Large Association of Movie Blogs
Large Association of Movie Blogs

Sunday, June 23, 2019

This Saturday: Beat Summer Heat with the KFJC Psychotronix Film Fest!

"No good movie is too long and no bad movie is short enough." - Roger Ebert

Returning with a bang-bang, not a whimper, this Saturday: the one, the only, the legendary KFJC Psychotronix Film Festival.

We'll be back with another craven celluloid cornucopia from deep in the Wide World of WTF universe on Saturday, June 29, 2019. As always, we are proud to present 16mm films, the vinyl of visuals!

The KFJC Psychotronix Film Festival will be back in the hallowed halls of Foothill College's Room 5015 with an all-new extravaganza of movie fun, personally endorsed by The Management!

Trailers from movies which are not bad, just misunderstood!

There will be Soundies. . .

And, inevitably, Scopitones as well!

Incredibly Strange Cartoons!

All brought to you by toy commercials!

And TV shows that should have never aired!

Your "host with the most" for the evening's festivities: movie and television music expert Robert Emmett of KFJC-FM's Norman Bates Memorial Soundtrack Show.

The perpetrators of this one-of-a-kind film festival, Sci Fi Bob Ekman, Scott Moon and yours truly shall be on KFJC with esteemed m.c. Robert, tomorrow evening on Thoughtline from 6PM-7PM Pacific Standard Time. If you can't hear it live tomorrow evening, the show will also be available for download on the KFJC Broadcast Archives for two weeks.

The KFJC Psychotronix Film Festival
Saturday June 29, 2019 - 7:00 to 11:00 PM
Room 5015, A.K.A. Forum Classroom
Foothill College campus
12345 El Monte Road
Los Altos Hills, CA 94022 (El Monte exit off of Highway 280)

Admission: $5 donation benefits KFJC.
Parking: $3 - in Lot #5 right before the Brown Trailers - follow the signs
For more info: Foothill College Transportation & Parking
Public Transit: Cal Train and VTA
Arrive early, as the shows often sell out.

Doors open at 6:00 p.m. Be there or be a trapezoid!

Sunday, June 16, 2019

20th Century Music Burns. . . Silent Movie Headliner Douglas MacLean Returns

The 21st century can be quite the mixed bag for dyed-in-the-wool music and movie buffs, with everyone from Dr. John, Leon Redbone, Roky Erickson and silver screen icon Doris Day now off to the rehearsal in the next world. On one hand, one does not have to stay up until 4:30 a.m. to see a Samuel Fuller masterpiece on TV (which we did in the Jurassic pre-VCR days) - and such events as Mostly Lost, wrapping up today in Culpepper, VA, enthusiastically go all in on film preservation.

Indeed, The Library of Congress has been doing and continues to do amazing work identifying and bringing back long-lost celluloid rarities from 100+ years in The Twilight Zone.

In addition, a successful Kickstarter will bring back two feature films starring Douglas MacLean, a witty, charming and likable leading man with a flair for comedy, to DVD.

On the other hand, a New York Times article from a few days ago titled The Day The Music Burned described the Sunday, June 1, 2008 blaze that ripped through Hollywood's Universal Studios. Up in smoke: 500,000 multi-track master recordings and session tapes, including those of Chess Records, Decca Records, ABC/Impulse Records and many more important labels owned by MCA a.k.a. Universal Music Group.

In other words, the life blood of musicians and music lovers.

Kevork Djansezian/Associated Press

The writer of The Day The Music Burned, Jody Rosen, elaborated further in an interview on NPR. Naturally, the suits at Universal Music Group dispute this article's findings. We at Way Too Damn Lazy To Write A Blog don't buy UMG's version of these events for a moment; they concealed facts and lied about the extent of the fire's damage for over 10 years. . . Now this music aficionado wishes he had bought ten, no make that TWENTY times as many records as he did!

The destruction of our history and culture the 2008 Universal backlot blaze represents gets this writer thinking of something a bit brighter, the successful fundraiser that Ben Model of Undercrank Productions organized to launch the Douglas MacLean DVD. The Kickstarter not only met its goal within 24 hours, but is now less than $400 away from doubling the goal. Maybe this will allow some room for trailers or short subjects to be added to the mix.

Douglas MacLean, along with his contemporaries Johnny Hines and Reginald Denny, was a dapper light comedian. He starred in 23 features in silents, then moved behind the camera to be a producer and write screenplays in talkies. As Hines did, MacLean excelled as a star of "good guy outsmarts the baddies and emerges triumphant" storylines popularized by Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. and Harold Lloyd, albeit without the numerous death-defying stunts.

McLean, Hines and Denny were to some degree a forerunner of what such actors as Robert Montgomery, whose big screen appeal was bolstered by a triple shot of wry insouciance and urbane good looks, would do just a few years later in the early 1930's.

On the Thrilling Days Of Yesteryear website, Ivan G. Shreve Jr. penned a very good post about the Kickstarter, which runs through June 27, and Douglas MacLean. Mr. Shreve writes:

The two features to which Ben are referring are One a Minute and Bell Boy 13—both released in 1921. Minute survives in an excellent 35mm print and Boy in a very good 16mm. “These are the only prints of these films on the planet,” Model notes because—as always—nitrate won’t wait. The link to contribute is here.

There has been very little written about the films of Douglas MacLean, so this fundraiser and subsequent DVD release, also noted by writer William T. Garver on his classic movie website It Came From The Bottom Shelf, will change that situation and bring MacLean's work as actor in silents and producer/writer in the 1930's overdue recognition.

The blaze that destroyed the masters for a slew of my favorite recordings also recalls the vault fires that incinerated so much of our cinematic heritage - and this trailer to raise funds for a documentary about film preservation, Lost Emulsion by Glenn Andreiev. We sincerely hope this film gets the backing to be completed - looks fantastic.

Lastly, we're also hap-hap-happy to hear about the upcoming release of a second volume of early 1930's pre-Code goodies starring the director/writer/comedian and guy with a transcendently wacky sense of humor Charles Parrott a.k.a. Charley Chase (1893-1940).

Covered frequently on this Hal Roach Studio and 1924-1934 comedy lovin' blog, Chase combined a certain farcical non-slapstick tradition with outrageously silly situations, ingenious sight gags and touches of both unabashed silliness and goofy physical comedy.

Someone had to merge the sophisticated farce tradition of John Bunny & Flora Finch, Al Christie's WW1 era films (especially with Eddie Lyons & Lee Moran) and the marital comedies starring Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Drew and Mr. & Mrs. Carter DeHaven with protean elements from Mack Sennett's Keystone and (especially) Hal Roach's Lot of Fun - and Charley was the right man for the job.

Love Leonard Maltin's review of volume 1 on his website and can't wait to see volume 2, which can be pre-ordered now and shall officially be released on July 16.

Once, complete versions of Chase's films, other than those struck on 16mm film way back when by Film Classics and Blackhawk Films, were rare and difficult to see. Now there are two volumes of Chase's Hal Roach talkies, a few DVDS of his silents and two DVDs compiling Charley's last series for Columbia.

To that, we at Way Too Damn Lazy To Write A Blog tip our battered fedora, stylish albeit not nearly as colorful as Mac Rebbenack's.

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Next Weekend: FOUR Cool Screenings on TWO coasts

There will be cartoons in Brooklyn this Sunday. Tommy Stathes has been hosting a series of monthly screenings in the New York City area called the Cartoon Carnival for 10 years. The 10th anniversary show is the 80th Cartoon Carnival program, holding forth at 389 Melrose Street Brooklyn, NY 11237. Pen-and-ink luminaries Betty Boop, Koko the Clown, Farmer Alfalfa, Bosko the Talk-Ink Kid and Bobby Bumps will be on hand, presented on the big screen via glorious 16mm film.

There will be two shows, at 4pm and 7pm. Buy tickets in advance via Brown Paper Tickets if you’re interested in attending.

There will also be cartoons in L.A. this Saturday, June 8th at 10am, at the New Beverly Cinema, at Beverly and LaBrea in Hollywood. Jerry Beck of the Cartoon Research website and author of numerous books on animation is curating a 35mm Cartoon Club screening. The following Tom & Jerry image expresses the Cartoon Club's theme for this month and gets me thinking of Esther Williams in Dangerous When Wet and Million Dollar Mermaid. Tickets are available at the door - and in advance here.

This Sunday at the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum, comedy shall rule the roost.

The Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum is presenting its monthly L&H/Our Gang matinee this Sunday.

The Laurel & Hardy Talkie Matinee program is a Father's Day extravaganza, a week early. Showtime is at 4PM Pacific Standard Time. The lineup of Hal Roach Studio comedies, curated and hosted by Paul Mular, shall be:

Divot Diggers (1936) Our Gang
Brats (1930) Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy
The Count Takes the Count (1936) Charley Chase
Come Clean (1931) Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy

This Saturday at San Leandro's Historic Bal Theatre, horror host and participant in several memorable Psychotronix Film Festival programs Mr. Lobo concludes his West Coast tour with a live taping of two episodes of Cinema Insomnia.

The big screen event starts at 3pm, is free to the public, and features a double bill of Teenagers From Outer Space and Ed Wood's Bride Of The Monster.

All the breaks, trailer and host segments will be recorded in front of the studio audience.

The Historic Bal Theatre is at 14808 E. 14th Avenue, San Leandro, CA.

Postscript: after posting this, learned that there will also be a classic comedy program in NYC as part of The Silent Clowns Film Series. Laurel & Hardy 1929 shorts plus special guests will rock the house this Saturday at the Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center, 111 Amsterdam Ave, New York, New York 10023. Showtime is 2:30 p.m. That means the title of this post needs to be updated to FIVE Cool Screenings on TWO Coasts!

Whether in Brooklyn, New York City, Hollywood, Niles or San Leandro, we encourage our readers to check these shows out!