So you want to host a 1920s-themed party. According to the wise source known as Pinterest, most of these parties nowadays tend to look like this:
Of course, there’s nothing really wrong with a Vaguely-Twenties-themed party–but what if you tried hosting one that was a little less Party City and a little more “weekend in West Egg”? Here are some handy tips! Continue reading
While doing research for this month’s theme, I came across an unfamiliar name: Gladys Walton. Fairly popular in the early 1920s, she was intriguingly described as playing “flapper roles”–a few years before those roles would be associated with Colleen Moore and Clara Bow.
Who was this young woman? Research revealed a pragmatic, outspoken star who quickly realized her true priorities in life…and it also revealed an intriguing mystery. (At least, I’m going to call it a mystery.) Continue reading
Note: This is a repost of a Silent-ology article from August 7, 2014.
Everyone’s heard of “the cat’s pajamas” and “the bees knees,” but here are some slang terms from the early twenties that I’ll bet you’ve never heard of:
Airdale — a homely man
Alarm clock — a chaperone
An alibi — a box of flowers
Bean picker — one who tries to patch up trouble
The berries — applied to express surprise, disgust, indignation: “Ain’t that the berries!” Continue reading
It was one of the most culturally important films of the 1920s, the one that made Colleen Moore a star and made “flapper” part of every American’s vocabulary. Her delightful performance is arguably the highlight of the film…or so we can assume, because sadly only a fragment of the influential Flaming Youth (1923) still remains. But thank heavens for that fragment–not all lost films are as lucky.
One of the most famous quotes about the Jazz Age comes from F. Scott Fitzgerald himself–and no doubt you’ve heard of it: “I was the spark that lit up flaming youth, and Colleen Moore was the torch. What little things we are to have caused all that trouble.” But did you ever wonder where he wrote that quote?
According to one scholar, it was inscribed by Fitzgerald himself in a miniature volume of This Side of Paradise for the tiny library of Ms. Moore’s famed, beautiful, $500,000 “fairy castle” dollhouse. And that not only gives you a little taste of the success and popularity of this spirited actress, but also of her girlish, whimsical nature that so appealed to countless audiences back in the silent days.
The first post of Flapper Month is here! Hope you enjoy!
Bobbed hair! Short skirts! Jazz! The Charleston! All I have to say is those few words, and right away your brain is lighting up and thinking, “Flappers!” It’s been so many decades since the Twenties that they’re almost here again, but to this day, perhaps no other cultural figure (of sorts) from the 20th century is as universally well-known–and well-liked–as the Jazz Age flapper.
We all know at least a smidge of 1920s history–a smidge which tends to be, shall we say, a bit vague. It’s usually trotted out like this: For many years the world was a sad glum place full of sad glum Victorians, who were compelled by an unseen force to wear starchy suits and uncomfortable corsets, and who frowned upon all things fun. Then, at the stroke of midnight on January 1st, 1920, jazz music came trumpeting down from the sky, long locks of hair plopped to the ground to reveal newly-fashionable bobs, the bottom few inches of all women’s skirts just flew right off, and everyone loosened up their morals and ran off to the nearest bar to drink highballs.
I include a handy scientific illustration:
What, you feel like a few details are missing? So do I. While it would take a heck of a lot of research to come to a truly thorough understanding of the era, let’s try to sort through the stereotypes and figure out why the world seemed to change so quickly from the horse-and-buggy days to the era of the Tin Lizzie. Continue reading
Proving once more that movie fan magazine writers could turn anything into an article, presumably if deadlines were looming darkly enough (see: Kneeology), here is a 1918 Picture-Play Magazine article all about…movie star mouths.
Now now, do not laugh. For this is some hard-hitting journalism right here. Face it, without this article you likely never gave the psychology of movie star lips a second thought. But now you’re thinking about it, and that’s a thought that wasn’t in your brain a mere few minutes ago, so…hooray!
Another successful blogathon has come to a close, my friends! And thus I would like to offer:
Every year you classic film bloggers outdo yourselves writing insightful, touching, and well-researched posts about our favorite comedian, and I and all the Silent-ology readers could not be more appreciative! I’m sure that Buster, somewhere out there, was doing plenty of smiling in the last couple of days.
As promised, I conducted the drawing with my trusty gray cloche hat, and am happy to announce that the winner of The Saphead DVD is….
Congratulations! I’ll be in touch as soon as I can. And if you see this post first, contact me on my “About Silent-ology” page so we can email each other. (NOTE: I know that many of us Buster fans will snap up as much merchandise as we can, so if you already have the DVD let me know if you’d like to give it to someone who’d appreciate it or if I should draw another name.)
Thanks again, everyone! Here’s to next year’s Busterthon.
Welcome back, everyone, to the Buster Keaton Blogathon–fourth edition!
UPDATE 2/13/18 Day two of the blogathon has begun–looking forward to what the day has in store!
Once again we’re paying tribute to one of the most unique and beloved comedians of all time. An excellent variety of topics is being covered, and more are on the way!
Bloggers: Please send me the link to your post whenever it’s ready today or tomorrow. I’ll be updating periodically throughout the blogathon. Don’t forget that I’ll be holding a drawing for all participants, the winner receiving a Blu-ray/DVD of The Saphead! The drawing will be held on February 14 (Valentine’s Day).
Readers: Drop by often to see the latest posts–and don’t forget that we bloggers adore comments. (We adore them almost as much as Buster adored pratfalls.)
Silent-ology | Recap of the 23rd Annual Buster Keaton Convention 2017
Silver Screenings | College
Wolffian Classic Movies Digest | The Joys of Silent Comedy essay
Maddy Loves Her Classic Films | Why I Love Buster essay
A Person in the Dark | Yay for the Porkpie Party!
Big Riot V Squad | Buster Goes to War
Silver17 Productions | Trailer for The Rough House
An Ode to Dust | Curating a Buster Keaton retrospective
Grace Kingsley’s Hollywood | Kingsley’s 1920s interviews with Buster
Welcome To My Magick Theatre | Steamboat Bill, Jr
Special Purpose Movie Blog | Twilight Zone episode “Once Upon a Time”
It’s Rob | On visiting Buster’s gravesite
Silent Wierdness | Buster, Roscoe, and Al’s Comique films in New York
Once Upon a Screen | Convict 13
Le Monde de Dyajesse | Reviews of various Buster features (French language)
Senseless Cinema | Buster’s Blockbusters
Critica Retro | The Villain Still Pursued Her
Christina Wehner | Our Hospitality
The Wonderful World of Cinema | The Blacksmith
tgreywolfe | “Visage”–a poem
Old Hollywood Films | The history of the Italian Villa
Movies Meet Match | The General