Any number of films have left lasting impressions on me. Certainly some have gone onto shape my imagination in various ways. A lot of them are films that I watched with my father, like The Man with No Name trilogy that featured Clint Eastwood, or any number of WW2 films — Kelly’s Heroes or The Dirty Dozen or The Longest Day to name just a few — that shaped the fiction I read and the movies I watched as I grew older.
Then there are the films I found myself and watched, some of which were either “made for television” or found their only real home there or on the nascent cable television channels. The Blonde with One Black Shoe certainly falls under the latter category, as does a host of British, or near-British, spy thrillers. Like the Harry Palmer trilogy, the original Italian Job, or The Internecine Project, a film that stayed in my head for as long as it has because I loved its hammered dulcimer soundtrack so much that I recorded it as it played on air onto a cassette tape which contained a host of other favorite soundtracks, most of which I can no longer remember.
It turns out that The Internecine Project is not only watchable again on Youtube, but its soundtrack is available on Apple Music.
Someone has done a fantastic job of [pairing the posters of movies](http://imgur.com/a/J5j6L) that came out at the same time, often in the same year, that would appear to be on much the same topic. The pairings are:
* 1986: _Top Gun_ and _Iron Eagle_
* 1989: _Abyss_ and _Leviathan_
* 1989: _Turner and Hooch_ and _K-9_
* 1993/1994: _Tombstone_ and _Wyatt Earp_
* 1993/1994: _Rookie of the Year_ and _Little Big League_
* 1995: _Babe_ and _Gordy_
* 1995/1996: _Powder_ and _Phenomenon_
* 1995/1996: _Showgirls_ and _Striptease_
* 1997: _Volcano_ and _Dante’s Peak_
* 1998: _Antz_ and _A Bug’s Life_
* 1998: _Armageddon_ and _Deep Impact_
* 1998/1999: _The Truman Show_ and _Ed TV_
* 1999/2001: _Centennial Man_ and _A.I._
* 2000: _Red Planet_ and _Mission to Mars_
* 2002: _Stealing Harvard_ and _Orange County_
* 2003/2004: _Finding Nemow_ and _Shark Tale_
* 2004: _Chasing Liberty_ and _First Daughter_
* 2005: _The Cave_ and _The Descent_
* 2005/2006: _Wild_ and _Madagascar_
* 2006: _Capote_ and _Infamous_
* 2006: _The Prestige_ and _The Illusionist_
* 2006: _Open Season_ and _Over the Hedge_
* 2006/2007: _Happy Feet_ and _Surf’s Up_
* 2008/2012: _Taken_ and _Stolen_
* 2009: _Observe and Report_ and _Mall Cop_
* 2010: _Megamind_ and _Despicable Me_
* 2011: _Friends with Benefits_ and _No Strings Attached_
* 2012: _Mirror Mirror_ and _Snow White and the Huntsman_
* 2013: _After Earth_ and _Oblivion_
* 2013: _Olympus Has Fallen_ and _White House Down_
Given such a history, the question then is how much of this is zeitgeist and how much is the fact that scripts probably circulate somewhat widely and people see something in a script on which they pass that then gets them thinking about a version of the story on their own. We don’t need to assume outright copying at all. Or, alternatively, if we assume copying, it’s still the case that there is something larger, be “the times being what they are” or the marketplace, has increased the viability of certain projects / topics over others.
And, yes, I can even see being this objective in my own recent experience of discovering a parallel project to my own, but I’ll have more to say on that a little later — I’m working on a post tentatively entitled *On Credit*.
Alfred Hitchcock wrote “A White Shadow” in 1924. The National Film Preservation Foundation has managed to find a copy, and has generously made it available for any and all with a decent Internet connection to [watch]. A 24-year-old Hitchcock also served as assistant director for the 1924 movie, which was recovered back in August from New Zealand collector Jack Murtagh — who in his lifetime amassed one of the largest libraries in the country. Sadly you’re in for an incomplete viewing: only three of six reels (totaling 43 minutes) have managed to survived the decades since White Shadow’s release.
Roger Ebert has [six documentary films by Werner Herzog](http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/six-of-herzogs-less-known-docu.html) that are all available for streaming. The quality is not great, but you still get a chance to see what Herzog is up to in a nonfictional setting.
[Rear Window Timelapse.](http://vimeo.com/37120554). Jeff Desom has not only compressed the film into two minutes, but he has also set everything in the constant frame of the view from the window: really, just watch the first fifteen seconds to see what he does here. It’s brilliant.
More information is available at the [BLDGBlog](http://bldgblog.blogspot.com/2012/01/breaking-out-and-breaking-in.html) — how cool is that? A film festival that focuses on the architecture?
As usual Kottke comes up with some of the most amazing finds. Not the best documentary work in the world, though I do appreciate the good short, but, ahhhhh … Paris. (See also his [link to a rant][rant] by a piano repairman about the decline in quality of pianos.)
[Texas Farm, 1952](http://www.archive.org/details/TexasFar1952). This stuff is just amazing. The glimpse it gives you into the past. This is a collection of color film reels, without sound, taken by an amateur filmmaker — it appears to be the farmer himself.
[Henry Browne, Farmer (1942)](http://www.archive.org/details/HenryBro1942). More great stuff from the Prelinger Archives on Archive.org. Amazing document of farming of the era. Farmer Browne is African American, but that is not the focus of the film.
[Bookbinding Circa 1961](http://www.archive.org/details/Bookbind1961). 12 minutes long. Black and white footage. Factory tour. Part of the “Americans at Work” series.