March 17, 2019

Tonight in London, there's a double-bill of Straub/Huillet's En rachâchant (1982) and Klassenverhältnisse (Class Relations, 1984) at the BFI as part of "The Films of Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet", a complete retrospective proposed and programmed by Ricardo Matos Cabo.  

In celebration of the program, Laurent Kretzschmar and I present three new English translations of Serge Daney:  

  • "Straub rachâche", on En rachâchant 

  • "The Straubs", on Huillet and Straub as teachers, and as interlocutors of their work 

  • "Franz Kafka, Strauboscoped", on their film Class Relations.


*




Straub rachâche
by Serge Daney


Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, En rachâchant (1982)

There was a time when going to the movies meant seeing two films, a big one and a small one. There was a time when going to the movies meant saying, still mesmerized: "it was a beautiful program!" Is this time finished? Not quite. The audience who laughed watching Pauline at the Beach (Rohmer, 35,908 tickets in its first week) has every chance to laugh watching En rachâchant (Straub and Huillet, 35,908 tickets). This excellent production of seven minutes and a few seconds by Diagonale is the ideal complement to a program. First, because it proves that the Straubs are funny. Second, because there is a family resemblance between the two films: their strange relation to the idea of education, the clarity of the mise en scène which doesn’t suffer from the current evil plaguing French cinema: cellulite. En rachâchant is first a text by Marguerite Duras. The Straubs loved it, and loving it, they filmed it. Faced with the fait accompli, Duras must have found the film worthy of her text. Duras is therefore kind. In black and white (the photography is by Alekan and it is superb), in a kitchen, and then in an empty classroom, a few actors and a young child resist stubbornly. "Child Ernesto" (that’s his name) declares that he won’t go to school anymore for the simple reason that it teaches things that one doesn’t know. How will the child learn what he doesn’t know (asks, threateningly, a dinosaur of a teacher)? "In-ev-i-ta-bly", answers the child who, having looked at his mother with indescribable gentleness, leaves the grown-ups to their confusion and slams the door.


The film is funny and quick. It’s not a "short" but a real film, in short. We must see it thinking on the one hand of Renoir (who had very libertarian ideas about education, thinking that we only ever know what we know already, and of whom—I know this—the Straubs have thought) and on the other of Alain Resnais whose next film Life is a Bed of Roses (coming soon!) begins from the reverse hypothesis: that education, strictly speaking, is filler. A great topic of our time.


Libération, 7 April 1983




Translation by Laurent Kretzschmar and Andy Rector

Editor's note: In the 37 years since the release of En rachâchant no English translation or approximation of the phrase "en rachâchant" has ever been agreed upon; it has been declared untranslatable. The original Duras children's book Ah! Ernesto! (1971)—which Duras herself freely adapted in her own film Les enfants (1985)—was translated and adapted to English by Ina C. Jaeger and Ciba Vaughan here. Their translation: To the question of "How will Ernesto learn what he knows already?", the answer is "by re-de-de re-see-see re-pee-pee-ting!"

Fidelity aside, I take pleasure in this adapted translation, as it reminds me of the word mischief that Straub gets up to when contemplating things in public: "In the beginning the earth was without form and void. Your formless form, your formless formed, informed, invertebrate..." from Where Lies Your Hidden Smile? (Pedro Costa, 2001); or his occasional use of "caca-pipi-talism"; or the following while presenting Othon: "A muh-muh-muh-modern tragedy. Police pitfall. Political pitfall. A polis-puh-puh-puh-puh. A police politic. Puh-puh-polygon, puh-puh-polyvalent. Puh-puh.

(A.R.)




*

The Straubs
by Serge Daney

One evening, among several of the curious, the beggars, and other security guards, some members of the S.I. (the “Straubian International”) got together like early Christians who, before suffering martyrdom, would have founded a traveling cine-club. Thanks to Franz Kafka (currently honored at the Centre Pompidou), they were attending an advance screening of Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet’s latest film, inspired by Amerika.

Amerika / Klassenverhältnisse* is the German title of the film. Of the two words, the longest and the most Marxian means "class relations". And—words being words, often playful—this evening was indeed about "class". But as in a class an educator might teach, a class you might repeat, or one (like many, more and more) you might want to skip. You would be wrong to do so. Non-conformists but good teachers, the Straubs, threading their way through the (naïve, expert, or irritating) questions from their audience that night, performed a brilliant act. While the Pompidou cleaners cleaned the projection room (class relations oblige) and the security guards talked on their walkie-talkies (idem), they talked cinema, and as we say with Renoir, these are "rare things" nowadays.

Straub has never enjoyed success (a little perhaps with The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach, 1967), but his films have often frightened some. This way of taking on cinema without compromise—body and soul**—is simply too distant from the soft communication theories and systematic audience targeting that are talked about in the world of show business. Too hard, too simple. On top of that, the Straubs have had the malice never to present their work as "marginal" but—it’s a nuance—as minority. They are not even in a ghetto, but from where they are, they hold on to cinema like Ariadne’s thread. A false Jew (but he devoted a triptych to that issue), a true exile (from Metz to Rome via Munich), a conscientious objector (because of the Algerian war of independence in 1959, amnestied in 1971), Jean-Marie Straub, born in 1933, is "too old" (one of his leitmotivs) not to talk about his films gracefully. He’s the one that is poor, but his films (and they are Danièle Huillet’s too) are like children who, as poor people say, have "all they need".  

There’s not a centime, lira, or mark that Straub (and especially Huillet) do not personally know the provenance, circulation, and usage of. A good understanding of "class relations" begins by a simple understanding of the value of money. And it’s precisely because current cinema has lost sight of this that it is threatened by inflation and bloating. Straub-Huillet (like Godard, Duras, or Rohmer) are the cine-artists par excellence (I purposely don’t say "auteurs") of this era where the roles of the image and of the producer have vanished. Producing for them is to produce both their life and their art, or, more modestly, their work and their workforce.

All this is not some caveat before introducing, once more, the Straubs and their cinema as "indispensable", "rigorous and ascetic", or "sublime but boring". This has been done too many times. Plus, there is too much resentment in the way we talk about the "pure ones", too much hate for the illusion they give us to have chosen by themselves—meaning without us—the contradictions of their existence (saints are impossible to be with, one can only meet with them from time to time, hence the S.I.). Then, since 1962, the nine full length features and the five shorts constitute—whether we want it, or wanted it, or not—a body of work. (Beware of this little term: there will be many more beautiful films but who can tell if there will be other "bodies of work" of cinema?).

Finally, time is on the Straubs’ side. Not because they could suddenly become very popular (although Amerika/Klassenverhhältnisse is their most limpid film), but because the distance they’ve put, very early on, between themselves and the "world of cinema" and the solitude of those who count "on their strength alone" are becoming the common and inevitable fate of younger filmmakers who today (meaning very late in the game), would have the frivolity to want to benefit from the romantic aura and the "freedom of expression" of the auteur without having had the time to harden themselves on what that means. This time, the Straubs (perhaps because it’s the two of them) didn’t waste their time seizing it. And if that evening, in the gloomy mezzanine of the Centre Pompidou, there was something really strong in what they said, something that still questions the world through the means of cinema, it’s because they have invested all their pride in thinking that nothing will never be owed to them.

Libération, 3 October 1984

Translation by Laurent Kretzschmar and Andy Rector

* Although the German title is simply Klassenverhaltnisse, Daney keeps the dual title.

** In English in the text


*





Franz Kafka, Strauboscoped
by Serge Daney

Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, Class Relations (Amerika / Klassenverhältnisse*), 1984.

From Kafka’s unfinished novel (Amerika, 1912-1914), Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet have created Class Relations. Filmed in Hamburg, in German, in black and white, in complete lucidity, with their best accomplices (Lubtchansky on photography and Hochet on sound), and for the joy of all.

There is this game that every child plays, and which is a sort of theory of cinema according to the Straubs. Someone, facing a wall, turns his back to those who advance towards him (and the wall). But they must advance without being seen by him, moving only when he has his back turned. As soon as he looks back, he has the right to send those caught moving back to the starting line. Visible movement is foul ball and invisible movement is fair (the movement of turbulent atoms, the Straubs would say, as materialists; the movement of the contradictions of the classes, they could also add, as Marxists).

The fun of the game is that contestants who progress toward the wall (America?) can only stand still in strange positions, one leg up, eyes staring, petrified, close to losing their balance. With or without pun, it’s a stroboscopic game where the path ultimately travelled can only be retraced through arrested moments. The game is straubsocopic too. If we take a film like Class Relations from the point of view of content, we are tempted to retrace the path as if we had followed it continuously. But then we are cheating, cheating with the form of the film which is a series of moments, of stops along the story**, of blocks of space-time, the incongruity of which we don’t know whether to laugh about (one leg up, eyes staring, etc.) or hallucinate in the void (what happens behind our back, off-screen) that which separates one from another.

Cold Burlesque

So goes the way the Straubs have always approached their subjects (texts more often than not, which must necessarily be cut and re-cut), but also the way that Kafka constructed his stories: a comical suite of facing the fait accompli that withdraws any possibility for the hero (or the reader) to backtrack. With Kafka as with the Straubs, this results in a certain cold burlesque. Cold, but still burlesque. It has taken us a long time to notice it because we only imagine burlesque through the Mack Sennett model, with its tumbles and pile-ups, because we have forgotten the stupid look we had when we were children, facing the wall in the schoolyard.



Karl Rossmann is this tall blond and virtuous boy sent away by his family to America by boat and whose story was retraced by Kafka in seven big chapters. We will assume that this story is known (it’s the Kafka year after all). When they film this story, the Straubs face a tough problem: how to show Karl both how he is seen (by the others, as a naïve and gullible boy) and how he sees himself (as a good man, caught in ridiculous and inexplicable situations). It’s their problem as filmmakers: how to make shots appear one after another and how to make bodies appear in those shots. The burlesque comes from all the avatars of the upright stance, of the stand to attention in front of the authority, of rectitude, of the sloppy appearance, of the hundred ways to stand up to shout an order or to bend over to suddenly kiss a hand (the end of the scene with the stoker).

The Straubs had rehearsed this body language in their preceding short movie En rachâchant, adapted from Duras. They have pretty much nailed it in Class Relations (including the humor brought by the simple presence-performance of the professional actors Laura Betti and Mario Adorf). In a multi-faceted space, with a Rubik’s cube logic, without any sentimental glue or Kafkian approximations, the Straubs’ direction is faultless.

Karl Rossmann (Christian Heinisch) is seen by the Straubs as a Sadean character.  That’s how they are tempted to read him, like a boy Justine who, because he has an abstract idea of his own good and virtue, goes from misfortune to misfortune without becoming evil as a result. In New York, Karl doesn’t only discover that life is hard and that classes are wolves to other classes. This would be the typical "rise to consciousness" script. Good but easy. Because he has the (moral) rectitude of those who think that relations between men are ruled by contract (written or oral), he advances toward a second—more disarming—discovery, that people never do what they say.

The German Language

Class Relations is a question of language as well. There is no shortage of examples. Whether it’s about saying and unsaying (Uncle Jacob), complaining and "uncomplaining" (the stoker), aping solidarity to betray it immediately (Robinson and Delamarche), delivering justice without seeking the truth (the head cook), etc.

Class contradictions are first people who contradict themselves and it only requires a single character like Karl Rossmann who believes in words for this other – less known but chilling – burlesque, the one of politeness, rhetoric, and grammar to nakedly appear. So much so that Karl’s final decision to join the Great Theatre of Oklahoma is a strange "rise to consciousness": he passes from a world that doesn’t work for him (the world where one believes in words) to a world where one can be content to merely believe that the words are said. A truly materialist world in the end, that of the theatre.

Through Sade, the Straubs add a Marxist slant to Kafka’s book. Through their work on the language, they add a "sadistic" slant on the spectator who, non German-speaking, will not cease reading the subtitles (translated by Danièle Huillet) of Amerika / Klassenverhältnisse . This spectator will have the feeling of finding himself in front of a bad German version where a not very subtle high school boy would have written that Karl has "irresponsibly insufficient equipment", whereas Alexandre Vialatte more elegantly translated ‘luggage, you see, unforgivably insufficient’. The Straubs, for whom any film dubbed is a film assassinated, not only want us to hear the German language and Kafka’s own text, but also to find in the subtitles a French which would not betray the breathing, the enunciation, or the grammar of this German language (Kafka’s).

As I suggested above, it’s a question of substance for them. And it’s also a challenge that can drive you mad: if the language is part of the class relations, it must be possible to materialize what Nietzsche called: "the sliding noose of grammar."

Libération, 3 October 1984

Translation by Laurent Kretzschmar and Andy Rector

* Although the German title is Klassenverhältnisse, Daney uses the dual title.

** Daney writes “arrêts sur l’histoire” which could be understood as “frozen history moments” in the same way that “arrêts sur l’image” are translated as “freeze-frame” or “freeze-image”.



*

March 4, 2019

TASHLIN MAUDIT


Tashlin Gets Religion
by Bill Krohn





SAY ONE FOR ME (1959) is the only Frank Tashlin film where religion plays an important role. It features honest-to-goodness icons (Jesus holding a lamb) and religious symbols (cruciform shadows on a wall), but it’s not a religious film like, say, THE VIRGIN SPRING, made in 1960 by Ingmar Bergman. It’s a film about religious people: Debbie Reynolds, Bing Crosby (a priest) and Robert Wagner, who plays Tony, are all Roman Catholics, realistically portrayed. Even the musical numbers are realistically situated on various stages, unlike a Minnelli film, where Fred Astaire can suddenly start dancing in Times Square when the spirit moves him.






Tony is a wolf. He wants to add Reynolds to the collection of women whose pictures adorn the wall of his modest bachelor pad. And even though it’s not stated, Reynolds is a virgin — a logical corollary of the year and her Catholicism. So his aim, once their compatibility is established by dancing together in their first scene, is to deflower her, first by inviting her to dinner, hypothetically ending at his pad; when that fails, getting into her extremely modest pad, with the bed that lets down (a Tashlin gag: he “charms” it like a snake charmer into descending so that he can achieve his goal on it), and when all else fails by taking her to Florida.





She loves him and has the hots for him too, but she has to keep her hymen intact until they’re married, which finally happens at the end of the movie, when they leave the church and get into a cab en route to Florida. 1959 is also the year when Doris Day started her career as a “professional virgin” with PILLOW TALK, a hit that paired her with Rock Hudson. Which came first, the Tashlin or the Oscar-winning sex comedy that wasted Tony Randall, the star of Tashlin’s masterpiece WILL SUCCESS SPOIL ROCK HUNTER (1957), playing a third wheel? As for Wagner, two years before SAY ONE he played a psychopath who throws his pregnant girlfriend (Joanne Woodward) off a roof to keep her from standing in the way of his plans to marry a rich girl in Gerd Oswald’s A KISS BEFORE DYING (1956). And Reynolds had previously played the purest jail-bait entrusted to Dick Powell in Tashlin’s SUSAN SLEPT HERE (1954). Those torrid 50s!




Reynolds’ ticket is a baby she uses to trick Tony into marriage: a metaphorical shotgun wedding. The baby belongs to an unwed mother whose boyfriend has seduced and abandoned her — something Tony would never do because, despite Papal strictures against birth control, he presumably uses a rubber when he “scores.” Otherwise his wall of conquests would also be full of baby pictures. This is no doubt one of the things Crosby holds against him. But Crosby also believes in sin and redemption. As he explains to the unwed mother, whom he takes under his wing, his church isn’t full of perfect people. And that baby, who just happens to have a “T” on his pajamas, is going to come in handy.






Canny Reynolds turns the “T” to “Tony” by having Big Tony (Wagner) become his godfather, and once the trap is sprung the bait — little Tony — vanishes from the picture. At the wedding of Big Tony and Reynolds, Little Tony’s mother is seen reconciling with her estranged mother, but little Tony, having served his purpose, has presumably been farmed out to Crosby’s motherly housekeeper. Tashlin is too much of a realist not to have had that solution in mind, and too good a director to waste time telling us. After the movie ends little Tony’s mother and her mother will no doubt raise him together, while Reynolds and Big Tony are in Florida making a baby of their own.

This relatively conventional comic plot, with Crosby cast in the role of the senex iratus, skids into surrealism in the Ray Walston subplot, which is more emotional than the romantic main plot and contains most of the Tashlin gags in the movie, spun out of alcoholic song-writer Walston’s stratagems for hiding booze: comic riffs on Billy Wilder’s THE LOST WEEKEND (1945). Walston, who had triumphed playing the Devil in DAMN YANKEES in 1958, plays most of his scenes “drunk,” and Tashlin calibrates the shifts from humor to pathos deftly — we occasionally catch ourselves laughing at something that isn’t funny at all. Like everyone in the film, Walston is saved by Crosby, who tells him to kneel in prayer instead of tipping the bottle to his lips, something any alert denizen of Hollywood in 1959 would recognize as the core doctrine of Alcoholics Anonymous, founded in 1935: the appeal to a higher power to overcome addiction.




The most blatantly surreal image in the film is the round mirror on Walston’s piano, which is metaphorically an empty womb. Impregnated with Crosby’s words of wisdom, Walston will give birth to the new, sober self who pens a song about keeping Christmas in our hearts all year round at the end of the film. The big scene that ends SAY ONE FOR ME is a Christmas special featuring stars like Phil Silvers (whom we briefly see: his sitcom about the peacetime Army was a huge hit in 1959), broadcast on TV to an appreciative audience of Reynolds and her father, whom she has helped recover by working in Tony’s dive. Tony is scheduled to give a show-stopping performance that will lift him out of playing dives and launch his national career, but his coat-sleeves are too short: a repetition of the childhood trauma that kept him from going to church all these years and consigned him to low-rent venues.

But he is saved by the power of confession — a Roman Catholic rite — when he shows the viewers his ridiculously truncated sleeves (fill in the Freudian interpretation here) and turns the show over to Crosby, a much better singer than Robert Wagner, whom the 1959 audience would have been been waiting for.

Made when Tashlin was on a run, SAY ONE FOR ME failed to garner the audience of Leo McCarey’s GOING MY WAY (1944), which had won Crosby an Oscar for his performance as a singing priest. But while this Johnny-Come-Lately compendium of ideas that had worked elsewhere, made in the middle of Tashlin’s winning streak with Jerry Lewis, bombed in 1959, it shines today (even in the truncated TV print) like another Tashlin film maudit, THE PRIVATE NAVY OF SGT. O’FARRELL (1968), where he teamed with his old friend Bob Hope, back from entertaining the troops, to make a boozy film denouncing America’s role in the War of Vietnamese Independence, then in its first decade with the end nowhere in sight.


Bill Krohn, 
July 3, 2018









SAY ONE FOR ME will screen March 9th, 2019 (16mm print) as part of Kino Slang at the Echo Park Film Center. See here for information.

Tashlin, Monteiro



KINO SLANG
at the
Echo Park Film Center


Saturday 
March 9th, 2019
Doors at 7:30pm
$5 Suggested Donation

Echo Park Film Center 
1200 North Alvarado St. 
Los Angeles, CA. 90026 


   
     




preceded by 



A MÃE
The Mother
(João César Monteiro, 1978-79)


and


THE SWOONER CROONER
(Frank Tashlin, 1944)













*

SAY ONE FOR ME
(1959, Frank Tashlin)
16mm Eastmancolor print*

Produced and Directed by Frank Tashlin
Bing Crosby Productions & Twentieth Century Fox
Screenplay: Robert O'Brien. Cinematography: Leo Tover (CinemaScope, De Luxe color). Film Editor: Hugh S. Fowler. Art Direction: Lyle R. Wheeler, Leland Fuller. Set Decoration: Walter M. Scott, Eli Benneche. Music Supervised and Conducted by Lionel Newman. Songs: Sammy Cahn and James Van Heusen. Dances Staged by Alex Romero. Costumes: Adele Palmer. Sound: E. Clayton Ward, Harry M. Leonard. Assistant Director: Joseph E. Richard. CinemaScope Lenses by Bausch & Lomb. Cast: Debbie Reynolds (Hollywo LaMaise), Bing Crosby (Father Conroy), Robert Wagner (Tony Vincent), Ray Walston (Phil Stanley), Les Tremayne (Harry LeMaise), Connie Gilchrist (Mary Manning), Frank McHugh (Jim Dugan), Joe Besser (Joe Greb), Alena Murray (Sunny), Stella Stevens (Chorine), Nina Shipman (Fay Flagg), Sebastian Cabot (Monsignor), Judy Harriet (June January a.k.a. "Dawn Easter).
119 minutes.


A rare, maligned one by Hollywood filmmaker and critic of Hollywood Frank Tashlin, a beautiful De Luxe color film, part-musical, about a priest (Bing Crosby) who is trying to promote his church with song and dance, while the church pianist (Ray Walston) struggles with alcoholism, and one of the singers (Debbie Reynolds) falls in love with a thoroughly Godless man (Robert Wagner), who is also the boss at her side-job performing in an adult nightclub, a job she only takes to pay for the hospitalization of her beaten father.

This film is perhaps the last entry in a string of popular "singing priest" movies (McCarey's GOING MY WAY and THE BELLS OF ST. MARY, Ulmer's ST. BENNY THE DIP) that Hollywood produced after World War II. Tashin's version here, called one of the "Fifty Worst Films of All Time" in 1978 by baby-boomers who were clearly embarrassed by it, is limpid and complex. "It stands as an interesting nexus of the uneasy relationship between sexuality, showbiz, and moral religion," wrote critic Roger Garcia. "Tashlin draws this triangle through the film's (emphatically interior) spaces—the church, the community hall, the nightclub and apartments, all describing a kind of geography of the sacred and the profane." 

Bill Krohn has written a new, until now unpublished text on Tashlin's SAY ONE FOR ME, "Tashlin Gets Religion", which can be read on Kino Slang here.







*

A MÃE 
THE MOTHER
(1978-79, João César Monteiro)
Produced and Directed by João César Monteiro. Cinematography and Production Director: Mauel Costa e Silva. Sound: João Canedo. Chief Electrician: João Silva. Assistant Director: Margarida Gil. Assistant Cameraman: Emilio Pinto. Production Assistant: Rui Alves. Titles: Manuel Pires, Cias de Oliveira, Pires Ramahlo. Negative Cutter: Maria José Pinto. Laboratory: Tóbis Portuguesa. Color Positivizaiton: Ulyssea Filmes. Sound Mix: Nacional Filmes. Negative: Eastmancolor 16mm. Music: Franz Schubert, Trio op. 100. Production: João César Monteiro for RTP/2 (television). Players: Hermínio Rebelo, Fernando Lavrador, Deolinda Gonçalves, Terese Café, Elza Ferreira, Maria Clementina Teixeira, César Luís Lavrador, Maria José Bandeira, Maria de Fátima da Silva, João Paulo Teixeira, Olga Celeste, Fernando Augusto Teixeira, João César Monteiro (monk). Based on a traditional Portuguese tale from verses compiled by Carlos de Oliveira and José Gomes Ferreira in Tradicionais Portugueses and by José Leite de Vasconcelos in Etnografia Portuguesa. Shot in Lebução, municipality of Valpaços, during the Christmas week of 1978.
27 minutes.



A mother has two sons. She loves one son less than the other, and aims to prove it. When a cow is stolen, she's sure the thief is none other than the wretch she gave birth to. "I'm hatching a plot, good son. I'm hatching a plot. We'll catch the rascal red-handed!" Based on a traditional Portuguese folktale called "The Rich and the Poor", shot on 16mm in rural north Portugal and played by its inhabitants, this comedy swaps the sacred and the profane as portentously and rapidly as the lines and colors of an El Greco. It partakes of a very specific act of cinema, a homecoming, a "return of a traditional popular tale to its original human and social environment" (Luís Miguel Oliveira), while smacking of the great passions evident in all of Monteiro's films: the hymn to the place and seasons; the slab-like filmed moment for all-time (a man cracks walnuts with his hands); "one half of the world cheating the other" as is said in God's Comedy (1995) about a cheap fork that kills an impressive romantic dinner; brother-to-brother betrayal and exploitation; children; curses.

Quite casually, with none of the false sobriety and gimmickry of today's so-called "experimental ethnography", we see the richness of northern Portuguese peasant architecture in the village of Lebução (which has been destroyed and now looks like a California suburb no older than this film)—its colors, its food, laundry, plumbing, soil, and even its odors—, and the beauty of the people, both fed and contradicted by the darts that fly out of their mouths, in dialogue by the good grace of César Monteiro mixed with selected colloquialisms. Monteiro is the only heir to Erich von Stroheim in his unemphasized realist detail, cruelty, and care, and this short is a bit like his primordial hamlet "Mother Garoupe" sequence from FOOLISH WIVES.






"THE SWOONER CROONER"
(1944, Frank Tashlin / Looney Tunes)
Supervised [i.e. directed] by Frank Tashlin. Story: Warren Foster. Animation: George Cannata. 7 minutes.

Wartime egg production at Flockheed Martin stops when the worker hens swoon over rooster "Frankie!" (Sinatra). Foreman Porky auditions for other signers to try and revive production. The throbbing combination of Sinatra then Bing Crosby's voice is so powerful Porky himself is stimulated to lay an egg.





*

Program total running time: 2 hours and 30 minutes
There will be no introductions.
Program notes provided at the door. 
Doors open at 7:30pm, film at 8pm.
$5 Suggested Donation.

Special Thanks to Chloe Reyes, Behrouz Rae, Nora Sweeney, and Bill Krohn.


*Note on the projection: The only way to see SAY ONE FOR ME today (save for locating a 35mm print, though EPFC is not capable of projecting 35mm) is in copies that crop the film's original CinemaScope 2.35:1 frame to 1.33:1. That is the unfortunate condition of both the Fox Cinema Archive dvd of the film released in 2013 and the 16mm Eastmancolor TV print that we will nevertheless gladly project on March 9th.



















































"Kino Slang Presents" is a regular series of cinema screenings at the Echo Park Film Center in Los Angeles. It continues the cinematographic investigations, excavations, proceedings by montage and association, silent alarms and naked dawns of this thirteen-year-old blog.

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