Friday, October 31, 2008

More Kino DVDs on Sale

More sales from Kino.

One that looks particularly interesting: D.W. Griffith: Father of Film, a three-part documentary from Kevin Brownlow and David Gill. It's currently available for pre-order; I might have to dig in for that.

In conjunction, they're taking preorders for the Griffith Masterworks 2 DVD set, which also looks interesting.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Lillian Sweetser and Romaine Fielding

I'm doing a great clean-out of my desk (as mentioned previously), and came across an article I'd intended to add to the site: A brief sort-of follow up to the story that's in the Features section, on Lillian Sweetser, a scenarist from an area near where I live.

Seems that Lillian wrote a scenario for filmmaker Romaine Fielding; during the course of his research, the director of a documentary about Fielding came across Sweetser's name and contacted her daughter for an interview.

It's an interesting story, and (again) a nice sort-of follow up to the Lillian one.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Published Article - Fred Thomson

I almost forgot! Friday I got my copy of Leben magazine, which features an article from yours truly!

Leben is, according to their Web site, "A quarterly, four-color magazine that tells the stories of the Protestant Reformers and those who have followed in their footsteps through the ages."

I was contacted a few months ago about having my Silent Star of the Month biography of Fred Thomson included in the magazine, and was thrilled to have been asked. It's always nice to hear that modern audiences would find the stars (or any aspect, really) of the silent era interesting.

The site hasn't been updated with the new issue (as of this writing), but I assume it will be in the coming days (if you're interested to see the cover and my name/the article on it - chances are, this will be of interest only to my family, and only because they have to pretend to be excited; it's part of the deal).

New Articles in News & Notes

While doing some back-end work on the site, I discovered a folder with some articles that used to be up (before I revamped the News & Notes area).

I did this last week, while I was sick (which is why I probably forgot to post a notice about it), so you may have already seen them.

If not, there are three interesting (if out of date) articles, two on showings at UCLA and another from an artist who did portraits of some the silent era's biggest female stars.

Again, while dated, they are still interesting to read.

I'm also planning to put more images up; I (finally!) bought a new computer, so work should go quicker. I have some more rearranging of my desk area to do, but I'll try to get those up this week.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Available for Sale

Bored out of my mind, I went casting about on the Internet and lo and behold! The 1929 Isotta-Fraschini Tipo 8A Castagna Transformable used in Sunset Boulevard is available for sale.

Um, anyone want to loan me a few hundred thousand?

Still feeling rather horrible, I curled up and watched one of my favorite movies (yes, Sunset Boulevard). This, of course, led me to the Internet and the fascinating discovery above.

It also led me to the horrifying discovery that, for some reason, I had not included sites on Gloria in the directory. (Either that, or I can't find them, which leads to the equally horrifying conclusion that it's time to rearrange the At the Movies section.)

Anyways, some new links on Gloria sites on The Stars page.

Friday, October 17, 2008

New Links Added

Illness is forcing me to keep this brief: New links added to the At the Movies section. Of note:

  • Learn About Movie Posters has a couple of features of interest to us silent fans: A database of over 3,000 silent movie studios, and a listing of silent movie posters and lobby cards, some available to buy. Very interesting and a wonderful addition to WTSM.
  • My sincere apologies: I noted on the main At the Movies page that the Silent Movie Era Resources Page 1 had been updated, when it had not. Instead, it was the International Silents page that had been. I've rectified that by updating Page 1, so all is well.
  • That I had not added Milestone Films to my list of resources is a crime, which I've also fixed. Sorry guys!
I think that's it. I'll add more when I'm better.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

More Updates to At the Movies

I've updated more of the At the Movies pages.

One thing I didn't do this time around: Marked new and/or updated links with the ubiquitous yellow "new!" I could dance around the reason why, but bottom line: I'm lazy. I don't want to have to go back and remove them all after an indeterminate amount of time.

So, you are forced to go and look at the updated pages and find out for yourself which ones are new. (See how I did that? Forcing you to go rummaging through my site? Pretty clever, eh?)

Anyways, of all the pages that got overhauls, I think the They Started in Silents is the one to look at. I added quite a few here, and while researching new links for already listed sites found quite a few more for these stars.

But that's the next round, after my already extensive "to-do" list for the site. In the meantime, enjoy!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

More New at WTSM

Yes, the never stops coming!

WTSM is now searchable, thanks to Google. I have installed a custom search engine on the WTSM home page, so if you're looking for information on a particular star, or are researching a particular topic, if you want it quickly, then you'll get it Google-fast.

Just another improvement I hope you'll enjoy.

Also, I've updated more "At the Movies" pages, so keep a lookout for those. On a personal note, it has been a while (obviously) since I've updated those, and let me tell you, I had forgotten how much interesting information there is out there! Sadly, many great sites are gone, but many wonderful ones still remain, and once I've updated I'll start looking around for more good ones to add. And if you know of any, be sure to let me know!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Something New at WTSM!

If you look to your right, you'll see a new feature here at Welcome to Silent Movies: the Photo Album.

I have a lot of photos, stills, etc., that I've collected over the years, and have always wanted to put them on the site but was worried about exceeding my space allowance from my hosting service.

Thankfully, Google has really upped their Picasa photo album service, so I'm giving that a go. I've started with putting about half of a set of silent star "trading cards" up. Entitled "50 Different Photos of the Leading Moving Picture Stars" (for only 10 cents!), the signed (in the negative) cards are from the Kromo Gravure Photo Co. of Detroit, Michigan.

It also says it's "Set No. 1;" has anyone ever seen Set No. 2?

No matter. As I said, I've gotten about half up; I'll try to get the rest if not tomorrow then next weekend (along with more).

I've created a page where I'll list the different albums, to make it easier to organize and find.

As always, comments are welcome. In the meantime, enjoy the pictures!

MOMA film review

I'm back from my wonderful trip to New York. I had a great time, and as I mentioned in my last post, went to MOMA to see While New York Sleeps, as part of their Hollywood on the Hudson, Filmmaking in New York 1920-1939 series.

The film, directed by Charles Brabin (Theda Bara's hubby), was a series of 3 mini-movies rolled into one. The first segment: the story of a wealthy couple where the wife, while the husband's at work, gets a "surprise" visitor; the second, the story of a cheatin' husband and the trouble he gets into with the vamp he meets at Ziegfield's Follies; and the third, a thoroughly depressing tale of a poor, working-class father and son who suffer tragedy at the hands of a heartless woman.

All in all, not a bad evening's entertainment, although nothing to set your socks on fire. I had hoped to see more scenery of early NYC, but sadly, what was shown (in the third act) was minimal, so I was very disappointed.

Another surprise was that the film, billed at being 70 minutes long, was a lot longer than that, making me very late for my dinner guests. (They were very forgiving.)

Would I see it again? Um, no, nor would I buy it on DVD. But if it were showing, I would encourage silent film fans to go, if only because I (believe) the Follies girls were the real deal (and always cool to see them), and to take in the costumes, scenery, direction and camera work associated with an early film.