May 23, 2015
Images from “Powers of Ten,” 1977 edition. From IconEye
AMNH’s “The Known Universe” is a cool film. Putting up that last post on the film, I looked back and noted that when I had previously written about the brilliant predecessor films from Charles and Ray Eames, “Powers of Ten,” the Eames films were not freely available on line.
That’s been fixed.
I like to use films like this as warmups to a year of history, and as a reminder once we get into studying the history of space exploration, of just how far we’ve come in understanding the universe, and how big this place is.
Of course, that means wer are just small parts.
The Eames’s genius showed the scale of things, from a couple picnicking in a park, to the outer reaches of the universe, and then back, zooming into the innermost reaches of a human down to the sub-atomic level.
There’s a series of these films; this one, published on YouTube by the Eames Office, was done in 1977, one of the later versions.
How can you use this in class, teachers? (I recommend buying it on DVD, as I did; better sound and pictures, generally.)
Uploaded on Aug 26, 2010
Powers of Ten takes us on an adventure in magnitudes. Starting at a picnic by the lakeside in Chicago, this famous film transports us to the outer edges of the universe. Every ten seconds we view the starting point from ten times farther out until our own galaxy is visible only a s a speck of light among many others. Returning to Earth with breathtaking speed, we move inward- into the hand of the sleeping picnicker- with ten times more magnification every ten seconds. Our journey ends inside a proton of a carbon atom within a DNA molecule in a white blood cell. POWERS OF TEN © 1977 EAMES OFFICE LLC (Available at http://www.eamesoffice.com)
At the Eames Office Youtube site, you may find the film in with Mandarin Chinese, German, and Japanese translations (no Spanish?). If you’re unfamiliar with the work of this couple — you would recognize much of the stuff they designed, I’m sure — check out a short film on an exhibit on Ray Eames (which has concluded, sadly):
The very recognizable, famous Eames Chair and Ottoman, from Herman Miller. Ideally, you can sit in your Eames Chair while watching “Powers of Ten.” Herman Miller image.
November 27, 2014
At A Certain Cinema: Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond at work on the screenplay for Irma la Douce
Billy Wilder’s reputation as a great film director would not be possible, but for the typewriter. It is fate, perhaps, that we find several photographs of Mr. Wilder with various typewriters. In the photo above, he’s pictured working with I. A. L. Diamond, “Izzy.” The pair collaborated on at least 17 different screenplays.
This one is clearly a Royal; Hollywood Legacy’s Pinterest site: “BILLY WILDER and frequent screenwriter partner, I.A.L. DIAMOND. “Izzy” is seated at the typewriter, with Wilder standing, as usual. Wilder liked to “think on his feet” and was a notorious pacer. Wilder & Diamond wrote 17 films together, including: SOME LIKE IT HOT, THE APARTMENT, LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON, IRMA LA DOUCE”
Wilder’s scripts often featured writers and others who used typewriters. He had almost a fetish for featuring typewriters in his movies. How could we not like a guy who loved typewriters like that?
From the great Oz Typewriters site: “Wilder died in Beverly Hills on March 27, 2002. Here is what is on his tombstone”
November 22, 2014
Isaac Newton and a friendly bird, on the verge of discovery; still from the film, “Physics,” by Asa Lucander.
History teachers, physics teachers, you should use this film.
In amusing animation — perhaps a throwback to earlier animations, but good and amusing — produced by Åsa Lucander @ 12foot6, for the television Science Club series on BBC2, hosted by Dara O Briain (who does the narration).
Physics – Short animation, which was part of the Science Club series on BBC2 hosted by Dara O Briain,
Directed by: Åsa Lucander @ 12foot6
Produced by: 12foot6
Art&Design: Åsa Lucander
Additional Art: Marc Moynihan
Stop Motion & Compositing: Julia Bartl
Animation: Kim Alexander, Marc Moynihan, Anna Fyda, Barry Evans, Lucy Izzard, Simon Testro, Phoebe Halstead, Michael Towers
Sound: Laura Coates
For my money, this should be a valuable classroom tool. In four short minutes the film covers most of the really great advances in physics, suitably for world history or U.S. history. It’s clear enough in its presentation that physics students should find it a useful review. Or more likely, they’ll understand what we’ve been trying to teach them, for the first time.
Science gets left out of history courses way too easily. Here’s a quick way to stick it back in.
Tip of the old scrub brush to Fast Company, where I found the film and details. Fast company also created this 3 second excerpt, in MP4 format, which you may find useful somewhere:
February 8, 2014
Reader and veteran librarian Judy Crook sent a Tweet alerting us to a recent release from the U.S. National Archives, “A Welcome to Britain, 1943.”
It’s a fascinating little film, if 38 minutes is still “little.”
Yes, that’s Burgess Meredith playing the soldier. I haven’t confirmed whether he was actually enlisted, but he often played soldiers or people at war — in 1945, playing war reporter Ernie Pyle, for example. In the 1950s, the House Committee on Unamerican Activities (HUAC) claimed Meredith had consorted too closely with communists, and he was blacklisted for years including a seven-year drought of work.
When this film was made, the Soviet Union was an ally of Britain and the United States. How times change.
This is a training film made by the War Department (later renamed “Defense Department”), to acquaint U.S. soldiers with what they would confront in Britain. Why did soldiers need such training? You can guess, perhaps. 258
Teachers, can you use this film in history class? Is the discussion on civil rights,
about 20 minutes at 25:30 in, instructive in the history of the time?
From the National Archives’s description on YouTube:
Published on Feb 5, 2014
Creator(s): Department of Defense.~. Armed Forces Radio and Television Service. (1954 – ) (Most Recent)
Series : Information and Education Films, compiled 1943 – 1969
Record Group 330: Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, 1921 – 2008
Access Restriction(s): Unrestricted
Use Restriction(s): Restricted – Possibly
Note: Some or all of this material may be restricted by copyright or other intellectual property restrictions.
Scope & Content: This film introduced soldiers to Britain and told them what to expect, how to behave and how not to behave in Britain during World War II. It includes footage of military cameramen and black soldiers.
Contact(s): National Archives at College Park – Motion Pictures (RD-DC-M), National Archives at College Park, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001
Phone: [omitted here]
National Archives Identifier: 7460305
Local Identifier: 330-IEF-7
What else hides in the vaults of the Archives?
August 19, 2013
1958 Publicity photo of Groucho Marx from the television program You Bet Your Life. NBC Television-NBC Photo/Photographer: Elmer Holloway
36 years ago? Grouch Marx died on August 19, 1977?
The man became an icon, though too few know the great history behind the icon. “Self-made caricature of Groucho Marx” Wikipedia image
That means that not only have your high school history students probably never seen much, or anything, of Groucho Marx and his comic genius; it means their parents don’t know him, either.
What a great tragedy.
Groucho Marx brought genius to American comedy films, to radio, and then to television. His genius was of a sort that does not age, but remains fresh to audiences of today — get a group of teenagers to view Duck Soup or A Day at the Races and you’ll find them laughing heartily at even some of Marx’s more cerebral jokes. It is symbolic that the films that brought writer Norman Cousins to laughter, and a lack of pain, were Marx Brothers movies (in the day when one had to rent a projector to show the film, long before VCR). Cousins went on to a grand second career talking about hope in healing, starting with the book, Head First: The Biology of Hope and the Healing Power of the Human Spirit. I recommend these films to anyone seriously injured or ill, or recovering. We got VHS, and then DVD copies of several of the films when our kids were ill, with great effect.
Groucho Marx should be in the pantheon of great Americans, of the 20th century, if not all time, studied by children in high school, for history and for literature purposes.
Groucho’s been gone for 36 years, and we are much poorer for his passing.
Groucho grills Ray Bradbury and a woman named Leticia on You Bet Your Life in a 1955 episode:
“I intend to live forever, or die trying.” ― Groucho Marx (Wikipedia image)
June 6, 2013
Stanley Kubrick’s typewriter used in “The Shining” on Instagram, from sophireaptress.
It’s an Adler, but Instagram isn’t built for details, you know?
The typewriter is probably on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Kubrick Exhibit, which closes June 30, 2013 (hurry!).
March 26, 2013
From Samantha Stendal, a film student at the University of Oregon, a brilliant film reaction to the Steubenville, Ohio rape and trials.
Samantha Stendal, University of Oregon