Sunday, November 19, 2006

Vas ist DAS??!!!?!

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Ok, I'm not entirely sure exactly what this IS, but it looks really cool! I just learned about it in an email from longtime Darkmatters contributor Larry DeHaan, who ran across it and knows no more than what is printed on the web page: DIE GROSSE LIEBE EINER KLEINEN TÄNZERIN. The link goes to Googles translated version of a page at Das Deutsche Filminstitut, which is fairly mangled english, but somewhat understandable.
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Looks really cool! My guess is it's a marionette film that's apparently based on the look of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, called Large Love of a Small Dancer. The puppets and sets have a great expressionist look. If any of my readers have access to a 35MM projector, there's a link at the bottom of the Filminstitute page where you can rent a print. If anybody does, I'd love to hear more about it.

6 comments:

herself said...

Man, that looks cool. So much from film's early period seems creative and experimental. I guess it was, before money making found it.

Darkstrider said...

You know, that's something that's been on my mind a lot lately. Now we're experiencing this dearth of stopmo on commercials and TV shows, and even a couple of series on Cartoon Network... probably overall more stopmo than has even been in the public eye at any time. But where did the aesthetics go? So much of the stuff from the past has a great style and look to it, but today it seems there's this ugly utilitarian look to everything. Don't get me wrong - the animation is probably better now than ever, thanks to framegrabbers and the fact that these guys churn out frames every day, and I'm sure the puppets and sets etc are expertly made... probably better than any used in the past. But I just don't like the look of any of it.

As a powerful example, take that clip our friend Sven was involved in for Regis Philbin. With the new puppets standing right beside the classic Rankin Bass puppets, it's immediately apparent how great those old clunky puppets look in comparison. I'll bet Sven's armature completely blows away the crude wire 'tures used in those puppets, and the casting and painting techniques are high tech and advanced beyond anything they could have imagined - so why is Regis so butt ugly? I leave it up to you how you want to interpret that ;)

Hila said...

This is so amazing, I saw a clip of this puppet Film at a lecture on German expressionism (within the film festival in jerusalem, about 5 years ago). it was so exquisite, they showed other german animations and films, but this one really stood out, I was completely taken by that caravan in the background, I didn't think I would ever get to see it again, It's even better then I remembered. Thank you so much for this treat, Mike.

Darkstrider said...

Hi Hila - nice to hear from you over here. Wow, I wish I could have seen that! Yes, the sets and props look amazing.... I love that saw in the bottom shot! From these pictures I'm imagining it as kind of an expressionist Thunderbirds.

herself said...

In a biography of early screen writer, Francis Marion,it described how early the film industry wasn't one at all. I wasn't a even a Fantasy Factory. No mechanized analogy would fit back then. It was a whole new vista of creative art forms, that mainly women and adventuresome artists were experimenting with.

Biographer Cari Beauchamp pointed out that before "business men" (bleck) discovered the money making potential of movies, there was a network of talented creative women writers, directors, and especially editors that made some of the most meaningful, thoughtful works ever created.

And when Francis, years later, won her second Oscar™ for writing "The Champ" and returned to her chair with the statuette she decide, " I saw it as a perfect symbol of the picture business: a powerful athletic body clutching a gleaming sword, but with half of his head, the part which held his brains, completely sliced off."

This quote was from 1932.

I'm afraid that if she were alive today, she'd add that the metaphorical heart and soul must be missing now as well.

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