BFI’s Screen Heritage UK

Who loves history? Well, since you’ve read past those first three words without abandoning the article, I’ll assume you do, loyal reader. If that’s the case, do we have a treat in store for you.

The British Film Institute has recently launched a multi-million pound project called Screen Heritage UK. Despite its rather unfortunate acronym of SHUK, it looks to be quite a lot of fun: in cooperation with numerous film archives from all across the country, the BFI have collected a veritable Blitzload of vintage films, as well as cataloging the info for a vast quantity of classic British films.

What does this mean for you, the humble history-craver? Well, it means that if you pop over to their website, you can see the last century unfold before your smacked gob. You can see the boys at the front in WWI. You can witness the moral panic as the Teenager is invented. And if you’re very good, you might even have a chance to gander at the terrifying future that awaits us in the distant space-year of 2000.

There’s also an extensive database of films that, though you can’t watch them through the BFI, have scads of information, background info and maybe even a documentary or two. Have a search, have a play, you never know what you might find.

To celebrate, the BFI have also released a trio of short compilation films which resemble nothing so much as the montages that aliens always watch to absorb human culture. Seriously, check this out:

If we were the future alien overlords of you pitiful Earthlings (and we are), this is exactly the sort of thing we’d want to have available. Just so we know who your Queen is when we eat her. Plus the evidence of your poor swordsmanship would certainly help our military leaders.

If that doesn’t appeal, there’s another one about… uh, Holidays. To be honest, we’re not quite sure we get this one, but it’s full of seasides and roller-coasters and… roller-coasters by the sea?

Oh, and also a dude diving through another dude’s legs. So there’s that.

Finally, we have the “Dancing” compilation. I bet that’s going to be dull…

WOAH! Look at them go! They’re dancing all over the shop. That’s brilliant, did you see that bit at 0:19 where some guy is MAKING HIS TIE DANCE FOR SOME REASON. Hold on, we’re going to watch it again.

Anyway, go check out the BFI Reel History film archive. Because the past is MENTAL.

What do you think is the maddest part of history? It’s the tie dance, isn’t it? Of course it’s the tie dance. Let us know in the comments below.

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