Bringing Up Baby. One of the all-time great screwball comedies. Cary Grant plays a sort of shy paleontologist. But he does, as Katherine Hepburn, a rich young New York thing put it, "look awfully handsome with your glasses off." Kate and Cary spend two hours chasing Baby, Kate's baby leopard, and George, her dog, though Kate of course is on the prowl for bigger game. Howard Hawks directed this refreshingly irrelevant lunacy.
Rosemary's Baby. This Polanski effort, made back when Mia Farrow was still Big Frank's wife, is simply awful film fare. The case of the beautiful young actor's wife who bears the child of the devil, with the aid of the creepy people downstairs and tanin leaves, is just boring--the sense of horror builds so slowly the movie passes like a bad dream. Farrow gives a jittery, flittery performance; I leave it to you to place the blame--can she act, or is it merely what she has to work with? This film goes over like a brain tumor--avoid at all costs.
Puppet Animation. A collection of hilarious, historic, satirical and sinister animated works, most of which are undiscovered masterpieces of the genre of pixillation, or single-framing. Beginning with pioneering ventures like Ladislas Starevitch's 1912 Revenge of the Kinemagraphic Cameraman (a silent starring two beetles, a dragonfly and a grasshopper) this fifth program in Center Screen's Animation Series covers chronologically such spoofs as Jiri Trnka's Song of the Prairie, 1949 (a spaghetti Western complete with an operatic cowboy) and concludes with the surrealistic Jabberwocky of Jan Svank-majer, a sinister turn of the screw on a Carrollian child-world of Victorian dolls. Included are some landmarks in the medium: Wills O'Brien's Creation, a test film that sold his talents to the producers of King Kong, and Birth of the Robot, a 1936 advertisement for Shell Oil, with perhaps unintentional subtleties. Technical masterpieces, these films are never simplistic, but alternately funny and, oddly, frightening.