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CHARLES BOWERS

 

Charles Bowers is considered a genius of American silent film along with Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. Animation and slapstick short film director as well as advertiser, Charles Bowers animated and produced hundreds of films between 1912 and 1926 but it wasn’t until 1976 that he was “rediscovered” with the exhibition of three of his films at the Journées Internationales du Cinéma d'Animation at Annecy. Bowers’ work was entirely silent. His films showed an extraordinary filmmaker who mixed animation with the purest form of slapstick  where imagination transformed ordinary features of everyday life into fantastic scenes using the creative processes of surrealism.

 

In 1993, at the first Curtas Vila do Conde, we showed “ It’s a bird”, “A.W.O.L.” and “Wild Oysters”, the first these films were shown in Portugal. In 2001, and in collaboration with Cinemateca Portuguesa, the festival organised a retrospective of Bowers’ work. The short films included in the programme were presented as film-concerts and divided in two sessions, one that included  “It´s a bird”, “A wild roomer”, “Now you tell one” and “Egged on”, with music by Belle Chase Hotel, and another with the films “Fatal footstep”, “Many a slip”, “ He done his best” and, again,  “Now you tell one”, with music by Cool Hipnoise.