Silent-ology Is Three Years Old Today!

Three years ago to the day I hesitantly hit “publish” on an article about Chaplin (and man what a nervewracking moment that was), and “Silent-ology” was on its way. And now, three full, busy years later……….we’re finally starting to scratch the surface of silent film topics write about!!! (I’m kind of serious. There’s just so much.)

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Thanks, guys!

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So Long, 2016: The Silent Community Year In Review

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Happy New Year’s, everyone! With only a few hours left of 2016, it’s time for Silent-ology’s annual roundup of silent film-related news from the past 12 months. I try to make these posts fairly thorough, but let me know if there’s anything you’d like me to add!

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ANNOUNCEMENT: The Third Annual Buster Keaton Blogathon–Celebrating 100 Years Of Buster!

My friends, I’m thrilled to announce:

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I’m thrilled not just because this is a fantastic annual event celebrating one of the finest, most beloved comedians who ever walked this earth, but because 2017 marks 100 years since Buster first entered the movies on that fateful day in NYC back in 1917. That makes this blogathon an extra special one, and frankly, I’ve been waiting for it for years. Continue reading

What, It’s Post #200 Already?

200 posts– not a bad little milestone! Next thing you know we’ll be coming up on Christmas, then another Silent-ology anniversary, and then the real star of the coming year…BUSTER BLOGATHON 2017!! (I’ve been excited about it for ages!)

I wanted to write a little sumpin’ special for this post, but I started training for a new job last week and had to shuffle my writing plans around. Here’s something simple but meaningful: an Exhibitor’s Trade Review portrait page from 1924 featuring some of my favorite people in the whole entire world, who you all get to blame for me starting this blog:

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Well well well, look who’s smack dab in the middle there! None other than the thoroughly and somewhat unfairly forgotten comedienne Louise Fazenda, surrounded by such mighty names as Keaton and Lloyd. Interesting, no?

Writing plans are in the works, new ideas are bubbling up–I’m thinking it’ll be a good winter, everyone! I’ll get to work. 😉

A Newbie’s Visit To The Margaret Herrick Library

A meager two weeks or so hence I embarked upon the most important day trip of my film history fanatic life–a trip to the Margaret Herrick library at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. I’d always hoped that one day I would make it there, but lo and behold it was sooner than expected! My second (longer) visit to Hollywood was too obviously a golden opportunity.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Herrick, it’s a prestigious reference library devoted entirely to film history. For anyone dabbling in serious cinematic research, going to the Herrick is practically a rite of passage. Its book and vintage magazine collection is fabulous and its Special Collections department is nothing short of priceless. I mean, Buster Keaton’s baby pictures are there. Yes.

Since I had a research project going (sit tight, details are coming!), I had decided that yes, I would take the leap and request an appointment to see some items in Special Collections. Admittedly, this was somewhat terrifying–scrolling through newspapers and vintage magazines on the Internet from the comfort of my Victorian-style couch from Goodwill is one thing, but actually sifting through delicate original documents under the watchful, professional eyes of the Herrick librarians was most definitely another.  Continue reading

The Return To Hollywoodland

In my last post I told y’all about the wonderful experience of going to the SFSFF. Today we’re covering the second leg of the trip to the fun, historic, crazy place called Hollywood. Since I had visited there for the very first time last year, let’s just call this year’s trip “Pilgrimage II to the Holy Land.”

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So! The morning of June 6 I said goodbye to San Francisco and took a plane to LAX. Here’s one detail you should know: while at the film festival my body had decided, despite having been bizarrely lucky and only getting sick once the entire previous year, that now, verily, ’twas the time for me to catch a cold. And not just any cold–oh, no! This would be a mighty beast of a cold that would make me lose my voice almost completely while being emerged in a sea of fellow silent film fanatics to talk to. Thanks, BODY. 

But, this managed not to spoil my enjoyment of the festival (after all, you get to just sit all day!) and while I was left with a yucky-sounding cough, the journey to Hollywood was happily uneventful. After taking the FlyAway bus to the famous Union Station and riding the very convenient Metro, I was back on Hollywood Boulevard, eager to pick up where I’d left off last year.  Continue reading

San Francisco Silent Film Festival 2016–The Recap

Hello all, I’m back!! And I’ve had a chance to rest a bit and get back into the swing of “normal” life. And of course, for me “normal” life includes blogging, so I’ve been gathering my thoughts and am pleased to present the first in several posts about my time in Frisco and Tinseltown. Today, let’s go blow-by-blow through the entire prestigious experience of the highly recommended San Francisco Silent Film Festival–hang on, folks, because it’s going to be a long one!

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Currently In The Holy La–Er, Hollywood!

As you read this I am walking around Hollywood like the starry-eyed tourist I am (or am about to wake up and then walk around like the starry-eyed tourist I am–what’s the time difference again?).

Fond memories are in the making! And I’m getting geared up for my first-ever visit to the Margaret-Herrick library tomorrow morning…this is big, folks!

If you’re new to Silent-ology, here’s my post that covered all the sights I took in during my Tinseltown visit last year: My Very First Visit to Hollywoodland.

And here’s a list of Handy Tips I also put together for anyone planning a first-time visit of their own (we’ll see if more tips are in order when I get home): Silent-ology’s Handy Tips For Visiting (Silent) Hollywood.

More to come!

Currently At The SFSFF!

I have most thoroughly arrived and am taking in Day 2 of the festival! Depending on what time of the day it is in San Francisco right now, I’m either viewing the “Amazing Tales From the Archives” presentation; A Woman of the World (1925) starring Pola Negri; That Night’s Wife (Sono Yo No Tsuma) (1930), a Japanese homage to crime pictures; Mothers of Men or Every Woman’s Problem (1917), a melodrama centering around a suffragette; Varieté (1925), a tale of trapeze artists and sexual jealousy; or Behind the Door (1919), about a “barbarous crew of submariners.”

Or I’m, ya know, asleep because it’s either very early or very late in Frisco…and am resting up for more silents!!

Here’s a little recap of my visit to the festival last year. Regular readers might recall that I only went to a handful of showings, due to being on a separate trip at the time, but those showings were such fun that I couldn’t resist coming back in 2016: My Time At The San Francisco Silent Film Festival.

More to come about this year’s festival when I’m back in MN!