Friday, October 20, 2006

Oct 20 7 pm - Animated films at National Archives

Tonight at 7 pm at the National Archives at 7th and Constitution, NW, films from Selling Democracy - Films of the Marshall Plan, 1948-1953 will be shown for free. Two are cartoons:

Shoemaker and the Hatter, The* A prize-winning cartoon made by the same husband and wife team that later turned Orwell’s Animal Farm into a classic of animated storytelling. Two neighbors, a shoemaker and a hatter, argue about how best to recover their livelihoods after the war. The hatter believes in producing few hats at a high profit per hat, protected by tariff. The shoemaker sees the need for lots of shoes. He wants to lower their cost through mass production and make his profit through export and free trade. After many adventures, the shoemaker eventually proves that free trade can bring prosperity to them both. Since the free trade vs. protectionism argument is still in today’s headlines, the film is as fresh as ever. One of the most popular Marshall Plan films, it was shown in eleven language versions in movie houses throughout Western Europe. Produced by John Halas and Joy Batchelor Ltd, London, for ECA, supervised by Philip Stapp. 16 min, 1950.

Without Fear. This British-made animated film addresses Europe’s condition five years after the war, and speculates about the continent’s future. Hemsing stated that anyone seeking insights into the Europeans’ hopes, fears and emotions during the period of the Cold War would find this flawed, but powerful, film revealing. Even as the world grows smaller, Europe remains split. West Europeans can either heed the siren song from the East — unity but without liberty — or work for a more prosperous, more just society. The preachy narration is matched by the strong images—a tide of Technicolor red engulfing all of Europe. Students of propaganda technique will be well rewarded. Director Peter Sachs, script Allan Mackinnon, production supervision Philip Stapp, W. M. Larkins Studio, with Producers Guild, London, for ECA. Color, 15 min, 1951.

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