I was on The Panel RTE-2 in Ireland last Monday, video below. It’s a pretty funny show, I sat in the green room being fed peeled fruit by naked groupies wondering what it would be like to be the least funny person in the room. Luckily we joined forces and devised an innovative public health promotion strategy.
Picking up this show online, and watching some of the other excellent RTE stuff from the same site, really makes you realise how rubbish most telly on the telly is. Recently I’ve been procrastinating my way through archive.org where there’s a load of proper high resolution vintage material (discretely packaged up with a creative commons political agenda). Carnivorous Plants is excellent early creationist nonsense, and Nosferatu is as good as they say, in fact they’ve got some great old feature films, as well as cracking trailers like The 5,000 Fingers of Dr T.
For the more pretentiously minded, Ubu has a book-deadline-torpedoing collection of old arts docs, including Peter Greenaway’s Four American Composers series with Philip Glass and John Cage, and this corker on Borges.
But the big hitter for me is archive.org‘s superb collection of 1950s “social guidance” shorts. Coronet Films are the ones to watch, Sharing Work At Home makes a pretty unarguable case, Are You Popular? will make your blood run cold, and “A Holiday From Rules?” is certainly food for thought. Are you sure you want a holiday from rules, children? Well are you?
The theory underlying all of these films – that it’s possible to reason people out of unreasonable behaviour – reminds me of Dawkins in a funny way, but even so, whenever I’ve been at home working, over the past few months, I’ve had social guidance shorts playing in the background, just on the off chance.