Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Film of a Century Ago, Plus Superman Across Time

YouTube doesn’t just mean more viewing options, it means, of course, that all sorts of things get watched that probably would’ve been watched only by TV industry editors a decade ago, then seen by you only in brief, truncated, stylized form.  Much as we all love cats, I think the most mesmerizing manifestation of this may be all the raw footage from a century ago you can now ogle at length.  The effect, especially with cleaned-up-and-colorized footage, can be eerily dreamlike. 

Here’s Edwardian England at length over a century ago.  I can’t be the only one who starts to feel the beautiful but unnerving reverse-sci-fi sense that “It was real, they were all real” to a much greater extent watching this sort of thing than watching some PBS documentary with a stentorian voiceover.

And in keeping with this blog’s climactic “Month of Time Travel,” here’s an observation I made recently on Facebook about the changing pattern of major events in Superman’s life in the different recent versions of his tale:


Clark becomes Superman

Clark becomes a reporter

then Lois learns his secret


Clark becomes a reporter

Lois learns his secret

then Clark becomes Superman


Clark becomes Superman

Lois learns his secret

then Clark becomes a reporter

In theory, we could still someday do these three remaining variations:

4. secret > reporter > Superman;
5. secret > Superman > reporter;
6. reporter > Superman > secret (It's debatable whether he reported first or became Superman first in the comics, actually, despite what I've listed at the top of all this)

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