Monday, 25 April 2011


The mighty Scopitone

Probably the most famous Scopitone
The Scopitone was the forerunner to music videos. It was a device, much like a jukebox, that played 16mm film of French pop music and obscure American sounds. Its heyday was in the early sixties and the specially made films that appeared on it are fantastic examples of retro cool; certainly Mike Myers must have seen some of these epics when he dreamt up Austin Powers.
These machines were installed in coffee bars and cocktail lounges in Europe and appealed to the hep cats of the day. Far from being just kitsch artefacts the shorts promos have inventiveness and charm that perfectly suits the material and the era. Camp, burlesque references and cheesy routines make these short films eminently watchable. The sets and structure of these shorts are terrific fun and range from sparse studio sets to colourful and garish production numbers. They often dipped their toe in more, shall we say, rock n roll territory; witness this Rolling stones-esque effort from Antoine

Les Elucebrations

The most well known Scopitone is probably Nancy Sinatra's these boots are made for walking the song and film nicely sum up the Scopitone genre.The fact that they are predominantly French films gives them a uniqueness that is hard to replicate. Here's a taste and a link to more Scopitone mania, enjoy daddio.
Modesty Blaise
Si Jous Chante
Pussycat a go go
I want you to be my baby
Baby pop
Land of 1000 dances
web of love

Check 'em out here
Scopitone membership vid
more info here

Le Surfs-Ce Garcon

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having said that;