ESSANAY SNAGS CHAPLIN Charles Chaplin had started his career the previous year at Mack Sennett’s Keystone studio but moved to the Essanay Film Manufacturing Company in January with a significant pay hike from $125 a week to $1,250. He made fourteen films with Essanay, many of which were filmed … [Read more...] about 1915: The Year in Motion Pictures
As bright a star as Hollywood ever produced, receiving up to ten thousand letters a week from adoring fans at the peak of her stardom in the mid-1920s, Colleen Moore trusted the wrong people with her life’s work. In 1944, she gave her collection of fifteen nitrate films to the Museum of Modern Art … [Read more...] about Why Be Good?
Thomas Edison, world famous for his light bulb and phonograph, created a new sensation in 1894 with his Kinetoscope, a 35mm movie viewing device enclosed in an oak cabinet. Although his team developed a working system, Edison failed to appreciate the value of a projector that would enable large … [Read more...] about When the Earth Trembled
In his epic multivolume Histoire du cinéma, French film theoretician and historian Jean Mitry wrote, “If I had to choose one film of all the French productions of the 1920s, it is undoubtedly Visages d’enfants I would save … It is the only one that is still modern today.” That was written more than … [Read more...] about Visages d’enfants
André Antoine’s fifth film looks surprisingly modern today. Never released at the time production was completed in 1920, it wasn’t pieced together until the early 1980s when the Cinémathèque française sifted through six hours of perfectly preserved footage using Gustave Grillet’s script and the … [Read more...] about The Swallow and the Titmouse
Speedy, Harold Lloyd’s last silent film, is a superb valedictory to the silent film era. “Speedy” was Lloyd’s real-life nickname (given to him by his father), and the film lives up to its title. Wonderfully fast-paced and stylish, it is filled with brilliant comedy, thrills, and surprises, climaxing … [Read more...] about Speedy
The earth moved a year ago when film curator Céline Ruivo broke the news that William Gillette’s Sherlock Holmes had been discovered in the vaults of the Cinémathèque française. The 1916 film, starring Gillette and based on his play, had long been considered the great missing link in the history of … [Read more...] about Sherlock Holmes
Like Josephine Baker and Louise Brooks, Anna May Wong was an American woman who had to cross the Atlantic to find her greatest roles. In Piccadilly, Wong seems to be sporting Brooks’s bangs and Baker’s sinuous hips, but her knowing look—wary, sultry, and intense—is all her own. Her entrance is a … [Read more...] about Piccadilly