Krasl Art Center and the Coastline Children’s Film Festival (CCFF) combine forces for Flick or Treat! 

Head to KAC in St. Joseph on Friday, October 13 at 6:30 pm and enjoy projected silent films with a recorded piano accompaniment from Dr. Larry Schanker on KAC’s grounds. Pull up a blanket, enjoy popcorn, coffee or hot cocoa from Red Arrow Roasters, and experience classic films projected on Krasl Art Center’s building, starting at 7:30 pm. A $2 suggested donation supports CCFF and KAC collaborations.

Flick or Treat 2023 is underwritten by the Virginia & Harvey Kimmel Family Foundation.
This activity is supported by the Michigan Arts and Culture Council, The Pokagon Fund,
and the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo.


From 6:30 – 7:30 pm, paint your own pumpkin at KAC as part of our monthly Family Days. This event will be outdoors, so dress according to the weather and also dress for mess! Leave your pumpkins outside to dry and help us decorate our grounds, for the film screening at 7:30 pm

2023 FILMS

The Monster/Le Monstre. 1903 (2:30 miN)

The Monster fits neatly into the European craze for all things Egyptian, as well as the cinematic tradition of trying to recover one’s long-lost love. Echoes of the film can be felt in movies down to this day, even if the filmmakers themselves are unaware of the source.

Felix the Cat Switches Witches. 1927, USA (7 min)  

Felix the Cat is a funny animal cartoon character created in the silent film era. An anthropomorphic black cat with white eyes, a black body, and a giant grin, he is one of the most recognized cartoon characters in film history. Felix was the first animated character to attain a level of worldwide popularity.  Thanks to British Pathe, one of the oldest media companies in the world, here is a Halloween-themed short—a neat perfect cartoon.

The Puppet’s Nightmare. 1908, France (3 min)

The nightmare of Émile Cohl’s chalk animation is one of unreliable appearances. Fishermen catch fish which eat them whole. Ladders transform into coils which just as suddenly take the form of angry mustachioed soldiers. The human figure at the receiving end of these transmogrifications is subject to all manner of degradations. Genuinely unsettling, this early film anticipates Don Hertzfeldt’s stick-figure fantasies by a century.

The Pumpkin Race. 1907, France (6:15 min) 

When two Parisian thieves upset a cart of pumpkins, they inadvertently start a mad dash to stop the gourds as they wreak havoc on the city.  Based on a scenario by Louis Fenillade known for the 1913 Fant6mas serial, The Pumpkin Race shows an unusually strong use of camera tricks by director Romeo Bosetti.  Working on the model previously set by Fenillade and seminal female director Alice Guy-Blache in Course a la saucisse (“Race for the Sausage,” 1907), Bossetti, possibly assisted by Fenillade, builds on the usual frame of the Gaumont studio chase films by giving the object of the chase a mind of its own. Pumpkins climb over rails and through a dining room with the assistance of strings (one of which seemingly breaks, as the last pumpkin is carried partway by an actor); pumpkins climb stairs and jump into windows via reverse photography. Filmed on a mixture of sets and actual city streets, Bossetti’s film deploys surprisingly effective animation, imbuing the gourds with a mischievous character all their own.

Snap the Gingerbread Man in The Witch’s Cat. 1929, USA (2:45 min) 

Snap the Ginger Bread Man’s ordinary day is upended when a witch’s cat coerces him into an oven… but Snap’s goose isn’t permanently cooked. This fun stop-motion curio was one of a series of shorts produced by Kinex Films, a small studio in Hollywood. They were originally created exclusively for the 16mm home movie rental market and were made available at camera stores. It is likely that this particular short was animated by John Burton, with Frank Webb designing the sets. The Kinex Studios was a small outfit, but it nevertheless pioneered many important techniques in stop motion, including the use of moving backgrounds and replacement faces to create animation. Because they were not released theatrically and were never broadcast on television, these films have languished in obscurity for decades. Today they’re known only to animation historians.

The Cobweb Hotel. 1936, USA (8 miN)

The ‘toon tells the tale of the titular haunt, a multi-room hotel situated on what appears to be one of the Fleischer’s desks and run by a toothy, drooling spider. The malevolent arachnid warbles the tune “Spend the Night at the Cobweb Hotel,” which invites patrons to check in and then never, ever check out. As we see, the evil spider (who is, of course only acting on his nature) traps traveling flies and bugs in his lair with the promise of escape and hospitality and then ensnares the poor little creatures. But when a newly-wed fly couple comes to seal their deal, the spider may just have met his match.

The Witch. 1906, France (12 min)

La Fée Carabosse ou le Poignard fatal, literally “The Fairy Carabosse or the Fatal Poignard” is named for a witch who tells a poor troubadour that he is destined to rescue a damsel in distress but demands a high price for a magic charm to help the troubadour in his quest. When he cheats the witch to obtain the magic charm, she sets out in pursuit of him and puts various obstacles in his way before finally being vanquished by forces of good. The film, said to have been inspired by Breton folklore, combines the traditional figure of Carabosse—first created in a 17th-century literary fairy-tale by Madame d’Aulnoy with a varied array of other magical, legendary elements, including ghosts, Druids, and monstrous beasts. It was commissioned by a department store, for children to watch while their parents shopped. Méliès made the film as a lavish, special-effects-heavy spectacle in the féerie, tradition, possibly appearing in it himself. Historians have commented on the film’s spectacular qualities, its hodgepodge of fairy-tale attractions, and the ambiguous question of whether Carabosse’s defeat is morally justified in the world of the film.

The Egyptian Mummy. 1914, USA (18 min)

Dick wants to marry Florence but is too poor to win her father’s consent. Her father is an antiquarian searching for the elixir of life and needs an ancient Egyptian mummy to experiment on, for which he is willing to pay thousands. With his fortune in mind, Dick bribes a filthy old bum with liquor to lie still in a sarcophagus. The plan works perfectly until the bum starts drying out and getting antsy.

Mickey Mouse – The Haunted House. 1929, USA (6.5 min) 

Notable for being Mickey’s first encounter with the undead. On a dark and stormy night, Mickey Mouse takes shelter in a house that he is passing and soon discovers that it is haunted.

The Haunted Hotel. 1907, USA (6:40 min) 

A traveler seeks refuge from a storm in a rural hotel, only to be tormented by ghosts, a demon-and the hotel itself! Best known for films such as Lightning Sketches (1907) Blackton foregoes his usual vaudeville sketching for a narrative utilizing stop-motion, puppetry, and camera effects. The establishing shot of the haunted hotel is an eye-catching bit of surrealism; the haunted dinner scene provides some early but impressive stop-motion work. The Haunted Hotel’s animation was especially influential abroad.

The Bewitched Inn. 1897, France (2 min) 

The Bewitched Inn is the first known Méliès film to feature inanimate objects coming to life to tease their owners, a theme that would return time and again throughout his work. The idea of a guest trying unsuccessfully to get to sleep in a hotel room, already popular for years on the variety stage, had been first used by Méliès in other short films.

Mickey Mouse –  Mad Doctor. 1933, USA (6.5 min) 

A mad scientist has kidnapped Mickey’s dog, Pluto. Mickey tries to rescue him before the doctor can perform his experiment. This was the first appearance of Dr. XXX.

The Merry Skeleton. 1898, France (1 min) 

Le squelette joyeux (The Merry Skeleton) is a simple minute-long short from film pioneers the Lumière brothers. The brothers filmed mostly documentary scenes to promote the possibilities of motion pictures, so you can say that any film they did was “experimental.” Can the macabre and the grotesque be humorous? Before our very eyes, the creepy and bleached skeleton transforms into a merry and loose-jointed artist, bent on dazzling us with his pleasing dancing figures. However, this ambitious performer still needs to hone his skills, as those slender but clumsy skeletal limbs keep detaching from the torso over and over again. Will the merry skeleton ever reach perfection.