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Showing posts from January 22, 2006
Annabelle Butterfly Dance #3 (film #3 on the Viva la Dance disc of Unseen Cinema DVD Boxed Set (Image Entertainment, 2005)). [Category: Early Film & TV]This is similar to Annabelle Butterfly Dance #1, except it was hand-colored. The shifting colors add even further to the charming, otherworldly quality of Annabelle’s dancing. An 1895 Edison film.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.
Beast from Haunted Cave (extra on Journey Beneath the Desert DVD (Video Screams)). [Category: Commercial]Campy, lurid trailer from the 50s sci-fi flick Beast from Haunted Cave. Features “4 men and a girl (a bad girl to boot!),” fistfights, crime, “a ski lift to the heights of terror,” and bad special effects. Lots of fun.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.
Arad (film #9 in the Cities section of the State of Israel section of Stephen Spielberg Jewish Film Archive). [Category: Sleaze & Outsider]Rather dry 60s film about the planning and building of a new town in the Israeli desert. The scenes of the new residents setting up housekeeping are mildly interesting, giving you a feel of what it must have been like to be an Israeli pioneer. But mostly this is rather dull.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.
Deadline for Danny (film #2 in the General section of the State of Israel section of Stephen Spielberg Jewish Film Archive). [Category: Public Service]This 50s film, sponsored by the United Jewish Appeal, attempts to personalize the struggles of Israelis during the “austerity period,” when food shortages required everyone to conserve and struggle with not having enough. Danny, a young boy, is devastated to find out that his beloved cow, Elissa, is going to be slaughtered for meat because she is not giving milk. He goes all the way to Jerusalem by himself to try to get somebody from the government to give Elissa a reprieve, only to go through a frustrating round of bureaucrats ordering him to fill out forms in triplicate. He eventually is given a ride home by a man delivering fodder to farms, and he ends up witnessing a riot that starts when a village is given only 6 bushels of fodder when they need 14. After this, he gives up trying to save Elissa, but a miracle happens that allows th…
Abstract Experiment in Kodachrome (film #33 on the Viva la Dance disc of Unseen Cinema DVD Boxed Set (Image Entertainment, 2005)). [Category: Outtakes & Obscurities]Stop-motion animated film featuring moving abstract designs created with such things as children’s blocks, colored tiles, balls, and sheets of colored paper. Sort of like a film version of a mixed-media art piece. Since I’m into mixed-media, I enjoyed this very much. The colors and movement are delightful, and the music soundtrack adds to the total effect. This is the sort of thing I love to find on a collection of experimental films.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: *****.
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Corruption in Local 2 (film #9 on Shaping San Francisco). [Category: News]Brief TV news clip from the 70s of an interview with a union member complaining about dirty dealings in the union. This has some local historical value, but it’s too brief to be of much interest otherwise.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *. Weirdness: *. Historical Interest: ***. Overall Rating: **.
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The Arsenal for D-Day (film #515 on Universal Newsreels). [Category: Military & Propaganda]Newsreel story about all the masses of stuff that had to be made and collected for the D-Day invasions. If you’re interested in vintage WWII items, then this is your film. Also included is a story about England getting planes from Lend-Lease, which is pretty standard.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.
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Composite (film #1 in the 0800046 Composite No. 1 section of DOE Nevada). [Category: Military & Propaganda]Short montage of nuclear explosions blowin’ things up real good. This is more than the usual mushroom clouds––it also includes some striking imagery of buildings imploding, filmed from the inside. If it’s explosions you want for your video project, check this out.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: **. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.