Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s release in 1928 of The Wind marked the end of an era. It was the final silent major motion picture released by MGM, the final silent film by one of the era’s great directors, Victor Sjöström, and the final silent film for of one its greatest stars, Lillian Gish. It was also a … [Read more...] about The Wind
The city of Shanghai in the 1930s was a center of great social and political upheaval. The Kuomintang, or Chinese Nationalist Party, was busy trying to rout the then-underground Chinese Communist Party, while one thousand miles to the north, Japanese Imperial forces had occupied Manchuria. Chiang … [Read more...] about Wild Rose
You can read the program essay for our 2019 screening of West of Zanzibar here “An outpouring of the Cesspools of Hollywood! ... How any normal person could have thought that this horrible syphilitic play could have made an entertaining picture, even with Lon Chaney, who appears in gruesome and … [Read more...] about West of Zanzibar
Josef von Sternberg was at the height of his fame in the 1930s, thanks largely to the seven lushly stylized films he directed starring Marlene Dietrich, among them the iconic The Blue Angel (1930). Eventually, critics on both sides of the Atlantic would debate the merits of Sternberg’s loving … [Read more...] about Underworld
You can read the program essay for our 2011 screening of Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans here Sunrise sits at the rare intersection of great art and great commerce. Perhaps the film could only have been made through an unlikely alliance between two opposing personalities: Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, … [Read more...] about Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
In 1941 W.C. Fields made his final feature film, Never Give a Sucker an Even Break. Critic James Agee, in his review for Time magazine, called him “one of the funniest men on earth” and went on to proclaim, “the great comedian can play straight better and more firmly than anyone in the business.” … [Read more...] about So’s Your Old Man
THE DETECTIVE AND HIS DOG (1912) MATRIMONY’S SPEED LIMIT (1913) FALLING LEAVES (1912) THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM (1913) In 1894 a young secretary entered the Comptoir Général de Photographie in Paris with a glowing reference for her skills in shorthand and the latest clerical gadget, the … [Read more...] about The Solax Films of Alice Guy Blaché
From the destruction of a railroad bridge―with a train on top―in The General (1926) to the collapse of a house around his ears in Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928), Buster Keaton went to great lengths to entertain his public. While his characters walked away stone-faced and unharmed, the actor often … [Read more...] about Sherlock Jr.