Saturday, January 10, 2015

Briefs for January 10-11, 2015

Producer Samuel Goldwyn Jr. died yesterday at the age of 88 Goldwyn Jr. wasn't a studio mogul like his father, so the list of films he produced is rather shorter, but ranging from the 1950s through last year's version of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Goldwyn Jr. was an Oscar nominee, because of the rules that the Best Picture nominees are technically to the producers of the film. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, which he co-produced in 2003, was nominated for Best Picture.

TCM's schedule for the next 24 hours or so is filled with Traveltalks, two of which I think I haven't seen before. This includes the first of the shorts to be filmed in Technicolor, Holland in Tulip Time from 1934. That one comes on about 5:50 AM tomorrow, or in the middle of the night overnight if you're on the west coast. One year later, James FitzPatrick visited Japan and produced a couple of shorts, including Cherry Blossom Time in Japan, which comes about 8:12 AM, following Maytime (6:00 AM, 132 min). Also interesting, and somewhat sad, is Glacier Park and Waterton Lakes, tomorrow afternoon at 1:45 PM. This last short was released in 1942, when FitzPatrick was stuck in the Americas thanks to that war going on, and focuses on the pair of national parks that straddle the US-Canadian border. It's interesting to see the park as it was in 1942 when it would have been a plaything of the rich, and a bit sad to see the border so open, considering what the authorities have done since September 11, 2001.

For those who want a short other than the Traveltalks shorts, there's a Pete Smith short coming up called Anaesthesia at 11:48 AM tomorrow. The history of anaesthesia is an interesting one, and something that would probably make an interesting movie. Read up on ether frolics as an example. Indeed, the 1944 movie The Great Moment starring Joel McCrea tells the story of William Mortan, the Boston dentist who tried to introduce ether as a viable anaesthetic. Don't expect such erudition from a Pete Smith short, however.

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