Edna Purviance's bio

Currently working on Edna Purviance's family biography. Draft is done. Photo: Leading Ladies © used by ednapurviance.org

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Sessue Hayakawa: Silent Cinema and Transnational Stardom

He became an actor at the right time. Here is a link to a book review to the new book: "Sessue Hayakawa: Silent Cinema and Transnational Stardom". Written by Dasuke Miyao and produced by Duke University Press, it covers the life of Sessue Hayakawa, one of the most successful Japanese stars that ever was.

"In 1916, Hayakawa was, for example, "ranked number one in the Chicago Tribune popular star contests," and in a poster advertising "A Mammoth Triple Feature Program," reproduced in Daisuke Miyao's "Sessue Hayakawa: Silent Cinema and Transnational Stardom," the space accorded to Hayakawa is equal to that devoted to Hart and Charlie Chaplin, indicating that, Miyao notes, "Hayakawa had ... by 1917 achieved star status equal to that of Chaplin and Hart." - asahi, David Cozy

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Grand View City Council Meeting June 26th on Video

If you are interested in hearing the June 26th Glendale City Council meeting, which covers Grand View, you can go to this link and look up the June 26th, 2007 City Council Meeting to see the full video of the meeting.

The video is over 5 hours, but you can move the video ahead, by dragging the center in and out cursor. The Grand View section of the meeting starts about 2 hours and 15 minutes into the video. The Grand View part lasts about one hour, with many details covered. A PDF file will also appear when you upload the video for viewing, outlining the evening events.

If you didn't see the meeting or live out of the area, it will help you understand the issues involved in keeping the cemetery open and hear from some of the lawyers in the current court case. They are looking to hear good ideas, too. more>

Note: With the current court case continuing, with varies opinions that it could last months to years, it leaves little for Edna's situation at this time.

Article on the new book Valentino

Here is a link on an article about David Bret's new book about silent film star VALENTINO. more>

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

City Lights to be shown in Santa Barbara

August 22, 2007 - Campbell Hall - University of California, Santa Barbara - A new 35mm print of City Lights is scheduled to be shown at the University of California Campbell Hall, August 22, 2007.

Tickets for this event are available. more>

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Grand View to be opened, but....

This evening the Glendale City Council held a public meeting on the future of the Grand View Cemetery for visitations.

After over a one hour meeting on the issue, they voted to keep the cemetery open at the same schedule arrangement as now, but due to the current condition of the trees on the property, they will need to look into options into dealing with the trees and possible future watering of the property. Watch for new opening dates.

Lisa Burks has a report on her blog. And here is the link to the latest story from the Glendale News. Posted June 27th (available for free, 14 days): article>
As far as the class action suit being settled, no one really give a clear answer, since there are thousands of claims.

Note on seeing the June 26th meeting on video: more>

Monday, June 25, 2007

Looking for 'The Melody Lingers On'

I am looking to see if any films exist of the 1935 United Artist release called 'The Melody Lingers On'. It starred Josephine Hutchinson and George Houston. Thanks... L

Update: I have found this film playing in theatres in 1939 and 1951.

NOTES: Hutchinson played the role in North by Northwest as the senator's wife who claimed Grant's character drank too much at a party at her house. She also played the wife in The Story of Louis Pasteur. Hutchinson's mother played Mrs. Meade in Gone with the Wind.

SILENT BITE - WYOU - Madison, Wisconsin is using Charlie Chaplin to promote their new local public station. more>

10th Annual Broncho Billy Festival - Update

From the Argus press: Festival in Fremont

"We're showing these films in a Nickelodeon-era theater that showed these films when they first played," said David Kiehn, Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum historian. "We have an unbeatable combination here." - Argus, June 25th, 2007

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Times keep Changing...

I have been going over the material about Lovelock and Paradise Valley, Nevada for Edna Purviance's biography and have always been interested in reading how the area looked like in her childhood days.

It had many farm fields, home gardens full of plants and flowers, fruit trees of many varieties, and fresh fruit and vegetables available during the growing season - from fresh strawberries in the spring, to loads of tomatoes in the fall.

I remember that same kind of landscape where I grew up too.

Both of our areas in Idaho and Nevada were created out of desert. Irrigation was the key in making it an oasis.

The Lovelock area (and all desert areas in the west) have always had problems with water, with new pressures today from cities like Las Vegas trying to buy water rights from northern Nevada to pipe down to Vegas. Every time a farmer or rancher sells their water rights, they get that much closer to turning their land back into desert and losing valuable natural wetlands.

On our trips to Lovelock, I could see areas returning back to sagebrush desert, I never realized how quickly that could happen, until I recently saw some images of my old farm in Idaho.

I always remember my farm as a very green place, just on the edge of sagebrush land. On my side of fence there was a variety of fruits and vegetables to eat, green pastures for the horses, and a pond for the ducks to play and nest around.

I knew the other side of the fence could look like my, if it only had water. And it continued looking like desert until a new landowner bought the property and removed all the sagebrush and started watering. He turned it into a hay field, and it looked as green as my side of the fence.

Our water came from a local dam and we paid for water rights to have so many acre-feet each year for the growing season. I always thought our farm would look the same, (at least in some form), but the era of small family farms was coming to a close in that district, and I just lived there during the sunset years.

Well, to keep a long story short, one of my relatives has given up the family farm due to reasons unknown to me. I was viewing images of it recently and it is nothing like I remembered.

Our once green pastures, where I spent every spring picking wild asparagus, riding horses, taking walks, etc. is now back to desert. Sagebrush and desert dry grass have replaced tall green grass, bean and hay fields.

I know it is back to its natural state, but doesn't make it easy to look at. But the pioneers did look at that desert, and saw an oasis and turned it into one. It is just their great grand kids are returning it back to sage.

At least it gives me a better idea what Edna must have felt when passing by Lovelock the last time, and seeing her old home gone, ranches she horseback ride gone, and towns she use to visit as as child, abandoned. Times surely keep changing...

(Oh, as for my pond on the farm, it is gone too.)

Friday, June 22, 2007

Niles Silent Film Museum

KGO, San Francisco, did a short video story on the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum. more>

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

AFI 100 Films - silent film list

"City Lights-Best picture I ever seen."- Jack Lemmon

The American Film Institute announced their new 100 greatest film list this evening. While Citizen Kane holds the top spot, this posting is for the silent films on the list.

#82- Sunrise (1927)
#78- Modern Times (1936)

#58- The Gold Rush (1925)
#49- Intolerance (1915)
#18- The General (1927)
#11- City Lights (1931)

City Lights moved from #76 on the old list to #11. Modern Times move from #81 to #78, and The Gold Rush moved #74 to #58. (1997 List)

One odd moment is when Robin Williams talked about The Gold Rush. He mentioned the dance of the potatoes, which is not correct. Charlie Chaplin does the dance of the the dinner rolls, in the dream scene with Georgia Hale. I heard this reference to potatoes before by another actor, but it always been dinner rolls.

Jack Lemmon was on the stage Oscar night when Charlie Chaplin made his return visit to America in 1972.

Charlie Chaplin on an eye lash?

One of those, believe it or not. On the ABC Evening News this evening, they showed British artist, Willard Wigan, who creates sculptures on gains of sand that can fit inside a needle hole.

One of the pieces is Charlie Chaplin in his tramp outfit, with cane, on the end of an eye lash. (see image)

The segment is the last one on the program, with Chaplin the last sculpture shown. They have the full video on ABC News website.


UPDATE March 11, 2010 - Willard Wigan was recently interviewed by the Global Atlanta. You can see the interview here. There is a clip of the Chaplin figure on the eyelash in the video interview. Also, residences in Atlanta can see his work until March 27th, at the Atlanta Art Gallery.

2009: See more with this 2009 lecture by Wigan on TED.

Paul Merton coming book includes Charlie Chaplin

Paul Merton is well-known for his silent film involvement in the UK, with special programs on BBC Radio and television. He did a BBC4 special on the silent comics called "Paul Merton's Silent Clowns" just last year, which included Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd and Laurel and Hardy. It was so well received, he was asked to do a book on the comics...

"Merton described his long-term passion for the world of art. “I have always enjoyed visual art but I also see other things like silent films as being deeply artistic.”

"The comedian is currently writing a book about silent comedians, such as Charlie Chaplin, and spent much of his train journey to Wales adding to it.

“I did a programme for BBC4 about it and it was well received so the publishers asked me if I fancied writing a book." more at this link...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Slapsticon: July 19-22, 2007

July 19th-22nd, 2007 - Slapsticon - Spectrum Theatre - Arlington, Virginia - Slapsticon is an annual silent film event held in the Washington DC area. The focus is the comic stars from the silent and early film days, from the famous to lesser-known.

This years four-day event schedule includes films from Harry Langdon, Wallace Beery, Laurel and Hardy, Mabel Normand, Chester Conklin, Billy Ritchie and Syd Chaplin (Charlie Chaplin's brother). All the films are either 16mm or 35mm with live music. Listed to play this year are Philip Carli and Ben Model. Visit Slapsticon website to learn more...

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Book Additions to Chaplin Library

I just updated the Chaplin Library Latest Page with five more books from Dominique Dugros Charlie Chaplin book collection. His latest includes our first auto book from Germany. "Die Geschichte Meines Lebens" was released in 2004 from Hoffmann und Campe Verlag. It contains 4 CDs narrating Chaplin's "My Autobiography". Link to the LATEST PAGE.

Also, I am updating the library into a new system and have much done, but currently work on The Sea Gull is on the top of the list. More to come...

Friday, June 15, 2007

Grand View Visitation Schedule

Grand View will be open from 12pm to 4pm, this Sunday, June 17th, but future visitation hours are still being decided.

UPDATE June 17th - 'Grand View visits are in jeopardy' - article from Glendale news. (Article available for 14 days from date of release)

"As we understand it now, many of the trees are in danger of collapsing and dropping limbs on people," Najarian said. "What we're faced with now is not only operating but major landscaping and tree work. So, I would like to encourage the city to petition the court or the judge to release some of the funds which are held [in Grand View's endowment care fund, a trust created to maintain the cemetery] to the city so we can make the trees safe — but not just the trees, but the entire area for people to visit." - Glendale News

Update June 20th - "Fate of cemetery visits is uncertain" - article from Glendale news.
(Article available for 14 days from date of release - June 17th)

While the cemetery is legally private, the city has tried to keep it open since late last August, but that ended this last Sunday, June 17th. From the latest article:

"Nora Daniyelyan placed red roses at her son's tombstone and watered the potted plants surrounding his grave. She felt angry and hurt at the city's lack of attention to the cemetery, she said, adding that the situation has caused stress for her family.


"We are grateful that the city has kept it open but now they are closing it," Daniyelyan said. "There is nowhere else we can go to feel at peace."

The decision to keep Grand View open for visitation is up to the City Council, which will discuss the matter on June 26.

Hasmik Avetisyan also felt the city needs to step up.

"The City Council has the power," Avetisyan, a Glendale resident, said. "They should use their power to ask the state for help."

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The San Francisco Silent Film Festival and more...

July 13-15, 2007 - The San Francisco Silent Film Festival - Castro Theatre and Niles Festival - June 29-July 1st.

If you are out and about the San Francisco area this summer, you have two silent film festivals to visit.

The first one is in Niles, California, as the 10th Annual Broncho Billy Silent Film Festival celebrate the 100th year of Essanay Films, June 29th - July 1st.

In San Francisco, July 13th-15th, 2007, The San Francisco Silent Film Festival has their 12th annual event at the Castro Theatre. Some of the highlights include, Retour de Flamme (a selection of French films restored from 1900-1928) and the classic Beggars of Life (presented in a newly restored 35mm print).

For either event, best to get your tickets early. And to learn more about these and the coming Slapsitcom, listen to Stolen Moments this month, as Donna has interviews about each event. Program: "It's Festival Season".

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Quick Reminder...

June 24th and 25th, 2007 - To "Fatty" Arbuckle fans, TCM will run an late evening and early morning showing of Fatty's early film shorts on Sunday June 24th into Monday morning, June 25th. See TCM for schedule.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Proposal to re-open Grand View Full-time

"Tom Trimble, estate executor of Grand View Memorial Park's majority owner, the late Marsha Howard, this week sent via his attorney a letter to the city of Glendale officials which outlines his proposal to re-open the cemetery on a full-time basis. "

Read more at Lisa's blog...

Child actor in City Lights Ray Erlenborn dies

Ray Erlenborn, who played one of the newspaper boys in Charlie Chaplin's "City Lights", died at the age of 92. (Remember the scene where two boys are making fun of the tramp, after Charlie was out of jail?)

Erlenson played other small parts in silent films during his childhood, including one of his first, a newsboy in Harold Lloyd's "Safety Last". Erleborn appeared in the TV series 'The Buster Keaton Show" in 1950, before becoming a sound effect track man. He worked for CBS for many years on such shows as "The Carol Burnett Show" and worked in movies, doing animal sounds for 'Doctor Dolittle".

He was born in Denver, Colorado, January 21, 1915 and is survived by his wife, Meredith. more> (click the ad off to get to story)

Test your memory now and name the other newsboy from City Lights...

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Silent Film Series Springfield, Missouri

Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd and Pearl White will be shown at the Silent Film Summer Series in Springfield, Missouri. The films are shown outside in the center of Springfield Historic District. Showing are scheduled for June 8th, July 13th, and August 10th. Check this link for more details.

Silent Silver Screen Series - University of Texas

June 7th, 2007 - University of Texas in Austin, Texas will start their Silent Silver Screen Series at The Harry Ranson Center. The series begins with 'Orphan of the Storm' on June 7th, June 28th 'The General' with Buster Keaton and on July 19th 'The Big Parade'.

Check out the Harry Ransom Center website for more details. Also check out their other exhibits and programs.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Special A Brief Glimpse, for you Sea Gull watchers...

Monday, June 04, 2007

Julian Eltinge

I was going through a stack of photos recently and came across a picture of a Hollywood home owned by Julian Eltinge. Eltinge was the most successful 'female impersonator' during the 1910s-1920s. He became one of the highest paid performer of his day. He even had a theatre named after him in New York and published his own magazine of beauty tips for women.

Making his fame on Broadway, Eltinge moved to Hollywood and made about 15 films. He owned a beautiful mansion in the Edendale (Silver Lake) area north of Los Angeles. In 1918 he made Over the Rhine. Rudolph Valentino played a role in that 1918 film which was re-edited and re-leased as a comedy called The Isle of Love in 1922.

By the 1930s, Eltinge fame faded. The depression, the decline in stage shows and his age, all played a role. He died in 1941.

On the web I found a documentary being made about his life and career called The Julian Eltinge Project. The site has a list of stage performances and films, which includes postcards from different parts played. There are more images here at Silent Gents.

As for Chaplin, he played a woman on screen three times: A Busy Day (1914 Keystone), The Masquerader (Keystone 1914) and A Woman (Essanay 1915). Edna Purviance played a male part once in Behind the Screens (1916). She was trying to find work as a handyman at a studio.

Turner Classic Movie is running a special series called Screened Out: Gay Images in Films. The series plays Monday and Wednesday through the month of June. The series starts with some rarely seen silent films on Monday night, June 4th.