#264) Frank Film (1973)

mouris_frank-film

#264) Frank Film (1973)

OR “The F Words”

Directed by Frank & Caroline Mouris

Written by Frank Mouris

Class of 1996

The Plot: Animator Frank Mouris narrates his life story while at the same time a second recording plays of Frank delivering a stream-of-consciousness series of words, most of them beginning with F. As both recordings play, a split-second barrage of found images associated with the narrations flash across the screen. Co-directed by his wife Caroline, and featuring a soundtrack by Tony Schwartz, Frank Mouris found a way to make people actually want to hear your life story.

Why It Matters: The NFR gives a synopsis and mentions the film’s standing as an Oscar winner, and that’s it.

But Does It Really?: Oh alright, but just barely. Watching it will give you a bit of a headache, but “Frank Film” is entertaining and just as worthy of NFR recognition as any of the other crazy shorts on this list.

Shout Outs: A brief mention is made to “Frankenstein” with Boris Karloff’s version of the monster making a quick appearance.

Everybody Gets One: Everything you need to know about Frank Mouris he tells you in the movie. Composer Tony Schwartz’s best known work is his contribution to the Lyndon Johnson “Daisy” campaign ad.

Wow, That’s Dated: Are collages dated? I feel like the art of gathering photos and rearranging them as art has gone digital.

Seriously, Oscars?: “Frank Film” is one of only six Best Animated Short Oscar winners to appear on the NFR. Due to Oscar eligibility guidelines of the time, only Frank received the award, and I’m sure Caroline never let him hear the end of that.

Other notes

  • Did Frank know he needed the visuals to spice up his story?
  • During one of the film’s alliterative runs, Frank says “Phi Beta Kappa”. Foul!
  • This is one of the few movies to correctly predict its own Oscar win.
  • I just still can’t get over the fact that one man collected all of these photos. There must be thousands in this short alone. Well, I guess everyone has a hobby. Some people cut out magazine photos, some people blog about their movie-watching experience…

Legacy/Further Viewing

  • Frank and Caroline Mouris have made several animated shorts together, including the 1998 follow-up “Frankly Caroline”.

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