Animation Artifacts &Art Art &UPA 31 Aug 2006 07:36 am

Raoul Dufy

- I’m saddened to learn of Ed Benedict‘s death. Cartoon Brew gives a number of resources to view some of the man’s work and learn about some of his accomplishments. It’s worth a visit to get a sample of his accomplishments. Though I didn’t know him, I’ve been enormously affected by his work.

– Last week I made reference to Aurelius Battaglia’s UPA short, The Invisible Moustache of Raoul Dufy. The film was produced in 1955 and celebrates the life and art of Raoul Dufy.
It was part of the first season of The Gerald McBoing Boing Show, a short lived series on CBS, Sundays at 5:30. This show featured three short films (most done especially for the TV show) with a wrap-around bit featuring Gerald. The Invisible Moustache of Raoul Dufy was one of these shorts.
(Click to enlarge any image.)

Walking in Paris, about 20 years ago, I stumbled upon Dufy’s immense mural La fée électricité, which was commissioned by the Compagnie Parisienne de Distribution d’Electricité. It was in the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Only on seeing this enormous work was I able to really grasp the notion of the film, which I’d seen as a child. I was taken with the technical expertise Dufy utilized to paint the work so quickly. He used a special painting medium created by a chemist and a projection system that allowed him to paint directly over images of his sketches. For the viewer, it’s the immense size of the piece that is so monumental. The colors literally glow around you in the somewhat darkened room.

The film, on the otherhand, seems to exist only in grayed colors. I have a 16mm print which came new, and the colors seemed faded. The vhs copy I have is no better. The delicate script is still quite lovely, but one is always wishing Dufy’s colors could come through.

I’ve posted a number of frame grabs to give an indication of the film, but I urge you to view the reconstructed mural the next time you’re in Paris. (Perhaps a side-trip from Annecy.)

6 Responses to “Raoul Dufy”

  1. on 31 Aug 2006 at 2:24 pm 1.Ward said …

    Thanks for all the images to this movie, Michael! Man, I’d love to see this move. It’s nice to see Battaglia’s character stylings remain intact for a short film. This is wonderful.

  2. on 02 Sep 2006 at 10:43 am 2.Tom Sito said …

    Wonderful posting, Mike.

    On the topic of Ed Benedicts passing, a reader started a funny thread on Oscar Grillos site. He asked ” Are you a Wilma man or a Betty man?”
    With Betty’ s husband exhibiting such a latently gay fixation for his neighbor, I’ll bet Betty is a real Desperate Housewife. Va Va Voom!

  3. on 11 Sep 2006 at 8:52 pm 3.Tom Minton said …

    Are you certain that print of “The Invisible Moustache of Raoul Dufy” isn’t faded Eastmancolor? Most of the stuff made expressly for television in the fifties and early 60′s was not shot in 3 strip Tech.

  4. on 12 Sep 2006 at 9:00 am 4.Michael said …

    Actually, I’m not sure of the colors. I don’t remember ever seeing it in the brilliant colors I imagined it should have. The first time I saw it had to have been the McBoing Boing show in B&W, but I don’t remember it. Every version after, seemed muted.

  5. on 02 Feb 2007 at 5:41 pm 5.Sarah said …

    My children have a compilation DVD of old cartoons – from a company called Digiview Entertainment – and this film is on it. It was so great, so different from Porky Pig and Herald Mouse, I had to look it up.

    I love this blog -

  6. on 11 Apr 2008 at 6:24 pm 6.Mike Kazaleh said …

    The McBoing Boing show was shot in Technicolor. There were however Eastman prints made for the “UPA Cartoon Parade” package of shorts. The Cartoon parade versions had the titles replaced with generic versions(to remove CBS from the copyrights) and in some cases had voice-overs added where there were none.

    Battaglia did a few other shorts for the show including “The Beanstalk Trial” and “Persistant MR. Fulton”. “Invisble Moustache” is probably his best one.

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