Curator and writer Kier-La Janisse (Blue Sunshine Film Center) has accumulated a terrific collection of cult cartoons from the 1970s, and we’re honoured to welcome her from Montreal to share some rare gems with us on celluloid. This programme is pure gold-dust, and it won’t be coming this way again. Highlights include:
Dir: Fred Wolf, USA 1971, 74min. 16mm (rare original telecast print!)
Dustin Hoffman narrates the famed animated feature dreamt up, written and produced by the late Harry Nilsson, based on his album of the same name and featuring the hit song “Me and My Arrow.” In a land where everyone and everything has a point, the birth of a pointless child throws the kingdom into an existential crisis that is temporarily resolved by banishing the youngster Oblio to the Pointless Forest with his pet (and accomplice) Arrow. On their journey, Oblio and Arrow meet a bizarre stable of characters, and discover that sometimes the most seemingly pointless things are the most integral to human existence. A treat for Nilsson aficionados and ’70s animation fans alike.
THE DEVIL AND DANIEL MOUSE
Dir: Clive Smith, Canada 1977, 25min. 16mm (uncut version not available on DVD)
Based on the classic folk tale The Devil and Daniel Webster (and by extension, Faust), this Halloween TV special relates the story of Dan and Jan, a folk-singing duo hard up for an audience and on the verge of starvation. Then Jan is offered the opportunity of a lifetime: a deal with the Devil (aka B.L. Zebub, agent to the stars) that will shoot her to the top of the charts overnight – as a solo act. She leaves Dan in the dust with barely a second thought as she is embraced on the world stage in her new incarnation as Funky Jan, with new backup band, The Animal Kingdom. But when B.L. comes to claim her soul, it is Dan who leaps to her defence. Full of amazing songs by John Sebastian, The Devil and Daniel Mouse is, in my opinion, the greatest and most emblematic Canadian film of all time.
…With many other surprises in store, and complementary cereal to boot.
Film notes by Kier-la Janisse.
The Devil and Daniel Mouse © 1978 Nelvana Limited, In Trust.