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Teasing the Korean

Vintage Industrial, Training, Health & Safety Films

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Those of you who came of age in the postwar era probably have a soft spot for those 16 mm educational/health/training/industrial films of your youth.

Here are two AMAZING archives for this stuff. You can watch stuff online, and you can also download higher rez versions (on Prelinger, at least):

http://www.archive.org/details/prelinger

and

http://www.avgeeks.com/

You can search by topic.

For example, here is part 1 of "American Look," perhaps the greatest film ever about mid-century design:

http://www.archive.org/details/American1958

Parts 2 and 3 are there too.

These sites are addictive. Proceed with caution.

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Rick Prelinger is an amazing individual to whom everyone with more than a passing interest in the less-traveled byways of culture owes an eternal debt, not only for being one of the first people to take ephemeral films seriously, but also for his subsequent work, of which just one example is founding the Prelinger Library.

Chief A/V Geek Skip Elsheimer periodically travels to various cities around the country to screen films from his massive collection. Like the DVDs he offers on his website, the screenings are usually themed - for example, a group of films dealing with alcohol and drug abuse, driving safety, or venereal disease (I believe he's writing a book about VD films, as it's a genre that's near and dear to him). I've had the very good fortune to catch quite a few of his screenings, as he paid an annual visit to a local microcinema for almost ten years. If you ever get a chance to attend one, they are not to be missed - he invariably precedes the main program with an educational filmstrip that involves audience participation and gets everyone in the mood for the films to follow.

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Those of you who came of age in the postwar era probably have a soft spot for those 16 mm educational/health/traini

For example, here is part 1 of "American Look," perhaps the greatest film ever about mid-century design:

http://www.archive.o...ls/American1958

Parts 2 and 3 are there too.

Masterful propaganda film, that one was.

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Using a piece of "American Look" in a documentary I've been working on. It is fabulous. Watched a nice print of it from Rick at a presentation he did at the Orphans Film Symposium West in 2009 that I helped organise. Seeing it on the big screen was amazing, as were other works that he showed from the Jam Handy Company that made them for GM (Chevrolet, to be precise).

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Masterful propaganda film, that one was.

If that's your idea of propaganda, then I love propaganda more than life itself.

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What is it if not propaganda?

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Propaganda is a political hack declaring "mission accomplished" when the war has barely started.

Putting a spotlight on contemporary design is not propaganda.

The worst thing about that film is its title - "American Look." Many of the designs are European, or Euro inspired.

Here is an AMAZING film about the Southern Pacific Railroad (this is part 1):

http://www.archive.org/details/ThisIsMy1940

Great color footage of trains back when they used to look like trains. Gorgeous color, lots of freight yard detail, and also coverage of snow storm response. This is the best train film I've yet found on Prelinger.

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Propaganda is a political hack declaring "mission accomplished" when the war has barely started.

No, that's just bullshit. Fatal bullshit, but bullshit nevertheless.

Putting a spotlight on contemporary design is not propaganda.

Uh, yeah, that's all they were doing....in no way were they feeding the consumer mindset to constantly want (i.e. - buy) newer different "better" things - like the Chevy Impala, based on style.

Don't misunderstand - I liked the film. A lot. But it's marketing (i,e, - propaganda) far, far more mote than it is anything else, especially a "tribute" to modern design.

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Okay, I looked at the thread, but I'm just bookmarking the sites; I'm NOT going there now!

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Propaganda is a political hack declaring "mission accomplished" when the war has barely started.

No, that's just bullshit. Fatal bullshit, but bullshit nevertheless.

Putting a spotlight on contemporary design is not propaganda.

Uh, yeah, that's all they were doing....in no way were they feeding the consumer mindset to constantly want (i.e. - buy) newer different "better" things - like the Chevy Impala, based on style.

Don't misunderstand - I liked the film. A lot. But it's marketing (i,e, - propaganda) far, far more mote than it is anything else, especially a "tribute" to modern design.

Understood. All advertising/PR is, I suppose, a form of propaganda, but many (including me) have come to interpret the propaganda as being used for more nefarious purposes. But I understand.

You can get lost in those two Websites. Fascinating stuff.

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The fake german instruction videos about Gabelstaplerfahrer (fork lifter driver) Klaus are cult too

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The fake german instruction videos about Gabelstaplerfahrer (fork lifter driver) Klaus are cult too

This one is the US analogue of the Staplerfahrer Klaus films - it's on the Internet Archive as well, and has been referred to as the "Citizen Kane of safety films":

Shake Hands With Danger

Once seen, never forgotten. And you only think you've experienced an earworm before if you've never heard the theme song.

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The British Film Institute have also brought out DVD collections of this Health & Safety stuff originally produced for TV (some of them scared the living daylight out of me back in the day e.g. kids playing by a spooky pool with the grim reaper stood in the distance) and also 50s/60s/70s 'Industrial' documentaries intended to help train up the workforce. Many of them are fascinating social documents of their time - think I'll pick up a few of those DVDs.

Edited by sidewinder

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It's amazing that so much of this stuff has survived. I saw Prelinger do some screenings under the name "Our Secret Century" at the Harvard Film Archive in the mid 1990s. I first saw "American Look" there. At the time, he said the collection was so huge that he hadn't even catalogued the whole thing yet. I think at the time he was seeking grant funding to do this.

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Okay, I looked at the thread, but I'm just bookmarking the sites; I'm NOT going there now!

Me too. I don't have the time right now, but thanks to TTK (and others) for providing suggestions.

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