Gertie the Dinosaur is a 1914 American animated short film by Winsor McCay. Although not the first animated film, as is sometimes thought, it was the first cartoon to feature a character with an appealing personality. The appearance of a true character distinguished it from earlier animated “trick films”, such as those of Blackton and Cohl, and makes it the predecessor to later popular cartoons such as those by Walt Disney. The film was also the first to be created using keyframe animation. The film has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry, and was named #6 of The 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time in a 1994 survey of animators and cartoon historians by Jerry Beck.
Can you make it to five minutes? ⏰ Can you resist the subliminals? 😵 heheheh 😈
Today women can wear glasses proudly thanks to the color and subtlety of modern design.
In some of today’s fashion circles vintage is in. 1950s-60s eye wear is particularly popular, either as wearables or simply as collectables. Images and advertising that feature the legendary ‘cat eye’ look are sometimes reposted and reblogged hundreds of times on sites like Pinterest and Tumblr.
This 1960 Ray Ban advert is particularly popular:
Below are two entertaining videos from the British Pathé vintage fashion collection that showcase some of the fantastic designs introduced during the 1950s. The first is a tutorial demonstrating ‘how glasses can be fashionable and glamourous, (with) tips on choosing the right pair of specs in terms of frame colour and shape for a woman’s face.’ The second takes the viewer into a class for models at the Lucy Clayton school where they are learning about the available styles and designs of glasses and how to wear them. It’s all great fun.
Who better to design a dream sequence for a 1945 Hitchcock psycho-thriller than Salvador Dali? Eyes, curtains, scissors, playing cards (some of them blank), a man with no face, a man falling off of a building, a man hiding behind a chimney and dropping a wheel, and wings – psychoanalytic cues all and fab fodder for Dali’s surrealistic vision.
Below is a video of the scene featuring Gregory Peck as Dr. Anthony Edwardes/John Ballantyne, Ingrid Bergman as Dr. Constance Peterson, and Michael Chekhov as Dr. Brulov. Dr. Peterson and Dr. Brulov are attempting to assist Ballantyne in recovering his lost memory by interpreting a dream that haunts him.
Spellbound is a film that could well be termed an endorsement on the healing virtues of psychoanalysis. While some aspects of the methods seem outdated for today, Hitchcock’s use of this makes for an abosrbing story. If you would like to watch the film in its entirety you can find it on YouTube here.
The Land of Wooden Soldiers (1928) Kinex Studios
Distributed by: Kodak Cinegraph
Cartoon Characters: Chip the Wooden Man, Two Dinosaurs, Soldiers.
Directed By John Burton.
Animated By John Burton.
Originally Released c. 1928
h/t Nora Falchero
It’s Fun To Compute – via videoaudiomaster
Music By Kraftwerk
A strange story in which a loving dog puppet, Duffy, literally goes through Hell to get an orange to a dying girl.
Duffy The Mascot (1934)
“Fétiche” (original title)
Production Co: Gelma-Films
Producer/Director/Animator/Writer: Ladislas Starevich
Ladislas Starevich was a true pioneer in stop-motion animation. His style has been hugely influential on many directors such as Tim Burton and Terry Gilliam. Starevich’s attention to detail, social commentary, bizarre visuals, and fantastical plots inspired an entire generation of animators.
H/T to Diane Wanek for the inspiration.
This film was made to be shown in the Standard Oil exhibit at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. Showings were accompanied by narration delivered “live” that would match the pre-recorded narration in the film, so that the stage narrator would ask a question answered by the screen narrator, and vice versa.
Portions of this film are silent to permit an accompanying speaker to narrate some of the images.
Synopsis: An oil drop named Pete takes the viewer on a wonderfully strange journey narrating the virtues and necessity of petroleum as his cousins entertain throughout.
Message: Modern civilization is only possible because of petroleum. Without it humanity is doomed to the barren ruins of a once great culture.
Memorable Quote: ‘Oil turns the wheels of industry! Cools and heats! Makes paradise on earth!’
Pete Roleum and His Cousins is a notable animated short for a number of reasons:
– The irony of leftist/progressive (and future blacklisted) Joseph Losey shilling for the ‘oil men’ and the petroleum industry as writer, director, and producer.
– The innovative puppetry and three-dimensional sets developed by Broadway designer Howard Bay.
– The idiosyncratic stop-motion animation work of Charley Bowers.
– The early use of technicolor in an animated film.
– And, the musical sequence featuring the song, Something to Sing About by Oscar Levant.
Humans seem to have a very ambivalent relationship with their machines. At once they are both fascinating and helpful, but also sometimes menacing and intimidating. In the late 20th Century this was most graphically portrayed with the SkyNet revolution in the Terminator film franchise.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries the machine held a part in popular consciousness as well – Fritz Lang’s Metropolis comes to mind almost in an instant. The people in the mid 20th century had their own fears. Numerous sci-fi films were made featuring rebellious robots and machines. This was not lost to the executives at The Bell System.
For the 1963 Bell Systems Communications Seminar, organizer Ted Mills hired Jim Henson to create a short film illustrating the ‘nascent, but growing relationship between man and machine: a relationship not without tension and resentment.’ Below is a video of the film, Robot – it perfectly illustrates how a fun little robot can be a bit scary at the same time. Paradoxically, Henson vindicates this angry robot’s complaints of human hubris by giving it a drastic fate as it declares, ‘we don’t need man.’
Italian dark wave ensemble, Kirlian Camera, pays tribute to the 1966 sci-fi horror classic, Queen of Blood.
Song: ‘The Path Of Flowers’ – From the 2005 album release, Invisible Front).
Queen Of Blood was released in 1966 by American International Pictures. The film is considered one of ‘the best of the “Corman Cut-Ups” – the spate of films produced during the sixties by cobbling together footage pirated from Russian science fiction films and new material shot by [any one] of Roger Corman’s stable of up-and-coming film-makers, in this case Curtis Harrington.’* In Queen Of Blood, Harrington uses footage from the Russian film Meshte Nastreshu, ‘A Dream Comes True’.
The Plot: (Set in the year, 1990) After aliens contact Earth via radio to inform humans of an impending visit, their ambassador spaceship crashes on Mars. Astronaut rescuers recover only one green-skinned survivor – a female with insatiably vampire-like appetites.*
The film features John Saxon, Basil Rathbone, Judi Meredith, Dennis Hopper, and Czech actor Florence Marly as the Alien Queen.