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Selections from the BFI's collection of early cinema

The British Film Institute's YouTube channels offer a staggering amount (previously) of content on historical cinema, shorts, and discussion. Some short selections from the early and silent period of note - The Sick Kitten (1903) - How Percy Won The Beauty Competition (1909) - Tilly The Tomboy Visits The Poor (1910) - Suffragette Riot In Trafalgar Square (1913) - The Fugitive Futurist, in which a man on the run shows a device that can see far into the future (1924) - Vaudevillian legend Billy Merson Singing 'Desdemona'. Widely considered Britain's first sound film - (1927) Charley In New Town - part of an animated series from the Central Office, this one explaining the need for "New Towns." (1948) - Growing Girls, a filmstrip guide to puberty for young women (1951).
posted by The Whelk on May 2, 2013 - 5 comments

All this energy calling me, back where it comes from....

The Cleveland Memory Project is an archive of photos, postcards, videos, recordings, clippings, ebooks, personal papers, maps and other historical "goodies" about the city. "It's a collaborative endeavor of many local historical societies, public libraries and government agencies who have mounted their own local history." On Flickr. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 18, 2013 - 5 comments

"Everything we do is music."

John Cage Unbound, A Living Archive is a multimedia exhibition created by the New York Public Library documenting their collection of videos, original notes and manuscripts of contemporary American composer and music theorist John Cage (1912-1992). "Cage believed that, following his detailed directions, anyone could make music from any kind of instrument" so the NYPL is asking visitors how they would bring his music to life, by submitting videos of their own interpretations of Cage’s work for possible inclusion in the archive. For more extensive collections of John Cage resources, see: WNYC: A John Cage Web Reliquary and Josh Rosen's fan page. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 17, 2012 - 21 comments

Yesterday's Tomorrow Today!

The BBC broadcasted the science and technology showcase show Tomorrow's World (titles on piano) on 7 July 1965 on BBC1, it ran for 38 years until it was cancelled at the beginning of 2003. Unlike the boosterism of US science programs, Tomorrow's World was more famous for it's live stunts and wry outlook ( James Burke experiences the "convenient" office of the future and the future of home gardening and crushing ennui). The BBC has an archive of episodes and clips for UK visitors, everyone else will have to be content with clips concerning Home Computers, New Banking, Nellie The School Computer, The Elliot Light Pen, Mobile Phones, and Moog Synthesizers.
posted by The Whelk on Nov 26, 2011 - 17 comments

New! And Improved! Buy Now! Half off! Limited time offer! Fortified with 11 vitamins and minerals!

Melt your brain into goo on an overdose of crass 80s consumerism and TV without the TV shows at 80sCommercialVault. Superbowl 19 commercials. Commercials from Jaws. Saturday morning commercials. Daytime / evening commercials. [more inside]
posted by loquacious on Oct 30, 2011 - 11 comments

Oh Colin Mochrie.

Whose Line Is It Anyway. Watch it all online. You're welcome.
posted by Phire on Sep 4, 2011 - 50 comments

The grooviest frontier.

Space: 1975!
posted by loquacious on Jul 16, 2011 - 43 comments

scarcity is no longer an option

Instant Cinema is a comprehensive platform for experimental film, video and computer art, making the best audio-visual work of artists of all generations available to a worldwide audience. Not a tonne in the archive just yet--it's still in rough beta--but still some nice viewing. For instance: Balance Study, or Trying.
posted by dobbs on May 11, 2011 - 5 comments

It's alive, again!

Days after Google Video announced the impending death of Google Video, prompting jscott to start archiving as many videos as the Archive team could and a subsequent Metafilter post on the best of Google Video, it turns out that Google has relented and removed the deadline. It will also be migrating the videos over to Youtube.
posted by titantoppler on Apr 23, 2011 - 33 comments

The best of Google Video on MetaFilter

As discussed over the weekend, in less than two weeks the millions of videos uploaded to six-year-old erstwhile YouTube competitor Google Video will no longer be viewable. Though a download button has been added to each video page for easy back-up, that will only be available though May 13th, and the company will not be offering transfer service for users with YouTube accounts. The search giant has been slowly winding down the service over the years since their billion-dollar buyout of YouTube, controversially revoking purchased content (with a refund) in 2007 and disabling new uploads in 2009. The shutdown is a big blow to the web video ecosystem, as Google Video was one of the few major services to allow free hosting of long-form video, including the content for many popular MetaFilter posts. But all is not lost! Reddit users have organized a virtual potluck to share the most interesting and unique videos not available anywhere else, and the Archive Team, preserver of doomed web properties like Geocities (previously), is partnering with Archive.org to back up as much content as possible. In that spirit, click inside for a list of some of the most popular Google Video-centric content posted here over the years. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Apr 18, 2011 - 54 comments

Confidential!

Derailing a train isn't as easy as you might think. [1944] (Declassified WW2 OSS training video.) [more inside]
posted by crunchland on Apr 11, 2011 - 55 comments

HOLY SHIT, MAN WALKS ON FUCKING MOON

MOONWALK ONE - A surprisingly groovy look at the Apollo 11 mission to the moon in a full length documentary that contains a lot of rare and not often seen footage of the preparations and launch of the first manned mission to the moon. Warning: Also contains lots of theramins, trippy optical effects, faux bohemians and some really blowy narrative.
posted by loquacious on Apr 23, 2010 - 22 comments

"[The customers] come in here, by my grabbing them and touching them and screaming at them they become human beings."

Jerry's Deli (starts at 1:02) by Tom Palazzolo, 1976. A short documentary on deli owner Jerry Meyers, who's been screaming abuse at his loyal customers for 30 years. (Clipstream/Java video. Click on lower right corner of the video to enlarge. Or here's a Youtube with out-of-synch audio.) [more inside]
posted by hydrophonic on Apr 10, 2010 - 7 comments

We could see such people - no longer as mythical figures, but alive - as alive as their work

"The people whose stories you watch on Peoples Archive are leaders of their field, whose work has influenced and changed our world as we know it." The archive includes talks by luminaries such as Hans Bethe, Benoit Mandelbrot, Donald Knuth, Quentin Blake, Stan Lee and many others.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Mar 5, 2010 - 12 comments

An Alternative Version of Passion Pit's "Sleepyhead"

Good morning. It's Monday. I know that it sucks to have to come back to work after a holiday weekend. So I am going to share with you this alternative version of Passion Pit's "Sleepyhead" mixed with archival footage of old-timey American dancing. I hope this brightens your day a little bit.
posted by jason's_planet on Dec 28, 2009 - 33 comments

Shuttle launch aborts.

Space Shuttle launch aborts. Approximately six minutes of on-pad post-ignition pre-liftoff aborts in a single YouTube link.
posted by loquacious on Jun 8, 2009 - 31 comments

Harder Better Faster Further.

Daft Punk revealed in bootleg video at the 1996 Even Further festival. [more inside]
posted by loquacious on May 10, 2009 - 31 comments

The Travel Film Archive

Enjoy the Travel Film Archive on YouTube. They have tons of videos from the 1900s through to the 1970s. For example, you can learn about that wonderful island South of India, Ceylon.
posted by chunking express on Jan 7, 2009 - 13 comments

You'll put your eye out!

Jean Shepherd was one of the greatest storytellers ever to be heard on radio. The Jean Shepherd Project collects recordings of these historic broadcasts, converts them to mp3 files and makes them available to be revisited by his longtime fans and by those who wish to discover what great American storytelling is all about. [more inside]
posted by carsonb on Dec 11, 2007 - 26 comments

Hiccups Archive

Hiccups Archive.
posted by hama7 on Jul 19, 2007 - 17 comments

Remembering Someone Else's Memories

While looking for ways to digitize old home movies, I came across the Home Movie Depot Video Archives, and was in awe of how much content they have available online. The vendor provides their clients with space to upload their converted movies, and many have done so... to the tune of 80+ pages of albums. You can browse through page by page, or search for specific keywords. [more inside]
posted by avoision on Apr 17, 2007 - 17 comments

Broadsword calling Danny Boy

Channel 4's 100 Greatest War Films as voted for by their (generally more clued-up than average) viewership has plenty for you to disagree with, but much to recommend. Filmsite.org has a history of war films (as does Berkeley) for the completists among you. There are more war films from and about Vietnam and Indochina than you can shake a bayonet at (see also the 1999 NYT article, Apocalypse Then: Vietnam Marketing War Films to learn a little about the Vietnamese government's 1960s and 70s archive of war film). The [British] national archives have archived film from pre-WWI to the Cold War.
posted by nthdegx on May 17, 2005 - 74 comments

And the best part is...no VJs!

The Scopitone was a French video jukebox that made its debut in 1960 and was imported into the US in 1964. Although they usually featured high production values, catchy melodies, and lots of gratuitous cheesecake, the singers were often relative unknowns and the music was square even by the standards of the day. Consequently, they never caught on in a big way outside of Europe, and many of the original Scopitone jukeboxes and films were destroyed. Fortunately for us, a few Scopitone enthusiasts have catalogued the songs, scanned the advertisements, and even preserved a few Quicktime clips of the original French and American Scopitone films.
posted by MrBaliHai on May 4, 2003 - 9 comments

Well, this won't last long.

Well, this won't last long. It appears to be streaming video of every single Simpsons episode. Ay, carumba!
posted by luke on Feb 28, 2000 - 24 comments

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