1895: European Film Gets An Audience

Beginning in June 2020, I sought to deepen my knowledge of the silent era by starting the European Silent Cinema Project. For the project, I review two European silent films each year starting in 1895 and ending in 1930. For a comprehensive list of films and reviews visit the project’s main page here. Film #1: Mr. Delaware and the Boxing Kangaroo (Das boxende Känguruh) Director: Max Skladanowsky Country: Germany Cast: Mr. Delaware Film #2: Jumping the Blanket (Le saut à la couverture) Director: Louis Lumiere Country: France The invention of cinema can’t really be claimed by any one person or country. Cinema as we know it took decades of technological… Read More

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The European Silent Cinema Project

As a silent film fan, I’ve recently realized that I spend most of my time watching silent films made in America in the 1920s. While there is a wide variety of films from different genres and filmmakers in Hollywood 20s films, these films are only the tip of the iceberg. There are numerous unique films and perspectives from other countries that I have only recently started to explore. As I’ve branched out into different countries and decades of silent film, I’ve fallen in love with the amazing, trailblazing films found on the European continent in the silent era. While many of us film fans tend to only know such canonical… Read More

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The Sound of Fury (1950)

The Hollywood Blacklist in the 1950s really cut short a lot of interesting careers and forced promising talent to relocate to other countries. This is what happened to director Cy Endfield who was just getting some public and critical attention in 1950 with two film noirs, The Underworld Story and The Sound of Fury. Watching these films you can definitely get a sense for why the House of Un-American Activities would have suspected Endfield to be a communist. Several years ago the Film Noir Foundation and the UCLA Film and Television archive teamed up to restore The Sound of Fury to bring this forgotten film to light. One of its… Read More

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What Makes a Great Film

I recently watched Ingmar Bergman’s classic The Seventh Seal for the first time. To be brutally honest, I didn’t enjoy it that much. Maybe it was because I watched it with my roommates who mistook it as a horror flick when we brushed past it on our stroll of the Criterion Channel. Maybe its scenes of the Black Death rang too true to the coronavirus pandemic. Or maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for a slower, reflective film. I could understand why it launched Bergman onto the world scene. The black and white cinematography was stunning, leaving Max von Sydow’s knight Antonius Bloch in the shadows just as his… Read More

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Police Squad: Testimony of Evil (Dead Men Don’t Laugh)

This post is a part of A Shroud of Thought’s Sixth Annual Favourite TV Episode Blogathon. For more great articles from bloggers about their favourite classic television episodes, visit the blogathon’s official page here. While there is a healthy and thriving academic, critical, and popular interest in classic film, classic television hasn’t always been treated so kindly. Early television series from the 1940s and early 50s have similar survival rates to silent pictures, with numerous episodes and entire series being lost forever. (I’d personally love to see Anna May Wong’s lost The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong.) Luckily, more interest has been placed on preserving and appreciating classic television as this… Read More

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