1921-1930

King Vidor – The Crowd (1928)

Born on the fourth of July, 1900, the future holds unlimited potential for newborn John Sims. But dreams soon fade with the death of his father when John is but a lad. Like many before him, John sets out to make his mark in New York City, but ends up a faceless worker (#137) in a large office of a large business. Still he is happy with his fate and soon meets a young woman named Mary on a blind double date. Things take their course and they soon marry and live in a small apartment. Soon John is bickering with Mary and finds that he has no love for the in-laws. When the marriage looks like a bust, he finds that Mary is with child and he stays. After 5 years, he has a son and a daughter and the same dead end job. When tragedy strikes, John must find the conviction to continue or lose what little he has left. Read More »

Phil Jutzi – Mutter Krausens Fahrt ins Glück AKA Mother Krause’s Journey to Happiness (1929)

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In the middle of an economic crisis, the workers are living in poverty and struggling to find a little happiness and get a warm meal. Mother Krause lives with her two grown-up children, as well as a shady “bed lodger” and his lover – a prostitute with a child – on just a few square metres. In next to no time, tensions build up, and soon crime is involved too. Mother Krausen’s painstakingly preserved order collapses. This story has lost hardly any of its relevance. In those days, columns of marching workers calling out “Join the ranks!” indicated a possible way out. But the older generation went to the dogs. Read More »

Kôkichi Tsukiyama – Shibukawa Bangorô (1922)

A film on the life of Bangorō Shibukawa, the founder of the Shibukawa-ryū school of jūjutsu. To paraphrase Tadao Satō’s blurb on the back cover of the video, this is an important film for three reasons.
1. It is an almost perfectly well preserved copy of one of only few full-length movies still available of the first superstar in Japanese cinema history, the very famous Onoe Matsunosuke. Read More »

Curtis Bernhardt – Die letzte Kompagnie AKA The Last Company (1930)

13 German soldiers have to fight off a French regiment. Read More »

Victor Sjöström – Körkarlen AKA The Phantom Carriage (1921)

The last person to die on New Year’s Eve before the clock strikes twelve is doomed to take the reins of Death’s chariot and work tirelessly collecting fresh souls for the next year. So says the legend that drives The Phantom Carriage (Körkarlen), directed by the father of Swedish cinema, Victor Sjöström (The Wind), about an alcoholic, abusive ne’er-do-well (Sjöström himself) who is shown the error of his ways and the pure-of-heart Salvation Army sister who believes in his redemption. Based on a novel by Nobel Prize winner Selma Lagerlöf, this extraordinarily rich and innovative silent classic (which inspired Ingmar Bergman to make movies) is a Dickensian ghost story and a deeply moving morality tale, as well as a showcase for groundbreaking special effects. Read More »

Tod Browning – West of Zanzibar (1928)

For 18 years Phroso, known as Dead Legs by his cronies, plots his revenge, becoming a pseudo-king in East Africa, nearby where Crane has set up an ivory business. When the daughter is grown, having lived in a brothel in Zanzibar thanks to Dead Legs, Phroso put his plan into action, resulting in revenge and retribution all around. Read More »

Nikolay Khodataev & Zenon Komissarenko & Youry Merkulov – Mezhplanetnaya revolyutsiya AKA Interplanetary Revolution (1924)

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A tale about Comrade Kominternov, the Red Army Warrior, who flew to Mars and vanquished all the capitalists on the planet. The film is a parody on the famous SF film “Aelita” from the same year. Read More »