Monthly Archives: August 2006

The Endearing Charms of Friz Freleng

My contribution to the Friz Freleng blog-a-thon organised by Brian of Hell on Frisco Bay.

Let’s deal with the hard part up front and get it of the way. Friz Freleng will always suffer by comparison with his more prodigiously gifted colleagues: Tex Avery, Bob Clampett, and Chuck Jones. I’m not going to shy away from the fact that he wasn’t as good as those three illustrious directors. But that’s okay. Avery, Clampett and Jones are pretty far clear of the pack when it comes to the great Hollywood cartoon directors. Noting that Freleng wasn’t their equal doesn’t get you anywhere: it’s just what happens when you make comparisons to the incomparable. Freleng deserves to be acknowledged for what he did, not downplayed because of the exceptional company he kept.

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MIFF Week Two

My second week at the Melbourne International Film Festival saw far fewer films. I was never planning too see as many in the second week, but a couple I had planned to see fell by the wayside. Haivng not been that impressed by The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema, I couldn’t get that interested in Zizek, a film about Lacanian theorist Slavoj Zizek (and besides, that was the night Essendon beat the Lions). However, I did regret that circumstances meant I missed The Host, a Korean creature feature that I had been looking forward to greatly. So in the end, week two amounted to a measly two films.

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MIFF Week One

We’re about halfway through the Melbourne International Film Festival now, and my own experience has been only average. This isn’t a reflection on the festival: it’s just the way the cards have fallen in the vast lucky dip that happens when you have to choose from a range of movies before the usual pre-release buzz. (It’s a little frightening to realise how much you rely on distributors and the media to direct your viewing).

My experience so far has been of several middling films, one good one, and one really wretched one. Which is probably a strike-rate reflecting the overall quality of any given sample of movies. But I do hope the second week throws me up something really excellent. But here’s what I’ve seen so far.

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