Edna Purviance's bio

Currently working on Edna Purviance's family biography.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

'Chaplin's Mutual Comedies' 2014 restored

The latest restored edition of the 12 'Chaplin's Mutual Comedies' are finally being released by Flicker Alley. This is the US version of the earlier French edition from Arte (La Naissance de Charlot). 

Released by Flicker Alley and Blackhawk Films, this collection is being released for a limited time in a collector's edition SteelBook Case at a pre-release price of $39.95 plus shipping. The case will contain both the DVD and Blu-Ray disc.

Another feature is the choice of viewing the films with full orchestral or improvised piano. The list of composers included: Eric Beheim, Neil Brand, Timothy Brock, Antonio Coppola, Carl Davis, Stephen Horne, Robert Israel, the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, Maud Nelissen, Donald Sosin, and Gabriel Thibaudeau.

The special price is available until *July 29, 2014. (*Price likely will change before that date, if released earlier.) So, if interested, best to pre-order now. As most fans know these collections do get expensive. This one will list for $59.95, plus shipping, after release.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Some videos bits from the Oscars!

Very sorry for being quiet over here, but I have been placing every free block of time into writing Edna's family bio. I have been doing new research as I go long, in trying to gather as much material from that era as possible. I'm well into the film years in the draft, but continue to find things that cause me to pause and rewrite sections. It's a great deal of fun, so thankfully, I don't think of it as work, but an adventure!

I haven't been surfing much on the web, but at times run into some nice things I like to share here. For those who haven't seen these, here are some videos provided by the Oscars sharing moments from the 2011, Summer of Silents series.

The first one is Kevin Brownlow speaking about 'The General.'

If you never have been to Cottage Grove, Oregon to see the town Buster Keaton filmed 'The General,' this is one video to see before going. John Bengston's continues his great work in finding the locations of where films were shot. This is a really good detailed look at 'The General' Cottage Grove locations.

If you do visit, stop in at the visitor center on Main Street, just west of the Hotel that Buster is painted on. They have a book about the filming, but be warned. When I was there, they were out of stock. (Interestingly, not everyone is as up on Buster in Cottage Grove, as we found out last year. So this video really helps in enjoying your visit.)

Silent child star, Diana Serra Cary, sharing some moments on her career. Especially when the talkies begun.

And a short bit about scoring for 'The Covered Wagon'. (I have the VHS of this film, and recommend the film. Hopefully, it will be on DVD one day. So far, not. It is one that should be done properly.)

Back to writing...

PS - Thanks everyone, for the continued support of The Sea Gull, as more copies have been going out, especially to Europe and the UK. New stock in place, ready to ship!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Dan Leno, one of Charlie Chaplin's favorites

During Charlie Chaplin's youth and stage career days in England, British stage star Dan Leno was one of Charlie Chaplin's heroes. Leno being a top performer of his day, inspired many young performers who took elements of his style to the silver screen. Leno's career didn't make it into silent films, but he can be seen some of the earliest forms of moving pictures.

This very rare Mutoscope was saved by the Leno family members and put together for The Dan Leno Project. It's an unique chance to see Leno in action in a simple 'film' called Dessert at Dan Leno's House. There is hope more such 'films' can be found and saved.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Between Showers - Chaplin's 4th released Keystone Film

February 28th, 1914 is the listed date for Charlie Chaplin's fourth released Keystone Film called 'Between Showers.' So a good day to celebrate and see the film!

Directed by Henry Lehrman, Chaplin co-stars along with Keystone favorites Ford Sterling, Emma Bell Clifton, Edward Nolan, Chester Conklin and Peggy Pearce.

Also, spend sometime watching the interesting action happening in the background, as the film was shot on the streets in the Los Angeles area.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sid Caesar's silent film "Who's Profile"

A day after 1930's child icon Shirley Temple died, one of televisions first comic stars of the 1950's, Sid Caesar, passed away. Both born in the 1920s, Shirley's stardom started early, and ended at the time Caesar was just getting started.

His break came with 'Your Show of Shows.' A live television variety show in the early 1950s. While a huge hit, it didn't last, as his career went on a wave of ups and downs.

Most kids growing up in the 1960s, would remember him being a guest on a variety of television programs, or starring in 'It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.'  

In the 1960's, Caesar appeared in 'Hollywood Palace' hosted by Bing Crosby. Caesar was a huge fan of the silent film stars, like Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. In this silent film sketch with Dorothy Lamour, he plays a man who is discovered by his great profile.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Not Edna Purviance, but another Essanay Gal

Today, I found another 'Not Edna Purviance' in the ebay listings. The seller didn't know the film, but only that the actor was Rodney Hildebrand.

By searching the film listings for Hildebrand, I found a listing of Essanay films he did with an actress name Ruth Saville.

By searching for images of Ruth, I located a portrait of her from a photo archive. The portrait and the ebay seller's image appear to be the same person.

The film looks to be one called 'Her Lesson' (an Essanay film from 1916) but not for sure.

Edna Purviance only worked in Chaplin's films at Essanay in 1915.

But, I was able to do this, by researching the actor's name, and following leads to actresses he worked with. The seller, in this case, just assumed, it was Edna, but it is not.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy 100th Charlie Chaplin!

Greeting in Charlie Chaplin's 100th year, since being in his first film, with the presentation of the London 2014 Firework show. Set at The London Eye, on the banks of The Thames, by Royal Festival Hall and close to where Chaplin grew-up, what better way to kick off this year! Thanks, BBC One!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Garen Ewing's 'Napoléon' adventure

On November 30th, 2013, I had the great pleasure of seeing Kevin Brownlow's restored film of Abel Gance's NAPOLEON in London, at the Royal Festival Hall. And, equally so, I got to see it with comic creator, and silent film fan, Garen Ewing. Garen had wanted to see the film, since reading Kevin Brownlow's acclaimed book "The Parade's Gone By."

Here is Garen's excellent report about the film history and recent showing in London. It also includes Kevin Brownlow lecture on the film, held at BFI on December 10th. LINK

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Clara Bow "It Girl" by comic artist Jessica Martin

Ever since I was introduced to Garen Ewing's The Rainbow Orchid, I have kept an eye out on other graphic novels/comic books, with a story based in the 1920's and in the silent film era.

Here is a brand new one created by Jessica Martin called "It Girl." It's based on the biography of Clara Bow's life. It's Martin's first comic and is available worldwide from her online shop. Certainly worth looking into for those who love silent films and looking to add some original new items to your collection. I certainly plan too!

'The retro period feel of the piece is gorgeously observed and beautifully referenced, and Martin's visual interpretation of Clara has an almost haunting authenticity…'
                                                                      Broken Frontier

Always enjoy seeing a new generation of people captured by the silent film era. Thanks, Jessica, for making Clara your first! (Thanks to Garen for leading me to this.)

Link to Martin's shop.

Monday, December 09, 2013

London's The Cinema Museum uniform collection

Ten years ago, I traveled to Great Britain in November 2003 to see a three day Charlie Chaplin film event. So, this year, I made another trip back to Britain to see NAPOLEON at the Royal Festival Hall. It was a wonderful trip, and I have some reports to follow. But for now, an online tour of one the places visited, called The Cinema Museum in London.

This video was made a few years ago by David Trigg, detailing the vast collection of uniforms once used during the golden age of cinema. Featured is the museum founder, Ronald Grant.

In coming weeks, I will have about our visit to the museum, on ednapurviance.org.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Garen Ewing wins the 'Young People's Comic Award' in Leeds!

As a longtime fan of Garen's Ewing's 'The Rainbow Orchid,' very excited to see Garen win the British Comic 'Young People Comic Award' in Leeds, at Thought Bubble Friday, for his book, The Complete Rainbow Orchid. The winner was voted on by the children of Britain, which makes it extra special. Hearty Congratulations to Garen! Very Happy for you, in winning is award.

Here's some more about it from Forbidden Planet.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Rainbow Orchid on iPad

It's finally here! Garen Ewing's The Rainbow Orchid is now available on iPad through Sequential. And to introduce you to it, is Garen showing us all the great features this new format provides. Read more about it here, at Garen's official Rainbow Orchid site.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Gance's at Napoleon

For those who maybe going to Kevin Brownlow's showing of Napoleon at the Royal Festival Hall on November 30th, be thankful you got your seats, as my last look shows all the regular seats as being sold out for this special event.

But, going or not, here is a short clip of Abel Gance's film, titled Napoleon's vision of the siege of Toulon. A glimpse into director's Gance's filmmaking vision.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

How the San Francisco Silent Film Festival got Napoleon

With only three weeks to the showing of Napoleon in London at the Royal Festival Hall, thought we look back at the showing in Oakland in the spring of 2012.

In this video interview, San Francisco Silent Film artistic director, Antia Monga, and executive director, Stacey Wisnia, talk about silent films, and how they got Kevin Brownlow's Napoleon.

At this posting, counted 13 regular seats left for the November 30th showing.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Max Linder and Abel Gance's 'Au Secours!'

Anyone who is a longtime Charlie Chaplin fan, knows that Max Linder was one of Chaplin's idols before Chaplin got into films. But did you know Max Linder also worked with Abel Gance?

In honor of the Napoleon showing in London on November 30th, here is look at the film Max Linder and Abel Gance made together called 'Au Secours!' (French film). Released before Napoleon, it's a good look at the style of editing so favorited by Gance's work. Besides that, it's fun film to watch.

Note: This video appeared to be recorded at a live event, as the soundtrack suggests.