Friday, 16 January 2015

"Life Through the Ages" Videos

You've got to love the National Film Board of Canada. Not only do they have an enormous online library of their films, all viewable for free, but they also take requests for what they should upload next.

Naturally, I requested that they upload the two videos that used to play in the Canadian Museum of Nature's old fossil gallery, Life Through the Ages. It took them a while to get to them, but they did!

Here's Origin of Life on Earth, which used to play in English and French at the very beginning of the exhibit. It was made in 1972, so I'm guessing it was part of the exhibit when it opened in 1974, and it lasted until the museum was closed for renovations in 2004.

Watching the film as a kid, I didn't really understand what I was seeing. But I loved (and still love) the haunting music, which really set the tone for the rest of the exhibit.

The second film is Extinction of the Dinosaurs, which played just after you came back upstairs from the dinosaur room. It illustrates the then-current idea that the dinosaurs died because of a nearby supernova.

This video wasn't on display for nearly as long. It was made in 1976, so must have been added to the exhibit later. And it was removed sometime around 1988, I'm guessing because of mounting evidence for the asteroid impact hypothesis.

In our modern age of super-realistic CGI dinosaurs (which I like!), I miss seeing stylized, impressionistic animated dinosaurs. I'd love to see a modern film with dinosaurs, accurate to what we know now, animated in this style.