Director and notorious leg man Frank Tashlin (born Francis Fredrick von Taschlein) died in 1972, but for over 40 years he expanded the lexicon of comedy and animation well beyond its already well-stretched, well-loved boundaries. While an entire film festival of his work with Jerry Lewis – The Geisha Boy and Cinderfella, as well as other American comedy classics, including Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? and The Girl Can't Help It – could easily appear at any theater, tonight's
Frank Tashlin Toons features pre-eminent and estimable cartoon historian Jerry Beck presenting this most excellent cavalcade of scarce cartoons that rocketed Tashlin to fame. From his earliest works in the ‘30s on Aesop’s Film Fables for Terrytoons to an exhaustive retinue of work for Warner Bros. in the ‘40s (Donald Duck, Porky Pig, Bugs Bunny), Tashlin had a preternaturally lucid sense of what gags made a cartoon instantly, devastatingly funny. And, in the right light, sexy and manic, too.

Tue., July 7, 8 p.m., 2009

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