You can read the program essay for our 2001 screening of Within Our Gates here Wiithin Our Gates is the earliest surviving feature film by an African American, a distinction that can make it seem merely some historic curiosity. Instead, the film remains dramatically gripping and socially … [Read more...] about Within Our Gates
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
You can read the program essay for our 2012 screening of Wings here Wings is best known today as the winner of the first Academy Award for Best Picture—the only silent film so honored. However, there were actually two Best Picture awards presented in 1927: a “Best Production” award for “the most … [Read more...] about Wings
You can read the program essay for our 1999 screening of Wings here There had been other great war films before Wings. With the popular success of two of them, The Big Parade (MGM, 1925) and What Price Glory? (Fox, 1926), Paramount set out to make a war film of its own. Each of those earlier … [Read more...] about Wings
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
Camera-wielding insects, taunting red devils, monstrously large pets — since its inception, cinema has been aligned with the fantastic. Early pioneers of special effects developed cinematic “tricks”— cross-dissolves, stop-motion animation, matte shots, even the close-up — that became the building … [Read more...] about Wild and Weird, 1906-1928
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?