Sunday, October 15, 2000

Le Giornate del Cinema Muto, Sacile, 14-21 October, 2000

This was an abundant programme, ideal for someone getting started in film history – getting to see Lumière, Méliès, Biograph, Griffith, Feuillade, and German avant-garde in best possible prints. There was even a cross-section of all early cinema production in the special programme ”The World in 1900”. And we got to see and hear the world’s first sound film (1894) for the first time in 106 years! A good Millennium bargain.

This year of Le Giornate was a turning-point in programming early shorts. In earlier editions of Le Giornate, for instance, the Edisons and the non-fiction cycles were extremely hard to take. This year, we witnessed successful efforts to program early non-fiction in exciting ways, generally with correct speeds (Biograph at 30 fps). The Biograph compilations will be welcomed by film archive programmers for decades to come. ”The World in 1900” was another attractive attempt to show a wide variety of early cinema in context. Also the German avant-garde, Nordic animation and Walter Lantz shows had high standards of programming compilation.

On a personal note, the programme was too good, and shuttling between Sacile and Pordenone arduous (although the transportation was good). I tried to see too much, and with 15-hour periods without proper rest bouts of fatigue were inevitable. Afterwards I needed a week to recover. I heard similar reports from colleagues.

OPENING EVENT

Speedy (Kaupungin nopein, US 1928) – starring Harold Lloyd. 85’. Presented by Suzanne Lloyd Hayes, music composed and conducted by Carl Davis and performed by Camerata Labacensis. Harold’s last silent film presented in a complete restored version. A delight to discover the full version with charming detail of contemporary New York. Previously I’d only seen the Time-Life abridged version. ****

THE GRIFFITH PROJECT IV – FILMS PRODUCED IN 1910

The first complete D.W. Griffith retrospective ever mounted proceeded into an exciting year. In 1910, DWG and Biograph start to shoot some of their films in California. There were more good films and good prints than in the previous installments. Still, the 16 mm screenings were mostly so horrible that a true evaluation was impossible. But many films screened in 35 mm prints of Civil War themes (The House with Closed Shutters), starring Mary Pickford (Ramona), with subjects of social conscience (The Usurer) or in a pastoral setting (The Arcadian Maid) revealed their cinematic poetry. * marks my favourites. The duration of the films was 5-26 min. A Romance of the Western Hills (DWG 249) was not screened because of 16 mm problems. An excellent companion to the screenings has been The Griffith Project series of books. Part IV has an extended essay on each film. It is certainly one of the best film books of the year.

The Englishman and the Girl (DWG 234)
His Last Burglary 16 mm (DWG 235)
The Final Settlement 16 mm (DWG 236)
Taming a Husband 16 mm (DWG 237)
The Newlyweds 16 mm (DWG 238)
The Thread of Destiny * (DWG 239)
In Old California 16 mm (DWG 204)
The Man 16 mm (DWG 241)
The Converts 16 mm (DWG 242)
Faithful 16 mm (DWG 243)
The Twisted Trail 16 mm (DWG 244)
As It Is In Life 16 mm (DWG 245)
Gold Is Not All * (DWG 246)
A Rich Revenge 16 mm (DWG 247)
Unexpected Help (DWG 248)
Thou Shalt Not 16 mm (DWG 250)
The Way of the World * (DWG 251)
The Unchanging Sea 16 mm * (DWG 252)
The Gold-Seekers 16 mm (DWG 253)
Love Among the Roses 16 mm (DWG 254)
Ramona * (DWG 255)
The Two Brothers (DWG 256)
Over Silent Paths * (DWG 257)
The Impalement * (DWG 258)
In the Season of Buds 16 mm (DWG 259)
A Child of the Ghetto 16 mm (DWG 260)
A Victim of Jealousy (DWG 261)
In the Border States * (DWG 262)
The Face at the Window * (DWG 263)
The Marked Time-Table 16 mm (DWG 264)
A Child’s Impulse 16 mm (DWG 265)
The Purgation (DWG 266)
Muggsy’s First Sweetheart 16 mm (DWG 267)
A Midnight Cupid 16 mm (DWG 268)
What the Daisy Said * (DWG 269)
A Child’s Faith (DWG 270)
Serious Sixteen (DWG 271)
A Flash of Light (DWG 272)
As the Bells Rang Out! (DWG 273)
The Call to Arms 16 mm (DWG 274)
An Arcadian Maid * (DWG 275)
Her Father’s Pride * (DWG 276)
The House with Closed Shutters * (DWG 277)
A Salutary Lesson 16 mm (DWG 278)
The Sorrows of the Unfaithful 16 mm (DWG 279)
The Usurer * (DWG 280)
A Mohawk’s Way 16 mm (DWG 285)
In Life’s Cycle 16 mm (DWG 286)
The Oath and the Man 16 mm (DWG 287)
Rose O’Salem-Town * (DWG 288)
The Iconoclast 16 mm (DWG 289)
Examination Day at School (DWG 290)
That Chink at Golden Gulch 16 mm (DWG 291)
The Broken Doll * (DWG 292)
The Banker’s Daughters 16 mm (DWG 293)
The Message of the Violin 16 mm (DWG 294)
Two Little Waifs 16 mm (DWG 295)
Waiter No. 5 (DWG 296)
Simple Charity * (DWG 297)
The Fugitive * (DWG 298)
Sunshine Sue 16 mm (DWG 299)
The Song of the Wildwood Flute (DWG 300)
A Plain Song (DWG 301)
His Sister-In-Law 16 mm (DWG 302)
A Child’s Stratagem 16 mm (DWG 303)
The Golden Supper (DWG 304)
When a Man Loves 16 mm (DWG 305)
The Lesson (DWG 306)
Winning Back His Love (DWG 307)
A Wreath of Orange Blossoms 16 mm (DWG 308)
The Italian Barber 16 mm (DWG 309)
His Trust 16 mm (DWG 310)
His Trust Fulfilled 16 mm (DWG 311)
The Two Paths * (DWG 312)
Three Sisters (DWG 313)
Fate’s Turning (DWG 314)
The Diamond Star (DWG 315)
What Shall We Do With Our Old? * (DWG 316)
A Decree of Destiny 16 mm (DWG 317)
Heart Beats of Long Ago (DWG 318)
The Lily of the Tenements * (DWG 319)

LOUIS FEUILLADE

Louis Feuillade (1873-1925) became in 1907 the artistic director of Gaumont in succession to Alice Guy. By his own estimate he made some 800 films, many of which survive. Le Giornate presented a wonderful selection curated by Jacques Champreux, with a special star guest – Bouboule, the last of Feuillade’s child stars, now a spirited old lady. The Feuillade retrospective was also a versatile cross-section of the state-of-the-art French film production of his era. Many of the prints were dazzling; the Fantômas serial, however, was screened on video only (I skipped it); Les Vampires was not seen in best possible prints.

Debuts in Cinema
L’Homme aimenté (1907) 7’. A comedy about a magnetized man.
Le Violon (1908) 7’. Melodrama about the healing power of music. ”Très pathétique”.
La Légende de la fileuse (1908) 7’. Fantastique: magic and wonders worthy of Méliès
Une dame vraiment bien (1908) 4’. Comedy with the same concept as in The Girl Can’t Help It (”when she walks by the bread slice turns to toast”).
Le Printemps (1909) 7’. ”Vision antique”. Symbolist tableau.
La Possession de l’enfant (1909) 11’. A drama of divorce: the child brings the parents together again. (Affinities with Griffith shorts.)

”Le Film Esthétique”
L’Orgie Romaine / Héliogabale (1911) 8’. The decadent Emperor lets lions loose among his guests.
Le Fils de Locuste (1911) 14’. High tragedy in the court of another decadent Emperor: Nero.

”La Vie telle qu’elle est”
Le Trust ou les batailles de l’argent (1911) 25’. An early Feuillade crime fantasy.
L’Accident (1912) 23’. A triangle drama with a story like in Les Choses de la Vie (Intersection).

The First Child Stars: Bébé and Bout de Zan
Feuillade loved children and regularly had child stars among his cast.
Bébé Apache (1910) 10’. Bébé sets a trap to the apaches.
Bébé fait du cinéma (1911) 10’. Brilliant print of a forgotten meta-film.
Bout de Zan et le cigare (1913) 7’. Beautiful pochoir colour in the story of the boy and the cigar.

”La Vie drôle”
Les Millions de la bonne (1913) 25’. Comedy about the household that comes to believe that their maid is the heiress of an American millionaire.

Les Vampires (1915-1916) ****
1. La Tête coupée 40’
2. La Bague qui tue 17’
3. Le Cryptogramme rouge 48’
4. Le Spectre 38’
5. L’Evasion du mort 45’
6. Les Yeux qui fascinent 70’
7. Satanas 52’
8. Le Maître de la foudre 61’
9. L’Homme des poisons 59’
10. Les Noces sanglantes 65’
The film that gave the emblem to this year’s Le Giornate still thrills with its sense of the absurd, its vision of modernity, and its sense of humour.

Barrabas (1920). Of the last of Feuillade’s great detective serials (12 episodes) I saw the beginning of the prologue: La Maîtresse du Juif Errant. Perhaps more polished the early serials but also a work of Entzauberung.

Parisette (1921-1922). Of the ”Grand cinéroman en 12 épisodes” I saw episode 3: L’Affaire de Neuilly. Fluid storytelling, but the magic is gone.

Pierrot Pierrette (1924). The adventures of two young street singers starring Bout de Zan, now a teenager, together with Bouboule.

THE WONDERS OF THE BIOGRAPH ****

A large collection of films shot in the Biograph format (68mm) has now been successfully preserved on 35 mm. The projection speed is 30 fps. These films are true revelations that hardly anyone has seen in a hundred years. The films have been compiled into a witty and exciting touring show of 11 programmes by Nederlands Filmmuseum. The compilations were made by Nico de Klerk with the help of Mark van den Tempel and others at NFM. The length of the films is one minute on the average.
Biograph Programme Number 1 was not shown, at least not as scheduled.

Biograph 2: Where to Place the Camera?
[Charge of the Carabiniers – Aldershot] (GB [1898])
[Hondekarren] (NL [1898])
Threshing Machine at Work (US 1897)
Feestelijk bezoek van HM Konigin Wilhelmina aan Rotterdam (NL 1899)
[Huwelijksstoet ter Gelegenheid van het huwelijk van Wilhelmina en Hendrik] (NL 1901)
Jumping Hurdles (US 1897)
When the Bugle Sounds ”Charge” (DE 1899)
Menai Bridge, the Day Irish Mail from Euston Entering the Tubular Bridge over the Menai Straits (GB 1898)
Launch of the ”Oceanic” (GB 1899)
The Albany Day Boats (US 1897)
[Een Jacht, en Profil] (US [1900])
”Shamrock” and ”Columbia” (US 1899)
[International Yacht Races on the Clyde] (US [1901])
[International Yacht Races on the Clyde] (US [1901])
Coasting on Sleds in the Stockholm Sport Park on Sunday (GB 1902)
Shooting the Chutes (US 1896)
Empire State Express (US 1896)
Battleships ”Maine” and ”Iowa” (US 1897)
Four Warships in Rough Seas (GB 1900)
[Tram Journey Through Southampton] (GB [1900])
Irish Mail – L. & N.W. Railway – Taking Up Water at Full Speed (GB 1898)
From Vaudreuil to St. Anne’s (US [1900])
[Railway Trip Through Mountain Scenery and Tunnels] (US [1900])
Across Brooklyn Bridge (US 1899)

Biograph 3: ”Twentieth-Century Damsel”
The Wonderful Mutoscope (GB [1898])
A Just Cause for Divorce (US 1899)
A Mouse in a Girls’ Dormitory (US 1897)
The Black Cat and the Dinner for Two (GB [1898])
Tolhuis! Kiele! Kiele! (NL 1899)
The Female Drummer (US 1899)
Hazing Affair in a Girls’ Boarding School (US 1899)
The Stolen Stockings (US 1898)
The Nurse’s Joke (US 1899)
An Interrupted Sitting (US 1898)
[Slaapkamerpret] (FR [1899])
The Finish of Mr. Fresh (US 1899)
[Ongewenst vader] (DE [1900])
[Geen bedelaars in de keuken] (GB [1898])
The Amorous Guardsman (GB 1898)
The Price of a Kiss (US 1899)
A Bowery Cafe (US 1897)
Her First Cigarette (US 1899)
Duel to the Death (GB 1898)
[An Interrupted Kiss] [GB (1898)]
Love’s Young Dream (US 1897)
Armor Vs. Amour (US 1899)
Union Square – New York (US 1896)
View on Boulevard, New York City (US 1896)
In a German Bath (DE 1899)

Biograph 4: ”Les feuilles remuaient au vent”
American Falls, Goat Island (US 1896)
Sad Sea Waves (US 1897)
Feeding Seagulls off the Irish Coast (GB 1899)
[Fun on a Sand Hill] (DE [1899])
Skating in Central Park (US 1900)
[Horse Race at Epsom] (GB [1899])
A Pillow Fight (US 1897)
[Kinderspiel] (US [1899])
Een kinderfeest op het eiland Marken (NL [1899])
An Irish Peasant Scene – Feeding Pigs (GB 1899)
A Stable on Fire (US 1896)
[Maidenhead Junction] (GB [1898])
Facial Expressions – The Fateful Letter (GB 1898)
Keystone Express (US 1897)
Haverstraw Tunnel (US 1897)
Place de la Concorde (GB 1897)
[In the Friedrichstrasse] (DE [1899])
Jumbo, Horseless Fire-Engine (US 1897)
[Molens van de Zaanstreek] (GB? [1899])
[Hollandse visservloot] (GB 1898)
American Falls, Luna Island (US 1896)
Ninth Regiment, N.G.N.S.Y. (US 1899)
German Garde Kurassiers (DE 1900)
Amsterdams vreemdelingenverkeer (NL 1899)
Still Waters Run Deep (US 1897)
Water Polo – Worthing Swimming Club (GB 1898)
[German Battleship ”Kaisere Wilhelm II”] (DE 1900)
Landing at Villefranche from U.S. Cruiser ”Olympia” (GB 1899)

Biograph 5: Yesterday’s News
[American Biograph at the Palace] (GB 1899)
Plechtige intocht van H.M. Koningin Wilhelmina in Amsterdam (GB 1898)
Arrival of the Queen at the Palace, Amsterdam (GB 1898)
Review of the Royal Netherlands Guards in the Costumes of the Middle Ages (GB 1898)
The Royal Procession from the Church after the Ceremony (GB 1898)
The Queen and the Queen Mother on the Palace Balcony Responding to the Call of the Populace (GB 1898)
Bloemencorso te Haarlem op 4 juni 1899 (NL 1899)
The Great Ottawa Fire (US 1900)
Bumping Race (Cambridge May Races) (GB 1899)
La Sortie du Congrès de Versailles (FR 1899)
The Marriage of the Earl of Crewe and Lady ”Peggy” Primrose at Westminster Abbey (GB 1899)
From War to Peace – First Departure of SS ”St. Louis” from Southampton (GB 1898)
The Mardi Gras Carnival (US 1898)
The Dreyfus Case
[Dreyfus, Captain Alfred] (FR 1899)
[Na de rechtzaak] (FR 1899)
The Zola-Rochefort Duel, Paris (GB 1898)
Amann, the Great Impersonator (GB 1899)

Biograph 7: People in Front of the Camera
[Prinsengracht] (NL [1898])
”The Lane” on Sunday Morning (GB 1899)
[The Henley Regatta] (GB 1901)
[De Boulevard van Scheveningen] (GB 1898)
Een trambestorming op zondag op den dam (NL 1899)
[American Biograph in Circus o. Carré] (NL [1898])
Venice, Feeding the Pigeons in St. Mark’s Square (GB 1898)
The Georgetown Loop (US 1901)
Tapping a Blast Furnace – Newcastle (GB 1899)
Relieving the Guard at St. James’s Palace (GB 1897)
The Gordon Highlanders: Returning to Camp (GB 1897)
The Vatican Guards, Rome (GB 1898)
Funeral Procession of the Misericordia (GB 1898)
Capuchin Monks (GB 1898)
Procession of Armenian Monks, Including the Abbot- Archbishop St. Lazar, Venice (GB 1898)
Ringrijden voor sjeeten te Harlem (NL 1899)
Changing Guard (Berlin) (GB 1897)
[King Edward VII at the Birthday Celebration of the King of Denmark] (FR 1901)
Antarctic Expedition – Sir George Newnes’ Farewell to Officers and Crew (GB 1898)
[Koninklijk jacht tijdens de vissersvlootrevue bij muiden] (NL [1899])
[Paul Kruger in gesprek] (FR [1900])
Queen Margherita of Italy (GB 1898)
McKinley at Home, Canton, Ohio (US 1896)
Pope Leo XIII
Pope Leo XIII Carried Through the Vatican Loggia on His Way to the Sistine Chapel (GB 1898)
Pope Leo XIII in His Carriage, Passing Through the Vatican Gardens (GB 1898)
Pope Leo XIII, in His Chair (GB 1898)
Pope Leo XIII, Resting on His Way to His Summer Villa (GB 1898)
Pope Leo XIII Walking Before Kneeling Guards (GB 1898)

Biograph 8: How Shots Hang Together
Captain Deasy’s Daring Drive, Ascent (DE 1903)
Worthing Life-Saving Station (GB 1898)
Launch of the Worthing Life-Boat: Coming Ashore (GB 1898)
Me and My Two Friends (GB 1898)
Spanish Coronation Bullfight (GB 1902)
Rip Van Winkle
Rip Meeting the Dwarf (US 1896)
Rip Leaving Sleepy Hollow (US 1896)
Rip’s Toast to Hudson and Crew (US 1896)
Rip’s Twenty Years’s Sleep (US 1896)
Awakening of Rip (US 1896)
Rip Passing Over the Mountain (US 1896)
Venice / Italy
The Grand Canal, Venice (GB 1898)
Panorama of the Grand Canal, Venice; Passing the Vegetable Market (GB 1898)
[Brug der Zuchten] (GB 1898)
Boys Bathing – Venice (GB 1898)
[Venetië-Havengezicht met gondels] (GB 1898)
Neapolitan Dance at the Ancient Forum of Pompeii (GB 1898)
Edward VII’s succession of Queen Victoria
Panoramic View of Windsor Castle (GB 1898)
Her Majesty the Queen Arriving at South Kensington on the Occasion of the Laying of the Foundation Stone of the Victoria & Albert Museum (GB [1899])
[Building Being Pulled Down] (US [1900])
Coronation of Their Majesties King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, First Scene (GB 1902)
Coronation of Their Majesties King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, Second Scene (GB 1902)
Captain Deasy’s Daring Drive, Descent (DE 1903)

Biograph 9: Staging the World
Three Linotype Machines (GB? [1900])
Agoust Family of Jugglers (GB 1898)
[Parade Britsetroepen] (GB [1900])
Charge d’un escadron du 27e dragons, contre une batterie du 11e régiment en position, faisant feu sur l’ennemi (GB 1897)
Fort Hill Fire Station (US 1897)
Hotel on Fire, Paris (Rescue Work by Paris Pompiers) (GB 1898)
”Man Overboard!” (GB 1899)
A Camp of Zingaree Gypsies (GB 1897)
[The Battleship ”Odin” With All Her Guns in Action] (DE 1900)
[Why Papa Can’t Sleep] (GB [1898])
Dutch Fishing Boats (GB 1898)
[Een nat pak] (GB? [1897])
Bath Scene – Holland (GB 1898)
A Country Dance (US 1897)
”Jarabe” Dance, Streets of Mexico, Pan-American Exposition (US 1901)
[Sailors of HMS ”Black Prince” Firing Cannon and Rifles] (GB [1900])
A Bad (K)night (US 1899)
Playing Doctor (GB 1898)
The Dairy Maid’s Revenge (US 1899)
The Spirit of His Forefathers (GB 1900)
A Midnight Fantasy (US 1899)
[Op leven en dood] (GB [1899])

Biograph 10: Visual Attractions
Apple Blossoms (US 1899)
King John (GB 1899) – Herbert Beerbohm Tree
Fencing Contest from the Play ”The Three Musketeers” (GB 1898)
An Intrigue in a Harem (US 1899)
Baxter Street Mystery (US 1899)
[Twee clowns boksen ondersterboven] (GB [1899])
Has He Hit Me? (GB 1898)
[Stealing a Dinner] (GB [1898])
Hurdle Jumping by Trained Dogs (US 1899)
”King” and ”Queen”, the Great High Diving Horses (US 1899)
Wrestling Pony and Man (US 1896)
The Landing of Savage South Africa at Southampton (GB 1899)
Dancing Darkies (US 1896)
[Clifton Suspension Bridge] (GB [1900])
[Warships at Sunset] (GB? [1900])
The Artist’s Dream (US 1899)
Phillis Was Not Dressed to Receive Callers (US 1898)
A Scandalous Proceeding (US 1899)
A Rural Courtship (US 1896)
Les Parisiennes (US 1897)
Conway Castle – Panoramic View of Conway on the L. & N.W. Railway (GB 1898)
[Deep Sea Divers] (GB? [1898])
Rare Fish in the Aquarium (DE? 1899)
Watersnood in Buurt YY (NL 1899)
Surf Dashing Against England’s Rocky Coast (GB 1897)
The Tarantella, an Italian Dance (GB 1898)
Pelicans at the Zoo (GB 1898)
The Smallest Train in the World (US 1899)
From Monte Carlo to Monaco (FR 1899)

LUMIERE FILMS OF ITALY ”HORS CATALOGUE”

Discovered by the Fondazione Cineteca Italiana in Milan, these hors catalogue Lumière films date from the 1890s. Some of them may be original Lumière views not included in the official catalogue. Some may be non-Lumière views shot with the Cinématographe after it became freely available for purchase in 1897. There may even be views that were not shot with the Cinématographe but only distributed on Lumière stock. The definitive identification is a work in progress. Anyway, some of the views are very impressive (e.g. the first view of the train wreck), and the result of the difficult restoration (the special Lumière stock) very successful.

Programma 1
Italie: Omnibus I: Panorama en bâteau: Le Lombardie
Italie: Omnibus II: Panorama en bâteau: Danse à bord d’un navire
Panorama en bâteau: Ponton de débarquement – ”L’Elvezia”
Italie: Le carrosse du Roi Victor-Emmanuel III et sa suite devant une foule
Italie: Le Roi et la Reine à une revue militaire
Italie: Départ de carrosses avec escorte devant un édifice à colonnade
Italie: Les courses I: le Roi et la foule
Italie: Les courses II: Présentation des ânes montés par des enfants
Italie: Les courses III: Défilé de calèches fleuries
Italie: Le Roi et la Reine à une revue militaire II

Programma 2
Italie: Les Courses IV: Présentation des ânes montés par des enfants II
Italie: Départ de cavaliers pour une chasse
Italie: La Chasse: Traversée d’un gué à cheval
Italie: Florence: Attroupement devant un édifice pour une personnalité
Italie: Florence: Sortie d’une église
Italie: Florence: Monte et départ en voiture – vue prise de l’arrière d’un train
Italie: Revue militaire: Cavaliers
Italie: Cyclistes
Italie: Défilé d’automobiles et de vélos fleuris
Italie: Panorama pris d’un bâteau dans un port

Programma 3

Italie: Florence: Défilé de cyclistes devant le baptistère
Italie: Sienne: Le Palio
Italie: Sienne: Le Palio II
Italie: Sienne: Le Palio: La course
Italie: Sienne: Le Palio: La course II
Italie: Les Courses VI: Défilé de calèches fleuries II
Italie: Les Courses VI: La foule
Italie: Calèches et cyclistes
Italie: Les courses VII: La foule II
Italie: Les courses VIII: La foule III
Italie: Revue de pompiers: La couverture – la voiture – la grande échelle

Programma 4

Vues d’Italie: Fêtes à l’occasion de l’exposition de Turin: Les capitaines sur la tribune royale – le cheval d’arçon – les barres parallèles
Italie: Défilé de carrosses avec escortes
Italie: Défilé de carrosses avec escortes II
Italie: Une rue passante
Italie: Déraillement de plusieurs trains: Vue d’ensemble
Italie: Déraillement de plusieurs trains II: Sur la voie
Italie: Déraillement de plusieurs trains III: Locomotive et grue de déblaiement
Italie: Escadre maritime pavoisée
Italie: Escadre maritime II
Italie: Embarquement de personnalités dans des canots
Italie: Embarquement de personnalités dans des canots II
Italie: Les courses IX: La foule IV

MELIES 200 / MELIES L’ENCHANTEUR ****

The project of tracking down the 510 films of Georges Méliès has now reached the 200th title. Presented by Marie-Hélène Lehérissey-Méliès, piano accompaniment by Laurence Lehérissey-Méliès.

Escamotage d’une dame chez Robert Houdin (1896)
La Tentation de Saint Antoine (1899)
Le Diable noir (1905)
Le Voyage dans la lune (1902)
La Chrysalide et le papillon (1901)
Le merveilleux éventail vivant (1904)
L’Impressionniste fin de siècle (1899)
L’Homme orchestre (1900)
Les Cartes vivantes (1905)
L’Homme à la tête en caoutchouc (1902)
Les nouvelles luttes extravagantes (1900)
La Fée carabosse ou le poignard fatal (1906)
New Discoveries
Une partie de cartes (1896) – GM’s first film, shot in his garden in Montreuil – found by NFTVA – qf. Lumière’s Partie d’écarté
François Premier et Triboulet (1907) – found by Gosfilmofond. The King’s discarded jester finds new favour by conjuring a Grecian beauty.
A la Conquête du pôle (Die Entdeckung des ”Nordpols” I-II, 1912) – brilliant complete 31 min coloured print discovered by Filmarchiv Austria. One rarely gets to see GM in such perfect sharpness of detail. A funny subplot with suffragettes. This great print also is a reminder of how much Karel Zeman learned from GM

GERMAN AVANT-GARDE OF THE 1920S ****

A brilliant introduction to the German avant-garde by Enno Patalas. Many of these films are generally available on 16 mm, but it is something completely different to catch them on 35 mm.

Lotte Reiniger
Das Ornament des verliebten Herzens (1919) 5’
Aschenputtel (1922) 20’
Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed (Prinssi Ahmedin seikkailut, 1926) 96’

Karl Heinz Martin
Von morgens bis mitternachts (1920) 65’ – brilliant print of the Expressionist work wilder than Caligari. Not a masterpiece, rather a fascinating cul-de-sac.

Oskar Fischinger
Wachs-Experimente (1924-1927) 11’
Münchner Bilderbogen: Pierrette Nr. 1 (1924) 8’
Spiralen (ca 1926) 5’
Seelische Konstruktionen (1927) 10’
R1 – Ein Formspiel (1927) 7’ scope
München-Berlin Wanderung (1927) 4’
Studie Nr. 1 (1929) 4’
Studie Nr. 2 (1930) 2’
Liebesspiel (1931) 3’
Tönende Ornamente (1932) 4’

Mary Wigman
Mary Wigman tanzt (1930) 11’

Piel Jutzi
Ums tägliche Brot (1929) – I caught the end

Walther Ruttmann
Der Aufstieg (1926) 3’
Spiel der Wellen (1926) 3’
Das wiedergefundene Paradies (1925) 6’
Lichtspiel Opus 1 (1921) 12’
Berlin. Die Sinfonie der Grosstadt (1927) 59’ – original music by Edmund Meisel conducted by Mark Andreas and performed by Camerata Strumentale
In der Nacht (1931) 7’

IL MONDO NEL 1900 / THE WORLD OF 1900

A tour around the world in motion pictures at the end of the 19th Century and the close of the Victorian Era, presented as if it were a programme compiled in January 1901, at the time of Queen Victoria’s death. Compiled and presented by Frank Gray and Luke McKernan. Music by Neil Brand.

The viewpoint of ”The World of 1900” was that of the British Empire in 1900, ”where the sun never set”. It is a legitimate viewpoint for a show such as this because of its universality and because of practical reasons: all prints were English.

The show even included the roots of the infamous Italian Mondo genre: Beheading a Chinese Boxer belongs to the early examples of shockumentary and splatter in the cinema.

The programme was screened too fast (at 24 fps?). Scheduled at 80 min, it lasted only about one hour.

Britain
Funeral of Queen Victoria (Hepworth, GB 1901)
Irish Mail L.&N.W. Railway – Taking up Water at Full Speed (British Biograph, GB 1898)
Thames River Scene (Hepworth, GB 1899)
Pont de la Tour (Lumière, FR 1896)
Entrée du Cinématographe (Lumière, FR 1896)
Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee (?, ? 1897)
Will Evans, The Musical Eccentric (Warwick, GB 1899)
Foundling Hospital Sports Day (Charles Goodwin Norton, GB 1899)
The Derby (Birt Acres / Robert Paul, GB 1895)
General Buller Embarking on the ’Dunottar Castle’ at Southampton (Warwick, GB 1899)
The ”Roslin Castle” (Troopship) Leaving for South Africa (Warwick, GB 1899)

English Channel
Entre Calais et Douvres (Georges Méliès, Star Film, FR 1897)

France
Panorama of the Paris Exposition No. 3 (Hepworth, GB 1900)
Loie Fuller (Pathé, FR 1900)
Dreyfus rencontre sa femme à Rennes (Georges Méliès, Star Film, FR 1899)
Madame Dreyfus Leaving the Prison (French Biograph, FR 1899)
Captain Alfred Dreyfus (French Biograph, FR 1899)

Portugal
A Sea Cave Near Lisbon (Paul’s Animatograph, GB 1896)

Spain
Courses de taureaux I (Lumière, FR 1897)

France
Cuirassé américain ”San Francisco” en rade de Villefranche (Lumière, FR 1897)

Netherlands
Coronation of Queen Wilhelmina of Holland at Amsterdam: The Queen and the Queen Mother on the Palace Balcony Responding (Dutch Biograph, NL 1898)

Germany
Battleship ”Odin” with All Her Guns in Action (British Biograph, GB 1900)
Cologne: Sortie de la cathédrale (Lumière, FR 1896)

Switzerland
Genève (Exposition 1896): Rentrée à l’étable (Lumière, FR 1896)

Italy
The Grand Canal, Venice (British Biograph, GB 1898)
Pope Leo XIII In His Chair (British Biograph, GB 1898)
Maestri di musica (Fregoligraph, IT 1898)
Panorama of Naples (?, ?, ca 1900)

Mediterranian
Combat naval en Grèce (Georges Méliès, Star Film, FR 1897)

Palestine
Départ de Jérusalem en chemin de fer (Lumière, FR 1897)

Egypt
Seaforth Highlanders’ Return to Cairo After the Fall of Omdurman (Warwick, GB 1898)

Indian Ocean
Churned Waters (Warwick, GB 1899)

South Africa
Troops Leaving Port Elizabeth Jetty (Warwick, GB 1900)
President Kruger (Warwick, GB 1898)
The Dispatch Bearer (Mitchell & Kenyon, GB 1900)
Battle of Spion Kop (British Biograph, GB 1900)

India
Panorama of Calcutta, India, from the River Ganges (Warwick, GB 1899)

Singapore
Coolie Boys Diving for Coins (Warwick, GB 1900)

Australia
Torres Strait (A.C. Haddon, GB 1898)
Arrivée d’un train à Melbourne (Lumière, FR 1896)
1897 Melbourne Cup (?, AU 1897)
Prince Ranjitsinhji Practising Batting in the Nets (Henry Walter Barnett, AU 1897)

China
Nankin Road, Shanghai (Warwick, GB 1901)
Beheading a Chinese Boxer (Mitchell & Kenyon?, GB 1900)
Attack on a Chinese Mission – Bluejackets to the Rescue (Williamson, GB 1900)

Pacific Ocean
Feeding the Seagulls (British Biograph, GB 1899)

Canada
In the Canadian Rockies, Near Banff (American Biograph, US 1899)
Great Ottawa Fire (American Biograph, US 1900)

United States
American Falls, Goat Island (American Biograph, US 1896)
The Leonard-Cushing Fight (Edison, US 1894)
Going to the Fire (Edison, US 1896)
Across Brooklyn Bridge (American Biograph, US 1896)
The Pickaninnies (Edison, US 1894)
Black Dance Scene (?, US, ca 1900)

Mexico
”Jarabe” Dance, Streets of Mexico, Pan American Exposition (American Biograph, US 1901)

Cuba
Visite sous-marine du ”Maine” (Georges Méliès, Star Film, FR 1898)

Atlantic Ocean
Jack’s Game of Cricket on Board H.M.S. Gibraltar (Warwick, GB 1900)

Ireland
Ligne de Belfast à Kingstown I-III (Lumière, FR 1897)

Britain
A Kiss in the Tunnel (G.A. Smith, GB 1899)
A Railway Collision (Paul’s Animatograph, GB 1900)
How It Feels to Be Run Over (Hepworth, GB 1900)
Lady Cyclists (Williamson, GB 1899)
The Big Swallow (Williamson, GB 1901)
Railway Traffic on the L.N.W.R. (Charles Goodwin Norton, GB 1897)
Funeral of Queen Victoria (Hepworth, GB 1901)

SILENT NORDIC ANIMATION ****

This was actually Part Two of Silent Nordic Animation, since the Finnish contribution (A Few Meters of Wind and Rain, etc.) was screened last year already.

The witty and ambitious programme was compiled by Gunnar Strøm. The hard-core pornographic animated film Liten årsak, stor virkning was shown in Good Night Silents, which I missed.

Kapten Groggs underbara resa (Victor Bergdahl, SE 1916) *
Gaasetyven (Robert Storm-Petersen, DK 1920)
Roald Amundsen paa Sydpolen (Sverre Halvorsen, NO 1913) *
Fanden i nøtten (Ola Cornelius, NO 1917/1920s)
Det nye aar? (Sverre Halvorsen, NO 1921)
Trolldrycken (Victor Bergdahl, SE 1915) *
Komisk entré av Pelle Jöns i Cirkus Fjollinski (Victor Bergdahl, SE 1916)
Tyverier fra Bagdad (Ottar Gladtvet, NO 1926)
Teddy paa biltur (Walter Fyrst / Niels Sinding-Hansen, NO 1927)
Teddy paa strandpromenaden (Niels Sinding-Hansen, NO 1927)
Fiinbeck har rømt (Victor Bergdahl?, NO 1927)
Reklamefilm for ”Hjemmet” (Robert Storm-Petersen, DK 1924)
Lille Kalles dröm om sin snögubbe (Emil Åberg, SE 1916)
Rex strykejern (Trygve Dalseg, NO 1924)
En verdensreise, eller da knold og tott vaskede negrene hvite med 13 sæpen (?, NO 1925)
Det mystiske kjøkken (Noget at glæde seg til) (Ottar Gladtvet, NO 1927)
Noahs ark (Ths. W. Schwartz / Martin Christoffersen, NO 1928)
Skjæbnen (Ths. W. Schwartz / Martin Christoffersen, NO 1928)
Dansk arbejde (?, DK ca 1925)
Le theatre du hula hula (?, DK ca 1925) *
Jernmixturen (Robert Storm-Petersen, DK 1921)
Stomatol tandcreme (?, SE 1926)
Stomatol (Missionären i Afrika) (Victor Bergdahl, SE 1926)
Stomatol (Neger’n) (Arvid Olson, SE 1926)
Stomatol (Tyngdlyftaren) (Arvid Olson, SE 1926)
Stomatol munnvatten (Baksmälla) (Arvid Olson, SE 1926)
När kapten Grogg skulle porträtteras (Victor Bergdahl, SE 1917) *

WALTER LANTZ

Walter Lantz (1899-1994) was celebrated a year too late for his centenary, due to errors in reference books. Duration of films 7-9 min. Compiled by Geoff Brown. No forgotten masterpieces in this compilation...

Colonel Heeza Liar
Colonel Heeza Liar in the African Jungle (1923)
Colonel Heeza Liar’s ”Forbidden Fruit” (1924)

Dinky Doodle
Captain Kid (1925)
Cinderella (1925)
Dinky Doodle in Lost and Found (1926)
The Giant Killer (1924)
Little Red Riding Hood (1925)
Peter Pan Handled (1925)
The Pied Piper (1924) *
Robinson Crusoe (1925)

Pete the Pup – Hot Dog Cartoons
The Lunch Hound (1927)
(I missed three further films)

GEORG AF KLERCKER

Five Klercker films not screened in the Le schiavi bianche allo specchio retrospective in 1986. Brilliant prints mostly struck from the original negative demonstrate how all Swedish should look like... but due to the SF fire of 1941 the original negatives of Sjöström and Stiller burned, and with them, we have to do with weaker definition prints. Breathtaking print quality courtesy of Cinemateket / Svenska Filminstitutet. As a filmmaker, Klercker was a man of his times, not a pathbreaker like Sjöström and Stiller.

För fäderneslandet / L’Espion d’Oesterland (Swedish Films / Pathé Frères, SE 1914) – Cinémathèque française – titles missing – 51’
Nattens barn (Hasselbladfilm, SE 1916) – Cin/Sth 55’
I mörkrets bojor (Hasselbladfilm, SE 1917) – Cin/Sth 38’
Löjtnant ”Galenpanna” (Luutnantti Huimapää, Hasselbladfilm, SE 1917) – Cin/Sth 36’
Nattliga toner (Hasselbladfilm, SE 1918) – Cin/Sth 61’

REDISCOVERED COMEDIES ****

Four unknown comedies from the masters.

Get Out and Get Under (US 1920), D: Hal Roach, starring: Harold Lloyd, Mildred Davis. Norsk filminstitutt 20’. Car slapstick short.

La Nègre du Rapide No. 13 / Cretinetti e il mistero del Direttissimo n. 13 (FR 1923), D: Jacques Mandement, starring: André Deed. Didascalie in italiano – 52’. The last comedy vehicle of André Deed / Cretinetti has brilliant business in the railway yard.

Say Ah, Ed (US 1928), D+starring: Charley Bowers – second reel only 13’. Eggs are desperately wanted for breakfast on an ostrich farm. Charley feeds the ostriches with found objects resulting to an ”Archimboldo-like creature” (Paolo Cherchi Usai).

A Sleepless Night (US 1933?), D: Charley Bowers. The cat tries to sleep while the mice throw a party in this animated film (object animation) which was maybe never released.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

Im Wannseebad (DE 1910) 5’

Der Schneeschuchläufer in Nöten (Oskar Messter, DE 1910) 7’

Der getäuschte Pierrot (Ludwig von Wich, DE 1917) 7’

Fast and Furious (Moottoripaholainen, US 1927, O: Melville W. Brown, starring Reginald Denny) – I saw the start only.

TECHNICAL MARVELS

[Dickson Experimental Sound Film] (W.K.L. Dickson, Raff & Gammon, US 1893-1894). Library of Congress, restored in 2000, synchronized with phonographic cylinder. 1’07”. The world’s first sound film, a test for Edison’s Kinetophone project, shot in Edison’s laboratory, was shown synchronized for the first time in 106 years. The two dancing men are not gay (although The Celluloid Closet the film starts with this image), and the violinist is revealed to be playing a theme from Cavalleria rusticana.

The Scarlet Letter (US 1913) /32 fps/ 9’. George Eastman House restoration of the only known Kinemacolor Company of America fiction production that survives.

Concerning One Thousand Dollars (US 1916) 6’. GEH restoration of the first fiction made in the Kodachrome process.

[Unid. Two-Color Additive System Test. Open Air Scene] (US 1916) /32 fps/ 12”. Unidentified early color system experiment restored by GEH.

Exhibition Reel of Two Color Film. Brewster Color Film Corporation, Newark, NJ. (US 1919). 9’. Brewster Color showreel restored by GEH

Example of Color Cinematography Produced by the Kodachrome Process (US 1925) 9’ GEH

[Mary Pickford Technicolor No. 2 Test] (US 1926) 10’ GEH

Plan B (US 1999) 2’ New film shot with a 1907 Charles Urban Bioscope camera.

Winner Take All (US 2000) 3’ New film shot with a 1907 Charles Urban Bioscope camera.

COLLEGIUM SACILENSIS

12 young experts got introduced to Le Giornate community in seven Dialogues.

I participated as a presenter in Dialogue IV ”Seeing With Others’ Eyes” with special reference to Jääkärin morsian (The Soldier’s Bride / Jägarens brud, FI 1931), shown in 1999, now re-shown on video.

Only three Finnish feature films were included in the 1999 selection, on a two month notice, with minimal preparation. Besides the obvious masterpiece Nummisuutarit (The Village Shoemakers) two films were selected. Laveata tietä (The Broad Way) became a favourite of the festival. Jääkärin morsian was a controversial choice. Many liked it, many were bored. Some were insulted – by the patriotism and the regrettable anti-semitic caricature already singled out in advance in the catalogue.

The complex history of a small country like Finland is little known abroad. There is no agreement on the interpretation of the main course of events in 1917-1918 in Finland, either. Instead, it is a field of a sensitive foundation myth. The presentation of the historical framework in Jääkärin morsian the film is so cavalier that it hardly bothers any Finnish viewer. It is a romantic musical adventure which is not expected to strain for historical accuracy. However, it is about fighting for freedom against oppression, a theme which has universal resonance. The film is not nationalistic in the sense that it claims one nation’s superiority or another’s inferiority. The Russians are the enemy, but the way the Russian Captain is portrayed is dignified, and in the most moving scenes of the film the Finnish hero finds his corpse and takes his last letter to his widow. There is no glorification of violence and no demonization of the enemy. The film is militant but not militaristic. The hero is also a soldier of love and peace.

As for the anti-semitic caricature, there is no excuse: it is a disgusting feature in the film. Maybe even more so since it has some affinity with figures like Max Davidson or Menachem Mendel interpreted by Solomon Mikhoels. There are many other racist caricatures in films shown in Le Giornate, and there is no excuse for them either. They must be shown, but critically. – For the Finnish viewer, Jääkärin morsian is a contradictory text as to the racism. Significantly, the title figure is portrayed by the Finnish Jewish Princess Hanna Taini, who was a major star in the 1930s and in the 1940s, also during the Holocaust. In Finland, Jews got citizenship rights first after the Declaration of Independence of 1917. During the Russian Empire, they could not get Finnish citizenship. On the other hand, there were no ghettoes nor pogroms in Finland. During the Holocaust, Finland was fighting with Germany against Russia, but no Finnish Jews were harassed or discriminated. Bizarrely, on the Finnish front Jewish soldiers found themselves fighting together with Germans. Most of the Jewish refugees fleeing through Finland were rescued, but eight were returned; seven of them murdered in Auschwitz. – The Jewish caricatures of pre-Holocaust Finnish films have become an embarrassment.

The discussion of Dialogue IV went on for two hours, and there were further interesting discussions with some of the Collegiates during the following days.

Leo Tolstoy said in What Is Art? that art is incompatible with nationalism and clericalism. It is the vocation of art to communicate universal feeling and cross boundaries, not erect them. Tolstoy was a friend of Finland, an opponent of Czarist tyranny. In his last years, he wrote a tale of the Chechen rebel Hadzhi Murat, celebrating the fight for freedom. To be redeemed in Jääkärin morsian is that same fighting spirit.

As for silent cinema, a more serious question for Finland about ”Seeing With Others’ Eyes” is why the wonderful Nummisuutarit never seems to cross over like Laveata tietä did.