Tuesday, July 29, 2008

1929

Alibi (1929) C
The Cocoanuts
(1929) B-
Disraeli
(1929) B

Films I've Also Seen -

Blackmail (1929) B-
The Broadway Melody (1929) C+
Coquette (1929) - B-
Un Chien Andalou (1929) A
Weary River (1929) B-


Films I Haven't Seen -
Arsenal (1929) Russian
Asphalt (1929) - Germany
Big Business (1929) - Laurel and Hardy
The Big Pond (1929) - Chevalier/Colbert
The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1929) - Oscar winner
Bulldog Drummond (1929) - Ronald Colman
Captain Fracasse (1929) - French film
Condemned! (1929) - Ronald Colman
Diary of a Lost Girl (1929) - Pabst
The Divine Lady (1929) - oscar winner
Drag (1929) - Oscar nominee/Barthelmess
Dynamite (1929) - Cecil B. DeMille
Erotikon (1929)
Eternal Love (1929) Ernst Lubitsch
The Great Gabbo (1929) - von Stroheim
Hallelujah (1929) - King Vidor
The Hollywood Revue of 1929 (1929) - best pic nominee
In Old Arizona (1929) - best pic nominee
The Iron Mask (1929) - Fairbanks Sr.
The Kiss (1929)
Laila (1929) - Norwegian film
The Last of Mrs. Cheyney (1929) - Norma Shearer
The Leatherneck (1929) - classic Western
Liberty (1929) Leo McCarey
The Love Parade (1929) - best pic nominee
Madame X (1929) - oscar nominee
The Man with the Movie Camera (1929) - documentary
The Manxman (1929) - Hitchcock
Monkey's Moon (1929) - British nature short
The New Babylon (1929) - Russian film
The New Gentleman (1929) - French film
Our Daily Bread [City Girl] (1929) F.W. Murnau
Pandora's Box (1929) - Brooks/Pabst
People on Sunday (1929)
Piccadilly (1929)
Queen Kelly (1929) - Stroheim/Swanson
Regen (Rain) (1929)
The River (1929) - Borzage
Sally (1929) - Oscar nominee
Seduction (1929) - Czech film
Seven Footprints to Satan (1929)
Spite Marriage (1929) - Keaton
The Taming of the Shrew (1929) - Pickford/Fairbanks
Their Own Desire (1929) - Norma Shearer
Thunderbolt (1929) - von Sternberg
The Trespasser (1929) - Swanson
Untamed (1929) - first Joan Crawford talkie
The Valiant (1929) - Oscar nominee/Paul Muni
The Virginian (1929) - Gary Cooper
Wild Orchids (1929)
Woman in the Moon (Frau im Mond) (1929) - Fritz Lang
The Wonderful Lies of Nina Petrovna (1929)
Wonder of Women (1929) - lost Oscar nom
Applause (1929) - Rouben Mamoulian

1928

The Circus (1928) B-
The Crowd (1928) B-
Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928) B-

Films I've Also Seen -
Speedy (1928) A-

Films I Haven't Seen -
Abwege (1928) - Pabst
Across to Singapore (1928)
Arsenal (1928) - Russian epic
The Awakening (1928) - lost Oscar nominee
The Barker (1928) - Oscar nominee
The Battle of the Sexes (1928) - D. W. Griffith
Beggars of Life (1928) - Louise Brooks
The Cameraman (1928) - Keaton
Champagne (1928) - Hitchcock
The Cop (1928) - Oscar nom
Crossroads (1928)
The Divine Woman (1928) - Garbo
The Docks of New York (1928) - Josef von Sternberg
The Drag Net (1928) - von Sternberg
Easy Virtue (1928) - Hitchcock
Eliso (1928)
The Fall of the House of Usher (1928)
The Farmer's Wife (1928) - Hitchcock
The Finishing Touch (1928)
4 Devils (1928) - lost Oscar nom
Four Sons (1928) - John Ford
A Girl in Every Port (1928) - Louise Brooks
Glorious Betsy (1928) - lost Oscar nominee
Hangman's House (1928) - John Ford
The Italian Straw Hat (1928) - Rene Clair
L'Argent (1928) - French film
Laugh, Clown, Laugh (1928) - Chaney
Leave 'Em Laughing (1928) - Laurel and Hardy
Lights of New York (1928) - first complete talkie
The Little Match Girl (1928) - Jean Renoir
Lonesome (1928) - romantic drama
The Man Who Laughs (1928) - classic horror
The Matinee Idol (1928) - Frank Capra
The Mysterious Lady (1928) - Garbo
Noah's Ark (1928) - classic epic
The Noose (1928) - Barthelmess
October (1928) - Eisenstein
Our Dancing Daughters (1928) - Joan Crawford
The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) - Dreyer
The Patriot (1928) - best pic nominee/lost film
The Patsy (1928) - King Vidor
The Racket (1928) - best pic nominee
Riley the Cop (1928) - John Ford
Sadie Thompson (1928) - Swanson
Sal of Singapore (1928) - lost Oscar nom
Sex in Chains (1928) - William Dieterle
A Ship Comes In (1928) - Louise Dresser
Show Life (1928)
Show People (1928) - King Vidor
Skyscraper (1928) - Oscar nom
Spione (Spies) (1928) - Fritz Lang
Steamboat Willie (1928) - Mickey Mouse
Storm Over Asia (1928) - Russian film
Street Angel (1928) - Janet Gaynor
Tempest (1928) - Barrymore
The Trail of '98 (1928)
Two Tars (1928) - Laurel and Hardy
Underground (1928) - Anthony Asquith
West of Zanzibar (1928) - Chaney
The Wedding March (1928) - von Stroheim
Westpoint (1928)
While the City Sleeps (1928)
White Shadows in the South Seas (1928) - Oscar winner
The Wind (1928) - Gish
A Woman of Affairs (1928) - Garbo

Monday, July 28, 2008

1927

Metropolis (1927) A (changed from B-)
The Cat and the Canary (1927) B-
The General (1927) B-
It (1927) C+
Sunrise (1927) B-
The Jazz Singer (1927) B+
Seventh Heaven (1927) C+

Films I've Also Seen -
The Lodger (1927) B
Wings (1927) B

Films I Haven't Seen -

Annie Laurie - Lillian Gish
Bed and Sofa (1927)
Berlin: The Symphony of a Great City (1927)
Casanova (1926)
Chang (1927) - documentary
The Chess Player (1927)
College (1927) - Buster Keaton
The Devil Dancer (1927) - lost Oscar nominee
Dirnentragodie (1927)
The Dove (1927) - lost Oscar winner
Downhill (1927) - Hitchcock
Easy Virtue (1927) - Hitchcock
The End of St. Petersburg (1927)
The Fall of the Romanov Dynasty (1927) - Russian documentary
Fantasia en Surdato (1927)
The Gaucho (1927) - Fairbanks Sr.
Hindle Wakes (1927)
Hotel Imperial (1927) - Pola Negri
Hula (1927)
The Kid Brother (1927) - Harold Lloyd
The King of Kings (1927) - Cecil B. DeMille
La p'tite lilie (1927)
London After Midnight (1927) - Lon Chaney
Long Pants (1927) - Capra/Langdon
Love (1927) - Greta Garbo
The Love of Jeanne Ney (1927) - Pabst
The Love of Sunya (1927) - Swanson
The Magic Flame (1927) - lost Oscar nominee
Mr. Wu (1927)
My Best Girl (1927)
Napoleon (1927) - Abel Gance
The Ring (1927) - Hitchcock
The Patent Leather Kid (1927) - Barthelmess
Sorrell and Son (1927) - lost Oscar nominee
The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg (1927) - Novarro/Shearer
Tell It to the Marines (1927)
The Three-Sided Mirror (1927) - French film
Twelve Miles Out (1927) - John Gilbert
Two Arabian Knights (1927) - Lewis Milestone
Underworld (1927) - Josef von Sternberg
The Unknown (1927) - Tod Browning
The Way of All Flesh (1927) - best pic nominee

1926

I haven't seen anything from 1926!

Films I Haven't Seen -

The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926) - first animated feature
Battling Butler (1926) - Buster Keaton
Beau Geste (1926) - Ronald Colman
The Black Pirate (1926) - Fairbanks Sr.
Brown of Harvard (1926)
By the Law (1926)
Camille (1926) - Norma Talmadge
Don Juan (1926) - John Barrymore
Dura Lex (1926) - Russian film
Ella Cinders (1926)
Faust (1926) - F.W. Murnau
Flesh and the Devil (1926) - Greta Garbo
For Heaven's Sake (1926) - Harold Lloyd
The Great K&A Train Robbery (1926)
Hands Up! (1926)
The Holy Mountain (1926)
La Boheme (1926) - Gish/Gilbert
The Magician (1926)
Mantrap (1926) - Clara Bow
Mare Nostrum (1926)
Menilmontant (1926)
Mighty Like a Moose (1926)
Moana (1926) - Robert J. Flaherty
Mother (1926) - Russian film
The Mountain Eagle (1926)- Hitchcock
Nana (1926)
Old Ironsides (1926)
A Page of Madness (1926) - Japanese film
The Scarlet Letter (1926) - Lillian Gish
The Son of the Sheik (1926) - Valentino
Sparrows (1926) - Mary Pickford
The Strong Man (1926) - Capra/Langdon
The Student of Prague (1926)
The Temptress (1926) - Greta Garbo
Three Bad Men (1926) - John Ford
Torrent (1926) - Greta Garbo
Tramp, Tramp, Tramp - Langdon/Crawford
What Price Glory? (1926) - Ford/Walsh

Saturday, July 26, 2008

1925

Battleship Potemkin (1925) C+
Ben-Hur (1925) B-
The Big Parade (1925) B-
The Phantom of the Opera (1925) B+

Films I've Also Seen 
The Freshman (1925) A-
The Gold Rush (1925) A-

Films I Haven't Seen -
Body and Soul - Micheaux/Robeson
Chess Fever - Russian film
Clash of the Wolves (1925) - Rin Tin Tin
Cobra (1925)
Don Q Son of Zorro (1925) - Fairbanks Sr.
The Eagle (1925) - Valentino
Go West (1925) - Keaton
Grass: A Nation's Battle for Life (1925) - documentary
Joyless Street (1925) - Garbo
Lady of the Night (1925)
Lady Windermere's Fan (1925)
The Lost World (1925) - classic sci-fi
Master of the House (1925) - Dreyer
The Merry Widow (1925) - Stroheim/Gilbert
Paris Qui Dort (The Crazy Ray) (1925) - Rene Clair
Paths to Paradise (1925)
The Plastic Age (1925) - Clara Bow
The Pleasure Garden (1925) - Hitchcock
Riders of the Purple Sage (1925)
Seven Chances (1925) - Keaton
Siegfried (1925) - Fritz Lang, with Wagnerian score
Strike (1925) - Eisenstein
Tartuffe (1925) - Murnau
Tumbleweeds (1925)
The Unholy Three (1925) - silent Chaney
Variety (1925) - Germany

1924

Greed (1924) B
The Thief of Bagdad
(1924) A
The Navigator (1924) B
Sherlock Jr.
(1924) B

Films I Haven't Seen -
Aelita (1924) - Russia
America (1924) - D.W. Griffith feature
Ballet Mecanique - French video art
The Chechahcos - National Film Registry selection
Die Nibelungen (including [Kriemhild’s Revenge] (1924) - Fritz Lang
Entr'acte (1924) - Rene Clair
The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. West in the Land of the Bolsheviks (1924) - Russia
Forbidden Paradise (1924) - Pola Negri
Girl Shy (1924) - Harold Lloyd
He Who Gets Slapped (1924) - Lon Chaney
Hot Water (1924) - Harold Lloyd
The Iron Horse (1924) - John Ford
Isn't Life Wonderful? (1924) - D.W. Griffith
The Joyless Street (1924) G.W. Pabst
The Last Laugh (1924) - F.W. Murnau
Le Ballet Mechanique (1924) - French
The Marriage Circle (1924) - Ernst Lubitsch
Michael (1924) - Dreyer
The Open Road (1924)
Peter Pan (1924) - classic silent
The Saga of Gosta Berling (1924) - Greta Garbo
The Sea Hawk (1924) - Frank Lloyd
Siegfried's Death (1924) - Fritz Lang
Strike (1924) - Eisenstein
Waxworks (1924) - Paul Leni

Friday, July 25, 2008

1923

Safety Last (1923) B+
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) B
The Ten Commandments (1923) C

Films I've Also Seen - The Pilgrim (1923)

Films I Haven't Seen -
The Balloonatic (1923) - Buster Keaton
The Burning Brasier (1923) - French
The Covered Wagon (1923) - classic western
The Love Nest (1923) - Buster Keaton
Our Hospitality (1923) - Buster Keaton
Salome (1923)
Scaramouche (1923) - Lewis Stone/Ramon Novarro
The Smiling Madame Beudet (1923) - French feminist film
Sylvester (1923) - German
Three Ages (1923) - Buster Keaton
Why Worry? (1923) - Harold Lloyd
A Woman of Paris (1923) - Charlie Chaplin

1922

Nosferatu (1922) B+

Films I Haven't Seen -

The Blacksmith (1922) - Keaton
Blood and Sand (1922) - Valentino
The Burning Soil (1922) - Murnau
Cops (1922) - Keaton
Daydreams (1922) - Keaton
Dr. Jack (1922) - Lloyd
Dr. Mabuse - The Gambler (1922) - Fritz Lang
The Electric House (1922) - Keaton
Foolish Wives (1922) - Erich von Stroheim
The Frozen North (1922) - Keaton
Grandma's Boy (1922) - Lloyd
Haxan (1922) - famous witchcraft movie/Criterion
La Roue (1922) - Abel Gance
My Wife's Relations (1922) - Keaton
Nanook of the North (1922) - classic documentary
The Paleface (1922) - Keaton
Phantom (1922) - Murnau
The Prisoner of Zenda (1922) - Lewis Stone/Ramon Novarro
Robin Hood (1922) - Fairbanks Sr.
A Santanotte (1922) - Italian
Shadows (1922)
Sherlock Holmes (1922) - John Barrymore
Tess of the Storm Country (1922) - Pickford
The Three Must-Get-Theres (1922) - Max Linder
The Toll of the Sea (1922)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

1921

The Sheik (1921) A+

Films I've Also Seen -
The Kid (1921)
The Phantom Carriage (1921)

Films I Haven't Seen -
The Ace of Hearts (1921) - Lon Chaney
The Affairs of Anatol (1921) - DeMille/Swanson
Among Those Present (1921) - Harold Lloyd
Between Two Worlds (1921) - Fritz Lang
Blade of Satan's Bog (1921) - Dreyer
The Boat (1921) - Buster Keaton
Brewster's Millions (1921) - Fatty Arbuckle comedy
Camille (1921) - Valentino
Destiny (1921) Fritz Lang
The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse (1921) - Valentino
The Goat (1921) - Keaton
Hard Luck (1921) - Keaton
The Haunted House (1921) - Keaton
The 'High Sign' (1921) - Keaton
I Do (1921) - Lloyd
The Indian Tomb (1921) - German
Little Lord Faunteroy (1921) - Mary Pickford
Never Weaken (1921) - Lloyd
Now or Never (1921) - Lloyd
Orphans of the Storm (1921) - Griffith/Gish
The Play House (1921) - Keaton
A Sailor-Made Man (1921) - Lloyd
Seven Years' Bad Luck (1921) - Max Linder
The Three Musketeers (1921) - Fairbanks Sr.
Tol'able David (1921) - Richard Barthelmess

1920

Way Down East (1920) B

Films I Haven't Seen -
Convict 13 (1920) - Buster Keaton
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920) - John Barrymore
An Eastern Westerner (1920) - Harold Lloyd
Get Out and Get Under (1920) - Harold Lloyd
The Golem (1920) - classic German horror
Haunted Spooks (1920) - Harold Lloyd
High and Dizzy (1920) - Harold Lloyd
The Jack-Knife Man (1920) - King Vidor
The Last of the Mohicans (1920) - Wallace Beery
The Mark of Zorro (1920) - Douglas Fairbanks Sr.
Neighbors (1920) - Buster Keaton
Number Please? (1920) - Harold Lloyd
One Week (1920) - Buster Keaton
The Parson's Wife (1920) - Dreyer
The Penalty (1920)
Pollyanna - Mary Pickford
The Saphead (1920) - Buster Keaton
The Scarecrow (1920) - Buster Keaton
The Toll Gate (1920) - William S. Hart western
Why Change Your Wife? (1920) - DeMille
Within Our Gates (1920) - controversial classic

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Films I Haven't Seen - 1900-1919

The following is a tentative list of shorts and feature films that I haven't seen during the 1900-1919 era. So many are now available on DVD or YouTube, so I should be able to catch up on what I missed from these 20 years.

What Happened on Twenty-Third Street, New York City (1901)
The Man With the Rubber Head (1901) - Melies?
Excelsior! Prince of Magicians (1901)
The Dwarf and the Giant (1901)
Bluebeard (1901)

Gulliver's Travels Among the Lilliputians and the Giants (1902)

*Life of an American Fireman (1903)
The Infernal Cauldron (1903)

Westinghouse Works (1904)
The Untamable Whiskers (1904)
The Suburbanite (1904)

The Living Playing Cards (1905) - Georges Melies
The Black Devil (1905)

The Birth, The Life and Death of Christ (1906)
The Dream of a Rarebit Fiend (1906) - Edwin S. Porter
The Hilarious Posters (1906)

That Fatal Sneeze (1907)
The Policemen's Little Run (1907)
The Eclipse: Courtship of the Sun and Moon (1907)

The Tempest (1908)
Fantasmagorie (1908)

Ben's Kid (1909) - Fatty Arbuckle
The Country Doctor (1909) - Griffith
The Devilish Tenant (1909)
Lady Helen's Escapade (1909) - Griffith

The Abyss (1910)
The Hasher's Delirium (1910)
*In Old California (1910) - Griffith
The Usurer (1910) - Griffith


Enoch Arden (1911) - Griffith
The Last Drop of Water (1911) - Griffith
The Miser's Heart (1911) - Griffith

The Burglar's Dilemma (1912) - Griffith
The Female of the Species (1912) - Griffith
For His Son (1912) - Griffith
Friends (1912) - Griffith
From the Manger to the Cross (1912) - early religious film
The Girl and Her Trust (1912) - Griffith
The Lesser Evil (1912) - Griffith
The New York Hat (1912) - Griffith
One is Business, The Other Crime (1912) - Griffith
The Painted Lady (1912) - Griffith
Quo Vadis? (1912) - first 2-hour+ film
*Richard III (1912) - oldest surviving full-length film
The Sunbeam (1912) - Griffith
The Vampire Dancer (1912) - Danish erotic melodrama

The Battle at Elderbush Gulch (1913) - Griffith
Death's Marathon (1913) - Griffith
*Fantômas (1913) - French crime/detective film
The House of Darkness (1913) - Griffith
*The Last Days of Pompeii (1913) - Italian epic
The Mothering Heart (1913) - Griffith
The Student of Prague (1913)
Traffic in Souls (1913)
The Vampire (1913) - US vamp film
The Avenging Conscience, or 'Thou Shalt Not Kill' (1914) - Griffith
*Cabiria (1914) - early Italian film
Daisy Doodad’s Dial (1914)
Gertie the Trained Dinosaur (1914)
Judith of Bethulia (1914) - Griffith epic available on YouTube
Kid Auto Races at Venice (1914) - Chaplin's tramp
The Massacre (1914) - Griffith
The Perils of Pauline (1914) - unavailable Pearl White serial
*The Squaw Man (1914) - first DeMille film

Carmen (1915) Cecil B. DeMille
*The Cheat (1915)
A Fool There Was (1915) - Theda Bara
*Les Vampires (1915) - famed horror serial
Pool Sharks (1915) - W.C Fields
*Regeneration (1915) - early Raoul Walsh film
The Tramp (1915) - Chaplin

Behind the Screen (1916) - Chaplin
Civilization (1916) - early epic from Thomas Ince
The Curse of Quon Gwon - early Chinese film
The Dumb Girl of Portici (1916)
Hell's Hinges (1916) - William S. Hart western
*Judex (1916) - Louis Feuillade serial
*The Pawnshop (1916) - Chaplin
*The Rink (1916) - Chaplin
*20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1916)

The Adventurer (1917) - Chaplin
Cleopatra (1917) - lost Theda Bara film
The Cure (1917) - Chaplin
Easy Street (1917) - Chaplin
Fear (1917)
Joan the Woman (1917) - Cecil B. DeMille
A Little Princess (1917) - Pickford
The Outlaw and His Wife (1917) - Swedish
The Poor Little Rich Girl (1917) - Pickford
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1917) - Pickford
The Silent Man (1917) - William S. Hart western

The Blue Bird (1918) - National Film Registry selection
Hearts of the World (1918) - Griffith
The Life Story of David Lloyd George (1918)
Mickey (1918)
The Sinking of the Lusitania (1918)
The Song of the Scarlet Flower (1918)
*Stella Maris (1918) - Pickford
Tarzan of the Apes (1918) - Elmo Lincoln as Tarzan
The Whispering Chorus (1918) - Cecil B. DeMille

Ask Father (1919) - Harold Lloyd
Billy Blazes, Esq. (1919) - Harold Lloyd
Blind Husbands (1919) - von Stroheim
*Broken Blossoms (1919) - Griffith/Gish
Bumping into Broadway (1919) - Harold Lloyd
The Busher (1919) - John Gilbert
Daddy-Long-Legs (1919)
The Doll (1919) - Ernst Lubitsch
Don’t Change Your Husband (1919) Cecil B. DeMille
J'accuse! (1919) - Abel Gance war film
Madame DuBarry (1919) - Negri/Jannings/Lubitsch
Male and Female (1919) - Gloria Swanson
The Oyster Princess (1919) - Ernst Lubitsch
Sir Arne's Treasure (1919)
True Heart Susie (1919) - D.W. Griffith

There are many films from this era that are considered lost. Amazing to think that it's been 100+ years. Also there are lots of shorts from D.W. Griffith, as well as Charlie Chaplin, and some early shorts from Harold Lloyd that I haven't had a chance to see.

One day...

1900-1919

The 20th century begins! And with it, so did my adventure.
I began in June 2002 with four movies from the silent era...

The Great Train Robbery (1903) B
Tillie's Punctured Romance (1914) C+
Intolerance (1916) B+
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919) B+

As you can see, I missed out on quite a number of classic titles from the era. This was mainly due to availability issues at the time. I hadn't yet heard of Netflix so I had to work with what I could get a hold of the old fashioned way. I was about to be a Senior in high school and didn't know as much about film as I do now. I had just seen The Birth of a Nation (1915) when I was trying to watch all 100 of AFI's top 100 list from 1998. I felt I had seen it too recently to include on the adventure.

Of the four I chose to watch, I'd say that each has some form of merit for a movie fan. The Great Train Robbery is an exciting little short. Tillie's Punctured Romance is notable for being Charlie Chaplin's first feature. Intolerance is the most ambitious, and it's very impressive. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is certainly the most intriguing with it's German expressionist sets and cinematography.

Over the years, I've managed to see a few films from this era that had escaped me back in '02. Thanks to the wonder of YouTube, I was able to check out some early D.W. Griffith, as well as the famous A Trip to the Moon (1902).

There are still a lot of films that I'd like to see. The early days of silent film offer more gems from film pioneers like D.W. Griffith, Charlie Chaplin, Lillian Gish, etc. I will go into more detail in future posts.

Also Seen From This Era-
A Trip to the Moon (1902) A
Alice in Wonderland (1903)
The Impossible Voyage (1904)
The Night Before Christmas (1905)
The Adventures of Dollie (1908)
A Corner in Wheat (1909)
The Lonely Villa
(1909)
Princess Nicotine; or, the Smoke Fairy (1909)
The Red Man's View (1909)
The Sealed Room (1909)
Those Awful Hats (1909)
Frankenstein (1910)
In the Border States (1910)
The Unchanging Sea (1910)
His Trust (1911)
What Shall We Do with Our Old?
(1911)
An Unseen Enemy (1912) A-
The Musketeers of Pig Alley (1912)
The Birth of a Nation (1915) B+
One A.M. (1916)
The Immigrant (1917) B+
A Dog's Life (1918)
Shoulder Arms (1918)
From Hand to Mouth (1919) A-

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Kiss (1896)

Perhaps the most famous of the short, experimental moving pictures of the late 1890s, The Kiss depicts an older, seemingly aristocratic (and let's face it, unattractive) couple kissing. It lasts a mere 20 seconds and was produced by Thomas Edison in 1896.

May Irwin and John C. Rice play the famous couple. This film is actually a reenactment of the final scene of the stage musical, The Widow Jones, in which the actors appeared.

History maintains that this brief image caused an outrage for its 'indecency', prompting an early demand for film censorship. What an impact for what, when compared to 21st century standards, appears to be a slight achievement.

Early Cinema

The whole of my adventure consists of feature-length films (with one notable exception) released after 1900. It is worth noting, however, that there are a number of great short films released before the 20th century that I'd still like to discuss, having seen them since I began 'adventuring'.

Mavericks of technology like Thomas Edison, The Lumiere Brothers, and Louis Le Prince are credited as the most famous early filmmakers. Known for inventing the art of motion pictures, Edison developed the Kinetoscope, which was an early film projector. Edison went on to produce a number of experimental short films in the late 1890s, including The Kiss (1896). His film Blacksmith Scene (1893) is said to be the first Edison company film made for commercial distribution. It is currently the oldest film on the National Film Registry and is given credit as the starting point in the American motion picture industry. Edison followed it with an experimental film called Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze (1894), also known as Fred Ott's Sneeze. It is said to be the first film with a close-up.

The Lumiere Brothers (Auguste and Louis) did a lot with the advancement camera processes, later abandoning motion pictures for photography. One of their major contributions to film is Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat (1896). This film features a train coming towards the camera, which is said to have frightened moviegoers in its day due to its realistic cinematography.

Le Prince (who is said to have mysteriously vanished!) actually preceded them all in filmmaking by using a single-lens camera and paper film to make Traffic Crossing Leeds Bridge (1888) and Roundhay Garden Scene (1888). The latter (pictured below) is considered to be the earliest surviving film!

These films, each clocking in at less than a minute, can be seen on YouTube and are fascinating examples of the early days of cinema.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Adventure Begins

Welcome,

I thought I would open with an explanation of my self-proclaimed 'Adventure Through Movies'. This blog will detail my chronological journey through film that began in June 2002.

I was about to turn 17 and was bursting with a love for the cinema. My movie-watching habits were pretty haphazard. I would watch an assortment of old movies and new movies, while trying to watch as many Oscar-winning Best Pictures as I could. I also tried my best to see as many movies that were considered to be among "the greatest of all time". Eventually, I decided that I needed structure. An idea struck!  I could experience movies chronologically.  I decided to go all the way back to the dawn of film and work my way to the present. 

I wanted to attempt to put myself in the context of the era when film was created and I hoped to experience the passage of time along with the progression of film-making. In effect, I'd experience a history lesson through the cinema. The films that I chose to watch were typically those that I could imagine myself opting to see if I lived in that time period. As my adventure progressed, I began to watch movies based on who made them, who appeared in them, and their critical reception. A big thanks must be extended to my dad's massive film collection, as well as Netflix, and the Penn State libraries for allowing so many renowned and obscure films to be within my grasp.

In this blog, I will detail my experiment by listing each film that I've watched. I'd like to offer insight based on my perspective of the progression of cinema, as well as general thoughts on filmdom, and maybe some reviews. I hope that you will learn a little bit more about film and discover some of these movies that make up my adventure.

This is my life's work. Why not share it?

CinemaAdventurer