European Silent Cinema Project; Top left clockwise: Joan of Arc (1900), Trouble of a Grass Widower (1908), The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926), The Abyss (1910)

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 works as German Expressionist films like The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Soviet montage films like Battleship Potemkin, or Hitchock’s films from Great Britain, the European Silent Cinema Project is meant to move beyond just these well-known silent Europeans films. This is a chance to delve deeper into the continent’s four decades of silent cinema to discover lesser-known films from silent cinema giants like France, Germany, and Sweden and to explore under-the-radar filmmakers, national silent cinemas, and genres.

Starting with the world’s first publically projected moving pictures in 1895 and ending with the transition to talkies in 1930, I will review two European silent films each year. For the first few years, especially in the 1890s, I will discuss each year’s two chosen films in a single entry. When I reach 1910, I will start reviewing one feature and one short in separate posts to better highlight short films which are often sadly not given the attention they deserve.

The following list includes all films I have reviewed (with links to that blog post) and those that I plan on reviewing next. Films listed for future review are subject to change based on personal taste, the availability of the films, and possible suggestions from readers.

1895The Boxing Kangaroo (GER) & Jumping Onto a Blanket (FRA)
1896Up the River (UK) & The Grand Panorama of the Grand Canal taken from a Boat (FRA)
1897The Last Cartridges (FRA) & Fight in Old Stockholm (SWE)
1898Come Along Do! (UK) & Santa Claus (UK)
1899The Departure of the Gordon Highlanders (UK) & King John (UK)
1900Joan of Arc (FRA) & Hamlet, Duel Scene with Laertes (FRA)
1901Fire! (UK) & History of a Crime (FRA)
1902The Epic of Napoleon (FRA) & The Coronation of Edward VII (FRA)
1903A Daring Daylight Burglary (UK) & Capital Execution (DEN)
1904Scenes from My Balcony (FRA) & An Interesting Story (UK)
1905Rescued by Rover (UK) & The Misadventures of a Frenchman with Pants (NET)
1906The Birth, the Life and the Death of Christ (FRA) & The Consequences of Feminism (FRA)
1907Sculpteur Express (SPA) & Lion Hunt (DEN)
1908The Assassination of the Duke de Guise (FRA) & Stenka Rankin (RUS)
1909Too Nice (ITA) & The Happy Microbes (FRA)
1910The White Slave Trade (DEN)A Lad from Ireland (IRE)
1911The Fall of Troy (ITA)Rudi Sportsman (CZE)
1912The Gardener (SWE)The Beautiful Leukanida (RUS)
1913The Other (GER)The Film Prima Donna (DEN)
1914War is Hell (BEL)The Assaniation of Franz Ferdinand (AUS)
1915Assunta Spina (ITA)Pimple Has One (UK)
1916Blind Justice (DEN)Potato Chips (SPA)
1917The Dying Swan (RUS)Thomas Graal’s Best Film (SWE)
1918The Man of Gold (HUN)War and Peace (NET)
1919The Oyster Princess (GER)Bear Hunt in Parnumaa (EST)
1920Erotikon (SWE)Captain Grogg Among Other Strange Bodies (SWE)
1921La Terre (FRA)The Star of Bethelehm (GER)
1922Fox Farm (UK)Das Wunder (GER)
1923Raskolnikow (GER)Glumov’s Diary (RUS)
1924Fisherman of Myrskyluodon (FIN)Au Secours! (FRA)
1925Jewish Luck (RUS/Yiddish)KIPHO (GER)
1926The Last Days of Pompeii (ITA)Love’s Berries (UKR)
1927The Fall of the Romanov Dynasty (RUS)Charleston Parade (FRA)
1928The Italian Straw Hat (FRA)The Bridge (NET)
1929White Hell of Pitz Palu (GER)Women’s Misery — Women’s Happiness (SWI)
1930Tonka of the Gallows (CZE)How the Berlin Worker Lives (GER)

If you want to learn more about silent European cinema, the 1995 six-part documentary Cinema Europe: The Other Hollywood was a great introduction into the era and provided me with the inspiration to start this project, giving me several ideas for films to review.

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