Adrian Brunel

Prod.: Atlas-Biocraft. 35mm. L.: 134 m. D.: 6’ a 20 f/s. Bn

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

After making the unusual and ambitious The Man Without Desire (1923), Adrian Brunel was not given the opportunity to direct another feature film until 1926. In the intervening years, Brunel made a number of low-budget burlesques and short films that have been feted for their wit, playfulness and self-referential experiments with form.
Shimmy Sheik, Two-Chinned Chow and Yes, We Have No – ! (all 1923) receive no mention in Brunel’s autobiography, suggesting that he found them less successful than his later burlesques. However, their puns, silly jokes and light-hearted references to European filmmaking styles are pure Brunel.
All three draw upon German animator Lotte Reiniger’s silhouette technique, replacing cut-out figures with live actors. Whereas Shimmy Sheik and Two-Chinned Chow had self-consciously spoofed Reiniger’s fantastical, fairytale style, however, in Yes, We Have No – ! Brunel develops his own distinctive approach.
The unfortunate Mr Tom Arto’s antipathy to the music hall favourite Yes, We Have No Bananas – because he is a vegetarian, naturally – drives him to ever more desperate measures, taking him to a nightclub, where he hopes for “a little Wagner” but again finds the annoying ditty, then home to bed, where he is awoken by his neighbour’s tuba practice. Finally he travels the world, only to find at each destination that the tune has got there first.

Nathalie Morris and Mark Duguid “BFI Screenonline”


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