Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Beyond the Black Maria: Not All Accounted For/ "A Cure for Pokeritis"

This blog has fallen silent recently, and mainly this is because I've realized that not all of the 600 films on the National Film Registry are necessarily at my finger tips. Due to this, I've regrouped and decided to go ahead and watch those films that I can and keep searching for those which are more elusive. With that, our next film takes us into the world of early slapstick.

20. "A Cure for Pokeritis" (1912) Watch
This entry is pretty silly and cartoonish. The story concerns a man, played by the massively rotund silent film slapstick comedian John Bunny, who is racked by a hopeless poker addiction, or 'pokeritis' as the movies title bizarrely puts it. The vice drives his frustrated wife to enlist the help of the local constabulary to cure her husband through a series of strange interventions. Some of the behavior is baffling, but I don't know if that has more to do with how temporally removed I am from the picture. I have to admit, I had difficulty even beginning to write about this little film; it simply does not speak to me. Even after multiple views, I am not moved by the piece whatsoever. Not by the hammy scenes of the poker addict's spouse pleading with him to give up the game, not by the frantic tableaux of lawmen flipping over card tables. This movies simply fell at my feet like a wet rag and I felt nothing. 

No comments: