Midweek Matinee

SilentFilmLost

Here’s a strange fact about cinema. More than half the films every made no longer exist.

 Buster Keaton 1

Studios churned out product in the early days, with little thought of preservation. Most films had no future before television. Every few years a previous hit would go on general re-release, but these were always monster hits like Gone With The Wind. Other films just took up room.

English: Buster Keaton wearing his trademark p...

English: Buster Keaton wearing his trademark porkpie hat in the 1922 film The Blacksmith Available at http://us.imdb.com/gallery/mptv/1301/Mptv/1301/20676_0002.jpg?path=gallery&path_key=0012945 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The highly combustible celluloid was a fire hazard too, so the prudent producer would strip the film for re-usable minerals and destroy the waste. The fact that some of that waste contained the life work of a Buster Keaton or a Rex Ingram didn’t really register. How many people archive their newspapers, or their Facebook page?

Every so often, happily, something is plucked from the maw of time. The latest rediscovery is five new minutes of Keaton’s 1922 comedy The Blacksmith. You can read about the rediscovery, and catch a glimpse of the footage, in this excellent article from the (other) Guardian: Here

Posted by Kevin McGee

Advertisements

A Quote on Thursday

Buster KeatonQuoted by Buster Keaton:

“Is Hollywood the cruelest city in the world? Well, it can be. New York can be like that, too. You can be a Broadway star here one night, and something happens, and then you’re out – nobody knows you on the street. They forget you ever lived. It happens in Hollywood, too.”

Paulette GoddardQuoted by Paulette Goddard:

You live in the present and you eliminate things that don’t matter. You don’t carry the burden of the past.”

Charlie ChaplinQuoted by Charlie Chaplin:

Failure is important. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself.”

Fatty ArbuckleQuoted by Fatty Arbuckle:

Life is a pie fight and then you die.

Clara BowQuoted by Clara Bow:

We had individuality. We did as we pleased. We stayed up late. We dressed the way we wanted. I used to whiz down Sunset Boulevard in my open Kissel, with several red Chow dogs to match my hair. Today, they’re sensible and end up with better health. But we had more fun.”

Cecil B DeMille

Quoted by Cecil B. DeMille:

What I have crossed out I didn’t like. What I haven’t crossed out I’m dissatisfied with.

A Quote on Thursday

 

 

Stan Laurel

Quoted by Stan Laurel:

If any of you cry at my funeral, I’ll never speak to you again.

Oliver Hardy

Quoted by Oliver Hardy:

Well, if she was dumb enough to marry you, she’ll believe anything.

Buster Keaton

Quoted by Buster Keaton:

Silence is of the gods; only monkeys chatter.

Greta Garbo

Quoted by Greta Garbo:

Why haven’t I got a husband and children?” mused Greta Garbo to the Duchess of Windsor, “I never met a man I could marry.

Marisha Pessl

Quote by Marisha Pessl in Special Topics in Calamity Physics:

If all histories have a period known as The Golden Age, somewhere between The Beginning and The End, I suppose those Sundays during Fall Semester at Hannah’s were just that, or, to quote one of Dad’s treasured characters of cinema, the illustrious Norma Desmond as she recalled the lost era of silent film: “We didn’t need dialogue. We had faces.”

Leonard Maltin

Quoted by Leonard Maltin:

When it comes to the selections, I heard several observers claim that the Academy was embracing “nostalgia” by honoring The Artist and Hugo. Give me a break! Hugo represents cutting-edge storytelling by a world-class director—in 3-D, no less. The Artist dares to revisit a form of cinema that was abandoned in the late 1920s. The Academy members admired these films for making the past seem immediate and relevant. That has nothing to do with nostalgia; it has everything to do with great moviemaking, which is what the Academy Awards are all about.

A Quote on Thursday

Kevin Brownlow

Kevin Brownlow:

“The silent film was not only a vigorous popular art; it was a universal language – Esperanto for the eyes!”

Jean Dujardin

Jean Dujardin in The Artist

Geoffrey Parfitt:

“Never take a blind date to a silent film!”

Rudolph Valentino

Rudolph Valentino in Rex Ingram’s The Sheik

Rudolph Valentino:

“To generalize on women is dangerous. To specialize on them is indefinitely worse.”

Buster Keaton

Buster Keaton

Buster Keaton:

“From the time I was 7 or 8 years old, we were the roughest knockout act that was in the history of the theater, not only in the United States but all over Europe as well. We used to get arrested every other week – that is, the old man would get arrested. The first crack out of the box here in New York state, the Keith office raised my age two years, because the original law said that no child under 5 could even look at the audience, let alone do anything. So they said I was 7. And the law read that a child can’t do acrobatics, can’t walk a wire, can’t juggle – a lot of these things – but there was nothing said in the law that you can’t kick him in the face or throw him through a piece of scenery. On that technicality, we were allowed to work, although we’d get called into a court every other week, see.”

David Lean

David Lean

David Lean:

“Nowadays, if you look up Ingram’s record, you see him described as ‘a great pictorialist’. You know, they accuse me of being pictorial. It probably has to do with Rex Ingram. Anyway, I’m really grateful for it.”

 

Posted by Michael ‘Charlie’ McGee

 

Charlie’s Sunday Quote

Image

All I need to make a comedy is a park, a policeman and a pretty girl.~ Charlie Chaplin

A Charlie Snippet

Don’t forget to Join Us  and follow us at nenaghsilentfilmfestival.wordpress.com and receive a Nenagh Silent Film Festival update on a regular basis. We Love Silent Film  and we want to keep the memories of the Silent Film Greats like Rex Ingram, Charlie Chaplin, Laurel & Hardy, Buster Keaton, Keystone Kops, etc Alive, so come ‘n and Join Us. We want to see You on our Supporters List!