Tag Archives: viewing diary 2019

Viewing Diary January 2019

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Shinbone Alley (1970), directed by John David Wilson

Don Marquis wrote a newspaper serial throughout the ’20s that became a Broadway musical in the ’50s, and the latter turned into this cheap cartoon a decade later. Its saga of cockroach Archy and kitty Mehitabel is strictly episodic. The bug dwells on his feline friend’s sex life as they loiter in trash cans. Sometimes they’ll sing tuneless ditties barely adapted from Marquis’s free verse. The voice work is strident, especially Carol Channing as Mehitabel. Interludes based on Archy’s poems venture into psychedelia with loops of pink and yellow. One highlight of the animation is an homage to¬†Krazy Kat artist George Herriman. But the bulk of the film is a hash of garbled misogyny. The stop-start pacing makes its hour and a half stretch into an eternity.

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