I’m happy to say that the author of 1907 Chicago Projecting Co’s Entertainer’s Supplies Catalog No. 122: Deluxe Reprint Edition has done it again! (Have you not read 1907 Chicago Projecting Co’s Entertainer’s Supplies Catalog No. 122: Deluxe Reprint Edition? You should!) This time, as part of his newly-dubbed “Moving Picture Reprint Series,” Darren Nemeth is offering How To Film Moving Pictures in the 1910s. Much like his first book, it already promises to be an important part of my film history library. Continue reading
Let’s all take a minute and look at this marvelous photo:
If I asked you to picture a daring pilot from the 1910s or 1920s, this is exactly who you would picture, am I right? The leather aviator helmet, the goggles, the cool jacket, the air of cheerful self-assurance…he’s the very personification of the flying ace Snoopy always aspired to be. And yes, he’s the real deal. This is the forgotten barnstormer Ormer Locklear, achiever of mind-boggling aerial stunts, and yes, of course he has a fantastic name, I would expect nothing less.
Really, all he needs is a tiny 1920s mustache and…stop the presses.
So here’s a slightly baffling item from the quirky magazine Film Fun, which as you may recall is the gift that keeps on giving. I’ve decided that if Film Fun took human form, it would definitely be a starstruck teen with ADHD.
The June, 1926 issue included this two-page spread called “The Family Album.” Here’s the first page (rightclick and hit “open image in new tab” if you want to zoom in):
Which is all somewhat incomprehensible without context. Basically, stars posed for Victorian-style portraits meant to look like dead “relations” of yore, in a tongue-in-cheek manner, of course. Captions ramped up the fun by giving them old-fashioned sounding names like “Lulu Hicks” and “Hiram Bump.” Oh, you kids! Continue reading
Hello all! As Silent-ology continues to try and spread the joy of silent cinema to anyone who happens to stumble by, I’m considering writing brief “welcome” posts like this every once in awhile. I know what it’s like to visit a new blog and feel like someone who just popped into a trendy new cafe and is trying to figure out the complicated chalk-written menu.
Of course, the “About” page of a blog always helps, but it’s nice to know you’re in the writer’s thoughts right here, right now.
So here’s the most basic tour: I’m interested in pretty much every detail of the entire silent era, so if there’s a topic you’re interested in, there’s a good chance I’ve got it covered–and if not, it’ll likely be written about in the future! Take a look at the My Articles page, or simply use the Search box. I gravitate toward silent comedy a bit more than drama, so searching for “comedians” or “silent comedy” should bring up a lot of results. (There’s oodles of Buster Keaton, by the way–especially since I host an annual Buster blogathon!)
I like to do theme months a couple times a year, and so far these have included: Forgotten comedians, Georges Melies, Mary Pickford, the Comique shorts (made by Roscoe Arbuckle and co-starring Buster Keaton) and my latest, Flapper Month. I also enjoy covering German Expressionism and other silent horror-type films every October, so there’s plenty of tags for those topics too.
If you’re brand new to silent films, you might appreciate these early articles:
- Getting Into Silent Films–Where To Begin?
- How To Watch a Silent Film (If You’ve Never Seen One)
- What’s Your Silent “Gateway” Film?
- My Handy Glossary page might, well, come in handy. It explains the movie-making terms you’ll be stumbling across as you read up on the era.
But let’s say you already like silents, and are specifically interested in Really Super Old silents. Consider checking out:
- From Magic Lanterns to Fred Ott’s Sneeze–Cinema Begins
- What Are The World’s Oldest Horror Movies?
- Thoughts On: The Four Troublesome Heads (1898)
Or maybe you want to know more about the early moviegoing scene. You’ll probably enjoy:
Or perhaps you’re looking to learn more about silent era actors. I try to cover both the big personalities and the obscure ones. Here’s a few:
- Will The Real Mary Pickford Please Stand Up?
- Forever Debonair: The Enduring Legacy Of Comedy Pioneer Max Linder
- Sybil Seely, Buster’s Most Charming Leading Lady (I’m proud to say that this one’s an example of my very own research!)
- A Mesmerizing Talent: The Life And Career Of Conrad Veidt
Gravitate toward the artsy side of the era? Take a look at:
- So Just What Exactly Was German Expressionism?
- Thoughts On: Ghosts Before Breakfast (1928)
- Timelessly Cool: The Art Of 1920s Soviet Film Posters
Planning a trip to Hollywood? Looking for some tips on finding silent-related sites, and how to get there? I’ve got you covered!
- My Very First Visit To Hollywoodland
- Silent-ology’s Handy Tips For Visiting (Silent) Hollywood (This includes my Handy Map)
- The Return to Hollywoodland
And as long as we’re on the topic of visiting silent Hollywood, if you’re as interested in research as I am, you’ve no doubt heard of the prestigious Margaret Herrick library. Plan on going there one day? Here are some tips on how to do research there:
There’s a lot more, of course, but I hope this brief tour was helpful. And as always, feel free to leave comments (even on older articles). We have a very friendly crowd here, so don’t be shy!
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
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.