Delights from British PathÃ©
Cursed again! It’s the weekend and I’ve come down with a cold. Between naps and snacks, I spent the better part of my afternoonÂ yesterdayÂ immersed in the treasure trove that is the video archive of British PathÃ©.
Established in the early 20th century by Charles PathÃ©, the newsreel studio educated and entertained moviegoing audiences from 1910 until 1970. WithÂ a selectionÂ of nearly 90,000 archived clips that have been digitized and made available on YouTube, there is plenty to see, from global news reports and commentary on current events, to quirky slice of life reportages about butchers, bakers and candlestick makers, to glamorous editorials on the latest fashions. Occasionally, a clip from the archive goes viral and gets widely shared on Facebook, but if you’ve got the time and inclination, there is so much more to dig through. I’ve only stuck my toe in and already had to narrow things down for this post, so there will most certainly be more to come of my favorite highlights. This week: mostly clips from the 50s and 60s. Next time we’ll delve into reels from the 1920s-40s, and I might have a couple of theme posts as well.
(Bit of a warning, when you go digging in the archive yourself, particularly in the clips from the 1950s and older, brace yourself for occasional self-satisfied sexist jokesÂ and jarring racist commentaryÂ in someÂ of the travel and world culture reels.)
But for now, let’s start with the most important category there is: cute animals (and the people who look after them).Â Among the clips I’ve picked for you, we’ve got a baby polar bear, a pair ofÂ miniature dachshund pupsÂ named Samson and Delilah,Â and an assortmentÂ of creatures at an airport animal hostel. Whether baby animal or baby human, theyÂ just can’t help but get food all over their faces!
Moving on, let’s take aÂ look into how thing were made, from jukeboxes andÂ wallpaper to one of my favorite things – liqueur-filled chocolates.
Tired from all that hard work? UnwindÂ with a bit of fishing or a game of Twister, or go out on the town for a tropical cocktail at a bar with real live alligators. Got to entertain a large company of out of towners? An innuendo filledÂ Elizabethan dinnerÂ banquet might be the ticket. Whatever you do, beware of pick pockets!