Volume for the retrospective 1994, dedicated to Frank Tashlin
Editor: Locarno Festival, British Film Institute, Éditions Yellow Now
Frank Tashlin (1913-1972) was a unique figure in Hollywood cinema. He was a syndicated cartoonist, animation director at the major studios, scriptwriter for the Marx Brothers and Bob Hope, radio and TV director, and author of an exceptional series of illustrated books beginning with The Bear That Wasn't.
As a Hollywood comedy film director from the late 1940s onwards, Tashlin was a major transitional figure, the link between the screwball comedies of Hawks and Sturges, and the modern comedy film. His post-war America is a land where the image is reality (advertising in Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?), attitude is more important than talent (the rock'n'roll classic, The Girl Can't Help It), and all roads lead to Hollywood (the ultimate road movie Hollywood or Bust). He brought slapstick to the post-war sound comedy with Bob Hope in Son of Paleface, and directed Martin and Lewis in their classic, Artists and Models. He directed Jerry Lewis solo in six films and worked with many other stars including Bing Crosby, Doris Day, Danny Kaye, Tony Randall and Terry-Thomas.
In the 1950s, Tashlin's films impressed the French critics from Positif and Cahiers du cinema. Jean-Luc Godard coined the term "tashlinesque" and the influence lives on, from Alphaville to Passion, and in Rivette's Celine et Julie vont en bateau. Tashlin's influence can also be seen in Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
This book, prepared on the occasion of the Tashlin retrospective (Festival internazionale del film Locarno, 1994) includes essays and interviews by American, British, Belgian and French writers; Tashlin's own articles and papers; an extensive bio-filmography and many rare illustrations and photographs, some published for the first time.
Edited by Roger Garcia and Bernard Eisenschitz. With contributions from Peter Bogdanovich, David Ehrenstein, Bernard Eisenschitz, Greg Ford, Roger Garcia, J. Hoberman, Bill Krohn, Dirk Lauwaert, Mark Rappaport, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Noël Simsolo, Robert Sklar, Peter Wollen.