Archive for Tarzan

Rhymes and Misdemeanors

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2012 by dcairns

Because sometimes you just want to get roaring drunk and bite Mike Henry on the jaw.

A bunch of limericks, here, here and here. All about that hollering ham, Tarzan the Ape Man. Did I already link to this DAUGHTER OF DRACULA one? Or this?

BUT — as if that weren’t enough, some Hitchcock-related limericks as part of the For the Love of Film: Film Preservation Blogathon.

This is a button. Click it, and spend a little money on something wonderful.

Hmm, I can’t really participate in a blogathon with just some links to another site. So here’s an exclusive —

Hitch serves as assistant for Cutts

Unswervingly busting his nuts

And thanks to his aid

When the film is displayed

The seats are all filled up with butts.

***

But THE WHITE SHADOW fades from the screen

Mislaid by the movie machine

Now this great blogathon

We’re all slogging upon

Will allow it once more to be seen.

The Unexpected #4

Posted in FILM with tags , , , on October 22, 2010 by dcairns

I slot in a VHS tape of TOMBSTONE CANYON, a B-western starring Ken Maynard and Tarzan (Tarzan is his horse), and this is what I see, first image up? It was certainly unexpected from my point of view, and I felt I should share it.

Ah, right, yes, that’s much better. Puts the whole thing in context. Yes, I’m definitely no longer trying to claw my way backwards through the couch. I am wondering, however, why the World Wide Lady’s torso seems to extend straight down from her shoulders, maintaining a constant width, like a, well, tombstone with a head on top. And two large, er, globes.

Even though TOMBSTONE CANYON is, technically, a pre-coder (from 1932), nothing else about it suggests an era of license, or licentiousness. It’s a cute little B-western where everybody drawls slow and draws fast, but not as slow/fast as Ken Maynard. Of sex there is scarce a whisper. The logo stands alone in the desert, a big-boobed Ozymandias.

The Sunday Intertitle: Extraordinary

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , on July 25, 2010 by dcairns

THE EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES OF SATURNINO FARANDOLA (1915) has everything you count want from a serial-style adventure, and more, EXCEPT —

Babelfish choked on this one, but I think it’s something like “The white man saves you. Here’s your horse. Goodbye!”

The intertitles are unaccountably plain. All the more disappointing in an Italian silent, where usually the title cards display spectacular design flair. Here, the most interesting element is the number plate, which is useless to the audience but presumably helpful to the editor (who can’t be expected to actually read the damned script, obviously).

Apart from this disappointment, the movie, directed by and starring Marcel Perez, heaps largesse upon us — his hero is adopted in infancy by apes (men in costumes with very visible seams, surrounded by real Capuchin monkeys to make the illusion all the more transparent), then joins a gang of adventurers, leading to encounters with sea monsters, a balloon-based gun battle, and a very modish anti-lion costume —

The resemblance to Melies is incomplete, since Melies would have had more consistent props, sets and costumes, I feel, and Melies didn’t make features. At 57 minutes, LE AVVENTURE STRAORDINARISSIME flies past, the lack of close-ups and camera movement scarcely seeming to matter (like Feuillade, Perez contents himself with a slow, uncertain pan once every hour or so). The Tarzan backstory is accompanied by all manner of racist attitudes, including a novel moment when slumbering Chinese guards are disabled by having their pigtails knotted together. Other things you won’t see elsewhere: a score of prisoners are embedded in barrels with just their heads sticking out. Saturnino rolls them to the river and drags them to safety upstream, using a rope which each man grips in his teeth; soldiers squat on top of balloons, taking pot-shots at each other, while cannons are fired from the baskets — miniatures, backdrops and full-scale live action all captured in a  single pass through the camera. Somebody show Gilliam!