Blog Archives

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.

Metropolis, A Technical Marvel with Feet of Clay

metropolis - frtiz lang

Metropolis premiered in Berlin on January 10, 1927. As all good silent movie devotees know, the film was then tinkered with, re-edited, and god knows what before it received wider distribution. Hard to know now.

Mordaunt Hall, film reviewer for The New York Times, gave that revised version a less than glowing treatment, calling Metropolis a “technical marvel” with “feet of clay.” Read the original review here.  Maybe he was just bitter cause his mom named him Mordaunt?

Vilma Banky, The Hungarian Rhapsody

Vilma Banky Dec 1929 - A Lady To Love (Aka Sunkissed) - By Ruth Harriet Louise

According to my amazing Silent Film Calendar, today is Vilma Banky’s 114th birthday. At first I thought, “Happy birthday Vilma Banky!” Then I thought, “Wait a minute… who’s Vilma Banky.” Read the rest of this entry

Film Friday | Weekly Roundup

Pretty Clever Film Gal’s got nothing this week. I didn’t scour the web so you don’t have to. Hey, it’s the ramp up to  the big Christmas Day, which involves decking the halls, procuring a grain-fed, free-range turkey, and fighting the crowds to get the last fuzzy, polar bear shaped card at Shopper’s Drug Mart. In short, I’ve been busy getting my festive on. I hope you’ve all been busy too, making your wish-list, checking it twice, and sending via email blast to your friends and loved ones. Is there a better way to make sure there are goodies under your tree? I won’t let you completely down, though. In addition to the roundup of silent versions of “A Christmas Carol,” I’ve put together this nifty little list of other Christmas related silents, for your viewing pleasure. Happy viewing and merry, merry Christmas! Read the rest of this entry

Fact or Film Snobbery?

Silent MoviesMakeYouaBetterPerson

It’s been fun to spectate all of this renewed interest in the medium of silent film. Just as the interest has shined a light into the flickering-shadow filled caves of film nerds, it has also served as an invitation for rampant film snobbery. And hey, I enjoy all these articles and blips and clips that imply fans of silent films are smarter, better-looking, and generally more successful. It’s all very affirming. But there has also been a lot of wild opinionating about how Hollywood can finally be saved from the horrors of CGI and how the intellectual pursuit of silent film viewing can finally be presented to the teeming hordes. At times, even to a die-hard, it gets a little distasteful and more than a little silly.

Case in point… this interview with Bryony Dixon on the BBC. She’s a silent film expert, you see. And she’s here to tell us that silent films are “more rewarding,” that viewers must “work harder” to enjoy them, and that they require “greater concentration.” That just sucks all the fun out the room, doesn’t it. It’s hard to know where to start in teasing apart this expert mess, but fortunately Nick Redfern at Resarch Into Film sets the ball rolling with his excellent post, “Opinion or Fact?” Check out the post, read Mr. Redfern’s post, and jump into the fray with your own expert opinion.

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