rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,


Last evening, a growing mass of clouds filled the east. I noted with delight that many of them had begun to take on a decidedly cumulus look. An hour later, there came a brief spattering of fat raindrops, and the smell of hot pavement rose to scent the night air as they evaporated. Though the rain lasted only a few minutes, and failed to fully cover the ground, it was the first moisture to fall in months, and it greatly pleased me. The clouds have lingered most of the night, tantalizing me with the unfulfilled promise of more rain, and only now are dissipating to reveal a cerulean sky already starless.

After midnight, a passing raccoon growled at me when I stepped out the front door and the beam of light the opening released fell across the spot on the driveway where he stood. Annoyed by my unwanted presence, the raccoon turned and waddled into shadow beyond the garage. A moment later, I heard its claws scrabbling over the fence into the back yard.

Wandering about the Internets (I accidentally typed Internest) looking at things other than all that stuff chronicling the most recent (and thus far most compelling) evidence of the utter bankruptcy of our governing class, I poked around in the feature film collection of the Internet Archive. Not having a high speed connection, I'd never bothered to check it out before. It would take days to download a movie over dial-up, so there's not much point. But idle curiosity led me to look at a couple of pages of their listings. Despite the fact that it's called a feature film archive, not all of the 569 items in it are full length films. Some are shorts, including (among the first hundred films listed) a handful of Tom and Jerry cartoons, a couple of Superman cartoons, and a Popeye cartoon. There are episodes of old serials as well (I don't know if all the episodes are available) and a few comedy shorts, including one with the Three Stooges, and a collection of four early Chaplin shorts.

Among the actual feature films I saw listed were several silents, including the 1922 Nosferatu, and the German expressionist movies The Golem and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. There were also several well-known features from the 1930s, including My Man Godfrey, His Girl Friday, and the first version of Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much. There were also a number of "B" film noir movies from the '40s and '50s. The most surprising inclusion as all these movies are in the public domain, was the 1960s classic Charade, with Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant. It turns out that this movie entered the public domain by accident, when the studio released it without the then-required copyright symbol on it. Hurray for sloppy studio employees!

There is also an oddity from 1924 called the Tribune-American Dream Picture, which was the result of a contest run by an Oakland newspaper. Readers submitted their dreams, and the winning dream was made into a short movie. I think I might download that one some night, as it's available in an 8MB version. That wouldn't take too long. I think it might be interesting to watch a movie makers interpretation of some ordinary person's dream from eighty years ago.

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