A Blast From The Past: The Holy Roman Empire

It may seem strange to celebrate the Ides of March by sharing an educational film about The Holy Roman Empire, seeing as how it was famous for being neither holy nor Roman nor an Empire.  But then again, the fact that the name “Roman Empire” was still being appropriated into the 19th century shows you just how powerful a hold the Roman Empire had over people’s imaginations.  Everyone wanted to be Roman and everyone wanted to be a part of an empire.  Of course, there would have been no Roman Empire if not for the Ides of March.

Add to that, this 1961 film features not only a teacher but also historical reenactments.  I love cheap looking historical reenactments!

Here, for your educational viewing, is a blast from the past.  From 1961, it’s a look at The Holy Roman Empire!

A Blast From The Past: Better Use Of Leisure Time

Well, it’s a new year.

That means that it’s time to start thinking about what you want to make of yourself this year.  What are you going to do?  What are you going to accomplish?  How are you going to make yourself proud of who you’ve become?

There’s a lot of movies coming out.  Maybe you’ll go to them.  Or maybe you’ll be the person who spends all of their time on twitter, tweeting about how scared you are of going back to the theaters.  Both options come with their risks and their rewards.

There’s a celebrity edition of Big Brother airing in February.  Maybe you’ll watch it.  Maybe you’ll blog about it, because you like getting paid more than your dislike the show.  Or maybe you’ll spend all of your time on twitter, talking about how much you hate reality TV.

2022 is an election year.  Maybe you’ll run for office.  Maybe you’ll volunteer to work for a campaign.  Maybe you’ll spend all of your time on twitter, tweeting about how people need to vote for your candidate.  Maybe you’ll come up with the hashtag that changes the course of the election!  Maybe you’ll hang out in the paring lot of Whataburger, waiting for Beto to toll by.

Or maybe….


You’re not going to do anything.

Let’s be honest, most of us are very lazy and we have absolutely no idea how lucky we are compared to people who lived just a few decades ago.  We take a lot of things for granted and we waste a lot of time doing nothing, precisely because we can do just about anything that we want.

(Of course, in my case, I’m have ADHD.  I spend a lot of time doing things but usually, I end up trying to do them all at once.  Reading a book and watching a TV at the same time is not difficult but when you also try to vacuum the living room while doing those other two things, it starts to get a little bit more difficult.  Still, my super power is ADHD and I’m thankful.)

Well, fear not!  A short film from Coronet Films has traveled all the way from 1950 to encourage you to make better use of your leisure time!  Why …. that’s even the name of the film!  Better Use of Your Leisure Time follows a good-for-nothing, spoiled teenager named Ken as he learns why spending all of your time moping is perhaps the worst thing that you can do.  With the help of a judgmental narrator and the ability to see alternative universes, Ken learns an important lesson.  There’s no hope with mope!  Ken discovers that some people actually have hobbies and spend their free time creating and learning and being a decent citizen.  It’s an important lesson and hopefully, it’s one that Ken will remember the next time that someone tells him that moping is no big deal.

Anyway, as far as Coronet Educational Films go, this one isn’t bad.  Ken is a bit of a loser but that’s to be expected of these type of films.  It’s very much a product of its era and, if nothing else, it stands as evidence that people wasted time even before the internet existed.  TAKE THAT, LUDDITES!

Watch, enjoy, and learn.  LEARN, GOSH DARN IT!

Twin Blasts From The Past: What To Do On A Date and Dating Do’s and Don’ts (dir by Ted Peshak)

It’s been a while since I’ve shared any old educational films here on the Shattered Lens but I figured now might be the perfect time to share an old movie from 1951, What To Do On A Date.  Produced by the good (or so I assume) people at Coronet Films, What To Do On A Date is … well, the plot is pretty much in the title.

Now, to be honest, this could have just as easily been called What To Do On A Date If You Want To Make Sure That Lisa Never Agrees To A Second Date.  Seriously, this is totally squaresville.  Like real Melvin.  But you know what?  I’m notoriously hard to please and, with Valentine’s Day coming up, this may be helpful to someone.

I don’t know who, exactly.  But hey, it’s on YouTube and that’s the important thing.

(I’m all about helping.  You know that.)

If you still need help after What To Do On A Date, you can watch 1949’s Dating Do’s and Don’ts.  It was directed by the same guy who did What To Do On A Date.  People in the 1940s were notorious for knowing what to do on dates.  The Baby Boom didn’t just happen, y’know.

(Apparently, the version of Dating Do’s and Don’ts uploaded to YouTube is incomplete.  But you’ll get the general point.)