Woodcut Chiseler

Over at The Chiseler, Shadowplayer Guy Budziak contributes thoughts on film noir, illustrated by his stunning woodcuts. Click the link and a little tow-haired cyber-newsie will sling you a copy. Guy’s own site is here. I have one of his prints and you need one, too.

In other news, I’ve belatedly discovered that Sight & Sound magazine, in a review of the WILL SUCCESS SPOIL ROCK HUNTER? Blu-Ray, referred to me as “Tashlin expert David Cairns.” I’m pretty sure that should read, “guy who’s seen several Tashlin films David Cairns,” but what the hell, I’ll take it. I guess that makes me an expert in a few things. I must be quite a guy! They ain’t paying me enough! (Cue slide into egotism and ruination. Redemptive happy ending with girl. Fade out.)

12 Responses to “Woodcut Chiseler”

  1. Well there aren’t many blogs discussing Tashlin, one of the most grievously neglected major talents in the Golden Age of Hollywood, leave alone one that covers several of his films. I’ve seen just four – ”Artists and Models, Hollywood or Bust, The Girl Can’t Help It, Rock Hunter”, A&M and Girl Can’t Help It! are among my all-time favourites of films. I watch them regularly but the other two didn’t impress me as much, I especially didn’t feel that Rock Hunter was what it was supposed to be, Tashlin’s greatest film, although it’s a good film. Maybe seeing this new edition will bring me around.

  2. La Faustin Says:

    DC, I’m picturing you as David Manners in CROONER … Of course, this means Fiona gets to be Ann Dvorak, lucky girl.

  3. Fiona Watson Says:

    La Faustin, I’m very happy to accept the role of Ann Dvorak.

  4. Strassenfilm or Kammerspiel?

  5. I’m not sure why you “especially didn’t feel that Rock Hunter was what it was supposed to be.” What would that have been? It has nothing to do with Axelkrod’s play (a version of Faust featuring Orson Bean and Walter Matthau) taking from it only the title and Mansfield.

    Get the BFI Frank Tashlin book with articles by a great number of people including yours truly. Most fascinating: Tashlin’s dream project was a film version of Alexander King’s “May This House Be Safe From Tigers” starring Tony Randall.

  6. I can certainly say that the MoC Blu-Ray is an astonishing sight, with colours that just blaze out at you. Seeing it after writing my essays made me want to rewrite them all over, in fluorescent ink.

    The pages of the King script reproduced in the BFI book are fascinating and made me long to read the whole thing. Then I got the original source book and was even more curious — there clearly IS NOT A FILM anywhere in that book. So what Tashlin would have done with it boggles the mind.

    I may be a “Tashlin expert” but I don’t know my kammerspiel from my strassenfilm, so it’s no good asking.

  7. David Boxwell Says:

    Just saw Tashlin’s first feature, THE FIRST TIME (52). Opening voiceover narration by a boy fetus, closing voiceover narration by a girl fetus. This warped genius started it off with a bang.

  8. David Boxwell Says:

    THE FIRST TIME has brilliant opening credits comprised of huge close-ups of infants crying, silently, with perky music overlaid. It shouldn’t be funny, but it is.

  9. David Boxwell Says:

    SUSAN SLEPT HERE (54) flirts with pedophilia and homosexuality with under-the-radar slyness that is just awe-inspiring.

  10. Heh! I long to see The First Time! Susan Slept Here is just demented. That dream sequence! The narration by an Academy Award! The fact that it was rewritten just before shooting to appease the censor boggle the mind, since what they got away with is simply incredible.

  11. Randy Cook Says:

    Alexander King’s life would make a wonderful film or films, though Tash doubtless had something non-traditional in mind. Viennese immigrant, illustrator, muralist, editor of Life magazine, morphine addict, ardent admirer (and according to at least one source, 2nd husband) of Margie Belcher: later Marge Champion, raconteur (Groucho Marx thought him the best talker on television), cancer patient, autobiogrpher, iconoclast… Well, you get the picture. Or some of it.

    Public got to know him through book-plugging appearances on the Paar show, early sixties.

    His last wife (there were several), singer Margie King Barab formed a nice double act with him in later years and is still alive in New York, I believe.

    Anyway, his volumes of take-no-prisoners autobiography are long out of print, but available.

  12. Tashlin’s script pages certainly look fascinating. Would’ve been interesting to see how the public would have taken to Tony Randall playing somebody they regularly saw on their TV screens.

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