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Eat your K rations and like it

Hundreds of newsreel and publicity films from the 1940s, 50s, and 60s -- the golden era of instructional, scientific, government, and industry films -- are now available on YouTube via users like Ella's Archive (focusing on transport and technology), Val73TV4 (British Council portraits of English towns & more), NuclearVault (war and diplomacy) and others.

How about starting with The Big Delivery Wagon (1951) a Heinz-sponsored spot about nationwide food distribution? Or ‪Native Foods: Commandments For Health (1945)‬, a U.S. Navy animated training film featuring Private McGillicuddy, who neither likes Vienna sausage nor seems to know that local foods are full of "poison more treacherous than a Jap warlord." Maybe Choosing For Happiness (1950) has some choice dating tips for even today's women? Or show your kid Defense Against Invasion (1943) in which a doctor explains to a fearful child exactly why he ought to get immunized.
posted by spamandkimchi on Feb 15, 2014 - 5 comments

YOUR MAGAZINE ON THE SCREEN

How Are Animated Cartoons Made? A 1919 silent film explains! (9:53)
posted by The Whelk on Oct 5, 2013 - 5 comments

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

FOOD FLASH - There's spud in your eye!

The Ministry Of Food was a British government ministerial posts separated from that of the Minister of Agriculture. A major task of the latter office was to oversee rationing in the United Kingdom arising out of World War II. They made many newsreels and PSAs to inform the citizenry how to use the food rationing system: Rationing is introduced in 1939 The new ration books are coming! Cod Liver Oil Here's spud in your eye Don't cut that bread! DON'T WASTE FOOD! Dig For Victory! Milk is here! In addition, some short films instructed people in how to best use the new rationing system : Two Cooks And A Cabbage How To Make Tea Rabbit Pie Buying black market meat: a Partner in CRIME A US view explaining UK rationing to the States.
posted by The Whelk on Apr 30, 2013 - 15 comments

teach the lessons of the past through the music of the future

Public Service Broadcasting are a British banjo and synth duo who construct music based on samples from public information and propaganda films. Their objective is to 'teach the lessons of the past through the music of the future'. Darlings of BBC Radio's 6Music they have just released their War Room EP constructed around archive wartime material from the BFI. Each track has an accompanying, excellently edited film on the Youtube [more inside]
posted by brilliantmistake on Jul 18, 2012 - 9 comments

"Pure Cinema"

Человек с киноаппаратом ("Man with a Movie Camera") is a classic experimental documentary film that was released in 1929. Directed by pioneer Soviet filmmaker Dziga Vertov, this classic, silent documentary film has no story and no actors, and is actually three documentaries in one. Ostensibly it documents 24 hours of life in a single city in the Soviet Union. But it is also a documentary of the filming of that documentary and a depiction of an audience watching that documentary and their responses. "We see the cameraman and the editing of the film, but what we don't see is any of the film itself." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 13, 2012 - 26 comments

March of Time

From 1935 to 1951, Time Magazine bridged the gap between print & radio news reporting and the new visual medium of film, with March of Time: award-winning newsreel reports that were a combination of objective documentary, dramatized fiction and pro-American, anti-totalitarian propaganda. They “often tackled subjects and themes that audiences weren’t used to seeingforeign affairs, social trends, public-health issues — and did so with a combination of panache and subterfuge that today seems either absurd or visionary.” (Previous two links have autoplaying video.) By 1937, the short films were being seen by as many as 26 million people every month and may have helped steer public opinion on numerous issues, including (eventually) America’s entry to WWII. Video samples are available at Time.com, the March of Time Facebook page and the entire collection is available online, (free registration required) at HBO Archives. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 22, 2011 - 8 comments

Pathé News

The British Pathé Archive: The British Pathé archive is a collection of over 90,000 clips from Pathé newsreels and cinemagazines, which were shown in British cinemas from 1910 until 1970. They were also shown in the US, under licence to Fox. Typically accompanied by jaunty music, and narrated by a man with an oft-parodied conservative RP accent, the archive covers many of the momentous events of the 20th Century. It also contains the trivial.
posted by HastyDave on Jul 26, 2011 - 10 comments

'It Speaks for Itself'

British Movietone News - Digital Archives :: Apparently complete archives of the UK Movietone Newsreels from 1929 - 1979. Free registration required. Uses Quicktime. Beware of many lost hours ahead. Via DaddyTypes
posted by anastasiav on Feb 12, 2008 - 15 comments

war and popcorn

The return of the Movietone? "We fell on this idea of recreating films that looked like and were the length of the old Movietone forms of the 1940s," said Marine Lt. Col. Jim Kuhn, military producer for the undertaking called the Movietone Newsreel Project. Kuhn says the objective is to put together a short film that combines the commentary of real-life soldiers with the kind of footage civilian journalists would be unable to get. (more inside)
posted by damn yankee on Mar 13, 2003 - 6 comments

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