Surreally-earnest instructional videos from the 40s, 50s, 60s – Boing Boing

What retro-fresh hell is this? Old TV Time is a YouTube channel dedicated to cultural and industrial instructional videos from the 1940s and 50s (and 60s and 70s).

From advice on dating (directed at boys), properly behaving at a restaurant (directed at girls), and how to suppress “strong feelings” so that you don’t end up in “wrong behavior” and “miss your chance at love” (also direct at girls) to setting up disaster hospitals, the miracles of cotton, and community health.

Looking at these today is bizarre, creepy, and unnerving. The blatant sexism, the moral certitude, the strictures of conformity, the blinding whiteness of it all. It is no wonder that such films have long been fodder for surreal, neo-dada, punk, and industrial art.

If the acting in this one seems particularly chewy, it’s because it was designed to teach the hearing-impaired how to read lips (but the difference between this and many others is… subtle).

Image: Screengrab

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