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How The Eye Functions (1941)

20 Mar
Director  Karl Kurt Bosse
Producer  Knowledge Builders Films
Contributors  Supervision of McRory Studios
Length  12 minutes
B&W/Color  Black and White
UO Library Catalog description:  Illustrates the functions of the various parts of the eye and explains focal adjustment. Includes animated drawings.
Call #  FILM Ma2
Genre  Instructional
Rare  Yes
Online   Yes
Copyright status  Public Domain
Physical condition  Fair
Oregon-related  No

Notes:

A classroom film from the 1940’s, How The Eye Functions is a short, partially animated feature that explores the intricacies of the human eye, including the machinations of the cornea, iris, retina, and tear ducts. It explains concepts such as focal adjustment and eye rotation. The film features sound and music, opening with an overture of “The Blue Danube.”

John Law and the Mississippi Bubble (1978)

16 Mar
Director Richard Condie
Producer Producer: Jerry Krepakevich; National Film Board of Canada production
Contributors Research and Story: Sharon Condie; Animation: Sharon Condie, Richard Condie, and Gordon Manson; Script and Narration: Stanley Jackson; Music: Patrick Godfrey; Sound and Sound editing: William Eakin; Editing: Ken Page
Length 10 minutes
B&W/Color Color
UO Library Catalog description: A humorous, animated treatment of Scottish financier John Law’s ill-fated plan to develop the Mississippi River valley. Shows the fallacy of exchanging gold for paper money at a highly inflated rate and draws a parallel between Law’s problems in the eighteenth century and present economic ills.
Call # FILM Ma206
Genre Animated, Government Sponsored, Educational
Rare No
Online Yes
Copyright status Protected
Physical condition Fair
Oregon-related No

Notes:

Richard Condie directed a number of short animated films for the National Film Board of Canada, you can watch all of his films made for NFBC on their website. Condie’s films were largely intended for high school aged students to adults.

His filmography demonstrates the  progression of animation technology from his first film for NFBC, John Law and the Mississippi Bubble (1978) to his most recent, La Salla (1996), that uses computer generated imagery to produce the quirky animated style seen throughout Condie’s work (La Salla has won man awards and earned an Oscar nomination).

Fiddle-De-Dee (1947)

16 Mar
Director Norman McLaren
Producer The National Film Board of Canada, International Film Bureau Ltd
Contributors Eugène Desormeaux
Length 4 minutes
B&W/Color Color
UO Library Catalog description: A sparkling visual interpretation of “Listen to the Mockingbird” as played by an old-time fiddler [Eugène Desormeaux]. Painting directly on the film, Norman McLaren translated sound into sight, creating this humorous gambol
Call # Film Ma59
Genre Experimental
Rare No
Online Yes
Copyright status Protected
Physical condition  Poor
Oregon-related  No

Notes:

As the catalog notes, Nomran McLaren did not use a camera to make this film. McLaren was a pioneer in experimental film and used a variety of unconventional techniques when it came to his shorts and animations. Here he draws directly on the film, creating a very interesting menagerie of imagery. McLaren won an Academy Award in 1952 for his short Neighbours , an anti-war film, in which he used pixilation (live action stop motion) and created the soundtrack by scratching at the edge of the film. McLaren’s films have won many awards, all around the world. McLaren was born in Scotland, where he made numerous films while still in school. Later he moved to the Americas where he eventually would sign on as a director for The National Film Board of Canada. It is there that through his abstract techniques that he would become a revered man in the experimental film world.

Children are Creative (1953)

16 Mar
Director  Frank Bach
Producer  Central Washington College of Education
Contributors  Don Fenton (Cartoonist), Harley Jones (Photography), Nancy Ross (Editing)
Length  11 min
B&W/Color  Color
UO Library Catalog description:  “Uses animated cartoons to illustrate outmoded teaching methods and suggest the adoption of four principles: motivation, orientation, creation and finished product.”
Call # Ma90
Genre  Instructional
Rare  Yes
Online  No
Copyright status  No
Physical condition  Deteriorating
Oregon-related  No

Notes:

The director of this film Frank Bach produced many educational, instructive, and theme-
based films on the fine arts, which were used in schools and universities
throughout North America.

Blowhard (1978)

15 Mar
Director Brad Caslor & Christopher Hinton
Producer Jerry Krepakevich
Contributors National Film Board of Canada
Length 10 minutes
B&W/Color Color
UO Library Catalog description: A humorous story about a community of dragons, satirizing the world’s foolish mismanagement and unprincipled manipulation of oil supplies. Designed to encourage discussion of energy conservation.
Call # Ma204
Genre animation
Rare No
Online Yes
Copyright status ©1978 National Film Board of Canada
Physical condition Poor
Oregon-related No

Notes:

The animator for Blowhard, Christopher Hinton, was nominated twice for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, for Nibbles (2003) and Blackfly (1991), a National Film Board of Canada production.

Watch Christopher Hinton’s films!

Blowhard

Nibbles

Blackfly

The Sensory World (1971)

15 Mar
Director Unknown
Producer Tom Lazarus
Contributors CRM ProductionsMcGraw-Hill Films

Editor: James D. Young

Length 33 minutes
B&W/Color Color
UO Library Catalog description: An animated film, which shows a voyage through the human body to demonstrate the operation of the senses. Includes experiments showing sensory phenomena and confusion.
Call # Mc200
Genre animation, instructional
Rare No (available on VHS)
Online No
Copyright status Public Domain
Physical condition Fair; several splices, pink tinge
Oregon-related No

Notes:

Tom Lazarus began his filmmaking career as a writer, director, and producer of educational and business films. His awards from that time include over two dozen international film festival awards and honors including Best Educational Film of the Year at the San Francisco Film Festival.

Lazarus then wrote for TV. He was a staff writer/producer for such shows as “Jake and the Fatman”, “Stingray”, and “War of the Worlds”.

Cosmic Zoom (1968)

14 Feb
Director Eva Szasz
Producer The National Film Board of Canada & Joe and Wolf Koenig. Distributed by McGraw-Hill in the US
Contributors Animation camera: Raymond Dumas, Wayne Trickett, James Wislon.
Length 8
B&W/Color Color
UO Library Catalog description: Uses the camera device of the zoom to give an idea of the immeasurable vastness of space and the ultimate minuteness of matter
Call # Film Ma190
Genre Instructional
Rare No
Online Yes
Copyright status Protected
Physical condition  Fair
Oregon-related  No

Notes:

Cosmic Zoom is  a very popular instructional short. Since it’s release in Canada it has been shown in classrooms all over the world. It received awards from groups and festivals in Germany, Italy, Argentina, Spain and the USA. In the US it was released in partnership with McGraw-Hill and intended for students from elementary school all the way up to college. Quite a span. You can watch the film multiple places for free online, or you can buy a DVD copy of it through the National Film Board of Canada.

Frank Film (1973)

14 Feb
Director  Frank Mouris
Producer  Pyramid Films
Contributors  Caroline Mouris
Length  9 minutes
B&W/Color  Color
UO Library Catalog description:  Combines animated sequences with two narrative sound tracks to create a series of complex, moving patterns which satirize contemporary middle-class life.
Call # FILM Ma209
Genre  Experimental, Animated
Rare  No
Online  Yes
Copyright status  Protected
Physical condition  Fair
Oregon-related  No

Notes:

Frank Mouris is an experimental filmmaker.

In 1974 Frank Film won the Academy Award for Best Short Subject, Animated Film. In 1996 the film was selected for preservation in the US National Film Registry.

University of Oregon’s library copy of “Frank Film” is in fairly good condition in 16mm format. The film is warped and has signs of emulsion degradation (pink tinge), but overall it runs well through the projector making it an enjoyable experience to watch this film on it’s original format (a side note, it is rare to find “Frank Film” on 16mm).

 

 

Winsor McCay, America’s Greatest Cartoonist, And Gertie (1970)

21 Dec
Director   Winsor McCay
Producer   Blackhawk Films (restoration)
Contributors   Winsor McCay, George McManus, Roy McCardell
Length   22 min
B&W/Color   b&w
UO Library Catalog description:  Winsor McCay, America’s greatest cartoonist, and Gertie (1909): Based on the vaudeville novelty, with McCay supplying onstage commentary and sound effects, this version uses live action and animation. Gertie the dinosaur (1914?): Gertie the dinosaur eats trees, interacts with McCay, and surveys her surroundings. Origially released as various versions of combination live action and animated motion picture shorts circa 1909-1914.
Call # FILM Ma164
Genre  animation
Rare  yes
Online  yes; Internet Archive (Gertie)
Copyright status  public domain
Physical condition  good
Oregon-related  no

Notes:

This is actually in Super-8, not 16mm. 300+ libraries own the DVD Winsor McCay: The Master Edition, which collects his work. It may seem slightly egotistical to direct a film whose title dubs you “America’s Greatest Cartoonist,” but as both the creator of Little Nemo and a major pioneer of film animation, he was probably just being honest; he drew each frame of the film on paper, as cel animation had not been invented yet. The Gertie vaudeville tour involved lectures, live cartooning, and then a showing of the film in which McCay would interact with the dinosaur in a manner similar to a lion tamer. At the end, he disappeared behind a screen as an animated version of himself entered the film and rode away on Gertie’s head. Originally released 1914.

Neighbors (1952)

19 Dec
Director  Norman McLaren
Producer   National Film Board of Canada; released in the US by International Film Bureau
Contributors   Producer and Sound Animator, Norman McLaren; photographer, Wolf Koenig; sound mixing, Clarke Daprato. Cast: Jean-Paul Ladouceur, Grant Munro.
Length   9 min
B&W/Color   color
UO Library Catalog description:  A parable about two people who, after living side by side in mutual friendliness and respect, come to blows over the possession of a flower that one day grows where their properties meet.
Call # FILM Ma134
Genre  animation
Rare  no
Online  yes; Google Video
Copyright status  protected
Physical condition  fair
Oregon-related  no

Notes:

Availability on Norman McLaren: The Master’s Edition DVD setwhich includes all of his films. Original title has English or Canadian “u” in title. Landmark, Oscar-winning (Documentary Short Subject) pixilated (and partially stop-motion animated) film.

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