Monday, December 17, 2007

News Flash!


I love old newsreels. I love their quick-cut soft-focus black-and-white style. I love their off-beat stories and over-the-top narratives.

I also love hyphens, so it seems.

So imagine the tingly feeling I got when I discovered - quite by accident - that venerable British Pathe Limited has digitized their entire library. That's 75 years of still photos and, yes, Pathe newsreels.

It's all out there at www.britishpathe.com and it's free. You can search their vast database, you can view the content, and you can even download videos. Just as good as the actual stuff are the comments tagged onto each bit of footage in the archive.

A random search on 'turtle', for example, yielded a few gems such as:

Professor Huxley introduces a new policy of encouraging public access to the animals.

Turtles crawl across a beach, a woman turns a turtle over and boys are cruel to turtles.

Quirky news from France and Florida.

Maybe it's not everyone's cuppa, but it's a cool little gift to me.

Oh, and the comment about imagining tingly feelings... you can ignore that... unless you're Billie Piper or some such, that is.... in which case you can imagine all you like so long as you video yourself imagining such tinglings and post the evidence so that everyone (and that means you Mr. Twist!) knows it.