Saturday, 16 May 2009

Osamu Tezuka "Broken Down Film" (1985)

Young and old animators learn so much from the greats. To the detriment of the blog I have only posted on one and a bit movies from Osamu Tezuka. I shall redress the situation this weekend. Today's is a very funny movie. Broken Down Film pays affectionate homage to the silent movie era, when film was over exposed, grainy, yellowed, burnt, scratched, dusty, dirty... you get the idea. Struggling as much against projector as villain, the cowboy rescues the damsel in distress. To the winner would have gone the spoils but a streak of yellow gets in the way. In a series of visual gags Osamu parodies the whole thing to perfection. Preparation must have been easy. List all the conceivable drawbacks of the old movies and their playback. Decide on the vehicle - melodramatic western. Then just apply the genius. Osamu provides a master class in timing. How long can he leave a screen blank? Is the cowboy going to get the girl off the track in time? Or the frames get stuck and our man gets out his gun and does a bit of lifting. Or the bad guy is winning and the reel needs changing. Or how does our hero hide from the villain when crawling about his feet? A treat! And tomorrow one of the best animated shorts I have ever seen. In the meantime, if everything stops just whistle.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Silent films in their day were not grainy, dirty, over exposed. That is how silent films appear 50-100 years later. Certainly the technology was primitive and techniques unsophisticated, film stock has degraded, projection devices no longer exist, but the films in their own time were very watchable.