||[Apr. 17th, 2005|05:04 pm]
Fans of the Comic Side of the Silent Era
My introductory screencap is the wonderful Charley Bowers. My Buster friends will notice a similarity here, I'm sure. But, Buster's 'The General' and Charley's film 'Now You Tell One' were both made in 1926. It's just a case of comic minds thinking alike to different effect...after all, Charley is trying to kill himself...*g*|
How would you feel if the majority of your life's work, your wonderful films, the stop-motion animation techniques you pioneered and toiled endless hours over, that you sweated blood to perfect, that were critically acclaimed, ended up being totally forgotten in the on-rush of sound? And, if that precious art, a few remaining decomposing reels, ended up a flickering side-attraction as part of a gypsy's travelling tent show?
In the 1960's Raymond Borde of the Toulouse Cinematique offered 5 francs for every kilo of old film that was brought to him. One day, a gypsy brought in some battered cannisters, and Raymond opened them, ran the film, and was amazed. He'd never heard of 'Bricolo'. And yet, the films had a high production value, boasted a large cast of actors, and were obviously the work of a talented and singular mind. They were delightfully surreal, combining stop-motion puppetry and animation with live action. And doing it seamlessly. It took years before the link from the French 'Bricolo', to the American, 'Charley Bowers' was made. Today, hardly anyone knows anything about him, either professionally or personally, and that's such a shame.
ETA: This is a site I found with more Charley Bowers information and a few more images of his work. It's very well written, albeit sketchy. He was a very enigmatic character. More info on Charley.
( some screencaps taken from 'Now You Tell Me', from the DVD, 'Charley Bowers: The Rediscovery of an American Comic Genius' (the DVD contains seven comedies and eight animated short films)Collapse )