Hello again Cartoon Researchers! As an animation historian, my work is seemingly never done. There are always discoveries to be made–whether it be searching ancient copyright records for obscure information or following film collector leads to find and access yet another unavailable early cartoon. Showing the films in my collection has also been immensely important to me, so I’m back to tell you about a couple upcoming New York City-area screenings of mine that you should definitely not miss.
First, I’m proud to announce that my ongoing Cartoon Carnival series will be adding a new venue to its repertoire–the lovely Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Nitehawk is an esteemed exhibitor of all kinds of independent fare, though it is also known for a most unique aspect. All seats in the theater have a small table in front of them, plus a wait staff, so you can order food (and adult beverages!) right from your seat.
I’m hoping many of you in the NYC area can attend my first screening at Nitehawk. The Tom Stathes Cartoon Carnival #17, “School Bells,” will be at Nitehawk this coming Monday, September 30th, at 7:30pm. I’ll be showing a nice handful of cartoons from the 1910s to the 1940s, all of which take place in a school setting, deal with classic literature or are otherwise educational in some fashion. The show always features real, vintage 16mm prints straight from my personal collection, and I always mix classic favorites together with very obscure, bizarre, and extremely rare subjects.
Highlights will include an early Bobby Bumps cartoon, the weird and wonderful Skinny & Husky at Coney Island (it shows you why you must drink milk!) as well a true oddity that I’m sure even my most seasoned historian colleagues don’t know about…an early 1930s Audio-Cinema subject directed by Seymour Kneitel (Fleischer Studios, etc) and Francis Lyle Goldman (Bray Studios, etc). This film involves a live-action man talking on a telephone in his office, while drawing a cartoon character on his notepad. Our cartoon friend emerges from the paper, and takes interest in the man’s telephone. We then see, in glorious stop-motion, all the pieces of the telephone coming apart, marching around, and putting themselves back together. All of this is done without any spoken word or intertitles to explain the visuals. A real oddity that will be shown directly from the approximately 70-year old print. And the true rarity of this show is what, you ask? That would be Aladdin’s Vamp, the obscure 1926 cartoon marking Hugh Harman’s and Rudy Ising’s directorial debut (with assitance from Ub Iwerks) which was produced for their shortlived “Arabian Nights Cartoons” series. This cartoon, made by the team as a moonlighting project while the Disney studio was shut down for a couple of weeks, has been extremely difficult to see over the decades. Now’s your chance to see it on the silver screen!
Simply put, you cannot miss this special screening. Seating begins at 7:00pm; arrive early to guarantee a seat. Nitehawk event page for theater and ticket info here.
In the meantime, I will also be screening a selection of family-friendly favorites from the 1930s and 1940s in Sunnyside Gardens, Queens this coming Saturday, September 28th. This fun event, called Flicks in the Garden, has always delighted local children and adults alike. My 16mm screenings usually attract audiences in the 20s to 60s age range, and it has been really rewarding to see massive crowds of young children at this series sitting and watching classic cartoons and being captivated by them! Come on out to Queens and enjoy Flicks as well…event information can be found here.
That’s all for now. If you appreciate animation history and live in the area, please come out in support of keeping this art form in the public eye. I look forward to seeing many of you there, and I’ll be back on Cartoon Research again later with more news about my work and further screenings. Thanks everyone!