Amazing Amateurs: Nicoll Family Home Movies
Stories & Ideas

Wed 31 May 2017

Amazing Amateurs: Nicoll Family Home Movies

ACMI Collection Australia History Preservation
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Your museum of screen culture

Take a journey through suburban Melbourne from the 1940s to 60s

From War to Weddings

Through the home movies of Alex Nicoll, contemporary audiences can get a glimpse into our celluloid past.

When wealthy patron Arthur Thomas gave Alex a camera, he started a lifelong passion for photography. A keen photographer himself, Thomas mentored Alex throughout his life, and when he died, left him his Agfa 16mm camera, projector and collapsible screen.

Amazing Amateurs. Nicoll Family Home Movies. Running the Olympic Flame

These were put to good use in the 40s and 50s, with Alex filming his family at home and on holidays, overseas and at local events. For example, he captured the excitement of the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne with footage of the decorated buildings in the city with the department stores of the era - Foy's, Buckley's, Myer, Coles and Woolworths.

When Alex himself passed away, his son Mac took up his father’s filmmaking passion, capturing the life of his young family from the 60s to early 70s. The Nicoll Family collection of 16mm film was donated to us by Mac, to make them available to a wider audience. Here’s a small sample for your enjoyment.