Tag Archives: Silent

Claude Friese-Greene – The Open Road (1926)

Quote:
In the summer of 1924 Claude Friese-Greene, a pioneer of colour cinematography, set out from Cornwall with the aim of recording life on the road between Land’s End and John O’Groats. Entitled The Open Road, his remarkable travelogue was conceived as a series of shorts, 26 episodes in all, to be shown weekly at the cinema.

Claude’s experimental colour process failed to reach a large audience owing to heavy flicker and colour fringing. Following on from the BBC’s recent documentary The Lost World of Friese-Greene, the BFI National Archive has restored a special compilation of highlights from the journey, using digital intermediate technology to remove the technical defects of the original. Read More »

Lev Kuleshov – Sorok serdets AKA Forty Hearts (1930)

Sorok Serdets is a 49 minute politprosvet film centered on electrical power plants, the new beating hearts planned for Soviet society and economy.

The infotainment flick is full of both creative metaphors and rather rude suggestions towards the bourgeois and capitalists, conveying historical materialism in a bombastic way that anyone can understand. The most prominent metaphor, a horse transformed by technology into a factory, connects peasant toil to industrialization. And it goes on to contextualize the early 20s grain famines, NEP, and Stalin’s new 5-year-plan phases, and it gets you on board for the role of electrification in the development of a workers’ state in the Soviet Union. Read More »

René Clair & Francis Picabia – Entr’acte (1924)

An absolute surrealistic movie. Somebody gets killed, his coffin gets out of control and after a surrealistic chase it stops. The person gets out of it and let everybody who followed the coffin disapear. Read More »

Charles Taze Russell – Photo-Drama of Creation (1914)

The Photo-Drama of Creation, or Creation-Drama, was a four-part Christian film (eight hours in total) produced by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania under the direction of Charles Taze Russell, the founder of the Bible Student movement. The film presented Russell’s beliefs about God’s plan from the creation of the earth through to the end of the 1,000 year reign of Christ.

Production began in 1912, and the presentation was introduced to audiences in 1914. It was the first major screenplay to incorporate synchronized sound, moving film, and color slides. Russell also published an accompanying book, Scenario of the Photo-Drama of Creation, in various languages. Read More »

A. Edward Sutherland – It’s the Old Army Game [+commentary] (1926)

W.C. Fields headlines in this 1926 silent comedy classic, essentially a collection of some of Fields’ best routines stitched together with the thinnest of plots.

It’s the Old Army Game (1926)

Released: 11 Jul 1926 Rated: PASSED Runtime: 77 min
Director: A. Edward Sutherland Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Romance
Cast: W.C. Fields, Louise Brooks, Blanche Ring, William Gaxton Writers: J.P. McEvoy (play), W.C. Fields (play), William LeBaron (adaptation), Thomas J. Geraghty (scenario), J. Clarkson Miller (scenario), Ralph Spence (titles)

Plot: Druggist Elmer Prettywillie is sleeping. A woman rings the night bell only to buy a two-cent stamp. Then garbage collectors waken him. Next it’s firemen on a false alarm. And then a real fire. Read More »

Robert Wiene – Orlacs Hände AKA The Hands of Orlac (1924)

A world-famous pianist loses both hands in an accident. When new hands are grafted on, he doesn’t know they once belonged to a murderer. Read More »

Alberto Capozzi & Gero Zambuto – Il fiacre n. 13 (1917)

EP.1 – IL DELITTO AL PONTE DE NEULLY
EP.2 – GIAN GIOVEDÌ’
EP.3 – LA FIGLIA DEL GHIGLIOTTINATO
EP.4 – GIUSTIZIA!
“Not many Italian silent films structured in episodes have survived, though a good many were made (see Monica Dall’Asta, “La diffusione dei film a episodi in Europa”, in Storia del cinema mondiale. Vol. 1: L’Europa. I. Miti, luoghi divi, Einaudi, 1999, p.309). Most of them were based on foreign models, particularly French, and some were direct reworkings. One such case is Il Fiacre n. 13, from the novel of the same title by Xavier Henri Aymon Perrin, Count of Montépin, a highly prolific and much-loved author whose books were vehicles for the depiction of social inequality, narrating stories of love, death, betrayal, blackmail, and redemption. Read More »