Hot Dog: A Tail of Sadly Broken Dreams

Hot Dog: A Tail of Sadly Broken Dreams

Hot Dog is an animated short film by Bill Plympton, the third animation about Plympton’s little Dog. Hot Dog follows Plympton’s 2005 Oscar Nominee Guard Dog and its sequel, Guide Dog. Hot Dog played at the 2008 Strasbourg International Film Festival and at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. It was an Oscar Nomination commended animated short film in 2009.

In this film, the Dog decides to join the fire department. The enthusiastic pup will do absolutely anything to become the fire station’s resident pooch. However, at first the Dog moves with a bounding enthusiasm that isn’t shared by his fellow fire officers. As the inevitable disaster builds, tension is increased by the Dog getting a brief moment of glory as the fire department’s new best friend, but then something more interesting grabs the attention of the fire officers and poor little Dog is left to cope all alone. The Dog is stretched to beyond his reach as he resorts to lapping up water from the gutter to put out the outbreak of another smaller fire, but then gasoline leaks into the puddle. Soon afterwards, the little Dog’s hopes are sadly crushed.

Hot Dog: A Tail of Sadly Broken Dreams

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Yesteryear’s New York: The Belly of the Beast

Jill Freedman: Love Kills (1979)

Jill Freedman: Tiffany

During the 1970s and 80s, an adventurous blonde named Jill Freedman with a quick eye for the unusual and bizarre focussed her camera upon the spirited characters and gritty sidewalks of a now-bygone era in New York City life. This modernist documentarian was a self-taught photographer who captured raw, intimate images in black and white, transforming urban scenes into theatrical dramas.

Freedman’s portrait of New York reflected a fallen city that was strewn with piles of garbage. Prostitutes and bag ladies walked the streets, while junkies staked out abandoned tenements next to children playing in vacant lots. For reasons involving both a shift in photographic styles and her own declining personal circumstances, Ms. Freedman faded from the popular scene in the late 1980s. But today, at a moment when much of Manhattan is awash in money and glamour, Freedman’s photographic legacy offers us a vivid portrait of a metropolis once defined by violence, poverty and disarray, a New York that once was.

Jill Freedman’s New York: Poverty, Violence and Disarray

Read more about Jill Freedman’s photography in The New York Times here.

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