Sunday, April 26, 2015

Next Short / Portraits in Sibling Rivalry: The Clown's Little Brother (1920)

...hmm!  Wonder if this guy's related to Max FleiScher!  Anyway... oh, I keep forgetting.  There's no 'S' in Cyrillic.  And... damn.  I almost wish I didn't watch that documentary on the DVD, because of a little thematic detail they mentioned about The Clown's Little Brother.  I probably wouldn't have been able to guess it anyway because, like Barton Fink, when it comes to something I'm rooting for, I tend not to think about its metaphorical implications... no interest, eh?  Well, just for that, I'm not even going to tell you what it is!  How do you like them apples?
Now, sure, you might say that this is just another entry in a serial series, but the thing you gotta remember about the Fleischers is that they always seem to give 110% percent in these things, when it comes to creativity and ingenuity, and the sheer sweat and tears it must've taken their team to put everything together.  And there's even a little bit of a "wow" factor in terms of visuals.  In case you don't guess what it is, Max runs out of ink and washes out his pen in a jar of water.  The ink trails hanging there in the water spin around and morph into Koko, their trademark clown.  I'm still scratching my head over how they pulled that off.  Why, I'll bet even Bob Zemeckis might take some time to figure it out!
As for plotting, well... screenwriters take note, because even the Fleischers figured out that when you've got the seemingly tiny universe of Max and Koko, duking it out between the real world and Koko's world of the white canvas, you just have to bring new characters into the mix.  In this case, it's a teeny kitten that arrives via the "mail"!  Awwwww.....  And sure, the scene where the cat is batting Koko around, it might not have that "wow" factor today, but you gotta admire the effort.  And so, the approach of Terry Gilliam's Monty Python animation was born.  Quite early!  Go figure.  As for which brother is represented by which clown, well... I'm guessing Max is Koko, and Dave is the shorter guy.  I'd be very surprised if they did the actual posing for the rotoscoped footage, though.

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

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