So, YouTube is down today, which ruined the plan I had for this week's post, but it gave me an excuse to start flipping around on Google Video. I never really gave Google Video a chance in the past, because my searches don't return nearly as many useful finds, but it is fun to browse through and I have to say that I do like their interface better than YouTube. But little matter anymore, as now they are both under the same umbrella. Perhaps GoogleTube will change design or start charging (at which time the party will be completely over), but until then, here are some videos to keep you occupied.
One Got Fat
In this 1963 bicycle safety film, a group of children wearing monkey masks are biking to a picnic and they get picked off and killed one by one. Yikes. The cheery narration by Edward Everett Horton (classic Hollywood actor and narrator for Fractured Fairy Tales) doesn't help.
From the French speaking section of Switzerland comes this live action version of the arcade game, using people and a theatre setting to recreate Space Invaders. A little too long, but still quite fun to watch. How it was made (en Français).
Make Mine Freedom and What Makes Us Tick
Ah, brainwashing. What better way to make people do your will than to simplify life with cartoons. Make Mine Freedom (1958) is a humorous look at the terrors of evil Communism. What Makes Us Tick (1952) is an overly optimistic look at the American Stock Exchange (who also produced the film). Politics aside, these are entertaining little propaganda films, thanks to the attractive animation by former Disney animator John Sutherland.
James Randi vs. Uri Geller
In the 1970s, the incredibly awesome magician James Randi (who also toured with Alice Cooper's stage show) made it his mission to debunk the craze of pseudo-science. This one hour television special showcases his first major target, the spoon-bending psychic Uri Geller. Here's another short video, narrated by Randi, which features a great scene where Johnny Carson completely humiliates Geller.
Morphing Michael Jackson
Here's a nice twist on the end of the Black Or White video: let's use the same morphing effect and look at Michael Jackson's ever changing face. From Motown to Jack the Ripper, it's a transformation that is easy to make fun of, but ultimately makes me feel rather sad. If you wish to feel better, then check out this clip from the Telugu film Donga (Thief), a low-fi version of Thriller that has been making the rounds lately.
Hurra Torpedo - Total Eclipse of the Heart
This Norwegian band covers Bonnie Tyler's hit (written, of course, by the great Jim Steinman) using old appliances for the bombastic percussion. From a 1995 broadcast of "a Norwegian Saturday Night Live type show called Lille lørdag (Little Saturday)".