May 23, 2010

NFL FILMS’ LOST TREASURES: Football junkies rejoice! Around the beginning of the year, Hulu added a whole boatload of NFL-related videos, including lots of material from NFL Films, the league’s in-house film division. NFL Films began in their early ’60s, and in the early naughts, put together a fascinating 40th anniversary retrospective called “Lost Treasures” that ran for a while on ESPN, and then disappeared. Fortunately, now they’re back, albeit online.

Boomer mythology tends to smash cut from the days of Camelot straight to Woodstock, but there’s a reason why it was called the counterculture. Something like watching a real life Mad Men episode, or flipping through James Lileks’ archives, the episodes of “Lost Treasures” give a real sense of the game in the 1960s, and the primary culture in which it existed.

Plus the innocence of seeing  a very small Army of Davids (to coin a phrase) armed with 16mm cameras and reel-to-reel tape recorders makes for quite a contrast with the sprawling operation  of its modern-day equivalent, whose Mt. Laurel, NJ facilities I toured a few years ago, after interviewing their principals for Videomaker and TCS Daily.

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