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A RIN TIN TIN DOUBLE BILL

WHERE THE NORTH BEGINS (1923) his first starring film and THE CLASH OF THE WOLVES (1925)110829_r21220_g2048-1200 mastered from 35mm print materials held by the Library of Congress.

4pm Sunday, February 22, March 1.

The Cineforum, 463 Bathurst Below College Across From The Beer Store. 416-603–6643.

At a time when human actors were paid $150 a week Jack Warner was paying a dog, Rin Tin Tin, $2,000.00 a week.

Rin Tin Tin  was praised by everyone from the Russian director Sergei Eisenstein, who posed for a photograph with him, to the poet Carl Sandburg, who was working as a film critic for the Chicago Daily News. “A beautiful animal, he has a power of expression in his every movement that makes him one of the leading pantomimists of the screen,” Sandburg wrote, adding that Rinty was “phenomenal” and “thrillingly intelligent.”

At the first Academy Awards Ceremony in 1929 the overwhelming vote for Best Actor went to Rin Tin Tin. Unfortunately the people in charge anxious to establish that the awards were serious and important, decided that giving an Oscar to a dog did not serve that end. so it went to distant second Emil Jannings instead.

You can read more on line about Rin Tin Tin here:

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2011/08/29/the-dog-star

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rin_Tin_Tin

https://rintintinthefirst.wordpress.com/

https://marymiley.wordpress.com/2012/03/04/rin-tin-tin-the-life-and-the-legend/

“You raise good dogs.”

As a kid in New Brunswick I was terrified of dogs. The last thing I thought of doing was owning one.

That changed when my first dog, Lady, came into my life.

I raised one of her pups, whom I called Reefer, from birth. One day when I called his name a girl walking a beautiful German Shepherd said, “Reefer? That’s a strange name for a dog.” I asked, “What do you call yours?” She replied, “Fellatio.”

One day I came home to find tubes of dog food everywhere. He was unable to swallow his food.

I took him to my vet who, unfortunately, was away. Nonetheless, I left him at the Vet clinic.

Two weeks later the vet ran tests. “No dog has survived with what he has. The muscles in his esophagus have stopped working. It is something particular to German Shepherds and to Shepherd mixes. I think you should put him down but if you want a second opinion you can take him to the Veterinary College in Guelph,” hesaid.

Guelph had him a month.

When I went to pick him up he was skin and bones with deep crevasses between the bones where the skin had shrunk.starving-dog

“No dog in this country has survived with what he has,” the specialists told me.

I asked, “What about outside the country?”

“Two,” they said.

I replied, “If two outside Canada did one in Canada will.”

I had to have him drink from a running water tap standing up so that gravity would take the water down to his stomach. Similarly, I had to feed him standing up with his dish on a table top. Then, for half an hour after I sat with him with him standing between my legs his head on my lap. This way gravity took the food down to his stomach. At all times I kept him sitting up. I tied his collar so that he could not lie down. If he had fluid would have gotten into his lungs. He would have drowned.

When I walked him people seeing his emaciated frame would shout, “FEED YOUR DOG!”

I suffered them in silence. I learned fast that none of them were interested in listening.

Gradually he got his weight back.

Six months later as I was preparing his food I heard a voice in my head that said, “I am okay now, you know.”

“Are you?” I said.

I put his food and water on the floor.

One in Canada did.

That is one of the things I have done of which I am the proudest.

When I walked my dogs people would say, “You raise good dogs.”

I would reply, “I treat them just like people.”

At that they would get all sappy until I said, “Of course, I treat people just like dogs.”

Often when people heard that they snarled.

In that snarl I saw just how they would treat a dog.

It never occurred to them that if I treated dogs just like people then, of course, I treat people just like I do dogs.

My last dogs, George and Spike, went to glory years ago.

Today I have cats.

As a kid I never wanted cats.

I can’t imagine living without them now.

But dogs or cats none of the animals I have lived with and am living with came by my choice.

They just wandered in and said, “This is my home.”

Just like many of the people I have shared this place with.

From THE NEW YORKER:

Rin Tin Tin was born on a battlefield in the Meuse Valley, in eastern France, in September, 1918. The exact date isn’t certain, but when Leland Duncan found the puppy, on September 15th, he was still blind and nursing, and was nearly bald. The Meuse Valley was a terrible place to be born that year. In most other circumstances, the valley—plush and undulating, checkered with dairy farms—would have been inviting, but it rolls to the German border, and in 1918 it was at the center of the First World War.

Lee Duncan was a country boy, a third-generation Californian. One of his grandmothers was a Cherokee, and one grandfather had come west with Brigham Young. The family ranched, farmed, scratched out some kind of living. Lee’s mother, Elizabeth, had married his father, Grant Duncan, when she was eighteen, in 1891. Lee was born in 1893, followed, three years later, by his sister, Marjorie. The next year, Grant took off and was never heard from again. Lee was a great keeper of notes and letters and memos and documents. In thousands of pages, which include a detailed memoir—a rough draft for the autobiography he planned to write and the movie he hoped would be made about his life—there is only one reference to his father, and even that is almost an aside.

After Grant abandoned Elizabeth, she was unable to care for her children. She left them in an orphanage in Oakland. Neither she nor the children knew if they would ever be reunited. It wasn’t until three years later that she would reclaim them.

In 1917, Duncan joined the Army. He was assigned to the 135th Aero Squadron, as a gunnery corporal, and was sent to the French front. His account of this time is soldierly and understated, but he vividly recalled the morning of September 15, 1918, when he was sent to inspect the ruins of a German encampment. “I came upon what might have been headquarters for some working dogs,” he wrote. As he strolled around, he saw a hellish image of slaughter: about a dozen dogs, killed by artillery shells. But hiding nearby was a starving, frantic German shepherd female and a litter of five puppies.

From the moment he found the dogs, Duncan considered himself a lucky man. He marvelled at the story, turning it over like a shiny stone, watching it catch the light. He thought about that luck when it came to naming the two puppies he eventually kept for himself—the prettiest ones, a male and a female. He called them Rin Tin Tin and Nanette, after the good-luck charms that were popular with soldiers in France—a pair of dolls, made of yarn or silk, named in honor of two young lovers who, it was said, had survived a bombing in a Paris railway station at the start of the war.

In May, 1919, after the Armistice, Duncan returned to the United States. It would have been easier to leave the “war orphans” behind, but, he later wrote, “I felt there was something about their lives that reminded me of my own life. They had crept right into a lonesome place in my life and had become a part of me.” Before they reached California, however, Nanette developed pneumonia and died, and Duncan got another German shepherd puppy, named Nanette II, to keep Rin Tin Tin company. After Duncan had been back home for a while in Los Angeles, where Elizabeth was then living, he began to feel restless and anxious. He experienced spasms, probably as a result of his war service, and he found it difficult to work. His one pleasure was to train Rinty, as he called him, to do tricks.

By then, Rinty, a rambunctious, bossy dog, was nearly full-grown. He had lost his puppy fluffiness; his coat was lustrous and dark, nearly black, with gold marbling on the legs and chin and chest. His tail was as bushy as a squirrel’s. He wasn’t overly tall or broad, his legs weren’t particularly muscular or long, but he was powerful and nimble, as light on his feet as a mountain goat. His ears were comically large, tulip-shaped, and set far apart on a wide skull. His face was more arresting than beautiful, his expression pitying and generous and a little sorrowful, as if he were viewing with charity and resignation the whole enterprise of living.

German shepherds were a relatively new breed, and very new in this country, but their popularity was growing quickly. Duncan got to know other shepherd fanciers, and helped found the Shepherd Dog Club of California. He decided to enter Rinty in a show at the Ambassador Hotel, in Los Angeles. An acquaintance named Charley Jones asked if he could come along. He had just developed a type of slow-motion camera, and he wanted to try it out by filming Rinty.

Rin Tin Tin and a female shepherd named Marie were competing in a jump-off for first place in the “working dog” part of the show. The bar was set at eleven and a half feet. The judge and show officials gathered beside it for a close look. Marie took her turn, and flew up and over. Rin Tin Tin then squared off for his leap. “Charley Jones had his camera on Rinty as he made his jump and as he came down on the other side,” Duncan wrote. The dog had cleared the bar at almost twelve feet, sailing over the head of the judge and several others, and winning the competition.

Something about watching Rin Tin Tin being filmed stuck with Duncan. In the weeks that followed, he was seized by a desire to get the dog to Hollywood. “I was so excited over the motion picture idea that I found myself thinking of it night and day,” he wrote.

In 1922, Duncan married a wealthy socialite named Charlotte Anderson, who owned a stable and a champion horse called Nobleman. The couple had probably met at a dog or a horse show. Still, the marriage was curious. Duncan was good-looking and was always described as a likable man, but he spent all of his time with his dog. It’s hard to imagine him presenting an alluring package to a woman like Anderson, who was sophisticated, older than Duncan—he was twenty-eight, she was in her mid-thirties—and had been married before. It’s even harder to picture Duncan having a romantic life; he made no mention of it, or of Anderson, in his memoir.
Duncan’s devotion was to his dog. When he wasn’t training Rinty to follow direction—which he did for hours every day—he took him to Poverty Row, in Hollywood, where the less established studios were. The two of them walked up and down the street, knocking on doors, trying to interest someone in using Rinty in a film. This wasn’t as implausible as it might sound: in those years, bit players were often plucked from the crowds that gathered at the studio gates. Moreover, in 1921, a German shepherd named Strongheart had made a spectacular and profitable appearance in “The Silent Call.” Strongheart was the first German shepherd to star in a Hollywood film, and his grave, gallant manner and the still-novel look of German shepherds caused a sensation. The dogs were now as sought after in Hollywood as blond starlets. Duncan probably brushed past other young men with their own trained German shepherds, all inspired by Strongheart, as he went from door to door.

Then Duncan got a break: he secured a small part for Rinty in a melodrama called “The Man from Hell’s River.” Rinty—who is not in the cast list but is mentioned in the Variety review as “Rin Tan”—plays a sled-dog team leader belonging to Pierre, a Canadian Mountie.

In time, Rin Tin Tin made twenty-three silent films. Copies of only six of those films are known to exist today; “The Man from Hell’s River” is not among them. All we have is the movie’s “shot list,” which was a guide for the film editor. Parts of it read like a sort of silent-film found poetry:
Long shot dog on tree stump
Long shot wolf
Long shot prairie
Long shot dog runs and exits
Long shot deer
Long shot dog
Medium shot girl
Close-up shot little monkey.
And, at the end:
Med shot dog and puppies
Med close-up more puppies
Med shot people and dogs.

Rinty was soon cast in another film, “My Dad,” a run-of-the-mill “snow,” which is what silents set in wintry locations were called. It, too, was a small part, but, for the first time, he was given a film credit. In the cast list, he appeared thus:
Rin-Tin-Tin ………………….. By Himself.

Finally, Duncan got through the door at Warner Bros. One of the smallest studios, Warner Bros. had been founded in 1918 by four brothers from Youngstown, Ohio, who set up shop in a drafty barn on Sunset Boulevard. That day, Harry Warner was directing a scene that included a wolf. The animal had been borrowed from the zoo and was not performing well. According to James English’s 1949 book, “The Rin Tin Tin Story,” Duncan rubbed dirt into Rinty’s fur to make him look like a wolf, and persuaded Warner to give Rinty a chance to try the scene. Rinty performed brilliantly, and Warner liked what he saw. He agreed to look at a script that Duncan had been working on for Rinty, entitled “Where the North Begins.” While writing it, Duncan had studied the dog’s facial expressions. He was convinced that Rinty could be taught to act a part—not just to carry a story through action but “to register emotions and portray a real character with its individual loves, loyalties, and hates.” A few weeks later, Duncan got a letter from the studio: Warner wanted to produce his screenplay and cast Rin Tin Tin in the lead.

Production began almost immediately, with Chester Franklin, an accomplished director, in charge. Claire Adams, Walter McGrail, and Pat Hartigan—silent-film stalwarts—were cast opposite Rinty. The film was shot mostly in the High Sierras. “It didn’t seem like work,” Duncan wrote. “Even Rinty was bubbling over with happiness out here in the woods and snow.” Rinty sometimes bubbled too much, chasing foxes into snowdrifts, and, once, attacking a porcupine, which filled his face with quills. Otherwise, Duncan was proud of the dog’s performance, which included a twelve-foot jump—higher than the one at the Ambassador Hotel.
To advertise the film, Warner Bros. distributed promotional material to theatre owners which included ads, guidelines for publicity stunts, and feature stories for local newspapers. The features were meant to make the filming of the movie seem almost as dramatic as the movie:

HUNGRY WOLVES SURROUND CAMP Movie Actors in Panic When Pack Bays at Them GREAT RISK OF LIFE IN FILMING PICTURE THE MOVIES NO BED OF ROSES Chester Franklin, Director, Tells Hard-Luck Story of Blizzard.

The publicity stunts, which studio marketing people referred to as “exploitation,” included suggestions that theatre owners “get a crate and inside it put a puppy or a litter of them” for the lobby (“You will be sure to get a crowd”); partner with a Marine recruiter and place signs outside the recruiting office saying “WHERE THE NORTH BEGINS AT THE [BLANK] THEATRE is a thrilling picture of red-blooded ADVENTURE. Your adventure will begin when you join the marines and see the world”; or, as one, titled “HOLDING UP PEDESTRIANS,” proposed, “Get a man to walk along the principal streets of the city stopping pedestrians and asking them the question, ‘Where Does the North Begin?’ and upon their answering (or even not answering) he can . . . tell them it begins at your playhouse.”

When “Where the North Begins” was released nationwide, Variety declared, “Here is a cracking good film for almost any audience. . . . It has the conventional hero and the conventional heroine, but Rin-Tin-Tin is the show. . . . A good many close-ups are given the dog and in all of them he holds the attention of the audience closely.” Another review praised Rinty’s eyes, saying that they conveyed something “tragic, fierce, sad and . . . a nobility and degree of loyalty not credible in a person.”

The Times was more ambivalent, and made the first comparison between Rin Tin Tin and Strongheart: “This dog engages in a pantomimic struggle that is not always impressive, at least not nearly as realistic as the work of Strongheart,” but adding that Rin Tin Tin “is a remarkable animal, with splendid eyes and ears, and he seems to be wondering what all this acting is about.” Motion Picture Magazine’s story “The Rival of Strongheart” went further, noting that Rin Tin Tin “is now competing with Strongheart for the canine celluloid honors.”

The film was a hit, earning more than four hundred thousand dollars. Strongheart had set the pace, but Rin Tin Tin had become a star. Thousands of fan letters were arriving at Warner Bros. each week. “Where the North Begins” was playing all over the country, and, as was typical with popular films, most theatres extended its run as long as people kept showing up; movies were such a new form of entertainment that a hit film was a spectacle, a national event that everyone wanted to view. Still, the movie wasn’t at the level of Strongheart’s “The Silent Call,” which had broken attendance records in Los Angeles, where it was shown eight times a day for thirteen weeks.

Most of the German shepherds who followed Strongheart and Rin Tin Tin in Hollywood had just a burst of fame and then were forgotten. Among the many dozens were Wolfheart and Braveheart, Wolfang and Duke; Fang, Fangs, Flash, and Flame; Thunder, Lightning, Lightnin’, and Lightnin’ Girl; Ace the Wonder Dog, Captain the King of Dogs, and Kazan the Dog Marvel. They played serious, heroic figures in films that, like them, are now mostly forgotten: “Aflame in the Sky,” “Courage of the North,” “The Silent Code,” “Avenging Fangs,” “Fangs of Destiny,” “Wild Justice.”

In real life, too, the dog hero was having its day. In 1923, Bobbie the Oregon Wonder Dog walked alone for six months from Indiana to Oregon, to find his owners; in 1925, a sled dog named Balto led a team carrying diphtheria antitoxin to Nome, Alaska, saving the town from an epidemic; in 1928, Buddy, the nation’s first Seeing Eye dog, began guiding a young blind man named Morris Frank.

Even so, Rin Tin Tin was singled out. He was praised by everyone from the director Sergei Eisenstein, who posed for a photograph with him, to the poet Carl Sandburg, who was working as a film critic for the Chicago Daily News. “A beautiful animal, he has a power of expression in his every movement that makes him one of the leading pantomimists of the screen,” Sandburg wrote, adding that Rinty was “phenomenal” and “thrillingly intelligent.” Warner Bros. got thousands of requests for pictures of Rinty, which were signed with a paw print and a line written in Duncan’s spidery hand: “Most faithfully, Rin Tin Tin.”

From the start, Rin Tin Tin was admired as an actor but was also seen as a real dog, a genetic model; everyone, it seemed, wanted a piece of him. He and Nanette, who often appeared onscreen as his “wife,” mated, and Duncan distributed the puppies among some of Rin Tin Tin’s most celebrated fans. Greta Garbo and Jean Harlow each owned a Rin Tin Tin descendant, as did W. K. Kellogg, the cereal magnate.

To promote “Where the North Begins,” and subsequent movies, the studio sent Duncan and the dog on promotional tours around the country. They appeared at hospitals and orphanages, gave interviews, and visited animal shelters and schools. When describing a visit to one shelter, Duncan sounded as if he were telling the story of his own childhood through Rin Tin Tin. “Perhaps if I could have understood, I might have heard Rinty telling these other less fortunate dogs of how his mother failed in her terrific struggle to keep her little family together. Or how he, as a little war orphan, had found a kindred spirit in his master and friend, also a half-orphan.” Of course, Rin Tin Tin’s mother had actually succeeded in keeping her family together in the bombed-out kennel. It was Duncan’s mother who, for a time, had failed in her struggle.

In the evening, Duncan and Rinty would go to a theatre where a Rin Tin Tin movie was playing, and afterward come onstage. Duncan usually began by explaining how he had trained the dog: “There are persons who have said I must have been very cruel to Rinty in order to get him to act in the pictures,” especially in the scenes where the dog is shown “groveling in the dust, shrinking away, his tail between his legs,” which Rinty did in “Where the North Begins” and in many films that followed. Duncan would then demonstrate how he worked with the dog, saying that it was best to use a low voice with “a tone of mild entreaty.” He didn’t believe in bribing Rin Tin Tin with food or excessive praise: he rewarded him by letting him play with a squeaky rubber doll he had first given to Rinty when he was a puppy. At this point in the show, Duncan would run Rinty through some of his tricks—his belly-crawling, his ability to stand stock-still for minutes on end, his range of expressions from anger to delight to dread.

One such night, according to a writer named Francis Rule, Duncan began by calling Rinty, and then, for laughs, scolded him after he strolled lazily onstage, stretched, and yawned. “There then followed one of the most interesting exhibitions I have ever witnessed,” Rule wrote, in Picture-Play Magazine. As Duncan led Rinty through a series of acting exercises, “there was between that dog and his master as perfect an understanding as could possibly exist between two living beings.” Duncan “scarcely touched him during the entire proceedings—he stood about eight feet away and simply gave directions. And it fairly took your breath away to watch that dog respond, his ears up unless told to put them down and his eyes intently glued on his master. There was something almost uncanny about it.”

Everywhere Duncan and Rinty appeared, the dog was treated like a dignitary. In New York, Mayor Jimmy Walker gave him a key to the city. In Portland, Oregon, he was welcomed as “a distinguished canine visitor,” and was met at the train station by the city’s school superintendent, the chief of police, and the head of the local Humane Society. Then Rinty made a statesmanlike pilgrimage to the grave of Bobbie the Oregon Wonder Dog. During the ceremony, according to one report, “Rin Tin Tin with his own teeth placed the flowers on Bobbie’s grave and then in a moment’s silence laid his head on the cross marking the resting place of the dog.” The next day, at Portland’s Music Box Theatre, Rinty was presented with the Abraham Lincoln humanitarian award and medal for distinguished service.

In 1924, the studio began work on “Find Your Man.” The director was Mal St. Clair, and the writer was, in the words of Jack Warner, a “downy-cheeked youngster who looked as though he had just had the bands removed from his teeth so he could go to the high school prom.” The youngster was Darryl Zanuck, the son of a professional gambler; Zanuck had come to Hollywood from Nebraska, when he was seventeen. One of his first jobs was writing ads for Yuccatone Hair Restorer. His slogan, “You’ve Never Seen a Bald-Headed Indian,” helped make Yuccatone a success, until bottles of the hair tonic fermented and exploded in twenty-five drugstores, and the company was driven out of business. Zanuck left advertising to work for the director Mack Sennett and, later, for Charlie Chaplin. Mal St. Clair had also worked with Sennett, and several of his films had included dogs.

The movie that Zanuck had in mind was set in a remote timber camp. He and St. Clair acted it out for Harry Warner, with Zanuck playing the part of the dog. With Warner’s approval, production started almost immediately. Billed as “Wholesome Melodrama At Its Very Best” that starred “Rin Tin Tin the Wonder Dog,” the movie was a “box office rocket,” in Jack Warner’s words.

The next Rin Tin Tin movie, “Lighthouse by the Sea,” was also written by Zanuck and released in 1924. It concerned a pretty girl and her father, a lighthouse keeper who is going blind. Warner Bros. even held screenings for the blind. There was a narrator onstage who described the action and read the intertitle cards, which included “He’s so tough I have to feed him manhole covers for biscuits!,” “This pup can whip his weight in alligators—believe me!,” and “I thought you said that flea incubator could fight!”

Zanuck always acknowledged that Rin Tin Tin had given him his entrée into Warner Bros., but he later told interviewers that he disliked the dog and hated writing for him. Even so, he wrote at least ten more scripts for Rinty, all of them great successes. By the time he was twenty-five, Zanuck was running the studio.
Rinty’s films were so profitable that Warner Bros. paid him two thousand dollars a week; even at that, Rin Tin Tin was a bargain. Around the Warner Bros. lot, he was called “the mortgage lifter,” because every time the studio was in financial straits it released a Rin Tin Tin movie and the income from it set things right again. Duncan was given every privilege: he was driven to the set each day, and he had an office on the Warner Bros. lot, where he sifted through the fan mail and the little mementos that arrived for Rin Tin Tin.

Duncan had never imagined this part of the equation. He started buying snappy clothes and cars. He bought land in Beverly Hills and built a house for himself and his mother. The house is now gone, and it’s hard to know much about it; in his memoir, Duncan talked mostly about the kennel he built for the dogs. Then he bought a house in North Hollywood for his sister, Marjorie. His biggest splurge was on a beach house in a gated section of Malibu, where his neighbors were Hollywood stars.
On top of the movie income, Rinty was signed to endorsement deals. An executive from Chappel Brothers, which had recently introduced Ken-L Ration, the first commercial canned dog food, was so eager to have Rin Tin Tin as a spokesperson that, in a meeting with Duncan, he ate a can of it to demonstrate its tastiness. Duncan was convinced. Rinty was featured in ads for Ken-L Ration, Ken-L-Biskit, and Pup-E-Crumbles brands, with the slogan “My Favorite Food! Most Faithfully, Rin Tin Tin.”

Of the six Rin Tin Tin silent films still available, the most memorable is “Clash of the Wolves” (1925). Rinty plays a half-dog, half-wolf named Lobo, who is living in the wild as the leader of a wolf pack. The film begins with a vivid and disturbing scene of a forest fire, which drives Lobo and his pack, including Nanette and their pups, from their forest home to the desert ranchlands, where they prey on cattle to survive. The ranchers hate the wolves, especially Lobo; a bounty of a hundred dollars is offered as a reward for his hide. In the meantime, a young mineral prospector named Dave arrives in town. A claim jumper who lusts after Dave’s mineral discovery (and Dave’s girlfriend, Mae) soon schemes against him. Mae happens to be the daughter of the rancher who is most determined to kill Lobo and who also doesn’t like Dave.

The wolves, led by Lobo, attack a steer, and the ranchers set out after them. The chase is fast and frightening, and when Rin Tin Tin weaves through the horses’ churning legs it looks as if he were about to be trampled. He outruns the horses, his body flattened and stretched as he bullets along the desert floor, and, if you didn’t see the little puffs of dust when his paws touch the ground, you’d swear he was floating. He scrambles up a tree—a stunt so startling that it has to be replayed a few times to believe it. Can dogs climb trees? Evidently. At least, certain dogs can. And they can climb down, too, and then tear along a rock ridge, and then come to a halt at the narrow crest of the ridge. The other side of the gorge looks miles away. Rin Tin Tin stops, pivots; you feel him calculating his options; then he crouches and leaps, and the half-second before he lands safely feels long and fraught. His feet touch ground and he scrambles on, but moments later he plummets off the edge of another cliff, slamming through the branches of a cactus, collapsing in a heap, with a cactus needle skewered through the pad of his foot.

The action is thrilling, but the best part of the movie is the quieter section, after Rin Tin Tin falls. He limps home, stopping every few steps to lick his injured paw; his bearing is so abject that it is easy to understand why Duncan felt the need to explain that it was just acting. Rin Tin Tin hobbles into his den and collapses next to Nanette, in terrible pain.

In an earlier scene in the movie, one of the wolves is injured and the pack musters around him. At first, it looks as if they were coming to his aid, but, suddenly, their actions seem more agitated than soothing, and just then an intertitle card flashes up, saying simply, “The Law of the Pack. Death to the wounded wolf.” So we know that the other wolves will kill Lobo if they realize that he’s injured. Rinty and Nanette try to work on the cactus needle in his paw surreptitiously. But the pack senses that something is wrong. Finally, one of them approaches, a black look on his face, ready to attack. Rinty draws himself up and snarls. The two animals freeze, and then Rinty snarls again, almost sotto voce, as if he were saying, “I don’t care what you think you know about my condition. I am still the leader here.” The murderous wolf backs off.

The rest of the plot is a crosshatch of misperception and treachery. Rinty, fearing that he will still be killed by his pack and attract harm to Nanette and their pups, leaves, so that he might die alone, and his wobbling, wincing departure is masterly acting. Dave comes upon Rinty as he is on his death walk. Knowing there is a bounty for the dog, he pulls out his gun, but then gives in to his sympathy for the suffering animal and removes the cactus thorn. (Charles Farrell, who played Dave, must have been a brave man; Rinty was required to snap and snarl at him in that scene, and there are a few snaps when Rinty looks like he’s not kidding.) Dave’s decision to save Lobo is of great consequence, because, of course, Lobo ends up saving Dave’s life. Lobo chooses to be a dog—a guardian—and protect Dave, rather than give in to his wolf impulse to be a killer.

The film has its share of silliness—a scene in which Rinty wears a beard as a disguise to avoid being identified as Lobo, for example—and, to the modern eye, the human acting is stilted. But “Clash of the Wolves” shows why so many millions of people fell in love with Rin Tin Tin.

By the middle of the twenties, the movie business had grown into one of the ten biggest industries in the United States. According to the historian Ann Elwood, almost a hundred million movie tickets were sold each week, to a population of a hundred and fifteen million. In 1928, Warner Bros. was worth sixteen million dollars; two years later, it was worth two hundred million. It still had the reputation of being second-rate, compared with Paramount or M-G-M, but it was expanding and innovating. It had launched a chain of movie palaces, with orchestras and elaborate, thematic décor—Arabian nights in one theatre, Egyptian days or Beaux Arts Paris in another—and, best of all, air-conditioning, which was rare in public buildings, and even rarer in private homes.

In 1927, four Rin Tin Tin films were released, and during breaks in the production schedule Duncan and Rinty were on the road doing stage appearances. Duncan hardly had a life at home. Charlotte Anderson had filed for divorce. She said she didn’t like Rinty, and didn’t like competing with him. In the proceedings, she charged that Duncan didn’t love her or her horses. “All he cared for was Rin Tin Tin,” she testified. An article in the Los Angeles Times noted, “Evidently, Rin Tin Tin’s company was so much pleasure to Duncan that he considered Mrs. Duncan’s presence rather secondary.”

Otherwise, the year was a high point for Duncan. The four films—“A Dog of the Regiment,” “Jaws of Steel,” “Tracked by the Police,” and “Hills of Kentucky”—were box-office hits as well as critical successes. The Academy Awards were presented for the first time two years later, and, according to Hollywood legend, Rinty received the most votes for best actor. But members of the Academy, anxious to establish that the awards were serious and important, decided that giving an Oscar to a dog did not serve that end. (The award went to Emil Jannings.)

Even without the Oscar, Rinty was in the news all the time. He was frequently given an honorific: the King of Pets; the Famous Police Dog of the Movies; the Dog Wonder; the Wonder Dog of the Stage and Screen; the Wonder Dog of All Creation; the Mastermind Dog; the Marvelous Dog of the Movies; and America’s Greatest Movie Dog. In 1928, a review of Rin Tin Tin’s film “A Race for Life” began with the question “Strongheart who?” ♦

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2011/08/29/the-dog-star

This is Hollywood's top canine actor, Rin Tin Tin, in only his second film. He free-lanced with FBO and other studios, before signing with Warner Bros. He was a brand new puppy when found in a bombed German dog kennel during WWI by an American Corporal, Lee Duncan. The intelligent and highly trainable Shepherd would eventually receive over 12,000 fan letters a week during the 1920s. Most don't realize he was named after a one inch tiny French puppet that was often given to American soldiers for good luck. This wonderful one sheet is unique in that it does not have a dangerous stunt or imperiled scene as its focus. Instead, it dramatically emphasizes perhaps the best quality of any top breed...unconditional loyalty. The handsome leading man he's guarding is Johnnie Walker, who was billed in 1920 as "America's Favorite Son," after acting in one of the silent era's most wildly popular films, Over the Hill to the Poorhouse.

This is Hollywood’s top canine actor, Rin Tin Tin, in only his second film. He free-lanced with FBO and other studios, before signing with Warner Bros. He was a brand new puppy when found in a bombed German dog kennel during WWI by an American Corporal, Lee Duncan. The intelligent and highly trainable Shepherd would eventually receive over 12,000 fan letters a week during the 1920s. Most don’t realize he was named after a one inch tiny French puppet that was often given to American soldiers for good luck. This wonderful one sheet is unique in that it does not have a dangerous stunt or imperiled scene as its focus. Instead, it dramatically emphasizes perhaps the best quality of any top breed…unconditional loyalty. The handsome leading man he’s guarding is Johnnie Walker, who was billed in 1920 as “America’s Favorite Son,” after acting in one of the silent era’s most wildly popular films, Over the Hill to the Poorhouse.

Wild Justice (United Artists, 1925). One Sheet (27" X 41"). Peter was a German Shepherd dog who might have been as famous as Rin-Tin-Tin or Strongheart if it wasn't for a tragedy that took the dog's life early. Peter was brought from Germany in the early 1920's by his friend and master Edward Faust. He did some small scenes in several films and was so well trained and so daring that he was called upon to perform stunts for several of the big dog stars. He was finally given a leading role in the movie, The Silent Accuser (1924). The dog would make only four films before being shot dead by an enemy of his trainer. This great adventure tale stars Peter in his second lead role, who brings the killer of his owner to justice in the wild frontier.

Wild Justice (United Artists, 1925). One Sheet (27″ X 41″).
Peter was a German Shepherd dog who might have been as famous as Rin-Tin-Tin or Strongheart if it wasn’t for a tragedy that took the dog’s life early. Peter was brought from Germany in the early 1920’s by his friend and master Edward Faust. He did some small scenes in several films and was so well trained and so daring that he was called upon to perform stunts for several of the big dog stars. He was finally given a leading role in the movie, The Silent Accuser (1924). The dog would make only four films before being shot dead by an enemy of his trainer. This great adventure tale stars Peter in his second lead role, who brings the killer of his owner to justice in the wild frontier.

Where the North Begins (Warner Brothers, 1923). One Sheet (27" X 41") Style A. This was Rin-Tin-Tin's first film in which he was featured and would catapult him to the highest ranks of Hollywood stardom over the next ten years. He would save the struggling Warner Brothers Studio with the profits from his hugely popular films.

Where the North Begins (Warner Brothers, 1923). One Sheet (27″ X 41″) Style A. This was Rin-Tin-Tin’s first film in which he was featured and would catapult him to the highest ranks of Hollywood stardom over the next ten years. He would save the struggling Warner Brothers Studio with the profits from his hugely popular films.

Where the North Begins (Warner Brothers, 1923). Lobby Card Set of 8 Warner Brothers Exhibitor Book (Warner Brothers, 1926-1927). Tracked by the Police (Warner Brothers, 1927). Photoplay Edition Book 2 Tracked by the Police (Warner Brothers, 1927). Photoplay Edition Book 1 The Lone Defender (Mascot, R-1940s). Lobby Card Set of 8 The Lightning Warrior (Mascot, 1931). One Sheet The Lightning Warrior (Mascot, 1931). Herald 2 susan-orlean-inscribed-rin-tin-tin-the-life-and-the-legend-new-york-simon-and-schuster-2011 1 star_957_228_228 rintintingrave rintintin Rin-Tin-Tin Lot (Warner Brothers, 1927). Photoplay Books 4 Rin-Tin-Tin Lot (Warner Brothers, 1927). Photoplay Books 3 Rin-Tin-Tin Lot (Warner Brothers, 1927). Photoplay Books 2 Rin-Tin-Tin Lot (Warner Brothers, 1927). Photoplay Books 1 Rin-Tin-Tin Charlie Chaplin (Pathe, 1920s). Special French Affiche rin_tin_tin_C Rin_Tin_Tin_610_407shar_s_c1

I grew up with RIN TIN TIN on television. These comics are from that series. I did not know then that the original RIN TIN TIN had been one of the biggest stars in the history of the movies.

I grew up with RIN TIN TIN on television. These comics are from that series. I did not know then that the original RIN TIN TIN had been one of the biggest stars in the history of the movies.

rexfeatures_783433_2108095b PD50031776_421825l_2108094b PA110021 interview-with-susan-orlean-author-of-rin-tin-L-W8vKIz edward-a-bellande-with_rin-tin-tin-1925_web Clash-of-the-Wolves-380 3346953633_1bfd4c66ed_z 1325662428_RinTinTin

March At The Cineforum

March At The Cineforum, 463 Bathurst, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5T 2S9 (416-603-6643) All films hosted by Reg Hartt.

Monday, March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30.

7pm: THE ZECARIAH SITCHIN LECTURES

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zecharia_Sitchin

http://www.sitchin.com

http://www.sitchiniswrong.com

Tuesday, March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31.

7pm: 1ooth Anniversary Presentation… THE BIRTH OF A NATION (1915) Directed by D. W. Griffith. Scored by Reg Hartt.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D._W._Griffith

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frNv-tVBafo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3p1T3sVX4EY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjseJAM6GqU

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Birth_of_a_Nation

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/413950/birth-nations-centenary-armond-white

Wednesday, March 4, 11, 18, 25.

7pm: INTOLERANCE (1916) Directed by D. W. Griffith. Yes, the Blu-ray is great. It is missing footage, however, that ought to be there. This copy is from a European release. It has many stunning scenes I had never seen before. But then European audiences could handle stuff the censors over here would at that time not let us see.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intolerance_%28film%29

Thursday, March 5,

7pm: THE GREATEST QUESTION (1919) D. W. Griffith.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Greatest_Question

Thursday, March 12,

7pm: THE GIRL WHO STAYED AT HOME (1919) D. W. Griffith.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Girl_Who_Stayed_at_Home

Thursday, March 19,

7pm: DREAM STREET (1921) D. W. Griffith.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dream_Street_%28film%29

Thursday, March 26,

7pm: LADY OF THE PAVEMENTS (1929) D. W. Griffith.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_of_the_Pavements

Asian Gay Cinema

Thursday, March 5,

9pm: Gohatto (Taboo) (1999) Nagisa Oshima.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gohatto

Thursday, March 12,

9pm: Markova: Comfort Gay (2000) Gil Portes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Markova:_Comfort_Gay

Thursday, March 19,

9pm: Farewell My Concubine (1993) Chen Kaige http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farewell_My_Concubine_%28film%29

Thursday, March 26,

9pm: East Palace, West Palace (1996) Zhang Yuan.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Palace,_West_Palace

Saturday, March 7, 14, 21, 28.

7pm: THE SALVADOR DALI FILM FEST

Sunday, March 8, 15, 22, 29.

2pm: THE FABRIC OF TIME (2007) David Priest. We live in a world where science and religion have often been on opposing sides. But is all that changing? For the first time, science and religion have come together to uncover an age-old mystery. Who was Jesus Christ? What did he actually look like? And can the story of his death and resurrection now be proven as true? Viewers around the world are in the jury box as newly found scientific discoveries are presented by scholars, scientists, and historians in an unflinching search for evidence — nothing has been held back. Could it be that actual documentation of this amazing story is still available today? Is it possible that a single fiber from an ancient artifact might hold the answers? And has science found a way to unlock the hidden information contained in the artifact that could provide a link to the past-one that might explain the universe in a whole new light and give hope to people around the world? Did Christ leave us physical evidence that only now with quantum leaps forward in science, are we able to understand? Have scientists actually been able to produce a full three dimensional image of Christ? See the evidence and decide for yourself in THE FABRIC OF TIME: Are the Secrets of the Universe Hidden in an Ancient Cloth?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11-VgO0NHfI

3pm: Reg Hartt’s Cartoon Festival

Tired of seeing the great classic animated cartoons if yesteryear cut to bits for television? Tired of explaining to kids who do not believe you how great these films once were before they got bowdlerized? Tired of this dreary, coldest winter in 13 years and need some laughter? This is the program for you.

5pm: Herman Hesse’s SIDDHARTHA (1972) Conrad Rooks.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siddhartha_%281972_film%29

7pm: KID DRACULA [F. W. Murnau’s NOSFERATU (1922) set to music from RADIOHEAD’s KID A and OK COMPUTER].

9pm: WHAT I LEARNED WITH LSD (2014) Reg Hartt.

Reg Hartt Celebrating 50 Years In Toronto…

Fifty years ago this year I arrived on the streets of Toronto from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

That morning the principal of Sir James Dunn Collegiate & Vocational School in the Soo had told me, “You have the wrong attitude. If you leave this school today you will starve in two weeks.

That night I arrived in Toronto with just enough money in my pocket to buy a beer. I was 17. Drinking age was then 21. I did not let that stop me.
I walked into The St. Charles Tavern on Yonge Street. No sooner did the waiter drop a beer in front of me than the police walked in.

“Drink your beer and talk with me,” said an older man.

“You are new in town. Do you have a place to stay?” he said when the police left.

The next night a much better dressed man who said he was a film producer and offered to get me a job in the industry told me the fellow I had gone home with the night before was not a good person.

“There is a bed in the basement,” he said when we got to his place which was out in the middle of no where.

“Turn around,” he said when I got to the bottom of a very narrow stairwell.

I looked up to see him standing at the top of a very narrow stairwell with a hammer in his hand.

He said, “Give me what I want or I will kill you.”

Many years later in Joseph Campbell’s HERO OF A THOUSAND FACES I read that when we put our foot on the path of the hero first we meet an older person who helps us after which we meet an older person who harms us.

Fifty years later I can honestly say that if I had not left school that day I would have starved.

Reg Hartt 9 - CopyJohn-KricfalusiNot only that. John Kricfalusi would never have created REN & STIMPY.

 

 

 

Girls don’t count as much as boys do.

“I can’t believe Jamie has done that stuff to you. Terry I can believe, he really hated him. I remember that when I was first working with Jamie he was fucking this fourteen year old girl who was addicted to crack! What an asshole. I thought that he would have self-destructed by now, but he is a stubborn bastard. So yes, I can write a letter for you if you wish… not sure if that would help anything…You could think about suing him, maybe there is someone out there who might help you, it’s libel and it destroys your livelihood for him to have a public campaign like that. I mean there is a reason people don’t put up posters like that. But is there a point? I doubt he is actually hurting you that much and I’m sure there’s always been people who hated you. He just gave the girl money, and she was clearly an addict. He bragged to me about how many times he fucked her and how old she was. Terry might remember that too. In any case morally I think that’s a lot more questionable than anything Reg Hartt or Rob Meade has done. You can go ahead and put up a poster if you like, and give my name to whoever.  If you give my name to someone as a character reference, or you ever need to call me, then my number is  …………..”

A waitress up the street was raised in the same schools in which Native Canadian boys were sexually abused. When they started to receive money she mentioned to one of her regulars who is a lawyer that she, too, had been abused in those same schools. He told her,”Wrong gender.”

After Rob sent me this I spoke with others who had worked for Jamie at the same time. They confirmed the story and added that he had had himself videotaped having sex with the child.

Astonishingly this information caused no one I know in the media to move. Toronto MLS continues to allow the man to rape the city’s postering bylaws.

The confirmation that Gillis is behind the attacks on myself came from a lawyer to whom the man showed the letters he had written.

This man informed me that Gillis (“Dr. Jamie”) had gone through the ashes of the Queen West fire sifting out bicycle parts from Duke Cycle which had gone up in the flames. Told the parts were not safe he used them anyway.

One writer, John Semley, said, “No one cares about Dr. Jamie.”

Margaret Meade wrote, “Never under estimate the power of one person to change the world for the better. All too often that is all that does it.”

John certainly will not be changing the world for the better.

He has lots of company.

It is a shame people care less about the abuse of girls than they do of boys.

I care equally about the abuse of both.

I also care about the fact that while the Supreme Court of Canada defended street postering as FREEDOM OF SPEECH for those without access to mainstream media THE CITY OF TORONTO is allowing one man to usurp that right for his private gain.

My friend Jane Jacobs called street posters “the newspaper of the streets.”

The fact that so few journalists seem to care about this most basic of newspapers is something she wrote about in her last book, DARK AGE AHEAD.

Can’t argue with her findings. The dark age she foresaw in 2006 I see in 2015.

From here on it gets worse.

Of course the day will come sooner or later when this man who has been leaving anonymous death threats on people’s telephones for over twenty years encouraged by the fact that officials who should be stopping him allow him to continue in his abuse will finally go too far.

On that day the officials will say, “NO ONE TOLD US. WE DID NOT KNOW.”

That is what they always say.

I know this. Somewhere in Toronto there is a woman who was repeatedly sexually abused (and filmed) by a man old enough to be her grandfather who also supplied her with crack cocaine.

The girl is the niece of a police officer who at that time was, according to Terry, in 14 Division.

I can just imagine the view she has today of humanity. She is right to have it.

Gillis has done many hideous things to myself and to others. But this exceeds in hideousness every thing else he has done.

And this is in Toronto, Canada today.

So don’t for a moment imagine those who remain silent ought not to be ashamed.

They aren’t. They never will be. That is the real shame.

I hope she makes it through the Hell in which she has found herself.silence-equals-death-keith-haring-poster It will not be easy.

This is James Gillis aka Dr. Jamie. He is a real piece of...

This is James Gillis aka Dr. Jamie. He is a real piece of…

 

 

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)

One morning a few years ago as I went around the city with flyers for my programs I saw posters everywhere denouncing a fellow as a police informant.

This man had handed out flyers in front of Active Surplus on Queen Street West. Then he began putting up posters for Jame Gillis of “Dr. Jamie’s Events Postering,” (also called “Campus Postering”). I knew the man well. I also knew the reason for the posters attacking him. His employer, “Dr.” Jamie owed him a lot of money. Rather than pay his past employee Dr. Jamie was trying to get him killed.

Many, if not most, of the panhandlers on Queen Street West are crack addicts.

Previous to the poster campaign Gillis had come up from behind the man while he was passing out flyers for Active Surplus. He knocked him down. Then he began kicking him. The attack was witnessed by a police officer who wanted Terry to file charges. Terry said he was not a rat. He refused to file charges. Had he done so many, including Terry, would have been spared a lot of grief.

The posters that I saw were labelled TERRY THE RAT. Here is the video I took of them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=an6wuSoPjlc

They are scary.

I got on the telephone to everyone I knew who might be able to help. I also emailed many.

Out of all that only one person acted. She worked in the office of Toronto’s then Mayor, David Miller. She sent the info to the police chief. The hate poster campaign targeting Terry stopped.

Then the attacks began on myself and others.

I found my flyers torn up into tiny bits. They were then placed in clumps behind posters put up by Dr. Jamie.

That was in 2012. Those attacks continue to this moment.

During the spring when former City Councillor Adam Vaughan was running for Parliament the attacks got even more vicious than they had before. I thought surely Adam, seeing them, would act to finally stop the man. I dropped by Vaughan’s campaign office where I spoke with the people in charge. They thanked me for coming in.

Unfortunately, I have nothing to thank Adam or his office for. They did nothing.

I ran for Council myself but then pulled out in favor of Joe Cressy.

“That is hate. The police should act against it,” said Joe when we talked.

He said that if he got the office he would act.

While Joe talked the talk he has yet to act.

“Dr. Jamie” continues to destroy both my posters and those of others. He ignores the City by-laws when it comes to size restrictions. He continues to rip off the people who make the mistake of working for him.

Said John Semley, who had written a piece previously that would have been better left unpublished, “No one cares about Dr. Jamie.”

I am not the only person Gillis has targetted in his hate campaigns.

For some reason the City By-law officers will not act to enforce the By-laws.

In his first big campaign against myself he plastered the city with posters denouncing myself as a pedophile. That is the worst possible smear that can be brought against a person.

One of his past employees, Robert Meade, emailed me: “I can’t believe Jamie has done that stuff to you. Terry I can believe, he really hated him. I remember that when I was first working with Jamie he was fucking this fourteen year old girl who was addicted to crack! What an asshole. I thought that he would have self-destructed by now, but he is a stubborn bastard. So yes, I can write a letter for you if you wish… not sure if that would help anything…You could think about suing him, maybe there is someone out there who might help you, it’s libel and it destroys your livelihood for him to have a public campaign like that. I mean there is a reason people don’t put up posters like that. But is there a point? I doubt he is actually hurting you that much and I’m sure there’s always been people who hated you.He just gave the girl money, and she was clearly an addict. He bragged to me about how many times he fucked her and how old she was. Terry might remember that too. In any case morally I think that’s a lot more questionable than anything Reg Hartt or Rob Meade has done. You can go ahead and put up a poster if you like, and give my name to whoever. If you give my name to someone as a character reference, or you ever need to call me, then my number is ……”

What have I learned from all of this?

I have learned that I have to be strong enough to stand alone.

I have also learned that should anything like this ever happen to you, you had better be strong enough to stand alone.

Some people have done what they could. Nothing anyone so far has been able to do has stopped Dr. Jamie.

I have also learned that I have more inner strength than I ever dared dream I had.

My father always stood up for people when they were done wrong.

It hurt him deeply when no one stood up for him when his turn came to be done wrong.

It broke his heart.

I learned from my father not to expect anyone to stand up for me.

Nonetheless, it is important to stand up for others. I do that.

That is one of the reasons why people like John Semley say I am crazy.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Martin Niemöller (1892–1984).

I have learned something Martin Niemöller could not learn.

I have learned how few listen when we do speak up.

If you want to number yourself among those few who do listen speak up.

If not, well, as I said, I have learned from this how strong I am.

We all have to be strong enough to stand alone.

When we do, remember that throughout history it is the few who have mattered.

Said Margaret Meade, “Never underestimate the power of one person or handful of committed people to change the world for the better as all too often that is all that does it.”

Standing alone I know that I am not alone.

I believe Joe Cressy is a sincere man. Somewhere along the way once he got in office his “handlers” perhaps said, “Joe, don’t get involved. You could lose votes.”

With the vicious homophobia he has spewed I thought our current Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne (herself a lesbian) would speak up.

I thought wrong.

I thought XTRA! (the gay paper) would speak up. I thought wrong.

Canada’s Supreme Court Defended Street Postering as Freedom of Speech for those without access to mainstream media. They did not do that so that a small number of people could make a business out of postering. They did that so that you and I can get our word out.

Here is where you can contact the people who are supposed to care. So far they have turned a deaf ear. So speak LOUD.

Thankfully, not all of them are deaf.

One person who did listen and who did act is Tom Beyer of former Mayor Rob’s Ford’s office.

And there we have it. The people we think would listen don’t.

The people we are told won’t listen do.

Never let the bastards grind you down. Thank you for listening.–Reg Hartt, 2, 2, 2015.

silence-equals-death-keith-haring-poster

http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=c3a83293dc3ef310VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD

http://www.parl.gc.ca/Parliamentarians/en/members

http://www.ontla.on.ca/lao/en/members/

And, finally, 311@toronto.ca .

http://www.blogto.com/film/2012/02/the_cineforum_bids_goodbye_yet_again/

http://reghartt.ca/cineforum/?attachment_id=3984

https://nowtoronto.com/news/cineforum-folding/

http://reghartt.ca/cineforum/?p=13722

http://reghartt.ca/cineforum/?attachment_id=4057

http://reghartt.ca/cineforum/?p=3428

http://www.hotvids.co/V/mIP17OeXDCg

 

Dr. Jamie’s Used Bikes

In addition to postering Dr. Jamie runs a used bike business.  Here from the web are words from some of the many he has ripped off:

http://www.yelp.ca/biz/dr-jamies-bike-clinic-toronto-2

 

dr jamies bike clinic dr jamie 001 Dr Jamie 1 Dr Jamie 2 Dr Jamie 3 Dr Jamie 4 Dr Jamie 5

 

 

 

 

One of the most refreshing things I saw yesterday was when I opened this trash container to put a bundle of hate posters where they belong. Someone else had done it as well. When you see them please do the same.

One of the most refreshing things I saw yesterday was when I opened this trash container to put a bundle of hate posters where they belong. Someone else had done it as well. When you see them please do the same.

DSC00020

The film he is calling kiddieporn is Pasolini's SALO: 120 DAYS OF SODOM which I am showing NOW so you can see it at THE CINEFORUM and decide for yourself what should be done to the one behind this hate-filled campaign.

The film he is calling kiddieporn is Pasolini’s SALO: 120 DAYS OF SODOM which I am showing NOW so you can see it at THE CINEFORUM and decide for yourself what should be done to the one behind this hate-filled campaign.

1 2 1 2

10532756_10153084856911079_4548387672260253747_nThe Goldwyn Company was formed by Samuel Goldfisch and Arthur Selwyn. There was, of course, banter that the company ought to have been called “Selfisch” (selfish) instead of Goldwyn.

Goldfisch found himself being screwed when Selwyn merged with Metro.  Metro head Louis B. Mayer suggested the company be called METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER though he did not have money in it. When asked why Mayer replied, “It will give me more incentive.”

Goldfisch had his name legally changed to Goldwyn. MGM fought this and lost.

Robert Fells
Robert Fells
GREED is a story about human nature at its ugliest. It was greenlighted in the last days of the old Goldwyn studio when it was going down the tubes. The people who greenlighted it were gone in the merger that created MGM and the Mayer/Thalberg team inherited a project they never would have approved on their own. Thalberg is a convenient scapegoat but to be fair, the exhibitors had a lot to say and it was clear that even if Thalberg had loved it, there was no way the exhibitors would book a 42 reel film or even an 18 reel (the Rex Ingram cut) version. I have a great deal of respect for Stroheim as a filmmaker but as a rational human being he had issues. He never put a dime of his own money into his films and so he had no “skin” in the game. He acted as though the producers should just give him a blank check and keep their mouths shut in deference to his genius. The world has never worked that way and it never will.

While it is true, as Robert Fells states, “Von Stroheim never put a dime of his own money into his films,” it is also true that he put in something much more valuable than money which can be recovered. He put his life and his time into his work.

Charles Beaumont, a great fantasy & science fiction writer, who did fine work for Rod Serling’s TWILIGHT ZONE and also for Roger Corman, said, “Working in the motion picture industry is like climbing a mountain of shit to smell a rose.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erich_von_Stroheim

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greed_%28film%29

Stroheim arrived in America penniless. He got a job in a brothel as a watchman. He was to keep an eye open for the police who regularly raided the place. In the process the cops stole the money the ladies had earned. He was given a room. In it he found a copy of Frank Norris’ novel McTEAGUE. He began to read it. He was unable to put it down.

The lady who ran the place stormed into his room. The cops had hit the place taking all their earnings. This was in the 1910s when the standard length of a motion picture was ten minutes. Stroheim decided then and there to film the book. Seeing only in the films of David Wark Griffith a vision that aligned with his Stroheim went west and got a job with Griffith.

As with so many Griffith was his teacher. To all the men who began with him and left to pursue their own careers Griffith said one thing: “Don’t give the producers what they want. Give them what you want.”

Stroheim said of Greed (1924) (quoted by Kevin Brownlow in the book Hollywood: The Pioneers): “I was not going to compromise. I felt that after the last war, the motion picture-going public had tired of the cinematic ‘chocolate eclairs’ which had been stuffed down their throat. I felt they were ready for a large dose of plebian but honest ‘corned beef and cabbage.’ I felt they had become weary of insipid pollyanna stories, with their doll-like heroines steeped in eternal virginity, and their hairless, flat-chested sterile heroes who were as lily-white as the heroines. I had graduated from the D. W. Griffith school of film-making and intended to go the Master one better as regards film realism. I knew that everything could be done with film, the only medium which could reproduce life as it really was.”

Harry Carr, one of the lucky few who saw the first rough cut of the film, wrote, “I saw a wonderful picture the other day that no one else will ever see. It was the unslaughtered version of Greed. It was a magnificent piece of work, but it was forty-two reels long. We went into the projecting-room at 10:30 in the morning; we staggered out at 8:00 that night. I can’t imagine what they are going to do with it. It is like Les Miserables. Episodes come along that you think have no bearing on the story, then twelve or fourteen reels later, it hits you with a crash. For stark, terrible realism and marvelous artistry, it is the greatest picture I have seen. But I don’t know what it will be like when it shrinks from forty-two to eight reels.”

http://www.tcm.com/this-month/article/78137|0/Greed.html

“I have a great deal of respect for Stroheim as a filmmaker but as a rational human being he had issues. He never put a dime of his own money into his films and so he had no “skin” in the game. He acted as though the producers should just give him a blank check and keep their mouths shut in deference to his genius. The world has never worked that way and it never will.”–Robert Fells.

Fells is wrong of course. The best producers trusted and trust their film makers. Initially Paramount wanted THE GODFATHER done as cheaply as possible in a contemporary setting. Had they hired Roger Corman they would have gotten that. Instead they hired Francis Ford Coppola whom they thought would not put up a fight. They were wrong. We are fortunate that they were wrong.

The web allows everyone to have a voice. Can’t complain about that as my voice is on it. What it has also allowed is for the mediocre to bleat their mediocrity.

Arthur Conan Doyle wrote, “Mediocrity recognizes nothing higher than itself.”

David Ogilvy in his book CONFESSIONS OF AN ADVERTISING MAN, wrote, “That is not true. Mediocrity always recognizes what is better than itself and always seeks to destroy it.”

I am indebted to Kevin Brownlow, as is everyone who cares, that he was impelled to restore as much as possible of Abel Gance’s 1927 film, NAPOLEON.

Unfortunately, barring a miracle, we will never have the chance to see GREED in either its 42 or 18 reel format. The footage was burned to get the silver.

Silver seems always to be behind betrayal.

Fells writes that GREED was greenlighted in the days when the Goldwyn Studio was going down the tubes. The studio was going down the tubes because Selwyn was busy stabbing his partner Goldfisch in the back.

No one thought much of Sam Goldfisch. He proved them wrong.

Stroheim’s work survives today for the most part in fragmentary form.

He produced THE MERRY WIDOW for MGM without a salary for a percentage of the film’s profits. He produced the film at what was considered a proper commercial length. Seeing Stroheim’s film composer Franz Lehar pronounced it better than his opera. The opera regularly gets re-staged. Stroheim’s film does not.

The picture was a great financial success. MGM, however, told Stroheim that the costs of GREED ate away the profits of THE MERRY WIDOW. Stroheim did not receive a dime from it.

Thomas Quinn Curtis did his homework for his excellent biography of Von Stroheim. He tracked down the figures from GREED at MGM. He found that the picture, released to theaters one would need a guide to find, had made a profit.

They lied.

There are those and there are too many of them who call anyone who demands the best be put forward a Diva.

I got booted off THE SILENT FILM site by Mr. Fells for speaking up against that.

It was a fucking honour to get my ass kicked out that door.

The dishonour is on those who allow Fells to have the field but then, that is the world we live in.

It is doubly unfortunate that Sam Goldwyn was not on control when Stroheim completed filming GREED. Despised by many in the industry, written off by lesser men, Goldfisch was to have a long and interesting career producing films no one else would produce. Had he been in charge we would not be lamenting the loss of Stroheim’s greatest work.

Too bad.

February At The Cineforum In Toronto

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The Cineforum, 463 Bathurst below College, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Saturday, January 31, February 7, 14, 21.

7pm: THE SALVADOR DALI FILM FEST Films made by Salvador Dali with Luis Bunuel and Walt Disney. Dali, in his 20s, was told by his teachers he had no talent. He replied, “You are not fit to judge me.” Can you do less? If you can (and too many can) skip this program.

9pm: THE SEX & VIOLENCE CARTOON FEST  Betty Boop, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Popeye and their pals have been bowdlerized. That is a polite word that means everything that might upset a mother has been censored from their films. Come to this festival to see what too many mothers do not want us to see on TV. P.S. Admission Restricted to 19 & Over.

The Program: Two hours of too much for TV cartoons. Bugs Bunny singlehandedly defeats the Japanese navy (Banned). Red Hot Riding Hood strips in a Hollywood nightclub while her nymphomaniac grandmother tries to rape the wolf. Daffy Duck suffers pronoun trouble and gets his head blown off. Porky Pig skips church and smokes up. Betty Boop stars in a film banned in Britain for making Hell look too cool. Popeye beats the yell out of Bluto. A hot babe drives a sex crazed wolf into paroxysms of lust. Bugs strips Elmer naked, dresses him up as a hooker and plops him into the middle of pack of sex crazed wolves! Much more. WARNING: Includes animation not meant for tender eyes.

Sunday thru Thursday, February 1 thru 20

7pm: LE PATIN LIBRE 3D (2012) Reg Hartt. The most exciting figure skating company in the world was born at The Cineforum in Toronto. They will be at Harbourfront February 16. This will introduce you to them:

http://www.standard.co.uk/goingout/theatre/le-patin-libre-the-figure-skaters-reinventing-dancing-on-ice-9737423.html

http://www.alexandrapalace.com/whats-on/vertical-influences-le-patin-libre/

http://www.sadlerswells.com/whats-on/2014/le-patin-libre/

http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2014/oct/30/le-patin-libre-vertical-influences-review-ice-dance

http://nac-cna.ca/en/dance/event/9792

https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/this-is-contemporary-ice-skating

Friday, February 13, 20, 27.
7pm: FUNDRAISING FILM FEST FOR NATHAN C. LALONDE. Nathan needs to raise $8,000.00 to finish his film. I’m here to help him. You can to. Check out his sites.10934671_759707250782375_299951814_n

http://www.eccentricexhibits.ca/about.html

“The reliance on Property, including the reliance on governments which protect it, is the want of self-reliance.” Ralph Waldo Emerson writes in ON SELF-RELIANCE, “Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another you only have an extemporaneous half possession. That which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him. No man yet knows what it is, nor can, till that person has exhibited it. Where is the master who could have taught Shakespeare? Where is the master who could have instructed Franklin, or Washington, or Bacon, or Newton? Every great man is unique. The Scipionism of Scipio is precisely that part he could not borrow. Shakespeare will never be made by the study of Shakespeare. Do that which is assigned you, and you cannot hope too much or dare too much… “Whoso would be a man, must be a nonconformist. He who would gather immortal palms must not be hindered by the name of goodness, but must explore if it be goodness. Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world. I remember an answer which when quite young I was prompted to make to a valued advisor who was wont to importune me with the dear old doctrines of the church. On my saying, ‘What do I have with the sacredness of traditions, if I live wholly from within?’ my friend suggested, ‘–But these impulses may be from below, not from above,’ I replied. ‘They do not seem to me to be such; but if I am the Devil’s child, I will then live as one from the Devil.’ No law can be sacred to me but that of my own nature. Good and bad are but names transferable to that or this; the only right is what is after my constitution; the only wrong what is against it…I am ashamed to think how easily we capitulate to badges and names, to large societies and dead institutions. “http://www.emersoncentral.com/selfreliance.htm

When I read Charles Chaplin’s MY AUTOBIOGRAPHY I was twenty-four, the same age Chaplin was when he began making movies.

Chaplin spoke about how as a boy he felt the doors open to the sons of the rich were closed to him. “Then I read Emerson’s essay ON SELF-RELIANCE. It was as if I had been handed a golden birthright,” he wrote.

As a result I read ON SELF-RELIANCE.  What a shot of adrenalin!

Specifically those words uttered as a youth: IF I AM THE DEVIL’S CHILD, I WILL LIVE THEN AS ONE FROM THE DEVIL.

The boldness, the courage in that.

To see life as an adventure, to not be turned back from the voyage, to brave any storm, to fear no man or idea not even God yet to love all.

That life and that life only I find worth living.

We have far too many people aspiring to be angels. We could use a few more honest devils.

http://www.abebooks.com/9780865475243/New-Testament-Richmond-Lattimore-0865475245/plp

Matthew 25:14-30English Standard Version (ESV) The Parable of the Talents 14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants[a] and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents,[b] to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.[c] You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+25%3A14-30&version=ESV Footnotes:

(Alternate, poorer translation: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+25%3A14-30&version=ERV).

(talent: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talent_(measurement))

I have always preferred the word “talent” in this parable over the alternate “bags of money” in the second translation because the word “talent” can also mean something for which we have a special gift (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aptitude).  Some people are born with a gift for music, a natural aptitude so great that instruction gets in the way of it. Irving Berlin, for example, was the most prolific songwriter of his generation. He never learned how to read and write music. He hired music students to write down his compositions. Berlin knew what he was doing. “For Christ’s sake don’t take lessons,” he told Ethel Merman the first time he heard her sing.

A history teacher told me the reason the Americans own Canada is because Americans take risks with their money while Canadians bury their money in the back yard.

There is a great story about Warren Beatty (star of BONNIE & CLYDE). Beatty was the most successful actor of his generation at getting women. Asked the secret of his success he said,”I get my face slapped a lot.”

There is a saying in the theater, “Without risk there is no theater.”

I have found that without risk there is no life.

UNTIL ONE IS COMMITTED

Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets: Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. –W. H. Murray, THE SCOTTISH HIMALAYAN EXPEDITION.

LOSING EVERYTHING: THE PRODIGAL SON: Luke 15:11-32J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)

11-19 Then he continued, “Once there was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the property that will come to me.’ So he divided up his property between the two of them. Before very long, the younger son collected all his belongings and went off to a foreign land, where he squandered his wealth in the wildest extravagance. And when he had run through all his money, a terrible famine arose in that country, and he began to feel the pinch. Then he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country who sent him out into the fields to feed the pigs. He got to the point of longing to stuff himself with the food the pigs were eating and not a soul gave him anything. Then he came to his senses and cried aloud, ‘Why, dozens of my father’s hired men have got more food than they can eat and here I am dying of hunger! I will get up and go back to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have done wrong in the sight of Heaven and in your eyes. I don’t deserve to be called your son any more. Please take me on as one of your hired men.”’

20-24 So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still some distance off, his father saw him and his heart went out to him, and he ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. But his son said, ‘Father, I have done wrong in the sight of Heaven and in your eyes. I don’t deserve to be called your son any more ….’ ‘Hurry!’ called out his father to the servants, ‘fetch the best clothes and put them on him! Put a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet, and get that calf we’ve fattened and kill it, and we will have a feast and a celebration! For this is my son—I thought he was dead, and he’s alive again. I thought I had lost him, and he’s found!’ And they began to get the festivities going.

25-32 “But his elder son was out in the fields, and as he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants across to him and enquired what was the meaning of it all. ‘Your brother has arrived, and your father has killed the calf we fattened because he has got him home again safe and sound,’ was the reply. But he was furious and refused to go inside the house. So his father came outside and called him. Then he burst out, ‘Look, how many years have I slaved for you and never disobeyed a single order of yours, and yet you have never given me so much as a young goat, so that I could give my friends a dinner? But when that son of yours arrives, who has spent all your money on prostitutes, for him you kill the calf we’ve fattened!’ But the father replied, ‘My dear son, you have been with me all the time and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and show our joy. For this is your brother; I thought he was dead—and he’s alive. I thought he was lost—and he is found!’”

The son who gets his inheritance, leaves, spends his money on wine, women and song until it is all gone finds that when the money runs out so do the friends. From a high position he is fallen to the lowest. He is like most of us.

The son who stays behind is the person who plays it safe. In his heart there is neither love nor understanding. Many, too damn many, think this parable is about the son who wastes everything he has been given. It isn’t. It is about the one who stays home for his poverty is far greater than that of the son who lost everything.

The son who lost everything returns to find a father glad to be re-united with him. This son has become wise in the ways of the world. He can build up the father’s estates.

When I read THE NEW TESTAMENT I read it as I read any book. The miracles described in it like the turning of water into wine, the feeding of multitudes with a few loaves and fishes, those are things beyond my understanding. Some say they are mere metaphors. I don’t but some do. I look at the fact that the men who followed Jesus followed him to their deaths. On the same day, probably June 29, 67 AD, Peter was crucified and Paul, a Roman Citizen, was beheaded because a citizen could not be crucified. Peter asked, “Please crucify me upside down as I do not deserve to be crucified right side up.”

No man says something like that for a mere metaphor.

I find a richness in THE NEW TESTAMENT I find in no other book. This is why I read it, re-read it and re-re-read it. I have the book in many translations. This makes re-reading especially fruitful for me as I learned how much is gained or lost by the power of one word altered.

By chance I found THE PELICAN NEW TESTAMENT commentaries which are especially helpful. Again, these I have read and re-read and will read again.

Other books I go back to as we go to a well for water are John Neihardt’s BLACK ELK SPEAKS, the Wilhelm/Baynes edition of THE I CHING, Ruth Beebe Hill’s HANTA YO! the Howard Pyle books on KING ARTHUR (and, indeed, many Arthurian romances. I can feel John Steinbeck’s heart breaking in his version, uncompleted, of the story0.

I know that those who say we must accept Jesus or be damned are liars.

The proof? It is in THE NEW TESTAMENT in Acts 10 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+10&version=PHILLIPS) when Peter says, “I see the Lord is not a respecter of persons but that in all lands those who love God and do good are loved by God.”

I know that when someone who thinks themselves a Christian tells a person who is homosexual they are a sinner and will burn in Hell they are wrong for Paul, whose text in Romans is the one most often used to back up this statement, states that they who judge and condemn do the very things those they judge and condemn do (https://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?quicksearch=Romans+&qs_version=PHILLIPS).

Those who do that are the sons who never left home. They are “good” boys with cold hearts.

Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso said, “It is good taste not bad taste which is the enemy.” I am with them.

One of my favorite NEW TESTAMENT translations is from Greek poet Richmond Lattimore (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12249.New_Testament_Bible_OE_Lattimore).

The most powerful words in the entire NEW TESTAMENT are found in the first chapter of John’s Gospel. Lattimore, I believe, was an atheist until shortly before his death he was baptized as a Roman Catholic mainly due to his translation of Luke. Here is his translation of John.: “Those who accepted him, he gave them power to become children of God, to those who believed in his name, who were born not from blood or from the will of the flesh or from the will of man, but from God.” (http://www.bible-researcher.com/lattimore.html,  http://www.scripturezealot.com/2008/05/28/selections-from-richmond-lattimores-nt-translation/).

Where others translate the Greek word “doulos” as servant Lattimore uses the far less pleasant to our vanity “slave.”

We are all slaves to Truth. Truth is hard master. We are slaves because we have no will of our own except the will to lie when it comes to Truth.

“Truth? What is Truth?” asked Pontius Pilate of Jesus as well we might too.

Inevitably the truth is that which we least desire to speak because in its light we are revealed naked.

I am certain there were many things done by the Prodigal Son in his orgy of spending that he would wish not see the light of day as there are many things in most of our lives we wish would not see the light of day especially when we surrender our minds to alcohol. Nonetheless, they are there. Because they are there in myself I have compassion without weakness for others.

It was people who thought themselves good who imposed Prohibition on Canada and on The United States. Doing that they did great harm to people and greater harm to society by opening the door to organized crime.

On Sundays in a movie theater in Toronto gathers a group that calls itself “The church for those who don’t like church.” (http://www.themeetingplace.mb.ca/#/sunday)

Now the word “church” literally means “community.” Thus they are the community for people who don’t like community.

Which is ridiculous when I think of it.

Nonetheless, they see themselves not only as good people but also as better people than those folk who go to those churches they don’t like.

As for myself, I have always, like Jesus, preferred the company of those the good people damn as sinners.

The only Hell I can imagine is bring stuck for eternity with those who see themselves as saved.

Look at it this way. Jimmy Swaggert is certain he will be in Heaven while he is equally certain his cousin, Jerry Lee Lewis, will be in Hell.

Imagine yourself stuck in Heaven for eternity listening to Swaggert while downstairs in The Hell Fire Club Lewis is banging out the appropriately named “GREAT BALLS OF FIRE.”

For me that would be Hell.

Conventionally we think of those who calls themselves people of God as good and of those who spend time in bordellos (as Judy Henske says, “That is not an Italian desert.”) and saloons as sinners. Bankers are good men. Bums are bad.

The problem is that in any translation of THE NEW TESTAMENT we care to read the only people Jesus damns are priests and lawyers. The Jewish state being a theocracy, these were the politicians of his day. These same are scoundrels in our time.

The slaves, the lowest of the low, were the first to understand the message: “Those who accepted him, he gave them power to become children of God, to those who believed in his name, who were born not from blood or from the will of the flesh or from the will of man, but from God.”

Accepting that message the lowest of the low not only became equal to their masters but also and more importantly equal to God.

That message was revolutionary then. It remains revolutionary now.

“Faith?” mocked Olivia Chow in her run for Mayor of Toronto.

Without Faith we are nothing. If you do not have faith your employer can pay you you will leave them.

We all have faith in some thing. I have Faith in one thing only.

“We have the seed of God in us. Hazel seeds grow hazel trees. Pear seeds grow pear trees. God seeds grow Gods.”–Meister Eckhart (who often got in trouble with the community).

If I have the seed of God in me I do not need THE BIBLE.

“This word I give you is not in the sky that you should ask who has brought it down to us. Nor is it across the sea that you should ask who has brought it to us. No, it is very near that you may have it with you always. It is in your heart and on your tongue,” said Moses (Deuteronomy 30: 14).

Today he would add, “Nor is it in a book that you should ask who has taught us to read?”

Read Lattimore’s translation for what it is, a very good translation.

No translation however is as good as the original.

For the original look in your heart (mind) and on your tongue.

And, please, stay the Hell out of church.–Reg Hartt, 18/01/2015.

Note: By trusting in what THE NEW TESTAMENT says I have been witness to miracles. You will be as well.

There is a power in this woman singing we will never find in a church choir. It is the power not of a life buried but of a life lived.

http://www.wtsbooks.com/common/pdf_links/9780802823021.pdf

http://solifera.lt/download-the-new-testament-pdf

More Judy Henske:

Pray for a tough instructor

THE CORE OF MASCULINITY  1At the memorial service for Judith Merril one person after another spoke about what a hard person she was to love. “You could be talking with her and suddenly she would shout, ‘GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!‘” they said. I knew Judy from 1968 until her death. She never once in all those years said that to me though I have said it to others. I know why she said it.

Who was Judith Merril? Judith Merril is the mother of modern science fiction. Her contribution?  “Science fiction, I suspect, is now dead, and probably died about the time that Judy closed her anthology and left to found her memorial library to the genre in Toronto. I remember my last sight of her, surrounded by her friends and all the books she loved, shouting me down whenever I tried to argue with her, the strongest woman in a genre for the most part created by timid and weak men.“– J. G. Ballard (author of Crash and Empire of the Sun) .

God knows there is no shortage of timid and weak men.

I discovered later that when I had put my name down to speak there was a great deal of hesitation about allowing me to.

I rose and spoke about the need for a tough teacher, one who would tolerate no bullshit, one who faced with it would say, “GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!”

The I quoted Rumi’s poem THE CORE OF MASCULINITY.

The core of masculinity does not derive
from being male,
nor friendliness from those who console.
Your old grandmother says, “Maybe you shouldn’t
go to school. You look a little pale.”
Run when you hear that.
A father’s stern slaps are better.
Your bodily soul wants comforting.
The severe father wants spiritual clarity.
He scolds but eventually
leads you into the open.
Pray for a tough instructor
to hear and act and stay within you.

~ Rumi (Translation by Coleman Barks).

I ended by saying, “Judy was that tough instructor. I loved her for it.”

I looked down at the assembled crowd. Those who had spoken before me were squirming in their seats. They were gnashing their teeth.Hatred, pure, fucking undiluted hatred flew from their eyes into mine.

Around them was a sea of people weeping.

I stepped down. The people in charge said, “We were not going to let you speak. Are we ever glad we did.”

In an article that appeared many years ago in TORONTO LIFE magazine the writer said, “Reg Hartt is Toronto’s most loved and loathed film connoisseur.” The loathed part is important. It is the part that earns me that love.

One day at Judy’s place on Beverly Street back in the 1970s a young man spoke about a short film he had made about freedom in which he tore off his clothes and ran through a field in his underwear. When he finished almost everyone looked at him in wonder. Then I said, “I am sorry but that film is not about freedom. You should have taken off your underwear.”

He got angry. He started to shout. The others joined it. Who was I to say his film was not about freedom? Who am I? I am a voice crying in the wilderness.

Then when it got loudest Judy softly said, “Reg is right.”

Timid and weak men abound. They start, stop, start, stop.

When they see someone strong they gather like jackals. They start whisper campaigns. They make telephone calls late at night threatening death. They leave hastily scribbled notes filled with insulting things.

A friend who would be a poet runs from women after he has sex with them.

“We only really learn in conversation after sex,” Judy was fond of saying.

He robs himself of the best part.

God, I loved, love that woman. She died a few years ago. She lives in my heart.

This commentary is from the site where I found Rumi’s THE CORE OF MASCULINITY (http://www.returnofkings.com/29522/a-word-on-masculinity-from-a-13th-century-poet):

(1-2)Being masculine does not derive from simply having a penis, it’s earned.

(3-6) Keep people who want to coddle you at arms length. Those who advise you to “take it easy” or “slow down” may not intentionally seek to harm you but if you heed their advice they will in the long run. Chances are you will hear these words from a woman. It’s no coincidence Rumi chose a grandmother as an example.

(7-9) An ass beating will build more character than a consolation hug. Your body will naturally prefer the latter. I know mine did when my boxing instructor would yell or hit me upside the head whenever I did something wrong.
Bodily comfort and spiritual clarity are posed as opposites in these lines. Could they simultaneously exist? Thinking back to some of the things I have accomplished that I am most proud of, I don’t think they can. My body always fought going to the gym, reading, studying, approaching a girl, even as I write this post my mind protests because it would rather be surfing mindlessly through the internet.

(10-13) There’s no replacement for the tough-as-nails male figure who will be unyielding when you beg for an easy route. His methods might frustrate you at times, hell it may even cause you to throw a tantrum or two but they will help you achieve your goals. This is the instructor you should seek out so you can internalize his habits to apply later on in life.

For most this male figure is a father. Sadly nowadays more and more men are being raised without knowing their fathers, let alone learning life lessons from them. As good of a mother as you may have no woman can ever teach a man how to be a man. Despite what the media says women and men are not the same, we are wired differently. To these men I would recommend they find a mentor (coach, professor, etc.) or learn as much as they can from different men that are admirable.
What happens when you raise a generation of sons without fathers or male mentorship? Well, just look around. You get males who don’t know how to deal with women, are insecure, oversensitive, and complain at the sight of anything that requires real work.

Conclusion: The core of masculinity derives from a masculine mentor and hard work.

I disagreev\ with the need for that tough instructor to be male. Any person who refuses to lie to themselves, male or female, is a tough instructor. I had five tough instructors all women. The first was my mother. The second was a teacher in New Brunswick, Edith Mills. The third was Jane Jacobs who became a friend and mentor after coming to my film programs. The fourth was Judith Merril who I met at Rochdale College. The fifth was Doris Mehegan who ran THE SPACED OUT LIBRARY (now THE MERRIL COLLECTION). These were tough women.

Today there is a great outpouring of tears of sorrow for the CHARLIE HEBDO murdered cartoonists.

There should not be.

If they did what they did knowing it could get them killed our tears should be tears of joy that such heroes existed among us.

If they thought they could do what they did without risking their lives than their actions were irresponsible. There should be no tears at all.

I accept the fact that what I say and do will upset people. I don’t get angry when they get upset. I don’t get angry when, hearing tough instructions those who can’t take them run to comforting arms uttering the lie they know will win them sympathy. I don’t angry when I find anonymous messages on my phone threatening to kill me.

“The function of the artist is to disturb. His duty is to arouse the sleeper, to shake the complacent killers of the world. He reminds the world of its dark ancestry, shows the world its present and points the way to its new birth. He is at once the product and preceptor of his time… In a world terrified of change, he preaches revolution – the principle of life. He is an agitator, a disturber of the peace – quick, impatient, positive, restless and disquieting. He is the creative spirit of life, working in the soul of men.”–Norman Bethune.

Too often people confuse being an entertainer with being an artist.

An entertainer tells us what we want to hear. The prize he seeks is gold.

The artist tells us what we need to hear like an Old Testament Prophet. The prize the artist seeks is best summed up in the word GOD.

Add a “L” to God we get GOLD and everything goes to Hell.

This is why so many truly great artists were murdered. When Victor Hugo got run out of Paris he did not complain. He knew when he wrote what he wrote he risked what he risked.

The thing is we say what we say knowing it can get us killed because if we do not we will die in all the ways that matter.

Churches are supposed to be homes to truth. In the east there is a saying: “The nearer the temple the farther from THE BUDDHA.” In the west there is a like saying: “The nearer the church/synagogue/temple the farther from God.”

Once at a church that saw itself as liberal I quoted Robert Browning’s, “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp.” I never got to, “Or what’s a heaven for?”

To my surprise the congregation shouted as a body, “WE WON’T HAVE THAT HERE!”

I was forcefully thrown out. No problem. I accepted that and let them do it. I saw a taxi driving by. I flagged it.

“What happened there?” asked the driver.

“I quoted Robert Browning. I said, “‘A man’s reach must exceed his grasp.’ I never got to ‘Or what’s a Heaven for?’ They shouted, “WE WON’T HAVE THAT HERE.’ They threw me out.”

The cab driver said, “My God, they are all losers.”

This is why I do not go to church.

The second rate enshrine the second rate in others. They assemble in groups. They applaud without listening. For them as Marshall McLuhan said, the medium is the message.

Those who speak to be heard do so knowing the words they speak could bring their death. I learned this long ago from another tough instructor. Her name was Edith Mills. She was my home room grade Eleven English teacher in Chipman, New Brunswick.

One week we all had to speak extemporaneously. That is a long word which means “off the cuff.”

When my time came I saw a word coming out which, if used, meant a trip to the principal’s office and the application of the strap.

I looked for another word. I looked hard. There was no other word. I said to myself, “I guess I am getting the strap.”

The next day another student who hated me used the word I had used.

I was furious with her. I went to her after class. I said, “What are you trying to do? Make me look like teacher’s pet? Yesterday I used that word. Nothing happened. Today he uses it. He gets the strap. What is going on? Why didn’t I get the strap?”

She said, “I watched you choosing.I watched you accepting the responsibility of your choice. You were right. It was the right word. He just walked through the door that you opened.”

In that moment I understood the difference between license and liberty.

License says, “He got away with it so I can.” License does not understand the deeper issues.

Liberty says, “If I do this I must pay a price.” Liberty understands the deeper issues and gladly pays the price.

There is only one path that leads to the truth. That path now and always leads to Cavalry and the Cross.

On that cross Jesus asked, “My God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

The answer is that the truth now, always and forever eternally stands alone.maxresdefault

The thing that I am most proud of is that I am this city’s most loathed film connoisseur.

I earned that.

When Katharine Hepburn left home as a young woman to become an actress she was invited to join New York’s prestigious GROUP THEATER (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Group_Theatre_%28New_York%29).

She turned them down. She said, “I want no part of the group dynamic. The group dynamic by nature is always second rate.”

We can and must accept the second rate in others. We can never accept it in our self.

It is not a matter of “MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY.”

The plain truth is that this is, always has been and always will be the only way.

The harder truth is that on this path we walk alone. (15/01/2015).

These pictures are from THE WONDERFUL SALVADOR DALI DINNER Cooked at The Cineforum by Australian Chef Mark Sleep who lived with me for a while. I met Mark by chance. In my last year in High School (Grade 13) my principal told me, “You have the wrong attitude. If you leave this school today you will starve to death in two weeks.” Not only did I not starve I now know that if I had not left I would have starved. Because I walked out of high school I had the benefit of learning from some of the greatest men and women of our time as well as from many great mean and women our time does not celebrate. Here is my friend and mentor Jane Jacobs:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judith_Merril

Mark-Sleeps-SALVADOR-DALI-DINNER-9-Reg-Hartt-Judith-Merril

I met Judy in 1968. We were more than friends. Shewas one of my mothers. She caused me to be reborn.

I met Judith Merril in 1968. We were more than friends. She was one of my mothers. She caused me to be reborn.

 

judytyper judyroof

 J. G. Ballard (author of Crash and Empire of the Sun) in 1992 on Judith Merril: "Science fiction, I suspect, is now dead, and probably died about the time that Judy closed her anthology and left to found her memorial library to the genre in Toronto. I remember my last sight of her, surrounded by her friends and all the books she loved, shouting me down whenever I tried to argue with her, the strongest woman in a genre for the most part created by timid and weak men."

J. G. Ballard (author of Crash and Empire of the Sun) in 1992 on Judith Merril: “Science fiction, I suspect, is now dead, and probably died about the time that Judy closed her anthology and left to found her memorial library to the genre in Toronto. I remember my last sight of her, surrounded by her friends and all the books she loved, shouting me down whenever I tried to argue with her, the strongest woman in a genre for the most part created by timid and weak men.”

images 210 S-F The Year's Greatest Science-Fiction and Fantasy Judith Merrill Ed Dell056

Look at the posters on the wall behind The Punisher. Some of them promote REG HARTT''S FILM FEST. When yiou comer to The Cineforum  you enter the Marvel Universe.,

Look at the posters on the wall behind The Punisher. Some of them promote REG HARTT”S FILM FEST. When you comer to The Cineforum you enter the Marvel Universe.,

Dirty Dan, a longtime friend from my days at Rochdale College. The man with the fiddle is Marcel who was a wonderful presence here for a long time.

Dirty Dan, a longtime friend from my days at Rochdale College. The man with the fiddle is Marcel who was a wonderful presence here for a long time.

Mark Sleep's SALVADOR DALI DINNER 13

Paul hall, Reg Hartt and the couple who had come to THESALVADOR DALI FILM FEST the night before. They were invited to the Dali Dinner. Good thing too as they took the pictures.

Paul hall, Reg Hartt and the couple who had come to THE SALVADOR DALI FILM FEST the night before. They were invited to the Dali Dinner. Good thing too as they took the pictures.

Mark Sleep's SALVADOR DALI DINNER 11 Mark Sleep's SALVADOR DALI DINNER 10

Jodie Drake, pictured here, was the grandmother of Toronto's jazz and blues scene. We becme friends. Here she is enjoying a dinner at The Cineforum prepared by Chef Mark Sleep from The Salvador Dali cookbook. That was a dinner you could not buy.

Jodie Drake, pictured here, was the grandmother of Toronto’s jazz and blues scene. We became friends. Here she is enjoying a dinner at The Cineforum prepared by Chef Mark Sleep from The Salvador Dali cookbook. That was a dinner you could not buy.

These two ladies were from The Argentine and Spanish Embassies.

These two ladies were from The Argentine and Spanish Embassies.

Mark Sleep's SALVADOR DALI DINNER 6

Doug Eliuk (behind the camera, was one of the head honchos of the NFB in Toronto. Doug served as Canada's Cultural Attache to America. He also was a fine chef. He served as sous Chef to Mark Sleep for The Dali Dinner.

Doug Eliuk (behind the camera, was one of the head honchos of the NFB in Toronto. Doug served as Canada’s Cultural Attache to America. He also was a fine chef. He served as sous Chef to Mark Sleep for The Dali Dinner.

Mark Sleep's SALVADOR DALI DINNER 3 Mark Sleep's SALVADOR DALI DINNER 2

The Salvador Dali Dinner.

The Salvador Dali Dinner.

Mark Sleep, who cooked THE SALVADOR DALI DINNER, seen here with my father and my dog, Spike.

Mark Sleep, who cooked THE SALVADOR DALI DINNER, seen here with my father and my dog, Spike.

merril12 merril8 Dell9772 110084666_amazoncom-the-years-best-sf-judith-merril-books 6384053 31bu5vULEIL._SL500_AA300_ yearsbestsf

 

Garson Kanin told a story of when he first worked with producer Samuel Goldwyn. It is in his book, Hollywood. Goldwyn was arranging to have one of his films open in New York. On the phone he said, “Be sure to put on some chasers.”

“What are chasers?” asked Kanin.

“Chasers are films you use to chase audiences out of the theater. Smart boy! You went to college. You don’t know what chasers are!” said Goldwyn.

There are two worlds which are polar opposites. One is the high flying world of academe. The other is the world of the rough streets in which we have to make our living. In the world of the academy there are rules. On the street there is one rule: get on. If one gets on well enough, one thinks of getting honest. Then if one gets on well enough one thinks of getting honour.

In the days of live vaudeville out of which rose the movies theaters were low places filled with thousands of desperate men and eager women. Audiences were working class or below working class. Folks above working class if they came came with their noses in the air. Prices were kept low to attract a lot of folks. Money was made by offering them everything they might desire once inside from drink to sex. Actresses were viewed as one rank above prostitutes.

With thousands of seats to fill they were filled any sway they could be filled. On the bill was the STAR attraction followed by stars of descending rank followed by performers so bad they literally caused people to leave the theater. This was so that seats could be freed up for the next show.

When the movies took over from live shows the feature attraction would be preceded by a few good short films to allow people who came late to see the film from start to finish plus previews of coming attractions to keep people coming back. Following the main film would be a short film or series of short films that were so bad they caused people to leave.

Bear in mind that people were allowed to walk into a movie at any time during its running. If you had a hot show you needed every seat to be available. At that time theaters sat thousands not hundreds. Also think of the psychological effect on the audience watching a film and seeing people get up and walk out half way through it.

There were sound reasons for using chasers. In his book OF MICE AND MAGIC, the first comprehensive history of American theatrical animated cartoons (and still one of the very best) Leonard Maltin told a story of Paul Terry, producer of TERRYTOONS cartoons staring Mighty Mouse and more asking a theater owner if he showed Terrytoons. The man said, “Yes. I use them as chasers,”

I was on an animation fan site and shared this story. There was a fellow on the site named Ray Pointer who had worked at a number of animation studios, knew Max Fleischer and was considered a God by himself and many of the fans. When I mentioned that cartoons were often used as chasers someone asked what chasers were. I explained what chasers were. Pointer went ballistic. “That’s not true! They never did that!”

I then referred him to Leonard Maltin’s OF MICE AND MAGIC. “Not true!” he wrote.

I then ordered a copy of Garson Kanin’s HOLLYWOOD (which is an excellent book and my copy had disappeared) so I could quote chapter and verse.

“Not true!” shouted Pointer (I know this was in print on a web page nonetheless I could feel the veins in his neck going purple).

Pointer then said, “Leonard Maltin and Jerry Beck don’t like you.”

Like that is supposed to mean something to me.

It was Pointer’s way of making sure his fans paid me nothing but contempt.

Frankly, I do not give a damn whether Leonard or Jerry like me. I like and respect them both. Leonard Maltin worked in the trenches of film history when it was a one man army and he was the army. He has done invaluable work that can not be measured in terms of its importance. It was Maltin who persuaded Disney to open up its vaults and share their long buried treasures. Jerry Beck has worked exclusively in animation history. Again for a long time in a one many army Jerry was the army.

Both men are still potent forces.

And as for Ray Pointer, well, he has been doing truly great work as well (http://www.inkwellimagesink.com/pages/aboutus.shtml). I have all of his dvds here.

I am not so silly that I become blind to the value of a person just because they disagree with me or don’t like me personally.

I mean, who wants to be liked by anyone but themselves first and by others second? Well, frankly, lots of people which is why so many sell themselves short.

Last week on the animation site Cartoon Research (https://www.facebook.com/groups/161346744015168/) a fan posted a video link to Bob Clampett’s animated cartoon TIN PAN ALLEY CATS. He described it as the most racist film he has ever seen.

First off, the film is not racist. There is this attitude prevalent among many white boys that every film made by white folk featuring Black people is racist and must be apologized for.

I got on and said the film is not racist.

Then the shit hit the fan. As I disagreed with the prevailing view I must be attacked.

These boys are not used to someone who can defend themselves.

Bob-Clampett-Bruce-Kirkland2press-0271First off to answer the question who was Bob Clampett?

Bob Clampett is ranked today as one of the greatest directors of animated cartoons ever. I first found his name mentioned in a special animation issue of Film-Comment-150x150FILM COMMENT magazine. That issue introduced me to the idea of animated cartoons as an art form. I decided it was one I wanted to personally study. I began to acquire 16mm prints of the films I had read about. It was not easy. The Canadian 16mm distributors had dropped short films from their catalogs as they cost more in paper work than the films took in in rentals. Only Disney had short cartoons but they did not offer the films I wanted to see.

Fate stepped in when I got a telephone call from a woman whose father had passed away. He had had a 16mm film collection. “How much do you want for it?” I asked.

In that collection were some short animated cartoons. I did my first program. It drew only eight people. When I did a second program the people who then worked with me said, “You only got eight people last time. Why are you doing this again?” I said, “They were eight interesting people.” They said,”You’re crazy.”

“Reg Hartt has had an amazing impact given the size of the venue and the esoteric nature of the programming. He’s had an incredible impact on the city. No one else is doing it. No one else has ever done it.”–Rob Salem, Entertainment Writer, TORONTO STAR.

I do what I do to learn. I want to learn as much as I can learn about everything. After the second animation program the people then working with me said, “How did you know you would get fifty people?” After the third they said, “How did you know you would get 200 people?”

Among those who came out was a young man studying animation at Sheridan College in Oakville. His name was John Kricfalusi. He asked if we could bring programs to Sheridan so that the students there could see the films. I fell in love with John. It was impossible not to. His enthusiasm was contagious. His hunger for knowledge was like my own. He is one of the very few people I have met who have that.

As a result we became great friends. When I went to Europe with my then partner John Dunham in the summer of 1978 I left John in charge of my house, my films, and, most importantly, my dogs.

That fall when I began my programs John found that he had been turned down for second year at Sheridan as his teachers felt he had no talent. Salvador Dali’s teachers thought the same of him. Actually, his teachers were jealous of John. In private conversation with me they had dismissed him and his “disruptive influence.” That means he asked questions they could not answer and thus felt threatened.

That was a good thing because it forced John to rely upon himself.

Justin Smallbridge, Saturday Night, April 1994:

John Kricfalusi enrolled in the animation programme at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario, generally acknowledged to be one of the best in North America and widely respected throughout the industry. But Kricfalusi found its curriculum placed little stress on technical knowledge and even less on exploring the medium’s potential. ‘There was no education,” Kricfalusi says, blunt about the outcome but more diplomatic in explaining why not. ‘Part of it was my fault. I was more concerned with partying and stuff. I saw mechanically how animation was put together. So it was all right for that. They teach you some really basic technical things. How to draw? No. How to act? No. How to compose? No. No animation skills do you learn in animation school.’

“At the same time as Sheridan’s programme was infuriating him, Kricfalusi was getting a parallel education through a Toronto fixture, Reg Hartt, an eccentric one- man movie compendium who screens his massive collection of prints of classic films in bars, church halls, and his own apartment. A big part of Hartt’s collection consists of the MGM and Warner Bros. work that many agree constitutes animation’s acme — the seven-minute chunks of jazzy, stuttering, rubbery brilliance that careered out of Hollywood during animation’s finest twenty-five years. From Hartt’s screenings, Kricfalusi ‘discovered the Tex Avery cartoons from MGM, which I hadn’t seen much of. I really liked those, and I started to think, ‘Hey, Tex Avery’s my favourite director.’ But then I saw Bob Clampett’s The Great Piggy Bank Robbery,’ a Dick Tracy lampoon.

“For Kricfalusi, it was an animated epiphany: “It was the wildest experience I’d ever felt, like taking acid or something. The next week I went back to Reg Hartt’s and saw Coal Black and De Sebben Dwarves. And the week after I saw Kitty Cornered and Tin Pan Alley Cats. And I thought, ‘Wow, who is this guy?’ Bob Clampett worked for the Warner Bros. animation department (housed in a bungalow on the Warne r lot that the animators dubbed “Termite Terrace”). He invented Daffy Duck, perhaps the most completely unhinged member of the Warner Bros. cartoon pantheon. ‘The cartoons are faster than other cartoons, more caricatured. The jokes are bigger, the expressions are wilder and more subtle at the same time,’ Kricfalusi says. ‘There’s a cartoon language and a lot of people spoke it. But nobody spoke it more fluently than Clampett. ‘”

In his enthusiasm for Bob Clampett’s work John had gotten in touch with Clampett who, hearing that John was going to be allowed to continue at Sheridan, told him to come to Hollywood, find a studio that needed people and to get a job and, more importantly, to earn while he learned.

John dropped by to let me know what he was doing. He gave me Bob Clampett’s telephone number. My programs were then on Sundays at Innis College in Toronto. That particular Sunday I went from 12 noon to 12 midnight to a total of twelve people. I decided that to get through the year I needed to do something new. When I got home I called Bob Clampett. I got his answering machine. The next morning Bob returned my call. He said, “Reg, I’d love to come to Toronto.”

Wow! My year was made.

The next Sunday I announced that Bob Clampett would be in Toronto for three days in the summer of 1979.

Well, my enthusiasm was not shared. One person after another said, “I am only interested in seeing the films.” Everyone advised me to cancel the event as so few were interested. But as I said, I do what I do to learn. I knew I could learn a lot from Bob (in fact, I truly had no idea just how much I would learn thanks to this man in whose debt I am forever in).

Faced with calling Bob and cancelling or finding a way over this hurdle I gave the matter a lot of thought.

A fellow named David Mruz in Minneapolis had created a fanzine titled MINDROT (The Journal Of Animated Cartoons). My friend Ron Hall had turned me on to David. I had sent David a ton of materials. He had given me a lifetime subscription. I decided to ignore Toronto and to go to the world. I bought a two page ad in MINDROT offering 200 animated cartoons over three days and the chance to meet Bob Clampett. (http://wrmilleronline.com/apatoons/apalegacy/).

To the fury of my uncle Douglas Hartt, who at the time was Director General of Public Works Canada, I had turned my back on government funding. One of the things I had noticed about too many people (not all) on government funding is that they have an attitude best summed up in the words, “they think their shit don’t stink.” As well, they are only interested in their friends. They don’t give a damn about other people.

I love the people I meet through my programs one of whom was, of course, John. As a result of our meeting the course of American animation was changed.

When the issue of MINDROT with my ad came out people responded from around the world. I had made the event by donation. I asked for $25 a day. If you did not have money you could help. I wanted as many people as could to meet Bob. Talent comes mainly from the ranks of the poor. I wanted the people who could not afford to pay money to be able to come.

My friend Jaan Pill, whom I had also met through my programs, said he would like to do a piece on Bob for a Canadian film journal. Jaan asked if he could audio record the event. I said, “Sure.” I tried to have Bob video recorded as well but that did not work out.

The event was a great success. CTV, one of Canada’s national television networks, had come on board. They bought the English language rights to Bob’s BEANY AND CECIL TV series (which Groucho Marx had described as the only children’s show on TV adult enough for him to let his kids  watch). The CBC bought the French version of Bob’s show. As well, Bob was given his only major television interview by CTV for the  JOYCE DAVIDSON SHOW (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joyce_Davidson, https://classictvhistory.wordpress.com/tag/joyce-davidson/). This interview is on a par with the one Dick Cavett did with animation director Chuck Jones and, as far as I know, the only TV interview Bob did that was worthy of him.

So, you see, by not seeking government money and by determining not to allow the lack of enthusiasm of others to stand in my way something very good was done.

The two most controversial animated cartoons made by Bob Clampett are COAL BLACK AN DE SEBBEN DWARFS and TIN PAN ALLEY CATS. Both were done in 1943. They are today almost impossible to see in good versions because they belong to a group of cartoons known as THE CENSORED ELEVEN (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censored_Eleven). When TV mogul Ted Turner bought the pre-1948 Warner Film Library from United Artists he asked Bill Cosby to vet the cartoons. Thanks to Cosby these films were and are held back from public view.

This is unfortunate because they are brilliant films.

Bob Clampett had gone to a Duke Ellington Concert at The Club Alabam (http://english89n.blogspot.ca/2007/10/orange-club-alabam.html) in Los Angeles. Talking with the musicians after the show Bob was asked, “Why isn’t Warner Brothers using us on cartoon soundtracks? Max Fleischer is. Walter Lantz is. Why isn’t Warner Brothers?”

Faced with that on the spot question most folks responded with the commitment less, “Here’s my card,” or “Call me.”

Bob said, “I don’t know why. If you fellows want to make a picture I will make one with you.”

Inspired by that year’s Broadway hit CARMEN JONES (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carmen_Jones_%28film%29) Bob decided to do a Black version of SNOW WHITE AND THE SEBBEN DWARFS. Originally the cartoon was titled SO WHITE AND DE SEBBEN DWARFS. Walt Disney called Leon Schlesinger, the producer of LOONEY TUNES and MERRIE MELODIES. He complained about the title saying folks might think Snow White had drifted so the title was changed from SO WHITE AND DE SEBBEN DWARFS to COAL BLACK AND DE SEBBEN DWARFS though in the picture the girl is called “So White.”

In the 1954 film version of CARMEN JONES Otto Preminger cast Dorothy Dandridge. In a prescient move Clampett commissioned Dandridge’s mother, Ruby, to voice the evil queen and her sister Vivian for the voice for So White. Drummer Leo (Zoot) Watson provided the Prince Chawmin’ voice originally intended for Louis Armstrong who got called away on tour (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leo_Watson, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vivian_Dandridge, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruby_Dandridge). Because Mel Blanc’s contract gave him sole voice credit of Warner Cartoons they and the many others who provided voices for Warner Cartoons were not credited (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warner_Bros._Cartoons).

Mel Blanc had asked Leon Schlesinger for a raise. Schlesinger loved to gamble but was penny wise and pound foolish in his cartoon production. When asked about making a feature after the success of Disney’s SNOW WHITE, Schlesinger said, “I need a feature like I need two belly buttons.” Leon’s motto was, “Let Disney make chicken salad and win prizes. I will make chicken shit and make money.” Shortly before his death Leon sold the studio to Warners for under two million. Disney won prizes and made money.

The Musicians union objected to the use of Black musicians on COAL BLACK as they did not belong to the union. Clampett fought the union.

How did Black people react to COAL BLACK?

Some Black Panthers who met with Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Bradley_(American_politician) were asked by the Mayor what they had done earlier that day. They said, “We went to a Bob Clampett animation festival.”

Said Mayor Bradley, “Bob Clampett? He made my favorite cartoon. I saw it in France during World War Two. It’s called COAL BLACK AND DE SEBBEN DWARFS.”

There is  a tendency mostly on the part of White and Black Academics today to condemn all these films as racist.

I have had a long association in Toronto with Chloe Onari who, with her husband Bill Smith, ran THE JAZZ AND BLUES CENTER which was the record store The Beatles, Mick Jagger and many others ordered Black music from. It was at that time the only record store in the world from which one could order Black Jazz music. Remember that America’s first original composer, Scott Joplin, was not allowed to join THE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF MUSICIANS. Why? Because they viewed his music as whore house music.

In addition to the record store Chloe and Bill also published Coda Magazine (http://www.coda1958.com/contact.php). They sponsored shows in Toronto (many to empty houses Toronto being at all times then and now too blase for its own good) and across Canada. The across Canada shows were always sold out. Chloe and Bill knew everybody. Everybody knew and loved them. They still do.

Ronn Mann’s 1981 film IMAGINE THE SOUND with Cecil Taylor was produced in conjunction with Bill and Chloe who spoke so unhappily of Mann that I turned down his request to be interviewed for Mann’s film on Rochdale College, DREAMTOWER). Seeing the finished product I am glad I did. Mann is conventional and mediocre, (http://ilovedocs.com/imagine-the-sound/, http://northern-spy.com/cecil-taylor-documentary-by-ron-mann-imagine-the-sound-1981-excerpt/, http://www.organissimo.org/forum/index.php?/topic/63809-imagine-the-sound-now-on-vod/).

Chloe had many times smoked pot with Louis Armstrong who was particular about whom he smoked pot with. Cecil Taylor has been a frequent visitor to her home. In fact, indirectly, Cecil Taylor is responsible for my Cineforum in Toronto. Chloe told me one day, “Cecil said the key to success in the arts is to find some place small in your own city where you can present your ideas on a regular basis without interference.”

The point of this elaborate interlude is that Chloe and Bill knew all of the musicians involved in the making of these great film works too many today label as racist.

These musicians were not Uncle Toms. They refused to involve themselves in anything no matter how much money they were offered that they felt demeaning to themselves and to Black people. Do not assume that because they smoked pot they lacked discernment. Marihuana heightens and enhances our perceptions enormously. In fact, it does it to such a degree that we can practically read the mind of a person we are talking with. As for LSD, well, until one night in September 1968 at Rochdale College I believed everything I had read and been told about it. After that I realized how blind and how deaf I was.

In a post attacking Clampett’s TIN PAN ALLEY CATS as racist on the site CARTOON RESEARCH that got yanked Keith Scott wrote,  “It’s all about perceptions, and on this we’ll just have to agree to disagree. I don’t see “golliwog,” even in Harman’s frog caricature cartoons … I only see well animated dance and a degree of caricature on, e.g., all the Calloway takeoffs. We are talking animation here, by “cartoonists,” so caricature is going to be part of the equation. And, yes, I’m highly aware of, and saddened by, the vile institutionalized colour bar in place in those times, Hollywood and a million other places. But consider the reactions by those in question: Louis Armstrong met Hugh Harman and told him he loved his caricature; Calloway was reportedly delighted with his cartoon-ization; Vivian Dandridge (the voice of So White) sent a very personal, handwritten letter of appreciation to Clampett two decades after the fact, in the Civil Rights 1960s; Scat Man Crothers told me at a recording session in 1984 that he and all his musician and actor friends loved the caricature pictures; Leroy Hurte of the Four Blackbirds vocal group (MGM and WB cartoons of the 30s) spoke in 1999 of his affection towards “the cartoon guys, who used us and loved us” and he was referring to events from sixty-plus years ago; Eddie Beal, the pianist/musical director of Clampett’s COAL BLACK and TIN PAN became personal friends with Clampett…Sody Clampett told me that Eddie and his brother used to go to dinner with the Clampetts all the way into the 1970s….there are more examples, but if the black performers and musicians took these films as the lighthearted entertainments they were intended to be, and voiced such affection years later for the “cartoon guys” like Clampett, then I cannot take the ultra serious debating here with anything except “we will always have differing opinions.” I am now going to leave this discussion as it is endless and ultimately pointless.”

Voices speaking against the prevailing view on the site that these films (Scott’s and others including my own) were dismissed as “angry grandpas.”

As far as I am concerned ageism is as intolerable as is racism.

Attacked for his view Scott wrote, “One final reaction. You guys dwell on this way too much…in your last comment you used the following: “purely speculative” – “it would seem” – “I don’t know…” – “difficult to imagine” and “might well have” (and if your last sentence is in any way accurate, then plainly and simply those young people you are depicting would have been, as much as you’ll not like reading this, wrong). Is this what 25 years of galloping correctness has wrought?”

The big concern is always the kids. How do these things affect kids?

My generation was the first generation brought up on television in the days when EVERYTHING aired. We were not harmed by them. Kids saw them in theaters when they were first shown. They were not harmed by them. When we later saw them in censored for television versions we were the first to notice something was missing. Today everything a kid can’t see on TV they can see on their computer. Deliberately pulling them from the air only makes them more desirable to see. I am saying the films themselves are not racist. I’ll never forget the day in high school when the English teacher asked me to read from my copy of MACBETH. As I did the rest of the class leafed through their copies trying to find the words I was reading. That was the day I discovered who Thomas Bowdler was for the class that day was not on Shakespeare but on Bowdler. It was forbidden to teachers to talk about Bowdler unless they were asked. Folks who say,”We gotta protect the kids” are cut from the same cloth as he was.

In his OF MICE AND MAGIC (which I can not too highly recommend) Leonard Maltin writes, “It takes one kind of talent to find new paths for established characters, bit it’s even more impressive to create whole new worlds within the framework of a six or seven minute cartoon. Clampett did both. Many independent animators have labored for years to create a short film as personal and unique as COAL BLACK which was just one of a dozen shorts Clampett had ion the assembly line in 1943.”

Michael Barrier’s exhaustive but never exhausting THE HOLLYWOOD CARTOON offers this; “In 1942, as in 1937, Clampett soon tilted the cartoons away from a literal, restrained style. “McKimson’s control became abrasive,” Clampett said, speaking of McKimson’s role as head animator, “it stopped any experimentation. I, in effect, knocked him out of that,” by freeing the unit’s other two experienced animators, Virgil Ross and Rod Scribner, from any duty to answer to McKimson. In this freer atmosphere, Clampett discovered Scribner’s hidden talents.

“Bill Melendez, who was Scribner’s assistant in the early forties, described him as “a tough little guy, kind of gristled, with beady blue eyes, and he had a funny grin all the time, kind of a crooked grin…. He was a fitting partner for Clampett, except that Rod was a little more down to earth, I thought, and perhaps not as creative as Clampett in the story sense. But a lot of fun to work with.” Clampett himself described Scribner as “a little mischievous elf” who harassed the Jones unit, in rooms directly below Clampett’s, by dropping “something like a manhole cover” on the floor to create a tremendous noise,’

“Scribner came to the Schlesinger studio soon after it opened. He was an assistant animator by 1935 and an animator for Avery by the late thirties. Like everyone else in the Avery unit, Scribner worked in McKimson’s shadow; his animation in the Avery cartoons has few distinctive contours. it was under Clampett, in an atmosphere more tolerant of idiosyncrasy, that Scribner flourished. He found ways, Melendez said, of “making the job a little fun and different.” He often animated in ink, with a pen or a brush—the sort of thing that could, and apparently did, create crises in the ink and paint department since Scribner’s drawings were, in Melendez’s words, “very bold and kind of dirty,” and the women transferring his drawings to cels had to choose which ink lines to trace.

“Clampett recalled that soon after he took over the Avery unit, Scribner proposed introducing a “Lichty style” of drawing into the cartoons. Scribner was referring to George Lichty, the newspaper cartoonist whose “Grin and Bear It” panel cartoons were masses of very loose and fluid lines that somehow added up to very lively and funny figures. Animation of such drawings would, if it caught the spirit of the drawings at all, necessarily be very loose and fluid too. “We studied it, and discussed what could be animated what couldn’t,” Clampett said. “And I told him, ‘Now, as we go along here I will try to find places that you can experiment and try some of these things that you have the urge to do.’ Then we’d come to a scene, and I’d say, ‘Okay, Lichty this a little.’ He would be so enthused.”

“This Lichty style asserted itself late in 1942 and early in 1943 in two Clampett cartoons: first in parts of A Tale of Ttvo Kitties, the cartoon that introduced the bird character Tweety, and then to stunning effect in Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs, with an all- black cast. In many of Scribner’s scenes in those cartoons, the characters are highly elastic, squirming like excited rubber bands; their bodies become wildly distorted, almost beyond recognition. A lot of this distortion is visible on the screen, but what is not clearly visible, because it occupies only a single frame of film, is even more spectacular.

“In the early thirties, animators’ extreme distortion of the body—as the characters did impossible things—had destroyed by illusion that the characters were real, but Scribner’s Lichty animation had the opposite effect: it made the characters more believable. It succeeded in part because Scribner could draw much better than most of the animators of the early thirties, but he more significant change was not in draftsmanship. The earlier animators and directors had imposed distortion on their characters for the sake of a gag; they worked from the outside in. Clampett took the opposite approach: he permitted Scribner to introduce distortion only when it could be seen as the expression of a character’s own powerful emotion—the stronger the emotion, the wider the range of acceptable distortion. When Prince Chawmin’ in Coal Black attempts to awaken So White with a kiss, his body writhes with incredible intensity, but Scribner’s animation is not simply wild—it registers an enormous variety of mental states as they flare through the Prince’s brain, everything from extreme overconfidence to frenzied determination to the blackest despair. The animation is both flamboyant and precise, revealing a tumultuous inner life.

“Coal Black is not so much a parody of Snow White And the Seven Dwarfs as a reversal of it; there is no hint of ridicule of the Disney film. The Queen, icily beautiful in Snow White, is in Clampett’s film an Amazon. Snow White,
demure, barely more than a child in the original, becomes So White, a sexy babe. Prince Charming becomes the zoot-suited Prince Chawmin’. COAL BLACK was released four months before Tex Avery’s RED HOT RIDING HOOD which also uses a fairy tale as a starting point and does not really parody it. But otherwise the two cartoons are strikingly different, especially in the way in which their characters are presented. When Avery’s wolf explodes in lust, it is not his passion that Avery shows—as Clampett shows the passion of his characters—but rather elaborations on the idea of lust, as if Avery were seeing how many metaphors for sexual desire he could find before he crossed the boundaries imposed by the Production Code. Avery’s cartoon may in fact be funnier than Clampett’s—at least on a first viewing—because Avery was a better builder of gags, but Clampett’s cartoon is far more exciting, because its emotional content is so much richer and because Clampett had so much keener a sense of how energy could be released through rapid changes in shape.

“Clampett took pains with Coal Black to the point of having Scribner draw a large number of styling sketches that were given to the animators in addition to the character layout drawings. Full-blown Lichty animation appears only in Scribner’s scenes, but the other animators gave to their animation some of the energy of Scribner’s drawings, so Scribner’s hand is visible everywhere, even when it is obvious that particular scenes were not animated by him. This combination—of Scribner’s unique animation, Clampett’s insight into how it could be used most effectively, and the other animators’ willingness to follow Scribner’s lead—produced extraordinary results. In Scribner’s animation, as in Bill Tytla’s, the line between “inner” and “outer” disappears; everything that is going on inside the characters is instantly visible. The characters in Coal Black were the first Warner characters to be fully alive, as the Disney characters were alive, but no one could confuse Clampett’s cartoon with a Disney film.

“The characters in Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs embodied a paradox because they originated in racial stereotypes—always a means of denying individuality rather than creating it. It was as if these abundantly alive creatures had no business being alive at all. They appeared, moreover, when such stereotypes were cresting in the Warner cartoons. Racial stereotypes had hardly been absent from the prewar cartoons: the Warner cartoons started with a stereotypical black character, Bosko himself. Jewish stereotypes popped up occasionally in the Harman-Ising and
Schlesinger Merrie Melodies (as one even did in Disney’s THREE LITTLE PIGS‘lIiHT, when the wolf disguises himself as a peddler), but theywere little more than casual reflections of the dialect humor that was a staple of vaudeville and radio. Likewise, the cartoons using black stereotypes were broad and bland. The characters in those cartoons ate watermelon and rolled dice and did everything that black stereotypes were supposed to do, but there was scarcely a hint that the people who made the films had ever paid much attention to real blacks. (African Americans held only menial jobs in the industry itself.)

“The wartime cartoons with racial stereotypes were much more pointed than their predecessors; here, as in other ways, the Warner animators brandished new skills. Some of the wartime stereotyping portrayed the Japanese enemy as jabbering, bucktoothed runts, but more of it was directed at African Americans. Black characters were now drawn and animated with a sharpness that reflected close observation; but that observation was of performers who themselves conformed to stereotypes. The Stepin Fetchit characters in Avery’s All This and Rabbit Stew (1941) and Chuck Jones’s Angel Puss (1944) are more like Fetchit than Fetchit himself. Fetchit is not caricatured in a way that suggests any criticism of his shuffling and mumbling; those characteristics are simply magnified for what is supposed to be comic effect, but reeks more of contempt (Avery’s Fetchit character was identified on the model sheet as “Tex’s Coon”).

“Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs—so seminal a cartoon in other ways—was also the only Warner cartoon of the World War II period to transcend its origins in racial stereotypes. Clampett traced his conception of the cartoon to a Duke Ellington revue, Jump for Joy, that enjoyed great success in Los Angeles after it opened in July 1941. He said that when he went backstage to meet the performers, “they said to me, ‘Why don’t you ever use us?” Out of that encounter grew visits to the studio by members of the cast, auditions for voices, and work on an all-black musical. Clampett went to a black nightclub, the Club Alabam, and later took his
animators there so that they could study the dancing.

“Coal Black’s characters snap and bounce continuously to bright and jazzy music; Clampett said that he wanted to have black musicians play the entire score, but management turned him down. A black trumpeter and drummer play when Price Chawmin’ is trying to awaken So White with a kiss otherwise the music was composed by Carl Stalling and played by the Warner Bros. orchestra. (Similarly, a few bits by a black trumpeter were permitted in Clampett’s Tin Pan Alley Cats, which he made a few months after Coal Black; the principal character is a cat mode led on Fats Wailer.)

“Clampett said that he invited the performers who came to the studio to criticize the story and the gags as they developed.23 It is impossible to know how free those performers felt to object to anything they found offensive, especially since they may have believed that jobs were riding on their opinions. (Several African American performers provided voices for Coal Black: Zoot Watson is Prince Chawmin’ and Vivian Dandridge is So White.) The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People cons idered the film insulting to African American soldiers—the Sebben Dwarfs are in uniform—and called upon Warner Bros. to withdraw it.

“Coal Black does not, however, contain a great deal of specifically racial elaboration on its basic idea of a reversal of Snow White. One of the dwarfs is a Fetchit character, and when Prince Chawmin’ flashes a brilliant smile, his two front teeth are dice and all his other teeth are gold. But other than that, the characters are comic exaggerations of the kind that one would expect in a cartoon, particularly one of Clampett’s. It is almost incidental that they are black. In contrast to the other wartime cartoons on racial themes, Coal Black bases its appeal not on the stereotypes themselves, but on the energy that Clampett poured into them in response to the energy he found in black dancers and musicians. It is a transforming energy; there is no way to read Coal Black as a commentary on racial stereotypes since it does not condemn them or endorse them, but it does, in the end, render them irrelevant.”

When he saw the budget overruns on COAL BLACK Leon Schlesinger was not happy. Clampett, wanting to do a follow and realizing he would have to cut cost to do so (as Chuck Jones would later do when he created two inexpensive COYOTE AND ROADRUNNER cartoons before and after the much more elaborate WHAT’S OPERA, DOC) brilliantly recycled the Wackyland trip sequence from his 1938, PORKY IN WACKYLAND this time in color to create TIN PAN ALLEY CATS (1943) in which a Fats Waller type cat replaces Porky.

This cartoon was the cause of an epic furor on the CARTOON RESEARCH site when myself and others spoke up for it. The main bone of contention was the wild exaggeration of Black musicians, in particular the lips, in TIN PAN ALLEY CATS but the hallucinatory nature of the scenes themselves cry out for exactly that style of wild distortion. There is nothing that can be perceived as remotely racist in them something lost on the majority of the commentators. This time Clampett was able to use more musicians on the soundtrack which is the work of Eddie Beal and his orchestra.

Wrote Keith Scott: “Sorry, I simply refuse to accept it’s all “minstrel”-based without some proof….Fats Waller, then a famous contemporary pianist-entertainer and hardly a minstrel figure, clearly inspired the lead cat, and Waller’s famous song, “What’s the Matter with Him”?, which the cat repeatedly says, is NOT minstrel dialogue, either. Waller was featured in the same year’s famous Fox feature film STORMY WEATHER, and some of the cartoon’s plotline, about the good vs. bad parts of a soul, are a takeoff on 1943’s other great all-black musical, Warner Bros.’s CABIN IN THE SKY. And how is the jazz playing trumpeter cat a “minstrel” figure?…rather it’s a caricature of a typical early ’40s zoot-suited Central Avenue musician, of which there were hundreds seen nightly throughout the war years if you travelled to S. Central L.A.’s club scene, as hundreds of non-blacks did to be royally entertained. Only the revivalist preacher & Salvation Army band could be argued to be (unintentionally) offensive. Yet a part of that, with the bass-voiced preacher, is a takeoff on an excellently acted all-black church revival scene in the 1940 Fox feature MARYLAND. Have any of the overly righteous contributors above read the two large historical books about Central Avenue and the whole L.A. African American jazz era (1920s-50s), which this cartoon mainly satirizes? The whole “send me outta this world” thing is based on a 30s novelty song about hot jazz music. To make the smug, self-satisfied sweeping statement that it’s all based on “minstrelsy” is arrogantly wrongheaded, and totally inaccurate, animation commentary for a page called Cartoon Research. Call me a bigot or whatever (even though I’m not), but FFS can we get onto a new topic. Or at least contribute some actual facts.”

After the post was completely deleted from CARTOON RESEARCH one fellow messaged me on FACEBOOK: “TIN PAN ALLEY CATS is racist as fuck through today’s lenses. Bob didn’t have a racist streak in him, (neither did Walt Disney) but he was a product of his times. It’s a weak cartoon either way, and certainly not one of his best efforts.”

I replied, “I’ll let Ruthie know you shot me down.”

He replied, “I’m sure she will be terribly concerned (and by “concerned” I mean not give a fuck) to know that some nobody guy on the internet voiced an opinion that upset a self-aggrandizing, pompous asshole. Go be an attention whore somewhere else.”

I replied. “If you had read the post you would realize that I have been a friend of the Clampett family since 1979. People do not invite a nobody to stay in their home.”

He shot back: “Good for you! I know lots of famous people myself. When I said a “nobody” I was referring to myself, and when I said “self-aggrandizing, pompous asshole” I was referring to you. I think you are confusing the terms of “racist” with “mean and degrading.” That the cartoon is not racist is your opinion and your opinion only. That you cannot seem to comprehend that fact is not my problem. I’ve seen it – it’s lazy and racist as all hell. But it’s not mean or malicious. That’s my opinion. As to Bob’s character, I don’t think he had a mean bone in his body.”

Well, at least we agree on one thing: Bob Clampett did not have a mean bone in his body.

And as I said at the start, Leonard Maltin and Jerry Beck may not like me. I don’t give a damn. I fucking love them.

I have been at this since around 6am this morning. It is now 11:35 am. That is enough for now. However this post will be continued.

Part Two: Standing Up To The Anonymice.

Preview of Uncalming Attractions:

January 10 at 10:39am • Like

William Cairns Jonathan, “Reg is clearly like Jesus and Ghandi combined, only better, so I think our continuing this with him is fruitless.”

This led me to create a web poster: Jesus and Ghandi 2 - Copy“REG HARTT IS LIKE JESUS AND GHANDI COMBINED…ONLY BETTER.”

A fellow named Cole Rothacker responded: “I like how a guy who thinks he’s better than Jesus and Ghandi combine is telling others they’re too full of themselves. I don’t care if you’re 70 or 7 years old, you seem like a pretty ignorant bastard to me.”

Edward Foy wrote: “Tell us about the time you explained the Theory of Relativity to Einstein again, Angry Grandpa.”

A friend looking at THE CARTOON RESEARCH before it was deleted wrote: “On so many threads I have read the same style of attacks, mis-interpretations, and passive-aggressive ( some not very passive) behaviours come through. The combination of poor comprehension skills and distance from face-to-face interactions ramps up the brew just below surface.”

Bonus, after all that, from the web, here they are. My personal copies of COAL BLACK and TIN PAN ALLEY CATS are waaaaaayyyyyy better than these. I’ll be showing them in February as part of a special program: FORBIDDEN FRUIT (The Best Kind) Love, Romance And Sex in Hollywood Cartoons From Betty Boop to Bugs Bunny. WARNING: This program will contain material deemed too much for television. Playing at THE CINEFORUM, 463 Bathurst Street, Toronto. Ontario, Canada.

Post Script: I have a huge archive of audio tapes and videos plus the publications I created from my events with Bob Clampett, Friz Freleng, Grim Natwick and Shamus Culhane. I thought serious students would want them. I have a few sets away free of charge to a few people but the rest sit on my shelf gathering dust. That’s okay. I did those events so that I could learn. That others do not want to is not my problem. Grim-Natwick-Letter-002 Grim-Natwick-Letter-001 Grim Natwick 001 Grim Natwick 004 Grim Natwick 003 Grim-Natwick-Betty-Boop

"Your son will learn moreabout film here than at any university in the world," I said to a mother this fall. I was not surprised when she said no. I was surprised when her son did. Some damn fine people speak highly of my work which is more than  can be said of the eunuchs who teach in academia.

“Your son will learn more about film here than at any university in the world,” I said to a mother this fall. I was not surprised when she said no. I was surprised when her son did. Some damn fine people speak highly of my work which is more than can be said of the eunuchs who teach in academia.

John Kricfalusi came to my programs at Innis College in the late 1970s. He was studying animation at Sheridan College. There his teachers showed him what they thought he should see. I showed him everything. Not only that I welcomed him into my life.

John Kricfalusi came to my programs at Innis College in the late 1970s. He was studying animation at Sheridan College. There his teachers showed him what they thought he should see. I showed him everything. Not only that I welcomed him into my life.