"Harlem Wednesday" by the Hubley studio takes a technique utilized earlier by UPA to a greater extreme in that, for the course of this film, there is almost no animation as such. John Hubley's former colleague Bill Hurtz has remarked that in UPA's seminal short "Gerald McBoing Boing" characters were held in a static position while backgrounds dissolved behind them -- "camera tricks in lieu of animation" is how he termed it.
Fast forward seven years from "Gerald" to John and Faith Hubley's film of a series of paintings by Gregorio Prestopino and you are taken on a vibrant journey through the lives of the residents of the upper Manhattan neighborhood mentioned in the film's title. The contemporary (read non-literal) renderings are meshed with a marvelous jazz score composed and performed by Benny Carter to create a compelling short film that, while unique, is consistent with the aesthetic established by other Hubley films, particularly "Adventures of an * (asterisk)" John and Faith's first independent collaboration released in 1957.
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