WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

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ChiO
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by ChiO »

MichJ wrote:
I'm working my way through some Fassbinder films
Boy, for some of them, "work" is the operative word. Of the few (what a relative term that is -- 40+ films in 16 years makes it tough to qualify for having seen "most) I've seen, my favorites are ALI: FEAR EATS THE SOUL and MARTHA. Your recommendations would be welcomed.
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Mr. Arkadin
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by Mr. Arkadin »

ChiO wrote:
MichJ wrote:
I'm working my way through some Fassbinder films
Boy, for some of them, "work" is the operative word. Of the few (what a relative term that is -- 40+ films in 16 years makes it tough to qualify for having seen "most) I've seen, my favorites are ALI: FEAR EATS THE SOUL and MARTHA. Your recommendations would be welcomed.
My recommendation is for you to see Chinese Roulette (1976).

http://jclarkmedia.com/fassbinder/fassbinder27.html
feaito

Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by feaito »

Thanks to Kevin I got to see "Shopworn" (1932) an entertaining and well acted Precoder by Barbara Stanwyck and Clara Blandick -in a rather nasty role. Stany plays a similar character than in "Baby Face" (1933) although not half as shameless and immoral. She's a poor girl who works her way through life and who's unfairly framed-up by the mother (Blandick) -and her judge friend- of the rich boy she falls for (Regis Toomey, who's quite good too) and ends in a prison/reformatory. But then, she finds success on Broadawy! I read that this film was badly chopped before its release and for its re-release after the Code was enforced. In any case Babs shines as always and looks youthful and fetching.
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Ann Harding
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by Ann Harding »

Yesterday, I went to see Le Tournoi dans la cité (The Tournament, 1929) by Jean Renoir. It was an impressive costumer shot on locations in Carcassone, a walled medieval city in the south of France. In 1565, religious conflict is rife in France. Catholics and Protestants are at war. The Queen Mother, Catherine de Médicis, organises a gathering between the two factions in a small city for a tournament. François de Baynes (Aldo Nadi) a Protestant leader is madly obsessed with Isabelle (Jacky Monnier) who is promised to a Catholic aristocrat, Henri de Rogier. François kills her brother in a duel in spite of Catherine's edict. Then he will fight Henri de Rogier in a judgement of God (fighting to death to decide the outcome) for the possession of Isabelle.
This film is absolutely gorgeous to look at. The costumes are not only accurate, but incredible rich and beautiful. The lead actor, Aldo Nadi, was in fact a fencing champion and he gives his François a daring-do that makes him compelling to watch. For once, the 'hero' is a villain; he loves women, wine and violence to excess. But ultimatemately, he shows his metal by accepting to fight 20 guards who came to arrest him. Overall, a nice evening and a very nice print to boot. :)
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by jdb1 »

Christine, thank you so much for telling us about all these wonderful films we may never get a chance to see. This one sounds really interesting, and I had, only this past weekend, seen something on television about the life of Queen Catherine. Now I really would like to see this film.
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Ann Harding
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by Ann Harding »

Glad you enjoyed that, Judith! Actually, if you want to know more about Catherine de Médicis, you could read a Dumas novel that's easily available: La Reine Margot. The English translation on the Oxford World's Classics ed. is very good. You'll get plenty of info in the introduction as well. :wink: (avoid the 1994 film at all cost: it's gory and humourless)
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by jdb1 »

I've seen the movie La Reine Margot. In fact, I don't really remember much of it. I do remember I didn't like it, but I thought maybe I was missing something. Glad it wasn't just me.
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Ann Harding
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by Ann Harding »

Yesterday I watched the BFI DVD of The Iron Horse (1924, J. Ford). I was curious to see if my impression of the film might be modified after watching the Fox DVD. First of all, the BFI edition contains a different print. It was the 'international' version slightly shorter than the US one at 2h13 instead of 2h29. On top, the shots are different, taken from a second camera. Nevertheless, the print quality is good with a lovely amber tinting (and blue for night) instead of B&W on the Fox one. But what makes this version interesting is the score by John Lanchbery. He provides a sweep and grandeur, in a way that the Christopher Caliendo score doesn't. I also rediscovered some scenes I had hardly noticed before. And also, I felt some sequences were far more moving than I expected. When George O'Brien comes back on the train after killing his father's murderer, I sat very quiet and moved while I remained completely unmoved watching the Fox/Caliendo version. It's a shame Fox didn't use that score for their DVD. A music can make or break a film. Lanchbery provides a post-romantic score in the tradition of Dimitri Tiomkin or a Max Steiner with leitmotivs and rich orchestration. It's a shame that this kind of music seems to have become unfashionable...
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Gagman 66
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by Gagman 66 »

Christine,

:o There are two discs of THE IRON HORSE both with the Caliendo score in the Fox Ford Silents Box. Not sure which one you saw. The Domestic and International cuts of the film. One is much better print quality than the other is. I agree that the John Lanchbery score is superior. However, this is one of Caliendo's very best scores. Certainly worlds better than his more recent work on LUCKY STAR. TCM is premiering FOUR SONS next month, but it likely will have Caliendo's muusic rather than the unforgettable original Movie-Tone track. How they could discard the "Little Mother" them is beyond me. So crucial to the picture. The power and impact of the dieing soldier sequence is also greatly compromised. Never the less I'm still pleased that TCM is finally running the film.
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Ann Harding
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by Ann Harding »

Yesterday, I watched Le Fantôme du Moulin Rouge (The Moulin Rouge's Ghost, 1925, René Clair). This French silent follows the tribulation of a member of parliament undergoing an experiment with a doctor where his soul is separated from the body. He can wander freely and invisible through Paris and can forget his pains. Alas, the doctor is arrested as his body -looking dead- has been found in his pratice. Some forensic scientists are going to perform an autopsy unless he comes back in time to reintegrate the body... Clair knew how to use the supernatural like in I Married a Witch (1942) or The Ghost Goes West (1935), but as early as 1925, he was already using it. Unfortunately, the character of the ghost is not providing quite enough twists and turns to make is as enjoyable as it could be. That said, the film contains some superb stunts performed fearlessly by actor - and stuntman - Albert Préjean. He climbs up a building with the same ease as Harold Lloyd. A nice little film, but a far cry from the later Chapeau de Paille d'Italie or Les Deux Timides.
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charliechaplinfan
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by charliechaplinfan »

MichiganJ wrote:It's hanging in my TV room. I have a section devoted to Chaplin items including a ceramic figurine of the Tramp eating his boot and a Chaplin marionette (of which I've nearly mastered getting him to doff his cap and generally use to terrify my cats.)
I'm just so jealous of your poster :wink: I'm glad your wife got back before the airports were closed. We had four extra days at our hotel and then a coach trip across Spain in a coach with no toilet with our two kids. It was an interesting experience. After A few hours, my little boy decided to entertain everyone sitting behind us by standing up in his seat and chattering. After telling all my secrets (the whole coach knew how old I was and the fact that Grandad snores loudly whilst Joe is watching the TV) Anyhow after a while he started talking about Charlie Chaplin and his comedies and I was very proud of him.

Back to films, today I watched An American Tragedy, a film directed by Josef Von Sternberg based on the novel by Theodore Dreiser. This is one of the only films were I actually prefer the remake. Sylvia Sidney was great in her role as Roberta, the Alice role in A Place in the Sun. I found Philip Holmes as rather stilted and Frances Dee not terribly convincing. Although the films carry the same story line, they are very different, the characters are quite different. Sylvia's Roberta isn't as needy as Shelley's Alice. Frances Dee's Sandra not as bewitching as Elizabeth Taylor's Angela and Philip Holmes stilted whereas Montgomery Clift makes George sympathetic. All this aside An American Tragedy is a very good film and is worth watching, I'm simply comparing a masterpiece to a good film. I couldn't see too many parellel's between An American Tragedy and his later works with Marlene.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin
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MichiganJ
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by MichiganJ »

charliechaplinfan wrote:I'm just so jealous of your poster
Welcome back! I thought of you when I opened the package and saw the poster. I've checked on-line and can't seem to find a picture of it to post. It's a drawing with the Tramp among the cogs of the machine. I also can't tell if it's from when the film was originally released or perhaps a reissue, which would be very interesting, considering Budapest after the war. Modern Times takes on yet another dimension.

Glad that you and your family made it back okay. I didn't know where in Spain you were vacationing and I was curious if you might move through France and try and take the TGV through the Chunnel, (which is pretty cool.) A coach trip with no toilets, well, I guess "interesting experience" sums that up in a positive light. These are the kinds of experiences which provide great stories to tell. (Bravo, too, to your son and his discourse on Chaplin.)

And to movies: Watched the 1907 version of Ben Hur. One reel (13-minutes or so) and we still get the chariot race! Sure it's only Hur and Messala racing, and since the camera is planted firmly on the inside of a turn, the race pretty much consists of the horses and chariot passing by, but still…we're talking Ben Hur in 13-minutes! It takes that long for Wyler's credits. (Messala was played by William S. Hart. You could tell by the holster outside his tunic.)
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Ann Harding
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by Ann Harding »

Yesterday I watched Fräulein Else (Miss Else, 1929), a Paul Czinner silent based on Arthur Schnitzler. Else (Elisabeth Bergner) is the teenage daughter of a Viennese businessman. She goes to St Moritz with her aunt and friends for a holiday. But while she is away, her father faces bankrupcy. Her mother asks her to intercede with Von Dorsday who could help them... This spendid silent shows the great talent of Paul Czinner as a director. He captures brilliantly the effervescence of the upper-classes in St Moritz. The teenager Else is excellently played by Elisabeth Bergner. She is an innocent young girl just having fun until her life changes radically when her mother asks her to bear the burden of the family financial problems. Schnitzler always liked to show what happened below the surface of polite society. And here, what we see is not pretty. Else becomes an object in a bargain to help her family and she is destroyed in the process. The cameraman was Karl Freund who produced some incredibly smooth travelling shots. The film contains some superb location shots of the Alps. Overall a brilliant film that deserves to be better known.
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charliechaplinfan
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by charliechaplinfan »

MichiganJ wrote:
charliechaplinfan wrote:I'm just so jealous of your poster
Welcome back! I thought of you when I opened the package and saw the poster. I've checked on-line and can't seem to find a picture of it to post. It's a drawing with the Tramp among the cogs of the machine. I also can't tell if it's from when the film was originally released or perhaps a reissue, which would be very interesting, considering Budapest after the war. Modern Times takes on yet another dimension.

Glad that you and your family made it back okay. I didn't know where in Spain you were vacationing and I was curious if you might move through France and try and take the TGV through the Chunnel, (which is pretty cool.) A coach trip with no toilets, well, I guess "interesting experience" sums that up in a positive light. These are the kinds of experiences which provide great stories to tell. (Bravo, too, to your son and his discourse on Chaplin.)
It's an experience we'll never forget. We were in Southern Spain, Benalmadena to be exact and drove non stop to Lloret De Mar on the Costa Brava. Spain is a very beautiful country and one of the high points of the trip was seeing Spain out of the coach window. The kids were remarkably good, I've never been as appreciative of my daughter's DS, it kept her from being bored, I played so many games of snap with Joe, losing them all of course, then he got bored and entertained the coach.

I left the full story on this thread, my encounter with the biggest idiot I've ever come across and how we felt we'd never get home because he was with us.

You've got to grab the positive out of these adventures, the Dunkirk spirit and all that, I did sympathise with the older generation and those with very young children and babies. It was such a strange situation to be in, we didn't know how long the airports would be closed, we take air travel so much for granted these days. The plan once we'd got to Lloret De Mar was to coach us through to Calais and get us on a ferry that the travel company had chartered, only someone had told all the stranded passengers to head for Calais and it got completely blocked and thankfully for us the airports opened again. We flew to Cardiff which is 5 hours from here but at least it was Briitsh soil. The profiteering that was going on by car rental companies, coach companies, some airlines, hotels, they prices shot up for all of them, some people are seriously out of pocket because their travel insurance refused to pay up. There have been some shocking stories.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin
Synnove
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by Synnove »

The kids were remarkably good, I've never been as appreciative of my daughter's DS, it kept her from being bored, I played so many games of snap with Joe, losing them all of course, then he got bored and entertained the coach.
I can just picture him doing that. :)

What a long, harsh journey you had. That sort of thing really tests your ingenuity and endurance. My cousin and my sister where here too when it happened, they had to go back by bus and it took them two days. They were lucky though, to be able to make bookings right away. I'm quite proud of them for managing it by themselves with no experience.

I watched Dödskyssen (the Kiss of Death), a silent movie from 1916 starring Victor Sjöström. It's a neat little mystery with a highly original form of murder, and the story is told in flashback form, starting with the murder, with the back-story told on the witness stand at the trial. Sjöström would employ the flashback structure in The Phantom Carriage later on. The plot is really convoluted: the main character is the body double of another character, and moves in to take over his life for a bit while he goes on holiday. I think this plot twist was included to show off double exposure effects. They are quite indulgently used, but well done for their time. There is a nice performance by child actress Wanda Rothgardt, and also, she has incredibly long hair like they did in those days, even the children. It's quite extraordinary to see.

One thing that's striking about Dödskyssen is that the sets are all cast in shadow, making it a very dark movie indeed. Of course, this might have been an effect so that the cheapness of the sets would not be visible, and also a way to simplify the double exposure. It creates a gloomy atmosphere, where the characters appear in and out of scenes like ghosts.

Many thanks to Christine for sending me this movie!
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