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Daily Viewing. David Cairns's "Pensive Crackle"

"It starts quite funny, and slowly turns bleaker and bleaker."
The Daily

"Here's a recently discovered experimental film from 1929, A Theatrical Hotel on 46th St, New York also known as Pensive Crackle," wrote David Cairns at his Shadowplay the other day. "It uses the particular quality of the early soundtrack, that 'warm bath of audio hiss' Guy Maddin has spoken of, with its accompanying soft crackle and bump, as an atmospheric effect, and lets it gradually seep into the onscreen characters, poisoning them as surely as a diet of gunpowder and wasp venom. It starts quite funny, and slowly turns bleaker and bleaker."

The date of that post: April 1. Today at the Chiseler, David notes that "a lot of people said nice things about the film, and I couldn't tell if they knew it was me and were playing along, or were genuinely taken in. There was no way to ask without seeming like the gullible one — I was hoisted by my own April Fool's petard." He then segues into a straight-up serious review of Harry Beaumont's The Broadway Melody (1929).

Also fresh at the Chiseler: Imogen Smith on Fats Waller and William Charles Morrow on Mervyn LeRoy's High Pressure (1932).

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