Abandoned Hospital at Night (film #1 on Open Source Movies). [Category: Outtakes & Obscurities]

A film crew snuck into an abandoned hospital in the middle of the night and filmed what they saw. Unfortunately, the only lighting they provided was a flashlight. And they are non-English speakers, so I couldn’t understand what they were saying to each other, even when you could hear their voices over the roar of a nearby superhighway. They were obviously not the first to explore this ruin, as practically every available surface you can see in the round beam of the flashlight is covered with graffiti. Still, there are a few interesting images to be found in the murk. This would have been a lot better if the filmmakers had provided a little more light.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ***. Overall Rating: **.

Communication: A Film Lesson in General Science (in the Ephemeral section of Open Video Project. Also, film #358 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Educational]

This early, silent educational film from the 20s shows us various forms of communication technology and how they work. It starts with a simple electric bell and goes on to cover the telegraph, the telephone, and radio. This is actually quite well done and interesting. The visual images have a striking vintage look and the explanations are clear and understandable. I learned some things I didn’t know about how these technologies work. This would also make a good film for video artists to mine footage from. And there is a slight irony in watching a silent film try to explain how sound waves are carried.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: **. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.

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Best Sources for Film Ephemera by Category


Here's a list for each category of what I have found to be the most extensive sources for finding film ephemera. These have been determined by numbers only, with the sources that have the most ephemera being listed as the best in their categories. First, I will provide a list of definitions for the source types I will be listing:

  • "Best Source" means the single source that has the most ephemera in its category.
  • "Best Archive Collection" refers to a collection of online archives hosted at a single site.
  • "Best Budget DVD" refers to single DVDs that are budget-priced, such as those that can be ordered from shipping and handling only sites such as Planet DVD Now, or DVDs from dollar stores or dollar bins in retail stores.
  • "Best Budget DVD Series" refers to a series of budget DVDs that are sold seperately.
  • "Best Budget DVD Set" refers to multi-disc DVD sets that are budget priced, such as the DVD Megapacks.
  • "Best Budget DVD Set Series" refers to a series of multi-disc DVD sets that are budget priced.
  • "Best CD-ROM" refers to computer multimedia CD-ROMs. Most of these will be out of print, as DVD seems to have eclipsed CD-ROMs.
  • "Best CD-ROM Series" refers to a series of CD-ROMs, sold seperately.
  • "Best Downloading Archive" refers to online archives that allow downloading of movies.
  • "Best DVD" refers to single, regular-priced DVD where the focus is on ephemera.
  • "Best DVD Extras" refers to DVDs that focus on other things (such as feature films) but which have ephemera on them as extras.
  • "Best DVD Series" refers to a series of DVDs, sold seperately.
  • "Best DVD Series Extras" refers to a series of DVDs, sold separately, that have film ephemera as extras.
  • "Best DVD Set" refers to regular-priced multi-disc DVD sets.
  • "Best DVD Set Series" refers to a series of multi-disc DVD sets.
  • "Best DVD Set Series Extras" refers to a series of multi-disc DVD sets that focus on other things (such as feature films) but which have ephemera on them as extras.
  • "Best TV Show" refers to TV shows that show epehemra, which may only be available through tape trades.
  • "Best VCD" refers to video CDs (VCDs).
  • "Best VHS Tape" refers to single VHS tapes that focus on ephemera.
  • "Best VHS Tape Extras" refers to VHS tapes that focus on other things (such as feature films) but which have epehemra on them as extras.
  • "Best VHS Tape Series" refers to a series of VHS tapes, sold seperately.
  • "Best VHS Tape Set" refers to VHS tape boxed sets.
  • "Best VHS Tape Set Series" refers to a series of VHS tape boxed sets.
  • "Best Video Game Easter Eggs" refers to video game software for console gaming units that have ephemera on them as easter eggs.
  • "Best Viewing Archive" refers to online archives that have streaming video only, without allowing for downloads. Archives that have both streaming and downloadable movies will be classified as downloading archives.

Argentina

Argentina. Standard geography film about the South American country of Argentina. There’s some historical interest here as you get to see ...