There’s Hope Out There, Silent Film Fans!

So recently I stumbled across a fun story making the rounds on social media, and thought I’d take a minute to share it myself. Because it’s a perfect antidote for those moments when the world seems to be an endless sea of folks who think that Jurassic Park is an old movie.

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I feel you, Sam.

The story was published on May 9 of this year on Omaha.com, and the headline alone is a thing of beauty and a joy forever: “The story of the Nebraska fourth-graders who became obsessed with silent cinema”. That’s almost enough right there, but let’s go on: Continue reading

Win A DVD Of “Behind The Door” (1919), The Most Disturbing Silent Film You’ve Never Seen!

UPDATE 4/12/17: The winner of the drawing is Kevin S., randomly selected by Flicker Alley from the many entries for this exciting DVD giveaway. Congrats, Kevin! 

We will (finally) return to the last few Méliès Month posts this Friday. I didn’t want you guys to miss out on a chance to own a free copy of this rare, and distinctly unsettling, early horror film! 

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Last October I reviewed one of the most disturbing silent films I’d ever beheld: Behind the Door (1919) starring Hobart Bosworth, a film that starts out like your standard 1910s drama and ends up like a murderer’s fever dream. It was a slightly awkward review to write since I knew it had never been put on DVD, was only playing at select film festivals, and that few people would ever get to see it.

That is…until now. The fabulous Flicker Alley, creator and distributor of top-quality silent film restorations, is releasing the first ever Blu-ray/DVD of Behind the Door on April 4, 2017! And you can sign up to win a copy right here on Silent-ology…details below!

(I’ve never done anything quite like this before–the closest would be the little drawings I hold for Buster blogathon participants. Silent-ology’s moving up! *wink*)

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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!

Without further ado: Continue reading

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