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Sunday, November 28, 2010

FLD Gus Goes to the Movies

An email this afternoon from my sister, Anne:  "...Sofia and Natalie are interested in the Tulip movie, if that's still an option for today."

A half-hour later, a second email from Anne:  "Both Nat and Sofia seem to be having too much fun together outside this afternoon, so neither remains interested in going to the movie.  But thanks for asking them!"

Later, post-movie, I am somewhat relieved that my nieces declined to come with us to see My Dog Tulip at the Detroit Film Theatre (DFT) in the DIA, even if it was an animated film.  I can imagine hearing their youthful tittering in the dark theater....


The husband-wife director team of Paul and Sandra Fierlinger created My Dog Tulip, the first animated film to be hand-drawn and painted completely with "high definition paperless computer technology" (quoted from the DFT's "Film Guide").  While based on J. R. Ackerley's 1956 book about his 15-year relationship with his rescued "Alsatian" (German Shepherd), the movie focused mainly on Ackerley's endeavors to "marry" the un-spayed Tulip.

The Fierlingers employed slightly different styles to depict memories of the narrator Ackerley (superbly spoken by Christopher Plummer), "real-live" time, Ackerley's imagination, and the anthropomorphizing of Tulip and her flirtations.

My nieces would have taken delight in the graphic renderings of Tulip's assorted "parking" interludes, but it is the yellow-legal-pad sketches of Ackerley's anthropomorphism that would have sent them into snicker-heaven.  I admit I might have felt slightly uncomfortable sitting next to them as Tulip, in a skirt and standing on her hind legs, was being felt up by a bar-stud-terrier who was just a little too small to connect with the goods.

As for FLD Gus, who couldn't see the screen due to his position at my feet yet whose fidgeting made me wonder if he caught on to the action, the audience heard not a giggle from him!


My Dog Tulip is entertaining (especially if you are a dog-owner) even if it should carry at least an "R" rating.  Andy was taken by Ackerley's use of the word "pusillanimous" in describing the first breed-stud who was unable to successfully "marry" Tulip.

I particularly enjoyed an amusing sequence of disastrous visits to various vets.  Ackerley finally finds a veterinarian who can handle the feisty Tulip.  When he asks the woman-vet if there is something wrong with Tulip, she says, "There is nothing wrong with her.  Tulip is a good girl.  YOU are the trouble."  This remark is one I have often wished to say to dog-owners-without-a-clue!


To view the trailer of My Dog Tulip, click on my post from last Sunday, November 21.

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