Watch Tom Waits For No One, the Pioneering Animated Music Video from 1979

Tom Waits For No One, above, is bound­ly the one movie in his­to­ry to have received an Oscar for Sci­en­tif­ic and Tech­ni­cal Obtain­ment for its cre­ator and a primary place award on the Hol­ly­wooden Erot­ic Movie and Video Fes­ti­val.

Direc­tor John Lamb and his half­ner, Bruce Lyon additionally deserve recog­ni­tion for his or her style in supply mate­r­i­al. Singer Tom Waits’ “The One That Acquired Away” is about as cool because it will get, and the ani­mat­ed Waits is a useless ringer for his then-28-year-old coun­ter­half, with eyes and chop­pers slight­ly exag­ger­at­ed for max­i­mum impact.

The brief was con­ceived as a demo mod­el. Lyon and Lamb hoped to con­vince Ralph Bak­shi, direc­tor of the fea­ture-length, X‑rated, automobile­toon adap­ta­tion of R Crumb’s Fritz the Cat, to make use of their new­ly patent­ed “pen­cil pre­view” tech­nique on an upcom­ing challenge. The result’s def­i­nite­ly extra provoca­tive than the non-nar­ra­tive bounc­ing ball movies devel­op­ers would use to point out off fledg­ling CGI tech­niques a decade or so lat­er.

A por­tion of uncooked footage exhibits Waits and exot­ic dancer Don­na Gordon—who had pre­vi­ous­ly appeared in John Cas­savetes’ The Killing of a Chi­nese E-book­ie—slink­ing round a big­ly naked sound­stage. The crew amassed 13 hours of video that have been whit­tled down to five,500 Roto­scoped frames. These have been indi­vid­u­al­ly re-drawn, inked, and hand-paint­ed onto cel­lu­loid acetate.

Gor­don, whose ani­mat­ed look seems to have exert­ed fairly an influ­ence on the fol­low­ing decade’s automobile­toon femme fatale, Jes­si­ca Rab­bit, rec­ol­lect­ed that her co-star was “very good, shy and qui­et” and that he smelled sturdy­ly of cig­a­rettes and booze.

Simply as Gordon’s fan­ta­sy strip­per elud­ed the ani­mat­ed Waits, this inno­v­a­tive movie failed to seek out dis­tri­b­u­tion, and with­out com­mer­cial launch, it sank into obscu­ri­ty.

(I invite Waits followers to affix me in imag­in­ing an alter­nate uni­verse, during which it turns into the good­est Sat­ur­day morn­ing automobile­toon ever, professional­vid­ing morn­ing-after com­fort to a really par­tic­u­lar breed of hun­gover ear­ly-80s nighthawks.)

Relat­ed Con­tent:

A Fan-Made Movie Recon­structs an Complete Tom Waits Con­cert from His “Glit­ter and Doom Tour” (2008)

Tom Waits’ Many Seem­ances on David Let­ter­man, From 1983 to 2015

Tom Waits Names 14 of His Favourite Artwork Movies

Tom Waits Makes a Checklist of His High 20 Favourite Albums of All Time

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an creator, illus­tra­tor, and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *