Bill and Coo: The Citizen Kane of Bird Movies?
I'm very glad to be a member of The Long Island Parrot Society, and regularly receive its periodic newsletter. This January, LIPS showed a truly remarkable film to its members called Bill and Coo. This film, made in 1947, stars trained bird actors (including many love birds and parakeets), and it's one of the oddest, most charming movies I've never seen.
Bill and Coo was the product of comedian Ken Murray's fervid imagination: in the words of James Agee, the noted author who also reviewed films for Time Magazine, "it's the G*d-damnest thing I've ever seen." Sure, it might strike us modern viewers as a bit corny, and perhaps its plotline is a bit emblematic of early Cold War paranoia. But this Oscar-nominated film is a striking technical achievement, as well as an unforgettable act of love celebrating our feathered friends. And yes, folks, it's a love story, and I guess I'm a sucker for love.
As you probably know, I am working, with Diane West, on my own movie about the wild parrots of Brooklyn, and it will be quite unlike Bill and Coo. But I am strangely moved and inspired by this film, and you can watch it online, for free, by going to tesla.liketelevision.com (Real Player Required).