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Wellcome Film of the Month: Party Feet

21 Dec, 2010

The Five (1970) is a short animation commissioned by the British Medical Association. The animation vividly brings to life (with an early 1970s aesthetic) the experience of five toes belonging to a teenage girl who has been partying all night in ill-fitting shoes. The toes complain bitterly (and amusingly) about their plight with the little toe sobbing inconsolably. They explain in a series of flashbacks how they have been maltreated. A dream illustrates how they would like to be treated – feet measured, shoes fitted and lots of shoe- and sock-free time. The film features specially composed music by The Aunties.

Clearly the film was designed to appeal to young teens exercising their independence in terms of leisure time and retail choice. Elsewhere in the collection, other unsuitable fashion footwear of the 1970s is commented upon by Frank Rowntree, the Health Education Officer for Sheffield (1928–1996), in a broadcast on BBC Radio Sheffield about the impracticality of clogs. Regular readers of the blog should take heed of all this advice in order to avoid “party feet”!

The Five was made by the influential UK animation team of Halas & Batchelor who had a distinguished career, including making various public information films for the UK Government (examples in the Wellcome Library are; Modern guide to health, 1947 and Charley your very good health, 1948). In December this year, Vivien Halas – the daughter of John Halas and Joy Batchelor – donated film prints, stills, scripts, papers, and thousands of original cells to the British Film Institute.

Wellcome Film

You can learn about the Wellcome Film project here. If you would like to make use of this archive footage in your own projects, please visit the Wellcome Library catalogue to download the original file, which is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 2.0 UK: England & Wales licence.

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