News for Sep. 29, 2006

Willis O'Brien Exhibit in San Fran

9/29/06, 4:36 pm EST - Xoanon

Miron Murcury writes: Kongophiles, Oh-Bees and Friends of Fellowships, you should be among the first to know: there will be a small exhibition on Willis O'Brien for the Oakland Public Library. You are all invited guests.

For those of you outside the San Francisco Bay Area, this exhibition will be available on the web.

Thank you for all your work and efforts on behalf of the big ape.


King Kong Grew-up in Oakland, California.
A Modest Willis O'Brien Exhibit
by Miron Murcury

The Oakland public library, Lakeview branch, will host a modest exhibition on Willis O'Brien: The Oaklander who created King Kong. The exhibition will be held November 1 to December 31, 2007.

Approximately forty poster sized images will be on exhibition. They are divided between the biographic and the professional.
Willis O'Brien's life will be shown through 18X24inch enlargements from photographs generously given by Mrs. Darlyne O'Brien and Forry Ackerman. A large print biography will accompany the photographs.
Willis O'Brien's famous monsters of filmland, Lost World, King Kong, and Mighty Joe Young, which won him an Oscar, will be generously represented by a changing display of reproduction posters and interesting commercial ephemera.

Similar enlargements of storyboards for unsold O'Brien animation films will be exhibited.

O'Brien's technical and artistic contributions to the development of stop-motion animation can only be introduced and pointed to in this exhibit which is itself a miniature. Books and on-line web sites will be offered to as a way of learning more about these topics.
A typical Willis O'Brien/King Kong animation set will be represented by a symbolic tabletop set.

O'Brien's professional film career lasted from c. 1915 to 1962. In Thomas Edison's employment (c.1915) he created a series of three-dimensional animated comedies set in prehistoric times. The Lost World (1925), King Kong (1933) and Mighty Joe Young (1949) followed. These, and other films, will be offered through the library as accompanying DVD titles to borrow.

The Lost World and King Kong have published sheet music organ scores. The nearby Grand Lake Theater organist, Kevin King, has agreed to learn and perform this music during normal operating weekend hours, times to be announced. The recorded performance will be available as a download at a later date.

Casual exhibit attendees will learn about the people who made King Kong. Attentive exhibit readers will discover that operatic ill-fates can blow on anyone.

The exhibition is meant to publicize the humanity of Mr. O'Brien's life. The damp coastal fog of cruel obscurity on O'Brien's career needs to be vigorously blown away. This modest exhibition will be more of a zephyr.

On January 1, 2008, when the exhibit is history, the library will have a new collection of donated DVD movies and books related to O'Brien's work for everyone to watch and read happily ever after.

There will be a special postcard made for this exhibition. A modest card, as befits the exhibition and as surely fits...