Showing posts from June, 2006

The Wobblies on DVD

Today, Stewart Bird and Deborah Shaffer's 1979 documentary about the legendary radical union Industrial Workers of the World , titled simply The Wobblies after the IWW's nickname, is being released on DVD. Last November, I saw the film at the Film Society of Lincoln Center (it was sweet to see a leftist documentary in a "real" movie theater). The film successfully captures the spirit of the IWW; the energy and avoidance of a static "talking-heads" feel is all the more remarkable given the limitations and age of the material available. The interviewees from the original era of the IWW in the early 1900s were by that time in their 80s and 90s, yet vividly conveyed their many-decades-old memories. The use of original documents and archival footage from the dawn of motion pictures was equally effective, conveying the social turmoil of the time, and the nature of work (such as a memorable shot of gigantic trees that dwarf the workers cutting them down). A p

Ghost Sites

Steve Baldwin's Ghost Sites project tracks the underbelly of the Internet, documenting dot-com busts, defunct websites, and "Forgotten Web Celebrities" , and collecting such ephemera as ancient banner ads . Many posts highlight outdated websites that give ample evidence of not being updated in an inordinately long time, whether they're sites whose "Last Updated" date is more than a decade ago , which explain that they are meant to be viewed with Netscape 2.0 (or even older versions of the then-predominant browser), or which are just plain old . In this vein, the site recently posted my "foresnic notes" about a Looney Tunes website, the Non-Stick Looney Page , which has been inactive for so long that the latest addition is a group of desktop themes for Windows 95/98, and still has web buttons from 1996.

25 years of Indy

Today is the 25th anniversary to the day of the release of one of my favorite movies, Raiders of the Lost Ark . Another Indy fan has posted a detailed analysis of one of the many aspects that make it great: the spunky heroine Marion Ravenwood. UPDATE: While doing blog maintenance, I found out that the blog I linked to, That Little Round-Headed Boy ("Happiness is a warm blog"), has disappeared. Here's a quote of part of the post that gives a flavor of what's missing: [I]n the pairing of Indy and Marion, you have cinema alchemy, the Nick and Nora Charles of archaeology and high adventure. RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK really isn't an action movie, per se. It's also one of the great romantic comedies. At the very least, it's a Howard Hawks-style adventure romance, in which the bickering way the characters keep hashing over their past history is just as important as the MacGuffin they are chasing. And Karen Allen's Marion is crucial to that. She helps define