Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Warner Archive - James A. Fitzpatrick TRAVELTALKS Vol.1 on DVD ""

Monday, June 6, 2016

Warner Archive - James A. Fitzpatrick TRAVELTALKS Vol.1 on DVD

TRAVELTALKS Shorts Volume 1:
One thing I love about Warner Archive is that they have this delightful habit of turning me into old stuff that I never ever knew existed. Case in point - this new three-disc collection of shorts from James A. Fitzpatrick. The gist of it is that Fitzpatrick took a Technicolor camera with him all over the globe and filmed a ton of these neat little documentary shorts wherever he went.
I don't know about you, but I love me some Technicolor. Blu-rays are glorious and good-looking and all, but there's just something snort the look of old Technicolor film that really is like catnip for me. It brings such a heightened and vibrant representation of whatever was filmed with it, that the result is kinda magical and it gives you a nice immersive sense of being transported to each place. The shorts function as this lovely time travel portal and I found myself watching a bunch of them at a time during each sitting. It's remarkable how captivating something as simple as a slowly (and slightly jerkily) panning camera shot can be, but I really felt like that as I was checking these discs out. 
This set contains sixty shorts (521 minutes), so as you can imagine, it gives a healthy sampling of world travel and am introduction to many places that I personally have never been to.
I snapped a quick picture of the back of the DVD so you can see all sixty of the short subjects included (click to enlarge):
Below, I've also included the short "Chile: Land of Charm" which I found on YouTube, but which is included on Disc 1. It's a nice example of what these films are like:

If travelogues are your kind of thing, this set is probably a must-own for you. While, I know we would all prefer to buy anything and everything that's colorful on the Blu-ray format these days, Warner Archive does a solid job of presenting these movies in the best possible way via these DVDs. The prints do show a little bit of age, but I found that, for me, they all looked pretty good. TRAVELTALKS Volume 1 would be a delightful thing to put on during a get-together with your classic movie loving pals. Genre movie fans have all those trailer compilations, but there's not enough of this material out there for people who like older films. I also think this has a lot of crossover appeal for Criterion Collection enthusiasts. Feels like something they might have out out in one of their many excellent Eclipse Series sets.

This collection can be purchased on Amazon here and would make a nice gift for the TCM fanatics in your life:
http://amzn.to/1Zl6oyZ

1 comment:

Ted S. (Just a Cineast) said...

Ooh, I love love love these Traveltalks shorts!

As I understand it, FitzPatrick was a travel agent by trade, and when he made these he did it the same way he would if he were marketing upscale vacations to bored upper-middle-class housewives or the Bette Davis character in Now, Voyager.

This is why he also doesn't show any of the bad stuff, and consistently trots out the "happy" natives, as in the Chile short you included. They're all so happy with their hand-to-mouth subsistence farming existence. Then again, that fits right in at MGM.