To read the recent revision on Greta Garbo, Victor Sjostrom, Scott Lord on Silent Film.
I hope to transfer the information on this page to other pages.
My Silent Swedish Film webpage, which covered from the turn of century to the advent of sound, was, before its having been transferred at the last minute, a Geocities webpage. I still have a love for silent film, which skyrocketed after having looked at The Last Tycoon and The Garden of Eden; Photoplay magazine of 1927 mentions Fitzgerald being in the process of writing an original screenplay for Constance Talmadge, it later reviewing his adapted work, "Fitzgerald's novel, with its unscrupulous hero, violates some pet screen traditions." The silent film is in fact a deepening of the novel as an art form. Waldemar Young was credited for writing the scenario of the film Off Shore Pirate (1921), adapted from the short story written by Scott Fitzgerald. If I was not to be present that evening, I jotted down my having noticed that Harvard Film has a free series of screenings open to the public at the University, which if you rebegin this month, includes The Joyless Street (Die Freudlosse Gasse (G.W. Pabst 1925); my copy of the film I no longer have (my former mentor had a yardsale or something or other). Previous screenings have included Danish film star, Asta Nielsen Tragedy of the Street (Dirnetragodre, Bruno Rahn, 1927). Evidently, The Great Train Robbery (Porter,1903) was still being shown in theaters as late as 1926, added to the feature then playing, whereas it wasn't untill Hamlet (Gade, 1920) that sex symbol Asta Nielsen was introduced to mainstream audiences in the United States. Is it possible that when Greta Garbo visited the home of Basil Rathbone in the masquerade costume of Hamlet, it was a tribute, or nod, to Danish Silent Film star Asta Nielsen? As research, the recent European claim that it is impossible to screen two films by Sam Brakage, The Boy and the Sea and Silent Sand Sense Stars Subotnick and Sender, seems to avoid being mysterious as it teeters on being ludicrous, and the present author sees little probability that they have decomposed-what will not be seen at Harvard University, or at the Universities of Sweden or Denmark, is the 1922 film The Beautiful and the Damned directed by William A. Sieter/SydneyFranklin and starring Marie Prevost, if a film accurately reported as being unavailbable for screening, or or the 1926 film The Great Gatsby directed by Herbert Brenon and starring Lois Wilson- within the world of Lost Films, Found Magazines, there are no existant copies of either film, our knowledge of them and curiousity is left for stills taken during the time period; there are no prints in the vaults that exist.For that matter, there little likelihood of a copy of The Villiage Blacksmith (1922, eight reels) directed by John Ford going on sale; there are no copies of it anywhere: similarly The Courtship of Miles Standish (Fredrick M Sullivan, 1923) is lost but two pages of full page advertisements of Charles Ray and Enid Bennett were found by the present author in The Film Daily from the year of its first run.
The characters portrayed on-screen by Ruth Taylor and Alice White may be familiar to present audiences, but the scenario co-written with John Emerson by the author of the novel Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Anita Loos, and directed by Malcom St. Clair in 1927 is also among the silent film listed as lost film. One novel, One Increasing Purpose, seems intriguing in that it seems only possible that it is missing, filmed in 1926, it was advertised as being the next great work to have been written by A.S.M Hutchinson after If Winter Comes; as good as the drama may have been, it was filmed in England and seems elusive in being included in lists of lost-missing films.
Although only its director, Leslie H. Hiscott, may know the whereabouts of The Missing Rembrant, die hard fans of Arthur Wotner and Ian Fleming can only wonder. Interestingly although both the Sherlock Holmes film directed by Hiscott and the author Agatha may have disappeared, not all of the film's of Leslie H. Hiscott have left us; for those who see a parallel between the writings of A.E.W. Mason and Agatha Christie Mallowan, Hiscott directed a film version of the novel "At the Villa Rose" as well as three slims starring Austin Trevor as Hercule Poirot, "Alibi", based on the Murder of Roger Ackroyd, "Black Coffee" and "Lord Edgeware Dies"
And yet there are several films that are now lost that appeared not only on the theater marquee, but in bookstores; Grosset and Dunlap having published Photoplay Editions of films rewritten as novels, in including intertextual photos, the illustrated photoplay edition of the novel London After Midnight, written by Marie Coolidge Rask, was published in 1928. Just as lost films have left behind their accompanying movie posters, as well as full page magazine advertisements that serve very much like movie posters when deciding not if we should see the film but what the film was like when first seen, each hardcover copy of an film adaptation into novel included a dustjacket, art that gives information about missing films: within there being Lost Films, Found Magazines. In regard to the 19O18 film Mania (Evyen Illes), not only can it be included in Lost Films, Found Magazines, but it has been restored by the National Film Inatitute (Filmoteka Nardowa), who when announcing its premiere wrote, "its contents pertain to universal truths". The film is notable for its starring Pola Negri and the set design to the film having had been being crafted by Paul Leni. It is imperative that the word film study be surplanted by the word film appreciation: it was in 1946 that author Iris Barry cautioned the readers of Hollywood Quarterly through the article "Why wait for Posterity" as to films quickly becoming lost and the need to preserve the "romantic" Greta Garbo film The Saga of Gosta Berling (Stiller, 1925) by saving the prints from deterioration. After explaining that the original two-color technicolor copies of the Black Pirate that had belonged to Douglas Fairbanks and Harvard University, respectively, were in a vault "at the point of final deterioration", and could only be duplicated in black-and-white form, she qualifies that the criteria for screening film need, as with "the early Seastrom films", only be pleasure. "What, really is the point of dragging old films back to light? First, I believe that it benefits the general esteem and standing of the motion picture industry as a whole; for if the great films of the past are not worth taking seriously and are not worth re-examination, then presumably neither are the great films of today. It would be unthinkable if the only books available to literary men and women should be no more than those published in the past year or so." To echo her by my now finding this during the centennial of the two reeler in the United States and of Victor Sjostrom and Mauritz Stiller having become contemporaries at Svenska Bio , the biography of actress Greta Garbo penned by the present author on Geocities webpage encompassed the long waiting period before what was to be the last film to be made by Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman, which happenned to be during the centennial of the one reel narrative film, "Of the utmost importance is an appreciation of film, film as a visual literature. film as the narrative image, and while any appreciation of film would be incomplete without the films of Ingmar Bergman, every appreciation of film can begin with the films of the silent period, with the watching of the films themselves, their once belonging to a valiant new form of literautre. Silent film directors in both Sweden and the United States quickly developed film technique, including the making of films of greater length during the advent of the feature film, to where viewer interest was increased by the varying shot lengths within a scene structure, films that more than still meet the criterion of having storylines, often adventurous, often melodramatic, that bring that interest to the character when taken scene by scene by the audience."
Whether or not there were pirates off the coast of Boston, the naval battles of the War of 1812 were immortalized, not only in the poem by Oliver Wendell Holmes, but in the film Old Ironsides (twelve reels), starring Ester Ralston, directed by James Cruze in 1926; it is a film that there has always been a copy of and not in need of restoration, but like The Black Pirate, which employed technicolor, the film is more renowned for its early use of Magnascope than its story of the high seas. Three years before James Cruze had directed Hollywood (eight reels) for Paramount, which featured cameos by Charles Chaplin, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks. The film has not been seen since it was first reviewed by Robert E. Sherwood, the printed article one of the only ways of our knowing its subject, "James Cruze treated Hollywood as a fantasy rather than a grimly realistic drama...Miss Drown, as Angela, was wistful, appealing and supremely pathetic. Her wide eyes seemed to increase in depth and in softness with each fresh disappointment...She is a tremendous success in this her first picture." Is The Mystery of Room 643 (1914) a lost film?
Swedish Silent Film
|During 1920, Film Scandia merged with Scandia to team Charles Magnusson with Nils Bouveng to run AB Svensk Filmindustri. Having been an actress for several films directed by George af Klerker, Mary Johnson wasP also that year to appear in the Swedish silent film Stovstadsfaror, directed by Manne Gothson and photographed by Gustav A. Gustafson. Appearing with Johnson in the film were Agda Helin, Tekl Sjoblom and Lilly Cronwin.|
Motion Picture Magazine during 1923 wrote, "Sigrid Holmquist has come to Lasky's to appear in The Gentlemen of Leisure. She is a Swedish Mary Pickford". Holmquist had appeared under the direction of Lau Lauritzen in 1920 in the film Love and Bear Hunting (Karlek och Bjornjakt) before coming to the United States to appear in he film directed by Joseph Henabery and also during 1923 appeared in an adaptation of the Kipling novel The Light that Failed (George Melford) with Jaqueline Logan. She had also appreared in the 1922 film The Prophet's Paradise directed by Alan Crosland.
Although The Silent Cinema, authored by Liam O'Leary, is a "Pictureback" and includes numerous stills from films that are lost and represents them as though they were available for screening at the time of its 1965 printing, it not only presages internet writing with its combination of filmography and chronology, but astutely alerts us that while becoming an even more vesatile drama actress, Asta Neislen had found new directors with whom to film. DuPring 1922, she appeared in an on screen production of the writing of Stendhal with Vanina (Vanina, order die galgenhochziet), directed by Arthur von Gerlach and photographed by FredrPik Fuglsang.
In Germany, Marlene Dietrich by 1927 had begun to appear on the the screen in lead roles more often, her having that year starred in the film Cafe Electric (Gustav Ucicky). Not entirely ironically, while more and more films from Europe were becoming introduced to writers in the United States, two films from Germany that were filmed complicitly without subtitles yet still having a clear narrative development and depiction of plotline without expository or dialoge intertitle were being written about in the United States, Backstairs (1926), filmed by the stage director Leopold Jessner, a film about a young girl whose is in love and a mailman who witholds love letters written to her because he himself is in love with her, and Shattered (Lupu Pick,1921), scripted by Carl Mayer. Not only did Photoplay Magazine spy on Hollywood, but in 1929 it reported the release of Mata Hari: The Red Dancer, with Magda Sonja in the title role, the film directed in Germany by Fredrich Feher.
During 1924, Conrad Nagel would that year team with Aileeen Pringle for the film Three Weeks. Nagel would appear on the screen with Eleanor Boardman for the 1924 film Sinners in Silk (Henley) and then the following year for The Only Thing, directed by Jack Conway. Silent Film actress Norma Shearer, in 1924, was starring in Broadway After Dark (Monta Bell, seven reels) with Anna Q. Nilsson, The Snob (Monta Bell, seven reels) with John Gilbert, Empty Hands (Victor Fleming, seven reels), Married Flirts (Robert Vignola, seven reels) with Conrad Nagel and The Wolfman (Edward Mortimer, six reels) with John Gilbert. The next year she starred in Pretty Ladies (Monta Bell, six reels), one of the films that she had been given by being a contract player at the MGM studio, it having afforded her a cameo role. The film was based on a story by Adela Rogers St. Johns and had featured Conrad Nagel. Also that year Shearer appeared in the films Waking Up the Town (James Cruze, six reels), Lady of the Night (Monta Bell, six reels) and His Secretary (seven reels). She continued with Conrad Nagel the following year in The Waning Sex (seven reels) and appeared in Upstage (Monta Bell, seven reels). While Mauritz Stiller was in movie theaters with Hotel Imperial, Photoplay Magazine reviewed Monta Bell's direction of Norma Shearer in Upstage as "delightful. When an interviewer had asked Conrad Nagel if he had been in love with Norma Shearer, Nagel equivocated, 'Every man who knew or worked with her was in love with her. She had an unusual grace and tact, and she was very sensitive to other people's feelings.' Pola Negri appeared in two films directed by Dimitri Buchowetski during 1924, Men, with Robert Frazer and Lily of the Dust.
-Sir Thomas Henry Hall Caine had been secretary to Dante Gabriel Rosetti during the last year of the painter's life, his novels having been adapted to the screen by George Fitzmaurice, who filmed Barbara LaMarr in The Eternal City (1923) and by Hugh Ford, who filmed Katherine McDonald and Katherine Griffith in The Woman Thou Gavepst Me (1919.)
In Sweden, Karin Boye was publishing her second volume of poetry, Hidden Lands, her continuing in 1927 with the volume The Hearths. She had published her first work, Clouds two years earlier, a year when Swedish poet Birger Sjoberg had published Frida's Songs.
In 1925, Edmund Goulding began directing with Sun-Up Sally (six reels), starring Conrad Nagel and pIrene and Sally (six reels), starring Constance Bennett, following the two films with Paris (six reels)
. Rathbone had also appeared in silent films- Trouping with Ellen (T. Hayes Hunter, seven reels) in 1924, The Masked Bride (Christy Cabanne, six reels), starring Mae Murray, in 1925 and The Great DeceptionP (Howard Higgin, six reels) in 1926. Rathbone and his wife had been present at the premiere of Flesh and the Devil. Anna Karenina (1914), filmed by J. Gordon Edwards, had starred Betty Nansen. On learning that Greta Garbo had already had the film Mata Hari in production, Pola Negri deciding between scripts that were in her studio's story department chose A Woman Commands as her first sound film, in which she starred with Basil Rathbone. Directed by Paul L.Stein, the films also stars Reginald Owen and Roland Young. Ronald Colman had begun as a screen actor in England as well with the films The Live Wire (Dewhurst, 1917), The Toilers (1919), Sheba (Hepworth, 1919), Snow in the Desert (1919) and The Black Spider (1920) It was for Nordisk Films Kompani that year that August Blom had directed Asta Neilsen in the film The Ballet Dancer
directed by George Pearson in 1914 being among one of the most sought after films listed as missing by the British Film Institute.
Salsvinnapolttajet (The Moonshiners, directed in Finland during 1907 by Teuro Puro and Louis Sparre, is presently considered a lost film. The photographer is listed as having been Frans Engstrom. Interestingly enough, author Marguerite Engberg writes that photoplay dramatists were instructed to limit the use of inter-titles and thereby depict narrative as visual whenever possible. To parallel this, a steady number of guides on creative writing that can be found in the category of Photodrama or photodramatist appeared in the United State between 1912 and 1920, whether or not many seem more lurid than the films themselves- to arbitrarily look at them, to find a sense of meaning as to what early photo-drama plot was, there is Photodrama: the philosophy of its principles, the nature of its plot, its dramatic construction, from 1914, written by Henry Albert Phillips. It contains a chapter on Visualization: "Visualized action takes first and foremost place in the photoplay; all other matters are harmonious trappings and devices or illusion that decorate creaking machines with esthetic realities. Inserted matter, unless artisticlly used, becomes theatric instead of dramatic. The volume continues on to examine subjects like how characterization in the short story and photoplay differ and how there is a necessity within plot to create an "obstacle", the author striving to "analyze photo-drama, to embody it as a new and complete for of drama-literary art." The Danish Marguerite Engberg author sees a shift in Danish filmmaking during 1910 to a more sensational film with the work of August Blom (The Temptations of the Great City, Ved Faengslets Port, 1911;The Price of Beauty, Den Farliiege Alder, 1911).
Roman Navarro in 1924 appeared in two films directed by Fred Niblo, Thy Name is Woman and The Red Lily. In 1925 the actor appeared in the films The Midshipman (Christy Cabanne, eight reels) and The Lovers Oath (six reels). Novarro is quoted as having said, 'It wasn't enough for her to satisfy the director. Often -despite his OK- she asked for a scene to be retaken because she didn't think she had done her best.'
Between the films The Primitive Lover (Sidney Franklin, seven reels, 1922) and The Lady (1925), Frances Marion had written the screenplays to The French Doll (1923), Song of Love (Chester Franklin, eight reels, 1924), based on the novel Dust of Desire and starring Norma Talmadge Secrets (Frank Borzage, eight reels, 1924) and Tarnish (George Fitzmaurice, seven reels, 1924).
Screenland magazine noted that the scripts filmed by George Fitzmaurice were often submitted by his wife, and that Ouida Bergere, more frequently remembered, or referred to, as the lover of Basil Rathbone "was a successful actress before she began to write for pictures." The present author almost found it of more personal interest that there was an author named Faith Service that wrote for Motion Picture Classics more than anything. During 1920 it featured a portrait of the film director George Fitzmaurice and his relationship to the screenwriter, but also included a fictionalized version of the script to the silent film On With the Dance, its scenario written by Ouida Bergere. Faith Service regularly appeared in the magazine as an author that adapted the photoplay into the short story, with the subtitle "fictionalized by permission" or "told in story form, her having typed out the plots to the films Victory Miss Hobbs, Remodeling a Husband and The World and His Wife and She Loves and Lies, it being to the present author fascinating that the stills to films that now may be lost appear next to their transposition into a differeton art form. That year Gladys Hall fictionalized the scenario to the film Way Down East, condensing its charactizations into a handful of pages, the spectator of 1920 reading what would soon be on the screen in front of them, perhaps while viewing the star as a commodity within the extra-textual discourse of the fan magazine but with the familiar art form of the magazine short story installment. About the director Fitzmaurice, the Motion Picture Classics published, "For Fitzmaurice owes his remarkable ability to attain beautiful pictures- admirable in light, shade and grouping- to his early training as a painter, Maurice Tourneur owes his skill in the same field to the same source......En passme it is interesting to note the commraderie of Fitzmaurice and his wife, known to the scenario world as Ouida Bergere. 'We work together on every production,' explains the director." Faith Service was also distinguished as having been published in Photoplay magazine. Is the Mystery of Room 643 a Lost Film? There are many photoplays that during their first theater run were adapted from screen images into third person narrative, original screenplays that were published as magazine fiction after rewritten by magazine staff writers that, with stills from each film, have been preserved in regard to their storyline, characterization and that still exist as they did on celluloid and silver nitrate. The Essanay Film The Return of Richard Neal (1915), starring Nell Craig, and earlier chapters with Francis X. Bushman staring as in "adventures of the private investigator" are not listed as lost, but presently someP lists they are not found to be existant. The film appears in story form , with several film stills,in Picture Stories Magazine. It has caught the attention of the present author that Edna Mayo may be an actress with which modern audiences could have been be more familiar with; her Essanay film Stars, Their Courses Change (1915, three reels) seems to be unlisted as being missing while having had appeared in Motion Picture World Magazine- in light of there having been the documentary The Unknown Chaplin, both films would appear to currently be lost. There is every indication that the film Ponjola, starring Anna Q. Nilsson is missing from compendiums on lost film, although it appeared in full page magazine advertisements it seemingly to have been left unlisted. It also appeared in a Photoplay Edition published by Grosset and Dunlap the year of its release, the dustjacket of the 1923 novel rewritten from the screen by Cyntheia Stockley reading, "Illustrated with scenes from the photoplay. A First National Picture". Of course not every film made by the Stoll Film Corporation is lost and missing, but as it seems like a smaller studio, two films from 1923 appear to be unlisted, The Tidal Wave (Hill) and Bars of Iron (Thorston). Any film featured in Picture Stories Magazine during 1914-1915 could be later found to be a lost film. His Last Chance was featured as a work of fiction as novelized in Picture Stories Magazine and does not presently appear to be included in list of films that have been lost; the magazine cover advertises the periodical as being the "Illustrated Films Monthly". The title reads "Adapted from the IMP drama by Rosa Beaulaire", but neglects to name the actors and actresses in the stills and the name of the director of the film. The same issue includes the photoplay On the Verge of War in short story form with only "Adapted from the 101 Bison Film by Owen Garth. The Riddle of The Green Umbrella on the other hand credits Alice Joyce as a girl detective "from the two reel Kalem detective story" who is solving the murder of a professor; the film is not listed as being lost and is absent from lists of films that are decidedly not lost. The Triumph of Venus, advertised in the pages of Photoplay during 1918 is another film that seems yet to be put on lists of missing silent films. What I did happen to find in the pages of Photoplay Magazine was the six page novelization of the chapter-play, or serial, The Eagle's Eye directed by George Lessey and Wellington Player in 1918. With the novelization of the photoplay are published stills from the film, stills that show frames from a silver screen flicker that no longer survives. The lost silent film starred actress Marguerite Snow.
In Sweden, Par Lagerkvist that year published the novel Guest of Reality (Gas hos verkligheten). It is an account of the events of his childhood an his claim of his reluctance to accept religous ideals.
In Sweden, Olaf Molander directed Lady of the Camellias (Damen med kameliorna, 1925), starring Ivan Hedqvist and Hilda Borgström and photographed by Gustav A. Gustafson. Forsyth Hardy writes, "The film derived some distinction from the delicately composed interiors and from the touching performance Tora Teje gave in response to Molander's skilled direction."
In 1926 Molander followed with Married Life (Giftas), starring Hilda Borgström and Margit Manstad, also photographed by Gustav A. Gustafson and in 1927 with Only a Dancing Girl, which he wrote and directed.
Swedish film director William Larsson during 1925 directed the films Broderna Ostermans huskors and For hemmet och flickan, with Jenny Tschernichin and Elsa Widborg in what would be the first film in which she was to appear.
Gosta Ekman had earlier been seen as leading man in the United States, as a "romantic type" In Pantomine magazine it was surveyed that, "he plays the impudent, but loveable adventurer to life and his slender blonde figure lends itself most admirably to graceful interpretations of this kind." Photoplay magazine saw Ekman in a similar way, describing him in 1923 as "the Swedish shiek" (the Swedish Valentino) and predicted his soon aquiring famem in the United States, as it did that year with Sigrid Holmqvist. Photoplay reported, "Arriving with him from Stockholm was Edith Erastoff, the wife of Victor Seastrom, the Swedish director who is now working for Goldwyn. Miss Erastoff played opposite Mr. Ekman at the Stockholm Theater....'A beautiful boy,' says director Seastrom, 'Too beautiful- but he is a great actor and never hesitates to conceal his good looks for a character part which demands make-up.'" The magazine that year speculated that "in all probability" Ekman woulod appear on screen in a version of "Three Weeks", concievably opposite actress Theda Bara.
In Sweden, in 1925 Ragnar Ring directed the film Tre Kroner (1925), following the next year with the film Butikskultur. Ett kopmanshus i skargarden starring Anna Wallin and Anna Carlsten was written and directed by Hjalmer Peters, its photographer Hellwig Rimmen.
In Finland, the film The Northeners/The Bothnians (Pohjalaisis) was recently screened for the first time since its first run release in 1925. Directed by Jalmari Landensue, the film was photographed by a camerman that would film on several occaisions for the directors Konrad Tallroth, Erkki Karu and Teuro Puro.
Elmer Dictonius, Swedish-Finnish avaunt-guard modernist poet was in Finland during 1922, where with Haggar Olsson he founded the poetry journal Ultra.
The Introduction to American Underground Film, written by Sheldon Renan, remarks upon Vikking Eggling having continued after his renown short abstract geometrical film Diagonal Symphony, "Eggling stuck to the difficult work of animating scroll paintings assisted by a girlfriend who learned the technique especially for him...he is said, however, to have made only two more films, Parallete (1924) and Horizontale (1924) before his death in 1925." In the academic scholarly research of Astrid Soderberg, John Sundholm and Lars Gustaf Andersson in their paper The writing of a History of Swedish experimental film the authors discuss Eggling's immediate effect and his inevitable effect on film, "If Eggling's pioneering work had to be integrated into a teleological historiography the history of Swedish experimental film would begin and end at the same moment. Eggling made only one film, but a work that is usually considered to be both one of the first abstract films ever made and the only Swedish artistic effort as such in the twentieth century that had substantial international impact."
During his absence from Europe, Dadaist Hans Richter photographed avaunt-guard silent film during 1925, including Ghosts Before Breakfast, and Filmstudie. Richter is not specificlly referred to in the 1922 issue of Vanity Fair Magazine that published legend Tristan Tzara with the article Some Memoirs of Dadaism, an account of the movement which has undertaken to free French art from its classical rigidities, but as a chronicle of the Tzara's 1920 return to Paris it explores Dadaism as an international endeavor while introducing Dadaist meetings, which were to include Paul Eluard, Andre Breton (A Tempest in a Glass of Water), Louis Aragon (The Glass Syringe), and Hans Arp (Clean Wrinkles), as Dadaist Theater, and therefore Dadaist Festival. If it is seen that Modernism in art was removed from cinema, also writing in Vanity Fair was Edmund Wilson, who wrote The Aesthetic Upheaval in France, the Influence of jazz in Paris and the Americanization of French Literature and Art. "For the younger artists in France have competely thrown overboard the ideals of perfection and form, of grace and measure and tranquility, which we Americans are accustomed to think of as their most valuable possession." Although it was in 1928 that Germaine Dulac filmed The Seashell and the Clergyman, written by Antonin Artaud, her film The Smiling Mrs. Beudet brings her work back into 1923. Duchamp, whom the present author has long admired for the paintings Nude Descending a Staircase would eventually turn from the meanings imbued within the human figure is the poetic meanings, associations, it can geometricly, within plane and shadow, hold, to a more plastic ready-made interpretation of angle and curve, his having filmed Anemic Cinema in 1927, leaving spatial questions of the human form delineated by action to Jean Cocteau with The Blood of the Poet, a film of which the present author is as equally fond. Paul Rotha adds the appellation Absolute Film to Abstract Film, "The abstract film is a primary example of unity of filmic purpose." A series of abstract visual images could be brought into visual abstract patterns with abstract forms that were in movement, seen through the relations of mercurial geometric figures to each other. "The screen is a blackboard to Eggeling." Rotha refers to the films Light and Rythym (Bruguiere and Blaketon), Light and Shade, and Montparnasse (Desalv). The Flood (Louis Delluc, 1923), while being a catalyst to the experimental film of the period, is attributed with having been "derived from the Swedes" (O'Leary). The film still lauded Delluc as a proponent of the experimental film and he has been referred to as one of the first film critics, his having written about the theater, untill inveigled toward the film by his hife, actress Eve Francis. In her volume Let's Go to the Movies, Iris Barry wrote, "There is a lady called Gertrude Stein, who writes books composes entirely of words; meaning is a thing she avoids. She has her enthusiasts, who conted, quite rightly, that writers must make patterns in words and that old words must be pressed into new meanings...She is in fact the same case as the absract films as Paris, which equally scrupulously avoid meaning." Long ago, the present author was fond of her novel Ida.
Audiences in 1925 viewed Mary Pickford in the silent film Little Annie Rooney (William Beaudine, nine reels). Among the films in which flapper Clara Bow appeared in that year were Eves Lover (Roy Del Ruth, seven reels), The Scarlett West (John G. Adolphi, 9 reels) and The Keeper of the Bees (James Meehan, seven reels). During 1925, Sally of the Sawdust (ten reels) and That Royal Girl (ten reels) would both team W.C. Fields and Carol Dempster. Both films were directed by D.W. Griffith. Actress Mae Marsh that year appeared in the film "Tides of Passion", directed by J. Stuart Blackton.
In regard to D.W. Griffith still filming during the 1920's and Thomas Ince having been part of Triangle, it may have been that the photodramatists of the silent era in the United States had by 1925 seen a transformation. In a volume entitled Modern Photoplay Writing, published in 1922, Howard T. Dimick wrote, Thus the present era might be called the era of the detailed synopsis, which has evolved out of the era of the scenario." It concludes his thought from the previous sentence, "The modern playwright submits his story in the form of a detailed synopsis, amounting in length to a short story, casting the dramatic form, establishing the events, developing the characters, introducing the atmosphere, but minus all dialogue and moralizing not pertinent to the demands of the mechanism it is intended for, the camera." He adds that previously the scenario had been submitted to set the dramatic form and that the synopsis would not be able to veer from the dramatic line as developed, whereas in a more modern era, the synopsis had become a dramatic form of continuity. In a slightly earlier volume, Scenario Writing Today, published in 1921, Grace Lytton crawled to page 146 before adding the chapter Writing the Brief Synopsis or Outline and discusses the part played by the scenario editor, "Your brief synopsis is your card of introduction to the scenario editor...An outline of the plot is really all that is indispensible." Interestingly, she adds to the synopsis and scenario, continuity, but claims that, "The continuity will be written in the studio and if you send it one it will probably not be used" while optimisticlly claiming continuity writing, the adding of a full developed novel like description after the scenario and synopsis, to be a valuable thing to study in that its practice imporved scenario writing.
A director that had worked with Griffith, Jack Conway, who had himself dropped out of highschool, would direct Jack Pickford in the 1926 film Brown of Harvard with Mary Brian, Mary Alden and Francis X Bushman. Ever since, there have been various murders and questionable characters surrounding the University. Sometimes sinister, it often boil down to that as a University, it has its own unique way of whether it does or doesn't know whom is attending, and or whom isn't. Conway was also to direct the film Soulmates that year. In the United States, in 1926, Dorothy Gish would begin filming with Herbert W. Wilcox, under whose direction she made the films Nell Gwyn (1926) with Randle Ayerton and Julie Compton, London (1927), with John Manners and Elissa Landi, Tip Toes (1927) with John Manners and Mme. Pompadour (1927), written by Frances Marion and starring Antonio Moreno.
Quoted by Liberty Magazine during 1927, Lillian Gish said, "King Vidor directed La Boheme, and one of the best cameramen in my experience, Hendrik Sartov, lent his aid...We finished it on a Saturday, and without waiting for my weeks holiday, we began The Scarlet Letter on Monday."
The present author uploaded one google.video, as a test film, it covering only the first four minutes of the film, but it was one of those directors that become a favorite on reputation, rather than the availability of the entire catolog of film, he being James Kirkwood, who was married to silent film actress Gertrude Robinson before marrying Lilla Lee. In the United States, Fox Studios in 1927 continued their films of the Great West, pairing Tom Mix with Dorothy Dwan in The Great K and A Train Robbery (Lewis Seiler, five reels).Not only was there Houdini, the query Does Rudy Speak from Beyond- Natacha Rambova Talks of the Spirit Messages she claims to have recieved from Valentino appreared in Photoplay Magazine during 1927 from the pen of Fredrick James Smith. In 1935, the magazine International Photographer quoted cameraman Bert Longworth, ""Only by the correct usage of lights can photography be raised to the standard of art.'" The magazine continued, "His first job in motion pictures was with Universal. Among the pictures he shot the stills on were The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of the Opera. After three years he transferred to M.G.M. Studio where he was the first man to take portraits of Greta Garbo and covered her two early hits Flesh and the Devil and The Temptress An issue of Film Fun during 1922 also pointed out the same need for lighting to be essential to film-making, "Lighting is one of the most important elements in the making of a good picture... In Sweden, they have only four months during the year in which the sun shines and during that time they work eighteen hours a day. The Swedish pictures have a peculiar luminousity which we do not seem able to obtain in this country and it is probably due to the intense brightness of the sun." Included in the article are stills from the Swedish Silent films Synovia of Sundown Hill, The Dawn of Love and A Gay Knight.
Silent Film: Lost Film, Found MagazinesThere were 478 silent films made in Sweden; of them only 192 still exist, although there are copies of fragments from a number of them. Added to that, countless Danish silent films produced by Ole Olsen for Nordisk Films Kompagni are "presumably lost": the Danish Film Institute notes that approximately 1600 silent short and feature films were made whereas only 250 films presently exist, Not the only webpage concerned with the preservation of Silent Film, the lost films webpage from Berlin show clips and stills from fifty silent film that it claims are "unknown or unidentified". Several features filmed by Norwegian director Peter Lykke Seet between 1917 and 1919, including De Foraeldrebse (1017), En Vinternat (1917), Lodgens datter (1918), Vor tids helte (1918) and Aersgjesten (1919) are lost films, of which there are no prints- the first film to be photographed in Norway, a drama or pre-narrative film apparently too much a travelogue belonging to the cinema of attractions to be also its first fiction film, is lost: directed by Hugo Hermansen it was one of the first films to be photographed by Swedish cinemamatographer Julius Jaenzon, it having had been titled Fisker livets farer and filmed in 1907. Only a fragment exists of the 1909 film Skilda tiders danser, directed by Walfrid Bergstrom, which by itself, considering the film and the history of film production is Sweden, may not be suprising, and yet of the four hundred and seventy eight silent films that were made in Sweden, the Swedish Film Institute has saved only one hundred and ninety four, less than half. Varminglandinganna (Ebba Lindkvist, 1910) and Champagner uset(Poul Welander, 1911) are included as two film made before Charles Magnusson had established Svenska Biograften at Rasunda that exist only in fragmentary form. Most of the four reel films made by actress Alice Joyce for Vitagraph Co in the United States from 1914 have been listedl as lost as have her five reel films made for Vitagraph from between 1915-1921.
Among the myriad of films now thought to be lost. Included among them are The Dark Angel (George Fitzmaurice, 1924) pairing Vilma Banky and Ronald Coleman, The Chinese Parrot (1927, seven reels), adapted for the screen from the pen of Earl Der Biggers by Paul Leni and starring Marian Nixon and Florence Turner and Four Devils, filmed in the United States by F. W Murnau in 1928 and starring Janet Gaynor and Nacy Drexel. Photoplay, while providing a still from the film, saw The Four Devils as the "long awaited successor" to Murnau's Sunrise and as a source of a plot summary to the film, it alludes to the film's tone, "the final shot implies a happy ending. The film will probably be cut to eliminate the over drawn scenes before it is released."
Loves of An Actress (Rowland Lee,1928) in which Nils Asther starred with Pola Negri and Mary McAllister, as a matter of fact, is a lost film. If all that exists of The Chinese Parrot is a still photograph, the caption from Photoplay Magazine, cautioned that, alhtough mysteries were not meant to be divulged, the adaption had not kept faithful to the Earl Der Biggers plotline. Untill they are found and or restored, the films made in the United States by Benjamin Christensen continue to lurk within the shadows of the silver screen theaters, and although many of the theaters, with all their granduer that introduced the films are also gone, particularly in Boston, the detectives of film can find them in the world of Lost Film, Found Magazines with each newly discovered poster, still or full page advertisement.
When Photoplay reviewed the film Seven Footprints to Satan (1929), it held, "You won't get very excited about this so-called mystery story because you feel down underneath that it will turn out to be a dream. The denoument is not quite as bad as that, but almost...Thelma Todd manages to look both beautiful and freightened while Chreighton Hale makes his knees stutter." The film was photographed by Sol Polite. Forsyth Hardy chronicles, "The Danish director Benjamin Christensen, who was engaged to make Haxan (1922), an imaginative study of witchcraft which excitedly exploited the properities of the camera. These expensive films, however, failed to make impressions on the reluctant foreign audiences." He notes that it was a newly completed studio at Rasunda that had emerged with Svensk Filmindustri, a momentum having arisen as the result of the merger in 1919 between Svenska Bio and Film Scandia.
Sweden during 1926 Klerker directed the film Flickorna pa Solvik, starring Wanda Rothgardt. Edvin Adolphson and Mona Martenson were teamed by Erik A. Petschler in the 1926 film Brollopet i Branna, photographed by Gustav A. Gustafson. The film also stars Emmy Albiin. Sigurd Wallen in 1926 directed the film Ebberods bank, the assistant director to the film Rolf Husberg. That year Ragnar Hylten-Cavallius directed his first film, which he also scripted, Flickorna Gyurkovics, starring Betty Balfour, Karin Swanstrom, Stina Berg and Lydia Potechina. Mordbrannerskan (1926) directed by John Lindlof, photgraphed by Gustav A. Gustafson and starring Vera Schimterlow and Brita Appelgren, was the first film in which the actress Birgit Tengroth was to appear. Screenwriter Ester Julin in 1926 wrote and directed the film Lyckobarnen, photographed by Henrik Jaenzon Although Karina Bell is now well-known for starring with Gosta Ekman in Kloven (The Clown, 1926) directed by Danish silent film director A. W. Sandberg, she had appeared before the camera under his direction is several ealier films, including The Lure of the Footlights (Den Sidste Danse, with Else Neilsen, Clarra Schronfeldt and Grethe Rygaard. Anders W. Sandberg showcased both Karina Bell and Karen Sandberg Caperson in the 1924 film House of Shadows (Moranen).
To flashback to 1921 and the Danish actress Asta Nielsen, the last volume of poetry written by Vilhelm Krag, Viserg of Vers had appeared in Norway in 1919, and with it are two novels, Stenansigot, from 1918, and Verdensbarn, from 1920. Vilhem Krag then adapted his work Jomfru Trofest for the screen in a script co-written by the director Rasmus Briestein. Interestingly enough, Asta Neilsen waited untill having returned to Germany to appear in the film Hedda Gabler under the direction of Franz Eckstein, but not before her having made the film Felix with Rasmus Briestein. The film was based on a novel written by Gustav Aagaard and photographed by Gunnar Nilsen-Vig, who would later go on to photograph for the directors John Brunius and Tancred Ibsen. It was a fertile time period in Scandinavia for literary adaptations that should have brought the name of the Norwegian author Sigrid Undset to the forefront with film going audiences in the United States. In 1920 Sigrid Undset published the first volume of her Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy, Krasen, followed by the volumes Husfrue and Korset, in 1921 and 1922, respectively. They had been preceded by a volume of essays, Et Kvindesynspunktina in 1919.
Silent film was almost to an end. In 1927 alone, Alice Terry appeared in the films Lonesome Ladies (Joseph Henaberry), Notorious Lady (King Baggot), also starring Lewis Stone, An Affair of the Follies (Milland Webb), written by June Mathis, and The Prince of Headwaiters, also starring Lewis Stone (John Francis Dillon, seven reels). Roman Navarro that year appeared in the film Road to Romance (seven reels). During a year that he appeared with Delores Costello on the cover of the Scandinavian periodical Filmjournalen, John Barrymore in 1927 would begin what was to quickly become the only then whispered of crescendo of the silent film period, whith the film The Beloved Rogue, a year when Warner Oland appeared under the direction of Alan Crosland and with Delores Costello in A Man Loves (ten reels), starring Barrymore, and again in the film Old San Francisco (eight reels). Photographer Oliver Marsh that year would be behind the camera lens Norma Talmadge in the film The Dove (nine reels), director Roland West adapting the play written by Willard Mack for the screen. W. S. Van Dyke that year brought Wanda Hawley to the screen in the film The Eyes of Totem, also starring Ann Cornwall. That Movie Classic Magazine included the title New Styles for Sex Appeal on its November,1933 cover featuring Greta Garbo is a fitting contrast to when the magazine had featured Garbo the silent actress on its cover during 1927 before it had changed its name, a look, from Motion Picture Classic. Alice Joyce had been the magazine's cover girl during the previous month and silent actress Betty Bronson followed during March. Included among those chosen to be covergirl for Photoplay Magazine during February of 1927 were actresses Olive Borden, Arlette Marchal, Lois Wilson, Mae Murray and Mary Brian. Actresses chosen by Screenland magazine in 1927 to grace its cover included Marie Provost, lya De Putti,Anita Parkhurst, Gilda Gray and Jetta Goudal: Each month Cal York wrote a page entitled Girl on the Cover; in regard to any personal favorite covers to Photoplay Magazine of the present author, so far there are two, both from 1926, Marion Daviesy Oand Alice Joyce. While author Deebs Taylor explains that 'it' as typified by Elinor Glyn was sex appeal, he also writes that silent film actress Clara Bow had brought the excitement of the flapper to the screen a year before her having been given the role in the 1927 film It (seven reels) during her appearance in the film Mantrap (Victor Fleming, seven reels). She appeared on the cover of Filmjournalen Magazine in 1927 and in 1929. Photoplay Magzine covers for the year 1928, featured the actresses Corinne Griffith, Marion Davies, Evelyn Brent, Billie Dove, Ruth Taylor, Ester Ralston and Eleanor Boardman. Clara Bow is a particular instance of Lost Films, Found Magazines; a highly publicized silent actress that was often written about, if not written about in within the extra-textual discourse of fan magazines as one the earliest forms of film criticism, with the expectation that modern novels that had not yet been filmed would soon be brought to the screen, Clara Bow apprearred in several films that have only been seen due to recent efforts to preserve them. Parts of silent films are missing- among the films featuring Clara Bow either still incomplete, but restored, or restored in their entirety are Down to the Sea in Ships (1922), Maytime (Gasnier, 1923), Poisoned Paradise (Gasnier, 1924), Black Oxen (Frank Lloyd, 1924) and the 1925 film My Lady of Whims. Without the films, all that is left are magazine advertisements where the screen star cordially invites our consumership, not only our consumership as spectators for the advertised product, but as spectators for the fantasies of 'a now by gone era', the look of the female directed to a time only preserved as being seldom seen on the silent silver screen, once captured by the moving camera and now guessed at through the pages of magazines. 1928 saw actress Loretta Young as she appeared in her first two films with silent film actress Julanne Johnston, Marshall Neilan having directed both actresses in Her Wild Oat (1927, seven reels), with Colleen Moore and Martha Mattox and Joseph Boyle having directed both actresses in The Whip Woman (1928, six reels), with Estelle Taylor, Lowell Sherman and Hedda Hopper. She had been acting under the name Gretchen, which was changed at the suggestion of Mervyn Leroy, and, according to the webpage of the estate of Loretta Young, at the suggestion of Colleen Moore.
John Gilbert that year made the film , Twelve Miles Out (Jack Conway, eight reels). John Gilbert also appeared that year with Jeanne Eagles in the film Man, Woman and Sin (seven reels), which Photoplay reviewed as being of interest because the actresses and actor were paired together but concluded, "Miss Garbo needn't worry over Miss Eagles.", it thinking that the film and the part played by the actress was tailored in order to substitute for the Silent Film actress Greta Garbo "Director-and author-Monta Bell knows his city room. After that the film disintegrates into cheap melodrama."
The following year John Gilbert appeared in Four Walls, made with him by director William Nigh, (eight reels), and actress Vera Gordon. Actress Emily Fitzroy, who appeared with John Gilbert and Greta Garbo in the 1927 film Love, had that year appeared in the films Married Alive (Emmett Flynn, five reels), with Margaret Livingston and Gertrude Claire, Orchids and Ermine (Alfred Santell, seven reels) with Colleen Moore, Hedda Hopper and Alma Bennet, One Increasing Purpose (Harry Beaumont, eight reels), with Lila Lee, Jane Novak and May Allison, and Once and Forever (Phil Stone, six reels), with Patsy Ruth Miller and Adele Watson.
| In Sweden, Ragnar Hylten-Cavallius continued directing with Youth (Ungdom), starring Ivan Hedqvist, Marta Hallden and Brita Appelgren. Erik A Petschler in 1927 directed Hin och smalanningen, photographed by Gustav A Gustafson and starring Birgit Tengroth, Ingrid Forsberg, Greta Anjou, Jenny-Tschernichin-Larsson, Helga Brofeldt, Emy Bergstrom and Emy Albiin. Gustaf Edgren in 1927 directed The Ghost Baron (Spokbaronen) starring Karin Swanström and photographed by Adrian Bjurman, which was followed by Black Rudolf (Svarte Rudolf, 1928) starring Inga Tiblad and Fridolf Rhudin, both films having been written by Sölve Cederstrand. The assistant director to the film Black Rudolf had been Gunnar Skogland, it having been the first film in which the actress Katie Rolfsen was to appear. |
Photoplay reviewed The Enemy in 1929, "This picture offers the most stirring anti-war propaganda wver filmed, yet maintains a heart interest which will thrill you every moment...Lillian Gish ceases to be the ethereal goddess. She is an everyday woman who sacrifices her man, her child and finally her honor, for the necessity rather than glory of battle."
During 1929, Swedish author Harry Martinsson published his first volume of poetry, The Ghost Ship (Skokskepp), it followed in 1933 by the novel Cape Farewell (Kap Farval). Written by Solve Cederstrand and photographed by Hugo Edlund, Konstgjorda Svensson (1929) ,with Brita Appelgren, Ruth Weijden, Rolf Husberg and Weyeler Hildebrand, was directed by Gustaf Edgren. Also appearing in the film were Karin Gillberg and Sven Gustasfsson, the brother of Greta Garbo. Photoplay in 1929 featured a photo of the couple, its caption reading, "It's in the old Garbo blood, for Greta's brother is an actor too!! His name is Sven and he is shown rocking the boat in a scene from "The Robot", a new Swedish film. The young lady is Miss Karin Gillberg, another argument for better ship service to Scandinavia."
On that return to Sweden, Photoplay Magazine recorded, "Contentment meant more to Lars than money. He writes that he is happier that he has ever been in the Royal Dramatic Theater in Stockholm.
Before co-starring with Garbo, in 1928 alone, Nils Asther had appeared in the films The Cardboard Lover (eight reels), The Cossacks (George Hill, ten reels) with John Gilbert, Dream of Love (Fred Niblo, six reels) photographed by William Daniels and Oliver Marsh and starring Warner Oland, Adrienne Lecouvrer, and The Blue Danube (Paul Sloane, seven reels) with Seena Owen. Danish Silent Film director Robert Dinesen would film his last two films in Germany, both lensed by the photographer George Bruckbauer, Der Weg durch die Nacht (1929) having starred Kathe von Nagy and Margarethe Schon, and Ariane im Hoppegarten (1928), having starred Maria Jacobini. Nordisk film at that time made only one film, The Joker (Jokeren, directed by George Jacoby. It had made more than 350, although short, films during the year 1914. Among the silent films mentioned as having been notable by Eisenstien, author and Silent Film Director, were Six Girls Behind Monastery Walls (Hans Beherndt, 1927), The Awakening of a Woman (Fred Sauer, 1927) and The Green Manuela (1923, E.A. Dupont). It literally more important that he was aware of The Portrait of Dorian Gray (Vsevolod Meyerhold,1915) and Yakov Protazonaov's Father Sergius (1918). His first film was The Wise Man, which he directed in 1923. Author Raymond Spottiswoode adds the silent film of Russian director Alexander Room to noteworthy screen essays, particularly Bed and Sofa (1927) and The Ghost that Never Returns (1929), his remarking that the camera in a revolt against stage technique selected "guestures and facial expressions which a theater audience might have overlooked," and it can be asked if during complicated setups and successive shots whether the camera of silent pioneer D.W. Griffith intentionally or unintentionally does. In his volume, "Pictureback" rather, The Silent Cinema, author Liam O'Leary adds the films The Woman of Ryazan (Olga Preobrazhenskia, 1927) and Two Days (Georgi Stabovi, 1927) to "individual films" that were among those that were filmed in Russia. Before appearing on the screen under the direction of Rouben Mamoulian, King Vidor and E. A Dupont, actress Anna Sten during 1927 was seen in silent film by Russian audiences in The Girl With the Hatbox (Devuska S Korobki, Boris Barnet), Agent Provocatuer (1927), and during 1928 in Lash of the Czar (The White Eagle,Byeli Orel,Yakov Protaznov). Paul Rotha mentions the film New Babylon (1929), filmed by G. Kozintsev and A. Trauberg as having been a continuation of Eisenstien's theory and principles of cuttinng. The film Picture of Dorian Gray, seen by Eisenstien, has been listed as a now lost film.That Lars von Trier has had one of his works referred to as a Dogumentary is a silent nod to not only Vilgot Sjoman, but to silent film poet Dziga vertov (Man with a Movie Camera, 1929) and the constructivist principle of filming the life-fact and shooting life unawares. Vladimir Petric, in his book Constructivism in Film surveys the films of Vertov and his affinity to poetry, that explaining where the editing of his film might differ from the often handheld edting of the new, and yet slowly fading, avant-guard Dogme, that "montage could create life facts" following "the constructivist principle of an ideational justaposition of different materials to produce a more meaningful structural whole" and "the constructivist principle that a film is unified by the cinematic integration of its numerous components, each aspect acquiring meaning through its integration with the other elements and their relation to the photographed events." On the surface, or when looked at quickly, this would seem to bring about a narrative cinema, and at times it may. Interestingly, as Dogme was beginning to dissipate as a movement, one director advised holding the camera steady, thereby avoiding unnecessary, or obtrusive movement, irregardless of its being handheld. If Spottiswoode neglects to mention that Alexander Room was that year the director of Russia's first sound film, it had only been a documentary. To move the view from modern textbooks to then contemporary periodicals, the editors of Experimental Cinema, published between 1930-1934 at first seem to relegate art film and montage more to an intriguing subculture than a counter-movement with their Review of Arnheim's Film and the nod to the short films of Lewis Jacobs, Mobile Composition and Commercial Melody while staying avaunt-guard enough to introduce the early films of the sound era as being foreign- and yet the essay on Arnheim collapses after delegating his aesthetics as being given from an ivory tower and adds little worthwhile about how film is cut, with "The contemporary 'plastic criticism of painting divorced from any social or class forces has been prevalent throughout the bourgeois world". They include a publication of New Montage Concepts by V.S. Pudovkin. Hovering over the journal seems the hinting that there could be later a mention of the work of Carl Th. Dreyer while trying to align themselves with typical literary journals such as Cinema Quarterly, The Hound and the Horn and Film Art. In an essay on "Formal Cinema", Kirk Bond asked if there could not be, after the "functionalism" of Eggeling, more of a recognition of "the two-dimensional, monochrome character of the screen" where there is the "observed motion of light and shade on a limited plane surface". As the present author was born in New England, of particular interest is the noting of a film by Henwar Rodakiewicz and the claim that he had extracted graves stones in an old church cemetary from their social or thematic context, making their meaning, as shapes and geometric figure, more abstract than personally significant to the viewer.
|As the silent era was coming to a close, Douglas Fairbanks would appear in the film The Iron Mask, directed by Silent Film Director Allan Dwan. Alfred Hitchcock in 1928 would direct one of his only Silent Films, The Farmer's Wife. John Ford, who's first sound film The Black Watch appeared on theater screens a year later in 1929, had by then directed several silent films, including The Girl in No. 29 (1920), Little Miss Smiles (1922), Thank You (1925) and Mother Machree (1928).|
|Directing A Modern Hero in the United States with cameraman William Rees in 1934, G. W. Pabst, the director of Greta Garbo's second feature film, had entered into the directing of sound film with the films Westernfront 1918 (1930), Die Greigroschen Oper (1931) and Kameradschaft (1932). His actress, Louise Brooks, whom in 1929 he had directed in the films Pandora's Box and Diary of a Lost Girl (Das Tagebuch einer verbrenen), was during that same year introduced to the sound film by being paired with William Powell in The Canary Murder Case. While A Cottage On Dartmoor (Anthony Asquith) includes a dialog intertitle written by the director reading,"Will you come with me to a talkie tonight?". |
Vampyre, Danish director Carl Th. Dreyer's use of the vampire, in the form of Jullian West, as thematic context, was filmed almost silently, with sound added, in Germany in 1932. The film was based the plotline of ,among other vampire tales, In a Glass Darkly, written by Sheridan Le Fanu. Dreyer's choice of cameraman was Rudolph Matte. Film critic and author David Bordwell, on his webpage Observations on Film Art, recently provided a link to the web written by the Danish Film Insitute on the film of Carl Th Dreyer, itt covering the directors brilliant silent film career as well as his longevity into the sound era. While Danish film director Benjamin Christensen had by 1913 had begun directing with his first film, Sealed Orders (Det hemmelinghstulde X), a melodrama that, irregardless of its belonging to or being typical of the genre of the early Danish spy film, had included the use of montage in his editing, Carl Th. Dreyer had in fact begun rather as a writer, contributing the screenplay to the film The Brewer's Daughter (Byggerens datter, 1912), directed by Rasmus Ottesen and starring Emmanuel Gregers. He was to write every screenplay that he was to direct. Of the film Leaves in Satan's Book (1919), Forsyth Hardy wrote, "In the selection of his theme we see both the influence of Griffith and the preoccupation with the forces of good and evil which has been characteristic of all Dreyer's films." The Film Daily in the United States in 1930 ran, straitforwardly, "Sound Film Production is Started in Norway...The first ambitious effort in the new medium will be an adaptation of Einar Mikkelsen's novel "John Dale". it will be filmed in Alaska under the direction of George's Schneevoight and will have Mona Martenson as it's star." After her having appeared with Edvin Adolphson in the film Brollopet i Branna (1927), directed by Erik Petschler, Mona Martenson in Norway starred with Einar Tveito in People of the Tundra (Viddenesfolk) (1928) written and directed by Ragnar Westfelt for Lunde-film, in Germany starred with Aud Egede Nissen in the film Die Frau in Talar, in Norway starred in the film Laila (1929) directed by George Schneevoigt for Lunde-film from a script adapted from a novel by Jens Anders Friis, and in Denmark starred in the film Eskimo (1930), also directed by George Schneevoight- it had not only been Greta Garbo and Victor Sjöström that had made the transition from silent film to sound.
John W. Brunius directed two films during 1930, The Doctor's Secret (Docktorns Hemlighet) and The Two of Us (Vi Tva), in which Edvin Adolphson appeared as an actor with Margit Manstad, Marta Ekstrom and Anna-Lisa Froberg, the film having been the first in which the actress was to appear. Swedish cinematographer Harald Berglund in 1930 began filming under the direction of Ragnar Ring on the film Lyckobreven.
Danish film director George Schneevoigt continued the beginning of early Danish sound film the following year with the film Pastor of Vejlby (Praesten i Vejlby). The first Norwegian sound film, The Big Chirstening (Den store Barnedapen) was also the first film directed by Tancred Ibsen. He would begin worj in Swedish film co-scripting and then co-scripting and co-directing Vi som gar koksvagen (1932) and its counterpart Vi som gar kjokken veinen (1933) with Gustaf Molander and his photographer Ake Dahlqvist. Made for A/S Oslo Talefilm, it is an adaptation of a novel published two years earlier by Sigrid Boo. Tancred Ibsen would rejoin Victor Sjöström in Sweden, directing him in the 1934 film Synnove Solbakken. Among the photographers that began the era of early sound film in Sweden was Martin Bodin. It is almost endering that Pauline Brunius appeared as an actress in front of his camera under the direction of Gustaf Edgren in the 1934 film Karl Fredrick regerar while Brunius was directing what would be his last film, False Greta.
Suomi-Filmi of Finland produced its first sound film in 1929, The Supreme Victory (Korkein voitto), directed by Carl von Hartmann. The photography was found to be too expensive and the making of sound films was postponed while silent films were continued to be made. Finnish author and film director Jorn Donner was later to write, 'I have a difference of opinion from that of those historians who proclaim the eternal value of a mass of pictures from the teens and twenties. I reject the theoreticians, such as Rudolf Arnheim, who characterize talking pictures as a corruption.' Where Jorn Donner shows an appreciation of film is in his viewing it as a literature, his seeing the silent film as a point of departure within the freedom, or sensitivity, of the artist, Donner's particular appreciation of film seemingly that of an appreciation of the film having an audience that recieves what the film conveys thematiclly and a spectator that not only is positioned in a relationship to the subject, but that is connected to the author of the work by the characters and what they symbolize; Donner seemingly views filmmaking as a readership, one that within film history can only become more modern. The spectatorial address of the silent film was one that used the intertitle, scene construction often based on whether explanatory titles were being used to carry the narrative and establish the expostition, or whether the amount of dialouge needed by the scene could be accomodated by the use of dialougue intertitles: the advent of sound had brought about the transition from photoplay, as a literature, to screenplay.
Two actors that have now become legendary for their having worked together with Sjöström in his film The Wind (eight reels), silent film actress Lillian Gish and Montague Love, were teamed together for the early sound film His Double Life, under the direction of Arthur Hopkins. Two actors that were paired together after the beginning of the use of sound in film were Nils Asther and Fay Wray, their appearing in Madame Spy, directed by Karl Fruend in 1934.
Picture Play Magazine in 1930 announced, "Young, lovely, successful Vilma Banky has decided to abandon her career on the screen and find contentment in private life. She doesn't say that she prefers to be "just a wife, because to her the change entails no comedown, no sacrifice." The magazine felt that she was retiring at "the height of her beauty and fame."
|Photoplay in 1930 noted, "At the end of every picture Greta Garbo gives an entire day to new portraits. She takes it seriously...She will be photographed on in the only in the clothes she wears in her pictures...One Garbo belongs to the public, the other is a private individual. To keep in the sustained mood she likes to have sad music played on the phonograph. To end the silent era two months before Greta Garbo's last silent film, The Kiss (Jacques Feyder), Clarence Sinclair Bull became her gallery photographer. Author Mark A. Viera writes, 'She liked him because, like Clarence Brown, he spoke softly, if at all.' When Geocites closed, the still photographs scanned from the orginal negatives that Mr. Vieira sent via yahoo e-mail to the present author, and the two letters he wrote were transferred to my google blog. They include a still photograph of Greta Garbo in The Kiss left over from his editorial decision. Apparently he owned more photographs than he needed to publish and sent the unused ones to me. Please accept that I may have been the author to introduce the photos to a Swedish readership, years after they were unearthed. As the reader will notice, the photo used on the cover of Mr. Vieira's was sent to without the title Cinematic Legacy lettering. One published photograph taken by Clarence S. Bull found by the present author was in an issue of International Photographer from 1931, a portrait of camerman John W. Boyle, who had only just then returned from Scandinavia filming a "multi-color film" in Denmark and who would make Sweden, Land of the Viking, a travel newsreel shot on color film stock. Before his having met Greta Garbo, the photography of Clarence Sinclair Bull had been published in periodicals under the name Clarence S. Bull. During 1922, Picture-Play magazine ran his portraits of Helen Chadwick and Claire Windsor; in 1923 his portraits of Mae Busch and Mabel Ballin. His portrait of Colleen Moore had appeared in Screenland Magazine in 1922.|