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/film/ - FILM

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File: 1425506324671.jpg (1.52 MB, 1843x2538, 1843:2538, bagdad.jpg)


I've only recently gotten into the silent era. Over time I found myself watching older and older films. Now I'm close to the beginning. Is anyone else interested in silents?

This video piqued my curiosity quite a bit: http://youtu.be/yS37kyfnGy4?t=2m15s

What do you like? What don't you like?
What do you want to see? Has anything surprised you?
etc., etc.


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I tried watching a rip of The Phantom Carriage but the reduced framerate didn't work well with my TV.
Still I really like what I've seen from Victor Sjöstrom: Terje Vigen which he starred in and directed, and the first-ever MGM production He Who Gets Slapped which was surprisingly dark.

Sjöstrom's 1928 film The Wind will be showing on TCM Essentials in April, so hopefully there will be an improved release sometime soon.


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This guy has a cool youtube channel that deconstructs the undercranking tricks used in silent comedies. It's interesting to see the scenes at the speed they were performed.



I've only seen a handful. Probably would put Street Angel and A Trip to the Moon as my favorites, although that's pretty entry-level stuff.

That's cool.



Please watch it again when you get the chance. It really is one of the best.


Yeah I was pretty bummed it wouldn't work. The ripper removed all duplicate frames which made for jumpy playback on my set. I may have to go back to the laptop + hdmi method and put up with the cooling fan.


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I've wanted to see The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse but I wish there was a better version out there.


I think the term "silent film" sounds as offputting to the average person as "tasteless food". So many people shy away from watching them. But once you start digging into the medium, you develop a respect for the unique aspects. At least that's been my experience.


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I watched Show People from 1928, so I wasn't sure if it was silent or a talkie. It bridged the gap having synchronized sound … kind of a weird experience where crowd noise, applause, and sound effects are heard but no dialogue.
All in all it's a fun satire of early Hollywood, but I probably wouldn't call it essential viewing. I give the edge to the other synchronized sound film I've seen – The Man Who Laughs.


>street angel

the borzage or the chinese loose adaptation of the same name? the latter has been on my watchlist for a while


Yes, I'm interested, even though I don't watch them often.
The last one I saw was Murnau's Faust, whose effects hold up surprisingly well.
I'm not sure if Vampyr counts as a silent, since it barely had any dialog at all and ended up using intertitles instead.


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What's the consensus on contemporary musical scores? I've rarely found any that I like. Most of the time they take me out of the film.
A month ago I tried watching J'accuse with a modern classical/ambient composition and just had to stop. It was a permanent mood of tense brooding regardless of what was happening on screen. Even when people were clearly singing La Marseillaise the music suggested something eerie was afoot.
Later I even tried syncing the old orchestral score, but it wouldn't quite line up ;_;


Seven Chances is great


File: 1427779849761.gif (1.1 MB, 500x319, 500:319, caligari.gif)

I'm wondering why none of Robert Wiene's other films caught on? Has anyone seem them? Caligari was such a massive influence I expected he'd would have been capable of at least minor successes with his other projects.


Caligari has always been one of my favorites, but I've never bothered looking into any of his other works. What would you recommend?


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I didn't make it apparent but I haven't seen his other works. I was only wondering why the others aren't as popular, since Caligari had such a strong vision and impact.
My impression is the best ones to try next are The Hand of Orlac, Crime and Punishment, and Genuine.


> Robert Wiene

I think the writers and production designer had as much (or more) to do with the final product as the director. Look at Carl Mayer who frequently collaborated with Murnau.


One thing I remember about Caligari is the onscreen text during a scene. Since they had the ability to do that way back in 1920, I wondered why subtitles weren't used in silents in place of intertitles. Too much trouble?


Ive seen the cabinet of doctor caligari and nosferatu. Suggestions?


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Do you want more horror?

Murnau's Faust is a great one to try next.


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These German mountain movies are astounding. Actors seem to be putting their life on the line at times. Avalanches and swirling snowstorms behave as if cued by the director.


is that the original poster?

metal af


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Trying to find a quality version of Thais (1917) which was the only Italian futurist film. I can barely see what's going on. :(


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>Sjöstrom's 1928 film The Wind will be showing on TCM Essentials in April

This Saturday night in fact – April 25 @ 8 PM ET. I've only seen clips but it looked like an amazing film…



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What's your favorite silent chaplin movie?



I still need to watch The Kid, but the two I liked most were City Lights and Modern Times. It's funny to find out that years into the sound era he was able to make successful silent films.



probably city lights or a woman of paris. never really understood the intense love some people seem to have for modern times.


YouTube embed. Click thumbnail to play.

Turksib is a cool documentary about the construction of a 1500 km railroad through Kazakstan in 1930. It hits on modernization, trade, man vs nature, and anthropology (among other things). With hypnotizing examples of Soviet montage.


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I've been increasingly more interested in silent era films but it's as if I've ran into a brick wall. Their availability and the quality of the versions that float around on the net is atrocious. There is this wealth of great films that I just can't watch properly and it annoys me to no end. It's especially sad when entire films or parts of them have been lost to the ravages of time.

I had the same problem when I got interested in very old books, you can almost feel entropy breathing down your neck when you learn of what was lost.

More specifically I've recently watched the restoration of Fritz Lang's Nibelungen films and they were absolutely wonderful. I'm trying to track down copies of Cabiria and Salammbo to watch but it looks like I will have to import Cabiria and I'm not even sure if Salammbo is even out on dvd. They both take place in historical Carthage and look absolutely stunning judging by the stills I've seen. I just wish someone would restore these films and release them on bluray. I enjoy watching films, not hunting them down to watch VHS quality transfers.


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The image restrictions are awful on this board.


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Just look at these gorgeous fucking sets.


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Nice comment. I'm still meandering through the best stuff from the 20s, so I haven't hit that wall quite yet.

Salammbo does look to be in rough shape (and probably fractured).

What are some interesting lost silents you've heard about? I guess Greed sticks out for me, even though its partially available. The Spirit of '76 also sounds interesting >>3894




choose one and why



Chaplin for stories with heart and soul on top of comedy.


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> tfw you're always the odd man out


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I've only seen the 4 hour TCM restoration of Greed. About half of the story is told using production stills. There's a 140 minute version too. Has anyone seen that?

It's difficult to assess how the film would have been at 9.5 hours. I expect I'd prefer a shorter version of some fashion.

Anyway Zasu Pitts is exceptional in Greed. I really enjoyed her character.



is that from cabiria?


YouTube embed. Click thumbnail to play.

TCM just aired this documentary. It's cool to see these story of a prolific studio that has been practically forgotten. And since we're talking about primitive filmmaking (1910s), I'm guessing the movie clips are more entertaining when they're all compiled into a documentary.



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Murnau's head has been stolen from his grave.


> Ihlefeldt said he discovered the tomb had been broken into on Monday. A candle left at the scene led to speculation that Murnau’s corpse was part of a ceremony staged by “Satanists” or those practicing “black magic,” as Ihlefeldt put it.

> “There was a candle,” Ihlefeldt said. “… A photo session or a celebration or whatever in the night. It really isn’t clear.”


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This character always seemed a tad fruity to me since the play is often on Broadway. But this silent film was better than I expected. Excellent musical score and a nice colour surprise in the second act.

I guess this story originates the trope of the madman playing an organ? It's also used in Dr. Phibes, Bluebeard, and probably some others.


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I want to watch Roald Amundsens Sydpolsferd (1910-1912) but it has no music track. its a Norwegian exploration adventure documentary

what can you suggest to listen as I watch?


YouTube embed. Click thumbnail to play.


how about this one


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Maybe the audio from Great White Silence. I don't know what kind of music they used but it's a similar kind of movie.

Or how about Grieg? He was Norwegian and lived in the late 1800s... you can't beat that. His music makes a good soundtrack in general.


YouTube embed. Click thumbnail to play.


thank you for the great ideas. I used edvard grieg piano concerto for the first half (sailing) and Deep Freeze for the second half (Antarctica).

the footage was ok. the team was the first to the south pole but unfortunately we don't see that event


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I'll post these here


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a transforming effect that only works in black and white


File: 273a666bdae9c94⋯.png (245.22 KB, 220x452, 55:113, The General.png)


Keaton. Chaplin was great but he never made anything as good as The General or The Navigator.


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I thought you guys would like this list

Top Ten Obscure Silent Films (that you really should see)


10. Beyond the Border (1925)

Even if westerns aren’t normally your cup of sarsaparilly, you may find a lot to like about this incredibly quirky film. Wild west veteran and John Wayne mentor Harry Carey plays a sheriff who agrees to take the identity of a criminal so that his little sister will not learn of his outlaw ways. Complications obviously ensue but what really put this film over are the oddball tangents. For example, Carey finds himself accidentally quarantined after a man with a strawberry allergy is misdiagnosed with smallpox.

9. The Power of the Press (1928)

Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. is an ambitious cub reporter who tries to get a scoop by pinning a murder on Jobyna Ralston. She’s innocent, of course, and the duo form a team in an attempt to track down the real culprit. Director Frank Capra was really starting to show his stuff at this point. The plot moves along at a brisk clip and the characters are both tenacious and smart. Plus, we get a gander at the vintage newspaper printing equipment, which should be fun for history geeks. (And, let’s face it, a Venn diagram of silent movie fans and history geeks would be a perfect circle.)

8. His People (1925)

Occasionally, a movie comes along that is so beautiful and so human that it takes your breath away. Rudolph Schildkraut (father of Joseph) gives the performance of a lifetime as a Russian-Jewish scholar who must make his living as a peddler when his family comes to America. As his two sons grow up, he must learn to deal with their American ways (there is a nod to Jacob and Esau) and his own attachment to the past. This is an exquisite character study with humor, empathy and some of the best acting of the silent era.

7. Eve’s Leaves (1926)

This eccentric action-comedy features one of the most independent heroines of the silent era and it’s a lot of fun too! Leatrice Joy is charming as a sailor who really, really would like to find a fella when she goes ashore in China. Consulting some love almanacs, she applies the romance test to William “Hopalong Cassidy” Boyd and decides he is the man for her. He thinks she’s nuts and so she shanghais him. The rest of the film revolves around Joy’s attempts to romance Boyd. Joy is delightful and Boyd is a good sport as the dude-in-distress. (Alas, the Chinese setting does mean that ethnic cliches are employed liberally in the film. Viewers are duly cautioned.)

6. Chicago (1927)

Before Renee Zellweger, before Ginger Rogers, the first onscreen Roxie Hart was played by Phyllis Haver, the delightful Sennett comedienne. This sassy, saucy film doesn’t need to fake the 1920s, it IS the 1920s. The satire is sharp, the wit is deadly and everyone seems to be having a great time in this spoof of murder and publicity. Cecil B. DeMille is the uncredited director (he didn’t want his name on a scandalous film while King of Kings was still in theaters) and if you only know him through his religious epics, be prepared for a revelation.



5. The House in Kolomna (1913)

Believe it or not, Russian cinema existed before the Soviet Union and it’s really good too! Russians have an undeserved reputation for dour cinema and this feather-light comedy more than proves that they were capable of cinematic merriment. (Don’t get me wrong, they love their tragedies but they also love to laugh. It’s almost like Russians are… human.) In this case, a naughty teen sneaks her boyfriend (a very young Ivan Mosjoukine) into the house by disguising him as the new cook. Everything goes wrong, of course, but getting there is all the fun. The cast is adorable and they play the farce with a broad wink.

4. Asphalt (1929)

One of the last major German silent films, Asphalt is not nearly as famous as the works of Murnau and Lang but it deserves to be rediscovered. Directed by the underrated Joe May, it’s the story of a stiff traffic cop and his fateful run-in with a beautiful jewel thief. A stylish character study, the film benefits from good performances by American leading lady Betty Amann and Gustav Froehlich, who is considerably more subtle here than he was on Metropolis. Twenties fashion buffs will be particularly interested in Miss Amann’s wardrobe.

3. The Wishing Ring (1914)

This isn’t a movie so much as a confection. Maurice Tourneur’s luscious cinematography perfectly sets the scene for this “Idyll of Old England” concerning a bratty runaway heir and the sweet parson’s daughter who wins his heart. While the story is happy and gentle, it never descends into treacle, thanks mostly to the mischievous performance of forgotten leading lady Vivian Martin. This movie looks great, has a charming script and excellent performances. What more could we want?

2. The Canadian (1926)

This subtle character study is a staple of silent film festivals and it’s easy to see why. The performances are skillful, guided by William Beaudine, a criminally underrated director. It’s the story of an upper class Englishwoman who goes to live with her brother in Canada and enters into a contract marriage with Thomas Meighan, one of the farmhands. The pair must learn to sort out their differences and work together in order to build a life. The story is so good that it was ripped off by The Wind (1928) and The Purchase Price (1932).

1. The Burning Crucible (1923)

How do I even begin to describe this film? Ostensibly a domestic dramedy about a detective hired to find and return a wife’s affection to her husband, it soon veers off into surreal territory. What saves it from pretentiousness is a healthy sense of humor and the winking ability to not take itself too seriously. Leading man Ivan Mosjoukine wrote and directed it and infused every frame with eccentricity. I guarantee that you’ve never seen anything like it. Just trust me on this: you must see it.


YouTube embed. Click thumbnail to play.


File: 4008d9545f184eb⋯.jpg (322.61 KB, 1600x900, 16:9, the dumb girl of portici.jpg)

What do you guys think about the phenomenon of early female filmmakers? There's a lot of moaning about the lack of female directors now. But a century ago, when people were just starting to make narrative films, a lot of those people were women.

For some reason that changed abruptly. Women stopped directing, but why? I've read feminist explanations that sound like they're retroactively projecting ("Men couldn't handle strong liberated women so they shut them out!"). I've also read that silent films made by women were often preachy "social issue" stories. Audiences soon got tired of that.

Either way I think it's interesting. Female directors usually have a slightly different perspective, which I like.


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There are some neat little films made by women during the silent era.

I don't know what caused the change you're talking about, but I doubt it was the fact that the films talked about social issues, I mean it's not like a lot of silent films and pre-code films shied away from this type of themes.

I'd love to read where you got this information, since I really don't have an answer.


File: f420e288a10d01a⋯.jpg (75.36 KB, 971x760, 971:760, WFP-WEB04.jpg)


OK I found the site. This page is a biography of Lois Weber who seems to be the biggest female director of the silent era


Here's the bit about social issue films

>Weber’s focus on urban social problems, rather than amusement, and on the complexities of marriage, rather than romantic courtship, was increasingly perceived as outdated, overly didactic, and dower. “Why does Miss Weber dedicate herself, her time and her equipment to the construction of simple sermons?” one reviewer complained in 1921 (“The Screen”).

Another interesting element of her career is how her output declined after she divorced her creative partner



Oh well, thanks a lot, I had no idea about her personal life, or that her films were received as sermons during that time, very interesting.

I'll check out that paper.


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Waxworks was less than stellar.


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Have you seen Emil Jennings in The Last Command? It's pretty damn good.


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Hey cool the silent film thread got bumped

How about Lev Kuleshov ... he pioneered Soviet montage and helped start one of the first film schools. I found his first film "Engineer Prite's Project" on youtube (you'd be happier with a a better version ofc).




YouTube embed. Click thumbnail to play.

<THE TOLL OF THE SEA (1922), the first successful two-color (red and green) Technicolor feature, considered lost for many years, was restored in 1985 from the original camera negative



sounds cool. thank you


YouTube embed. Click thumbnail to play.

Oramunde (1933) by Emlen Etting is a newly discovered favorite of mine.

I suggest you either mute the audio or find a more fitting soundtrack, because the one used completely destroys the atmosphere imho.


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were you watching Unseen Cinema?



It was included in this mubi list




interesting list

there's a lot of Richard Kern who I don't really know



Speaking of, is there like a list of all the films included in Unseen Cinema, I don't wanna wait 4 years to see the films included.


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Yeah, it's a long list, but here's what's in the Unseen Cinema set

Disc 1 - THE MECHANIZED EYE: Experiments in Technique and Form - 18 FILMS

5 Paris Exposition Films (1900)—James White

Eiffel Tower from Trocadero Palace (1900)

Palace of Electricity (1900)

Champs de Mars (1900)

Panorama of Eiffel Tower (1900)

Scene from Elevator Ascending Eiffel Tower (1900)

Captain Nissen Going through Whirpool Rapids, Niagra Falls (1901)—creators unknown

Down the Hudson (1903)—Frederick Armitage & A.E. Weed

The Ghost Train (1903)—creators unknown

Westinghouse Works, Panorama View Street Car Motor Room (1904)—G.W. "Billy" Bitzer

In Youth, Beside the Lonely Sea (c. 1924-25)—creators unknown

Melody on Parade (c. 1936)—creators unknown

La Cartomancienne (The Fortune Teller) (1932)—Jerome Hill

Pie in the Sky (1934-35)—Nykino: Elia Kazan, Ralph Steiner & Irving Lerner

Travel Notes (1932)—Walker Evans

Oil: A Symphony in Motion (1930-33)—Artkino: M.G. MacPherson & Jean Michelson

Poem 8 (1932-33)—Emlen Etting

Storm (1941-43)—Paul Burnford

Portrait of a Young Man (1925-31)—Henwar Rodakiewicz

Disc 2 - THE DEVIL’S PLAYTHING: American Surrealism - 17 FILMS

Jack and the Beanstalk (1902)—Edwin S. Porter

Dream of a Rarebit Fiend (1906)—Edwin S. Porter

The Thieving Hand (1907)—creator unknown, Vitagraph

Impossible Convicts (1905)—G.W. "Billy" Bitzer

When the Clouds Roll By (1919)—Douglas Fairbanks & Victor Fleming (excerpt)

Beggar on Horseback (1925)—James Cruze (excerpt)

The Fall of the House of Usher (1926-27)—J.S. Watson, Jr. & Melville Webber

The Life and Death of 9413: A Hollywood Extra (1927)— Robert Florey & Slavko Vorkapich

The Love of Zero (1928)—Robert Florey & William Cameron Menzies

The Telltale Heart (1928)—Charles Klein

Tomatos Another Day (1930/1933)—J.S. Watson, Jr. & Alec Wilder

The Hearts of Age (1934)— William Vance & Orson Welles

Unreal News Reels (c. 1926)—Weiss Artclass Comedies (excerpt)

The Children’s Jury (c. 1938)—attributed Joseph Cornell

Thimble Theater (c. 1938)—Joseph Cornell

Carousel: Animal Opera (c. 1938)—Joseph Cornell

Jack’s Dream (c. 1938)—Joseph Cornell

Disc 3 - LIGHT RHYTHMS: Music and Abstraction - 29 FILMS:

Le Retour à la raison (1923)—Man Ray

Ballet mécanique (1923-24)—Fernand Léger & Dudley Murphy

Anémic cinéma (1924-26)—Rrose Sélavy (Marcel Duchamp)

Looney Lens: Anamorphic People (1927)—Al Brick

Out of the Melting Pot (1927)—W.J. Ganz Studio

H20 (1929)—Ralph Steiner

Surf and Seaweed (1929-30)—Ralph Steiner

7 Vorkapich Montage Sequences (1928-37)—Slavko Vorkapich

The Furies (1934)

Skyline Dance (1928)

Money Machine (1929)

Prohibition (1929)

The Firefly— Vorkapich edit (1937)

The Firefly—MGM release version (1937)

Maytime (1937)

So This Is Paris (1926)—Ernst Lubitsch (excerpt)

Light Rhythms (1930)—Francis Bruguière & Oswell Blakeston

Une Nuit sur le Mont Chauve (Night on Bald Mountain) (1934)—Alexandre Alexeieff & Claire Parker

Rhythm in Light (1934)—Mary Ellen Bute, Ted Nemeth & Melville Webber

Synchromy No. 2 (1936)—Mary Ellen Bute & Ted Nemeth

Parabola (1937)—Mary Ellen Bute & Ted Nemeth

Footlight Parade - "By a Waterfall" (1933)—Busby Berkeley

Glen Falls Sequence (1937-46)—Douglass Crockwell

Simple Destiny Abstractions (1937-40)—Douglass Crockwell

Abstract Movies (1937-47)—George L.K. Morris

Scherzo (1939)—Norman McLaren

Themis (1940)—Dwinell Grant

Contrathemis (1941)—Dwinell Grant

1941 (1941)—Francis Lee

Moods of the Sea (1940-42)—Slavko Vorkapich & John Hoffman


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Disc 4 - INVERTED NARRATIVES: New Directions in Story-Telling - 12 FILMS

The House with Closed Shutters (1910)—D.W. Griffith & G.W. "Billy" Bitzer

Suspense (1913)—Lois Weber & Philips Smalley

Moonland (c. 1926)—Neil McQuire & William A. O’Connor

Lullaby (1929)—Boris Deutsch

The Bridge (1929-30)—Charles Vidor

Little Geezer (1932)—Theodore Huff

Black Dawn (1933)—Josef Berne & Seymour Stern

Native Land (1937-41)—Frontier Films: Leo Hurwitz & Paul Strand (excerpt)

Black Legion (1936-7)—Nykino: Ralph Steiner & Willard Van Dyke

Even As You and I (1937)—Roger Barlow, Harry Hay & Le Roy Robbins

Object Lesson (1941)—Christoher Young

"Sredni Vashtar" by Saki (1940-43)—David Bradley

Disc 5 - PICTURING A METROPOLIS: New York City Unveiled - 26 FILMS

The Blizzard (1899)—creators unknown

Lower Broadway (1902)—Robert K. Bonine

Beginning of a Skyscraper (1902)—Robert K. Bonine

Panorama from Times Building, New York (1905)—Wallace McCutcheon

Skyscrapers of NYC from North River (1903)—J.B. Smith

Panorama from Tower of the Brooklyn Bridge (1903)—G.W. "Billy" Bitzer

Building Up and Demolishing the Star Theatre (1902)—Frederick Armitage

Coney Island at Night (1905)—Edwin S. Porter

Interior New York Subway 14th Street to 42nd Street (1905)—G.W. "Billy" Bitzer

Seeing New York by Yacht (1902)—Frederick Armitage & A.E. Weed

2 Looney Lens: Split Skyscrapers (1924) and Tenth Avenue, NYC (1924)—Al Brick

4 Scenes from Ford Educational Weekly (1916-24)—creators unknown

Manhatta (1921)—Charles Sheeler & Paul Strand

Twentyfour-Dollar Island (c. 1926)—Robert Flaherty

Skyscraper Symphony (1929)—Robert Florey

Manhattan Medley (1931)—Bonney Powell

A Bronx Morning (1931)—Jay Leyda

Footnote to Fact (1933)—Lewis Jacobs

Seeing the World (1937)—Rudy Burckhardt

Pursuit of Hapiness (1940)—Rudy Burckhardt

Gold Diggers of 1935 — "Lullaby of Broadway" (1935)—Busby Berkeley (excerpt)

Autumn Fire (1930-33)—Herman Weinberg

Disc 6 - THE AMATEUR AS AUTEUR: Discovering Paradise in Pictures - 20 FILMS

7 Case Sound Tests (c. 1924-25)—Theodore Case & Earl Sponable

Windy Ledge Farm (c. 1929-34)—Elizabeth Woodman Wright

A Day in Santa Fe (1931)—Lynn Riggs & James Hughes

4 Stewart Family Home Movies (c. 1935-39)—Archie Stewart

Children’s Party (c. 1938)—Joseph Cornell

Cotillion (c. 1938)—Joseph Cornell

The Midnight Party (c. 1938)—Joseph Cornell

Haiti (1938)—Rudy Burckhardt

Tree Trunk to Head (1938)—Lewis Jacobs

Bicycle Polo at San Mateo (1940-42)—Frank Stauffacher

1126 Dewey Avenue, Apt. 207 (1939)—John C. Hecker

Disc 7 - VIVA LA DANCE: The Beginnings of Ciné-Dance - 33 FILMS

7 Annabelle Dances and Dances (1894-1897)—W.K.L. Dickson, William Heise & James White

Davy Jones' Locker (1900)—Frederick Armitage

Neptune’s Daughters (1900)—Frederick Armitage

A Nymph of the Waves (1900)—Frederick Armitage

Diana the Huntress (1916)—Charles Allen & Francis Trevelyan Miller (excerpt)

The Soul of the Cypress (1920)—Dudley Murphy

Looney Lens: Pas de deux (1924)—Al Brick

Hände: Das Leben und die Liebe eines Zärtlichen Geschlechts (Hands: The Life and Loves of the Gentler Sex) (1928)—Stella Simon & Miklos Bandy

Mechanical Principles (1930)—Ralph Steiner

Tilly Losch in Her Dance of the Hands (c. 1930-33)—Norman Bel Geddes

2 Eisenstein’s Mexican Footage (1931)—Sergei Eisenstein (excerpts)

Oramunde (1933)—Emlen Etting

Hands (1934)—Ralph Steiner & Willard Van Dyke

Joie de vivre (1934)—Anthony Gross & Hector Hoppin

Wonder Bar: "Don’t Say Goodnight" (1934)—Busby Berkeley (excerpt)

Dada (1936)—Mary Ellen Bute & Ted Nemeth

Escape (1938)—Mary Ellen Bute & Ted Nemeth

An Optical Poem (1938)—Oskar Fischinger

Abstract Experiment in Kodachrome (c. 1940s)—Slavko Vorpapich

NBC Valentine Greeting (1939-40)—Norman McLaren

Stars and Stripes (1940)—Norman McLaren

Tarantella (1940)—Mary Ellen Bute, Ted Nemeth & Norman McLaren

Spook Sport (1940)—Mary Ellen Bute, Ted Nemeth & Norman McLaren

Danse Macabre (1922)—Dudley Murphy

Peer Gynt (1941)—David Bradley, starring Charlton Heston (excerpt)

Introspection (1941/46)—Sara Kathryn Arledge



Thanks, a but more underwhelming than expected but still great.


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A nice article on silent film music, past and present


I notice every woman in this picture is wearing a large hat blocking the screen for people behind them


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Here is a new Film Comment interview with Kevin Brownlow, who recently turned 80 years old. They discuss his narrative films, the difference between making a documentary about an individual and a time period, and finally Brownlow's relationship with with Stanley Kubrick.


This exchange stood out to me. Brownlow observes that Nazis are always portrayed in films as an over-the-top caricature. That's not historically accurate or informative to the viewer.

<You also did a D.W. Griffith documentary, and now Twilight Time has released a Blu-ray of the Photoplay restoration of The Birth of a Nation, which contains a piece by Patrick Stanbury on the restoration and your plea that we never censor the past. You ran into censorship yourself with It Happened Here, when you recorded the words of contemporary National Socialists in Britain. Distributors and some Jewish groups thought the film could be promoting anti-Semitism.

<Andrew and I felt very strongly that it’s a great mistake to suppress people. The forbidden becomes exciting and very attractive to nutcases. The Nazis certainly revealed themselves to be mental cases and quite terrifying. We couldn’t put the worst of it in. What we did was to try and tell people what National Socialism was. To my knowledge, there isn’t a single feature film made since the War, since the Nazis stopped making propaganda films themselves, that actually tells you what they planned, how they intended to treat people, all those sort of things. That has been taken over by actors frothing at the mouth and screaming against Jews. You see that and you’re supposed to think, “That’s a Nazi for you.” Pure melodrama.


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The Dumb Girl of Portici was restored and screened last year to much acclaim at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival. Some of its praise is overblown, but the film is worth watching regardless. As time passes there are fewer and fewer new silent film discoveries, so this one is unquestionably significant.

Based on an opera, this major production includes large sets, period costumes, scores of extras, and plenty of action in the final forty minutes. The lead actress is famous Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova in her only film role. She makes a striking impression with her wild hair and spastic gestures, but ultimately she does not have enough charisma to propel this film to the next level. Granted none of the acting in this film is particularly endearing.

TDGoP was the biggest film directed by a woman at the time -- and for quite a while afterwards -- but I did not detect anything distinctly feminine about Weber's directing choices. So, I don't think "gender identity" is relevant to the substance of this film. If I didn't know the sex of the director I'd assume it was made by a man.


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New Laurel and Hardy movie


Faust is really nice, the dark look really adds an eerie look to the movie.



I really love the way Limite was shot. Dynamic, inventive, playful. The closeup textures of wood, water, clothes, hair are beautiful on nitrate. I'm surprised this film hasn't been imitated more, but please tell me films that were inspired by it. I haven't seen many from Brazil.


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Jean Epstein is the first silent director I noticed that takes special care to properly light characters' eyes. It is a small detail but it adds a lot of vitality to the images. Sometimes the images almost pass for modern photography.


Saw The Racket (1928). Apparently it was almost a lost film until a reel was found in Howard Hughes's collection. Cool shots with the gun under the table and everyone at a funeral packing heat in their hats. Especially loved how they showed the main character walk up to the mob boss then moved the camera as he was walking, seemed impressive given the era.


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Was this inevitable? The Lilian Gish purge is underway.


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Faust was Murnau's last German film



YouTube embed. Click thumbnail to play.

Of all the silent films I find Buster Keaton's The General to be the most watchable. It uses a finer film stock, to a degree that the cinematography almost gives a modern quality. As a young man, Keaton was quite brilliant.



I'd love to see Cabiria.

I saw Abel Ganz's Napoleon when it was reconstructed from fragments and frankly it was terrible.


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I am absolutely floored not one of you has mentioned Georges Méliès in this thread yet. If you know anything about the art of film, his groundbreaking contributions to cinema as we know it need no introduction.


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Yeah it's weird Melies never came up before. And how about the lesser-known Spaniard Segundo de Chomón who had a very similar style to Melies. He went so far as to copy A Trip to the Moon nearly shot for shot.


Segundo de Chomón made almost 230 short films between 1901 and 1913



Meme film which wasn't as good as everything else he made, it's only notable thanks to pop culture.



Okay, then how about actually sharing some of his other films then, Mr. Contrarian?


YouTube embed. Click thumbnail to play.


Not that anon but the more Melies movies I watched the less I cared for him. I felt like he became a one trick pony that defaulted back to cheap and repetitive magic tricks, and that's what Melies was; a magician.

One of his movies that sticks with me is "Ulysses and the Giant Polyphemus" but that's merely because it was one of the earlier movies that adapted part of Homer's Odyssey to film.



Which one of you faggots stole my image for a /tv/ thread but can't even respond here?


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