The World’s First Cartoon: Fantasmagorie (1908)

  • On the 17th of August 1908, Fantasmagorie, the first fully animated feature film was released in Paris by the Gaumont company. Created by Emile Cohl, Fantasmagorie is considered one of the masterpieces of animated cinema and of early cinema as a whole. Done in a white-on-black style, reminiscent of a film negative, the film broke with the realist tradition emerging in live action at the time. It was much more stylized and fantastic, in some ways anticipating the surrealist movement of later decades.
    https://artlark.org/2016/08/17/fantasmagorie-the-first-ever-cartoon/

Cecil B. DeMille: Born August 12, 1881

“If 1,000 years from now, archaeologists happen to dig beneath the sands of Guadalupe, I hope they will not rush into print with the amazing news that Egyptian civilization, far from being confined to the valley of the Nile, extended all the way to the Pacific coast of North America.”  ~”The Autobiography of Cecil B. DeMille,” 1959

So why did DeMille choose to bulldoze his set, rather than truck it back to Los Angeles?
“I think there were two things were going on,” Brosnan said, starting with DeMille’s pledge to leave the site as he’d found it. “Hauling away all that statuary would have been very expensive … so I think he pulled a fast one and buried it.”
In addition, he said, “(DeMille) knew that if he left it standing … the very next day somebody would be there filming a quickie on his set and they’d be on the streets with it in a few weeks. He was protecting his patent by taking it down.”
http://www.kcet.org/arts/artbound/counties/santa-barbara/cecil-b-demill-ten-commandments-excavation-nipomo-dunes.html

California Historical Society: Stills from “The Ten Commandments” 1923
Lost City of DeMille is a 1923 Film Set Buried in the Dunes
Cecil B. Demille’s biography

Pressing On: The Letterpress Film

The modern world was born on a printing press. Once essential to communication, the 500-year-old process is now in danger of being lost as its caretakers age. From self-proclaimed basement hoarders to the famed Hatch Show Print, Pressing On: The Letterpress Film explores the question: why has letterpress survived in a digital age?

Worlds of each character emerge as unusual narratives—joyful, mournful, reflective and visionary—are punctuated with on-screen visual poetry, every shot meticulously composed. Captivating personalities blend with wood, metal and type as young printers strive to save this historic process in a film created for the designer, type nerd, historian and collector in us all.

 

via Pressing On: The Letterpress Film

http://www.printmag.com/design-inspiration/the-letterpress-journals-guardians-of-the-craft/

July 20, 1969: One Giant Leap For Mankind

https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/apollo/apollo11.html

Apollo 11 Image Gallery~ http://history.nasa.gov/ap11ann/kippsphotos/apollo.html
Photos from December 1969 issue of National Geographic~
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/1969/12/moon-landing/moon-photography

The Moon in paintings and art~ http://www.popastro.com/moonwatch/moon_guide/art3.php
Moon in Painting~ http://www.artistsandart.org/2009/07/moon-in-painting.html
Moon Paintings of China and Japan~ https://owlcation.com/humanities/moon-paintings

Max Fleischer: Born July 19, 1883

In 1900 Max began to work as an errand boy at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. By 1904 he was a staff artist.MF2 In 1905 he married his childhood sweetheart, Essie Gold; they had two children. After he left the Eagle, Max briefly did artwork for two companies and then became art editor of Popular Science Monthly in 1914. There his childhood interest in mechanical matters was reignited.

In fact, it was a mechanical problem that pulled Max Fleischer into the field of animation. Early animation was frequently very choppy. Max theorized that if live-action footage were traced, frame by frame, fluid motion could be achieved. He enlisted the help of his brothers Dave and Joe, and the three developed the Rotoscope, a camera mounted under a piece of frosted glass with a crank to advance the film, so each frame could be traced.

MF1It took the brothers a week to build the Rotoscope, but it was a full year before they finished their first cartoon. Dave donned a clown suit, and Max and Joe filmed him. Then they traced the clown on the Rotoscope. Work on the cartoon was completed in 1916, and a patent for the Rotoscope came through a year later.
http://anb.org/articles/20/20-01567.html

The Fleischers put popular, modern music at the center of many of their films, building entire cartoons around jazz legends such as Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong and Don Redman. These cartoons often featured the Fleischers’ signature MF3combination of live action and animation; in fact the earliest known footage of Cab Calloway in performance can be seen in the Fleischer classic Minnie the Moocher.

In 1929 the Studio made a major agreement with Paramount that would allow Paramount to distribute all Fleischer films. That same year the Studio changed its name to ‘Fleischer Studios.’
http://www.fleischerstudios.com/history.html


OUT OF THE INKWELL compilation~  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERprYNMQPhM
Max Fleischer NEWS SKETCHES compilation~ https://archive.org/details/max_fleischer_news_sketches
Lambiek Comiclopedia~  https://www.lambiek.net/artists/f/fleischer_max.htm

July 14, 1916~ The Dada Manifesto

Richard Boix. Da-da (New York Dada Group). 1921. Ink on paper. 11 1/4″ x 14 1/2″ (28.6 x 36.8 cm)
Museum of Modern Art / Katherine S. Dreier Bequest

On July 14, 1916, the poet Hugo Ball proclaimed the manifesto for a new movement. Its name: Dada. Its aim: to “get rid of everything that smacks of journalism, worms, everything nice and right, blinkered, moralistic, europeanised, enervated.” This aim could be achieved simply by saying: “Dada.”

Dada~ Born February 5, 1916            100th anniversary of DADA~

  Max Ernst. Murdering Airplane. 1920. Collage. 2 1/2” x 5 1/2” (6.35 cm × 13.97 cm). Private collection.

Rube Goldberg: Born July 4, 1883


Learn more~ https://www.rubegoldberg.com/about/
http://www.rube-goldberg.com/wiki/

[Rube Goldberg’s] father…convinced Rube to study Engineering at the School of Mining Engineering at UC Berkeley. He went on to graduate from UC Berkeley with a degree in Engineering in 1904.

After graduation, Rube Goldberg took on a position designing sewer pipes for the San Francisco Water and Sewers Department…he lasted six months. Rube Goldberg followed his passion and began to shift gears to pursue his previous dreams and pursue a career as a cartoonist.

Rube Goldberg made an important observation. In his eyes, many people seemed to be solving simple problems with overly complex contraptions. This…was his main inspiration for the “Inventions!” series. The most famous of which has come to be known as the Rube Goldberg Machine.

Rube Goldberg is the only cartoonist to be listed in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as an actual adjective. The phrase “Rube Goldberg” has been adopted into common use to mean “doing something simple in a very complicated way that is not necessary”.
http://interestingengineering.com/rube-goldberg-the-man-behind-the-worlds-craziest-machines/

May 19~

Pete Townshend (1945)

art: John Entwistle
bio: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/artists/pete-townshend/biography
video: https://youtu.be/slhQOjMHaDY

 

Grace Jones (1948)
art: Keith Haring
photographed by Robert Mapplethorpe
bio: http://www.allmusic.com/artist/grace-jones-mn0000161920/biography
video: https://youtu.be/EMypXV1YJfw