Friday, November 28, 2008

This Blog Pays Tribute To Frank Tashlin

While still enjoying Warner Bros. cartoons (one is hardly enough), I have no choice but to bring up an all-time favorite visionary comedy creator and satiric author of wonderfully subversive children's books (The Bear That Wasn't): Frank Tashlin (1913-1972), a.k.a. Tish Tash, Frank Tash, just Tash, etc.

There is an undeniable kinesthetic urgency and sexual energy - which a fair amountof the time get censored and repressed in his live-action features - that breaks through in Tashlin's cartoons. And, like Bob Clampett, Tashlin is never, ever afraid to be outrageous.

Here are two excellent and innovative examples, from Tash's peak as one of the looniest purveyors of Looney Tunes:


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving With Daffy Duck

I'm thankful for a lot of things, not the least of them Warner Bros. cartoons like this one, directed by the great Art Davis.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Another Favorite Risqué Scopitone

Enjoy Kay Starr and the usual bevy of bopping bikinied beehived babes otherwise known as The Scopitone Dancers in "The Wheel Of Fortune".

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Scopitone Starring Jeanne Moreau?

Jeanne Moreau, a multi-talented creative juggernaut - director, actress, frequent collaborator of Francois Truffaut (check out The Bride Wore Black for a stellar Moreau performance) and the dreamy movie icon who ever-horny young Parisian men gleefully killed themselves over in ultra-cool French New Wave flicks - stars in Scopitone A-307. This early music video promotes her 1966 LP "Chansons" (a.k.a. "Douze nouvelles chansons de Bassiak"). Nice tune - and I really dig the hip jazz guitar intro.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

One Of My Favorite Risqué Soundies

In this hilariously racy Soundie from 1940, Joy Hodges sings this ditty from the 1912 Ziegfeld Follies.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

This Saturday: Cheesy Christmas Films And The Devil-ettes



Great poster by Miles Goodrich. It will be fun to share showtime with Will The Thrill and Monica The Tiki Goddess again.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

More 3-Strip Technicolor Vitaphone Musicals

I posted an excerpt from this classic two-reel musical comedy on July 24 and e-mailed links to it to a slew of my friends. So here's the very enjoyable Good Morning Eve, starring June MacCloy as Eve and Leon Errol as Adam (can't identify who did the voice of the serpent), in its entirety:

Part One




Part Two



Don't know just why I love this film, other than the inevitable cute showgirls in cuter costumes, but I do.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Vitaphone Technicolor Musical Shorts

I'm pleased, the election having at long last passed, to return to more benign posts about arcane pop culture minutia.

Movies in gorgeous 3-strip Technicolor started to make the rounds in 1932-1935. Walt Disney, ever on the cutting edge, got there first with his Silly Symphonies, the series that sparked tremendous growth in the sophistication, technique and artistry of animated cartoons while bringing the wondrous "anything goes" surrealism in Pre-Code animation to a screeching halt. A couple of years later, Vitaphone started a series of 2-reel musical comedy shorts. Three (that I know of) are Service With A Smile and Good Morning Eve starring Leon Errol, and one that sounds fascinating, What No Men, co-starring songstress Wini Shaw with the delightfully bizarre Swedish dialect comic El Brendel.


Enjoy these two excerpts, courtesy of the indispensible Turner Classic Movies, from Service With A Smile. And yes indeed, this features the same Leon Errol from the Ziegfeld Follies, the RKO "Mexican Spitfire" features and literally dozens of two-reelers, including the legendary 1938 short, The Jitters.




While these production numbers aren't on the scale, level or inspiration of Busby Berkeley's grand hallucinations, they're great fun just the same.




My next post will include a Vitaphone 2-reel Technicolor musical comedy in its entirety.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

A Great Op-Ed Piece

"Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long." President-elect Barack Obama

Still way too damn lazy to blog, I'm compelled to link to a superb post-election article by Bob Ray Sanders in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. It is a reminder of what the election of Senator Barack Obama to be the 44th President of the United States means, especially to those old enough to remember or directly experienced the American version of apartheid. Let's never forget those brave individuals who sacrificed their lives, yes, in recent memory, during our lifetimes, for the cause of civil rights.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Today's Elections

"It is not the failure or success of any candidate or party that most matters but the exercise of voting rights, and, through them, our self-government. If either team prevails despite the disenfranchisement of some Americans, that victory will mean all that much less; and if your favorite wins, and then the U.S. doesn't do anything to fix its voting system (and otherwise restore this faltering democracy), that victory of his won't matter much at all, since We the People will have lost control for good."

New York University professor Mark Crispin Miller, author of Loser Take All: Election Fraud and the Subversion of Democracy, 2000-2008.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The "Top Ten" Worst Political Campaign Ads

Today, I'm emphatically way too damn lazy to write a blog, so here's an excellent article by Melinda Henneberger listing the 10 Worst Political Ads (or, at least, they are the worst, most appalling ads I know of) from Slate.com. Think the 2008 presidential race holds the patent on big-ass whoppers and even sleazier baldfaced lies? Think again.

To refresh our Short Attention Span Theatre challenged memories, here's one of the disgusting hit ads, pathetic loser #5, this one from the 2004 presidential slamfest. I would call it a "greatest shit" - but it's not that good.