Birdstravaganza - Fine Feathered Films - Thur. April 17 - 8PM

Oddball Films and curator Kat Shuchter bring you Birdstravaganza - Fine Feathered Films with a lineup of the best birds in showbiz featuring international animation, mini-docs, circus birds and bird-centric shorts from the 30s-80s.  From the quirky to the creepy, campy to classic, these feathered films are sure to delight. Behold the marvelous spectacle of parakeets riding bicycles and tightrope walking in the vibrantly colored Bird Circus (1950s) In the utterly charming Czech rarity Queer Birds (1965), the cutest pair of best bird friends you'll ever see must team up to fight off an oppressive black cat (and dance around to the radio). Live kiddos chat with animated birds about the all-seeing bird network that knows our every move in the Tiny Tot cartoon A Little Bird Told Me (1934). Edgar Allen Poe's tale of grief and loss The Raven (1978) is beautifully translated to the screen through the optical printing of Gustav Dore's haunting engravings. From Hungary comes The Blackbird (1979) the bizarre live action tale of a bird wreaking havoc on a whole house and its inhabitants (including the dog). The Academy Award nominated Italian animation The Thieving Magpie (1967) tells of another bird in revolt, this time against its hunters and set to Rossini's classic overture.  Daffy Duck noirs it up with a feathered femme fatale in Robert McKimson's Super Snooper (1952).  The San Diego Chicken gives us a lesson in Chickenomics (1985).  Forget falconry, discover how to train eagles to hunt for lizards with wonder-bird Aguila in the super-rare Daniel and Julie Mannix with their Eagles (1940s). And learn all about the fascinating science of bird navigation in Bird Brain (1974) which will be double-projected with 1950s Kodachrome mini-docs Five Colorful Birds, Birds that Eat Flesh and another high-flying carnival, Parakeet Party. Everything will be screened on 16mm film from the archive and we've got even more surprises under our wing for the early birds!

Date: Thursday, April 17th, 2014 at 8:00pm
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to or (415) 558-8117

Highlights Include:

Queer Birds (B+W, 1967) 

From KRÁTKÝ FILM PRAHA a.s., the Czech company that produced animated, cartoon and puppet films from directors like Jiří Trnka, Jan Švankmajer, Karel Zeman comes Queer Birds, a bizarre cold war tale of a black cat and two terrorized birds. The film features a brilliant and innovative pre electronic music score. One of the top animated films in the Oddball archives!  

Bird Circus (Color, 1950s) 
In this antique aviary gem, a flock of exotic birds display their mastery at a number of circus tricks. From riding bicycles, to tightrope walking to a spectacular miniature carnival of whirling parakeets, this technicolor dream is sure to dazzle and delight.

A Little Bird Told Me (B+W, 1934)
Official Films' Tiny Tots series blended live action children with cartoons.  A couple of youngsters  are discussing the title phrase when an animated bird flies up to set them straight about the bird network of spies that apparently are more omnipresent than Big Brother (or Big Data in these times).  

The Raven (Color, 1978)        

A look at this elegant, experimental animation, directed by Lewis Jacobs, will breathe new life into Poe's classic deathful tale, editing Gustave Dore's 19th century engravings to stunning effect, with brilliant near-psychedelic coloring and an appropriately somber voice-over reading of the poem.

The Blackbird (Color, 1979)
Bizarre live-action, wordless film from the Budapest Filmstudio in Hungary- a mischievous blackbird gets out of his cage and wreaks havoc on the dog, the room, the mail, the desk, and a little sleeping boy.  Revenge for the 4 and 20 blackbirds baked in a pie!!

The Thieving Magpie (Color, 1967)
In this Italian animation, three kings who tire of war turn to recreational bird hunting, sweeping the skies with barrages of arrows, and sending countless birds plummeting to their demise.  One wily magpie, however, manages to evade the kings and, in turn, terrorize them with his antics, eventually amassing an army of bird troops to avenge themselves against the killer kings.  Directed by Emmanuelle Luzatti, this film received an Academy Award nomination. 

The Super Snooper (Robert McKimson, 1952, Color)

Hard-Boiled Raymond Chandler Style Toon Action! Private Eye Daffy Duck turns up at the scene of the crime, only to have his every wacky effort to gather clues thwarted by a copper-haired femme fatale. Could this temptress be the guilty party?

Chickenomics (Color, 1985, excerpt) 
Originally created as an educational video by WRI, “Chickenomics” is a hilarious tale of economic survival by an overgrown chicken that does not want to be dinner. Instead, he makes a name for himself doing what he does best, entertaining people as the mascot for big league baseball. It is a fine lesson in market economy and a trip down retro road.  

Bird Brain: Bird Navigation (Color, 1974) 
This rare film shows scientists charting the course of bird migration. After years of wondering where birds go on their migrations, scientists attach a transmitter to a bird and are wowed by the results. See their control panels, waveform monitors, maps, and watch birds in flight. Learn about carrier pigeons, and the future of bird migration studies.

Curator’s Biography
Kat Shuchter is a graduate of UC Berkeley in Film Studies. She is a filmmaker, artist and esoteric film hoarder.  She has helped program shows at the PFA, The Nuart and Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theater and was crowned “Found Footage Queen” of Los Angeles, 2009.

About Oddball Films
Oddball films is the film component of Oddball Film+Video, a stock footage company providing offbeat and unusual film footage for feature films like Milk, documentaries like The Summer of Love, television programs like Mythbusters, clips for Boing Boing and web projects around the world.

Our films are almost exclusively drawn from our collection of over 50,000 16mm prints of animation, commercials, educational films, feature films, movie trailers, medical, industrial military, news out-takes and every genre in between. We’re actively working to present rarely screened genres of cinema as well as avant-garde and ethno-cultural documentaries, which expand the boundaries of cinema. Oddball Films is the largest film archive in Northern California and one of the most unusual private collections in the US. We invite you to join us in our weekly offerings of offbeat cinema.