Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Friday, July 18, 2014
I haven't seen the final cut of "Cans Without Labels." Nobody has. There's still some unfinished scenes. What I have seen is a medley of finished scenes with the sound and effects cut in, and they're an absolute stunner. The film is a game changer, a pirate broadside into the hulls of the lumbering dreadnoughts that dominate the animation industry. Fans who supported this film on Kickstarter won't be disappointed.
Unfortunately I hit a computer glitch on my end and won't be able to show the beautiful frame grabs that I promised. It's frustrating, but maybe this is for the best because it may provoke John to make a much better presentation on his own site.
The man continues to evolve. The animation experiments we saw on the recent Kirk Douglas film and on The Simpsons title are now improved and incorporated into character intensive storytelling. No, it's not too wonky or too stretchy...it's juuuuuuuust right. This'll be a much studied film and If you're a cartoonist you'll find yourself drawing compulsively after seeing it.
I have eye surgery coming up on Monday morning so I might be out of action for a few days. On the other hand I might blog continuously 'cause I'll have nothing else to do while I'm forced to hang around the house. See you soon!
Posted by Eddie Fitzgerald at 11:10 PM
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
This woman could be Natasha in a live action "Rocky and Bullwinkle." I wish more people who are lucky enough to have character faces would take acting lessons and create a stage persona for themselves. Hollywood desperately needs funny character actors. So does amateur theatre.
Here's (above) an interesting figure. The girl is obviously overweight but she uses the weight to make a humorous statement, or she could if she had stage aspirations. I like her aggressive confidence and the contrast made by the light, flimsy dress. I picture her as the nagging wife of a skinny, repressed man with a bow tie...
....someone like Don Knotts. She should take acting lessons.
I wish some girl who yearns to do physical comedy would learn how to do backward-leaning walks. You can cheat it so your weight looks unsupported even though it is supported. It must be hard, though. If you look close, the only girl who can pull it off in the dance above is the one near the middle with dark shorts.
After she finishes the walk she could stay bent back. Maybe she's at a cocktail party and she walks up to a couple and casually talks to them while in this position.
There's some of that feel in the first minute of Fosse's "Rich Man's Frug." I'll have to revise my earlier lukewarm review of this dance. The first two minutes of this video are great.
Friday, July 11, 2014
I don't take drugs but I see documentaries about it. Like everybody else I wonder why addicts do it. After all, they've heard the same horror stories that I have. Why trade a short-term high for long-term misery? My guess is that most addicts don't expect to be around for the long term...they're depressives who do it as a prelude to suicide.
'Just a guess.
I'm also guessing that some addicts are romantics at heart. They reason that if they're going to check out then they'd like to have a few experiences first. It's the poor man's equivalent of a final vacation. They figure they'll take the inner journey. They want to find out if the hippies and mystics were on to something. Before they cash in the chips they want to take that lateral step outside of the ordinary world and see how things look from there.
I don't know what it's like to do that, but here's my best guess based...I admit...only on books and movies.
It's interesting that the drug odyssey that began as a last fling before suicide didn't turn out that way. My guess is that addicts are among the least suicidal people you'll ever meet. They don't start out that way, just the opposite, but somewhere along the line they change. No more inner journey, no more romantic farewell to life. Something about the drug supercharges the will to live, no matter how painful and no matter how degraded that life might be.
Thursday, July 10, 2014
I love the idea that the gun is powered by a squirrel's brain. Of course the brain requires a life support system, thus the hose.
Yikes! I grossed myself out!
Monday, July 07, 2014
That's the old Drury Lane Theatre above. It looks like an expensive place to run and I wouldn't blame readers for thinking that it must have cost a fortune to see a show there. Actually, it didn't. There were seats in every price range.
Most people don't realize that 19th Century Londoners of all but the very lowest class were frequent theatre goers. It's as if they had TV even before TV was invented. Even then, nobody wanted to stay home at night and darn socks by candle light. Londoners wanted spectacle and drama after dinner, just like we do in 2014 when we turn on the TV.
Frequent trips to the theatre, even for people with minimal income, was made possible by the marvelous English tradition that allowed mixing of the classes (sort of) in theatres. Almost everyone could afford theatre tickets and that's because because the uppermost gallery in the big theatres was set aside for the working poor.
Maybe the management could sell the seats so cheap because they had other ways of making money. Roaving vendors sold alcohol and food. They also made money by double booking. More tickets were sold than there were seats, even after people were crammed in. You could be stuck with a ticket you couldn't use, like the couple above. I'm guessing that some smaller theatres even profitted from kickbacks from the prostitutes who plied their wares there.
Another source of revenue was the toys that were sold. These included paper cut-out theatres (above).
The poor were addicted to theatre. They named their kids after famous actors, and every kid wanted to be an actor someday. For them the thought of doing without was intolerable. On the other hand the poor could be unbelievably vile. The catcalls, baby screams, body odor, fights, vomitting and pranks generated by the lower classes must have been something to see.
Eventually the middle class won. By the beginning of the 20th Century ticket prices were up and only the vaudeville-style music halls carried on some of the old traditions.
Thursday, July 03, 2014
This video (above) is from 1938, three years before America entered WW2. The song is by Irving Berlin. I like the preamble, which you never hear nowadays.
Geez, Red's reading of the Pledge says it all.
Woody wrote this as an answer to God Bless America. I don't think that song really required an answer, but you can't argue with the beautiful result. Woody expands on Berlin's lyrics about the country's natural beauty.
I like the opening title of the recent John Adams miniseries. The composer and art director might have settled for a Ken Burns-type treatment of Revolutionary War paintings and no one would have complained. Instead they wisely chose to illustrate with music and graphics that which is hard to put into words about that time.
Wow! Giametti was a great John Adams!
I like the way the series showed Adams as a tireless worker and blunt idealist who nevertheless had very little personal appeal. Franklin had to request that Congress withdraw Adams from the French court because he was alienating the French.
Poor Adams doesn't write often to his wife back in the States and she misinterprets it as neglect. When they're finally reunited he admits that the true reason for silence was that he failed in every undertaking in Europe. He was tortured by the thought that his life amounted to nothing and that he was an obstacle to his country and not an asset.
The show was produced by HBO who might be expected to emphasize only the negatives about America but the show doesn't come off that way. Even Adams' failures in the film showed greatness of heart. It was easy to imagine that he exerted a benign influence on his peers, even if they didn't realize it at the time.