Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Here's a few Christmas songs that get a lot of play at my house this time of year. I thought you might like to hear them, too.
We're lucky to have a few good versions of Ave Maria. This one is by Connie Stevens, whose voice was utterly unique.
My favorite part of Pavariti's version is his opening which is executed with enormous dignity and power.
This Jingle bells is a tad slow but I still like it.
I never studied this Dylan film closely but I can see that I'll have to do that. Dylan did a great job with the music and the direction by Australian shorts director Nash Edgerton is nothing less than awesome. Think of it: he filmed dozens of moving actors in a real house where lighting is a problem and walls can't be removed. Not only that but he had a celebrity star who in his old age isn't as photogenic as he used to be. And that subplot with the guy who goes berserk...it was a brilliant way to rev up the pace of a film that already had a fast pace. I'd love to hear the story of how this film was made.
Here's a link to one of Edgerton's YouTube shorts:
Posted by Eddie Fitzgerald at 11:16 PM
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
I like "Jolly Rounders" so much that I can't help adding to what I wrote last time. It's wonderful to have a blog like Theory Corner where things like this can be discussed in detail.
Anyway, I like the textured barebones background and the midlevel line of the wall boards. Some artists avoid midlevel anything because it divides the composition into two and gives it an ignorant, unschooled look. For me that's precisely why the technique is useful. Sometimes you want an ignorant look.
I also like the way the artist puts the irritable wife on the left and gives the open doorway equal emphasis. No doubt this is to make a space for the kids when they come in later, but it serves another purpose. Given that the woman is touchy and has a short fuse it's funny to think she's near a doorway where any doofus could walk in and bother her.
We cut to the outside and her ridiculously huge number of comically eager clones. I like the open front door which reminds us that there's a touchy, irritable person inside.
The kids react to something O.S. and run inside.
Uh-oh. Whatever fools are out there now have the total attention of a Type A character.
I have more thoughts about the staging in this cartoon but I'll have to save them for the time when I have the whole cartoon infront of me, and not just a tiny fragment.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Anyway, the film starts with an irritated housewife sweeping a carpet. She no doubt wishes her husband were there to help. I love the awkward way she handles the broom with her oversized hippo paws.
Good Lord! Well, that's all I have.
I believe this cartoon can be found on Thunderbean's forthcoming compilation, "Cartoon Roots." Steve Stanchfield says it should be out sometime in December or January. Personally I think Jolly Rounders is worth the price of the whole set and everything else on it is free.
And did I mention that "Hot Tomato Mollie"...Hot Tamale, get it?...is on the same set? Our cup runneth over!
Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Morris must have had OCD. His leaf patterns were incredibly busy, even more so than you'd find in real life forest cover. When I was a little kid old ladies were fond of dress patterns like this. All these years later it occurs to me that some of them must have associated those busy designs with Morris and the avant garde of his day.
Gee, thinking about all this reminds me of how fast art movements came and went in the astonishingly creative Twentieth Century. Art Nouveau had ten years, which is better than some had.
Thursday, December 04, 2014
ON KIDS RESPONDING SCEPTICALLY TO A VOICE ON THE VIDEO PHONE:
"KIDS! It's me, Dad!"
"I have to talk fast because I might get cut off any minute. Look, I can tell by your expressions that you don't recognize me anymore. That's okay...it's not your fault! Just bear with me!"
I tried to call your mother but she didn't recognize me either, and she hung up. It sounds fantastic, but...I honestly don't think she remembers having had a husband. Maybe you guys don't remember having a dad! By the time you wake up tomorrow you probably won't remember this conversation.
The whole crazy mess started a few weeks ago when I went out of town on business. Remember? You made me promise to bring back souvenirs and your mother drove me to the airport. Well, things in the city went okay for a while but I couldn't shake off the feeling that something was off kilter there, that things just weren't right.
Maybe it was the people I saw on the street. They seemed different somehow.
With every passing day they seemed to get more and more...aggressive.
They'd get annoyed about little things. You had to be careful not to antagonize anyone.
I was at a restaurant and two men started a fight over who should have an empty table. I didn't get it. The place was full of empty tables. Why fight over them? They would have killed each other if someone hadn't pulled them apart.
Violence was becoming common. I'd stumble over corpses in the street. Like everybody else I learned to walk past without seeming to notice.
The media was no help. TV and newspapers were full of stories that ridiculed people who failed to take revenge. There were shows that showed how to load and fire a gun, and tips like the one about running over a person twice to be sure they were really dead.
Even kids TV was like that. I could hardly believe what I was seeing.
It got so that nobody trusted their neighbors. Misunderstandings resulted in shootings.
I had the feeling that the town was being rapidly depopulated. Not only that, but buildings were falling into disrepair at an alarming rate. It only took a few days to put what looked like years of decay on them.
Whatever or whoever was causing all this must have come to the conclusion that the homicides weren't happening fast enough. I began to hear rumors that people had been inexplicably whisked away into the sky. At first I didn't believe them.
According to the stories people thought they could cheat death by staying home with the doors locked, but it didn't work. If their time was up they'd still get sucked up, only if the windows were closed they couldn't get out.
Eventually they'd starve to death and their lifeless corpses would continue banging against the ceiling. I didn't believe any of this til I took my first walk down a suburban street. I can't begin to describe the sickening feeling I got walking along and hearing thumps inside the homes.
I'm no fool. I tried to leave but it was too late. Every avenue was closed. Small roads were overgrown with brush and trees...
....big roads simply vanished.
There was no way out.
What was going on? I talked to a guy on the street who had a theory...he said maybe this has happened throughout history. Buildings go, people go, and nobody remembers. Maybe cleaners have to eliminate the past to make way for what's happening now. Maybe that's just the way things work. I don't know. I don't understand any of it.
Wait a minute, someone's at the door. Maybe it's the police. I called them a little while ago. I'll be right back.
c story by Eddie Fitzgerald 12/2014, photo copyrights owned by their respective owners.
Sunday, November 30, 2014
Traditional animal characters were often naked below the waist. Maybe that's one reason they were so appealing and funny. You wanted to laugh before they even did anything.
Modern designs are sometimes pantsless but they're designed in such a way as to de-emphasize the nudity.
For human characters the obvious way to go is clothes that are either too small or too big. I like the way Curly's jacket fits in this photo.
It works like this: the wife waits til her husband is busy with something then asks him a few questions that have an obvious "no" answer, questions like: "Are you saving this ball of lint?" "Do want this pencil stub?" "How 'bout his used Kleenex?" She gets a nice litany of automatic "no's" going then casually throws in the important item, in this case: "Do you want to save this ugly old Uncle Eddie jacket?" The first ten times my wife tried this I reacted with horror that she could even think of such a thing, but she persisted and one day when I was seriously distracted I found myself saying, "Huh... oh, yeah...sure...whatever..." and that was the last time I ever saw my jacket. Now I live in fear that my more-precious-than-rubies Wrinkle Jacket will suffer the same fate.
But I digress.
BTW, how do you like the crumpled forearm fabric and long cuffs?
I wish I could have found a picture of a ballooning "parachute" backed tuck-in but, Alas!, it was not meant to be. Maybe next time.