thinglets: The Underground Movie


With my podcast yesterday about the Canadian government trying to throttle the sharing of the Ministry of Natural Resources scientists, what follows is another short gem from the National Film Board. Since the Harper government doesn't want us to find out about a 13,000 year old post-ice age flood, perhaps we can interest them in a Canadian scheme to drill through the earth.

From the website:

"Everyone has wondered what it would be like to dig right through to the other side of the Earth. This animated short takes that notion one step further. Here, the probe is accomplished by an ingenious machine dubbed Old Chucknose, which with the help of amazing gadgetry, bores through every layer of the Earth’s crust and centre."

A little bit longer, at 14 minutes, than what I usually post, but surely you have to have a 15 minute break some time during the day.

thinglets: How Did Canada Sell Itself To The World In 1970?


A classic from the NFB called "The City". Just be aware there is a couple of minutes of darkscreen video while the music is grooving off the top. If you can't live with that, skip ahead. From the website description:

An animated fantasy that shows Canadians as urbanized people developing a vast wilderness with the aid of the latest technologies. Shown as part of the Urban Environment exhibit in the Canadian pavilion at the international exposition, Osaka '70.

thinglets: Glimpses and Impressions of Canada


An absolutely elegant and beautiful selection from This is like a gentle version of something one might have seen in Koyanisqaatsi series a couple of decades ago. Best part is, you don't have to be Canadian to appreciate the simplicity and juxtaposition of images and sound.

"This film depicts 24 hours in the life of an imagined city – a composite that draws on all Canadian cities. This imaginary day unfolds through the course of four seasons and reveals the nature of places and the people that make them so vibrant. The images in the film slowly come together with deft, impressionistic touches. Adopting the rhythm of someone strolling through the city, they intermingle and reply to each other – evoking a different story for each viewer." -

thinglets: Ladies and Gentlemen... Mr. Leonard Cohen


Another great gift via the website.

I've never been a huge fan of Leonard Cohen, but the stylish 45 year old look at one of Canada's most popular poets and performers was too cool to pass up. Beyond its examination of Cohen, it really gives viewers a sense of place and time in such a way that is esssential, and unfortunately often unique, to some of the great National Film Board content creators that we still enjoy today.

While I would never expect any to sit back and watch all 45 minutes, it is entertaining and engaging. And now you know where to find it.

thinglets: My Best 90 Second Video Find Ever!


The video embedded above is a very cool 27 minute film documenting the first ever game for the newly-baptized Quebec Nordiques in 1972. It is one of a 12 part series produced by the NFB called "Adieu Alouette" and the theme song at the beginning is priceless.

Even if you're not a hockey fan, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE watch the first 90 seconds for the cheesiest, grooviest, theme song about cultural identity I've ever seen - all in glorious period animation. You won't regret it.

Thank you once again!

thinglets: Here's Hockey! 1953


A great time capsule look at the Canadian view of hockey in 1953. Not much has changed. NHL training camps are opening. My hometown of Hamilton is getting screwed over for a team once again.

That aside, this short film gives insight on ice makers, junior hockey, equipment costs, and minor hockey teams featuring the legendary Jean Beliveau's transition from the Quebec Aces to the Montreal Canadiens. Some great early slo-mo sports coverage that's over 55 years old. Incredible video quality as well!

"Professional hockey's a more than 7 million dollar a year business!"

This Leslie McFarlane film is presented courtesy of - the National Film Board of Canada.