Sunday, October 23, 2005

Archive Films 

[Via Andy] I'd always treated Archive.org as just a useful tool for finding old websites, but now I've discovered its excellent collection of '50s US "Social Guidance" propaganda films. Each one is about ten minutes long, and they're mostly of great comedy value.

Are you popular? is one of the best, with great writing. What makes Caroline popular? "Is it because she likes girls and boys equally?" Yes, bisexuality is the key to true popularity. Parking in cars with boys is life's big no no, and you should never talk more than five minutes on the phone. But a popular girl should bake food for her boyfriend. Perhaps then "they'll bring another couple home with them... that would be fun!"

Office Courtesy and Office Etiquette are two great films, both about how to tame your personality and become a submissive secretary. Office Courtesy is particularly fun for the nightmare scenario, where the bad secretary discovers that the woman being so terribly rude in her dream is in fact herself. Office Etiquette is more amusing if you run your own lesbian sub training school narrative through it. Or so I found...

Another one that's fun to keep a juvenile background commentary running on is The Outsider. "Susan, Susan Jane... What makes you so different?" At points in the film I was crying out things like "she's green!", "she's only got one leg!", "she's a drag queen!" etc.

Good stuff.

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