If remembering the past is essential to understanding the present, remembering the NFB’s past is essential and occasionally totally hilarious. Consider for example Keep Your Mouth Shut, a 1944 animated short by Norman McLaren.
- It is one of McLaren’s first NFB films. For those who don’t know, that would be the same McLaren who won an Oscar for Neighbours, a scant 8 years later. Hard work pays off, young animators. Clearly.
- It is one of the NFB’s first films, which highlights the little-known fact that the Film Board was founded to create propaganda in support of the Second World War. During these early years, McLaren directed a few other propaganda films, like V for Victory, and Five for Four. None of these are anywhere as trippy as this one.
- It features a laughing, talking skull whose eyes, when not rolling about disconcertingly, morph into swastikas.
- It is a NFB film whose sole message is to scare you out of snitching and gossiping.
- It is 2 minutes long.
And a quiet, tight-lipped weekend to all!