Friday, 9 January 2009

Paul Fierlinger "Rainbowland"

In its fourteen minutes Paul Fierlinger's Rainbowland (1978) takes one very disgruntled harmonica player, Phil (as in philharmonic), from his home in Rainbowland that displays a remarkable similarity to any American big city and places him in countries that are remarkably un-American. Blueland has him distressing the locals, interrupting their funeral dirge by describing it as such, only to be shushed with the news that in fact the rustics are celebrating a wedding. Phil is quickly run out of the country to encounter the travails of Pinkland, a land constantly undergoing revolution and turmoil. Another revolution another country. Purpleland "has had the same ruler for a long, long time." It is an orderly society: "Purplenecks use plans instead of clocks" and its citizens are thrown in jail and chains for jettisoning candy wrappers. Escaping from his prison cell, Phil enters the ravaged Grayland where starvation rules. Just maybe Rainbowland, for all its excesses of mindless jingles and graffiti, might be preferable. Thus the work becomes a patriotic anthem for the land of the free. Paul and Ron Kanter wrote the witty script, the late Jim Thurman provided all the voices and Larry Gold created an original score for a lamentably undervalued movie if the paucity of information on the web is anything to go by. Freely drawn in a style that would grace many a newspaper, the cartoons and sharp satire are a constant delight. The movie may be viewed in two sections on YouTube: Rainbowland 1 & Rainbowland 2. Meantime Paul's latest movie, My Dog Tulip, is complete to 68 minutes of its scheduled 82 minutes and has a superb cast including Christopher Plummer, Lynn Redgrave and Isabella Rossellini (daughter of the delectable Ingrid Bergman). Something to look out for: but first enjoy today's classic.

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