Movie Monday: Short films!

I kind of forgot it was Monday until there wasn’t enough time to watch 55 Days at Peking, so instead you’re getting short films and you’re gonna like ’em.

Last time I was in California, I went to a museum in Palo Alto, where I’m from, the Museum of American Heritage. To be honest, I was mainly there to see a Lego display, but my wife and I went through the museum, which turned out to be very nice indeed. One of the displays was this film footage of San Francisco, shot by sticking a camera on the front of a cable car in 1906, only days before an earthquake levelled large areas of the city.

Same location, shortly afterward.
Same location, shortly afterward.

So anyway, an interesting historical snapshot, not just because of the earthquake but because of the period, one where cars are only just beginning to displace horses on the streets of an American city.

Something I love finding in history is the introduction of things that are now totally commonplace. Consider this 1936 promo for parking meters:

I think the thing that’s most interesting about this is that it’s phrased as if it were a commercial — it sounds like an ad, even though it’s not selling anything. I wonder if that’s to do with the fact that it’s introducing something that people tend to think of as a nuisance. Also, “no nickel, no parky!” reminds us that you can’t really ever really guarantee a historical American experience will be missing some casual racism.

Speaking of things that ape other types of media presentation, check out this … whatever it is … telling Christians about how to get ready for the Rapture. It’s really interesting, in this day and age of “oh, people don’t really believe that, and by claiming they do you’re making fun of them, you bully” to see someone straight up endorsing the sudden-disappearance model of the Rapture.

I was going to post up some WW2 propaganda videos, but the Youtube comments sections were really depressing.

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Movie Monday: Short films!

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