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Archive for September 18th, 2012

by Brandie Ashe

The Acme Building and Wrecking Co., Inc. is in the process of demolishing the J.C. Wilber Building when a crowbar-wielding employee (who inexplicably wears a fedora and casual clothes) pries open the cornerstone and finds a small metal box. Inside the dusty box are the dedication papers for the building, dated 1892, and a small green frog. As the confounded construction worker watches, the frog leaps onto the lid of the box, flashes a sudden smile, reaches back into the box for a tiny top hat and cane … and bursts into a perfectly-pitched, thoroughly choreographed, high-stepping rendition of “Hello Ma Baby.”

So begins One Froggy Evening, the 1955 Technicolor masterpiece directed by prolific Warner Bros. animator/director Charles “Chuck” M. Jones. The cartoon is a fable of Aesop-ian proportions, juxtaposing the human’s greedy desire for fame and fortune at the frog’s expense with the amphibian’s inability/unwillingness to perform for anything other than his master’s sole pleasure. But forget all of that heavy stuff for a moment—what’s really important is that One Froggy Evening is seven minutes of inspired, efficient humor. (more…)

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by Allan Fish

(UK 2006 463m) DVD2

Aka. Simon Schama’s Power of Art

Being called a human being

p  Clare Beavan  d  David Belton, Clare Beavan, Steven Condie, Carl Hindmarch, James Runcie  w  Simon Schama  m  Niraj Chag, David Julyan, Peter Salem, Daniel Giorgetti, Dave Gale, Andy Bush (including A.Vivaldi, G.Monteverdi, etc)  main theme  “Moonlight Sonata” by Ludwig Van Beethoven

introduced/narrated by  Simon Schama (with Andy Serkis, Allan Corduner)

In the final episode to his monumental A History of Britain, Simon Schama discussed the relative contributions and outlooks of Winston Churchill and George Orwell; their contrasts and differences obvious, their common ideals less so.  We are told how when, close to his death, Orwell reviewed Churchill’s war memoirs and said it read like “the work of a human being, rather than a public figure.”  The best compliment he could give.

Cut forward a few years.  Schama is now speaking in the last episode of a new series, The Power of Art, and when discussing artist Mark Rothko’s attitude to his art, he tells us how Rothko painted nor for critics, but for ‘human beings.’  It is not in any way a coincidence that Schama finishes both his monumental, idiosyncratic works so similarly, offering us the same message.  For these works seem plucked from within Schama’s very being, drawn from within as if writing on the fabric of his very aesthetic soul.   (more…)

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