(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Mel Blanc

“The cinema is an invention without any future”*…

Some lost films are more lost than others. There are very early works that no one now alive has seen, and we have little hope of recovering. While later silent feature films were duplicated and distributed widely, there are hundreds of short experiments by the first film-makers, movies no more than a few seconds long, that no longer exist even as a memory.

It seemed too good to be true, then, that lost films by Georges Méliès could really have been found by chance in a German bookshop in 2013. Yet a dogged research project by an independent scholar from France, Thierry Lecointe, has helped uncover miraculous images from lost films, not just by Méliès, but also by Alice Guy-Blaché.

The frames were preserved as images printed on to the card pages of tiny flipbooks. With digital technology, the flipbooks, known as folioscopes, have now become something like film fragments again. The photographer Onno Petersen shot each page in high-resolution and the motion-picture restoration expert Robert Byrne, from the San Francisco Silent Film festival, produced animations revealing such treats as a long-lost magic trick, dance, comic sketch or a train caught on camera more than a century ago

Some of the earliest experiments in film 120 years ago were reproduced as flipbooks for wider audiences. Now a painstaking restoration project has brought long-lost gems back to life: “What the flip! The chance discovery that’s uncovered treasures of the very earliest cinema.”

See also Variety‘s account of a similar reclamation project: “George Melies Flip Book Sets off Crowdsourcing.”

* Cinema pioneer Louis Lumière… who was, happily, wrong

###

As we enjoy our popcorn, we might recall that it was on this date in 1942 that “Tweety,” the star of 46 Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons, made his official debut in “A Tale of Two Kitties.”

Originally created by Bob Clampett (who also created the first version of Bugs Bunny and went to to such marvels as Beany and Cecil), Tweety was redesigned by Fritz Freleng– who took over when Clampett left Warner Bros, reimagined Tweety, and crucially, added Sylvester the Cat. The first short to team Tweety and and his hapless nemesis, 1947’s Tweetie Pie, won Warner Bros its first Academy Award for Best Short Subject (Cartoons). Both Tweety and Sylvester were, of course, voiced by the great Mel Blanc.

In related news, there is a live action reboot of Tom and Jerry on the way…

“Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead”*…

 

What kinds of secrets does the average person keep? In a new paper, Columbia University researchers Michael L. Slepian and colleagues carried out a survey of secrets…

Take a peek at (and find larger versions of this chart and others) at “A Survey of Our Secret Lives.”

* Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanack

###

As we keep it under our hats, we might send vocal birthday greetings to Melvin Jerome “Mel” Blanc; he was born on this date in 1908. A voice actor, actor, radio comedian, and recording artist, he began his 60-plus-year career performing in radio, but is best remembered for his work in animation– as the voices of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Sylvester the Cat, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Marvin the Martian, Pepé Le Pew, Speedy Gonzales, Wile E. Coyote, Road Runner, the Tasmanian Devil, and many of the other characters from the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies theatrical cartoons that helped define the golden age of American animation.  He was, in fact, the voice for all of the major male Warner Bros. cartoon characters except Elmer Fudd, whose voice was provided by fellow radio actor Arthur Q. Bryan (though Blanc later voiced Fudd as well after Bryan’s death).  Blanc died in 1989,  just a year after voicing Daffy Duck in his classic Who Framed Roger Rabbit duel with Donald.

source

Written by LW

May 30, 2017 at 1:01 am

“That’s All Folks!”*…

 

If you drink two ounces of Windex glass cleaner within an hour you’ll be drunk. Fourteen ounces will shut down your nervous system. 

You can poison yourself with water: drink over a gallon in an hour and you’ll be irritable, drowsy, suffering from a headache, and behaving strangely. If you consume another three quarters of a gallon in that hour, your nervous system will shut down

From carrots and chewing gum to Pantene hairspray and Centrum vitamins– “How Not To Kill Yourself With Household Items.”

Epitaph of Mel Blanc, “The Man of a Thousand Voices.”

###

As we practice the precautionary principle, we might recall that it was on this date in 1959 that Alfred “Alf” Dean, fishing in south Australian waters, used a rod and reel to land the largest great white shark recognized by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA).  Weighing 1,208 kilograms (2,664 lb), it was 16′ 10″ long.

Several larger great whites caught by anglers have since been verified, but were later disallowed from formal recognition by IGFA monitors for rules violations– the most common of which rule violation is using mammals as bait…  which Mr. Dean apparently also did (“I used kittens”).  But at the time of his catch this practice was not against IGFA rules, so his record stood.

Dean and his catch

 source

Written by LW

April 21, 2014 at 1:01 am

No BONES about it…

From the ever-entertaining (and insightful) xkcd.  (As to the allusion in the title of this post… a weakness to which your correspondent will confess.)

As we recalibrate our expectations of our instruments, we might acknowledge imprecision-in-practice, as it was on this date in 2001 that a Joint Session of Congress (with then Vice President Al Gore presiding) certified the election of George W. Bush…

at work

And in an example of synchronicity that would light Arthur Koestler’s eyes, this was also the date on which, in 1936, Porky Pig made his debut in his commonly-known form in Tex Avery’s Gold Diggers of ’49.  Porky had been introduced the prior year, but in a younger, quieter, and thinner incarnation, by Bob Clampitt (of later Beany and Cecil renown).  Porky was voiced in (and immediately following) Avery’s toon by Joe Dougherty, who actually did have a stuttering problem.  But because Dougherty could not control his stutter,  his recording sessions took hours. Thus, the extraordinary Mel Blanc replaced Dougherty in 1937.

What more is there to say?…

Owning a piece of the past: an investment option for our times?…

source: Bonhams

As one passes the first anniversary of the failure of Lehman Brothers, one might be wondering where (beyond one’s mattress) one should be parking what’s left of one’s resources.

As Wired.com reports, the auctioneers Bonhams have an idea:  natural history artifacts.  The 42 items to be gaveled in a sale to held in Las Vegas on October 3 range from a fossilized fish, estimated to go for about $1,000, to a 66 million-year-old T-Rex skeleton (above), one of the best ever found– and estimated to fetch as much as $8 million.  Other highlights include the largest shark jaw ever found, a giant pig skull, and the skeleton of a duck-billed dinosaur.

Collectables, of course, have an uneven history as investments…  but then, how’s that stock portfolio doing this last year or so?

As we rethink our portfolios (and the arrangement of our living rooms), we might recall that it was on this date in 1949 that Warner. Bros. introduced the Road Runner in the cartoon short “Fast and Furry-ous.”  Created by Michael Maltese and the incomparable Chuck Jones, The Road Runner’s “beep, beep” (like the sounds of most other Warner Bros. cartoon characters) was voiced by Mel Blanc.

The Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote make their debut

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
%d bloggers like this: