Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I mentioned the other day that I like to listen to international broadcasters. Yesterday, Radio Sweden had an interesting piece on the Swedish Film Institute's on-line archive. Now, there aren't any classic Swedish films there, at least not in the sense that we'd think of when we think "classic" cinema. All the feature films have the obvious problems with copyright issues. Instead, what we get is about 500 mostly short films that look a lot like the sort of American industrial films of the 1950s, plus a bunch of documentaries. The other thing, of course, is that almost everything is in Swedish, so it's difficult to figure out quite what's going on unless you speak Swedish, which I don't.

Still, there are some interesting things in the archive. One is a document of the 1897 visit of the King of Siam to Sweden, which shouldn't be too difficult to follow since they didn't have talking movies back then so you don't have to deal with Swedish dialogue.

Then, there was the American cruise line that tried to get people to visit Stockholm. They did so by making the advertising film Stockholm, Queen of the Baltic back in 1932. Looks a lot like one of James A. FitzPatrick's Traveltalks movies. (Fitzpatrick himself actually did visit Sweden, making Stockholm, Pride of Sweden in 1937 and Rural Sweden in 1938.)

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