Silent

Lois Weber – Shoes (1916)

Quote:
Eva Meyer is poor shop girl working at a five-and-dime. She is the sole wage earner for three younger sisters, a mother who struggles to hold everything together, and a father who prefers beer and penny dreadfuls to work. Each week, Eva returns to her cold-water flat and dutifully hands over her meager earnings to her mother. But her wages barely cover the grocer’s bill and cannot provide for decent clothing. With only cardboard to patch the holes in the soles of her shoes, Eva’s life becomes harder with each rainy day and every splinter. In constant pain and with no solution in sight, the disheartened girl considers the uninvited advances of Charlie, a cad with clearly dishonorable intentions.
So begins Lois Weber’s SHOES, perhaps her finest masterpiece and one of the great feminist films in the history of cinema. Read More »

Rachel Amodeo – Pierre Paulo AKA Pierre Paolo (1998)

Quote:
Concieved and shot by Rachel Amodeo in her hometown of Terravecchia (Italy), Pierre Paolo (1998) is an introspective biographical portrait, reminiscent of italian silent cinema. Read More »

Maurice Tourneur – The Wishing Ring: An Idyll of Old England (1914)

AMG wrote:
According to film historian William K. Everson, to offer a fully detailed synopsis of Maurice Tourneur’s delightful period piece The Wishing Ring “would do a disservice to its charm.” Suffice to say that the film’s wide-eyed heroine Vivian Martin comes into possession of a ring which she believes to have magical powers. Armed with this belief alone, the girl is able to change the course of her entire life. Read More »

Chusheng Cai – A Dream in Pink AKA Pink Dream AKA Fenhongse de meng (1932)

Here is one of Cai Chusheng’s earliest films, set in and around the dancehalls of art deco Shanghai.

Plot, per wikipedia:
Pink Dream tells the story of a young novelist who is supported by a loving and hard-working wife. The novelist, however, is drawn to the decadent life of a socialite who introduces him to the dance halls that dot Shanghai. As the film progresses, the novelist soon learns of the emptiness of this urban existence and rejects it as a “pink dream.” Read More »

Ernst Lubitsch – Die Puppe AKA The Doll (1919)

Quote:
The Baron of Chanterelle (Max Kronert) demands that his nephew Lancelot (Hermann Thimig) get married to preserve the family line. A skittish and effeminate fellow, Lancelot does not wish to marry, so when his uncle presents him with 40 enthusiastic brides, he hides out with a group of monks. The gluttonous monks learn about Lancelot’s potential cash reward for his nuptials, so they cook up a plan: he can marry a doll… Read More »

Grigori Kozintsev & Leonid Trauberg – S.V.D. – Soyuz velikogo dela AKA Union of the Great Cause (1927)

(imdb)
A failed Russian Revolution succeeded magnificently on screen., 3 June 1999
Author: Theodore J. van Houten from Haamstede, 4328 ZG 1 Netherlands

S.V.D. was released in August 1927. A beautiful costume drama, it is on the other hand a somewhat expressionistic, poetical fantasy. Its photography and images are more important than its desired political contents. The script, written by the inspiring historian Yuri Tinyanov (director Leonid Trauberg [1901-1990]could speak about Tinyanov for hours) supplied a failed love story, a political intrigue involving two czars, and a traveling circus background. The picture glorifies the 1825 ‘Decembrists’ uprisal: officers in the imperial Russian army are fed up with the new czar’s autocracy. Read More »

Yakov Bliokh – Shanhkayskiy dokument AKA The Shanghai Document (1928)

The Shanghai Document is an early documentary film. This silent film was directed by Yakov Bliokh (1895-1957) and was released in the USSR in 1928. The film portrays Shanghai, China in the early 1920s. It shows the contrasts between the world of Western expatriates (including Britons, Americans, New Zealanders, Australians, and Danes) who live in the luxurious Shanghai International Settlement, and that of the Shanghainese inhabitants, who spend their days laboring. The events which inspired the film revolve around the Chinese nationalist revolution (1925-27), including the May Thirtieth Movement, and the First United Front of the Chinese Communist Party, and the Nationalists (the Kuomintang), and its collapse in February 1927 when Chiang Kai-shek ordered a purge of the Communists in Shanghai and in other cities held by the revolutionaries. Read More »