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Showing posts from January 18, 2004
BBC1 Schools #1 (film #1 in the Schools section of TVArk). [Category: Educational]Remember educational television? Remember the boring counters they used to have before the programs started? Here’s the British version of that, which is actually fairly mesmerizing. It features a diamond-shaped BBC logo that gradually morphs into two diamonds. I bet this fascinated the schoolkids of the time.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.
The Avengers #4 (film #8 in the Cult section of TVArk). [Category: Outtakes & Obscurities]It’s 1966 and now “The Avengers” is IN COLOR! Well, I guess that’s one way to open a champagne bottle. Very cool.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.
Battleships Maine and Iowa (film #10 on Who Built America? (Voyager CD-ROM, 1993). [Category: Early Film & TV]After the sinking of the battleship Maine, the Biograph company rereleased Edwin S. Porter's Panorama of War under this title. This is just a very brief clip of the film, with narration telling us the above fact. Since Panorama of War is also on the CD-ROM, this is kind of pointless. An 1898 Biograph film.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *. Weirdness: *. Historical Interest: *. Overall Rating: *.
Astor Battery on Parade (film #20 on Edison Film Archive. Also, film #12 on The Spanish-American War in Motion Pictures). [Category: Early Film & TV]This is basically your standard military parade from the 1890s, meaning there are more horses and swords than are generally seen today. An 1899 Edison film.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *. Weirdness: *. Historical Interest: ***. Overall Rating: **.
Let Us Break Bread Together (in the Ephemeral section of Open Video Project. Also, film #820 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Sleaze & Outsider]This 50s film documents an ambitious (for its time) project the public school system in New York City instituted to break down racism by pairing schools in racially homogenous neighborhoods with other such schools whose racial composition was different and having the students visit each others’ schools and work on group projects together. It’s an admirable idea, and it looks like the project itself was fairly successful, but the film is bizarrely directed and incredibly tedious. It starts with an interracial choir singing the African-American spiritual “Let Us Break Bread Together” verrrrrrry sloooowwwllly, and that sets you up for what’s to come. All speech in the film, including the narration and comments from participants in the program, is done in a very slow, measured cadence, with pauses after every two or three words. Instead of fi…
Eisenhower for President (film #31 on Ephemeral Films CD-ROM (Voyager). Also in the Ephemeral section of Open Video Project. Also, film #1818 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Commercial]This is the delightful "I Like Ike" animated commercial of the 50's, produced by Roy Disney, Walt's brother. I may not particularly "like Ike", but I sure like this wonderful example of 50's cute animation. Probably the best campaign spot ever made, especially when compared with today's mudslinging.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.