A Special Presentation by John Canemaker By 1910, live-action short films and hand-colored magic lantern slides ruled the movie screen, but animation, maybe not so surprisingly, was in eclipse. Expensive and time-consuming, cartoon work was not terribly well suited to the hectic pace of the … [Read more...] about Winsor McCay: His Life and Art
In 1927 Weimar Germany, amid escalating social conflict, Friedrich Zelnik, known only for his genteel musicals, was the last person anyone figured to direct a film version of Gerhart Hauptmann’s classic The Weavers, a contentious and controversial play about a proletarian uprising. The story of the … [Read more...] about The Weavers
“I was getting sick of failure,” recalled Yasujiro Ozu of his early career, “and decided to make a film in a nonchalant mood.” The result was the Depression-era comedy Tokyo Chorus (1931), already the young Japanese director’s 22nd film and the one that marks the beginning of his “mature style.” … [Read more...] about Tokyo Chorus
ONE WEEK Cast Buster Keaton (The Groom), Sybil Seely (The Bride), Joe Roberts (Piano Mover) Production Buster Keaton Comedies 1920 Producer Joseph M. Schenck Direction/Scenario Edward F. Cline and Buster Keaton Photography Elgin Lessley THE SCARECROW Cast Buster Keaton (Farmhand), Sybil Seely … [Read more...] about Think Slow, Act Fast: Buster Keaton Shorts, 1920–21
An epic fantasy-spectacle inspired by The Arabian Nights, The Thief of Bagdad is Douglas Fairbanks’s masterpiece. The superb visual design, spectacle, and special effects, along with his magnetic performance, all contribute to making it his greatest work. The film was not only his most ambitious … [Read more...] about The Thief of Bagdad
Hindsight is a two-edged sword. On one hand, it can give us a useful perspective on historical events; on the other, it can saddle us with preconceptions that make those events difficult to understand or appreciate. To the first-time viewer, the 1916 Famous Players version of Snow White can be a … [Read more...] about Snow White
Harold Lloyd will forever be associated with Safety Last! because of a single image. Even people who have never seen a Lloyd film are familiar with the iconography of a bespectacled man hanging off the hands of a collapsing clock on the side of a skyscraper high above teeming city streets. It is one … [Read more...] about Safety Last!
The Ring was Hitchcock’s sixth film as a director and his first at British International Pictures, and, remarkably, his third film within a year. After directing Downhill and Easy Virtue, two stage adaptations for Gainsborough, Hitchcock was frustrated and jumped at the chance to develop an idea of … [Read more...] about The Ring