The Secret Cinema brings CREEPY PUPPET FILMS to The Rotunda!
Puppetry is an age-old artform that has charmed and delighted both children and adults for countless generations. And, puppets have been a source of inspiration to filmmakers almost since the movies began.
So why do puppets become so...CREEPY, when filmed and projected on a giant screen?
On Saturday, November 26, the Secret Cinema will attempt to answer that question -- or at least show our favorite examples of this peculiar genre of cinema -- when we present CREEPY PUPPET FILMS at the Rotunda. Using assorted educational and entertainment shorts from past decades, we'll show films using hand puppets, marionettes, and stop-motion animated figures and claymation. Some were made by great masters of special effects like George Pal and Ray Harryhausen. Others were made by nameless hacks for forgotten educational film mills. Yet, they are ALL CREEPY.
Secret Cinema originally presented CREEPY PUPPET FILMS seven years ago, almost to the date (and we showed it one more time, more recently, at New York's Anthology Film Archives).
There will be one complete screening starting at 8:00 pm. Admission is $8.00.
All Secret Cinema presentations are shown using 16mm film (not video, not digital) projected on a giant screen.
A few highlights of CREEPY PUPPET FILMS include:
HANSEL AND GRETEL (1951, Dir: Ray Harryhausen) - This early work from stop-motion master Ray Harryhausen was from a series of animated fairy tale shorts in which he explored the techniques he would soon perfect in features like JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS. Harryhausen began his experimentation as a teenager, shortly after being entranced by Willis O'Brien's pioneering special effects in KING KONG.
GEORGE PAL PUPPETOON (1940s, Dir: George Pal) - George Pal's "Puppetoon" shorts showed a brilliant imagination and flawless stop-motion technique. We'll show an example from this oft-overlooked series, from the Hungarian animator who went on to create sci-fi feature film classics like WAR OF THE WORLDS.
MAKING CHANGE (1970s, Dir: Unknown) - From the sublime to the hackneyed-beyond-belief: This short was made during the peak sales years of the 16mm educational film industry. It employs the crudest of stick puppets to teach money math skills to grade school kids.
GUMBY: HOT ROD GRANNY (1957, Dir: Art Clokey) - Claymation superstar Gumby encounters a speed crazed senior citizen racing an animated plastic model kit roadster around the town.
PIRRO AND THE SCALE (1948, Dir: Alvin J. Gordon) - Marionette clown Pirro imparts a valuable lesson on weight and measurement. A 1951 guide book for teachers thought that "Pat Patterson, who created and manipulates the puppet, provides the running commentary, which is warm and pleasant at its best, at worst too nervously repetitive." That's part right.
...and much, much more!
SECRET CINEMA WEBSITE: http://www.thesecretcinema.com