Archive for The Mystery of the Leaping Fish

It All Ties Together

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 2, 2016 by dcairns

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In James Whale’s THE KISS BEFORE THE MIRROR, Nancy Carroll is an unfaithful wife named Maria living in fear of her murderously jealous husband, Paul (Frank Morgan).

In Jean Epstein’s COEUR FIDELE. Gina Manes is an unfaithful wife named Maria living in fear of her murderously jealous husband, Paul (Edmond Van Daele).

In James Whale’s REMEMBER LAST NIGHT?, Gustaf Von Seyffertitz is a German psychoanalyst shot while attempting to reconstruct a crime.

In Lewis Milestone’s THE FRONT PAGE, Gustaf Von Seyffertitz is a German psychoanalyst shot while attempting to reconstruct a crime.

In THE MYSTERY OF THE LEAPING FISH, Douglas Fairbanks snorts coke.

In TOUCHEZ-PAS AU GRISBI, Jeanne Moreau snorts coke.

In ONE-EYED JACKS, Marlon Brando is tormented by a corrupt sheriff.

In THE HALF-BREED, Douglas Fairbanks is persecuted by a corrupt sheriff.

In KING OF JAZZ, a man plunges his hands into a tank of goldfish.

In Louis Lumiere’s LA PECHE AU POISSONS ROUGES, a baby plunges his hands into a bowl of goldfish.

All these films played the day before yesterday in Bologna. Cinema is imploding into a kind of primal atom.

Intertitle of the Week: Rolling in It

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , on September 13, 2009 by dcairns

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From THE MYSTERY OF THE LEAPING FISH, and early Douglas Fairbanks short, scripted by the unimaginable team of Tod Browning, DW Griffith and Anita Loos,  in which Doug plays master detective “Coke Ennyday,” a Sherlock Holmes parody who solves his cases using the power of drugs. Scarcely a scene passes in this movie without Fairbanks snorting a faceful of nose candy or injecting himself in the hand. Odd to see such drug humour in a 90-year-old movie.

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It’s incredible to think how perfect a match Kevin Kline was for Fairbanks in CHAPLIN — an athletic leading man with a propensity for comedy, Kline has all Fairbanks’ virtues and vices, including a slight air of self-satisfaction (which never bothered me, but you can see how it might bug some). Fairbanks, who must have been pretty clean-living in reality, does the same comedy jiggle in response to all the various drugs he takes in this movie, only varying the degree of motor disfunction displayed. It’s all in good fun. Exciting to picture family audiences lapping up this kind of comedy.

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I was looking forward to reporting to you that my participation in the Amazon Associates Program had netted me a tidy profit of ten pence — but on looking again I find the amount has risen to almost £6.54. This is excellent news. I’ve only added a few links to the site as yet. Hopefully they’re not too obtrusive or annoying? Also, it seems that whenever any of you go to Amazon by following one of my links, I get a modest percentage on anything you buy, whether it’s what I linked to or not. So please do all your shopping via Shadowplay. At this rate, when you do your Christmas shopping, you will be able to pay for my Christmas shopping. Which is very nice of you.

At this rate, I’ll be remunerated for all the man-hours I’ve put in here, at minimum wage, by the late 22nd century. Marvelous.

For US customers:

Douglas Fairbanks: A Modern Musketeer (His Picture in the Papers / The Mystery of the Leaping Fish / Flirting With Fate / The Matrimaniac / Wild and Woolly … Mollycoddle / The Mark of Zorro / The Nut)

The Douglas Fairbanks Collection (The Thief of Bagdad/The Mark of Zorro/The Three Musketeers/Robin Hood/The Black Pirate/Don Q, The Son of Zorro)

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Oh yeah… Fairbanks also employs a BDSM bellhop as manservant. At least, I think that’s what’s going on. Why the skeleton? I don’t know. Do you need an answer for everything?