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Jean Mitry – Pacific 231

An evening pause: I would never sit through a performance of the music played during this 1949 short film showing the power of the steam locomotive. Juxtapositioned with the powerful images of the train in motion, however, this music works splendidly. The film itself is an example of the kind of short avant garde films produced during the 1950s and 1950s, and well worth watching.

Hat tip Blair Ivey.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


  • wayne

    Good selection, (even if it is French!)
    -I like this sorta stuff, as long as it doesn’t involve Mimes.

    In a similar vain, but without the existentialistic angst, and 13 years earlier. (Derogatorily referred to as “Capitalist Realism,” by fellow-travelers & useful idiots the world over, but just a solid Jam Handy Industrial Film.) Starts out kinda slow, until they literally fire up the boiler at the 3:00 mark.)

    Master Hands (1936)
    Chevrolet- A Jam Handy Film
    “A beautiful dramatization of how the master hands of Chevrolet craftsmen form the patterns, tools and dies, and control the huge machine that fashions the modern car.”

  • Joe

    Great video Blair, the music works with the filming very well, said a fan of motive power in any configuration.
    Wayne, that six cylinder had something like a fifty or sixty year run, and was even copied by another auto maker nice video.

  • wayne

    Yes, the sound is synced up quite nicely, in Blair’s video selection.

    Highly recommend watching the higher-definition version(s) of “Master Hands” hosted at the Internet Archive. They have multiple crisp & clean files available. (everything is free, no registration, the embedded player works well & they make it easy for you to download the original files.)
    (just look at the “download options” box, and select “show all” to see available formats.)

    You could get totally lost in their massive selection, including… motive power in any configuration.

  • Mitch S.

    Love this stuff.

    Here’s a Chrysler factory tour from the 1950’s:

    And here’s a historical perspective leading to some of the automotive engineering and science that soon drove the “arsenal of democracy”:

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