Sunday, October 07, 2012

Striking a New Note children's cinema concert: We Faw Down

WE FAW DOWN (We Slip Up) (M-G-M, US 1928). D: Leo McCarey; P: Hal Roach; intertitles: H.M. Walker; DP: George Stevens, John MacBurnie (op.), E.V. White (asst. op.); ED: Richard C. Currier; ass. D: ? Scott; prop master: Harry Black; C: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Vivien Oakland (Mrs. Ollie), Bess Flowers (Mrs. Stan), Kay Deslys (Kay), Vera White (Vera), George Kotsonaros (“One-Round” Kelly); DVD, 20'20"; source: Cinemazero, Pordenone. Teatro Verdi, Le Giornate del Cinema Muto, Pordenone, with e-subtitles in Italian, 7 Oct 2012.

Accompagnamento musicale/Musical accompaniment:
Orchestra della Scuola Media Centro Storico di Pordenone
Direzione/Conductor: Maria Luisa Sogaro
Flauto traverso/Transverse flute: Andrea Magris
Flauti dolci soprani e tenori/Soprano and tenor recorders: Giulio
Favot, Matteo Munini, Kwabena Owusu Ansah, Tommaso Piccolo,
Claudio Romano, Margherita Romano, Alessio Zane
Glockenspiel soprano/Soprano glockenspiel: Annalisa Parisi
Glockenspiel contralto/Alto glockenspiel: Daria Ianni
Chitarre/Guitars: Andrea Peressin, Emanuele Savoia
Xilofono soprano/Soprano xylophone: Marta Bordugo
Xilofoni contralti/Alto xylophones: Angela Tardio, Alessia Di Rosa
Xilofono basso/Bass xylophone: Sara Mozzon
Pianoforte/Piano: Irene Cannizzaro
Rumoristi/Sound effects: Giorgia Basile, Anna Costa, Giovanni Lutman,
Anna Mutuale, Piergiorgio Rossi

David Robinson: "As ever seeking an excuse to escape their demanding wives for a poker game, the boys invent a date with their boss at the Orpheum Theatre. They are agreeably distracted by a pair of flighty ladies, but trouble brews when one of the girls’ jealous boxer lover “One-Round” Kelly catches them, at the same time as their wives hear that the Orpheum is ablaze."

"This was the first Laurel and Hardy comedy directed by Leo McCarey: previously he had guided the team’s development as “supervisor”. The wonderful establishing sequence in Liberty in which Stan and Ollie search the city for a quiet corner to exchange trousers was originally shot for this film, but was cut out for reasons of length: the actual footage shot was used for the later film – McCarey’s second with the team. YouTube has a 40-minute “reconstitution” of We Faw Down, incorporating these scenenes, uploaded in 4 parts by “HickoryHiram73” in October 2010. The film’s ending inspired the finale of Blockheads, while the story was extended for Sons of the Desert."

"The film has generally been known by its original release title, We Faw Down, but this is now widely replaced by the more readily comprehensible We Slip Up. It was originally released with the option of Vitaphone sound on disc, with effects and a compilation score by William Axt and Sol Levy." – DAVID ROBINSON

AA: The house was packed for the cinema concert performed by an orchestra of children from Scuola Media Centro Storico (Pordenone). An experience of pure joy, the children's music striking notes of affinity with the dimension of childhood in the characters of Laurel and Hardy. We Faw Down happens to be a Laurel and Hardy movie that I do not know so well, having seen it maybe only once before, so this was for me the best experience of the brilliant comedy. Laurel and Hardy at their best. The story is funny, but the marvel of the movie is in the incredible sets of reactions of the buddies to the embarrassing situations they find themselves in. The story is pretty grown-up with gambling, drinking, gangsters and bad women, but grown-ups and children see different things in it. The scene where Stan tries to convey to Oliver via pantomime the variety programme of the Orpheum Theatre brings to mind Pass the Gravy. Dvd quality is for me acceptable in a project like this.

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