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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 

 

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Entries in silent films (41)

Sunday
Dec202015

National Film Registry: A Sirk, Some Ghostbusters, and Zorro

Nooooo. I almost forgot to share the National Film Registries new titles. Each year they add 25 pictures  that are deemed historically, culturally or aesthetically important. Each year I suggest that we should watch all the titles together. Well, the ones we can find at least. Perhaps we'll actually do that for 2016 -- you never know! Getting a spot on the National Film Registry is more symbolic than active. It does not guarantee preservation or restorations but it does suggest that these films should all be preserved and/or restored.

The 2015 additions are:

 

  • Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze (1894) - watch it now. it's six seconds long... the earliest surviving copyrighted film
  • Dream of a Rarebit Fiend (1906) -watch it now. (7 minutes) from a short Winsor McCay comic strip
  • A Fool There Was (1915) -watch it now. (66 minutes) Theda Bara tempts a married man! It's always the woman's fault, don't you know 
  • Humoresque (1920) - not the Joan Crawford film inspired by this story!
  • The Mark of Zorro (1920) -watch it now (88 minutes) the Douglas Fairbanks version
  • Black and Tan (1929) -watch it now -(15 minutes) short jazz film with Duke Ellington
  • Dracula (1931) - the Spanish language version
  • Our Daily Bread (1934) - King Vidor's socialist drama
  • The Old Mill (1937) - animated short Oscar winner
  • Hail the Conquering Hero (1944) - Preston Sturges comedy
  • The Story of Menstruation (1946) - documentary short
  • John Henry and the Inky-Poo (1946) - animated short Oscar nominee
  • Winchester '73 (1950) -western with Jimmy Stewart and Shelley Winters
  • Imitation of Life (1959) - Douglas Sirk's awesome melodrama
  • Seconds (1966) -thriller starring Rock Hudson
  • Portrait of Jason (1967) - LGBT documentary
  • Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One (1968) - a documentary about filmmaking
  • The Inner World of Aphasia (1968) -documentary about aphasics
  • Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer (1975) - a biographical doc
  • Being There (1979) - the Hal Ashby dramedy with Peter Sellers
  • Ghostbusters (1984) - the comic blockbuster currently undergoing a gender flip
  • Top Gun (1986) -you feel the need. the need for speed
  • Sink or Swim (1990) - documentary about formative childhood
  • The Shawshank Redemption (1994) - that insanely beloved prison drama
  • LA Confidential (1997) - the awesome neo noir

 

Big thanks to Matthew Rettenmund of Boy Culture for pointing out this insanely cool bit of trivia about the list:

Of special note: Mother and daughter Lupita Tovar (the world's oldest living actress at age 105) and Susan Kohner were in the Spanish-language Dracula (1931) and Imitation of Life (1959), respectively.

You may recall that Mexican actress Lupita Tovar recently took up the throne or oldest living screen star after the death of Luise Rainer. The super cool thing to know about Lupita Tovar is that she is the grandmother of Chris Weitz and Paul Weitz, both filmmakers (Paul wrote and directed Grandma this year) so her cinematic legacy lives on.

Though the titles are selected by the National Film Preservation Board and Library staff, the public can nominate titles here if you wanna get a jump start on their 2016 list. The movies have to be at least 10 years old so no "OMG THE FORCE AWAKENS WAS AMAZING!" because they will shut that right down. 

Monday
Oct192015

Linkwire

Film Grimoire bookmarking this "on location" series since I'm going to London soon and there's lots of fun places from famous movies
You Must Remember This Karina Longworth researches Hollywood's first openly gay star William Haines (way back in the silent era) 
The Guardian on Spear, the "Australia's first indigenous dance film" - we wanna see
Quartz a photographers new project "edits" out smartphones showing us our lonely new world of disconnection

 

Variety checks in with sales of Mexico's Oscar hopeful 600 Miles feat. Tim Roth
ICYMI <-- we previously covered the foreign submissions w/ recognizable stars like Roth
Buzzfeed Dreamboat Aaron Tveit sings stripped-down "Defying Gravity" from Wicked
Playbill looks at Broadway's oldest living leading ladies: Lansbury and Rivera aren't the only ones
AV Club childhood memories of Willow (1988) and an adult revisit
i09 the first image from The War of the Planet of the Apes looks familiar 
i09 on the superheroes that should get TV series rather than movies. Okay, I'd watch She-Hulk and Ms. Marvel.
i09 Captain America is outraging conservatives again, who forget that he's always been a political character
Variety The 33 and Where to Invade Next added to growing AFI Fest. Nathaniel and Anne Marie will cover this last minute Oscar nom -seeking festival for you as usual. 
Forbes YouTube's highest earning stars. I feel so removed from this wing of showbiz that it always startles me to realize that a) there are famous people that I wouldn't recognize even if they were standing right in front of me screaming their name and b) those same people are NOT from sports or reality television... the other areas to which I am blind

Lukewarm Off Presses
• Page Six I somehow missed this story of Daniel Craig getting in hot water with Sony execs with his repeated groaning about having to play James Bond again. But I like it. (It sucks when you have to work once every three years for shitloads of money, right). In related 'anything else!' news, Craig has signed on for a new production of Othello on the stage. He'll be playing Iago to David Oyelowo's Othello.

Celebrity Pic o' the Day

 

 

An excellent idea, prolly.

Garret Dillahunt is a marvelous actor and though Hollywood likes him best as a sinister possibly dim psycho (The Road, Amazon's Hand to God), he's just as good at decent if ineffectual lawmen (Winter's Bone and No Country For Old Men) and has proved his comedy bonafides on television in Raising Hope and The Mindy Project and also does stage work. In short: we are fond of him and he has more range than the roles he's offered. This great selfie he posted yesterday is exactly how it feels to watch him in his most unnerving roles, though. Love his caption "An excellent idea, prolly" Heh! 

Wednesday
Sep022015

"luck or no luck..."

Sunday
Jun142015

Blogs He Linked

The Dissolve Disney's announces the replacement voice cast of The Good Dinosaur - what is going on with that movie?
Guardian this sounds really cool. Director Gillian Armstrong (Little Women, Mrs Soffel) has made a documentary about the Oscar winning costume designer Orry-Kelly called Women He Undressed. He had a fascinating career and was quite a famous figure in Hollywood's golden age, friends with Bette Davis and more than friends (rumored) with Cary Grant
They Live By Night "This is our Furiousa" a reflection on a rare quiet moment in Mad Max Fury Road
Elle randomness! Talking to the art director of the cover of Madonna's debut album 
NYT talks to the cast of Goodfellas on their 25 year old classic


The Playlist new images from Terrence Malick's Knight of Cups. Isn't it time to release this one? (I'm getting a To the Wonder vibe)
The Guardian looks back at Helen Mirren's breakout part at 22 (!!!) in Age of Consent (1969) 
Shadowplay has a super fun series called "The Sunday Intertitle" and the latest is about Tarzan (1929). I was brainstorming a similar series years ago but never committed so I'm so happy someone else has one! My only complaint is there is no way to link the complete series.
Pajiba wonders why critics and the internet are turning on Game of Thrones for doing the exact same things it's always done (gorey violence, lots of rape, brutal torture, etecetera). I knew to get out after the first season and second book -- definitely way too sadistic/sexist/exploitative for me -- so I've found the recent outrage peculiar since it's describing the show I saw five seasons ago to a T. 
EW Mark Harris on the sudden pop culture fascination with actual transgender celebrities as well as their fictional counterparts, particularly on television

Geeky Fandom
CineMunch continues their amusing favorite actress podcast showdowns. This one's about Pfeiffer, Witherspoon, Binoche, and The Lovely Laura Linney among others
Toybox Penny Dreadful action figures!
New Statesman Excellent piece on the enduring appeal and fan obsessiveness towards Star Wars
HuffPost Disney princes reimagined in queer context
Twitter Mulder & Sculley reunited

Two stories from the real world.
The first is horrific and the second heartwarming. A gay man has been severely tortured and his family's business vandalized in Delta, Utah. I bring this up because I've actually been to this tiny tiny city innumerable times in my life. My mom lives near there in an even tinier city and I've even posted about Delta's one movie theater before. Because that story is just too terrible to contemplate -- it could have been me or any LGBT person or any person thought to be gay whether they were gay or not and will likely be someone else in the future of any stripe (hate & violence being dumb, nonlogical, non discerning and pathological) unless the people are caught. Because that story is too depressing for words, here's a cute story about a NYPD officer who saved a kitten and now the kitten is named after him! Awwww. 

Monday
Apr202015

Beauty vs Beast: Full Metal Maria

Tis I, Jason from MNPP, here, with another week's new edition of our "Beauty vs Beast" series. So over the next several days The Film Experience is going to be diving into the cinematic realm of Artificial Intelligence (known as "A.I." to people in a hurry and Haley Joel Osment fans), and to get the ball rolling I figured we'd make ourselves like science-fiction and hop in the way-back machine to the year 1927, when a little chap who went by the name Friedrich Christian Anton Lang, known to his friends as Fritz, made a little movie called Metropolis. In case you don't know the story, it goes like this: Boy meets Girl, Girl Gets Clones Into Evil Robot, Dystopian Nightmare Explodes, and a Kiss, The End. Somewhere in there dancing happens, and it is crazy awesome.

But thanks to a ferocious performance from actress Brigitte Helm you really couldn't get more of a clean split between the two Marias to choose from - Original Maria is all Goodness and Light, while her robot counterpart is Sex and Chaos. But what Sex and Chaos! Where does your heart belong?

Whose team are you on?
Team Maria0%
Team Robot-Maria0%

You have one week to vote!

PREVIOUSLY While I was out of town last week Nathaniel took the chance to sneak a musical (a genre I'm somewhat allergic to) in - can I just tell you that even though I've lusted for The Ten Commandments era Yul Brynner a'plenty I've never seen The King and I? So I'll be damned if I know the right choice for this round, but y'all went with Anna (Deborah Kerr) by only a slight margin (54%). Said Jija:

"I'm maybe biased because I'm Thai but I find Yul's performance ... irritating. I don't expect accurate history or anything. It's a very lovely musical but I can't get past his overacting, silly gestures and ..that accent. He's very cartoonish. Deborah Kerr, on the other hand, is everything."

Sunday
Apr192015

The Lumière Brothers' First Public Screening

Sebastian here, stealing sharing a great find by Slate's Dana Stevens, who tweeted out a video of the ten short films by the Lumière Brothers that were first shown to the paying public of Paris on December 28, 1895.

On their website, the Institut Llumière offers a look at the screening's program, handed out to the patrons of Le Salon Indien, a room in the basement of the Grand Café on Boulevard des Capucines.

Unfortunately the Institut's image is tiny and barely legible. So presented here, brought to you with the help of all the latest text-formatting technology, a reproduction, updated to include links to watch the films on YouTube:

 

LE CINÉMATOGRAPHE
SALON INDIEN
GRAND CAFÉ

14, Boulevard des Capucines, 14
PARIS


Cel appareil, inventé par MM. Auguste et Louis Lumière, permet de recueillir, par des séries d'épreuves instantantées, tous les mouvements qui, pendant un temps donné, se sont succédé devant l'objectif, et de reproduire ensuite ces mouvements en projetant, grandeur naturelle, devant une salle entière, leurs images sur un écran.



SUJETS ACTUELS