Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Old School. Oh yes.

Once again, it's movie time at the Skull & Pumpkin.

Well, not a movie, really.

A filmstrip.

An online friend reminded me this evening of the cheap coolness of filmstrips, and during a search for a specific strip for this friend, I stumbled quite serendipitously upon two incredible pieces of old school (literally) All Hallow's wonderosity... the aptly named and full-of-oddness Happy Hallowe'en (1956) and Hallowe'en (1948).

I do not know the name of the person who shot these or put them online for me to find (for that is surely why he did it) but I thank him... and you will all thank me for removing his very poorly read and needless narration (the story's in words on the strip!), and adding in its place some very 50's-era spooky incidental tracks from my huge library of such music.

I love the non-descript 'old tyme' costumes and settings in the first strip. No doubt the 'olden days' are in some European country, but where and when, exactly?

The second strip has some amazing things. The pregnant top-hatted costumer is stunning, as is the flour-faced coin-chewer (you'll see)... has anyone reading this ever done the flour-coin thing? And what's with the completely false historical claims (American Indians had special ritual dances for this night of the year)?!?

At any rate, I wish I could've been able to provide the 'boooop!' sound which always accompanied the magic of filmstrips in school. That 'booooop!' is like a bell to go out for a mental recess to 3rd grade.

But take heart that, where we once watched filmstrips in a darkened classroom without drinks, snacks or laughs, we can now forego such strictures and enjoy these things the way they were meant to be enjoyed; popcorn, drinks, snacks, and the nostalgic laughter of good friends.

Alright, sheet screen hanging in front of the fireplace... lights dimmed... record player's cued up... everyone able to see?





  1. Ohmigosh! I remember these filmstrips.

    Filmstrips! What a blast from the past. My grandmother and her three sisters were rural school teachers, starting their careers in the 1920s. When I was a kid in the late 1950s and the family visited Grandma she often brought a filmstrip projector home from school. Grandma was never one to pass up an opportunity to educate as well as entertain grandkids.
    I remember to this day how to load up a filmstrip projector--a skill I learned at age 5. When I went to school, my teacher found out, and I became the class projectionist. I could cue up a filmstrip and the accompanying record with the best of them.
    Later, Grandma taught me to operate an 8mm and a 16mm film projector. And my career as an AV kid lasted through high school.

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane!



  2. I ran the filmstrip projector/record player too, quite a few times; I couldn't do it all the time because it was one of the rewards for various challenges (get the best grade, raise your hand first and most, etc.) so no one was allowed to be 'the projectionist' more than once or twice in a row. I loved those things. The smell of the lamp burning, the sound of those old two-speaker-but-still-mono record players... the booooop! Ah, old school!

  3. Never even heard of the flour/coin thing, and in my opinion, the 2nd filmstrip doth protest too much the lack of fear we modern folk have. It's all wonderful and wrong in oh so many ways.
    Those crazy Scottish girls!

    Girls never got to be A/V helpers. Ever. Nope. But we did get to take the hot lunch orders to the Office and help in the milkroom.

  4. I just realized the music that plays for the second strip sounds a lot like the music in Pee Wee's Big Adventure.