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Saturday, April 13, 2013


The Year's Happiest Holiday Returns

Slapsticon returns at a new location in Bloomington, Indiana, June 27-30, 2013, the Indiana University Cinema said to be a best venue yet for unspooling of rare comedies from the silent and early talking era (detailed info here). The Biddle Hotel is primary accommodation for attendees (other nice hotels are also nearby) and is located right on the IU campus. Access to the movies is a most convenient ever for Slapsticon, the Biddle within easy walking distance of all showings. What makes Slapsticon unique is its film selection. Virtually everything they program is unattainable (so far) on DVD or television. So much of classic comedy is out of circulation for one reason or another. Slapsticon knows whereabouts of such treasure, thanks to a network of collectors who support and supply the festival. There are attractions here you'll not encounter whatever length or breadth of searching; to have so many tendered within a space of days amounts to feast beyond dreams of even a most seasoned cine-enthusiast.


There are comedians both obscure and familiar. For each Marx Brother, there are multiple Musty Suffers, Smiling Billy Masons, Paddy McGuires, names perhaps not well known, but well worth knowing. Even lifelong fans experience but a tip of classic comedy's iceberg. What Slapsticon does is chip below recognition's waterline to find bounty long neglected but deserving of encore. What a surprise when comedies unseen for generations wake up and howl to fresh viewership. Visual humor is timeless, and what generated laughs a hundred years ago can handily do so again. That's been demonstrated time and time again at Slapsticon. I'm gratified to see old favorites like Lloyd Hamilton, Larry Semon, and Lupino Lane represented on the schedule, their stuff as sure fire as higher-profiles easier accessed on discs and cable. Here then is magic formula of Slapsticon: expect the unexpected and know you're in for a welter of happy surprises over a long weekend of comedic revelation. You'll come away having had good times not to be found elsewhere, Slapsticon the summer's laughin' place for humor served tasty and rare.

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