Saturday, April 12, 2008

Film #36: Frank Film

I'm so excited, my heart is racing! This is the fifth in a series of short films I'm featuring on filmicability. I just got my newest entry off of YouTube, and it's Frank Mouris's Academy Award-winning animated biography Frank Film (his wife Caroline Mouris gets credit on IMDB as a co-director, by the way). This is one of my favorite bits of animation ever, and certainly in the running for my favorite short (live action or animated) of all time (I saw it first on HBO in the early 1980s, when they were showing classic weird animation between features). Funny thing is, I've only seen it maybe twice, and a long time ago, too--I've looked for it on video for years and years. So not only am I excited to see it again, I'm thrilled 'cuz I'm gonna perform an experiment. I'm writing this now, but after I see it again, I'll add in my impressions, right below the clip. So, watch and then you can read my reactions after I watch it with you.

Okay. Are you as speechless as I am? This is one of the best damn things I've ever witnessed, EVER! What a great movie!! Wow, I'm on another plane of existence. Gotta come down. Okay, I'm back. Seriously, think of all the years Mouris had to work on this...and how his dream of success, detailed within, ultimately came true (at least up to the point the film was made). It's too bad Mouris' output subsequent to this 1973 film has been almost nonexistent. I'd really like to know what the man has been up to over the past few years. He and Caroline DID do this piece, which I would love to see in its entirety:

It's fantastic that the couple did a combination Caroline and Frank film. But I'd like to see another! Each must be in they're mid-sixties at least, so maybe they don't want to spend their emeritus years on an essential repeat of something they've already put down so perfectly, but I think it's a necessity for film history! I love that the 1973 piece is named Frank Film, because Mouris is being so "frank" about his past. I ravish the swirling graphic imagery, of course, and the sense of breakneck movement. The two dueling soundtracks, Mouris' deadpan narration style, the dictionary of f-words, the beautiful colors, the universality of the film's themes--the brain overstimulation this movie sparks is radically orgasmic to me.

I'm gonna watch it again!!!


Lisa said...

Unbelievable! Amazing! Thanks for bringing this to my attention -- this is the first time I have heard of/watched this.

Hepcat B said...

That is amazing. It's like Stan Brackage meets....everything in the world!

Am I crazy to think the VO sounds a little like Ross McElwee?

This reminds me of your student film where you animated by drawing directly on the 16mm film. I really thought you were nuts to attempt it, but I ate my words.