UK singer, Katherine Crowe, gets her dream chance to record SMILE at the Abbey Road Studios in London. Crowe, who is terminal ill with cancer, plans to use the proceeds from the record sales to help fund new cancer programs. Her recording will be in the running for the annual UK Christmas #1 countdown. You can read more at this BBC News link.
If you are looking for some new Charlie Chaplin books to add to your collection or updating an old favorite, you should check these out.
Release date: December 26, 2012 Charlie Chaplin's 'My Autobiography' (paperback) The USA 2012 re-issue of the 1964 edition from Melville House, Neversink Library collection CLICK>Link to more about the book
Charlie Chaplin's own book, that every fan should have, as it's Chaplin as he saw himself.
Release date: January 8, 2013 RECOMMENDED NEW BOOK 'Chaplin's Music Hall: The Chaplin's and their Circle in the Limelight' by Barry Anthony
The USA release from I.B. Tauris press CLICK>Link to more about the book
A new book about the early music hall days in England. Each chapter focuses on people who influenced Chaplin during his stage career. (A recommend from Dominique, from the Chaplin Library)
A paperback reprint of the original 1922 book. Since the original is a collectors item, this is the most reasonable cost way of getting this book into your collection. Again, seeing Chaplin through his own personal insights.
As many real fans already know, this is NOT the real Charlie Chaplin, but an imitator. Unfortunately, there are people who don't know the difference. So this imposture's image gets in newspapers, magazines and even book publications.
One way to help correct this, is to help educated people. If you see any publication using this image, let the publishers know, they are not using a real Charlie Chaplin image, but someone dressed as a look-alike.
It was on Sunday, November 25, 2001, I emailed a link to Chaplin UK web creator, Garen Ewing. Garen had recently converted his original Chaplin UK site into the Chaplin Society official website. It was on The Chaplin Society website where he placed that link I sent him. And at that moment, ednapurviance.org was officially launched on the web.
Garen was the very first person to see Edna's website before it was an .org site, after 9/11. His total enthusiasm, alone, sparked me from taking something that was on my hard drive, to making it into an official website. My husband found out, Edna Purviance .org domain name was available, and purchased it. I'd continued working on the site, and with my husband's help, launched it on Sunday, November 25th, 2001.
I would have never done it without Garen's enthusiastic first response, as I still had doubters around, who didn't understand why I wanted to do this, or even research Edna. But Garen understood, as did Dominique Durgos. Dominique helped me create the French version of Edna's site, which was launched on November 25th, 2002.
Later, Dominique and I (with the help of his wife Emeline) created The Chaplin Library, which was launched on July 28, 2005. With the library getting so huge, Garen helped a great deal again, as he developed the database for The Chaplin Library, which has been INVALUABLE.
Of course, none of this would be still going, if it wasn't for all the fans, from around the world, who continue to support Edna Purviance. Very grateful to each one of you, for being her fan. Edna's site started with over 50,000 pages read that first year to now, over 700,000 pages read per year (closing in on six million).
It's been a real pleasure to meet many of you, by the web, over the years, from all the countries Edna's fans live. I am just so very glad that Edna's first fan I knew and sent a link to in the fall of 2001, was such an enthusiastic one.
Have a Charlie Chaplin fan on your list? Here is a list of the latest DVDs and Blu-Rays of Chaplin films, music and mixer of books about Charles Chaplin, old and new, to keep an eye out for, online and in bookshops.
Help silent film composer, Ben Model, reach his goal! Ben is raising money to create a DVD of his rare silent films from his own collect. All the films have been scored by Ben and will be transferred in HD. If you like to see this happen, read here and follow the link to learn more.
The "ACCIDENTALLY PRESERVED" rare/lost silent movie project
I own more than a dozen short silent movies that are either lost films or just really really rare. The copies I have are vintage 16mm film editions made in the 1930s and 1940s, and are still projectable and usable.
I want to produce a DVD, for classic film collectors, that will have these films on them in HD transfers and with new musical scores that I will create; I will also release the films on YouTube for all the world to enjoy.
I hope you'll make a pledge, and help me get these films out of cans and onto peoples' screens so they can been enjoyed and studied. With your help, these films that have been unavailable to enjoy and own for decades will been seen again. - Ben Model
Sorry for the low amount of post, but very busy with normal work and on Edna's bio. Meanwhile, silent films events and showings continue to happen around the world, as this short glimpse at a recent showing in Toronto, at the Toronto International Film Festival.
And here at the Ad Astra, in Lithuania, this last July 2012.
Also, a nice trailer to advertise Le Giognate Del Cinema Muto - in Italy (David Robinson, director of the annual event in October.
Sorry, again, for the low post. Just spending my afterwork hours on research and writing for Edna's family bio. Just takes a great deal of time. Meanwhile, thanks for the new Sea Gull orders the last few weeks!
The Wind is one of cinema’s great masterpieces. The lovely Lillian Gish gives her finest performance ever as the young Virginian innocent who travels West to stay with relatives on the Texan prairie, only to be pushed into a harsh, unwanted marriage, and to find herself immersed in a maelstrom of rape, murder and madness.
Swedish émigré Victor Sjöström directs with immaculate attention to psychological detail, while making perfectly credible the film’s transition from low-key naturalistic comedy of manners to full-blown hysterical melodrama. Sjöström, who was one of the key figures in Swedish film in the 1920s, and made a number of classic films during his time in Hollywood, including He Who Gets Slapped (1924) with Lon Chaney, and The Divine Woman (1928) with Greta Garbo, but he was eventually just as successful as an actor. His performance in Ingmar Bergman‘s 1957 classic, Wild Strawberries as the dying old man is generally considered his greatest role.
Filmed under extremely difficult conditions on location in the Mojave desert, the film’s climactic sandstorm sequence has to be seen to be believed, although the entire film – erotic, beautiful, astonishing – demonstrates such imagination and assurance that it remains, over 80 years after it was made, completely modern.
“One of the masterpieces of the silent cinema and Sjöström’s best American film… Exteriors were shot in the blistering hot Mojave Desert, and so penetrating is the atmosphere that one can almost feel the wind oneself and taste the endless dust.” – Georges Sadoul
Louise Brooks said: ‘They were made for each other – Sjöström and Gish – like the perfume and the rose’ – and yet she had never heard of The Wind until 1956, so little did MGM promote it. It remains one of the greatest silent films – and one of our great movies. — David Thomson, A Biographical Dictionary of Film
“A silent masterpiece. Sjöström finds a perfect image for Gish’s frustration and discontent in the prairie wind of the title. His strange and effective style might be best described as pastoral expressionism.” – Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
With music by Ben Model
Ben Model is one of the USA’s leading silent film accompanists, and has been playing piano and organ for silents at the Museum of Modern Art in New York for the past 27 years. Ben co-curated MoMA’s “Cruel and Unusual Comedy” series and Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle retrospective, and also curated Shout!Factory’s new “Ernie Kovacs Collection” DVD box set. A five-time recipient of the Meet The Composer grant, Ben is a regular accompanist at classic film festivals around the U.S.A. and in Norway, and performs at universities, museums, and historic theaters.
Ben is the producer and co-founder of The Silent Clowns Film Series, now in its 14th season in NYC. Ben’s recorded scores can be heard on numerous DVD releases from Kino Video and others. Ben’s composed ensemble scores for films by Chaplin, Keaton and Lloyd are performed around the U.S. every year by orchestras and by concert bands.
Special Note! Our favorite comic book artist and The Rainbow Orchid creator, Garen Ewing, will be having two special Graphic Novel workshops before this silent film event at the Forest Row Festival. Perfect time to bring the children to learn to create a comic on paper from a master creator, and watch a master silent film star on film. Check this link for full DETAILS.
Still busy working on Edna's family bio during the free time after work. Meanwhile, be sure to tune into Turner Classic Movies on Thursday evenings, starting September 6th, for a full evening of Mack Sennett silent film comics, throughout the month of September!
I have mentioned before how much I prefer the Image Entertainment DVD collection, over the later MK2. One reason is the film quality. On many of the MK2 Chaplin films (USA version), the contrast is just too high, losing too much detail in the highlights, shadows and mid-tone areas. This is just a couple of examples, but I could put up dozens. It's just sad to see so much detail that Rollie originally had, lost.
Finally got a bit more free time to work on Edna's family bio! So posts will continue here, and activities on Edna Purviance's Facebook Fan page continues (currently going through Charlie Chaplin's films, one at a time, as I have done with Edna in the past). Also, I have updated The Chaplin Library recently with some new books from Dominique's collection and spot updates on DVDs. Meanwhile, back to working on Edna's family book! Stay tuned!
At first I was excited, until I read the details. On June 15, 2012, Warner released a DVD-R of Show People. It's an on demand recording from an original video tape. It comes with warnings about not playing on many devices and not remastered. It's also only available in the US from the Warner Shop and also Amazon, and maybe others places. I can't say I am thrilled about paying about $20 for this, but if it's the only way you can see it, it's not the best quality, and all buyers should beware. Thanks to Pam (SilentLondon), for locating the link. MORE
More details to come, but the scheduled release is Christmas/New Year Season 2012/2013! With a special French box set edition to be release from France. I can't tell you how excited I am about this! Huge congratulations to Garen! He has worked very hard for years for something grand like this, so very well deserved! (English and Dutch edition are available now!) MORE INFORMATION
And extra thrill, as an Edna fan, as Edna is mentioned in the series, and Lily Lawrence (leading lady character, along with Julius Chancer) is a silent film star. A tip of the hat to Charlie Chaplin, as well, as he is mentioned in this great adventure. If you don't have it, GET IT!
Dominique and I translates this to French a couple of years back... 10 minute version from our interview:
Here is an excellent chance to hear Charlie Chaplin from this 1952 interview in London, just before the premiere of LIMELIGHT. This was after he wasn't allowed back to the USA, but this interview is about his film work, not the problems surrounding him, at the moment. LINK
Ben Model, well-known silent film composer, Rare Silent Comedy Film Shorts. Every two weeks on Wednesday, Ben will be releasing a very rare, if not, only known print, from his private silent film collection, to share with fans around the world. You will find these on his YouTube Channel. All films with new music, created by Ben. He also has a new podcast, which has replaced his written blog. It's available through iTunes!
Ayşe Behçet, has been writing a series of articles about her favorite star, Charlie Chaplin, for the Silent London blog. Being from South London, it has her own personal take about the little fellow. And joining into the ever increasing podcast world, Silent London, also has their own podcast program now.
Nigel Dreiner has created his own tribute to Charlie Chaplin, with is new commentary audio, on each of Chaplin's films, with his co-partner, Jose. The first two are on Youtube. Here is a look at Kid Auto Races:
Shana Dennis, another huge Chaplin fan, is helping with the latest screening of Chaplin films, and others, in Newcastle, Australia, June 30th. To kick things off, the town has opened a special modern look back at the silent era, with a special art exhibit at the ARThives. More details on the screening and gallery show here.
And Garen Ewing will have his The Complete Rainbow Orchid book available this coming September, in the USA and UK.
This wonderful, beautifully drawn adventure series features silent film star, Lily Lawrence, who happens to be a good friend of Edna Purviance (who makes a cameo appearance in Volume One). It's a longtime favorite here, and should be in every Edna collection! The best place to order is through Garen's Rainbow Orchid Shop, for personal signed and sketched editions, or follow his links to other online sellers. Check Garen's event list for personal appearances in the UK.
Pictured is the special three volume box set, hardcover Dutch edition.
May 22, 23 and 24, 2012 Youth International Silent Film Festival
The third annual event will kick off this week at the Hollywood Theatre. Easy to get to by the Portland MAX Train. Just about a two block walk north of the Hollywood Station, behind Trader Joe's market. See this link for more details about event and theatre.
Cineteca di Bologna
June, Saturday 23 through Saturday 30 2012
26th edition of Il Cinema Ritrovato
For several editions Il Cinema Ritrovato has managed to gather the finest cinephiles from around the world. This year we would like to discuss, listen and share opinions on the current status of cinephilia, or what can be defined as such. We feel that the present fragility of cinema – at least cinema as we known it - makes this discussion even more urgent.
Photo: Louise Brooks in Prix de Beauté by Augusto Genina (1930)
Piazza Maggiore will host two of many unmissable events for all cinephiles: the Orchestra of Teatro Comunale di Bologna will accompany Timothy Brock’s new score to Augusto Genina’s Prix de Beauté (Louise Brooks last European role) commissioned by the Orchestre National de Lyon in cooperation with the Institut Lumière; and a brand new restoration of La grande illusion - by Studio Canal and the Cinémathèque de Toulouse.
After the Great Crash. Cinema and the 1929 Crisis
As the Wall Street Crash of 1929 changed the world, cinema registered the earthquake that followed in different ways, some of the most immediate and ‘literal’ examples were not always the most interesting ones. The aftermath of the Great Depression translated into financial crisis, unemployment, the gap between the poor and the rich growing obscenely wider and people still ‘dancing on the edge of the volcano’ as World War II was approaching.
This atmosphere produced films like Seifenblasen (Dudow), New Earth (Ivens), Man's Castle (Borzage), Hard to Handle (LeRoy), Sonnenstrahl (Fejos), Darò un millione (Camerini) and Komödie om Geld (Ophuls), as well as the Swedish Petterson och Bendel by Per-Axel Brenner, probably the first European anti-Semitic film. Julien Duvivier’s 1933 masterpiece D avid Golder - adapted by Irène Némirowsky’s novel and with the great Harry Baur – will open the series.
Photo: Man’s Castle by Frank Borzage (1933)
Ivan Pyr’ev, Mosfilm’s Enigma
Following last year’s discovery of Boris Barnet’s delightful works, we are now paying a tribute to another Soviet master of musical films, comedy and drama. Undoubtedly, some of Pyr’ev’s films, such as The Party Card or Kuban Cossacks, a colourful celebration of Kolhoz happiness, are historically ambiguous to say the least, but how can we but admire an artist who was able to represent a gigantic fraud with such a vision, musicality and humour? Mostly known for his musicals, starring his wife Marina Ladynina, Pyr’ev made several films which are in no way inferior to the more popular production by Grigorj Alexandrov (and his wife Ljubov Orlova) and reached its peak with At Six o'clock after the War (1944), one of the most extraordinary films on the Second World War. Pyr’ev certainly worked for the regime but he certainly was no second rate director.
He was genuinely interested in the national folklore and in the ‘classics’ and had an eye for entertainment. At his best, like in the colour film Song of Siberia, Pyr’ev was a true poet. This programme is curated by Olaf Möller.
Photo: Kuban Cossaks by Ivan Pyr’ev (1950) (Austria Film Museum Collections)
Mrs Hitchcock a.k.a Alma Reville
Alma Reville, wife of Alfred Hitchcock, was a major influence on his work but she also had a filmmaking career of her own, both before and after their marriage in 1926. She started as editor's assistant and continuity girl and was senior to her future husband when they met at the Famous-Players-Lasky studio in Islington in the early 1920s. Alma was Assistant Director on Hitch’s first solo film, The Pleasure Garden, and he proposed on the boat home from Germany. Alma worked on nearly all of her husband’s films, either credited or more informally - they were famously spent their evenings discussing the day’s filming and refining their work.
Alma had a particular talent for continuity, editing and story structure and this is evident in the films she made with her husband like Murder! (1930) and those she made independently of her husband such as The Consta nt Nymph (1928),The First Born (1928 ), After the Verdict (1929). This programme is curated by Bryony Dixon (British Film Institute National Archive).
Photo: Alma Reville and Alfred Hitchock (BFI Stills Posters and Designs Collection)
Japan Speaks Out! The First Talkies from the Rising Sun
In the United States and Western Europe, the transition to sound was rapid and practically complete by around 1930. In Japan, the process was slower and more gradual. Japan’s silent films were routinely accompanied by speech from a live narrator, the benshi, and early experiments with direct sound, were in progress as early as the mid-1920s. But sound films did not form the majority until 1936, and silents continued to be made until the outbreak of World War II. This retrospective, showing over two years, will explore the rich cinema of the transitional era, with a particular focus on the creative uses to which Japanese filmmakers put the emerging sound technology.
From acknowledged masters such as Kenji Mizoguchi to neglected artists like Yasujiro Shimazu and Sotoji Kimura, filmmakers responded creatively to the challenges and opportunities of sound, producing a rich mixture of part-talkies, documentaries, musicals, and dramas united by their determination to exploit the new possibilities of sound cinema. This programme is curated by Alexander Jacoby and Johan Nordström, in collaboration with the National Film Center of Tokyo.
Photo: Namiko by Eizo Tanaka (1932) (From the National Film Centre of Tokyo)
(Latest Press Release from II Cinema Ritrovato)
For more details contact ll Cinema Ritrovato - LINK
The Rainbow Orchid - Volume 3
APRIL 2, 2012
published by Egmont UK
creator and author
The Adventures of Julius Chancer
After the cliffhanging ending of Rainbow Orchid Volume 2, the exciting conclusion about the search for The Rainbow Orchid has been released April 2, 2012, in Volume 3! Set in the golden era of the late 1920s, Rainbow Orchid is a beautifully illustrated and detailed story about the search for the mysterious flower that takes the reader from the streets of England to high mountain passes, deep into the unknown. It's an adventure that will keep you looking over your shoulder to who may be following you next.
Garen's engaging ensemble of characters, surround Julius Chancer, as he takes silent film star, Lily Lawrence and others, on a quest to find the mysterious orchid to help save Lily's father from total ruin from the evil Urkaz Grope. But we learn, Grope isn't the only one interested in this rare wonder. And with Grope's evil and determined assistant, Evelyn Crow, anything is bound to happen.
Since it's release, The Rainbow Orchid has been a favorite with young and old alike, with fans around the world. It has also been added to many library collections, as well. Garen Ewing's intense research adds depth and dimensions to his story, you don't find in every comic or graphic novel.
If you love big adventure, filled with travel, steeped in history and intrigue, you should check out The Rainbow Orchid today at Garen's official Rainbow Orchid site. Volumes 1, 2 and 3 are available at many online shops under graphic novels and/or comics, some with free shipping worldwide. Special signed and sketched editions can be bought directly from Garen Ewing at The Rainbow Orchid.
For more about The Rainbow Orchid visit Garen's official Rainbow Orchid site. Also, check out my extensive interview with Garen, with The Rainbow Orchid fan page, complete with links covering RO since the release of Volume One.
Here is a ten minute video from the one hour plus auto interview.
UPDATE: If you like to get The Rainbow Orchid in the USA and not pay shipping fees, the best place to order is from Book Depository. They ship worldwide for free. Excellent deal. Currently under $10.
Updated Note April 10th: Where can I buy The Rainbow Orchid? Especially from the USA? Amazon USA has just removed The Rainbow Orchid books from current sell, after having them available since their UK release in 2009. NOW, they have placed the books into regular Amazon shopping carts and posted that The Rainbow Orchid Volume 1, 2 and 3 will not be available at AMAZON USA until October 2012! All three books are available atGaren's Rainbow Orchid shop, with special signed and sketched editions. If you just want to get the books, The Book Depository hasThe Rainbow Orchid Volume 3 (Vol. 1 and 2 are not available there) andAmazon UK has all three volumes, available. Otherwise, you will have to check ebay, for possible online purchases from varies sellers.
UPDATE - April 12, 2012 - Just received The Rainbow Orchid Volume 3 in the post this week! Beautiful publication. I can't give anything away, but it's a well paced, action filled adventure, beautifully illustrated, with some big surprises. Looking forward to getting my signed and sketched editions now! Excellent work, Garen!
UPDATE: June has been a GREAT month for The Rainbow Orchid, with a successful launch of The Rainbow Orchid Volume 3 and boxset at Stripdagen, and two excellent reviews in London The Observer, including one from comic actor and stage comic, Rhys Darby (best known as Murray Hewitt, in HBO's very funny, Flight of the Conchords.
Also, catch Garen's latest artwork for the weekly UK comic, The Phoenix. The four part series, The Bald Boy and the Dervish, with story by Ben Haggarty, appears in this week's issue #23.
£100,000 for a minute of Charlie Chaplin? That and more will be learned in this series of videos from a recent event last year with some moments with Kevin Brownlow and Patrick Stanbury, from Photoplay.
First one includes some on NAPOLEON and a BUSTER KEATON DVD that a company produced with the wrong master.
Kevin talks about seeing a Mary Pickford film directed by Clarence Brown and how it started his collecting of US silent films.
Kevin talks about discovering a film library collection while on holiday and more...
£100,000 for a minute of Charlie Chaplin? That was the rate being charged by Chaplin's agent for any uses of Chaplin's films. With no budget for such a high amount, how Brownlow and Gill did get some Charlie Chaplin clips for HOLLYWOOD SERIES and continued to create UNKNOWN CHAPLIN SERIES.
Peter Pan Huntington's Cinema Arts Centre with pianist Ben Model
Suitable for all ages
Press Release from Susan Finkelstein: Ingeniously capturing the mysteries and adventures of childhood, James M. Barrie‘s timeless play became one of the most popular films of the twenties. Virtually unseen for decades, Paramount Studios’ 1924 production of Peter Pan has been fully restored from original nitrate materials, with authentic color tints.
Betty Bronson stars as Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up, who charms Wendy and her brother to fly with him to Never Never Land. On this distant island of dreams and magic, they struggle to rescue the Lost Boys from Captian Hook (Ernest Torrence) and his band of pirates, encountering along the way the delightful fairy Tinkerbell (Virginia Browne Faire), a man-eating crocodile, and a band of valiant Indians (led by Anna May Wong). This memorable adaptation — which in turn inspired later film versions of the story — features a delightful cast, remarkable special effects by Roy Pomeroy, and fine photography by James Wong Howe (The Thin Man). (USA, 1924, 102 mins., 35mm print courtesy of Kino Lorber)
Ben Model is one of the USA’s leading silent film accompanists, and has been playing piano and organ for silents at the Museum of Modern Art in New York for the past 27 years. Ben co-curated MoMA’s “Cruel and Unusual Comedy”series and Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle retrospective, and also curated Shout!Factory’s new “Ernie Kovacs Collection” DVD box set.
A five-time recipient of the Meet The Composer grant, Ben is a regular accompanist at classic film festivals around the U.S.A. and in Norway, and performs at universities, museums, and historic theaters. Ben is the producer and co-founder of The Silent Clowns Film Series now in its 14th season in NYC. Ben’s recorded scores can be heard on numerous DVD releases from Kino Video and others. Ben’s composed ensemble scores for films by Chaplin, Keaton and Lloyd are performed around the U.S. every year by orchestras and by concert bands.
For more information contact Cinema Arts Centre: LINK
A few moments with Best Supporting Actor Christopher Plummer and Best Actor, Jean Dujardin from ABC News. John Goodman said in a recent interview; "Jean, spoke no English at the time. He's learned since, and I will never, I am hopeless at languages," he added." - Reuters
To see the ABC video interview, just click on the image or this LINK.
Jean Dujardin, Best Actor for the French silent film, The Artist
With The Artist going into the widest release today, I hope it appears near you, and you will take the time to see it. Wonderful film, I really loved, and I have seen three times since January.
Meanwhile, there has been lots of people putting lists up of silent films to see. I have posted The Artist director's, Michel Hazanavicius, list earlier this week. I will be posting a few more silent films myself. Ones I have tested over the years with people, who don't normally don't watch silent films.
This is a film I would recommend, and I am really hoping a quality DVD will be released of it. Called, SHOW PEOPLE (1928), it is owned by TCM, part of the MGM collection. No quality DVD of this film is available at this time, only copies from VHS tapes and recordings off of TCM broadcast, which I wouldn't want anyone buying. There are a few high priced VHS tapes of the film still being re-sold, but a proper DVD release has not been made of this film.
It's a wonderful comedy starring Marion Davis, and one of her best! There is plenty in here, that reminds me of The Artist, but with a different story, with a small town girl coming to Hollywood and struggling to get a job in show business. I don't want give away the plot, but it loaded with footage, filmed right in Hollywood and with the big stars from that day.
It's the perfect film to watch for a double bill with The Artist, just no quality DVD of it. This video is a very poor image of the film, but has just a taste. Write TCM to let them know, we love to have a quality release of SHOW PEOPLE.
If you love The Artist, and came out of the theatre, wanting to see more silent films, a good place to start, is to see some of the films the director of The Artist really enjoys.
Best Director winner, Michel Hazanavicius, shares his Favorite Silent Films, that include City Girl, The Crowd, The Unknown, Underworld, Docks of New York, Sunrise, and more... (Great list, by the way.)
Also a special mention, that include Josef von Sternberg, Charlie Chaplin and director, Billy Wilder.
Update: A few clips of the films mentioned. These online are not the best quality.
The Crowd - Directed by King Vidor
Underworld - Directed by Josef von Sternberg
(first Sternberg film released after Chaplin didn't release Sternberg's 'A Woman of the Sea')
City Girl - Directed by F.W. Murnau (two clips)
The Unknown - Directed by Tod Browning (with Lon Chaney and Joan Crawford)
It was a GREAT night for silent films, with THE ARTIST winning the five top awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor: Jean Dujardin, Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius, Best Original Score by Ludovic Bource and Best Costume.
Hugo won the five top awards for Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Best Visual Effects, Art Direction and Best Cinematography.
I'm just THRILLED to see THE ARTIST win best picture! I have seen it three times, already, and loved it more each time I saw it. I have been listening to the score since January and it has been great to write Edna Purviance's family biography to.
Here's the original trailer that excited me about the film last May. And now it would be a great time to see again! Watch for it in your area!
Interesting in seeing more silent film events? Check this LINK!
UPDATE! Starting MARCH 2, 2012, The ARTIST will be increasing the theatre screens from 900+ to 2000! If you haven't seen it, see it early.
UPDATE: A wonderful open letter to Jean Dujardin from Melissa Fairbanks, the granddaughter to Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. - Jean Dujardin did thank Melissa, during this thank you speech, at the Oscars. LINK
April 1972, Charlie Chaplin returned to America for the first time in 20 years. It was an historical moment remembered by all who saw it. It was the first time I was introduced to Chaplin, and I have been a fan of his, ever since.
Here is a short video version of the actual moment. (Hopefully, someday, The Academy will share the full moment, without any cuts.)
If you missed the last on air broadcast of 'The Chaplin Archives' with Matthew Sweet, BBC 4 Radio is rebroadcasting the two part program. It's the program that covered the letter about Chaplin's birth that made news. Don't know how long these will be available, but if as usual, just one week starting today.
Here is a recent news segment with Jeffery Brown on PBS Newshour talking to Kevin Brownlow about this once in a lifetime screening in the USA. Carl Davis will be conducting the orchestra and Kevin Brownlow will be the guest host for this special four day event. If you can make it, it's highly recommended. For Tickets, contact SFSFF.
Sorry again, for the lack of new post. I have been working every spare free moment after work on the Edna Purviance family biography. Stay tuned, or visit Edna's .org site or even FB fan page. See Edna's event page for coming events!
I did just update the Chaplin Library with some great new covers from Dominique! So some great stuff, happening behind the scenes...
Also, I went to The Artist (twice!) and just LOVED IT! Sure it's modern, but what a wonder film to bridge to the past. Getting more people interested in silent films is a great thing! Hope it makes it to your area. And don't read a load about it, just see it and enjoy!
Cinema Arts Centre Release: In For Heaven’s Sake, legendary comedian Harold Lloyd is a spoiled, rich young man who falls in love with Hope, a poor missionary’s daughter. He rather reluctantly helps her out by populating the mission with local low-lifes who chase him through the streets into the mission, where they hide out from the cops. He is so successful in helping the mission and rehabilitating the local thugs that he plans to marry Hope. Harold’s wealthy chums, dismayed that he is marrying beneath his station, kidnap the poor fellow to prevent him from making a “mistake.”
The climactic chase on a double-decker bus driven by drunks is as hilarious and exciting a piece of celluloid as has ever been produced, but it is merely the capper to an uninterrupted stream of brilliant sight gags. For Heaven’s Sake is one of the cleverest and most consistently entertaining of all of Lloyd’s silent comedies. (USA, 1926, 61 minutes, 35mm print courtesy of Harold Lloyd Entertainment)
Ben Model is one of the USA’s leading silent film accompanists, and has been playing piano and organ for silents at the Museum of Modern Art in New York for the past 27 years, and for over five years at Cinema Arts Centre. Ben co-curated MoMA’s “Cruel and Unusual Comedy” series and Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle retrospective, and also curated Shout! Factory’s new “Ernie Kovacs Collection” DVD box set.
A five-time recipient of the Meet The Composer grant, Ben is a regular accompanist at classic film festivals around the U.S.A. and in Norway, and performs at universities, museums, and historic theaters. Ben is the producer and co-founder of The Silent Clowns Film Series, now in its 14th season in NYC. Ben’s recorded scores can be heard on numerous DVD releases from Kino Video and others. Ben’s composed ensemble scores for films by Chaplin, Keaton and Lloyd are performed around the U.S. every year by orchestras and by concert bands.
One advantage of being around a long while, is the fact you can see different versions of films, as they get released. I'm basing this on the USA versions of DVDs available on Chaplin, but if you like the best print quality of Chaplin's films, what was on TCM last night (January 7, 2012), wasn't it. And it's not TCM's fault, it's just what is available now.
I watched City Lights, Modern Times, A Dog's Life, Shoulder Arms and The Kid, before turning off, but in those alone, only 'Modern Times' was good (but not great). The rest were far too contrasty to be enjoyable to watch. Just sad and painful, when you know the prints are so much better than what was shown. And some of emotional moments and comic has been lost with these poor prints, and new fans don't even know it. One of the reasons I am speaking out about these poor quality DVDs now available.
People who have not seen the older DVD versions or a high quality film prints of Chaplin, don't know what they are truly missing. And you are missing a lot!
The out-of-print Image Entertainment DVDs are still the best print quality Charlie Chaplin film prints available for home use of Chaplin's films. Image is expensive, because they are out of print, but only best ones on DVD around. The warm beautiful film tones, full of rich fine detail, that has been totally lost in these later DVD transfers.
I have seen the different film releases of Chaplin films going on 15 years now, so talking from experience in seeing them from VHS, 35MM film, 16MM film and DVD.
What I saw last night, was so sad to see, and even hear, it was painful to watch, for someone who loves to see excellent print quality, but not being sold in the latest versions. They are becoming a strain to watch. Made sadder, because I know there are beautiful prints of these films. (And Image DVDs is one place you can see them.)
Watching Harry Myer (The Millionaire) in his house on the sofa talking with Chaplin and seeing his fancy shirt so blowout white or jacket solid black in tone, you couldn't even see the elegant clothes he was wearing, is a huge lost of the wonderful detail these films have.
I couldn't even see the tears on Jackie's or Charlie's face, in the key scene in The Kid. Their faces had no detail, just ghostly white.
'A Dog's Life' print and sound quality was so poor last night (Jan. 7th, 2012), I placed my Image DVD copy in the player, to remind myself just how beautiful looking and good sounding that film really is. The sound on this latest version last night was horrible, with it fading in and out, missing whole sections. And print quality was the worst of the batch. Surprisingly dirty, especially at the beginning. Nothing like that on the Image DVD. Shoulder Arms wasn't much better last night either.
So, if you're new to Chaplin, and those are the first films you have seen, you didn't see the best prints of Charlie Chaplin's films. Rollie (Chaplin's cameraman) worked hard on getting good print quality for Chaplin, and I know he would have been upset seeing those prints last night.
I know Image can be expensive, but the Image DVD versions should be part of your collection, if you want the best prints and also, the best prints with Edna's work, which has been edited out of the final versions available now. Edna aside, the Image Collection of Chaplin films is still better, even with the Chaplin score music adjustments for the added back scenes, than that I have seen since.
Just saying this, as a loyal fan, who loves these films, and love watching the best. I'm very glad TCM showed them, but sad to see such poor prints of the films. I especially want new fans to know this, since you may never know, and think you are seeing the best. You are not.
Anyone who thinks those were great, have not seen a quality print of Charlie Chaplin films.
Note: Image doesn't have the silent 1925 version of The Gold Rush, which is the best version of that film, for fans who want the true silent film. The 1942 does have the great score, so good to have both.