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Crying for the Carolines (1930)

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The opening credits of this Vitaphone short suggest that we're about to see a cartoon of some sort: the text itself is set within a gently spinning, Art Deco sunburst, but what would seem to be the clincher is that we're told this is a "Spooney Melody" from the studio of Leon Schlesinger, the man who went on to produce scores of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies in later years. As it happens CRYING FOR THE CAROLINES isn't exactly an animated film in the conventional sense, but rather a mini-musical illustrated with semi-abstract imagery combined with live action. The images we see were most likely manipulated by hand, enhanced at times with rudimentary camera tricks, but however the effects were accomplished the resulting six-minute short is imaginative, intriguing and enjoyable.

The title tune came from SPRING IS HERE, a screen adaptation of a Rodgers & Hart Broadway show. This particular song was written by other tune-smiths specifically for the movie, and tells a tale of a young man from the South lured to the big city—presumably New York—who comes to feel hostile to urban life and desperately homesick for his birthplace and the girl he left behind. It's a bluesy lament with a haunting melody, performed in this short by a gent named Milton Charles who sings in a reedy voice and accompanies himself on an organ. (I don't know if Mr. Charles is playing a "mighty Wurlitzer" here, but whatever his instrument may have been it's a fascinating thing to see.) At times the visuals suggest the images found in the Fleischer Studio's Bouncing Ball cartoons, i.e. literal depictions o…

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zengming00
2017-01-13 10:10:54 想看
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