D.W. Griffith – The Avenging Conscience: or ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill’ (1914)

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D.W. Griffith’s silent psychological drama based on Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” tells the story of a depressed young man who murders the cruel uncle who prevented his marriage to his beloved and the ensuing guilt that drives him into madness. Stars Henry B. Walthall, Blanche Sweet. AKA: “The Telltale Heart.” 84 min. Standard; Soundtrack: music score; bonus short “Edgar Allan Poe” (1909). Silent with music score. Continue reading

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

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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 Continue reading

Polidor – Tontolini è triste (1911)

Plot
Disappointed by love, Tontolini consults a doctor about the sadness he feels. The doctor prescribes distractions and entertainment as a cure. Tontolini accepts the doctor’s advice and begins the cure by going to café chantants and theaters, where he finds nothing but moving performances that make him even sadder. (European Film Gateway) Continue reading

Charles Tutelier – La Belgique martyre AKA The martyrdom of Belgium (1919)

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Plot
A young Flemish peasant experiences the brutal side of war after his father has left to fight at the battle front of the Yser, his mother has been executed by German soldiers and his grandfather has been sent to an internment camp. He decides to take up arms and joins the Belgian army to avenge his mother’s death… (EFG) Continue reading