British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Our Secret Century

Synopsis
A series of themed CD-ROMs, edited and selected by ‘media archaeologist’ Rick Prelinger, comprising an anthology of films, film segments, text, still images and artifacts depicting trends and developments of the 20th century.
1: Seven colour films explore how 1950s’ glitz seduced Americans into an obsession with the look of designed objects.
2: Three black-and-white industrial films of the 1930s. Two of them borrow heavily from heroic Soviet imagery to attempt to humansie the face of mass production.
3: Eight comic and sinister social guidance films document the postwar social crusade to instill family values and 1950s’ style.
4: Seven safety films about the perils of haste and carelessness, shot between 1936 and 1962.
5: Six films explore the late 1950s and early 1960s : In GANG BOY white and Chicano gangs in working-class Los Angeles call a truce; in THE DROPOUT Robert’s downward spiral includes a stint in the malt shop waiting on his one-time peers, and THE TERRIBLE TRUTH hase well-brought-up girls becoming addicted to ‘horse’.
6: A visual record of the changing face of urban and rural America. IN THE SUBURBS celebrates the white suburban dream, a paradise for advertisers, and in AMERICAN HARVEST the exploitation of the country’s natural resuources culminates in an automobile.
7: Considers how and when young people learn to be true to their sex: THE HOME ECONOMICS STORY points out that ‘cooking is practically applied cemistry’.
8: Documents the growth of mass advertising and its migration from cinema to television. Early adverts include the journey of an animated droplet of gasoline through the fuel-efficient bowels of a 1935 Chevrolet, and ‘RFD Greenwich Village’, a ‘suburban oasis’ where the modern villager relaxes in modern corduroy clothes.
9: Six sex education films from the 1950s and 1960s.
10: Films of America at is patriotic best, mobilised agains its enemies - the Axis, communism, trade unions, bad attitudes. CONQUER BY THE CLOCK is an ode to wartime productivity; MY JAPAN is a propaganda film promoting war bonds; in DESTININATION EARTH a Martian visitor learns that what’s good for business - especially the oil business - is good for the individual.
11-12 (in preparation)
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Medium
Multimedia; 12 CD-ROMS. PC Windows or Apple Macintosh (separate versions)
Year of production
1995
Availability
Sale; 1997 sale: US$29.95 (each set of 2 volumes)
Subjects
History
Keywords
United States of America

Credits

Producer
Rick Prelinger

Distribution Formats

Type
CD-ROM

Sections

Title
Rainbow is yours, The
Synopsis
1: Seven colour films explore how 1950s' glitz seduced Americans into an obsession with the look of designed objects.

Title
Capitalist realism
Synopsis
2: Three black-and-white industrial films of the 1930s. Two of them borrow heavily from heroic Soviet imagery to attempt to humansie the face of mass production.

Title
Behavior offensive, The
Synopsis
3: Eight comic and sinister social guidance films document the postwar social crusade to instill family values and 1950s' style.

Title
Menace and jeopardy
Synopsis
4: Seven safety films about the perils of haste and carelessness, shot between 1936 and 1962.

Title
Teenage transgression
Synopsis
5: Six films explore the late 1950s and early 1960s : In GANG BOY white and Chicano gangs in working-class Los Angeles call a truce; in THE DROPOUT Robert's downward spiral includes a stint in the malt shop waiting on his one-time peers, and THE TERRIBLE

Title
Uncharted landscape, The
Synopsis
6: A visual record of the changing face of urban and rural America. IN THE SUBURBS celebrates the white suburban dream, a paradise for advertisers, and in AMERICAN HARVEST the exploitation of the country's natural resuources culminates in an automobile.

Title
Gender role call
Synopsis
7: Considers how and when young people learn to be true to their sex: THE HOME ECONOMICS STORY points out that 'cooking is practically applied cemistry'.

Title
Tireless marketers
Synopsis
8: Documents the growth of mass advertising and its migration from cinema to television. Early adverts include the journey of an animated droplet of gasoline through the fuel-efficient bowels of a 1935 Chevrolet, and 'RFD Greenwich Village', a 'suburban o

Title
Busy bodies
Synopsis
9: Six sex education films from the 1950s and 1960s.

Title
Make mine freedom
Synopsis
10: Films of America at is patriotic best, mobilised agains its enemies - the Axis, communism, trade unions, bad attitudes. CONQUER BY THE CLOCK is an ode to wartime productivity; MY JAPAN is a propaganda film promoting war bonds; in DESTININATION EARTH a

Production Company

Name

New York, NY 10012

Email
cdroms@voyagerco.com
Web
http://www.voyagerco.com/ External site opens in new window
Phone
+1 212-431 5199
Fax
+1 212-431 5799

Distributor

Name

Voyager Company

Email
cdroms@voyagerco.com
Web
http://www.voyagerco.com/ External site opens in new window
Phone
+1 212-431 5199
Fax
+1 212-431 5799
Address
578 Broadway, Duite 406
New York
NY 10012
USA
Notes
The company is now defunct (5/2008).

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