I'm a bit confused by the RKO connection, since the Kino notes
specifically designate the video series a "four-part tribute to the
Paramount musical shorts." Perhaps the article will clarify the issue.
On Thu, 26 Mar 1998 [log in to unmask] wrote:
> Both Murphy's *Black and Tan Fantasy* and his Bessie Smith short,
> *St. Louis Blues,* are mesmerizing. A discussion of Murphy's film work
> can be found in William Moritz, "Americans in Paris," in Jan-Christopher
> Horak, *Lovers of Cinema: The First American Film Avant-Garde, 1919-1945,*
> 118-136. Moritz states the shorts were RKO releases, which may well be,
> since I believe they were part of a series of musical short subjects made
> to promote RCA's new variable-area sound recording system, although, as I
> recall, *Black and Tan Fantasy* contains animation that looks very
> Fleischeresque, which would be the Paramount connection. I doubt
> Paramount would have released through RKO!
> Moritz's chapter gives a good overview of the career of Murphy,
> who was *definitely* an interesting dude, creating music videos forty
> years before music videos.
> William Lafferty, PhD
> Department of Theatre Arts
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> Wright State University office (937) 775-4581 or
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> The universe was once conceived almost as a vast preserve, landscaped
> for heroes, plotted to provide them the appropriate adventures. The rules
> were known and respected, the adversaries honorable, the oracles articulate
> and precise as the directives of a six-lane parkway. Errors of weakness or
> vanity led, with measured momentum, to the tragedy which resolved
> everything. Today, the rules are ambiguous, the adversary is concealed in
> aliases, the oracles broadcast a babble of contradictions.
> --- Maya Deren, from her notes for *At Land*
> Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite
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