The 1920s List: Discussion and Suggestions (Decade Project Vol. 4)

An ongoing survey of the Criterion Forum membership to create lists of the best films of each decade and genre.
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matrixschmatrix
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 11:26 pm

Re: The 1920s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#76 Post by matrixschmatrix » Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:22 pm

It may just be the case Kalat makes for it, but I did quite enjoy Three's a Crowd, which more or less forgoes both jokes and attempts to make Langdon's character likable, and instead just leans on strange, slow, and surreal- it heightens the degree to which Langdon's character is a weirdo, and sort of plays out like if you imagine The Kid was the first half of Mulholland Drive and it the second, where even though The Kid has trials and travails Chaplin's charisma and ability to connect with people start to seem miraculous. Even that analogy that provides Langdon with a greater sense of being a person with discernable motives than the movie does, though.

Capra's not involved, and the Capra-isms being removed lets Langdon's character stand on its own, without the treacle- and I think a lot of the unpleasantness of the other features comes from how badly the treacle curdles Langdon's business, as it casts him into this like cherubic innocent light, as opposed to the amoral failure I think lies under it, a bit like how Bean kind of ruins the Mr. Bean character. I'll have to watch it again, but I'd certainly try it before going for Tramp, Tramp, Tramp, which I think is kind of more of the same.

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Drucker
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Re: The 1920s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#77 Post by Drucker » Sun Jan 28, 2018 5:14 pm

Finally working my way through more of the Epstein set.

Le Double Amour is better than Le Lion Des Mogols, but still not superb. What it has going for it is that it really feels like an Epstein film. It takes its time. The pacing is even and strong. Most importantly, the film feels like a complete whole whereas Lion had scenes which felt generic or were filmed by someone else. The film is generally light on experimentation, and a bit predictable, but there are some great moments. The part where the family is reunited at the performance, and we get a still moment lingering on the mother as she plays in the cabaret stood out.

Skipping over the two hundred minute Les Aventures de Robert Macaire for now, and on to Mauprat which is a wonderful film. Poetic experimentation makes an early appearance as the plot gets going right at the film’s outset, and is done in an evocative way which is quite effective and beautiful. Now that I’m watching these Epstein films back to back, I can clearly see the themes: people’s relationship with some sort of “natural” environment, and the conflicts as they leave their place of comfort. The frustrations the two main characters go through in their personal interaction feels very real and relatable. The experimental images are effective, happen at the right moments, and aren’t overdone. An absolute thing of beauty.

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Satori
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Re: The 1920s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#78 Post by Satori » Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:42 am

Mary Pickford

Pollyanna (1920)
This film’s whole mood is summed up with a saccharine opening title about “being the rainbow,” followed by a literal shot of a rainbow. Yet it’s hard to hate a film that is so earnestly good-natured. Pickford plays a twelve year old from the Ozarks who is sent to live with her cruel, cranky (but rich) aunt. Terrible things happen to her, but she always tries to see the bright side—which she calls “playing the glad game”—often to the point of absurdity. There is some fun physical comedy, including Pickford getting blown around during a rainstorm and some endearing scenes of her excitedly jumping around. While the film is short, it feels oddly expansive, largely because it focuses so much on all the various townspeople who Pollyanna ends up helping in various ways. The episodic structure lasts until the final reel or so, in which a story is belatedly introduced.

Suds (1920)
Set in the lower-class milieu of a British laundry, Suds has Pickford in similar makeup and dress as her role as Unity Blake in Stella Maris, meaning the film largely eschews Pickford’s glamour. It is also an odd mixture of tones: the comedy is essentially slapstick, but atmospheric night shots of London create a gloomy mood that hangs over the film. Pickford is bullied by the other girls at the laundry and only has her fantasy life to sustain her, very much in the vein of Poor Little Rich Girl. The film’s best comic set piece comes when Pickford saves a horse from the glue factory and takes it upstairs to her flat. At one point she rides the horse around the room, causing the roof to cave-in on her neighbors below. Later we get horse dialogue in intertitles, adding to the occasionally surreal touches of the film. The ending is quite strange, with a tacked-on happy coda after a sad ending, neither of them quite feeling right.

The Love Light (1921)
A very uneven anti-war film set in an Italian village during the first World War. The opening third of the film is a standard Pickford comedy, showing her and her brothers roughhousing and her burgeoning relationship with a local singer. There are some drunk barnyard animals and a funny dinnertime “prayer” sequence when the local clergy comes to visit. This light-hearted material is used to set up a juxtaposition with the wartime stuff. After the war starts, there is a moving segment showing Pickford waiting at home while the men in her life are fighting the war. It strikes a contemplative tone, especially in some beautiful shots of Pickford standing on the rocks by the lighthouse in shadow against an expansive sky. Great stuff from director Francis Marion, who was also Pickford’s longtime writer (as well as the highest paid and one of the best Hollywood screenwriters of the late 1910s and 1920s). The film loses its way a bit in the next two sections, though. First there is a doomed romance with a sailor who washes ashore. This plot strand introduces some espionage material and plot twists that are a bit too much. The final segment of the film is yet another tonal shift into a maternal melodrama. There is a quite powerful scene late in the film, though, which actually reminded me a bit of the end of Hell’s Hinges.

Through the Back Door (1921)
I saw this described as Pickford’s most Chaplinesque film. It’s not hard to see why: Pickford plays a Belgian girl who eventually immigrates to America and the film blends pathos with slapstick physical comedy. The film is best during the early comedic parts, especially during a scene in which Pickford straps on a pair of floor brushes on her feet and skates around a soapy floor.

Little Lord Fauntleroy (1921)
If nothing else, this must be seen for Pickford’s dual role as both a young boy and her own mother! The boy is a typical Pickford child character—friendly with everyone, irresistibly charming—who learns that he is the long-lost heir to a Duke in England. This reverse immigration narrative hits many of the same beats as Through the Back Door, juxtaposing wealth and poverty and exploring different parental styles as they relate to class status. The side characters from her New York neighborhood are fun, giving the film more of an expansive feel than her previous couple of films (it’s also a bit longer). There are some great comedic set pieces, especially the scene in which Pickford has to remove a rotten tooth. The film is also beautifully shot and effectively uses double exposures and other special effects to get the two characters Pickford plays on screen together, including a scene in which she kisses herself!

Tess of the Storm Country (1922)
Follows the same plot of the 1914 original—Pickford plays a squatter in love with the landlord’s son but is ostracized when she agrees to care for the landlord’s daughter’s illegitimate child—but uses its longer running time to spend more time on the pre-story, particularly Pickford’s romance and the sleazy local crook who tries to force Tess to marry him. While it is undoubtedly more sophisticated than the first one, I think that I actually prefer Pickford’s performance in the original. The brilliant climax in which she baptizes the baby herself, for example, I think was more effective in the 1914 version. This is perhaps because Pickford’s performance stands out more against the comparatively cruder filmic techniques of the original and the less sophisticated performances of her co-stars. (I have similar feelings about the 1913 and 1926 versions of The Student of Prague, actually—while the ’26 version is light years ahead in terms of cinematography and editing, the stagier style of the 1913 version lets Wegener shine in a way that Veidt doesn’t quite reach.) I’m sure this is largely due to my own idiosyncrasies, though. Anyway, I still like this version of Tess even if I have a special place in my heart for the original.

Rosita (1923)
In this Lubitsch/Pickford team up, Pickford plays a poor Spanish singer who the King tries to make his mistress. After she falls in love with Diego, a former soldier who gets in trouble defending Rosita from the King’s men, the King sentences Diego to death in order to clear the way. There is an intriguing early moment that seems to allegorize the film itself: Rosita is drawing a huge crowd with a musical performance when the King comes along and takes the crowd away. After this point, Rosita pretty much ceases to be a Pickford heroine and gets caught up in the machinations of a Lubitsch historical epic. Unlike in Poor Little Rich Girl, which maintained the tension between a Tourneur fantasy film and a Pickford comedy, Rosita seems to tilt decisively toward the Lubitsch side. Pickford is sexualized in a way that she usually isn’t, but she’s also far too subdued. It’s kind of a shame that she and Lubitsch didn’t make a crazy comedy together like The Wildcat or the Ossi Oswalda films; I think that would have better meshed their styles. I think this is a solid Lubitsch film but it mostly wastes Pickford.

Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall (1924)
Another historical epic, this one about Pickford (as the title character), who gets caught up in the power struggle between Queen Elizabeth and Mary Queen of Scots. She has an arranged marriage with a cousin but is secretly in love with a guy from a rival family, leading to some Romeo and Juliet-like hidden romance. The film is about conspiracies on two levels: the conspiracies of the state, including attempted takeovers and assassinations, and the lovers’ conspiracies to escape their families and elope. Interestingly though, the state conspiracy is mostly on the periphery of the plot, making this an interesting example of a historical film that mostly focuses on the margins of big historical events. Unlike Rosita, it also keeps a fair amount of silly comedy, although there are a couple of notable tragic moments. There is a great scene in which Pickford’s father interrogates her while she hides her lover under a sheet in the chair she’s sitting on!

Little Annie Rooney (1925)
After the two costume epics, Pickford returns to her roots with this movie about a young girl growing up in the slums of New York. Not only does it capture the manic energy of her earlier work, but it also maintains a free-wheeling narrative structure in which comedy will quickly turn into tragedy and back again. In an early fight scene, Pickford looks like she’s having a blast in her little girl drag as she hurls bottles at the other neighborhood children. She hilariously flirts with a member of her brother’s gang by tugging on his coat sleeve and offering him sweets. Yet this film also has one of the most tragic scenes in any of her films. The way her face falls when she learns some bad news should leave no doubt that she is one of the greatest actors who ever lived.

Sparrows (1926)
Featuring a brilliant southern gothic aesthetic, this film has Pickford as the adolescent leader of a group of abandoned children trapped in a “baby farm” where they are used for slave labor. It establishes its horrific atmosphere with an early shot of a child’s doll sinking into quicksand. The green tinted night scenes and pouring rain create a sinister gothic horror atmosphere. The owner of the baby farm is a great melodramatic villain—unbelievably cruel, he shambles his way through the film like a deranged mummy.

While this all sounds like quite a departure from the usual Pickford film, there are some comedic scenes with Pickford and the other children. These scenes actually make the film all the more tragic, however, reminding us that these are children who are trying to survive impossible circumstances. The one thing that is likely to turn off contemporary viewers is the sentimentality and the frequent religious digressions. For me, though, these work within the context of the film’s melodrama. The narrative is, after all, something of an Exodus allegory. Beyond the horror elements, the film works as an action film. It offers an incredibly thrilling escape sequence where the children swing over swamps, climb trees to avoid alligators, and evade the villains and kidnappers. Pickford headbutting a guard is another highlight!

My Best Girl (1927)
An utterly charming rom-com with Pickford as a department store stock girl who falls in love with the owner’s son. Pickford’s entrance is incredible: we just see her feet walking as a series of pans fall to the floor, then cut to a beleaguered Pickford with an armful of pans running into people as the camera tracks backwards. She has great chemistry with future spouse “Buddy” Rogers in all of their scenes. My particular favorite is the scene in which Pickford thinks they are crashing their boss’s house for dinner. The film keeps cutting back to these amazed and incredulous looks on Pickford’s face as Rogers breaks into his own house. The film is also a great portrait of city life: an early scene in which Rogers chases after a truck Pickford is sitting on shows off some great location footage. While the night scenes were all shot on a set, they maintain the mood and hustle of urban life. Finally, the Pickford’s lengthy monologue at the end shows off her incredible talent at conveying conflicted emotion with nothing more than the contortions of her face. With this and Sparrows, she leaves silent film at the peak of her game.

Coquette (1929)
Who knows how well this romantic tragedy would have worked if it was silent. Pickford plays against type as a wealthy southern lady who spends all her time flirting with the local boys. She eventually falls in love with a lower class guy but their relationship is torn apart by scandal and the perceived threat to her “virtue.” So I don’t think the story is that interesting anyway, but shooting with sound certainly makes things worse. Even at 75 minutes, it is a slog to get through the incredibly stagey setups.

Taming of the Shrew (1929)
While it still has nothing on her silents of the decade, I found this to be quite a bit better than Coquette. Realizing that he has to stick to stationary camera setups for most of the dialogue scenes, Sam Taylor makes sure to include movement when he can. The opening street scene has an extended track backwards that feels positively dynamic. Fairbanks does his usual ‘twelve year-old hopped up on pixie sticks’ routine. I’m not a Fairbanks fan, but his performance at the wedding scene with the boot-hat costume is pretty good. Kate is an interesting role for Pickford: on the one hand, she gets to throw shit everywhere and make her adorable bunched-up faces, but Kate lacks the earned righteousness of the typical Pickford heroine. The wink to her sister during the final monologue is classic Pickford, though.

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knives
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Re: The 1920s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#79 Post by knives » Tue Jan 30, 2018 5:29 pm

Uncle Tom's Cabin
This is an entirely frustrating and complicated experience. You can't really pigeon hold it the way you can with Birth of a Nation as a great work of art with terrible content and what it does give is contradictory in a way that makes the will to dismiss it as high as the inability to do so. The actual aesthetic of the film is fairly middle of the road and not worth much more than its set pieces (especially in the middle of the film) leaving just the half baked content to bring about something more than a shrug.

The most bizarre and self defeating choice is to move up the action a decade to coincide with the civil war. That means for a huge chunk of the film the characters are freed which seems to undermine all dramatic push and leave confused some of the ordering of events. It doesn't help that we get our own Urkel in Topsy who takes over the film in a truly awful way. To be honest I don't know how it would be possible to make Topsy into an appealing character, but the film really goes out of its way to prevent that. Not only is she the only significantly blackfaced character, but she is the only one to act out of a minstrel show clashing with the tone of everything else in a way that is aesthetically displeasing, not just socially.

What does make the film good and interesting though is its commitment to the psychological, if not physical, horrors of slavery. The break down of family and the treatment as property gets displayed fully and horrifically. In many portions I was genuinely flinching and shifting about because the film succeeded in being so uncomfortable. The last chapter of the film by making its villain a northerner also does well in preserving a sense that even free state people, if not necessarily governments, are just as at fault as their southern neighbors. Yet despite this the film does a massive amount of white washing the is just gulling while also giving a contradiction to the text that is ironic all the while coming across as accidental. The first act makes a big ado that most slaves were happy people living full lives with not a problem in the world and that the horrors we are about to see as a rarity. Yet the film is also forthright enough that the idea of running away and the hope for freedom are attractive. The film constantly is clashing on this point with the text of the film supporting the idea of horror so that the protestations of the intertitles look weak.

This makes the film rather mish mash and indecisive, but it also tells a lot about the mind of people and how much the topic of slavery had changed from the original book to this mass marketed gumbo. Calling slavery bad seems to have gained more normalcy at least in the eyes of the movie studios, but the reasons for it being bad were still taboo.

Old and New
At a certain point this becomes cow porn as directed by Russ Meyer. Now, Eisenstein provides a lot to talk about throughout the film, but that the film's centerpiece is watching two cows bone while explosions are cut in to represent different sorts of (cow) explosions is just weird enough to distract from everything that occurs for the next hour. Though that daring do highlights the cause of the best moments of the film where Eisenstein stops pussyfooting with his silly story and lets the mechanics (usually literally) just engage with the whole system. The montages as expected are amazing, but more so than even Alexander Nevsky he seems lost elsewhere. There is one humourous story moment that is entirely successful where a bureaucrat has anti-bureaucracy stuff littering his office as he writes a letter enforcing the turgid death which his office brings. Beyond that though this has so many boring moments of shouting propaganda to the screen that it causes the moments of ecstasy to feel like a lesser payoff than they actually are. The essence of the film is basically that of Dovzhenko's Earth which is a comparison that does Eisenstein no favors. The plot matters much more here and Eisenstein is not able to sustain his caustic editing the way Dovzhenko is his gentle poetics. So while it's really impressive how Eisenstein in the form of the opulent landlords makes capitalism physically revolting in a way that is hard to describe or conversely how he makes the boiling and shredding of pigs a beautiful sign of progress. It really comes as a frustration that this same voice is also capable of that stupid scene where the main woman convinces the farmers to give their money to the co-op.

Storm Over Asia
I have to imagine with the constant barrage of propaganda Soviet audiences must have been dead tired because even with my light sampling in recent weeks I'm a bit mentally exhausted myself. That might explain though why this was and has remained such a titan of the era. Yes, there is plenty of propaganda here, but it is much more generalized and placed in the back half so that any audience member could watch it as what it is: a fun if dramatically effective adventure film. The movie doesn't have the deepest character set, it's almost a throwback to early Griffith features that way, but the story is interesting enough on its face to more than make up for that. Actually in a lot of ways this feels like a throwback as aesthetically as well Pudovkin is experimenting backwards with montage. Even as there are several scenes and moments that use editing to punctuate the story in the expected fashion there's also a lot of slow more traditional scenes as. This balance between montage and mis-en-scene, which frankly lacks from a lot of Soviet films, helps to highlight what is so special about their editing to begin with as it does really help to develop the story and doesn't reduce it to poetics which is in its own way as refreshing as the broadly played propaganda.

To stop playing coy for a second, because I think this is really interesting, the film seems to have two thematic purposes going for it. The first, and least interesting, is to continue shitting on the British. Which, whatever, is I suppose necessary as a generic foreign enemy. Much more interestingly is how the film is about the evils of racism. It constantly looks at situations where the Mongol lead gets maltreated for not being white and is very explicit on this point. On the other hand though the film very much engages with the idea of the east as exotic. The way this exoticism mixes with the Soviet racial unity concepts is enough for any Saidian to write for days. Part of that is also the outside lens of the film. The film is proclaiming the east as much Russia as Moscow and directing that statement west. That gives a sense that the people who are the main topic of that unity are left out of the conversation. Maybe that's good in the sense the oppressed don't need to be told it would be nice to have unity (and the partisan scenes here suggest that is the film's opinion), but it is still a weird element to a fabulous film.

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matrixschmatrix
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Re: The 1920s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#80 Post by matrixschmatrix » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:05 am

Asphalt

Wow, this was a much more fun movie than I expected it to be. I was expecting something like Varieté- beautiful and affecting, but also unbearably heavy with dramatic irony and Emil Jannings-y acting and ugly sentiments about women. This movie honestly continually surprised me, in part because I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop.

The initial set up feels like something that will lead to high tragedy; a policeman, a young man who is a second generation cop and very fresh faced and idealistic, comes across a woman accused of stealing a diamond, and he arrests her when it's found- despite the people from whom it was stolen asking that the charges be dropped. It feels like it's either going to go in a Les Mis direction, with the heartless police adhering to the law in defiance of all humanity, or in a noirish direction, with her seducing him away from his duty and one or both of them paying the price for it, morally and legally. It doesn't, really. She's an unapologetic vamp, but the movie clearly likes her all the more for it, giving camera time to every tiny shift in her expression, and investing in their relationship as a real and worthwhile thing, even when she's playing on his emotions. He is both the noirish dope and the ironhearted cop, but moreover he's kind of a dumb, emotional child, but one who is capable of real honesty of feeling and of being fair towards her in a way that seems rare for the era, appreciating her actual qualities instead of letting her suffer beautifully. There is a sort of ironic ending, but an ultimately constructive one, one that allows a lot of hope for everyone involved, and it felt very earned.

That said, this is still a gorgeous movie, particularly in the opening, which has shots that recall city symphonies and Vertov alike- the protagonists are placed in this whole living network as part of Berlin, with a sort of Naked City vibe that we're seeing one of a million possible stories, which makes the hopeful ending all the more relevant. I'm a little rusty on my writeups, so I'm not sure I'm getting across everything that impressed me about the movie, but- if you're a little exhausted of grim, Germanic stories of inevitable doom, this is one that's worth watching anyway.

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knives
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Re: The 1920s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#81 Post by knives » Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:46 pm

Miss Mend
I thought I had a general sense of Boris Barnet, but this film (his first) is a whole other beast. It's basically a Soviet attempt at showing that they can do fun better than the west. If the film doesn't entirely succeed at that it at least comes close. The styling and pervasive strangeness is reminiscent of Marcel L'Herbier's work while the plot (and daring do of the actors; all great) functions as a more down to earth Mabuse serial. In a certain sense this is the best propaganda the Soviet's offered since it is so in the background it would be easy to miss it. Most of the film takes place in America and for the first episode it makes a show to suggest that the Bolsheviks are the villains (though of course it is actually bankers). The film slowly eases into the idea that Russia is the best and it almost seems like a product made to be exported though of course something this fun was one of the most commercially successful in Russia during the silent era. Barnet and Ostep simply make as good an actioner as possible.

Othello dir. Buchowetzki
I feel like in a lot of ways Shakespeare works better cinematically in silence. The reduction of dialogue makes everything a lot more clear with a greater opportunity to pause at the visual ghastly ideas that come forth. This Emil Jennings staring version shows that off well. I actually find Othello to be one of the weaker dramas and Jennings to be a weak performer, but the way goes from the distance to filling the screen at the moment when Othello questions Desdemona is a shocking effect. It feels like I've seen a dozen versions of that very shot, yet in the context of this film its power feels sevenfold. That's good because there's a lot to the movie which is not great. The biggest problem is that the actor playing Iago is a fat ham who gives no sense of intelligence at all to his performance. It nearly sinks the whole film as he lazily wanders about making a poor contrast to Jennings' eye popping. It doesn't help either that technically this is basically point and shoot with a lack of useful technique such as close ups. It causes the film to feel a good five or more years older than it actually is. Fortunately all of the rest of the materials make this all the same an above average adaptation, but only barely so.

The Beloved Rogue
This isn't particularly good in the ranks of Barrymore period piece romances, but it is enjoyable. The highlight is Conrad Veidt who plays King Louis XI as a syphilitic Richard III who even gets a showy introduction which is the visual highlight of the film. Beyond that though there's nothing here that isn't done at least as well in a the analogous Barrymore pictures.

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knives
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Re: The 1920s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#82 Post by knives » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:57 pm

matrixschmatrix wrote:The Sheik

A few months ago, I got to see showing of Son of the Sheik with live accompaniment by the Alloy Orchestra a few months ago, and really enjoyed it-the live accompaniment certainly made a difference, but it's a fun movie, with some good action scenes and a halfway believable romance (despite the lead threatening to rape the lead woman at one point- it's a weird movie) but overall it was relatively easy to paper over the ugly parts and enjoy it. It was the first Valentino I'd watched, and I was excited to watch another one.
Good to here that the sequel might actually be good because I think I might have disliked the original more than you did. I mean, wow, this movie is pretty shocking in its racism and its love of rape. It would shock me if even in the time it got made it didn't have some controversy surrounding it because even by 1921 standards the portrayal of Arabs here is really gross. It doesn't help that Valentino gives his absolute worst performance showing only one face which screams with bulging eyes, "that's right; I just raped you and I'll be doing it again soon." The best description of the material I can give is if Ayn Rand supplemented her political writing with more stuff about rape. It doesn't really help that no part of the film rises above the sour material with bad acting even by people who should know better like Adolph Menjou and mediocre direction at best.

The film is interesting to look at for how it represents contemporary mores with regards to miscegenation, though by that count I'd rather take Capra's wonderful The Bitter Tea of General Yen which seems to understand how potentially gross its story comes to endorsing Stockholm Syndrome and Nils Asther actually knows how to act in a way that is sexually attractive. Also, even with the ending in mind, does anyone else find it weird that they gave him a Jewish Ben, rather than the Arabic Bin for a name?

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matrixschmatrix
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Re: The 1920s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#83 Post by matrixschmatrix » Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:32 am

The Sheik is the kind of thing where if there were one movie that every misconception about the artistic poverty of silent film came from- the ideas that it's all racist, overacted, childish, and full of close ups of people pulling ridiculous faces, etc- it's this one. The sequel really is better, though; it's still pretty racist, honestly, but less rapey and with a lot of actual good parts.

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swo17
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Re: The 1920s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#84 Post by swo17 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:34 pm

Reminder that lists are due two months from today. That still leaves time for plenty more viewings, though don't put things off too much longer--a lot of films from this era are excruciatingly long!

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swo17
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Re: The 1920s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#85 Post by swo17 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:40 am

For the next two weeks, film club is devoted to Josef von Sternberg's The Last Command.

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Shrew
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Re: The 1920s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#86 Post by Shrew » Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:22 pm

I’ve been getting in lots of viewing but sadly not enough time to write the films up. I’ll try to do better. Would anyone find a loose Film Club-type schedule helpful to generating discussion? Like maybe we suggest a list of a dozen or so films over the next two months, and try to talk about one or two each week? Maybe just some notes about what we plan to watch next to jumpstart a kevyip or get the ball rolling?

Also, I’ve been trying to run through old lubitsch’s shame list from last round, but I’m having trouble finding two of the films. Could anyone direct me to a source for these two, if available:
The Wonderful Lies of Nina Petrovna/ Die wunderbare Lüge der Nina Petrowna
Erotikon, 1929 Machaty version
(Note: I’m not cool enough to have access to the Verboten backchannels).

Four Sons (Ford, 1928)
Melodrama about a loving mother and village matriarch whose four sons are slowly swallowed up by the torrent of WWI, but really it’s John Ford high on Murnau. Whereas the Borzage silent masterpieces feel like full digestions of Murnau’s influence, this comes across as a self-conscious homage, particularly when you have the postman of a small German town swaggering about in uniform like Jannings in the The Last Laugh. The Germanic influence doesn’t even stop there—see the scene of the blacksmith son at his forge framed like Siegfried in Die Nibelungen. But it’s not like fluid camera movements and expressive lighting are a bad thing, and Ford displays some great visual ideas, like how that postman’s body language and the reactions of the townspeople to him shift after WWI begins and his letters take on new meaning, or introducing the titular four sons via labeled dresser drawers.

But the film seems torn between being a Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse war epic on a budget and a profligately stylish bucolic ode to family and community. In fact, there’s only one real war scene (on a stunningly expressive set I assume was leftover from Sunrise), and the Four Sons don’t get much time to develop any character independent of the jobs before rushing off to their fates. Much more time is spent fleshing out the village characters, and for some queer reason, the proto-Nazi village commandant (I guess because “the Man You Love to Hate” is also on the list of Germanic tropes the film is trying its utmost to complete).

I assume that the script is greatly expanded out from the source material, which given the title of the source story, “Mother Benle Learns Her Letters,” probably contributed only the last 20 minutes or so. That last part is also easily the worst bit of the film, as Ford completely loses all control over the tone and slingshots between cracker barrel (kraut barrel?) antics and the great emotional wreck of a kind, old woman trying to navigate arbitrary immigration laws and an intimidating foreign city. The film is a fascinating mess that almost achieves greatness, but ultimately plays like an odd mix of late silent high style and early 20s slapdash scripting.

Way Down East (Griffith, 1920)
Well, here’s some of that early 20s slapdash scripting I was just talking about, but the running time’s enough that it can sort of fulfill those ambitions. Unity of place and time are thrown out and all your favorite genres are served in one big smorgasbord (Upper crust glamour! Simple country living! Middle-class jamboree! Infant mortality!). Still, despite some bloat, this is definitely Griffith in full control of his powers. The man knew when to cut. Also how to film Lillian Gish, and the essential scenes of the first half are among the best I’ve seen from him (the seduction of Gish, the breakup, the baptism). The second half is duller, following the standard beats of the morality play source, and the climax is exciting but has the dramatic problem of rendering Gish literally inert.

The Chess Player (Bernard, 1927)
Contrary to my reaction to Way Down East, I found the second half of this much more compelling than the first, which felt like a lot of setup and overly extended a battle sequence by switching from efficient montage to a long patriotic but-what-if-we-were-winning superimposition over repeated shots of charging horses. Things liven up in Catherine’s court, with the bizarre female jester figure and the effective, if nonsensical—I mean, how hard could it be to just duck under the swords?, attack of automatons sequence. Overall, I thought this was okay, but mostly I just wished I was watching Napoleon.

Also, what was with France and pseudo-incest in the 20s (see also La Roue)?

Nextup: Miss Mend, and maybe I’ll write up some of the Keaton, Lloyd, and Bowers films I’ve been trying to fit in between Germanic doom and Soviet montage
Last edited by Shrew on Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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swo17
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Re: The 1920s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#87 Post by swo17 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:35 pm

Shrew wrote:I’ve been getting in lots of viewing but sadly not enough time to write the films up. I’ll try to do better. Would anyone find a loose Film Club-type schedule helpful to generating discussion? Like maybe we suggest a list of a dozen or so films over the next two months, and try to talk about one or two each week? Maybe just some notes about what we plan to watch next to jumpstart a kevyip or get the ball rolling?

Also, I’ve been trying to run through old lubitsch’s shame list from last round, but I’m having trouble finding two of the films. Could anyone direct me to a source for these two, if available:
The Wonderful Lies of Nina Petrovna/ Die wunderbare Lüge der Nina Petrowna
Erotikon, 1929 Machaty version
Announcing here that you plan to watch a certain film and inviting others to join in on a discussion sounds like a great idea--have at it!

There's a Czech DVD for Erotikon. Here's a current eBay listing for it.

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Re: The 1920s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#88 Post by swo17 » Mon May 21, 2018 10:50 pm

Time kind of got away from me on this one--Deadline is in three weeks, please send me your lists at any time!

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theflirtydozen
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Re: The 1920s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#89 Post by theflirtydozen » Sat May 26, 2018 8:41 pm

Beggar on Horseback (1925): a 7 minute excerpt because the rest is lost but it's a real fun excerpt, at least. Don't think I've seen any silent work from Edward Everett Horton but he's fun as always. Great gag at the end that preempts Tati by a few decades. Whole thing kind of reminded me of When the Clouds Roll By (1919) in tone.

Also want to pimp some of my list entries with quick recommendations in an effort to avoid having to write these up for the orphan defenses interim--

Eleven P.M. (1928): If you have access in one way or another to the Pioneers of African American Cinema films, I'd say this is the most essential and prime for rediscovery that I've seen so far from the set. Even more of a hook, just take a look at the poster, which (spoiler, kinda) depicts the climax!
SpoilerShow
Image
Hallelujah (1929): My favorite talkie from this decade and a musical to boot. Was really impressed with this on a rewatch especially since I'm a sucker for the type of music.

La perle (1929): Missing some of Feuillade's work from the previous list? This will get you covered, with much more of an avant-garde taste.

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Shrew
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Re: The 1920s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#90 Post by Shrew » Mon May 28, 2018 12:15 am

Miss Mend
Flicker Alley’s notes harp on the American influences, but there’s a lot of German here too: the sheer Mabuse-ness of the villain, the Nosferatu vibes of the coffin on a boat. The first episode is pure pulp fun, but the later episodes lose the initial energy. It’s a bit that the initial weirdness, and a bit that nothing else offers the fun of the chase sequences (including one after a notary public) from the first part. There’s a sense, like many serials, that the films are repeating themselves in different locales. But here, there’s a real attempt to up the stakes in Ep. 2 that backfires terribly:
SpoilerShow
How many films have the audacity to kill both a kid and a dog? And then introduce “instant plague”. But then, I just couldn’t get over the horror of a plague outbreak in the midst of all this tomfoolery and incompetence. The heros’ incompetence shifts from charming to unforgivable.
It’s a lot easier to take Fantomas’s Grand Guignol crimes toward individuals. But maybe I, like Fogel, just can’t handle the weird raspberry juice Russians love.

Moulin Rouge (Dupont)
The daughter of the Moulin Rouge’s dancing star comes back to mother with fiancé in tow. Fiance proceeds to fall in love with mother, whose torn between love for daughter and the desire to maintain her mojo. I could have done with less dancing and spectacle over these 2 hours. Variete's aerial (and Freundian) camera is a tough act to follow, but even here Dupont shows a talent for staging, using the depth of the frame to layer dancers and swinging the camera from left to right with the action on stage. Yet ultimately it takes up far more time and is inherently more stagebound. Dupont makes judicious use of intercutting to liven things up and propel the plot along, but though the shots of the various audience members during the initial variety show remind me of the cinema sequence in A Cottage on Dartmoor, that film has the added oomph (and condensed time) of Soviet montage.

There are lots of great touches throughout Moulin Rouge: in the 1st staging of the bizarre Mexican/blackface number (yes, 1st staging—this is Chekhov’s bizarre Mexican/blackface number), the shot from the side of the stage, and the mother turning to grin at the camera through the line of dancers; the mother removing her make-up cut between the fiancé leafing through a program of her pinups; the unflattering low angle of the daughter while drunk, conveying the fiancé’s subjective feelings in objective space. Other bits are silly: the lovers’ climactic race toward each other plays like a Monty Python skit.

I plan to rewatch Piccadilly next week, but I recall liking that much more than either Variete or Moulin Rouge. Maybe just because Anna May Wong, or maybe because I saw it first and was caught off guard. Maybe, hopefully, it's got a better balance between spectacle and psychology (and less neurotic love). It's on my preliminary list again, but really any of these films could belong. I'm just to the point where it's harder to fit the films I really like onto my list along side the films I really love.

Plans to write up next time: Stroheim. Some early sound films. Please don't forget Docks of New York in your will or list.

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Re: The 1920s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#91 Post by TMDaines » Mon May 28, 2018 4:21 am

swo17 wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 10:50 pm
Time kind of got away from me on this one--Deadline is in three weeks, please send me your lists at any time!
We’ve been blessed with great spring weather in the UK, so me too. Not watched many films at all for a couple of months.

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Tommaso
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Re: The 1920s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#92 Post by Tommaso » Mon May 28, 2018 2:25 pm

Absolutely, it's far too hot here in Germany, too, to watch anything but the lightest of comedies/musicals. Another reason why I didn't post a lot this time around is actually that my current list isn't that much different from my last one (some ups and downs, though), so people who still want to discover some gems should definitely again consult the last 1920s list discussion from a few years ago. However, three films - at least- have been great discoveries for me since then, and they will be on my list, but unfortunately two of them are entirely unavailable even via the backchannels, so there's not much use discussing them in detail here. But just be aware that I'll defintely vote for them ;)

The first is Johannes Guter's Ihr dunkler Punkt (1929), a UFA crime comedy starring Willy Fritsch and Lilian Harvey (the latter in a vampish double role with black hair, really a sight to see!) that I find totally brilliant and probably the best thing the two of them did before they became the dream couple of Weimar cinema with the advent of sound; the second is another truly charming comedy by the great Géza von Bolvary called Champagner/Bright Eyes (1929), an Austrian/British co-production starring Betty Balfour and Jack Trevor.

The third, however, can be easily watched online on filmportal.de, namely Karl Grune's Am Rande der Welt(1927), starring Brigitte Helm and Wilhelm Dieterle and featuring none other than Max Schreck, too. As I said elsewhere, this is one of the most impressive anti-war films of the era and features truly captivating camerawork by the legendary Fritz Arno Wagner. Brilliant, somewhat symbolist/expressionist sets around a mill which becomes the centre point of a war between two unnamed enemy countries add to the general atmosphere of gloom. Just make sure to watch this restored, complete version (there's also a shortened US version floating around, which however is severely shortened!), because only this one features the truly dazzling initial montage sequence which once sent our HerrSchreck here straight up into silent heaven. Among the best things that this much underrated director ever did, as good as or perhaps even better in some respects than his more celebrated Die Straße(1923), which is also on my list (again). If you find a way of seeing this one, too, please do so.

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Re: The 1920s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#93 Post by swo17 » Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:38 pm

As a reminder, you have until about sunrise next Monday (MDT) to PM me your 1920s lists. Things are looking a little lonesome right now, in general. So uh, don't be the letzte man to submit a list! The Passion of Joan of Arc.

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Shrew
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Re: The 1920s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#94 Post by Shrew » Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:59 pm

Some early sound films in roughly chronological order. I'm trying to fit in Hallelujah before the end comes.

The Jazz Singer (Crosland)
This was better than I had expected, strengthened by the specificity of its religious/ethnic portrayals and the fact that is mostly a silent—meaning it’s staged and acted with a degree of energy and competence. It also helps that the infamous parts of the film don’t come in till about 2/3 through, and even then, they’re an uncomfortable relic of a different time more than the reprehensible race panic of Birth of a Nation.

There’s no real chance of this making my list, but the appeal of it is at least understandable. Jolson’s voice may not exactly “have the tear in it” but it’s expressive, and the brief snippets of his dialogue have a natural energy that’s missing from the hollow mimicry of stage patter that follow.

The Broadway Melody (Beaumont)
I watched this some months ago and now remember none of it. Anita Page was pretty? Bessie Love was turned up to 11 throughout the whole thing? Charles King existed? (The male stars really seem to suffer in early sound.) I don’t remember a single number, but I do remember the terrifying “Dogway Melody” short on the DVD. So there’s that.

They Had to See Paris (Borzage)
This is handily the worst film I’ve seen for this project. Will Rogers strikes oil, and his family gets big ideas and wants to move to Paris. WILL IT RUIN THEM? Yes, it will. Until he shames them with folksy whimsy and plots involving unwitting, overly sexy French people. Of course, the big problem is that Rogers is just as awful in his willful ignorance as his family in their snooty aspirations. This was like watching the 2016 election play out again, down to friendship with corrupt Russian oligarchs! There’s even a joke about the KKK!

And on the technical level this is some of the worst early sound has to offer. The film is built around Rogers’s drawling monologues, so there’s often little for the camera to do but sit still and watch him throw a tantrum about putting on pants. Sometimes there’s a two-shot where the other actor just stands there waiting for him to finish, so the close-ups come as a relief. The other actors all sound like they’ve been sedated. I can’t imagine it was fun to be Borzage here.

Broadway (Fejos)
This is such a step up in terms of camera and sets (even acting—it’s often stagy, but at least more natural sounding than the forced streetsy patter of other films on this list) that it’s too bad it’s barely interested in being a musical, at least as we know it. Setting this in a nightclub with a round central dance floor rather than a stage opens up angles and movement, but Fejos films the musical setpieces in long shots where the set dwarfs the performers. Which is interesting, but the film doesn’t vary it up enough. This was apparently based on a popular play, which explains how much the film lingers on the backstage gangster plot, with particular focus on the streetwise detective. Meanwhile, the romantic plot is one of those classic idiot plots where a couple refuses to just talk things out.

The other trouble here is how unlikable the male protagonist is, which seems to afflict a lot of these early backstage musicals. Glenn Tyron doesn’t give a bad performance per se, but the character is such a simpering jerk. It’s unclear just how a good a performer he’s supposed to be, and with every snippet of a performance beginning with “I’m a star! We’re gonna be great!” and ending with “Oh drat, that was X’s fault! It coulda been so great.”

Sunnyside Up (Butler)
Rich doofus Charles Farrell spots Janet Gaynor performing at a New York block party and invites her and her hanger-ons to take part in a charity show in the Hamptons. She has a crush on him from reading about his doofusry in the society pages; he can’t figure out how to draw the attentions of his wandering fiancée. Boredom ensues. Suffice it to say this is neither Murnau or Borzage. Gaynor does fine in sound, but Farrell hardly registers here—though that seems more due to the nincompoop he’s playing and his weak showing in close-ups (the ratio heavily favoring Gaynor in this go-around). And again, there’s that early sound obsession with “New Yahk” slang and speech patterns, which never sounds natural coming from these actors.

The film gets points for its opening, a complex tracking shot around the set of a city block, the infamous inflating bananas of the central “Turn Up the Heat” number, and a moment of life in the secondary couple scatting in the middle of the “Sunnyside Up” reprise. Little else is worth recommending. The other songs are all endless AB repetition and go on forever (“I’m a Dreamer, Aren’t We All” being the worst offender), and then they get reprised! The lack of staging doesn’t help (it’s all either Gaynor mugging in close-up or a mostly static camera before a stage). My favorite awful sequence is when Gaynor Farrell walk off stage to be replaced by 8 year-olds in the same outfits, wherein the young girl looks like she’s had enough of this shit through her whole time on screen.

Applause (Mamoulian)
Seeing this again in proximity with these other films is like a breath of sultry city air. I’d forgotten just how pre-code this film is and how deliberately sordid. It revels it makeup that runs and tights that pucker and flesh that sags. The girls here are some of most scantily clad of the era, but often deliberately chosen/dressed to be less appealing and more haggard. Even the token awful male showman of the era is more tolerable by being made into an all-out villain. On the other hand, it’s hard to jive the lived-in world on camera with the moral hand-wringing of the plot—how much does the film feel for the plight of burlesque dancers, and how much is it judging them? I guess it’s the same question the daughter faces, and it’s never really resolved. In the end, this film’s exhilarating but it also makes one feel filthy, never more than in the big montage between dancers’s faces, their legs, and the male audience, growing ever more twisted and ugly.
And the sound… variable levels! Multiple tracks! Off-screen sound augments the image on camera! I think my favorite, simple bit is the tracking shot of the daughter’s legs as she dodges a joe and meets her sailor man. It’s a simple shot, but such a refreshing change of pace.

The Love Parade
And here’s the sophisticated refining of all that innovation. I love the opening of this film in particular, which plays out in French but is perfectly comprehensible thanks to Lubitsch’s mastery of film grammar and genre expectations. And I love how Chevalier breaks. The ending remains, as always, frustrating, and the songs mostly forgettable, but all the rest is charming. And I’ll take the Love Parade over the Broadway Melody any day.

And I maintain that this film’s use of sound and silence is far more innovative than anything in Fritz Lang’s M.

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Re: The 1920s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#95 Post by the preacher » Sat Jun 09, 2018 5:12 am

Done.

It's one of those ballots with the wrong Jeanne d'Arc. :P

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Re: The 1920s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#96 Post by swo17 » Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:12 am

ROUND 2: ORPHAN RESCUE

Thanks everyone for your participation so far! Below I will present some preliminary results from voting. If anything you see here prompts you to defend your picks, to watch some more films, and/or to revise your list in any way, go ahead and do that. If you did not submit a list yet and have since decided that you do want to participate, go ahead and do that. If you have no interest in revisiting your list or changing anything, go ahead and do nothing. I will count all lists submitted so far including any changes or new lists submitted over the next two weeks in the final tally.


Orphans (by director)

Arsenal (Alexander Dovzhenko, 1929) 33
Kean (Alexandre Volkoff, 1924) 36
Narkose (Alfred Abel, 1929) 8

The Ring (Alfred Hitchcock, 1927) 38
Sound Test for Blackmail (Alfred Hitchcock, 1929) 23

Tragedy at the Royal Circus (Alfred Lind, 1928) 43
Underground (Anthony Asquith, 1928) 21

The Big Jump (Arnold Fanck, 1927) 40
White Hell of Pitz Palu (G.W. Pabst & Arnold Fanck, 1929) 24

Schatten (Arthur Robison, 1923) 27
The Informer (Arthur Robison, 1929) 48

The Chronicles of the Gray House (Arthur von Gerlach, 1925) 20
Miss Mend (Boris Barnet & Fyodor Otsep, 1926) 33
Orochi (Buntarō Futagara, 1925) 14

Neighbors (Buster Keaton & Edward Cline, 1920) 46
The Scarecrow (Buster Keaton & Edward Cline, 1920) 22
The Haunted House (Buster Keaton & Edward Cline, 1921) 10
The 'High Sign' (Buster Keaton & Edward Cline, 1921) 48
The Playhouse (Buster Keaton & Edward Cline, 1921) 2
Three Ages (Buster Keaton & Edward Cline, 1923) 50
The Navigator (Buster Keaton & Donald Crisp, 1924) 25
College (Buster Keaton & James Horne, 1927) 40
Spite Marriage (Buster Keaton & Edward Sedgwick, 1929) 42

The Parson's Widow (Carl Dreyer, 1920) 42
Master of the House (Carl Dreyer, 1925) 16
The Bride of Glomdal (Carl Dreyer, 1926) 38

Something to Think About (Cecil B. DeMille, 1920) 31
Why Change Your Wife? (Cecil B. DeMille, 1920) 21
Dynamite (Cecil B. DeMille, 1929) 14
The Godless Girl (Cecil B. DeMille, 1929) 2

Now You Tell One (Charles Bowers & H.L. Muller, 1926) 35
A Woman of Paris (Charles Chaplin, 1923) 41
Manhatta (Charles Sheeler & Paul Strand, 1921) 49
It (Clarence Badger, 1927) 45

The Trail of '98 (Clarence Brown, 1928) 40
A Woman of Affairs (Clarence Brown, 1928) 31

Das letzte Fort (Curtis Bernhardt, 1929) 26
Isn't Life Wonderful (D.W. Griffith, 1924) 37
The Wild Party (Dorothy Arzner, 1929) 14
The Sixth Part of the World (Dziga Vertov, 1926) 36
Catalina, Here I Come (Earle Rodney, 1927) 46

The Marriage Circle (Ernst Lubitsch, 1924) 40
The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg (Ernst Lubitsch, 1927) 19

La storia di una donna (Eugenio Perego, 1920) 46
Schloß Vogelöd (F.W. Murnau, 1921) 37

Dr. Jack (Fred Newmeyer & Sam Taylor, 1922) 44
Why Worry? (Fred Newmeyer & Sam Taylor, 1923) 16
The Freshman (Fred Newmeyer & Sam Taylor, 1925) 5

Der Schatz (G.W. Pabst, 1923) 29
Abwege (G.W. Pabst, 1928) 34

The Son of the Sheik (George Fitzmaurice, 1926) 43

Children of No Importance (Gerhard Lamprecht, 1926) 35
Der alte Fritz (Gerhard Lamprecht, 1927) 24
Under the Lantern (Gerhard Lamprecht, 1928) 50

The Seashell and the Clergyman (Germaine Dulac, 1928) 4
Running Wild (Gregory La Cava, 1927) 15

S.V.D. - Soyuz velikogo dela (Grigori Kozintsev & Leonid Trauberg, 1927) 3
The New Babylon (Grigori Kozintsev & Leonid Trauberg, 1929) 7

Pratermizzi (Gustav Ucicky & Karl Leiter, 1927) 47
Our Heavenly Bodies (H.W. Kornblum, 1925) 44

Hungarian Rhapsody (Hanns Schwarz, 1928) 22
Melody of the Heart (Hanns Schwarz, 1929) 23

Was ist los im Zirkus Beely? (Harry Piel, 1927) 41
La perle (Henri d' Ursel, 1929) 25

Tol'able David (Henry King, 1921) 41
The Woman Disputed (Henry King & Sam Taylor, 1928) 48

The Great White Silence (Herbert Ponting, 1924) 13
Crainquebille (Jacques Feyder, 1922) 32
The Mating Call (James Cruze, 1928) 17
Two Tars (James Parrott, 1928) 16

Mauprat (Jean Epstein, 1926) 20
Six et demi onze (Jean Epstein, 1927) 46

Gardiens de phare (Jean Grémillon, 1929) 10
Her Skeleton in the Closet (Johannes Guter, 1929) 22
3 Bad Men (John Ford, 1926) 22

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (John Robertson, 1920) 36
Tess of the Storm Country (John Robertson, 1922) 46

Thunderbolt (Josef von Sternberg, 1929) 41
Stark Love (Karl Brown, 1927) 18
Die Straße (Karl Grune, 1923) 19
From Morn to Midnight (Karl Heinz Martin, 1920) 28

Wild Oranges (King Vidor, 1924) 7
The Patsy (King Vidor, 1928) 20

Berliner Stilleben (László Moholy-Nagy, 1926) 48
Impressionen vom alten Marseiller Hafen (Vieux Port) (László Moholy-Nagy, 1929) 37

Liberty (Leo McCarey, 1929) 50
Big Business (Leo McCarey & James Horne, 1929) 25

By the Law (Lev Kuleshov, 1926) 37
The Blot (Lois Weber, 1921) 38
The Waltz Dream (Ludwig Berger, 1925) 29
Scherben (Lupu Pick, 1921) 36
Emak-Bakia (Man Ray, 1927) 44
Saint Joan the Maid (Marco de Gastyne, 1929) 46
Hindle Wakes (Maurice Elvey, 1927) 31
Lorna Doone (Maurice Tourneur, 1922) 26
Johan (Mauritz Stiller, 1921) 44
Women of Ryazan (Olga Preobrazhenskaya & Ivan Pravov, 1927) 10

Within Our Gates (Oscar Micheaux, 1920) 19
Body and Soul (Oscar Micheaux, 1925) 50

Hintertreppe (Paul Leni & Leopold Jessner, 1921) 42
Waxworks (Paul Leni & Leo Birinsky, 1924) 48
The Man Who Laughs (Paul Leni, 1928) 34

The Golem (Paul Wegener & Carl Boese, 1920) 45
H₂O (Ralph Steiner, 1929) 25
The Chess Player (Raymond Bernard, 1927) 18
Eleven P.M. (Richard Maurice, 1928) 11
The Hands of Orlac (Robert Wiene, 1924) 41
The Monster (Roland West, 1925) 14
The Red Mill (Roscoe Arbuckle, 1927) 49
Barbed Wire (Rowland Lee, 1927) 33
The Viking (Roy Neill, 1928) 48
Laster der Menschheit (Rudolf Meinert, 1927) 36
Beyond the Rocks (Sam Wood, 1922) 48
Old and New (Sergei Eisenstein & Grigori Aleksandrov, 1929) 11
Speedy (Ted Wilde, 1928) 7
Crossroads (Teinosuke Kinugasa, 1928) 30
Gus Visser and His Singing Duck (Theodore Case, 1925) 11

The Hell Ship (Victor Sjöström, 1923) 3
The Scarlet Letter (Victor Sjöström, 1926) 26

Manolescu (Viktor Tourjansky, 1929) 28
Poet i tsar (Vladimir Gardin & Yevgeni Chervyakov, 1927) 37
Bennie the Howl (Vladimir Vilner, 1926) 41
Storm Over Asia (Vsevolod Pudovkin, 1928) 50

Steamboat Willie (Walt Disney & Ub Iwerks, 1928) 33
When the Cat's Away (Walt Disney, 1929) 49

Little Annie Rooney (William Beaudine, 1925) 28
Miss Lulu Bett (William DeMille, 1921) 1
The Flying House (Winsor McCay, 1921) 45
Aelita (Yakov Protazanov, 1924) 31
Days of Youth (Yasujirō Ozu, 1929) 27
In Youth, Beside the Lonely Sea (Director Unknown, 1925) 4


New Votes

The following films received no votes during the last round of the lists project but currently have two or more votes. Perhaps they were not on your radar before...

Champagner (Géza von Bolváry, 1929)
Erdgeist (Leopold Jessner, 1924)
La Femme et le Pantin (Jacques de Baroncelli, 1929)
Hallelujah (King Vidor, 1929)
Laila (George Schnéevoigt, 1929)
The Last Performance (Pál Fejös, 1929)
The Smiling Madame Beudet (Germaine Dulac, 1923)
Sparrows (William Beaudine, 1926)

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Tommaso
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Re: The 1920s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#97 Post by Tommaso » Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:54 pm

Thanks for all your work, swo! As usual, I see some films orphaned that are among my favourites but I didn't expect otherwise. The only real surprise is to see Wegener's "Golem" among them, a rather popular and easy to see film I imagined. Well, I didn't vote for it either, so no complaints, but it simply surprises me.

Just curious: how many people handed in a list?

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swo17
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Re: The 1920s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#98 Post by swo17 » Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:04 pm

12 are reflected in the results. Another has since been submitted but needs to be revised before I can count it.

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domino harvey
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Re: The 1920s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#99 Post by domino harvey » Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:13 pm

I can't in good conscience stand by and let Speedy and Master of the House be orphaned, guess I'm submitting a list

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knives
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Re: The 1920s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#100 Post by knives » Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:15 pm

Very surprised that The Playhouse is orphaned. I always assumed it to be the default Keaton short. Certainly it is one of the most inventive (and not just in the famous first half).

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