Trained as an architect at the Budapest Academy of the Arts, Hungarian filmmaker George Pal had trouble securing work in his chosen profession in the late 1920s; to keep food on the table, he designed “art” subtitles for silent films. At the Berlin studios of UFA in 1931, Pal began designing sets, then cultivated an interest in stop-motion animation. Moving to Holland in 1933, Pal produced a group of animated puppet shorts for Phillips Radio of Holland. Reportedly, Pal’s European career was cut short when he had the temerity to produce an anti-fascist allegorical short. Pal arrived in the U.S. in 1939 to lecture at Columbia University, where he was approached by representatives of Paramount Pictures, who were interested in releasing a series of Pal-produced animated one-reelers. Beginning in 1940, Pal was responsible for the Puppettoons series (also known as Madcap Marionettes), a lucrative property that won the producer a special Oscar in 1943. Seen today, the Puppetoons remain dazzling… read more
One oft he few times when the mobilisation of all available Hollywood trickery really resulted in something like movie-magic. The antiquated physicality of the FX only plays to their charms. Rod Taylor proves to be an adequate emotional performer, but he demonstrates great physical presence.
If you've been keeping up with their terrific series on Agnès Varda, you'll probably already be aware that something alarming and wonderful