The Birth of Cinema

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 »

J. Searle Dawley – A Christmas Carol (1910)

Quote:
Based on the story by Charles Dickens: The day before the Christmas holiday, Ebenezer Scrooge refuses to contribute to the Charity Relief Committee, and then rudely rejects his nephew when he visits Scrooge in his office. When Scrooge returns home, he sees the ghost of his former business partner Marley, who warns him of the punishment he will suffer in the next life if he does not change his ways. That night, Scrooge is visited by three more spirits, who show him his past, the present, and the future that awaits him. (imdb) Read More »

Georges Méliès – Le monstre aka The Monster (1903)

Plot Synopsis:
An Egyptian prince has lost his beloved wife and he has sought a dervish who dwells at the base of the sphinx. The prince promises him a vast fortune if the dervish will only give him the opportunity of gazing once more upon the features of his wife. The dervish accepts the offer. He brings in from a neighboring tomb the receptacle containing the remains of the princess. He opens it and removes the skeleton, which he places upon the ground close beside him. Then, turning to the moon and raising his arms outstretched toward it, he invokes the moon to give back life to her who is no more. The skeleton begins to move about, becomes animated, and arises. The dervish puts it upon a bench and covers it with a white linen; a masque conceals its ghostly face. Read More »

Viggo Larsen – Løvejagten AKA The Lion Hunt (1907)

http://img807.imageshack.us/img807/5104/love5c.jpg

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Synopsis
Two big game hunters are on safari in the jungle with their African guide. They observe zebras, ostrich and a hippopotamus, and catch a small monkey for a pet. During the night they are awakened by a lion which kills a small goat and then the hunters’ horse. The hunters shoot the lion as it stands by the water on a beach. They discover another lion and shoot it also. The lions are gutted and skinned. The happy hunters sit and smoke cigarettes afterward. Read More »

Charles Chaplin – The Tramp (1915)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
The Little Fellow finds the girl of his dreams and works on a family farm. Read More »

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

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

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. Read More »

Le Cochon danseur AKA Dancing Pig (1907)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

IMDB Says:
A pig dressed in fancy clothes flirts with a pretty girl, but she humiliates him and tears off his suit; she then makes him dance for her affections. 104 years later, a GIF will be created to scare Bobby Burke as plotted by John Davison. Read More »