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Showing posts from September 30, 2007
Keep 'Em Rolling (film #38 on Hey Folks! It's Intermission Time, Vol. 4 (Something Weird). Also, film #16 on V for Victory WWII Cartoons & Shorts Show (Something Weird, 1996)). This is another stirring wartime sing-along film, urging on production workers in the defense plants. Stirring scenes of Industry Creating the Arsenal of Democracy illustrate the song "Keep 'Em Rolling". The one spot of weirdness is the lyric "work your head off, so you can keep your head." Some neat examples of wartime propaganda posters appear during the opening and closing credits.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.
Knife-Thrower and Children (available for download on Prelinger Archive). Can you spell “child endangerment”? I thought you could. In this newsreel featurette, a mom who’s a circus performer throws knives at her two daughters, ages 5 and 2 1/2. Now I know she’s a skilled performer and the point is that she misses, but don’t scare me like that!
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.
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Florida (available for download on Universal Newsreels). Brief newsreel story about the launching of a communications satellite. A blip from the early space program.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *. Weirdness: *. Historical Interest: ***. Overall Rating: **.
The Dropout (available for download from Open Video Project. Also, film #4 on Our Secret Century, Vol. 5: Teenage Transgression CD-ROM (Voyager). Also available for download from Prelinger Archive). Robert drops out of high school, finds that he can't get a job, and generally crashes and burns. This film epitomizes the concept of "downward spiral", accompanied by an unsympathetic narrator. The film's one purpose was obviously to scare teens into staying in school, so Robert's future is shown to be essentially hopeless. This would make a good short for a film noir double feature, say Double Indemnity as "A" and Detour as "B". Its abrupt, unresolved ending is a good lead-in to a couple of dark, feature-length noir films.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: **. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.