1935 Buick - Star style.

It's been a while since we've featured a decogasm here, what with all the goofy inventions and spurious ad copy to be ridiculed. Let's point our eye-holes at some bonkers luxury, shall we? It's time for a decogasm. get ready for your brain to make a gooey mess all over the inside of your skull. Behold this frikkin swanky ad for the 1935 Buick. Phwoooaaaah!

This ad comes to us from the March, 1935 issue of Fortune magazine, which, considering the year and target demo, was basically the daily read of Mister Monopoly, formerly "Rich Uncle Pennybags", renamed by Hasbro some time in the 2000s. I like the old name better.

Man, like that's a lot of pinanos. What do fifty-whatever pinanos even sound like? Why do you need fifty-whatever pinanos in a print ad anyway? Well, this ad was run in cross-promotion with a film, Gold Diggers of 1935, which was directed by Busby Berkeley. Aaaaaaaahh, that explains the kooky overproduction. If his name is unfamiliar, just understand that every "homage" or "retro" musical number you see in a music video or movie is more or less a sendup of the style of musical production made famous by Busby Berkeley. Madonna's Material Girl video and the goofy opening sequences to the Austin Powers movies? Those are tributes to the Busby Berkeley style. Rows and rows of kicking dancers. Curving staircases. Fountains. Maybe a couple of kitchen sinks.

Here's something you see a LOT of in old photograhps. They didn't have Photoshop, right? So, they'd de-ambiguize objects in dark shadows. The edge of the car's tire wasn't really clear in the original photo, so a photo retoucher went in with an airbrush (an actual airbrush, children!) and sprayed some medium gray over a round frisket, to define the edge of the tire. My brain doesn't care. I don't need to see the edge of the tire. I know tires are round, and the airbrushing leaps out at me as being distracting. But, it's an interesting part of techno-history.

I don't care about musicals, and cars this old don't really warm my blood, but the visual composition of each scene in this movie are beautiful. If I may go way out on a limb, it occurs to me that there's a modern movie with similar attention to the beauty of each scene as an artistic layout: The Matrix. That movie is a study in visual composition in the same way as Gold Diggers of 1935, at least to my eye. I kind of want to watch both movies in one weekend, just to find the edges of this theory of mine.You can watch the whole Gold Diggers movie on FaceTube - it's just chopped up into ten minute segments is all. Or you can stream it from Asthmazon, Google Play or Vudu, it seems. Here's the trailer. Now that I watch that, another though occurs. Women in these movies plucked the shit out of their eyebrows! It's a bad look. Ladies, men aren't into Sharpie eyebrows. Stop it.

Click for big.


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