Shorts watched June 2009

Poyraz (2006, Belma Bas)
Rural people sure live quaint and handsomely photographed lives!
Nuri Bilge Ceylan was thanked in the credits

Why Play Leapfrog (1949, John Sutherland/MGM)
Let’s hear it for capitalism! Clever cartoon describes why inflation is okay and raw material costs don’t mean much. A boring explanation of why America is so darned great that ends by telling factory workers to be more efficient and come up with smart cost-saving ideas which will lead to greater pay increases.

Balance (1989, Christoph & Wolfgang Lauenstein)
Ominous stop-motion – five mute guys with numbers on their shirts and telescoping fishing poles in their shirts are on a balanced platform suspended in space. One catches a sort of music box and the others get greedy, leading to a fight which ends with one guy on the far end of the platform from the box.

Broken Down Film (1985, Osamu Tezuka)
It’s a popeye-like cowboy cartoon except that the film’s projection problems (hair in the gate, scratches, countdown leader, etc) are part of the story. Cute.

and a few from the Unseen Cinema box set…

Paris Exposition Films (1900, James White)
Some one-minute films at the Eiffel Tower a decade after its construction. Best part is this guy on the left side of the screenshot. People were walking up to the camera and this guy saw his chance for stardom, so he prepares himself for some manuever (maybe a backflip) but blows it, stopping instead to shake hands with an acquaintance offscreen as the film runs out.
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Captain Nissen Going Through Whirlpool Rapids, Niagara Falls (1901, Edison Co.)
It takes longer to type the title than to watch the film, which is of some submarine-looking craft bobbing in a river. Found a wonderful tale online of Nissen’s stupid death four years later, but unsure if it’s true.
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Down The Hudson (1903, Frederick Armitage & AE Weed)
Much more interesting than the submarine thing – New York riverfront over a hundred years ago. I assume lots more of this stuff will be on disc five.
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The Ghost Train (1903)
Oooh, someone learned to invert the black/white image AND to matte a moon into the upper corner. This is one of my favorites because it is neat-looking and twenty seconds long. If only you could say the same for Transformers 2.
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Westinghouse Works, Panorama View, Street Car Motor Room (1904, Billy Bitzer)
Long factory tracking shot reminds me of the beginning of Manufactured Landscapes. Unlike in ML, all the workers stop and look at the camera.
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In Youth, Beside the Lonely Sea (1925-ish)
Crazy three-panel layout illustrating the poem told with text above and below the picture. Lots of ghostly superimpositions. This was so damn cool I had to lay down for a while.
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