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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Human Studies Film Archives' Mystery Film Reel Bonus

Missed parts I and II?  You can read them here and here.

For those of you who followed HSFA’s posts during October’s Archives Month, we are offering a bonus for November readers.  Perhaps the most mysterious clip of all on the mystery film reel—and clearly the most enchanting—is the following.  Although we understand nothing of the tradition, if there is one, behind this film footage, there is some resemblance to the acrobatic performances of Japanese firefighters atop tall extension ladders.

And, as an extra added bonus, this film clip resonated with other early 20th century film footage screened as part of the first presentation by University of Maryland professor Oliver Gaycken at Northeast Historic Film’s Summer Film Symposium, “A Modern Cabinet of Curiosity: The George Kleine Educational Film Catalogue.”  The wonder is:  which is more amazing, the man and the boy or the flies (who are trained and not glued or otherwise affixed to the surface)?

Pamela Wintle
Human Studies Film Archives


  1. I am amazed by the amount of Japanese history that is found on film. It seems that every one in the country own and used a camera of some type. Really facinated by footage during and before WWII.

  2. this culture on japanese and until now still exist,.....