Louis Delluc – La femme de nulle part (1922)

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Synopsis:
Like his fiery study of a popular milieu in Fièvre, Louis Delluc’s early masterpiece of impressionist cinema, La Femme de Nulle Part, is almost impossible to see outside of rare archival projections in Paris. Shot in natural settings, and stripped of all that is not cinema, Delluc’s psychological drama featuring symbolist muse Eve Francis is an experiment in ‘direct style.’ A fascinating study in the relationship between past and present, memory, dream and reality, this revolutionary film would be a source of inspiration for successive filmmakers, from Francois Truffaut to Alain Resnais. Continue reading

William A. Seiter – Little Church Around the Corner (1923)

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The Little Church Around the Corner is important as the first major financial success for the fledgling Warner Bros. studios. Kenneth Harlan plays a mining-town clergyman who falls in love with his benefactor’s daughter. He is about to settle into a life of cozy complacency when a group of miners come to his doorstep, asking that the minister plead to the owners for better living conditions. To prove himself to be “one” with the miners, Harlan moves into their shanty community. This causes a rift with his sweetheart’s father, who happens to be one of the owners. A cave-in, an angry mob and a supposed miracle are part and parcel of this 1923 adaptation of the war-horse Marion Russell play, which is directed with a sure, subtle hand by William A. Seiter. ~ Hal Erickson Continue reading

Fred Niblo – Way Out West [Pre-Code] (1930)

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Plot/Synopsis: from ROVI
A pleasant enough western parody starring one of the victims of sound, William Haines, Way Out West is the story of a carnival huckster forced to work on a western ranch in order to repay a couple of cowboys he once fleeced. There’s a sandstorm, a fist-fight with the ubiquitous crooked foreman (Charles Middleton), a pretty female ranch owner (Leila Hyams), and sundry other western clichés thrown in to prove the star’s manly qualities.The light-weight Haines played many such roles, but reshuffling due to sound (not to mention a quarrel with MGM studio head, Louis B. Mayer), ended his career. Haines later became a fashionable interior decorator. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi Continue reading

Joe May – Das Indische Grabmal: Die Sendung des Yoghi AKA Mysteries of India, Part I: Truth (1921)

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A jealous & vindictive Rajah sends a powerful Yogi to entice a famous English architect into constructing a marvelous mausoleum in which to inter the prince’s faithless wife.

THE Indian TOMB: THE MISSION OF THE YOGI is a perfect example of the grand German cinema epics created during the silent era. Berlin film mogul Joe May turned the full resources of his modern Maytown studio over to the production, using 300 workmen to create the lavish sets necessary to tell such an exotic tale. Continue reading

Joe May – Das Indische Grabmal: Der Tiger von Eschnapur AKA Mysteries of India, Part II: Above All Law (1921)

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The jealous & vindictive Rajah of Bengal continues to manipulate the fates of his three English captives in his mad scheme to punish his faithless wife.

THE Indian TOMB: THE TIGER OF BENGAL is a perfect example of the grand German cinema epics created during the silent era. Berlin film mogul Joe May turned the full resources of his modern 50-acre Maytown studio near Berlin over to the production, using 300 workmen to create the lavish sets necessary to tell such an exotic tale. Continue reading

Gustav Machaty – Erotikon (1929)

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IMDb user comments:
75 years after the release of EROTIKON, I had a chance to see it in a modern cinema in Wroclaw (Poland). The wonderful experience was intensified by the live background music played by the members of Prague Archa theater. It was a lovely return to the end of silent era, the year 1929. The film EROTIKON, made by Gustav Machaty, caused controversy among the audiences of that time. What particularly shocked them was the way the director showed love scenes. Some admired it, some condemned it and, as a result, it was underrated and lost for years. Fortunately, the copy was found in the 1980s and restored for today’s audience who can admire the genius of Machaty. Continue reading