Sunday, December 6, 2009

And suddenly Lars Von Trier has made the second craziest thing named Dogville

So the YMD massive was in full force at 169 Bar last night (they have pretty dope dumplings now), and as the Road Warrior finished playing on one of their televisions, this came on. It's one of a series of shorts released by MGM in the late 20s and early 30s and it changed the mood of the our corner from Happy to HappyOMGWTF.

The Dogville Shorts are short film parodies of contemporary genres and stories (other entries include Who Killed Rover? and So Quiet on the Canine Front) with casts made up entirely of dogs dressed as humans and dubbed with human voices. The dogs shave, gamble, play football; they even work video cameras. This is just such an incredibly bizarre example of early-ish studio cinema, trying out something very silly because why the hell not, maybe it'll work. The effect of seeing it out of nowhere last night was so shocking that I didn't even consider until today that, in their own ways, things like Homeward Bound and G-Force might line up with a lineage started with this movie (not that the Dogville Shorts were the first things to ever anthropomorphize animals, obvi).

But these shorts are just too crazy. They would never be done today by a major studio, for many reasons including the advent of CGI and improvement in standards of animal treatment. But, at the same time, looking at this on my computer screen now, they seem to fit so well as a potential YouTube sensation that, had any of my friends heard of them, I would assume I was just behind on part of the internet's ever rotating meme cycle. Weird, wild stuff.

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