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June 24, 2009 11:14 PM   Subscribe

Artheme Swallows his Clarinet is a rather bizarre short film from 1912.

Blatant padding: Twice a year, film archivist and preservationist Serge Bromberg (Lobster Films) presents a selection of shorts from the early years of cinema while providing accompaniment on the piano. This year, the Retour de Flamme fest is July 13. Can't make it to Paris? There are DVD collections, or you could watch a few more clips: Balloonland, The Fireman of the Follies Bergere (nsfw), and Le Cochon danseur (previously).
posted by hydrophonic (10 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
That was no swallowing. That was an impaling.
Really, really fun short, hydrophonic. Fine post!
posted by heyho at 11:24 PM on June 24, 2009

That's a rather misleading title, but I suppose 'Arthème Gets His Clarinet Driven Through His Brain' wouldn't have gone down so well.
posted by tellurian at 11:29 PM on June 24, 2009

Those movers are pretty callous assholes.

Kidding aside, those four minutes made my night.
posted by Partario at 11:35 PM on June 24, 2009

Due to some sort of glitch(?), I didn't see the other three shorts when I first clicked on this post. Glad I refreshed and noticed them; they're really awesome. Le Cochon danseur was just freaky as hell! I'll be seeing that pig as I go to sleep tonight, I'm certain.

I admit to not being able to stomach the balloon short. I have a weird relationships with balloons that I really shouldn't go into here.
posted by heyho at 11:42 PM on June 24, 2009

This was apparently from the Saved From The Flames DVD collection (if not also found on other compilation DVDs), digitally restored by Serge Bromberg, and featuring a score by Mont Alto's Rodney Sauer and clarinetist Brian Collins (source).
posted by filthy light thief at 12:14 AM on June 25, 2009

Ah, you linked to the Saved from the Flames DVD collection. Bother.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:15 AM on June 25, 2009

I'm sending it to my clarinetist friends, of whom I strangely have quite a few-- four, actually. The night before last, one of them was fulminating against pianos and violins, (imagine thick foreign accent): "Piano, piano, piano, that is all people want. They make too much of it. Oh, and violin. Big deal! There are other instruments, you know! Bah!" (And there are other pieces of clarinet music besides Mozart's clarinet concerto, although you wouldn't know it.)

This film is timelessly good, and the physical comedy is executed with great professional elan. Shows you how good the musical hall comedians of Paris probably were (two years after this: WWI).
posted by Faze at 5:49 AM on June 25, 2009

Artheme and the fireman were charming. The pincushion man and that lascivious pig freak me out a little bit.
posted by Shohn at 6:14 AM on June 25, 2009

Phineas Gage with a clarinet, superb.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 6:52 AM on June 25, 2009

That was great!
posted by ob at 8:38 AM on June 25, 2009

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