Sunday, June 20, 2021

Cool Events Next Weekend: Psychotronix Film Festival, Cartoon Carnival and Charlie Chaplin Days

We at Way Too Damn Lazy To Write A Blog are happy to hear that the Psychotronix Film Festival shall return this Saturday evening to the Orinda Theatre.

Happy to see my old friends and collaborators emerging from this extended coronavirus and lockdown-related hiatus to carry on their excellent work providing great entertainment, but NOT happy that I will not be there in person.

Feels like I have not been involved in a Psychotronix Film Festival for a decade, although I never miss hearing Psychotronix co-founder Robert Emmett work his movie and TV soundtrack mojo every Saturday morning on KFJC.

There will be a selection of hand-picked psychotronic goodness, on glorious 16mm film, from the Sci Fi Bob and Scott Moon/Cinema Insomnia Archives!

Yes, straight from Derek Zemrak's retro movie mecca in Orinda, California, there will be trailers from Z movies (starring non-union actors in cheap robot, gorilla and "thunder lizard" suits), theatre snack bar ads, weird cartoons, well-meaning but inept 1950's educational films, Soundies, Scopitones and more. . .

Love seeing how audiences respond to such vintage TV ads as the following. . .

Bums me out that I won't be in Orinda to bring vintage 1950's car commercials to the show! Surely, somebody out there finds TV commercials for the Rambler, Hudson Hornet and Mercury Comet as entertaining as I do.

Psychotronix Film Festival
Saturday June 26, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. PST
Orinda Theatre
2 Orinda Theatre Square
Orinda, CA 94563
Movieline: (925) 254-9060

As one of the trifecta of founders of the festival (along with Sci Fi Bob Ekman and Robert Emmett), I hope this show is a big hit with an SRO crowd - like so many of those Foothill College extravaganzas.

In Brooklyn, across the country from my Psychotronix Film Festival friends but also presenting classic movies in glorious 16mm film for an audience will be our friends at the Tommy Stathes Cartoon Carnival.

Here, Tommy elaborates on his love of animation.

On Sunday, June 27th, 2021, the 95th installment of the animation extravaganza, presented and curated by Cartoons On Film, returns to the City Reliquary on 370 Metropolitan Avenue.

This will be the Tommy Stathes Cartoon Carnival's first non-online screening since February 2020.

Showtime is 8:00 p.m. EST. Show tix are $15 and are can be purchased in advance here.

Cartoon Carnival #95: Come On Out!
Quoting the press release for Cartoon Carnival #95:

It's the moment we've all been waiting over a year for: the big return of 16mm (no digital!) animated cartoons from the 1920s to the 1940s, straight from the Stathes Archives—screened *in person* at a beloved venue—The City Reliquary's lovely backyard, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn!

For program #95, our nearly two hours of animated fun shine the spotlight on that which many of us have sorely missed over the past year: going places, and being out on the town with friends and crowds.

The selection of shorts features a wide array of Cartoon Carnival favorites... from silent era superstars Bobby Bumps, Farmer Alfalfa, Koko the Clown, and Felix; to the Van Beuren Studios' Tom & Jerry (not the cat and mouse!) and Molly Moo Cow; then onward with Krazy Kat, Buddy, Egghead, and even Gumby—plus a few other oddities and surprises mixed in, as always.

In acknowledgement of Pride Month, we're also selecting a couple of 1930s shorts with brief cameos from queer-coded characters, whom we lovingly reclaim as part of our LGBTQIA+ inclusive Cartoon Carnival family.

Be sure to bring all your family and friends out for this much-anticipated opportunity to see these classic and now-rare cartoons the way they were meant to be seen—projected on 'reel' film, and enjoyed with a physical audience!

There is a GoFundMe campaign to relaunch both the online version of the Cartoon Carnival, and a series of animation screenings, in the near future. Stay t00ned! For more info, see and Cartoons On Film.

Happening on Friday through Sunday (June 25-27): the 2021 edition of Charlie Chaplin Days presented by the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum.

This year's event, an online version of the annual weekend of presentations on the iconic comedian's life and career, corresponds with the 100th anniversary of the Chaplin classic, The Kid.

Charlie Chaplin Days spotlights all five films that Charlie made for the Essanay Studio in 1915: A Night Out (shot in Niles, with outdoor locations in Oakland and San Jose), The Champion (filmed in downtown Niles), In The Park (filmed at North Lake in Golden Gate Park), A Jitney Elopement (interiors filmed at the glass stage at Niles, exteriors at the Great Highway and Murphy Windmill at the edge of Golden Gate Park) and The Tramp, in which Chaplin firmly established his "little tramp" character (filmed March 1915 in Niles on 2nd Street and in Niles Canyon), as well as Charlie's First National Studio films Sunnyside, A Day's Pleasure and The Idle Class.

There will be a Zoom discussion of the 1914 Mack Sennett feature Tillie's Punctured Romance (co-starring Charlie with Marie Dressler, Mabel Normand and the Keystone stock company) and presentations by actor and Chaplin doppelganger Jason Allin, movie locations expert John Bengtson, Sarah Biegelsen, Nigel Dreiner, Dan Kamin (author of The Comedy of Charlie Chaplin: Artistry in Motion), Hooman Mehran and Lisa Stein Haven, as well as a Whiz Bang Talent Show, Trivia Quiz, Lookalike Contest and Goodtime Hour.

Links to the films and presentations for Charlie Chaplin Days 2021 will become active at 12:01am on each day of the weekend.

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