Monday, 2 March 2015




Lately I've been searching a lot of film archives and a lot of online archives. Recently this led me to the Indiana University Libraries Moving Image Archive. While snooping around in their collection I came across their online exhibit WWII Propaganda Films and IU: Audiovisual Production, Circulation, and Education. 

Screenshot from Survival of the Fittest
 The exhibit features films from Indiana University's Bureau of Audio-Visual Aids. According to the website the I.U. distributed 16mm films as a  a way to provide a "vital link in the distribution of information from the Federal government's Office of War Information to the citizens of Indiana and throughout the mid-west."

Screenshot form Indiana University Goes to War
 I watched quite a few of the videos which are organized by subject and include topics like health, agriculture, production and women in wartime.

Some of the films I watched included some really great dialogue like: "they're not naturally familiar with mechanical processes nor machines" (Supervising Women Workers), "Food to keep our husky young fighting men fit" (The Gardens of Victory) and "every year 2 billion pounds of waste kitchen fat is thrown away" (Out of the Frying Pan and into the Firing Line).

Here is a list of the other things that I liked: the music was peppy and made me want to support 'Merica, there was a lot of corporate involvement in the films, the Office of Civilian Defense logo looks a lot like the Deathly Hallows symbol and the narrators have the olde tyme news voice.

Screenshot from The Gardens of Victory

 My favorite and most informative film was "Out of the frying pan and into the firing line."

1 comment:

  1. Hehe - there is nothing like good old classic propaganda (weren't times easier back then? messages were clear, Disney was making its contributions to the war effort ;) - of course, leaving sarcasm aside, these are such fantastic materials which show the interrelation between politics and the commercial sectors, which was a very significant manner to consumer and produce culture. I was watching "out of the frying pan" and thinking: "have we really changed our communication practices much?" or we have a different relation to our media texts which allow us to be more skeptical and critical at the same time? It is important to revisit these "historic" texts once in a while to reflect on the way in which we communicate messages today.