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ClassicEventsWarner Bros.

Bob Clampett Centennial Screening in Zurich

On Thursday, May 30, the Filmpodium Zurich in Switzerland will present a screening of nine Warner Bros. shorts directed by the legendary Bob Clampett. The show is being presented in honor of his centennial, which was earlier this month. Clampett’s work isn’t well known in Switzerland and the film lineup is a solid primer to his work:

  • Porky in Wackyland (1938)
  • A Tale of Two Kitties (1942)
  • A Corny Concerto (1943)
  • Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs (1943)
  • Draftee Daffy (1945)
  • Book Revue (1946)
  • Baby Bottleneck (1946)
  • Kitty Kornered (1946)
  • The Great Piggy Bank Robbery (1946)

Better yet, each film will be introduced by Swiss animator and historian Oswald Iten, who will discuss different facets of Clampett’s visual style. Iten runs one of my favorite animation blogs Colorful Animation Expressions, where he has recently been writing some fantastically informative posts about Clampett’s art. Ticket and screening details are available on the Filmpodium Zurich website.

  • First time I bothered to take a closer look at that still from Book Revue and I just had to laugh at what appears to be an article on Canada Dry attempting to start up bottling plants throughout the nation. Interesting I would never have noticed it until DVD’s came around to make such details clear to view! It kinda reminds me of what I sometimes see done in Japanese cartoons whenever they have to have some form of English or roman lettering appear in a scene like in a magazine and often it would be something unrelated to what is happening anyway simply because they didn’t expect anyone to ever read that anyway!

    • Veikko Suvanto

      One of the books in the background of this cartoon is called “The Invisible Man: A Biography of Robert Clampett”. I daresay that gag also went unnoticed (except maybe by a few aficionados) for nearly 60 years, i.e. until this short was released on DVD.

    • I know they used pages from The New Yorker in a background to some cartoon. I think it was in Book Revue.

      • Veikko Suvanto

        It’s possible that the page in the still above is from The New Yorker. However, there’s another WB cartoon that used The New Yorker for sure: Chuck Jones’s “My Little Duckaroo” (1954).

  • Veikko Suvanto

    That’s a great lineup, indeed – if “A Tale of Two Kitties” were replaced by “Horton Hatches the Egg”, it would be pretty much my personal top 9 of Clampett’s cartoons, too. Judging by the Filmpodium Zurich’s website, most of the cartoons will be shown in DVD copies, though there is something in 16mm, too (probably “Coal Black”), Still, if Zurich were a bit nearer to my current place of residence, I would definitely go there, if only to hear Mr. Iten talk. I’ve rarely seen Clampett’s work discussed as intelligently as on his website.

  • Oswald Iten

    Wow, thanks for the support, that is certainly more than I could expect!

    6 cartoons are shown in HD, 2 from DVD (Corny Concerto and Draftee Daffy) and Coal Black in 16mm.