Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Short Subjects

Remember how yesterday I was saying that I was half minded to tell work where to go when I returned from leave today?  Well, curiously enough, that's almost what happened.  I got back to find myself confronted with changes to my job (which would effectively double my work load) which hadn't been discussed with me.  So, I just told them that I wasn't going to do it.  That simple.  I've left the ball in their court.  It's entirely up to them how they want to proceed, but I've made clear that I'm quite prepared to walk, if necessary, pointing out that they've already got two vacancies they can't fill and two more of my colleagues on long term sick leave.  So, good luck with potentially replacing me and dealing with the chaos which will ensue if I leave.  Obviously, I'll also be speaking to my union.  Watch this space.

But let's move on to more interesting things.  You might recall that a while ago we spent a week here looking at those 8mm 'digest' versions of feature films which were available for home viewing in the days before VHS, DVDs and streaming.  Well, some of the Castle Films digests have started turning up on Talking Pictures TV, shown as part of the 'Glimpses' series of newsreels, public information films and shorts which the channel use as 'fillers' between feature films.  Last week I caught an eight minute black and white sound version of  Dr Cyclops, the 1940 'scientist miniaturises rivals' movie which was originally released in colour.  I also caught part of a digest version of a 1940s western, the title of which currently eludes me.  Hopefully, more of these will turn up in future.

I suspect, however, that, despite Talking Pictures TV's predilection for showing seventies British sex comedies, that they won't be showing any of the 8mm 'glamour shorts' which proliferated in the fifties and sixties.  These were basically eight to ten minute, usually black and white, short films featuring a female model undressing, exercising, getting out of bed, taking a bath - you get the idea.  Essentially, they were the earliest form of home pornography films.  They all seem pretty tame and quaint by today's standards.  The late, great Harrison Marks was a prolific producer of these shorts.  Many of his were styled in the manner of old silent movies, complete with intertitles and rudimentary plotlines.  He also appeared in a lot of these.  I've been considering looking at some of them in more detail here, but I'm worried that Google will decide I'm a pornographer (again), slap a warning on the front of the blog and probably threaten me (again).  After all, if they think that satire is porn (when posted on Google Plus), then what are they going to make of ancient black and white films featuring bared breasts and bums?  



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