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The Man With a Movie Camera
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Item #: 889290092052 -

    Described by Dziga Vertov, its director, as an "experiment in the language of pure cinema," The Man With the Movie Camera is perhaps the most dazzling and sophisticated work not only of Soviet, but of world silent cinema. In part it is a "city symphony," although its urban landscape is actually a film synthesis of shots taken in Moscow, Kiev, Odessa and elsewhere. In part, it is a panorama of and a manifesto on the nature of socialist society in the late 1920s. But it is especially a...

    Oscar Wildes Salomé with Lot in Sodom
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    Item #: 889290392299 -

      Alla Nazimova, the Russian-born, theater-trained actress decided, on the occasion of her contract release from Metro Goldwyn Mayer in 1921, to make films "with merit." The second – and last – of these was Oscar Wilde's controversial Salomé. Her director was her husband, Charles Bryant. Her set and costume designer was the beautiful and capricious heiress Winifred Hudnet, later known as Natacha Rambova and the future Mrs. Rudolph Valentino (two months after the picture was...

      All My Babies
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      Item #: 889290481580 -

        All My Babies (1952) was selected in 2002 by the Librarian of Congress as a "culturally, historically, and artistically significant work" for permanent preservation in the National Film Registry. This beautiful film is the story of "Miss Mary" Coley, an African-American midwife more than half a century ago in rural Georgia. Its production sponsored by the Georgia Department of Public Health as a demonstration film for illiterate "granny" midwives, All My Babies quickly transcended its initial...

        The Sheik with The Son of The Sheik
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        Item #: 889290096296 -

          "Women are not in love with me but with the picture of me on the screen. I am merely the canvas upon which the women paint their dreams." - Rudolph Valentino, 1923 Women fainted in the aisles when The Sheik was released in 1921. The titled Lady Diana Mayo (Agnes Ayres) is carried into the desert by an Arab chieftan, Ahmed Ben Hassan (Valentino), who takes one look at her and wants her, right then and there. Filmed on the heels of women's suffrage, Lady Diana was presented as a strong-willed...

          The Marriage Circle
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          Item #: 889290076762 -

            The tone is set from the opening scene as legendary director Ernst Lubitsch effortlessly sets up the duality of one perfectly happy marriage contrasted with another couple in a perpetual state of grimly endured misalliance. The Marriage Circle is full of scenes with a sense of unspoken formality, of a mutually antagonistic marital standoff that has been going on for years. The move/countermove rhythm slightly anticipates the slow, tit-for-tat rhythms of Laurel and Hardy, but instead of...

            Landmarks of Early Film
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            Item #: 889290895288 -

              LANDMARKS OF EARLY FILM To study where we’ve been is to better understand where we are, but early film is not of interest only because it illuminates present practices. Beyond considerable historical interest, the material collected here provides immense pleasure on its own terms. These are old films, and they are influential films. But beyond that, the bottom line is that they are wonderful films, rewarding our close attention with great enjoyments. - Excerpts from an essay by Dean W....

              Cyrano de Bergerac
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              Item #: 889290090898 -

                Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac was a triumph from the moment of its premiere on December 28, 1897. It has become the most popular play of the modern French theater, and Cyrano, despite an ugly visage dominated by an enormous nose, has become a world-beloved symbol of generosity, magnanimity of spirit and beauty of soul. The wonderful Cyrano of this film, Pierre Magnier, understudied Coquelin in the original stage production. He toured with Coquelin and Sarah Bernhardt in 1900, playing...

                Berlin, Symphony of a Great City AKA Berlin, die Sinfonie der Grobstadt
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                Item #: 889290092014 -

                  At once an invaluable photographic record of life in Weimer Berlin and a timeless demonstration of the cinema's ability to enthrall on a purely visceral level, Berlin, Symphony of a Great City (Berlin, die Symphonie der Grosstadt) offers a kaleidoscopic view of a single day in the life of a bustling metropolis. Carl Mayer (The Last Laugh), influenced by the naturalistic Kammerspiel movement, envisioned "a melody of pictures" sprung from daily reality instead of the stylized artificiality of...

                  World War I Films of the Silent Era
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                  Item #: 889290093769 -

                    "It might reasonably be contended that Humphrey Jennings is the only real poet the British cinema has yet produced." - Lindsay Anderson, Director These astonishing films show and explain essential news and propaganda functions of the movies during the Great War of 1914-1918. In those days before television and even before radio, fiction films in movie theaters were the most widely shared public experience, while news films were the most potent and detailed public images of armament, military...

                    True Heart Susie
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                    Item #: 889290090928 -

                      In 1918 and 1919, D.W. Griffith turned from spectacles such as The Birth of a Nation, Intolerance and Hearts of the World to smaller films, which he called his "short story series." Among these is True Heart Susie (June 1919). "There are those of us who consider True Heart Susie to be the Griffith's masterpiece," writes Tom Gunning in his notes for a 2006 screening at the Pordenone Silent Film Festival. He goes on to praise the "narrative structure and point of view, as well as the fine...

                      Tolable David
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                      Item #: 889290091956 -

                        Tol'able David is a magnificent film, carefully transferred from the best available elements, and starring the great Richard Barthelmess (Broken Blossoms) in the title role. This rural adaptation of the David and Goliath tale chronicles the hero's passage into adulthood as he confronts three crooks looking for trouble. When the story opens, David Kinemon, the youngest son of tenant farmers living in small-town West Virginia, yearns to be seen as an adult. His youthful antics, however, prevent...

                        The Battle of the Sexes
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                        Item #: 889290091116 -

                          D.W. Griffith is properly esteemed as the "Father of Film" from his years of discovery making short films at the pioneer Biograph Company and for such pioneering features as The Birth of a Nation, Intolerance, Broken Blossoms, Way Down East and Orphans of the Storm, but his later films - several of them lost or almost unavailable - are often dismissed as back efforts of a talent in decline. Griffith's 1928 comedy-drama The Battle of the Sexes belies this perception. The story involves a...