A socially-distanced, outdoor silent film screening & Community Pumpkin Walk.

 Krasl Art Center (KAC) and the Coastline Children’s Film Festival (CCFF) have combined forces this fall for ‘Flick-or-Treat.’ On October 31 from 6:30 – 9:30 PM, the community is invited to participate in a pumpkin walk and enjoy projected silent films with a live piano accompaniment from Dr. Larry Schanker on KAC’s grounds. A $2 suggested donation will support CCFF and KAC. Guests will be required to adhere to Social Distancing requirements and wear a mask that covers their mouth and nose when not seated. Lawn space is limited – blankets only, please. In the event of inclement weather, the event will take place on November 1 and be shared at krasl.org and on both organizations’  Facebook pages. 

Calling all Pumpkin Artists!

Be a part of the event and showcase YOUR carved or decorated pumpkin to a Community Pumpkin Walk on view Oct. 31 through Nov. 1. Simply bring your decorated pumpkin(s) to KAC for a contactless drop-of on Friday, October 30 between 9 AM & 5 PM, and we’ll take care of the rest! The display will be illuminated from 6 – 9:30 PM. Participants may pick-up their pumpkins on November 2 before 5 PM, if desired.

The Short Films

Guests will start the film screenings with 9 classic silent short films accompanied by an improvisational piano performance by Dr. Larry Schanker, Executive Director and Music Specialist for the Brookview Montessori School. Films include:

The Black Imp/Le Diable Noir, 1905, France, 4 min.

Considered the inventor of cinema by the Lumière brothers, Georges Méliès is someone best defined by superlatives. It took just a few years for this pioneer of genius, gifted with an inventive and emblematic personality, to reveal the full extent of his visionary genius, before ending his life in poverty, entirely forgotten. An imp cavorts in the empty bedroom of an inn. It hides in the bureau as the innkeeper and his family escort an important guest into the room. As the guest places his coat in the bureau, the imp pops out and begins to chase the man around the room. Bedlam ensues, with the room soon in disarray. By the time the innkeeper comes to investigate, the imp is again hidden, and the blame falls on the guest. Soon, the imp has the room to itself again.

Charley Bowers—There it Is. 1928, USA, 19 min.

Charley Bowers applied the limitless imagination of a cartoonist and the tools of stop-motion animation to push the conceptual possibilities of his devices beyond the limitations of physics and into the realm of fantasy. In THERE IT IS, Charley is a detective from Scotland Yard sent to America to solve the mystery of a haunted house.

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 world-wide popularity. Thanks to British Pathe, one of the oldest media companies in the world, here is a Halloween themed short—a near-perfect cartoon.

The Haunted Castle (1896, France, 3 min.)

This is believed to be the first horror film in existence. Méliès loved to make objects and people suddenly appear and disappear in his films and many of his special effects were groundbreaking and still being used today! 

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. When Mickey enters the house, the door locks itself, before Mickey is startled by a large spider and several bats, while hiding. Mickey then hears the sound of ghosts and flees into a hallway before the lights go out. Mickey shouts “Mammy!” three times in the dark, spoofing Al Jolson. He lights a match, looks around, and finds a shadow of a cloaked figure appearing in his shadow. Mickey panics and flees in fright. The cloaked figure and several skeletons corner Mickey in a room, and compel him to play the organ while skeletons dance along to the music. When the music stops, Mickey tries to escape, but runs into dead ends. He finally falls out of a window and into a full rain barrel full of skeletons, before running away.

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

The plot centers on the title character, a mad scientist who has kidnapped Mickey’s dog, Pluto. Mickey tries to rescue him before the doctor can perform his experiment: putting Pluto’s head to the body of a chicken in order to see if a puppy will hatch from an egg (that is if the end result will “bark or crow or cackle”). Mickey battles his way through booby traps and animated skeletons before eventually getting caught and strapped onto a table to get cut open by a buzzsaw, forcing Mickey to suck in his belly.The scene then fades to Mickey asleep in bed and suddenly woken up by a mosquito, whose buzzing resembles the whirring of the spinning blade. Not yet realizing the events were only a nightmare, Mickey shouts for Pluto, who eagerly jumps onto Mickey’s bed with his doghouse and chain still attached to collar. This film was the first appearance of Dr. XXX.

Mickey Mouse – The Skeleton Dance (1929, USA, 5.5 min.)

The title tells the story. A high point happens when one skeleton plays the spine of another in xylophone fashion, using a pair of thigh bones as hammers. Once The Skeleton Dance was shown theatrically—first at Los Angeles’ Carthay Circle Theater—the response it generated was just what Walt Disney wished it would be. “Here is one of the most novel cartoon subjects ever shown on a screen,” wrote Film Daily. When the film was booked in New York, at the Roxy Theater, the theaters’ impresario Samuel “Roxy” Rothapfel, wrote Walt a note calling it “one of the cleverest things I have seen.” It was the start of the legendary Silly Symphony series.

The Portrait (1915, Russia, 8 min. Ages 10 and up). 

 It begins with a young man browsing a secondhand shop crammed with old pieces of art. He’s somehow drawn to a portrait of an old man that would look at home in a Halloween attraction, and purchases it. Naturally, once the portrait’s glowering in his claustrophobic apartment the young man starts growing uneasy around it. He even has several nightmares where it comes to life and climbs out of its frame. Once the creepiness is fully established, The Portrait ends abruptly–which is tantalizing. Directed by Ladislas Starevich the acclaimed animator behind The Insects’ Christmas and The Cameraman’s Revenge and other charming stop-motion animation.

The Feature Film

Filibus: The Mysterious Air Pirate (1915, Italy, 71 min. Ages 10 and up). 

“No other crime thriller compares to Filibus!” exclaimed a Corona Films ad in the April 1915 edition of the Italian film magazine La Vita Cinematografica — and for once the ballyhoo was correct! Directed by Mario Roncoroni and scripted by future science fiction author Giovanni Bertinetti, Filibus is the most exciting, witty, feminist, steampunk, cross-dressing aviatrix thriller you will ever see! Previously seen in a badly subtitled, imperfect version, Filibus was recently remastered by the Eye Filmmuseum, restoring the film’s marvelous range of Desmet tinting and toning in the original nitrate material. To bring the film back to its flavor of the period — when the characters Fantomas and Arsène Lupin were worldwide sensations — Milestone hired young poet Austin Renna to write new intertitles based on an improved translation by Eye’s archivist Elif Rongen-Kaynakçi. The famed Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra Donald Sosin have created two new stunning scores. 

Flying high above the clouds her dirigible, Filibus, the mysterious sky pirate, is a master of disguise and the scourge of millionaires, banks, and the police. Lowered in a gondola by her henchmen, Filibus steals from the rich and then mysteriously vanishes into the clouds. When an esteemed detective sets out on her trail, she begins an elaborate game of cat and mouse with him, slipping between various male and female identities to romance the detective’s sister and stage a midnight theft of a pair of valuable diamonds. Made by Corona Film, a short-lived Turin-based studio operating on relatively low budgets. Though Italian reviews at the time of its release were negative, Filibus has been well received by later writers and film historians, who have highlighted the film’s pioneering use of gender fluidity and science fiction motifs, as well as its creative adaptation of stylistic elements from contemporary popular fiction

Red Arrow Roasters will be on-site offering delicious hot chocolate and coffee.

Looking for a pumpkin? On a first-come-first-served basis, the community can pick up paint and miniature pumpkins on October 11 & 12 from 11 AM – 5 PM as part of KAC’s Family Day & Night Fundles. Or visit local farms and pumpkin patches to pick up your perfect orange canvas!

Flick or Treat 2020 is underwritten by 1st Source Bank and the Virginia & Harvey Kimmel Family Foundation. This activity is supported by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs Minigrant Program administered by the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo.

About Coastline Childrens’ Film Festival

The mission of the Coastline Children’s Film Festival is to bring quality, independent films and animation for children & young adults to Berrien County and present them on the big screen as shared theatrical experiences for families and the community. CCFF’s anchor event is a 10-day, annual March film festival presented at locations throughout SW Michigan and NW Indiana.