Off Topic Messages

Re: The Accessible Silent Film Thread

Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:38 am

I'm hoping to upload some more stuff to youtube for the thread - preferably without my youtube account being closed down though!

Re: The Accessible Silent Film Thread

Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:03 am

poormadpeter wrote:The Hollywood series is indeed wonderful, although I can't see it staying on youtube for much longer; there are rumours on other forums that it will be asked to be removed by WB.

Not sure if this is a result of that, but I was able to download parts 1 to 4 (it's much more comfortable of course to watch it on your TV instead of on your computerscreen), but part 5 is not available for download.
Part 5 is brilliant though, it's about the stunts and stuntmen in the silent films. Incredible what these people had to go through in the days before computers, backscreen-projection, etc. Really incredible!

poormadpeter wrote:I'm hoping to upload some more stuff to youtube for the thread - preferably without my youtube account being closed down though!

:smt023

Re: The Accessible Silent Film Thread

Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:46 am

Bob-Holland wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:The Hollywood series is indeed wonderful, although I can't see it staying on youtube for much longer; there are rumours on other forums that it will be asked to be removed by WB.

Not sure if this is a result of that, but I was able to download parts 1 to 4 (it's much more comfortable of course to watch it on your TV instead of on your computerscreen), but part 5 is not available for download.
Part 5 is brilliant though, it's about the stunts and stuntmen in the silent films. Incredible what these people had to go through in the days before computers, backscreen-projection, etc. Really incredible!

poormadpeter wrote:I'm hoping to upload some more stuff to youtube for the thread - preferably without my youtube account being closed down though!

:smt023


I think that's just coincidence to be honest. I have the whole series, plus the one from the 1990s called Cinema Europe. At the moment I am trying to upload to youtube a documentary from about 20 years ago about the problems encountered in restoring and trying to save silent film, and film in general. It's not the best documentary in the world, but one that might be of interest to a number of people who read this thread and have an interest in cinema in general.

I should also say that if anyone ever has any Kino/Image/Milestone/Eureka/Warner Archive etc titles that they wish to sell (originals, not copies), please contact me!

Re: The Accessible Silent Film Thread

Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:45 am

Sady the RACE TO SAVE documentary had its audio disabled on youtube. Sorry, but I tried!

Re: The Accessible Silent Film Thread

Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:01 am

ColinB wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:Well, here we go.
So, to kick off...
THE UNKNOWN (1927)


Interesting, but with all that loud, intrusive background music they've stuck on there, I couldn't hear a word that was said !

Colin how long did you wait in line when this first came out at the theater? :lol:

Re: The Accessible Silent Film Thread

Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:28 pm

promiseland wrote:
ColinB wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:Well, here we go.
So, to kick off...
THE UNKNOWN (1927)
Interesting, but with all that loud, intrusive background music they've stuck on there, I couldn't hear a word that was said !

Colin how long did you wait in line when this first came out at the theater? :lol:


I must have missed it, because I don't remember it at all.................

Re: The Accessible Silent Film Thread

Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:03 pm

poormadpeter wrote:Sady the RACE TO SAVE documentary had its audio disabled on youtube. Sorry, but I tried!

Haha, this is in fact a very funnt post, regarding the subject of Silent Film.

But seriously thanks anyway for trying! :smt023

For some reason Episode 5 is now available again for download. I must have done something wrong yesterday.
I watched it yesterday and it is awesome.
And so it the episode about Arbuckle. Man, what a tragedy. Probably the first time the power of the press showed itself it all it's ugliness.



poormadpeter wrote:I should also say that if anyone ever has any Kino/Image/Milestone/Eureka/Warner Archive etc titles that they wish to sell (originals, not copies), please contact me!

Sorry to say that just last week I sold the last silents I had (including Kino's The Thief Of Bagdad, Beyond The Rocks, The Sheik / The Son Of The Sheik, and Sunrise). But these are famous ones, so you probably already have them anyway.

Re: The Accessible Silent Film Thread

Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:54 pm

Bob-Holland wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:Sady the RACE TO SAVE documentary had its audio disabled on youtube. Sorry, but I tried!

Haha, this is in fact a very funnt post, regarding the subject of Silent Film.

But seriously thanks anyway for trying! :smt023

For some reason Episode 5 is now available again for download. I must have done something wrong yesterday.
I watched it yesterday and it is awesome.
And so it the episode about Arbuckle. Man, what a tragedy. Probably the first time the power of the press showed itself it all it's ugliness.



poormadpeter wrote:I should also say that if anyone ever has any Kino/Image/Milestone/Eureka/Warner Archive etc titles that they wish to sell (originals, not copies), please contact me!

Sorry to say that just last week I sold the last silents I had (including Kino's The Thief Of Bagdad, Beyond The Rocks, The Sheik / The Son Of The Sheik, and Sunrise). But these are famous ones, so you probably already have them anyway.


Hi Bob, ironically didn't have official copies of the sheik films or beyond the rocks - although I have seen the former. During hard-up uni years I have bought stuff for uni work and then just sold it again, so I don't necessarily have my own copies of the things you might think!

Re: The Accessible Silent Film Thread

Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:59 pm

THE OLD SWIMMIN' HOLE (1921)

This is a delightful little film, if you can get past the print quality. It's a rural drama, which fits in nicely with the Tom Sawyer-type films we were talking about earlier. It stars Charles Ray, who came to the fore in a (now very dull) civil war drama in 1915 called The Coward. He looks much younger in The Old Swimmin' Hole, which is interesting in that it is a feature film without intertitles - despie the fact that The Last Laugh was always said to be the first example of that. This film also stars Laura La Plante.

Sorry again, about the quality, but it is watchable and quite delightful in places. Again, it's my own upload to youtube:

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Re: The Accessible Silent Film Thread

Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:23 pm

Man,
I'm just catching up on this great thread after being away most of the weekend. A lot of titles I need to watch, I see!

I usually try to start people out on silent films by showing them some Buster Keaton, particularly Sherlock Jr.:

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It's relatively short (45mins), funny, and lacks the sentimentality that Chaplin brought to his films (love Chaplin though). His stunts still pack a wow factor, though and there are moments of visual brilliance as well. The touch of pathos at the end is also essential. It shows that these silents weren't just slapstick reels.

I agree with you about Caligari not necessarily being for beginners. It was the first silent film I saw, and I liked it (I was an art student at the time) but it didn't exactly encourage me to rush out and start exploring other silents. Like Nosferatu a lot, though.

Re: The Accessible Silent Film Thread

Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:26 pm

And, going waaaay back, here's an absurd little Edison short from 1903 that I find amusing:

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No great work of art, but I'm surprised how often I am reminded of it.

Re: The Accessible Silent Film Thread

Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:11 pm

Thanks King

Shelock Jr seems to be the most popular of the Keaton films from what I can gather. The reason I don't right about Keaton is because, for some reason, I have seen very little of it, other than clips here and there. I have had College on DVD for about five years and it still sits there in its shrinkwrap. It's odd how these things for some reason don't appeal despite the fact we haven't seen them. One day, I will sit and do a Keaton-a-thon and do the catching up I need to do. Oddly, I did buy the 9 disc Harold Lloyd set a year or two ago and felt like Keaton by the end of it - still stonefaced! And yet I love (most) Chaplin. It's all very odd - and sometimes it's just what we are in the mood for.

*

The Edison shorts are fascinating, and the LoC have many on their youtube channel, but they are to be viewed with caution, some of them are really quite disturbing to modern viewers, including dog fights, cock fights and even Edison electrocuting an elephant to show the power of electricity.

*

I want to talk on here when I get time about a "forgotten" silent clown I have become very fond of recently, a young man called Johnny Hines. But sadly the phd thesis is waving at me from across the room instead as I have done precious little work on it since I have been ill, so poor young Johnny will have to wait..

Re: The Accessible Silent Film Thread

Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:32 am

Johnny Hines is one of those forgotten silent comedians that precious little is written about, other than he started acting in films in the early 1910s and was relegated to small roles with the coming of sound, and disappeared from film around 1940. I only have three of his movies. The first of them is The Cub, from 1915, a comedy which Hines made when was just 20. Ten years later he made The Crackerjack, the least interesting of the three I have, although perfectly competent.

Conductor 1492, from 1923, is apparantly his best surviving film. He plays very much an everyman-type figure, but manages to mix aspects of Lloyd, keaton and Chaplin into one film. Rather than upload the whole film, I have chosen a very funny sequence from early on in the film, which sees Hines in a boarding house waiting his turn to use the bathroom one morning. It's brilliantly done, and very amusing, and I hope this 4-minute self-contained little sequence will be of interest to some of you.

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Re: The Accessible Silent Film Thread

Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:17 pm

I just watched the Hines clip, thanks for posting. It was...ok. He's certainly got some interesting ideas, but he kind of used the chair gag to a point of diminishing returns. I don't think he quite has the impeccable timing of Keaton or Chaplin, nor the presence of a Lloyd (my least favorite of the 'big three' - he seems like a one trick pony to me. 'Hey, watch me do something incredibly dangerous!'). I was more amused by Hines than I was by Harry Langdon though, who I watched after reading Capra rave about. I didn't really like Langdon at all.

Re: The Accessible Silent Film Thread

Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:49 pm

Yes, I think there is a good reason why Hines didn't remain a household name. What I like about him in this film, and in the earlier The Cub, is his sheer likeability - something which, perhaps, is missing for me when I see Keaton or Lloyd. I admire them, I can appreciate their greatness, but I don't necessarily care about them in the films they are in.

Re: The Accessible Silent Film Thread

Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:59 pm

I find Keaton very likeable, but I agree about Lloyd. His character can be a selfish jerk at times, where Keaton and Chaplin usually have good intentions at the very least.

Re: The Accessible Silent Film Thread

Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:56 am

Well poormadpeter if accessible is what you are after accessible is what you got with The Unknown.I was on my way back from the football on saturday on the supporters bus and looked up FECC on my mobile and checked out your youtube link to the film.The guy next to me was WTF is that bulls**t your watching one minute then can you please angle your phone so I can see it,within 10 mins there were 5 of us huddled round watching it.The verdict was it's weird(in a good way!) and grotesque (in a good way!!) and much better than the rotten game we had just watched.And that's coming from 5 guys that had a pretty good drink in them.

norrie

Re: The Accessible Silent Film Thread

Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:06 am

when I started studying film at uni, we were shown The Unknown in the second or third week of the film history unit - silent cinema became to much more interesting after seeing The Unknown! You are right in saying it is grotesque, but so watchable at the same time. There is a (surprisingly good) book called 1001 films you must see before you die. A number of people questioned the inclusion of The Unknown in that book, but I think it has every right to be there. Once seen, never forgotten!

I'm glad you guys enjoyed it. If you liked that, you might want to try your luck with a sound film from a few years later called "Freaks" by the same director, Tod Browning. If you thought The Unknown was weird...!

Re: The Accessible Silent Film Thread

Sat Feb 18, 2012 7:42 pm

Sherlock Jr. (1924) :smt023

Inspired by this thread I watched Buster Keaton last night. I was never a Keaton-fan to be honest. When it comes to the classic comedians I'm more into the Marx Bros, Laurel & Hardy, WC Fields, the late 20's/30's stuff so to speak. And not until maybe 10 or 15 years ago I started respecting Chaplin's silents, from there I moved on to Lloyd and other silent comedians. But never Keaton, for some reason, can't really explain it, must be his stonefaced look.

But this film is awesome! Especially the trickshots and the stunts are incredible for 1924. I watched certain stunts frame by frame, and I still wasn't able to figure out how they did it.

Re: The Accessible Silent Film Thread

Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:19 pm

You're the second person on the thread to mention sherlock jr, so i'm going to have to sit down and watch it at some point now!

Re: The Accessible Silent Film Thread

Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:30 pm

I can upload another film to youtube at some point this week, so will give you guys and gals the choice:

The Blue Eagle, directed by John Ford. 1926
Capital Punishment, starring Clara Bow. 1925
Wonderful Chance, staring Rudolph Valentino, 1920.

Which one do you fancy?

Re: The Accessible Silent Film Thread

Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:25 am

No-one wants any of them?

Re: The Accessible Silent Film Thread

Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:28 am

poormadpeter wrote:No-one wants any of them?


Not familiar with any of those.................................. you choose.

Re: The Accessible Silent Film Thread

Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:17 am

poormadpeter wrote:Tom Sawyer from 1917
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I watched it last night, great fun!
This is a totally different Sawyer and Huck when compared to later versions. Pickford might just have been a bit too old to play a character like Tom Sawyer, but I guess at that time this wasn't a problem at all.

Thanks for the upload! :smt023

Re: The Accessible Silent Film Thread

Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:12 pm

Well, I guess there has always been a tradition of adults in kids roles. Pickford was 21 when the film was made. It's great fun, and such a shame Pickford's second outing in the role is missing.