The Perpetual Three-Dot Column
The Perpetual Three-Dot Column
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by Jesse Walker

Tuesday, November 16, 2004
SILENT SURREALIST SERENADE:

There It Is (Harold L. Muller, 1928): This 19-minute gem stars the great
Charley Bowers, who also wrote the film and was responsible for the animated sequences. To my surprise and pleasure, Turner Classic Movies aired it late Sunday night. I had watched it once before, about a decade ago, and had despaired of ever seeing the short again -- it wasn't even included in the recent Bowers DVD set.

The plot involves a Scottish detective and a haunted house, but the plot is beside the point. Bowers was a homegrown surrealist whose films feel like lost collaborations between Buster Keaton and Jan Svankmayer; the story takes a back seat to the gags, and the gags take a back seat to sheer madness.

If you missed the broadcast, don't despair: The film is available in the new More Treasures from American Film Archives DVD set, available at better video stores and hopefully, one day, from Netflix.


posted by Jesse 2:03 PM
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