Category Archives: Silent Film

Keaton – Cops – and the First Baptist Church of Hollywood

It’s always a fun day when I notice a new post at John Bengtson’s completely awesome Silent Locations. And after seeing Buster and Fatty in the high-larious “Backstage” last night at the 1000 Laffs: Playmates screening at Toronto Silent Film Festival, reading about this Keaton location is like a cherry on my sundae!

Keaton – Cops – and the First Baptist Church of Hollywood.

TSFF Review: Our Dancing Daughters (1928)

our-dancing-daughters-1928-posterFor me, there are two alternating pleasures in watching silent movies. The first is the opportunity to watch a fledgling medium, one that is still so much with us today, being born. Silent movies showcase the intuitive genius of a lot of early filmmakers who seemed to just know what to do with these moving images. This is the pleasure of watching Chaplin, Keaton, Murnau, Griffith. But even when a silent movie is not so innovative or culturally fresh or technically groundbreaking, it can still offer up a window into a moment in time. Movies are, after all, a reflection of both what we actually are (sometimes, unintentionally so) and a projection of what we wish to be. Our Dancing Daughters (1928) falls firmly within the second category. Read the rest of this entry

Lotte Reiniger’s Cinderella


If you’re a lucky gal like me, in mere hours you’ll be in Innis Town Hall in Toronto, enjoying the launch of the Toronto Silent Film Festival. If you’re not that lucky, I have a lone tear rolling down my cheek for you.

As excited as I am about dancing the shimmy with young, lovely Joan Crawford in tonight’s feature Our Dancing Daughters (and that’s very excited), I’m equally eager for the screening of Lotte Reiniger‘s Cinderella. Though I have seen pretty much all of Reiniger’s work, I have never been graced with the opportunity to see it screened before an audience.

If you’re not familiar with the haunting and amazing silhouette animation of Lotte Reiniger, get thee to the interwebs! You can find a lot of her work, mostly shorts, all over YouTube, and Vimeo, and Daily Motion. Even Pretty Clever Film Gal posted some right here in June. But if you’re in Toronto, be sure to come out tonight to see this really astounding work get the live cinema treatment.

Doors open at Innis Town Hall at 7:30 pm. I predict a mob scene so you should buy your tickets now.

In the meantime, amuse yourself with learning a little bit more about the remarkable Lotte Reiniger and her amazing work. But don’t cheat and watch Cinderella!

D.W. Griffith’s The Battle at Elder Bush Gulch

Guess what? Today is the release 98th anniversary of D.W. Griffith’s The Battle at Elder Bush Gulch. Here’s an easy five step plan to fully enjoying this Biograph short! Read the rest of this entry

Abel Gance’s Napoleon Just as Awesome as We Thought

napoleon-abel gance

The interwebs are ablaze with eye-witness reports of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival’s presentation of Kevin Brownlow’s restorationof Abel Gance’s Napoleon. Who would have thought you could pack the house for a 5 plus hour silent epic. Well, silent films fans, that’s who! And all of the first hand accounts confirm – Napoleon is totally awesome!

Here’s a wee round up of what’s being said:

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