Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Danse Macabre Filmstrip (1963)



A re-post from 2013:

For Halloween, here's something haunting that I remember watching in music class in late elementary school, around the same time I discovered D&D (1982). It's a 1963 educational filmstrip with fantastic watercolors by Harold Dexter Hoopes, set to the eerie music of Danse Macabre by Saint-Saens. It was unavailable on the web until a few years ago but now there are multiple versions on YouTube, one of which has better colors but includes a loud "filmstrip advance" beep throughout. There isn't much info available on the internet about the artist Hoopes. There was even a blog dedicated to restoring the individual frames of this filmstrip but it seems to have stalled out at frame 20.

There's also a later second edition of the filmstrip done in the mid-80s with art by David Prebenna, later an illustrator of Sesame Street/Muppet toddler books. It's cartoony and less haunting, but also worth watching.

Memories of this filmstrip led me to include "Danse Macabre" in my One Hit Point Monsters.

Happy All Hallow's Evening!

2 comments:

  1. My elementary school music teacher had a little illustrated "party" of undead creatures, with skeletons, ghosts and pumpkins, with each monsterling representing a particular recurring theme so as to sort of map out the entire piece visually in a doodled grave-yard.

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  2. I seem to recall a short called Dance Macabre that was done by one of the Raimi brothers that ended up in or redone for one of the Evil Dead movies.

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