1911-1920

Nino Oxilia – Rapsodia satanica aka Satan’s Rhapsody (1915)

Quote:
Rapsodia Satanica (1915) was the last film directed by Nino Oxilia and is undoubtedly one of the finest achievements of the early Italian cinema. In it, Oxilia spins a variation on the Faust myth, embodied here by the diva Lyda Borelli. Typical of extravagant D’Annunzian aestheticism at its height, Rapsodia Satanica was one of the summits of what was later called the “tail coat film.” Diametrically opposed to the “cinema of reality” practiced by Serena, Martoglio and others, “tail coat films” set their melodramatic stories in the salons and villas of the upper middle class and the aristocracy, deploying narrative structures contrived to showcase their actors and especially its actresses. This had the effect of accentuating their physical presence and turning them into stars – probably the first stars in movie history. The success of the “dive” contributed to the development of motion picture grammar in its special use of the close-up.
Written by Anthony Kobal Read More »

Johannes Pääsuke – Retk läbi Setumaa AKA Journey through Setomaa (1913)

Estonia’s first ethnographic film. Made by Johannes Pääsuke in 1913 on his expedition to Setomaa, the South-Eastern region in Estonia. Read More »

Urban Gad – Zapatas Bande AKA Zapata’s Gang (1914)

Storyline
Comedy about a film crew shooting a movie about guns and robbers, when real robbers turn up. Having to go home in robbers costume, they are mistakingly accused. In the end the real robbers are brought to justice. Read More »

Albert Capellani – The Red Lantern (1919)

[The Red Lantern] tells the story of a Eurasian, Joan of Arc-like heroine, Mahlee, who forsakes her own people to live among white Europeans, until political tumult draws her back across the color line to foment anti-imperialist uprising in China’s 1900 Boxer Rebellion. While Mahlee literally “hears voices” (à la Joan of Arc) that compel her to revolutionary action, star actress Alla Nazimova doubles in this role as Mahlee and as her estranged white [half]-sister, Blanche Sackville. Blanche’s sister from another mother (i.e., their white British father’s Chinese mistress), Mahlee struggles with her simultaneous attraction and repulsion towards her kinfolk colonizers — and more pointedly with the politics of British colonialism in fin-de-siècle China. Read More »

Carl Boese & Paul Wegener – Der Golem, wie er in die Welt kam AKA The Golem: How He Came Into the World (1920) (HD)

In 16th-century Prague, a rabbi creates the Golem – a giant creature made of clay. Using sorcery, he brings the creature to life in order to protect the Jews of Prague from persecution. Read More »

Paul Leni – Das Tagebuch des Dr. Hart aka The Diary of Dr. Hart (1916)

“Dr. Robert Hart visits his friend Ursula von Hohenau in Saxony in July 1914. There he hears about the Austrian ultimatum to Serbia. He immediately returns to his home town where, just before mobilisation, he meets the Polish count Bransky and his daughter Jadwiga, the French Vicomte Latour and the Russian counsellor of embassy count Bronislaw Krascinsky. Bronislaw is madly in love with Jadwiga and jealous of Dr. Hart. After the outbreak of the war Dr. Hart works close to the Polish frontlines. Bronislaw leads the Russian troops in this area. When Bronislaw is wounded during a battle with the Germans Dr. Hart finds him and takes care of his wounds.” Read More »

Yevgeni Bauer – Sumerki zhenskoi dushi AKA Twilight of a Woman’s Soul (1913)

Despite living in luxury, Vera is lonely and discontented. When she accompanies her mother, the Countess, on a charity visit to the poor, she is troubled by what she sees, and she resolves to do whatever she can to help them. But one man takes advantage of her innocence, and he lures her into a trap so that he can assault her. The dreadful results of this attack will affect Vera’s life long afterward. –imdb Read More »