who gave her a Brownie camera at age 12. Lillian has degrees in Fine Arts and Italian, working as a graphic designer before turning toward handcrafted mosaic in 1994. In her research as a professional mosaic artist and educator she maintains a photographic archive of midcentury and modernist mosaics from around the world. In a related project, she restored the 1956 16mm film “The World of Mosaic” which recounts the rich history of architectural mosaics, produced by Ernest Rose of UCLA, it was narrated by Hollywood actor, Richard Widmark. Lillian is grateful to the ALCF to be able to review her family films in the context of the post-war era that informs her broader studies. 

Son Norman and filmmaker, Leonard, 1964, holding his beloved Revere 8mm movie camera, Gatlinburg, TN.

Son Norman and filmmaker, Leonard, 1964, holding his beloved Revere 8mm movie camera, Gatlinburg, TN.

 

Filmmaker

Leonard Wood Sizemore (1920-2000) was an American soldier, a mechanic, a watchmaker, and an early adaptor of new technologies. Leonard married his Italian bride, Gisella, in Milan, Italy in 1947 and together they came to America to begin anew. They were not rich, but he always managed the latest “gizmos”. He had good cameras, and he knew how to use them. Leonard taught the whole family how to pan and shoot and we all had a hand in filming. Having grown up in rural poverty, Leonard made great strides in his life. His 8mm home movies from the 1950s-80s depict a white ‘Middle America’ and a love of family and friends, antique cars, parades and picnics. Leonard kept the campfires glowing around his meaty grills and lively home movie nights, and this poignant footage depicts a pursuit of the ‘American Dream’ in-the-midst of political assassinations, cold war friction and civil rights marches.