THE CHAPTER FOUR BLOG

Questions? You can ask me anything ... just not anonymously.  

"I'm not even an atheist so much as I am an anti-theist; I not only maintain that all religions are versions of the same untruth, but I hold that the influence of churches, and the effect of religious belief, is positively harmful." - Christopher Hitchens in Letters to a Young Contrarian.

"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." - Sinclair Lewis

“Religion has ever been anti-human, anti-women, anti-life, anti-peace, anti-reason, and anti- science. The god idea has been detrimental not only to humankind, but to the earth. It is time now for reason, education, and science to take over.” - Madalyn Murray O'Hair


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Painter, writer, photographer, dog wrangler, dog rescuer, devourer of books and film and knowledge, gardener, hesitant and mediocre self-taught chef, and avid traveler. People say I should have been a librarian or archivist of some sort. I think I should have been a paleontologist.

Recently divorced after thirteen years. Figuring out the life that follows. Looking for peace. After five years in New York City and twenty more years in other cities, I relocated to rural New England. I like the quiet. I like the forest. I like snow in the winter. I like buying fresh, local goat's milk cheese at the general store.

I have always had rescue dogs and you can see two of them throughout these pages. I eat Indian food every chance I get, but never say no to Chinese. Two of my favorite living musicians are Tom Waits and Bonnie 'Prince' Billy. Some of my favorite authors are Samuel Beckett, Gene Wolfe, and William Heinesen. Some of my favorite films are Henry Fool, Hannah and Her Sisters, My Dinner with André, Stalker, Trust, and Through a Glass Darkly.

This is chapter four.

Graham has been posting stuff from The Thanhauser Company and it is very good, some really fine examples of pre-Hollywood cinema. There are 58 surviving films online now, including some literary adaptations and some amazing snapshots of what life was like in 1910-1915. This one - Her Nephews From Labrador (1913) - is awesome and features these two guys from New Rochelle, NY who were infamous for their 1910s version of performance art.
If you’re interested, start with some of the shorter films and work your way up to the features. There are also a lot of films at The Internet Archive, but you kind of need to know what you’re looking for as the indexing at that site, great as the site itself may be as a digital library, definitely leaves something to be desired.
Some of my favorite easily available and studio-produced silent feature films:
The Phantom Carriage - Victor Sjöström, Sweden (1922) - It just came out on Criterion
Bed and Sofa - Abram Room, USSR (1927)
Ingeborg Holm - Victor Sjöström, Sweden (1913)
Flesh and the Devil - Clarence Brown, USA (1927)
Way Down East - DW Griffith, USA (1920)
The Unknown - Tod Browning, USA (1928)
And, of course, for the everyone-loves-it viewing, you can never go wrong with Buster Keaton. Mine is sometimes an unpopular view, but I prefer his films over Chaplin and Harold Lloyd, though I love what Chaplin continued to do after the silent period and call him a hero/genius for doing so.
Keep your eyes open for what’s playing on TCM. They’ve been doing a ton of silents lately, both features and long blocks of shorts, often blocks by particular actors or directors in chronological order. The silents are regularly played during the night when they know no one is watching, which is why the Baby Jesus™ invented the DVR.
TCM also plays some silent masterpieces that 90 years later are still caught up in ridiculous copyright disputes and don’t have real DVD releases in the states. For example The Wind (1928), which I wrote about last week, and Erich von Stroheim’s Greed (1924).

Graham has been posting stuff from The Thanhauser Company and it is very good, some really fine examples of pre-Hollywood cinema. There are 58 surviving films online now, including some literary adaptations and some amazing snapshots of what life was like in 1910-1915. This one - Her Nephews From Labrador (1913) - is awesome and features these two guys from New Rochelle, NY who were infamous for their 1910s version of performance art.

If you’re interested, start with some of the shorter films and work your way up to the features. There are also a lot of films at The Internet Archive, but you kind of need to know what you’re looking for as the indexing at that site, great as the site itself may be as a digital library, definitely leaves something to be desired.

Some of my favorite easily available and studio-produced silent feature films:

  • The Phantom Carriage - Victor Sjöström, Sweden (1922) - It just came out on Criterion
  • Bed and Sofa - Abram Room, USSR (1927)
  • Ingeborg Holm - Victor Sjöström, Sweden (1913)
  • Flesh and the Devil - Clarence Brown, USA (1927)
  • Way Down East - DW Griffith, USA (1920)
  • The Unknown - Tod Browning, USA (1928)

And, of course, for the everyone-loves-it viewing, you can never go wrong with Buster Keaton. Mine is sometimes an unpopular view, but I prefer his films over Chaplin and Harold Lloyd, though I love what Chaplin continued to do after the silent period and call him a hero/genius for doing so.

Keep your eyes open for what’s playing on TCM. They’ve been doing a ton of silents lately, both features and long blocks of shorts, often blocks by particular actors or directors in chronological order. The silents are regularly played during the night when they know no one is watching, which is why the Baby Jesus™ invented the DVR.

TCM also plays some silent masterpieces that 90 years later are still caught up in ridiculous copyright disputes and don’t have real DVD releases in the states. For example The Wind (1928), which I wrote about last week, and Erich von Stroheim’s Greed (1924).

— 7 months ago with 11 notes
#silent cinema  #silent films  #The Thanhauser Company  #Victor Sjöström  #Buster Keaton 
  1. scottstartsover said: THE UNKNOWN is excellent and I agree that Keaton is superior to Chaplin and Lloyd; SEVEN CHANCES is one of my favorite movies.
  2. thechapterfourblog posted this