How certain things on the internet escape us for so long is a mystery. Case in point this time: Folkstreams, an online archive of rare American roots music documentaries created by filmmaker Tom Davenport with help from the University of North Carolina and with the assistance of many others. Some friends of The FADER mentioned it on Twitter yesterday and we went there immediately, finding not just the treasure trove of musical history that the site houses but the answer to a question we've had for over a decade. In Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Amelie, the titular character makes a video tape of found footage meant to inspire her curmudgeony neighbor. One bit is of an old gentleman with a peg leg walking out into the dusty street and suddenly breaking into a wild softshoe/hard leg routine. That, along with the horse joining a cycling race, always had the exact desired effect on us, but we admittedly we never really tried to find the source material, preferring to let it be movie magic. As it turns out, that old fellow was from Davenport's own film Born for Hard Luck: Peg Leg Sam Jackson, which you can watch in full on the site, and knowing where it came from hasn't really spoiled the magic at all. If anything, it makes us want to hang out with Jeunet, or Audrey Tautou—we're not picky!
Folkstreams Answers Life’s Greatest Questions
January 25, 2010