OLD MOVIES AND CARTOONS

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I’ll be spending the next five days (as I do every Labor Day) over at Cinecon 42 based at both the Hollywood Renaissance Hotel (at Hollywood & Highland) and the Egyptian Theatre down the block. The dealers room opens at noon, the films start at 7:00pm (the first film to be screened will be a gorgeous 35mm print of the Columbia Screen Gems cartoon Flora). CINECON is a five day marathon of movies dating dating from 1915 up to 1959, highlighting restored prints of rare films not on DVD or TV. The small attendence always seems to hover around 300-400 people. It’s like a private little club of really intense film buffs. The screenings start at 9am and go to midnight the next several days. Films range from Scrappy cartoons to Ozzie Nelson B-musicals, serial chapters, shorts, documentaries… even a rare Ernie Kovacs color TV special.If you can’t make it to Cinecon this weekend, the next best thing is being glued to Turner Classic Movies. In addition to their weekly series Cartoon Alley, they are running an hour of Chuck Jones cartoons on Monday Sept. 4th at 12:30pm EST/ 9:30PST, vintage Dick Cavett interviews with Woody Allen (Sept. 14th) and Mel Brooks (Sept. 7th), and a whole day of theatrical live action shorts (Sept. 15th).On Monday September 25th TCM is running a film I’ve been trying to see for the past 20 years, Over The Goal. Here’s why I want to see it: this is the film which features the song “As Easy As Rolling Off A Log”. This song is heard in the 1938 Merrie Melodies cartoon KATNIP KOLLEGE, but was written for OVER THE GOAL. GOAL features Johnnie “Scat” Davis and Mabel Todd in the cast, and it is their voices heard singing the song in KATNIP KOLLEGE. In fact I’m certain the much of the sountrack of KATNIP KOLLEGE is cobbled together from various Warner Bros. feature films. KATNIP KOLLEGE itself is an unusual cartoon for the Schlesinger cartoon unit at that time. There must be a story behind it that hasn’t been told. Seeing this film will answer some questions I’ve had for a long time. I’m sure it isn’t a very good film, but it’s been beyond my reach for two decades! Thank you, TCM!