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Creative League: Saved From The Flames Screening This Saturday

The Golden Beetle



Serge Bromberg of Lobster Films in France is on the cutting edge of film preservation. Each year, he prepares a show of rare and fascinating films culled from among the work restored that year. We will be screening a program of some of the oldest, most amazing and downright weirdest films ever made… cartoons, commercials, pioneering trick films, musical shorts, and more. You won’t believe your eyes.

The Dancing Pig (1907) at YouTube

Historical importance and giddy wonder converge in “Saved From the Flames: 54 Rare and Restored Films 1896-1944” (Flicker Alley), a wide-ranging three-disk anthology of short films. The works, ranging from primordial fictions and early documentaries to political propaganda and musical shorts, were lovingly collected and preserved by Serge Bromberg, of Lobster Films and David Shepard, of Blackhawk Films, and the slant is Franco-American. The three earliest films in the set, by the Lumière Brothers, are presented as never before: Bromberg owns the original negative to one of them, and the print it yields has an astounding sensual warmth; a hand-tinted copy of their 1896 “Card Party”—found by Bromberg in a French cheese shop!—is a Cézanne painting come to life. Georges Méliès performs magic on-screen as well as behind the camera, as director and star of “Excelsior!—Prince of Magicians,” from 1901, of which Lobster Films has the sole existing copy. A 1908 animation by Emile Cohl, “Fantasmagorie,” foretells the wildest inventions of the Fleischer brothers (represented here by an eye-popping Technicolor dreamscape and a follow-the-bouncing-ball musicale) and Chuck Jones (whose ultra-modernistic 1944 campaign cartoon for F.D.R. is also included). Josephine Baker takes part in the antic erotic fantasy “The Fireman of the Folies-Bergère,” from 1928; Duke Ellington is featured at the piano and with his band in the 1929 “Black and Tan”; Jacques Tati stars in a riotously inventive 1935 furniture commercial; “Kiriki, Japanese Acrobats,” from 1907, features astounding funambulists with a comic secret. Best of all is Charlie Chaplin’s second film, “Kid’s Auto Race,” from 1914, a manic metafiction in which a surly, aggressive precursor to the Little Tramp hogs the cameras set up to capture the action at an auto race. This living time capsule is a cornucopia of revelation and delight.—Richard Brody, The New Yorker

Le Hot Jazz Club Quintet of Paris with
Stephane Grappelli & Django Reinhardt
at YouTube

The Animation Creative League meetings are by invitation only. To request an invite, contact Taber Dunnipace at…

If you can bring refreshments, please do. Make sure you let us know if you can’t make it so we can offer your space to another person.

Saved From The Flames DVDSaved From The Flames DVDSaved From The Flames – 54 Rare and Restored Films 1896 – 1944 is a unique and wonderful collection of 54 rare and restored short films from the inflammable years of cinema. Movies were once made on nitrate film stock, which has a chemical composition similar to gunpowder and is highly vulnerable to fire and decay. This remarkable seven-hour anthology, organized in eight thematic groups over three DVDs, presents amazing treasures from the vaults of Lobster Films in Paris and from the Blackhawk Films Collection, rescued during half a century of gathering movies from the nitrate era. Pick up the set at Amazon.

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