Tuesday, September 26, 2006

1964 film footage...

My old buddy in Oak Park, Tom Palazzolo, filmmaker and artist gave me about 100 feet offootage he shot at the 1964 World Karate Championship at the Chicago Coliseum. that was organized by John Keehan. This is the tournament I attended after a hard says work in Chinatown at Guey Sams. As I look at the footage I am kind of confused. I do not remember the fights being in a ring in 1964.

I do remember Tigi Matali, the guy trying to break the 1000 lbs of ice. We will get these dates and tournaments correct in the end I hope. It is 40+ years ago what can I expect?? Confusion! Gotta get it all right. You get fleeced, tarred and feathered for bad history.

Tom used to shot anything interesting going on in Chicago. He would be anywhere and everywhere recording images he would then incorporate into his person works. He is retired now, spending his time painting and playing basketball with friends. He is cleaning out his basement and looking for footage I may bbe able to use

The ambiance was interesting at tournaments in those days. The audiences was diverse and varied in class. Note the Blonde seated upfront, rigside surrounded by her admirers. This could well be a normal fight card night. This was the kind of woman Dante would often be seen with.

I am fortunate to have talked to Tom about the project. I see him very rarely these days.

I am intrigued by the style of fighting and demonstrations. Some of the footage is a bit dark. I may be able to salvage a few things. I hope to identify some of the people in the footage as well.

I see a lot of kung fu grip hands in stances. Was this a Chicago thing or what. Look at this guy's hands. Where does it all come from in Chicago. At first glance we could say Keehan. I hope to discover a lot more about Dante's influences as I ask the questions and as I get more footage. Someplace out there is a wealth of 8mm film footage. I know Jimmy Jones has hours of footage.

Demonstrations were at the heart of every tournament. It gave various schools and styles the opportunity to show off thier best techniques for self defence, breaking, weapons use, seemingly magical powers to a 11 year old.

My pals and I loved the breaking and fancy flying kicks.

This kind of footage is important to this kind of film. I need something to illustrate points in my interviews and break up the talking heads.

I need to put out a call for midwestern images of martials arts in the newspapers all over Illinois. Keehan's story is best served by having a clear historical perspective of the times he lived in.

2 comments:

Count Dante said...

The stills from this footage only have me wishing that there was more of this video material available. It is too bad that local TV stations in Chicago didn't save their newscasts covering the dojo war or fluffy human interest stories on Keehan/Count Dante. If only Dante had gone to Hollywood and played a thug in low budget Jim Kelly potboilers. Instead that role of the white martial arts dude who gets his ass kicked by Black Belt Jones was left to "Judo" Gene LeBell.

Hopefully Floyd will be able to unearth more super 8 film stock of Chicago tournaments and maybe we may even get a glimpse of the Golden Age Dante in action.

Rock and Roll Dante said...

The stills from this footage only have me wishing that there was more of this video material available. It is too bad that local TV stations in Chicago didn't save their newscasts covering the dojo war or fluffy human interest stories on Keehan/Count Dante. If only Dante had gone to Hollywood and played a thug in low budget Jim Kelly potboilers. Instead that role of the white martial arts dude who gets his ass kicked by Black Belt Jones was left to "Judo" Gene LeBell.

Hopefully Floyd will be able to unearth more super 8 film stock of Chicago tournaments and maybe we may even get a glimpse of the Golden Age Dante in action.